There are not many high-end 8-inch tablets available right now. Exactly two. Those are the new Apple iPad Mini 2019 and the one-year-old Huawei MediaPad M5 8. One is running iOS and the other one Android Oreo. Which is the better one and which one should you choose? That’s what we’ll discuss in this iPad Mini vs. MediaPad M5 8 comparison.
Before we start, let’s look at pricing. The iPad Mini starts at 399 US Dollars, while you can get the MediaPad M5 8 starting at 320 US Dollars. Real prices depend on the market and in some, you can’t get the one or the other yet. In Europe, there is a bit bigger price difference.
Let’s look at outside values first. Both tablets feature a full aluminum body and feel very high-end. The iPad Mini is a bit thinner with 6.1mm than the Huawei MediaPad M5 8 with 7.5mm. While it also is 10g lighter, the M5 has thinner bezels.
We get a fingerprint scanner with both. Apple calls it Touch ID and it doubles as the home button. With the Huawei one, you can navigate Android using gestures and replace those three typical Android buttons. Both have a power button and volume controls.
Sadly, the iPad Mini is still using the old Lightning connector while we get a USB C port with the MediaPad. However, it’s important to note that the iPad has a standard headphone jack. Yes, the M5 does not. You can use an adapter though that is included for free. On the positive side, the M5 has a microSD card slot. Apple does not use these at all.
The speakers are noticeably different. While both have two, the ones of the iPad Mini are located on one side only. So, if you’re watching a movie, you won’t notice any stereo separation. The MediaPad M5 8 has a speaker on each side and you will get stereo separation. However, overall the iPad Mini sounds noticeably better. It offers a better bass and a nicer and clearer overall sound.
When comparing them directly, the 8- and 13-megapixel cameras from Huawei have a much wider angle. And they’re processed more heavily so that they offer a higher contrast and more saturation. If you zoom in, less noise is visible.
If you look at photos in 1:1 magnification, the 7- and 8-megapixel cameras of the iPad Mini are much sharper even though they’ve got a lower resolution. You can see more details and more noise. It’s lacking contrast and saturation though.
In case you care about cameras in a tablet, you get wider angle lenses with the MediaPad and photos have more contrast and saturation applied. The iPad Mini takes more zoomed-in photos which are sharper and offer a bit more data if you want to post-process them yourself.
By the way, while you can record 4K videos with the Huawei’s main camera, the iPad Mini supports 1080p only.
Display: 7.9-Inch Against 8.4-Inch
The displays are far from identical. The Huawei MediaPad M5 8 has an 8.4-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. With the iPad Mini 2019, on the other hand, we get a 7.9-inch screen in a 4:3 format and a resolution of 2048 x 1536.
So, both tablets have a different aspect ratio and the Apple one is smaller overall. While an aspect ratio of 4:3 is good for reading, a 16:10 format is better suited for watching movies.
Even when comparing them directly, it’s not really possible to tell that the resolution is different. Both screens look very sharp. I also like that both displays are laminated. That means you won’t see an air gap and that’s how it should be with premium devices.
If you use the tablets one after another you won’t notice that the quality of the screens is different. However, when comparing them directly side by side, the iPad Mini looks a bit brighter. And it seems to be a bit more color accurate. Even though you can adjust the color temperature of the Huawei, it still looks a bit blueish. Compared to that, Apple’s looks more yellow. However, thanks to its True Tone technology it’s adjusted based on the surrounding light anyways.
Huawei is not offering any kind of active stylus for the MediaPad M5 8. You can use the Apple Pencil and Logitech Crayon with the iPad Mini though.
Apple vs. Huawei: Performance
The Huawei MediaPad M5 8 is one of the fastest Android tablets with its HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. With that being said, regarding this, Apple is much better. The A12 Bionic processor of the iPad Mini 2019 is way more powerful in benchmarks. And you won’t notice that it has 3GB of RAM only.
Obviously, both operating systems run smoothly on their tablets. And that goes for all common apps too. It’s really hard to notice a difference in real life. That is not the case when playing games though.
Yes, you can play PUBG Mobile smoothly with both. But while you can set the graphics settings to HD and a high frame-rate with the MediaPad, the iPad Mini can be set to HDR and an ultra frame-rate. When comparing them directly, the graphics look much more detailed on the Mini. That’s what the benchmarks predicted.
It’s also important to note that you can get the iPad Mini with 64GB and 256GB of internal storage. Usually, the MediaPad M5 8 has a 32GB internal storage. However, you can expand it with a microSD card.
In my battery test, the iPad Mini 2019 got a runtime of 12.25 hours. That’s a bit better than the 11 hours of the MediaPad M5 8. For both tests I’ve looped an HD video at medium brightness until the tablets shut themselves off.
Android vs. iOS
Let’s get to their software. Well, it’s the old fight between Android and iOS. Lots of people have a strong preference towards one of them and that’s fine. If you already own an Android phone, you can use the exact same apps with the MediaPad. And if you use an iPhone, you won’t be happy with an Android tablet.
Huawei is shipping the MediaPad M5 8 with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. It should get an update to Android 9.0 Pie very soon though. The iPad Mini is running iOS 12. Based on the past, it will be up-to-date much longer. Apple’s update policy is excellent.
Both operating systems have their up- and downsides. I like that Android can be customized a lot. And, if you want, you can have real access to the file system and you can transfer files from SD cards, hard drives or whatever. You can connect tons of accessories. Android is more open in general.
Apple’s iOS has a lot of advantages too. While a lot of common apps are almost identical on both, there are huge differences when it comes to more niche apps. For example, Affinity Photo is an excellent Photoshop alternative for iOS. And with LumaFusion, you can edit videos professionally. You can’t get those complex and professional apps for Android.
Which Is The Better Tablet?
So, which is the better tablet? Should you get the Apple iPad Mini or the Huawei MediaPad M5 8? Overall, the iPad Mini is the better tablet. But, as usual, it always depends what exactly you are looking for. And how much money you’re willing to spend.
Do you need an active pen? Then you should get the Mini. It is a great replacement for a paper notebook. Do you want to edit photos or videos? If so, the iPad will offer a wider selection of apps for that. I think it’s also the best option if you’re looking for a small gaming tablet. It is much faster and should be up-to-date longer.
I think the Huawei MediaPad M5 8 is the better tablet if you want to watch movies and TV shows. That’s because the screen is bigger and has the right aspect ratio for that. It also is very interesting if you want to spend less money – that’s a more important point in Europe. Yes, the performance of the iPad Mini might be better, but the MediaPad M5 8 is still one of the fastest Android tablets. I think it offers very good value too.
- Powerful hardware
- Excellent screen
- Metal body
- Long battery life
- Good speakers
- Solid cameras
- Apple Pencil support
- Tons of optimized apps
- Old design
- Lightning port
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