Huawei Mediapad 7 Lite Review: Complete In-depth Hands-On
We did not expect surprises knowing the price of the device and we get exactly that. The Mediapad 7 Lite comes in a standard cuboid cardboard box along with the data cable aka charging cable with the USB wall adapter, a pair of earphones and manuals.
Design and built
In one word the Mediapad 7 Lite is beautiful. The aluminium unibody design with matte white high-end plastic gives the body a very classy look. The front side is dominated by the highly glossy 7-inch IPS display with the lone 0.3MP front facing camera. The big bezel gives enough space to hold the tablet.
Back: 3.2MP rear camera with the speaker
Right side: lock button, volume rocker, microSD and SIM slots
Below: microUSB and 3.5mm ports
Built quality is not great. You will feel rickety upon pushing the sides of the bezel.
The IPS LCD display has a good enough resolution of 1024 x 600 px and looks sharp and clear. For an LCD, it has a good viewing angle (up to about 40-degrees from horizon) but due to the glossiness the screen reflects a lot obstructing your clear view.
The display registers touch inputs pretty seamlessly and reacts optically to gestures.
Android 4.0.3 ICS
The lock-screen shows you time and date and this circular unlocker below dragging which to the right will unlock the screen and take you to the homescreen, to the left will start the rear camera, to top will reach the dialler and to the bottom will open the messaging menu.
There are five homepages with no provision to add/remove any more. You have a Nexus 7 style status bar below that stays at all times making the actual viewing space less than 7-inch. Long press on any empty space will let you add wallpaper. To add widgets to the homepages, you need to go to the widget menu that’s aligned with the main app drawer and drag from there. The status bar has the three hot-keys viz. back, home and recent on the left and notification menu on the right. Tap once and it’ll show you the connectivity, time and battery level. Tap again and the screen opens out further to provide quick toggle menu to various functions.
The main app menu looks like typical ICS app menu and there’s nothing much to talk about.
The Mediapad 7 Lite supports voice calling and messaging so you get the dialler and contact menu like any phones – only much bigger! The messaging is usual too with threaded view support.
The browser pretty much preserves the vanilla ICS UI with desktop view and other functions.
The 3.2MP rear camera has a few settings viz. WB and a couple of scene modes. The video interface can shoot time-lapse videos. Mind you it’s a fixed focus camera.
Huawei depends on the Goggle Music app to play your music but has a dedicated video player that can play 1080p video decent.
You have the usual Google Android app, a few Huawei apps like the familiar backup and in-house app-store, and a lot of Chinese apps which makes us wonder whether the company put in any effort to Indianize it.
The Mediapad 7 Lite supports the standard connectivity tools like BT 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, microUSB and 3.5mm ports. Pretty standard here with nothing special to talk about.
The system is overall slow with lots of lag in UI transitions specifically. The browser is slow as well with lags particularly noticed while pinching zooming and playing flash files oob (out-of-box).
Photos are decent under enough light but suffer from the fixed focus camera. Low-light performance is less than desirable thanks to the absence of LED flash. You’ll see lot of grains.
The 480p video samples were plain bad. There is way too much fuzziness for any meaningful data. You can zoom in till 3x while recording but the fixed-focus system will make things look out of focus.
Overall multimedia performance is very good. Gallery has all the basic functions covered. Audio output is very good if not great and loud enough without much crackling. The output via earphones is decent too although not extraordinary.