The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is a new mid-range tablet that usually costs around 250 US Dollars. It features an 8-inch full HD screen, a Kirin 710 octa-core processor, stereo speakers, and Android 9 Pie. The LTE version can be used as a phone. Well, is it a worthy tablet? That’s what we’ll discuss in this Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 review.
By the way, the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is called Honor Pad 5 8-inch in India. The tablets are identical. If you’re interested in the Honor Pad 5 10-inch, that one is identical to the MediaPad T5 10 which I reviewed as well. Alright, let’s start this review.
Design & Build Quality
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 looks very similar to the more premium MediaPad M5 8 and MediaPad M6 8. It has a mostly metal back but there are plastic parts on the top and bottom. While it’s build quality seems to be very solid, it does not feel as high-end as its pricier brothers. The main reason for that is that the frame sticks out a tiny bit above the screen. Yes, that does not impact anything at all but is the reason why it does not feel super high-end.
Huawei is offering the tablet in Champagne Gold and Space Grey. It weighs 310g and is 8.2mm thin.
On its sides, we get a power button, volume controls, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a microSD card slot on the left side that can also hold a SIM card if you get the 4G version. One major disappointment is the charging port. Instead of USB C, we get the older micro USB port. That’s really sad.
Speakers & Cameras
The MediaPad M5 Lite 8 has two speakers and they’re located on each side when holding it in landscape view. Actually, this is something that lots of 10-inch competitors don’t even offer. We do get real stereo separation here and the sound quality itself is pretty good for an affordable 8-inch tablet. Sure, the bigger MediaPad M5 Lite 10 has better speakers, but for what it is, it’s pretty good.
I can say similar things about the cameras. The 13-megapixel camera on the back is not outstanding but good for a tablet of this kind. And the same goes for the 8-megapixel camera on the front. You can shoot decent selfies with it.
The front-facing camera can also be used to unlock the tablet using facial recognition. Often and especially in good light, that works quite well. However, because there is no additional sensor, it’s probably not as secure as Apple’s Face ID.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 has an 8-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Yes, your smaller smartphone probably has the same or even a higher resolution. But I think a full HD resolution on 8 inches is very good. Texts certainly look sharp enough and it’s great for reading.
Because it is an IPS panel, the screen has wide viewing angles. Color reproduction and contrast are good too. Out of the box, it looks a tiny bit blueish. But you can adjust the color temperature to your liking in the settings.
You’ll be able to use it comfortably outside. However, it can be a bit too dark to use in direct sunlight. But it’s fine for everyday use.
I compared the screen to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 which is a direct competitor. And most aspects are almost identical. The Samsung screen is a bit more saturated but that’s it.
By the way, you can watch Netflix in HD.
Hardware & Performance
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is a mid-range tablet with mid-range hardware. It has a HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor that is supported by either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. You can also choose between 32GB and 64GB of internal storage. Another option is 4G LTE. My review unit is the one with LTE, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Out of those, 8.91GB is used by the system.
In benchmarks like Geekbench and AnTuTu, the Kirin 710 gets pretty good results. In fact, the MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is noticeably stronger than the 10-inch MediaPad M5 Lite 10. The tablet also performs a bit better than the 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2019 with S Pen but the differences are very minor. You can also see that the standard MediaPad M5 8 continues to be much faster.
As those benchmarks suggest, the performance is very solid in real life too. You’ll be able to use common apps like Chrome, YouTube and Word without any issues. They run fine. Multitasking works pretty decently too. I don’t have anything to complain about here.
Now, when it comes to gaming, the MediaPad M5 Lite 8 performs very well for its price class. With that being said, games will look much nicer on the standard MediaPad M5 8 and even better on an iPad Mini. However, you can do some decent gaming on here. PUBG Mobile works fine when setting the graphics to HD and the frame rate to high. You might notice some stutters in between but overall it runs fine.
Other games like Shadowgun Legends are playable as well. But again, if you set the graphics to ultra or high, you certainly will see stuttering and sometimes even heavier stuttering. But with medium graphics most demanding games are playable.
