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Huawei MediaPad M3 unboxing & hands-on review

Huawei MediaPad M3 unboxing: It has been less than a year since Huawei brought the MediaPad M2 to the table, but its successor boasts a punchier screen and audio courtesy of Harman Kardon.

Huawei MediaPad M3: Specs at a glance

Screen size 8.4-inches
Screen resolution 2560x1600
Weight Unconfirmed
OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Rear camera 8-megapixels
Front camera 8-megapixels
Processor Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 950
Memory 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB. Expandable via microSD
Battery 5100mAh

Huawei MediaPad M3: Unboxing & hands-on review

The MediaPad line has evolved from a purely budget experience to a premium line of tablets, if the new M3’s unboxing experience is anything to go by. Like all higher-end Huawei devices, the company has opted for a minimalist box, with little more than the company logo, the MediaPad name and that all important Harman partnership.

Pull the tab at the front upwards and the lid lifts to reveal the tablet itself and a pair of AKG H300 earphones to supplement the premium external audio experience. Perfect for those times when you don’t want to world to overhear you listening to the Grease Megamix. The AKGs come pre-fitted with medium-size silicone buds and lifting them out of the box reveals not only the tablet’s USB power adapter, but also small and large replacement buds for different ear sizes.

Lifting the tablet out, you’re left with a colour-matched white microUSB cable (no Type-C just yet) and, if like us you’ve picked up the LTE model, a SIM tray removal tool tucked into top of the box containing the M3’s warranty card and quick-start guide.

At first it looks as though that’s all she wrote, but there’s actually an additional sleeve built into the underside of the box lid, containing not only a buffing cloth but a screen protector too; a nice surprise and welcome additions for a device that will undoubtedly attract fingerprints.

Over to the tablet itself and the MediaPad M3 looks and feels like a premium device. The slate shares the same ‘dynamic minimalism’ design language employed by the company’s new Nova phones, which were unleashed alongside it at IFA 2016. That means a curved metal body – available in grey, silver or gold – for a comfortable fit in the hand and nice details like textured metal hardware controls and a diamond chamfer around its edge.

On the back you will notice a glass bar at the top, not unlike the Nexus 6P and Nova smartphones, containing an 8-megapixel camera (there's also one of the front), whilst the edges of the device play host to dual speaker grilles containing impressively clear 1 watt speakers – the result of that Harman Kardon audio partnership. The M3 actually adjusts audio output depending on tablet orientation, which is to say it knows when the tablet is being held in landscape with the speaker grilles on the left and right, or portrait, where they’re top and bottom, just like an iPad Pro.

On the front sits the 8.4-inch LCD, packing a wonderfully crisp 2560x1600 resolution. Head-on, colours and brightness are great, but drop-off and distortion appears to take hold at more extreme angles. The software on offer is an almost identical build of Emotion UI 4.1 running atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow, as found on the Huawei P9, but thanks to the physical capacitive home button/fingerprint sensor on the front you can also pull off some new gestures when navigating the interface.

Jumping to the internal hardware, the M3 is powered by the company’s own Kirin 950 octa-core chipset, backed up by 4GB of RAM, not unlike the recently launched Honor 8 smartphone. Internal storage comes in at 64GB with microSD expandability and as we mentioned earlier, whilst the MediaPad M3 doesn’t feature a hybrid SIM tray like other products in the company’s portfolio, there will be both WiFi-only and 4G LTE models.

We are still waiting on pricing and availability information and will update the article accordingly when we have it.

Watch the full unboxing and hands-on review of the MediaPad M3 here:

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