Our written review of the Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 (2021) went live a couple of days ago and in the meantime we finished our video review as well. You might want to watch this one even if you’re not in the marker for a new tablet because this is our first encounter with HarmonyOS 2.0.
Huawei is forging its own path here, though as it turns out that path is paved on top of Android 10. And while EMUI is front and center, some features like the desktop mode have gone missing.
Also, while Huawei provides alternatives to Google apps and services (e.g. Petal Search, Petal Maps, the AppGallery), some are not so easy to replace. For example, Google’s Widevine L1 DRM is supported, but US-based streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video do not recognize it, so you’re stuck with SD content.
On the plus side, some Google properties work just fine in the browser – we were able to enjoy YouTube in 4K. And the eight speakers tuned by Harman/Kardon are some of the best we’ve heard on a mobile device.
The MatePad Pro 12.6 has a large AMOLED display with pleasing image quality. However, it only supports 60 Hz refresh rate, while competition from Samsung and Apple is at 120 Hz. This doesn’t hamper the optional stylus (bought separately), which achieves a low 9 ms latency.
The video has more details on the display, the OS and other features like the performance of the Kirin 9000E chipset, the battery life and more.