Though no longer as popular as they once were, tablets remain one of the best form factors for entertainment and productivity on the go. The Huawei MediaPad T3 8” is out now in the Philippines, giving price-conscious consumers another tablet to consider if their budget doesn’t stretch beyond P10,000 or around $197.
A good comparison to the device is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, which is a popular choice on the local market, thanks to its attractive feature set and affordable price tag. The MediaPad T3 8” is significantly cheaper, though. So, between these two devices, which one is a better option? Read our full hands-on comparison to find out.
In the Philippines, the MediaPad T3 8” is priced at P6,490, or $128 converted, and comes with a day pass at Anytime Fitness, whereas the Galaxy Tab A officially retails for P8,990 or $177. Both devices are available offline and online.
Both tablets share a similar rectangular metal shell with a normal-sized screen on the front that measures 8 inches. Neither one stands out from the other as being much more attractive. Their dimensions and weight are also nearly identical, and they have a smooth finish on the back, which doesn’t pick up fingerprints as much as glossy panels would.
But unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, the Huawei MediaPad T3 8” has a more polished, more unibody, and more premium feel to it, and its display actually sits flush against the frame. The Galaxy slate has a slightly more elevated panel, so there’s a small gap between the screen and edges of the device, which may be a bit unsightly to look at for some.
Additionally, the Huawei’s metal back extends to its rounded sides, as opposed to the Tab A that has a plastic frame and a metal rear cover. This subtle yet substantial detail makes the MediaPad T3 8” feel better in the hand.
The two tablets feature side-mounted buttons on the right side and a headphone jack for wired listening, as well as Bluetooth for wireless audio and wearable connectivity. For charging, they have a microUSB port, not USB-C as most smartphones embrace nowadays. That’s fine for a budget tablet.
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Notably, both the Huawei MediaPad T3 8” and Samsung Galaxy Tab A have a SIM slot for 4G LTE data. This is a convenient feature that lets you connect to a fast mobile wireless network when you need to check your social media feeds, get important work done on the go, or play online games.
The tablets only accept a nano SIM card, so keep that in mind. We managed to connect both our review samples to an LTE network without encountering any issues with regard to speed and coverage. Along the edge of both devices, there’s a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The Huawei MediaPad T3 8” and Samsung Galaxy Tab A sport an 8-inch touchscreen with 1,280 x 800 resolution and a standard aspect ratio of 16:10. Even the pixel density is the same at 189 dots per inch, and that’s enough for most users.
The key difference lies in the screen technology where the Huawei uses IPS technology to produce natural-looking colors and wide viewing angles. Samsung’s has an inferior TFT display. And although it’s brighter than the panel on the T3, the picture quality is clearly subpar compared with what the competition is offering.
That said, we feel the T3 is better suited for media consumption and casual gaming — both essential functions of a tablet — than the Tab A.
Another advantage the Huawei slate has over the Galaxy is its speaker placement. On the MediaPad T3 8”, the loudspeaker sits on the top bezel next to the selfie camera, whereas the Galaxy Tab A incorporates dual bottom-firing speakers that get in the way when you’re holding the device in landscape orientation.
Having a front-facing speaker also means the sound doesn’t get muffled if you put the tablet face up on a desk or table. Both units are just about average in terms of sound output and volume levels.
Unfortunately, the Tab A’s extra speaker doesn’t provide the boost we expected. So for watching videos and playing games, the MediaPad T3 8” has the upper hand because of its superior colors and loudspeaker placement. To its credit, the Galaxy Tab A packs a brighter display, so you’ll be able to use it outdoors without much difficulty.
When it comes to taking pictures, both devices have limited capabilities, so you may want to skip night shots entirely.
The Huawei MediaPad T3 8” features a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus around the back, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab A has 8 megapixels. Both cameras can shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second, though neither one of them includes image stabilization to prevent shakiness while shooting footage. And, per usual among tablets, there are no multiple camera setups here.
The MediaPad T3 8” and Galaxy Tab A can produce serviceable results outdoors during the daytime, but indoor environments might pose a problem especially if the lighting is not optimal. With better hardware, the Samsung slate takes sharper images.