Huawei Honor Mediapad X1 first impressions: if looks could kill

“The Honor X1 offers stylish looks and loaded specs in a handy package”

Compared to the intense competition and so much action in the mobile segment, the tablets category is limited to a very few players with a handful of launches every month. More fascinating is the fact that how the segment is clearly fragmented between the Apple iPad in the high-end and Samsung’s Tab series along with local vendors fighting it out in the budget and mid-range price bands.

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Along with Huawei’s budget-centric Honor T1 slate, the brand also announced the Mediapad X1 tablet (In India, the device is being referred to as just the Honor X1). Although it’s yet to go on sale, we were able to spend some with it and here’s how our experience went.

The first thing we were amazed at was how well the Huawei Honor X1 fit into our palms. In fact, it didn’t seem like a 7-inch tablet at all and we were able to use it quite comfortably with a single hand, though for reaching to the far end of the screen, we had to use our other hand as well. The tablet also looks extremely premium with the use of metal, which also makes it robust.

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Unlike the Honor T1, the X1 has comparatively narrow bezels at the left and right of the display. Other elements at the front include an earpiece, a front shooter and a couple of sensors. It also misses out on the touch-sensitive keys as they are available as part of the software itself.

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Similar to its budget sibling, the left side is totally free, while the right edge of the slate offers a microSD card slot, followed by the volume rocker and a power button and another tray hiding a SIM slot. Up top, you can find the headphone socket and a microphone, while the bottom is home to the micro-USB along with a noise-cancelling microphone. While the Honor T1 had plastic sides, in case of the X1, the edges have a metallic finish. It goes a step ahead than its sibling in terms of weight and slimness, tipping the scales at 239g weight and being just 7.18mm thick.

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The 7-inch display of the tablet bears a full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) and is just gorgeous for viewing media or reading text. It also has good brightness levels measuring 515 nits. Touting the slate as an awesome multimedia device, the company claims that its sealed 5,000mAh Li-Po battery allow you to watch up to eight movies on a single charge.

The Huawei Honor X1 is quite loaded in terms of hardware as well with its 1.6GHz quad-core Kirin 910 processor. Complementing the chip is a Mali MP4 graphics processor and 2GB RAM, which ensures that the tab offers smooth performance. The storage aspect includes a 16GB of memory on board, which after accounting for OS and its resources, leaves around 11.8GB free for the end user. The storage can be increased further with the use of a microSD card.

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While most of the tabs aren’t ideal for photography, Huawei thinks otherwise with the Honor X1. The slate is supplied with a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS sensor-toting camera at the back, supplemented by an LED flash. With such specs, it promises good shooting capabilities and is also capable of recording full HD videos. The device is also ideal for capturing good selfies with its 5MP front-facing snapper.

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Just like other Huawei devices, the slate runs Emotion UI. However, unlike others, its customisation layer sits atop the older build of Android (4.2.2 Jelly Bean). But the company does promise that it’ll soon be brought up to speed with the latest 4.4 iteration. As noted in our Honor 6 review, the custom interface has several features on offer, such as support for themes, gestures and more.

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The Honor X1 also supports voice calling and 3G internet access since it has a SIM card slot. Along with that, there are usual set of connectivity features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

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Sadly, Huawei hasn’t given any indication of the pricing of Honor X1, and there’s no official info as to when it’ll be going on sale. However, based on Huawei’s other offerings launched yesterday, we believe that the slate will be priced competitively, and will find a place of its own in the market with its stylish looks and loaded specs.

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