Huawei MediaPad M1 pictures and hands-on

The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 is an 8-inch tablet with entertainment in mind. It has been designed, not to be ultra light and slim like the MediaPad X1 - also launched at Mobile World Congress 2014 - but with front-facing speakers to better deliver the DTS surround sound when watching movies.

The result is a tablet that, in design, looks very much like the HTC One: the front-facing speakers with microdrilled grilles framing the display make this look like the HTC One tablet.

But that does bring an advantage with it, as front-facing speakers will be able to deliver audio, be that from gaming or movies, right to you.

The MediaPad M1 opts for a fusion of metal and plastic in its design and in the white version we has the chance to play with, we think the results are good. The tablet feels solid enough in the hand, although we were looking at a pre-production sample.

The tablet weighs 329g and is 7.9mm thick, so is nicely portable.

The display is a 1280 x 920 pixel resolution, spread across 8-inches, resulting in a pixel density of 197ppi. That's not the highest around, as many smaller tablets are offering full HD, but this is an IPS panel and from what we saw, it's capable of producing nice vibrant colours with good viewing angles. It might lack the detail of other devices, but that's likely to be reflected in the price.

Sitting under the skin of this tablet is a 1.6GHz quad-core chipset so things should move along smoothly enough and the 4800mAh battery, Huawei says, is good for 24hrs of surfing the web. Like other Huawei devices, it's reverse charge enabled, so if your smartphone is running low, you could charge it from your tablet.

There are a pair of typical cameras with 5-megapixels on the rear and 1-megapixel on the front: Huawei hasn't fitted the best camera hardware to this tablet as it has with the MediaPad X1.

READ: Hands-on: Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0 review

The tablet launches on Android 4.2 with Emotion UI layered over the top. The version of Android is a little disappointing, especially as there's likely to be a new wave of KitKat launches at Mobile World Congress this week, so it feels as if this tablet will already be out of date when it hits the shelves in May 2014.

Emotion UI adds some useful extras to the package, with plenty of additional controls and settings, however with so many tablets offering an Android experience that's very close to stock, we can't help thinking that some of the visual changes are unnecessary.

The software version we saw was an early build, and our time with the tablet was limited, so we can't draw any finite conclusions, but the MediaPad M1 looks nice and should be an affordable option when it launches in May.