Huawei MediaPad X2 Review

Price: $336.89


Big phones are big business, there’s just no denying the kind of momentum swing we’ve seen in the phablet segment over the last few years. The trends seemingly show that consumers want bigger and bigger phones, evident by the popularity of phablets like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and Google Nexus 6 to name a few.

However, many people are also more comfortable than ever before using a tablet as a daily driver, but the one aspect that's often lacking in such devices is phone functionality. That’s where the Huawei MediaPad X2 omes to mind as being the ultimate solution, as it brings the full smartphone experience in a tablet size. Phablets are highly regarded as the bridge devices, appeasing both segments as best as they can. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the even larger MediaPad X2 can prove to be effective enough to be a daily driver.

The package contains:
  • Huawei MediaPad X2
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger


Combining a compact body with premium materials, the MediaPad X2 is a delightful looking thing.

Officially announced over Mobile World Congress 2015, the Huawei MediaPad X2 boasts a design that’s identical to its predecessor – one that’s premium in nature, thanks to it employing a sleek metal body. For a 7-inch device, we’ve got to admit that they’ve trimmed off a lot to make it pretty compact, but interaction is best achieved with two-handed operation. That’s because there’s just so much real-estate for our thumb to cover with the screen! Sporting uniformly flush surfaces, there are no distracting qualities about the aesthetics here. On top of that, the added weight undoubtedly provides a more substantial quality to the MediaPad X2.

Out of everything, it’s the sheer size of the Huawei MediaPad X2 that’s so astonishing, especially to strangers who happen to glance at it briefly when using it for phone calls. Most of the time, people are instantly galvanized to find out that there’s phone functionality in a tablet size. If you want a conversation starter, the MediaPad X2 will surely be it!

Placing the volume controls and power button on the right edge makes sense, as they’re in spots that make them readily accessible. At the same time, too, it’s nice to see that Huawei allows for expandable storage with the unit’s microSD card slot. Other common staples around its sides include the 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB 2.0 port, microphone, dual SIM slots, and noise cancelling mic. The earpiece above the display ensures that it’s more phone than tablet.


It's like a 7-inch smartphone!

Accompanied with 7-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD screen, a typical size for a tablet, but obnoxiously gigantic for a smartphone, it comes out to a pixel density of 323 ppi – giving it sufficient detail. Beyond that, though, its true qualities begin to manifest and then crumble. While the screen has a nice look from a 90-degree angle, there’s noticeable distortion when it’s tilted, causing the display to exhibit a washed out look.

By just looking at the display, it’s instantly noticeable that there’s a subdued appearance, made more profound with its somewhat cold 7277K color temperature. It’s undeniable that it’s not the most accurate by looking at the sRGB spectrum chart below, as it misses most of the target values for each gradient. However, the 524 nit luminance is potent enough to make it visible in direct sunlight.

Yes, the 7-inch screen is mighty generous, but as much as it’s a head turner, it makes it impossible to operate using one hand. Stretching our thumb barely encompasses most of the real estate, so it’s more logical to use two hands for this.

Interface and Functionality

Huawei’s Emotion UI experience is an acquired taste, as it attempts to embody simplicity, but with the MediaPad X2, we’re just bummed that it’s running an older build – both the UI and Android. Specifically, what we have here is the Emotion UI 2.0 experience on top of Android 4.3 KitKat. Even though we’re forgiving about it boasting Emotion UI 2.0, seeing that there’s nothing too different in terms of the visuals against the latest build, the fact that it’s mid-2015 and running KitKat is just disappointing.

Depending on your taste, you might like or dislike how the interface eliminates the traditional apps panel, placing everything on the homescreen instead. This, for us, is a cause of frustration because of the disorganization of how icons can’t be arranged alphabetically. And seriously, there’s a ton of bloatware preinstalled by Huawei, but at least many of them can be uninstalled. Clearly, the experience is very much like Huawei’s other smartphones running the same experience.

For a tablet, however, it’s lacking the necessary depth and optimizations to make it versatile. To be more exact, it would’ve been extremely useful for it to offer some sort of side-by-side multi-tasking, but it’s left instead to be handled by Android’s usual process. Secondly, we miss some of Android 5.0 Lollipop’s useful features – such as multi user support and pinning to name a couple. While it’s effective on the surface to handle most of our needs, the experience is undoubtedly underpowered and in desperate need of some added features to cater to its tablet-esque size.

Processor and Memory

The Kirin 930 chip delivers a mostly responsive performance, but we’ve seen snappier things.

Ensuring its position atop Huawei’s portfolio, the MediaPad X2 is given the best from the company – an octa-core Kirin 930 chip based on 64-bit architecture, accompanied with 3GB of RAM and the Mali-T628 GPU. Superficially, the MediaPad X2 exhibits the peppy response we’d want to find in a premium thing like this, and the benchmark tests indicate that it’s in good light to the competition – though, it’s just a smidgen behind the Huawei P8’s results. Well, that can be attributed to the higher resolution that the processor has to deal with.

Basic tasks are all handled in the manner we expect, but for graphics processing, we see slower frame rates than other similarly spec’d devices. Again, the screen resolution can be a contributing factor, but it’s still effective for most gaming titles – just don’t be too shocked if the frame rates dip when things become intensive.

The Huawei MediaPad X2 comes with a generous 32GB of internal storage, which can be supplemented thanks to its microSD card slot.

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