Huawei may have taken a bigger hit than anyone as a consequence of Lenovo’s bold purchase of Motorola, since the Android landscape looks too cramped and competitive to accommodate two aspiring China-based players.
But you can definitely count on the creators of last year’s breathtaking Ascend P6 to pick themselves up, get back on the horse and not give up the fight… just yet. Sure, the Ascend P6 S is weirdly mundane, the Mate 2 downright weird, however odds are we won’t need to wait for the spring to see a solid new addition to the OEM’s lineup.
Surprise, surprise, as Huawei’s first decent 2014 effort is… a tablet. About time they started taking that market seriously, right? I mean, enough with the low-end MediaPad Youth and Vogue crap. The world needs another Android-running iPad mini “killer”.
Enter the MediaPad X1 7.0, aka 7D-501, which you can call a cross between Google’s Nexus 7 2013 and Apple’s iPad mini 2. Not a clone. Not yet. From a distance, yeah, it kind of looks like the latest iOS-powered diminutive pad.
Only there’s just one pic of this MediaPad X1 around, and it’s tiny and low-res. So let’s wait before pointing the finger. Let’s celebrate too, as the 7-incher rocks a 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution screen (that’s 323 ppi, for the record), 2 GB RAM and one of Huawei’s latest homebrewed quad-core chips.
Specifically, the Hisilicon 910 Kirin, based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 architecture and clocked at 1.6 GHz. No idea if it’s zippier than, say, N7’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, but it’s doubled by a snazzy Mali-450 GPU, so it can’t be a pushover.
Such a shame Tenaa (i.e. China’s FCC equivalent) lists the MediaPad X1 as running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is unlikely to drastically change in time for the tab’s commercial rollout. KitKat? A sweet, distant dream.
Oh, but what’s that? The slate measures 7.5 mm in thickness? And weighs in at 239 grams? Impossibru. For crying out loud, the N7 2013, which you can hardly call bulky, is 8.7 mm thick and 290 grams heavy. What kind of sorcery is this?
Well, take a look at that leaked photo. Don’t the bezels strike you as particularly slim? They should, since the X1 is 17 mm shorter and 10 mm narrower than the second-gen N7. All while accommodating the same 7-inch display. It’s getting harder and harder to explain why Huawei was so self-conscious about high-end tablets for so long.
Now let’s hope they’ll tackle a similarly aggressive pricing policy as always. Can you imagine being able to score such a marvelous little thing at, say, $150 – $170? Fingers crossed for a formal February introduction.