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  • Bryan Tan

Huawei MatePad SE Review: Great for Media Consumption!

Recently, we took a look at the Mate50 Pro, which is pretty much within the upper echelon of mobile experience for Huawei, today we are looking at the little guy for a change of pace. Specifically, the Huawei MatePad SE, a sub S$300 tablet that has a great display and speakers for all your media consumption needs.


The MatePad SE sports a classic tablet design made of aluminium alloy, it's thin (7.85mm) and comfortable to hold, weighing just 440g. The volume and power button are located together at the top left of the tablet if you are holding it in a landscape position.

Oddly enough, the button placement with the power button on the inside initially confused us coming from the iPad but we got used to it after a while so no major issues there. It is also quite a fingerprint magnet so better get a microfibre cloth ready!

Display & Sound

With a 10.4" FHD+ (2000 by 1200px) IPS LCD display, even though it doesn't have all that fancy bells and whistles like 120Hz refresh rate or OLED. It's still a pretty good display for entertainment with adequate vibrancy and contrast, though it still falls shy of higher-end offerings.

Where it makes up for it is actually in the sound department, with dual stereo firing speakers, which goes without saying for a tablet targeted at entertainment. The sound is boomy and detailed, by budget standards at least, which is great for an immersive cinematic experience, just don't compare it to the iPad and you'll be just fine! Otherwise, if you're the kind that prefers a more private listening experience, there's a 3.5mm jack available for you as well, or Bluetooth, whichever you prefer.

Performance & OS

Usually, this is where we talk about Geekbench numbers, but due to some odd reason, we weren't able to sideload Geekbench on our tablet for our usual test so let's talk about the overall experience instead.

Harmony OS is generally fine for the most part with occasional stutters here and there along with apps crashing if you run too many in the background. Then again, all of these issues are to be expected of a budget tablet, but there are some specific kinks we feel Huawei could do better ironing out to make the Harmony OS experience better for its users.

For starters, there are a lot of app recommendations, if you've watched our Mate Xs 2 review a while back we also encountered the same issue where app recommendations are displayed in folders on the home screen. Disabling each folder and deleting them will take up a bulk of your setup time which we do not like!

The lack of native support for Google services is also a factor to consider, if you aren't tech-savvy, you probably won't be able to fiddle your way around third-party solutions like Lighthouse and Gspace to get Google apps running properly.

All the negative points aside, if an app you're looking for isn't available on AppGallery, you can still opt to sideload it and Huawei's Petal search engine does streamline the process to a certain extent by showing you APK results which will redirect you to a browser to download and install.

But for the less technically inclined, the best way we recommend doing it is by downloading APKpure and having it serve as your one-stop hub for all your APK downloads, not only can you search for an APK directly, but you can also batch install and update your installed APK all within a single app.

Entertainment-wise, through that method, you can install Netflix and Disney+ but Huawei Video also has a variety of Korean and Chinese dramas which you may or may not appreciate, but your parents definitely will!


Powered by the year-old mid-range Snapdragon 680, you can't expect much from its 3DMark numbers.


WildLife Extreme



However, you can at least expect a manageable gaming experience if you play your games at their lowest setting. Diablo Immortals is probably one of the most graphically intensive games you can find right now aside from Genshin and at its lowest setting, you can play it for a bit before it starts to get really toasty and stuttery.


The MatePad SE does have a 5MP f/2.2 main which can shoot up to 1080p, 30fps along with a 2MP, f/2.4 front camera. Visual quality is acceptable for video calls and a quick snap if you happen to be holding on to the MatePad and your phone is in your bag somewhere far away.

But again, it is a budget offering so don't expect much and please...don't take photos with your tablet in public.


Lastly, with a 5100mAh battery, you can get about a day or two's worth of interval media consumption before having to charge it.

Do note that you do not have any form of fast charging here so don't expect to have it juiced up in a pinch.

Pricing & Availability

The Huawei MatePad SE is going at just S$298 or RM999 for the 128GB storage version, these prices are for the Wi-Fi version and depending on where you buy from there will also be 64GB and 4G configurations available.

Well, at such a low asking price, it is a bang for your buck if you are already familiar with the Huawei ecosystem and even if you aren't, technically inclined individuals will still be able to draw value out of the tablet through third-party installations of Google Services and Apps.

For those of you who aren't in either camp, it is still a lovely gift option for your parents or relatives if they happen to consume a lot of content that's on Huawei Video, Netflix, Disney+ or even Viu! You just gotta walk them through the setup and installation first.

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