Huawei are desperately trying to bring themselves into the higher end of the Android world. They’ve released some more powerful and more up to date devices, but everything they release seems to come just a little too late.
The Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite is their foray into the 7 inch tablet world. The first problem they encounter is that we are all automatically comparing it to the Google (ASUS) Nexus 7. This is their downfall. While they are entering the budget 7 inch tablet world, it has no chance of competing against the Nexus 7. It’s not as good in almost every aspect, although the build quality comes close. Google is setting the standards for Android devices and companies like Huawei need to take note of what they are doing if they are going come close to competing.
The performance is mediocre at best, the display is not bad, but its not even close to the Nexus 7.
What is inside the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite.
Display: 7″ 1024×600 IPS display
CPU: 1.4GHz single-core Cortex-A8 processor
Memory: 1GB RAM
Storage: 8GB on-board storage, microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB
Cameras: 3.2mp rear facing, 0.3mp VGA front-facing camera
Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3G (GSM), Bluetooth 3.0, Micro USB 2.0
Size: 193mm x 120mm x 11mm
Weight: 370 grams
OS: Android 4.0.3
We don’t know when it’s going to be released and we have no idea how much it’s going to cost.
The immediate plus point of the MediaPad 7 Lite is the build quality. Huawei are getting pretty good at construction of their devices, and the MediaPad 7 Lite is no exception. It feels very strong, although this also makes it feel a little heavy. It’s only a fraction thicker than the Nexus 7.
Opening the box revealed a very nice feeling and looking matte finish aluminum frame. The end caps are a smooth plastic but feel strong and resilient. You’ll find the Huawei and Google logos on the rear and the 3.2 mp rear facing camera along the top edge. Next to the camera you’ll find the speaker in the form of two small lots next to each other. The tiny slots don’t allow for much sound and I found the MediaPad 7Lite to be a little quiet for me.
As with many devices recently, the speaker openings have a slight lump in the middle, which we can assume is ensure that sound does not get obstructed when the MediaPad 7 Lite is laid on a flat surface. As the MediaPad 7 Lite can also be used as a speaker phone, this is probably a good design choice on Huawei’s behalf.
The MediaPad 7 Lite is design to work mostly in Landscape mode. In this orientation you will find the Power and Volume rocker on the top edge of the device. On the right hand side of the top edge you’ll also find a Micro SD and SIM card slot. The slots are covered with very flimsy covers that have a small nail slot used to remove them. I found that they never really closed properly and made it seem cheap and a last minute addition.
The SIM card slot is for full size SIM cards so I was unable to test out the GSM connections. The devices I have now have MicroSIM cards and I didn’t have an adapter hand to allow them to be inserted into a regular SIM card slot. This also meant I was unable to test out phone calls using the tablet, which could also be considered one of its plus points.
If you keep going around the device to the right hand edge, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone socket and a USB port for charging and desktop connection. The remaining two sides of the device have no connections or buttons.
This is where everything starts to turn bad. No matter how I configured the MediaPad 7 Lite, the interface and overall experience was slow and laggy. Simple things like swiping left and right on the home screens was jerky and unimpressive. There is simple no excuse in today’s tablet world to have experience as poor as this.
I was hoping, no praying, that after installing a few games and different apps maybe they would run better once they had been loaded. This is a mistake. The tablet is just slow in every way I tried to use it. Games were laggy and screen updates slow. Browsing was slow. Email was slow. I’m not sure which component has spoilt the experience of this device. It could be the processor or maybe it’s very slow access memory. Whatever they did in this device has completely ruined the experience.
I then went on to trying a few videos. I tried YouTube, NetFlix and a couple of my own clips. The tablet was constantly buffering on the streaming videos and never really impressed on the local video clips.
Battery testing wasn’t much better. I was playing around with the tablet for probably a couple of hours testing games and videos and in that time I lost about 45% battery.
I kind of gave up on this device after this. I did try taking some photos, which were acceptable for a 3.2mp camera, but obviously they are low resolution and I found the colors and overall picture to be a little washed out.
So we still don’t know when this is launching or how much it will cost. Whatever they do, I would stay clear of this device at all costs. There are far better choices in the 7 inch tablet world and Huawei is late to the party. Not only are they late, but they have released a device that feels like its two years old.