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Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) Review: Outstanding Sound & Excellent Display

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The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) offers outstanding sound quality thanks to its six speakers.

Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022)
€649
Rating
star star star star star
Pros
  • Excellent, color-accurate display
  • Premium-feeling
  • Oustanding sound quality
  • Very smooth software
  • Excellent performance all around
  • Truly useful first-party accessories
  • Really good battery life
Cons
  • Limited apps & games offers
  • No audio jack

Huawei supplied us with a review unit of the Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022), but didn’t have a say in our opinion, nor did they see this review before you. We’ve been using the device for a couple of weeks before forming an opinion.

Huawei makes some of the best tablets on the market these days. It’s a shame they don’t come with Google services, but if you don’t need Google apps, these tablets are extremely well equipped. Huawei usually nails the design, and they usually perform really well, and have a lot to offer. The same is the case with the Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022), actually, as you’ll be able to find out in our review.

Huawei’s new tablet does come with some improvements in comparison to last year’s model, not to mention a new and improved case. I’m going to ramble on about that case for quite some time, probably, as it’s easily the best tablet case I’ve used to date. In any case, let’s get this party started, shall we? We’ll kick things off with the design, and cover various different aspects of this thing. I’ve used it for about two weeks before typing this review, just to be completely transparent.

Premium-feeling with thin bezels

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The first thing you’ll notice when you power on this thing is that it has thin bezels. Huawei’s edge detection is really good, luckily, so you can comfortably grip it without a problem. There is also a display camera hole in the top-left corner (looking from a landscape orientation). This tablet is only 5.9mm thick, or should we say thin. It weighs 449 grams, and it’s actually quite comfortable to use. I’ve used noticeably thicker and heavier 11-inch tablets.

One thing to note, is that this weight is made possible by the use of plastic, I’d say. I was unable to find any clear information on what materials Huawei used, and even though the frame feels extremely nice and solid, it doesn’t seem to be cool enough for it to be metal. I could be wrong. The backplate feels like paper, on the other hand. That is great, in a way, as it’s less slippery than glass. I’m not sure what material is this, but it’s matte, and it doesn’t seem to be too prone to collecting fingerprints, at least not yet.

An audio jack is not included, unfortunately

Huawei, unfortunately, decided not to include a 3.5mm headphone jack on this tablet. That is an odd decision in my eyes, for tablets, but there you have it. The buttons are very clicky, and feel really nice to use, no complaints there. There is no IP certification here, or anything of the sort, so you might want to watch out for rain and whatnot.

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Two great first-party accessories are on offer

The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) launched with some interesting accessories. Do note that both of these are sold separately. One is a case that you definitely should get if you’re buying this tablet, and the other is Huawei’s M-Pencil stylus. Let’s talk about the case first, shall we.

The best case + keyboard combo I’ve ever used

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This year’s MatePad Pro comes with a redesigned Smart Magnetic Keyboard case. This is the best case I’ve ever used for a tablet. You’re getting this leather-like feel, which is not too slippery. It’s a bit smoother than your regular leather would be, and it feels really nice to the touch. This case is actually a combination of two different parts, which connect one to the other with magnets. One part is the keyboard, and it covers the tablet’s display when connected. You can disconnect it, in which case you end up with a back side of the case, which is magnetically attached to the tablet at all times. There’s also a kickstand on the back.

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When the keyboard is connected, you can unfold this case so that it stands on its own, and that the keyboard sits in front of you. The tablet itself remains magnetized to both pieces of the case, and you can type away. The keyboard is actually still really good, as it was on previous iterations of this case. It’s a chiclet-style keyboard, and considering how very little space Huawei had to provide depth for key travel, the company did an amazing job. All in all, it feels like a great case, and a modular one at that. I simply loved using it.

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Huawei’s very own stylus is quite useful

You can also buy the second-gen Huawei M-Pencil for this tablet. It’s not as fancy as an S Pen, but it’s far more than your regular stylus. This tablet comes with various features made for this stylus, and it actually feels nice to use. You’re getting two replaceable tips on the inside, and if you’re into sketching, you can really do a lot with this. It has extremely low latency, and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

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Charging it is really easy, as it magnetizes to the side of the tablet, and charges that way. That’s also how it connects to the tablet, so it’s really seamless. Truth be said, I didn’t use it much, except for testing, as I’m not really good at sketching, and I didn’t really find another use for it. That being said, I never really preferred using styluses, so… there you have it. If you do, chances are you’ll like this one.

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The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) has an excellent, color-accurate display

The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) has a gorgeous display. It is an 11-inch QHD (2560 x 1600) OLED display. It can project up to 1 billion colors, and it is TUV Rheinland certification (display 3.0 certification). This tablet has around a 92-percent screen-to-body ratio, and the display offers a wide P3 color gamut. It is also equipped with 1,440Hz high-frequency PWM dimming, and we’re looking at 274 ppi here.

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On paper, it seems to be a great display, and the same goes for real-life use. If you prefer editing your images on a tablet, and you need a truly color-accurate display, this one will do. It also has great viewing angles, it’s quite vivid, and the brightness will be enough for most people, as long as you don’t use it much in direct sunlight. The touch sensitivity is also great, and quite frankly, I don’t have major complaints here.

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The performance is great, despite an older SoC

There are two versions of this tablet, one comes with the Snapdragon 888 SoC, and the other with the Snapdragon 870. We tested the latter, so that’s the one we’ll focus on here. There are 8GB and 12GB RAM models, and we tested the former, with 256GB of storage. The tablet worked really well during our usage. For everyday stuff, and even heavier multitasking, we didn’t have any issues. The Snapdragon 870 is still a very powerful processor, and in combination with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage, there were no issues. A hiccup here and there was present, as on almost every device, but nothing worth singling out.

