Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 Review

The Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 is taking on the iPad Pro with its specs, keyboard and stylus accessories that bring laptop-like functionality. Despite excelling in display quality with its crisp X-True display boasting HDR10 support and 1000 nits peak brightness, the app situation remains limited, lacking Google Services support. 

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Design and Build

94% screen space with minimal bezels front design

The design of the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 boasts a large 13.2-inch display, making it quite substantial. However the front end impressively consists of 94% screen space with minimal bezels, measuring just over 3mm, and a small notch for the camera. It’s is notably slim at 5.5mm, and the camera bump is minimal, reducing any wobbling when placed on a table.

Scratch-resistant glass fiber

The back is made of impact and scratch-resistant glass fiber. We have the golden black color, although a green option is available in selected regions. Unfortunately, the MatePad Pro 13.2 lacks dedicated water resistance, unlike the latest Samsung Galaxy Tabs S9 Ultra, but it does offer splash resistance. Despite its 13.2-inch size, the tablet weighs just 580g, making it easy to carry.

Display and Audio

13.2-inch 2880 by 1920 pixel resolution and 120Hz display

The Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 has a 13.2-inch display utilizing Huawie’s XR panel with a 2880 by 1920 pixel resolution. Branded as X true, it offers reasonably true-to-life color production, avoiding boosted tones found in some devices like Samsung tablets. The display provides crispy contrast and natural visuals, supporting full HDR10 streaming, at maximum brightness, it reaches around 1,000 nits, effective for countering glare outdoors.

The display incorporates Eye Care features including blue light filters for a comfortable evening experience and support a 120 Hz refresh rate ensuring silky smooth navigation. However the tablet requires careful handling due to its super-skinny bezels, as thumb and palm flesh can inadvertently touch the display causing temporary unresponsiveness.

The audio setup includes a six-speaker configuration with four custom woofers and a dual-tweeter design. At maximum volume the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 reaches over 80dB, delivering powerful sound. The speakers maintain strong audio quality even at high volumes providing clarity and decent bass, and ensures an enjoyable audio experience, making it easy to hear even in noisy environments.

HarmonyOS Features

HarmonyOS and Control Panel

If you’ve used a Huawei device recently, the software experience will be familiar. It runs on HarmonyOS offering a nice and intuitive navigation, akin to Android. The apps tray is accessible by dragging down, and notifications are easily viewable. Swiping from the right comes the control center similar to iOS.

Huawei's AppGallery

However downloading apps begins with Huawei’s AppGallery, which is not as comprehensive as the App Store or Play Store. Gaps exist but for anything missing, the Petal Search feature is handy, Simply type in the app name, and options from sources like AppGallery, APKPure, etc., will appear. Storage options include 256 or 512 GB, and while you can’t use Huawei’s proprietary memory cards for expansion, the absence of SIM support means it’s Wi-Fi only.

Multitasking

Multitasking and App Tab adjustment

And with apps downloaded from the Huawei AppGallery, you can run them side by side in resizable windows, allowing for easy adjustments to aspect ratios. Apps can be temporarily shunted out of sight and brought back when needed, However not all apps support resizing. The multitasking menu while generally user-friendly can become cluttered with apps appearing on top of each other.

For example, Netflix, downloaded via Petal Search, lacks the option for a floating window; it can only run in the background with other apps on top. If you own other Huawei devices like a smartphone or laptop, the super device connectivity feature allows you to run your phone app on the tablet screen alongside tablet apps, streamlining the user experience.

Keyboard and Stylus

Huawei Detachable keyboard for tablet

If you purchase the magnetic keyboard dock accessory, it adds a kickstand to the tablet’s back and transforms the MatePad Pro 13.2 into a makeshift laptop. The keys span the entire width of the board providing a satisfying typing experience with proper physical keys, 1.5mm of travel, and clicky feedback. The keyboard is detachable allowing flexibility to rest it on your lap or any convenient surface, this is handy for using it like on a train.

Although, in some apps like Notes, typing quickly may cause the final letter in a word to be missed. It’s worth noting that I am testing the MatePad Pro in an early, pre-release state, and this issue may be resolved before the official release. The keyboard also has a touchpad with full multi-touch capabilities, surpassing some touchpads found on fully-fledged laptops.

Huawei's Third-gen M Pencil

Sold separately is Huawie’s third-generation M Pencil stylus, which can be conveniently stored at top the tablet and also serving as a charging dock. The magnetic connection is robust, ensuring it won’t accidentally detach, It utilizes neolink a short-range wireless communications technology, providing highly responsive pressure-based sketching with zero latency. The stylus has a virtual button for connecting to the tablet, allowing quick toggling between sketching and erasing with a double tap. Dragging the stylus tip down from the top right corner reveals a brief menu for annotations or taking snippets, offering versatile options for scribbling and sketching on documents.

Cameras

16MP Selfie Lens and 13 MP main and 8 MP Ultrawide camera Lens

The Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 sports a 16-megapixel front-facing selfie camera alongside a Time-of-Flight sensor for reliable face recognition. And facial recognition works smoothly even in low-light conditions providing a secure and convenient way to unlock the tablet. Notably it lacks a fingerprint sensor, making the face recognition feature particularly valuable.

It’s excels in video calls with built-in microphones capturing voices from across the room, also Huawei has implemented noise-canceling AI features to minimize background noise ensuring clear communication. Surprisingly the MatePad Pro 13.2 includes a pair of cameras on the back a 13-megapixel regular shooter and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, While the ultra-wide-angle lens could prove useful for tasks like document scanning, it’s advised against using a tablet for photography or video recording in real-world scenarios.

Performance

Regarding performance the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 is powered by the Kirin 9000s chipset ensuring seamless gaming experiences, even for intense games like Bus Driver Life. The dramatic opening of the game featuring a plane explosion, took me by surprise, but the tablet handled it without a hitch.

As I navigated the chaotic city environment, interacting with seemingly unconcerned characters, the tablet exhibited flawless performance. Equipped with 12GB of RAM, my MatePad Pro sample easily handled multitasking and demanding applications. It features a stainless steel vapor chamber for cooling along with graphite layers and other heat dissipation measures, although these are likely overkill for a game like Driver Life.

Battery life

Concerning the battery Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 has a 10,000mAh battery the slim yet substantial frame. During my initial days of use, I found it delivers around 10 to 11 hours of mixed usage on a full charge before needing a recharge. If utilizing the cameras extensively for activities like Skyping or Zoom, the battery life shortens to approximately 6 hours, which is still commendable. Similar to the OnePlus Pad, the battery drain is minimal when the tablet is in hibernation, eliminating the need to power it down after each use. The Huawei Matepad Pro supports 88W charging, enabling a full charge in just over an hour, even when starting from a fully drained state.

Final Thought

The Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 impresses with its striking X-True display and HDR10 support with a peak brightness of 1000 nits. It’s design is a slim profile and minimal bezels offers a lightweight yet substantial feel. HarmonyOS powers the device, providing a user-friendly interface, though the app ecosystem, lacking Google Services support, presents a notable limitation.

The optional keyboard dock enhances productivity with the stylus, and multitasking capabilities and robust performance with the Kirin 9000s chipset contribute to a well-rounded tablet. Despite these strengths the MatePad Pro 13.2 faces challenges in the competitive tablet market especially in terms of apps availability and the absence of water resistance.

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