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Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Review: A Solid Entry-Level Tablet With Optional LTE

How good is the Huawei MediaPad T3 8? Is it a good entry-level tablet with optional LTE? Read my review to find out how it compares to its competitors.

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The Huawei MediaPad T3 8 is an 8-inch Android tablet that costs around 140 US Dollars. So, it’s pretty cheap but offers almost identical hardware to the Lenovo Tab4 8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0. I reviewed both of them already. Its features are a Snapdragon 425 processor, Android 7.0 Nougat and optional LTE. How good is it in everyday use? That’s what you’ll find out in my Huawei MediaPad T3 8 review.

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 on* Amazon

Design & Build Quality

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Design

The design of the Huawei MediaPad T3 8 is very similar to the MediaPad T3 10 that I reviewed already. We’re getting a mostly metal back which is held in place by a plastic frame. Still, it feels nice and well build. The only criticism I have is with the transition from the plastic frame to the screen. It seems like they don’t fit perfectly together. But, as I said, it feels solid.

Huawei is offering the MediaPad T3 8 with a black and white front. Unlike with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, there is no physical home button – just software buttons. Instead of a home button, there’s a Huawei logo underneath the display. Thanks to that the bezels are not thinner than with the Samsung one.

It’s certainly not very thin at 7.95 millimeters but not too thick either. The tablet weighs 350 grams which is alright as well.

Ports, Cameras, Speakers

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Ports

Like with its bigger brother there is no USB Type C port. Instead, Huawei is using a standard micro USB connector to charge the device. You can use it to connect accessories as well. On the top is a 3.5-millimeter audio jack and on the side, you can open a slot for a microSD card. If you’ve got the LTE version then you can put in your SIM card there too. Above the slot are the power button and volume controls which are both made out of plastic.

Above the screen is one single speaker which you can also hold to your ear for phone calls. You can use the LTE version as a phone. While it’s nice that we get a front-facing speaker, the quality is not that great. It’s certainly fine for some YouTube and even to listen to a couple of music videos. But you can’t fill a room with that sound.

Next to the speaker is a 2-megapixel front-facing camera which is alright for video chats. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera which is usable as well but not great. The cameras of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 are a bit better.

Screen: 8-inch HD Display

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Screen

The 8-inch screen of the Huawei MediaPad T3 8 offers an HD resolution with 1280 x 800 pixel. Yes, an HD screen is far from perfect because pretty much every smartphone offers a higher pixel density. But I think it’s still alright for an 8-inch display. Texts and icons might not look as sharp but I think it’s still usable. You have to live with that anyway because no competitor in this price range offers a full HD screen.

All other aspects are pretty good. Colors look nice, the contrast is good and you don’t see too many reflections. In fact, it seems like the screen is laminated. Unlike with Samsungs competitor, there is no gap between the IPS panel and the touchscreen. And if there is one, it is very, very tiny.

The brightness is fine for working outside as well. But, the screen of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is noticeably brighter.

Hardware & Performance

Inside the Huawei MediaPad T3 8 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 together with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Sounds familiar? Well, it should be because we get almost identical hardware with the MediaPad T3 10, Lenovo Tab4 10, Tab4 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0.

So, the hardware is not very exciting and pretty much identical to its competition. As you might expect, the performance of all of them is very similar. The MediaPad T3 8 is certainly powerful enough for most things including surfing the web, watching some YouTube and doing some light multitasking. If you switch between apps fast or have a lot of tabs in Chrome open you might notice some minor stuttering though.

Benchmarks & Games

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Benchmarks

The benchmarks show very similar results as well. In Geekbench 4 it gets around 680 and 1890 points. In AnTuTU it gets a result of around 38000. As you can see, there are some minor differences between the Snapdragon 425 tablets. And, what’s important to note: The much cheaper Amazon Fire HD 8 gets very similar results. So the benchmark results are quite alike and that’s what my gaming test shows as well.

I’ve been able to play a lot of games very nicely. That includes Asphalt 8 Airborne, Asphalt Xtreme and Into The Dead 2. You might see some stuttering occasionally – because well, it’s not a gaming tablet. But overall the performance is pretty good.

For some reason, I couldn’t start Modern Combat 5. Now, Modern Combat 5 does not run smoothly on any Snapdragon 425 tablet I reviewed. But still, it’s weird that it crashes right after starting it. That shouldn’t be and wasn’t the case with the MediaPad T3 10. Maybe it’s just a problem with my version but who knows.

The tablet supports WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth. With the LTE version, you also get GPS.

Software: Android 7.0 & EMUI

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Software

Huawei ships the MediaPad T3 8 with Android 7.0 Nougat – so no Oreo yet. If that will ever change? In the past, Huawei did release some updates occasionally but not for all of their tablets. Since this is a cheaper tablet, I don’t expect it to ever get a major update.