I also played Asphalt 9 and didn’t encounter any issues either. It works fine.
Read: These Are The Best Gaming Tablets
Software: Android 9 Pie
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is the first Huawei tablet to ship with the EMUI in version 9.0.1 out of the box. It’s based on Android 9 Pie. So, it is running up-to-date software right now. But because of the US-China trade war future updates are a bit unclear. Right now, Huawei is able to push updates and I think everything will work out at the end. But who knows.
With mid-range tablets, it’s never guaranteed that they will be updated anyway. Huawei did push Android 9 updates for the standard MediaPad M5 series which certainly is a good sign.
Well, Android 9 runs pretty well on this tablet. Everything is nice and smooth. The EMUI is customizing the operating system very heavily though. If you ever owned a Huawei device in the last five years, you’ll feel at home fast. The basics haven’t changed.
It looks much different than standard Android out of the box but you can customize it yourself a lot too. For example, you can install different themes. There is no app-drawer when you first use it but you can activate it in the settings.
Huawei built in tons of features. There are blue light filters, energy saving modes, and a Digital balance setting. That’s where you can see how much time you’re spending with which apps. You can also replace those three typical Android buttons with gestures. Pretty much all Android 9 devices are capable of that.
The tablet comes preloaded with lots of apps. Those include the ones from Google, as well as tons from Huawei itself. There’s a file manager, a notes app, a weather app, a Kids Corner and more.
The software of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 is alright. However, I think it’s getting a bit old. I wish Huawei would redo their interface. For example, the One UI from Samsung looks much more modern.
LTE, Phone & Text Messaging
If you get the 4G LTE version of the MediaPad M5 Lite 8, you’ll be able to use it as a phone. Yes, you can use mobile internet but also make phone calls and send SMS text messages.
8-inch tablets are actually kind of usable as a phone replacement. Sure, they’re much bigger than normal phones, but they’re still kind of portable. For instance, they fit in most jacket pockets and in the back pockets of most pants.
I replaced my phone with the MediaPad M5 Lite 8 for a while and it worked great for that. Except for when you want to make phone calls. Now, I almost never use my phone to make phone calls. But if you do, you’ll be missing a built-in earpiece. If you don’t use headphones, everybody will hear what you and your conversation partner are talking about.
By the way, the LTE reception was as good as I am used to from my phone.
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In my standard battery test, the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 got a runtime of 11 hours and 30 minutes. For this, I’m always looping an HD video at medium brightness.
Considering this is a mid-range 8-inch tablet, the battery life is actually pretty good. And that’s what I experienced in real life too. Even when you use it as your phone, it should last you a whole day. Unless you’re playing Pokemon Go or that new Harry Potter game.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 Review: Final Verdict
That’s the end of my Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 8 review. It’s a very solid tablet overall. The screen and performance are very good for its price. I also like that we’re getting Android 9 out of the box, although the EMUI could be improved a bit. The speakers and cameras are pretty good and the battery life is long enough too.
I don’t have much to complain about here. The major thing that’s bugging me is the micro USB port. Everybody should switch to USB C. I also wish that the 8-inch tablet would support an active pen like it’s 10-inch brother does. But no stylus is supported.
Let’s check out some of its competitors.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen is the most interesting alternative. Its screen and performance are very similar but it does feature an active stylus which is included at no extra charge. Samsung’s One UI looks a bit more modern too. And if you want to use an 8-inch tablet as a phone, that one does have an earpiece – but just one standard speaker instead of two. Usually, the Samsung one is a bit pricier though.
Another alternative is the standard Huawei MediaPad M5 8. With that one, you get a better screen, a much better performance, a higher-end build quality, and a fingerprint scanner. It has gotten an update to Android 9 already. Because of this US-China trade war, prices have fallen quite a bit in some countries so you might be able to get it for a good price.
- Very good performance
- Good full HD screen
- Android 9 Pie
- Mostly metal body
- Decent battery life
- Optional LTE & phone capabilities
- Old Micro USB Port
- Heavy software customization
- No ear piece for phone calls