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Tuesday, May 23

Geek

The Other Akko

The other Akko arrived - my shiny new Huawei Mediapad M3.  Two weeks in transit, two weeks sitting on my desk at the office because my office days got rescheduled, then a week when I was too busy to do much with it.

/images/AkkoPad.jpg?size=720x&q=95
Artist's impression of Pixy's week.

I'm planning to do a full review, but first some quick reactions and test results:

It's basically the same size as my Sony Z3 Tablet, which I would have been happy with except for the constant irritation of only having 16GB of storage.  The Mediapad has 64GB of storage (52GB free out of the box), a 2560x1600 screen (vs. 1920x1200), and 4GB RAM (vs 3GB).

I added a 200GB Sandisk SD card for $70; larger cards are available but at a significant premium; the 256GB model is $150.  Huawei only advertise support for 128GB cards, but the 200GB card works perfectly.  

Like Sony and Samsung, they've disabled Android 6's adoptable storage, which is a jerk move, but doesn't cause too much harm when the device itself has so much space.  I installed everything, and I still have 26GB free.

The screen is excellent.  It comes set to "vivid" mode, with over-saturated colours, but you can easily disable that, as well as setting the colour temperature to one of three pre-sets or use a colour wheel to adjust it to anything you want.

The fingerprint scanner takes a little while to set up, but once that's done it's fast and accurate.  It also has some clever tricks that I'll discuss in the review.

Performance is very good - not astounding, but very good.  I'm running Antutu and Geekbench  on all my devices and I'll fill in the scores as I go.

Antutu*


Device Total 3D UX CPU RAM
Mediapad M3 83,894 15,731 30,387 30,549 7,227
Xperia Z3 Tablet 63,379 9,911 22,255 21,952 9,261
Xperia Z Ultra 55,815 8,833 19,521 19,635 7,776
Nexus 7 40,583 4,453 15,189 14,785 6,156







It feels quite noticeably zippier than my Nexus 7 (as you'd expect when comparing with a device from 2013); the various minor delays and UX hiccups of that tablet are nowhere to be seen.

Huawei's EMUI Android skin is...  Not all bad.  I installed Nova Launcher, of course, so the only changes I still see are the notifications and the settings panel.  The changes to the settings panel are kind of dumb; storage and battery-related settings are hidden away under "Advanced", for example, and it's hard to find things generally.  The changes to the notifications panel are mixed, though I'll be happier if I can find a way to use a light background.

Overall I'm quite happy with it, and would likely recommend it to anyone looking for a small 16:10 tablet.  It is still running Android 6.0, and the oft-rumoured Android 7 update is nowhere to be found, so if that's an issue for you you'd best look elsewhere.

Full review will probably land next weekend, as I expect another busy week before then.

* I tested all devices with the latest version of Antutu.  If you look up the score for the Nexus 7 online, you will likely find a much lower number - around 20,000 - because the Antutu benchmark has changed since 2013.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:32 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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