On top of Nougat runs the EMUI in version 5.1. That’s the own interface from Huawei which is identical to the interface of their past smartphones and tablets. If you’ve ever owned a device from them in the past couple of years you’ll feel right at home.

So, the interface is customized quite heavily and you can customize it yourself quite a lot. There are a lot of apps preinstalled as well. Huawei has their own notes app, a calculator, a weather app and some more. In addition to that, we get a lot of Google apps and some Microsoft apps. There is more? There is indeed. Other apps like the Facebook messenger and Booking.com are preinstalled as well.

As you can see, there really is tons of stuff preinstalled. You can uninstall a lot of them but that does not go for the ones from Huawei itself. Because of these apps, you only get 7.3GB to use by yourself out of the box. That’s not a lot. With the Samsung, you get just over 9GB free and they used to ship overloaded systems in the past. By now, Huawei has taken their place.

While I prefer vanilla Android, I can live with Huawei’s interface. My recommendation is to go through the settings one by one and see what you might want to chance. And just uninstall all the apps you don’t need. For example, I replaced the Huawei keyboard with Googles keyboard, I just like it better.

By the way, if you want to use almost vanilla Android you can take a look at the Lenovo Tab4 8 which only has some minor customizations. And, as I said, even Samsung is shipping less preinstalled stuff.

Battery Life

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Battery Life

Let’s take a look at the battery life. The battery of the MediaPad T3 10 was not great and Huawei is shipping the same 4800mAh battery in the MediaPad T3 8. But, we only have an 8-inch screen here which needs less power. And indeed, the battery life is much better. In my test, it got a result of 13 hours.

Now, this is the result of my standard test. I’m always looping an HD video at 50 percent brightness and activated WiFi. But during everyday use, the battery life is pretty good too.

According to my battery diary, I got a runtime of 49 hours. During that time I used it actively for 6 hours and 20 minutes. As you can see, the tablet is not losing a lot of charge while in standby. During those 6.3 hours, I watched a lot of YouTube, browsed the web a bit and wrote a bit in Microsoft World. The brightness varied between 50 and 100 percent and Bluetooth and WiFi were turned on the whole time.

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Review: Final Verdict

Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Review

So, can I recommend the Huawei MediaPad T3 8? The build quality is pretty good, the performance is fine for most things and the battery life is great. Its 8-inch screen offers an HD resolution only which is not perfect. But the competition isn’t any better either. My major criticism is the heavily customized Emotion UI.

But still, I think the MediaPad T3 8 is a pretty good entry-level tablet and yes, I can recommend it. You should also take a look at its competitors. The first one is the Lenovo Tab4 8 with almost identical hardware. While the battery life is not as good, it is running almost vanilla Android.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is a nice alternative as well. The battery life is good and the screen is a bit brighter. In the past, Samsung has been much better with updates too. Yes, the interface is customized as well but not as much. Its major downside is the price – in most countries, it’s noticeably more expensive than the Huawei.

Another interesting and much cheaper competitor is the Amazon Fire HD 8. The screen, performance and battery life are very similar. It is running Amazon’s Android though. If you can live with that this one is the cheapest competitor – and, as I said, very similar.


7
Huawei MediaPad T3 8
Huawei MediaPad T3 8 Review:The Huawei MediaPad T3 8 is a good entry-level tablet with a solid build quality and a decent performance. Thanks to its great battery life and optional LTE you can actually use it to replace a phone. Its major downside is the heavy customized Emotion UI with tons of pre-installed apps.
Positive
  • Solid build quality
  • Optional LTE
  • Decent performance
  • Good price
  • Great battery life
Negative
  • HD-resolution only
  • To much bloatware
  • Future updates uncertain
Buy on*Amazon
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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Khawaja Abdul Rehman

    March 6, 2018 at 4:37 am

    what does ‘hd resolution only’ mean exactly ? will it not play low res videos which are either 360, 480 and/or 4:3 in aspect ratio. or do you meant just the 1280 x 800 (HD) 16:10 screen res ? i would actually like a tab with 16:9 res if you know of any with as similar battery life.

    • Andrzej

      March 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      The screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 only and yes it has an aspect ratio of 16:10. But it can play all kinds of videos up to full HD without any issues.

      • Khawaja Abdul Rehman

        March 16, 2018 at 3:45 am

        thank you for replying.

  2. Full Shilling

    March 14, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Is it correct that Huawei devices cannot synch with Google?
    I saw that claim amongst comments for one of their phones on a retail site. The poster had returned his phone in exchange for a Samsung.
    I found it hard to believe.
    Another great review btw. I like your methodology and production values.
    Best etc.

    • Andrzej

      April 3, 2018 at 8:48 am

      What shouldn’t in sync? I’m using a Huawei P10 smartphone and all of Google’s services and never had any issues… If it is anything specific, I can try it though.

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