Have you ever wished that your tablet could make phone calls, natively? Well Huawei has a new tablet out, and it’s a rather mid-range tablet but it does allow you to pop in your SIM card and get phone calls, and text messages in addition to using 3G and HSPA+ data on the tablet. The MediaPad7 Vogue is also about the same size as the Nexus 7, but a little bit shorter. As far as the specs go, here’s what we’re looking at:
- 7.0-inch 1024×600 resolution display
- Huawei K3V2 quad-core 1.2GHz processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of internal storage; expandable via microSD card slot
- HSPA+ 42mbps compatible (uses Mini SIM)
- 4100mAh battery
- Android 4.1.2; Emotion UI v1.5
- 3.15MP camera on the back, VGA on the front
It’s not your high-end tablet like the Nexus 7. But it’ll definitely get the job done.
The display on this tablet isn’t a stunner. But for a 1024×600 resolution display, it’s not too terrible. Similar to the other tablets I’ve reviewed over the last few months, it has a rather subpar display but it’s not as bad as you’d expect. Of course, you want more pixels, but for the price it’s not bad. Especially when you factor in the cell radios along with it.
I’ve been quite impressed by the build quality of the Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue. It’s built rather well, it’s no HTC One, but it’s definitely not built like a cheap tablet, like so many others that come across my desk. The back is metal with polycarbonate sides and the glass on the front. Speaking of the front, you’ve got your VGA camera and speaker grill up top and the display in the middle with normal-sized bezels. On the right side you’ve got the power button and volume rocker along with the SIM and microSD card slots. At the bottom you’ll see the microUSB port and the headphone jack, with nothing on the left side or the top. Flipping it over to the back, you’ll see the 3.15MP camera with flash, along with the Huawei Logo and FCC information.
This is only the second device I’ve used with Huawei’s own SoC, the first was the Ascend Mate, and I’m pretty impressed by how well it worked. It’s a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and it performed very well. After all the games, benchmarks and apps I’ve used on it, it did not lag at all. Which was very surprising to me. We’ll talk about benchmarks a bit further down in the review, along with battery life. But for a mid-range tablet, borderline budget, I’m pretty impressed.
You get 8GB out of the box, well kind of. It’s advertised with 8GB of internal storage, but as we know the OS and pre-installed apps do use some of that space. The screenshot above shows you how much space you’ll get as soon as you power it on.
It’s not the latest version of Android, but how many of these tablets are on the latest? Many of them aren’t even on Android 4.2 yet, so we can’t signal Huawei out with this one. It’s running Jelly Bean, so you have Google Now, expandable notifications, project butter and more. Now as far as the custom UI goes, it’s running their Emotion UI v1.5 which is a bit different from the Touchwiz, Sense and Optimus UI’s we see all the time. I talked about this in my Ascend Mate review yesterday quite a bit, so I won’t go to far into the UI. But there are some differences between the two.
First of all, when you’re dragging apps to your homescreen or widgets, the homescreen looks pretty small. Which you can see in the screenshot above. I believe that is so that when you flip over to landscape mode, the homescreen still looks the same. But it’s kind of annoying to me, it looks like a whole lot of unused space.
There’s no app drawer. I’m not sure why Huawei doesn’t have an App Drawer on their devices, but all your apps are on the home screen, which you can see in the screenshot above. Personally, I like keeping my homescreens clean, which is hard to do when there’s no app drawer.
Then there’s the lockscreen. It’s actually not bad. The lockscreen allows you to swipe up for the camera, down to unlock, to the left for the phone and to the right for messages. Which I actually like. But I wish I could customize it. I’m very used to swiping to the right to unlock like I do on just about every other device.
Battery life for the MediaPad 7 Vogue is pretty good. Although I didn’t use heavily since I’m still in love with the new Nexus 7. But as you can see from the screenshot above, I used the screen for about an hour (just with normal browsing) and it lasted almost a full day and still at 86%. So not bad, considering it’s a 4100mAh battery, it should last quite a while.
The camera is really nothing special since it’s only a 3.15MP camera on the back. It’s basically there if you need it in an emergency. As you can see from the image above, it’s pretty bad compared to some of the other smartphones out there.
- Battery Life: Battery can probably get you through a full day of using the tablet heavily. If not more.
- Lightweight: It’s not as light as the new Nexus 7, but it does have a bigger battery and a cell radio for calls and data.
- Calls and Texts: The ability to take calls and texts on my tablet by simply throwing my SIM card inside is just awesome. But I’m not sure I’d rather have a tablet instead of a phone.
- Display: While it’s usable, it’s still not all that great or bright.
- Availability: Like most other Huawei devices, it’s not available in the US, unfortunately.
- Camera: The back camera is so poor, that I think I’d rather not have it at all
Honestly, the MediaPad 7 Vogue isn’t a bad device, it’s just not for me. Or for anyone that is in a country that has the Nexus 7. At the time of writing this review, the MediaPad 7 Vogue isn’t available in the US, but it might come soon, though I wouldn’t hold my breathe for it. If you’re in the market for a “Phablet” then this might be a great choice for you. But if you’re using a Galaxy Note 2 now, then the MediaPad 7 Vogue will definitely disappoint you, just with the display. So should you buy it? I say only buy it if the Nexus 7 is not available in your country. With something like the new Nexus 7, it makes tablets like the MediaPad 7 Vogue look silly, at least in my opinion.