Games ran perfectly fine

I did try out a couple of games during my testing, though do note that Huawei’s AppGallery is still quite limited when it comes to games. I couldn’t test Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, or anything of the sort. Truth be said, I did find some interesting games to check out, though, such as Rise of Kingdoms and Asphalt 9. They both ran fine, and the tablet never got hot, not even too warm, to be quite honest. Too bad more popular games are not available, though. I’m hoping we’ll see more of them in the AppGallery moving forward.

Battery life is not something you will need to worry about

Depending on which variant you get, you’ll get different charging speeds. Both models do include an 8,300mAh battery. The Snapdragon 888 model comes with 66W charging, while the Snapdragon 870 variant supports 40W charging. Both variants do come with a charging brick, by the way.

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The battery life on this thing has been great. So, I used it in two different ways, just to get you the most accurate info. The first was with some heavy gaming. I cranked it up over the weekend, and played games quite a bit. The tablet managed to go through over 8 hours of that. In more regular usage, I was able to go over 11 hours on a single charge, over the course of two days. So, yeah, the battery life is not a problem, at all.

The cameras managed to surprise me

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I don’t really like talking about tablet cameras, as they’re usually really bad. Well, that’s not really the case here. They’re not great, just to be clear, and they can’t compete with smartphones, but for a tablet, they’re pretty good.

These are some of the best tablet cameras out there

Huawei opted for a 13-megapixel main camera on the back, and even included an 8-megapixel ultrawide unit as well. On the front, you’re getting a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Let’s start with the front-facing camera. It is actually quite good. Even in dimmer lighting, it ends up providing an image that is brighter than the actual scene. It’s more than passable for video calls, which is what you should be using this for.

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The two cameras on the back can actually take some really nice, sharp, and vivid images in good lighting. Things do change when the light goes away, though. In terms of video recording, the footage is quite shaky, due to the lack of EIS, but the image quality is good.

If you plan on using its cameras, this is the tablet to get

So, you can use these cameras and not be completely disappointed, but people really should stay away from taking pictures and videos with tablets. It’s nice to see that OEMs do their best to offer options in that regard, but the vast majority of people probably never fire up rear cameras on tablets. There are always exceptions, of course.

It has some of the best speakers on tablets, period

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This is the company’s first tablet to come with ‘Huawei Sound’, which we’ve seen in the company’s laptops. There are six custom speakers included here, and the sound is… excellent. So, even if you’re holding your tablet in a position for gaming, you won’t exactly be able to block the sound. You will, partially, but not nearly enough to make you not enjoy it. If you’re watching a movie, listening to music, or something like that, and you have this thing sitting down or propped up, you’ll be able to truly enjoy it. These are side-facing speakers, and they do offer plenty of bass as well. These are some of the best speakers I’ve ever seen on a tablet, actually, maybe even the best ones. One thing to note, though, sound-wise, is that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack included here. Bluetooth 5.1 is on offer here, and the Snapdragon 888 model comes with Bluetooth 5.2.

The software is really good, but…

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The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) is equipped with Android 12, though it comes without Google services. That is the case with all Huawei devices these days due to the US ban. What you do get is Huawei’s own services, and app store, the so-called AppGallery. Before we get into that, however, do note that HarmonyOS 3 comes pre-installed on top of Android here. That being said, AppGallery grew immensely over the last couple of years. Huawei invested a lot in its development, and the investments do continue.

You may not find all apps & games you’re looking for

There are a lot of apps and games available there, but still, quite a few popular ones are missing. If you’re used to having all the apps readily available in the Google Play Store, you’ll likely miss some here. Also, you cannot use Google apps. Well, you can try sideloading them, and some may work, which is kind of odd, but not all will. Plus you may experience problems with the ones that are working. The selection of games is not that great either, as Genshin Impact is not here, nor is Call of Duty, and so on. Sideloading apps / games is always an option, and Huawei has a solution for that as well, in form of Petal Search.

There are many multitasking features built-in

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If you do not need Google apps, however, and you already checked AppGallery for the apps relevant to you, that’s great. Then there’s really nothing that should stop you from buying this tablet, as the software is really good. The animations are buttery smooth, as is the general performance of HarmonyOS 3. That is not surprising at all. You also do get a number of features that take advantage of that large display, such as advanced multitasking.
It’s possible to enlarge folders to make them more tablet-friendly, and then launch apps directly from them. You can easily open apps in windows, utilize a split screen feature, and so on. Such features are usually just a swipe away, or a couple of taps. Using the tablet feels really nice, especially in collaboration with its keyboard.

The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) is not for everyone, but it’s great nonetheless

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Starting at €649 the Huawei MatePad Pro 11 (2022) is not cheap by any means. However, Huawei did a great job with it. This tablet runs really smoothly, even during those prolonged gaming sessions, and all that despite the fact it doesn’t have the latest and greatest SoC. It has a great display with excellent touch response, and really fluid software. Even its cameras are serviceable, and if you do choose to get some accessories for it, you won’t be sorry.

However, if you do install tons of obscure apps on your devices, or need some specific ones that are not available in the AppGallery, well, you may have a problem. You can always sideload, but be careful while you do it. Google apps are also out of the question. What I’m trying to say is, the main problem with the tablet is caused by the US ban on Huawei. This product, on its own, is really great, and premium-feeling. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it to you.