Huawei MatePad 11 (2021) review

GSMArena Team, 02 August 2021.

Introduction and specs

Before the pandemic struck, everyone thought that the days of the Android tablet are numbered. However, with people staying at home, tablet sales saw a resurgence that's continuing in 2021, too. It was a natural move for Huawei to continue its efforts in the space. Especially since the company was among the few manufacturers to continue pouring resources into making Android tablets when no one else would.

The challenge ahead of Huawei is two-fold. Not only do they face increasing competition with everyone warming up to tablets all over again, but they also need to prove that their brand new HarmonyOS is a complete replacement for Google-powered Android as we know it.

And they have their newest Matepad lineup to spearhead this mission. We already checked out the MatePad Pro 12.6 in detail and now it's time to have a look at the 2021 edition of the vanilla MatePad 11, which seems to be a well-rounded device and asks a more reasonable €400 (6GB/64GB) .

Huawei MatePad 11 review

We have not reviewed the Matepad Pro 10.8 but it seems the vanilla Matepad 11 shares several features with - like the Snapdragon chipsets or the LCD panel. The Matepad Pro 10.8 prioritizes color accuracy and higher max brightness, but the Matepad 11 makes up for these deficiencies by offering a 120Hz refresh rate, which is something quite nice.

Huawei MatePad 11 (2021) specs at a glance:

  • Body: 253.8x165.3x7.3mm, 485g; plastic frame and back; Stylus support (magnetic).
  • Display: 10.95" IPS LCD, 120Hz, 2560x1600px resolution, 5.63:9 aspect ratio, 276ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 5G (7 nm+): Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.
  • Memory: 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • OS/Software: HarmonyOS 2.0.
  • Rear camera: 13 MP, f/1.8, PDAF.
  • Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.0.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 7250mAh; Fast charging 22.5W, Reverse charging 5W.
  • Misc: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass.

The battery is also the same as on the Pro at 7,250 mAh but charging speeds are considerably lower and doesn't support wireless charging. After all, there had to be some cost-cutting to get reach the target price. For instance, there's no cellular variant and the base storage is twice as low.

On the other hand, the vanilla MediaPad 11 is the only one from the series using a standard microSD card slot instead of Huawei;'s proprietary NM cards that are harder to find and pricier per GB. So if storage matters, the MediaPad 11 might be the more reasonable option to pursue.

Huawei MatePad 11 review

Surely, the review doesn't end with the specs sheet. Ultimately, we think the MediaPad 11 is a sensible solution as it offers the majority of the features and offers a similar user experience compared to its much pricier siblings - the MediaPad Pro 12.6 and the Pro 10.8. Еspecially since it supports accessories like Huawei's M-Pencil and the Smart Magnetic Keyboard. And the latter is currently bundled with the device itself, but you still might have to check if the offer stands in your region.

Unboxing the Huawei MatePad 11

The Huawei MatePad 11 comes in a standard box with a compatible 22.5W charger and a USB-A to USB-C cable used for data transfer as well. Since there's no 3.5mm audio jack, Huawei is bundling a dongle.

Huawei MatePad 11 review

We got our review unit with the so-called Huawei's Smart Magnetic Keyboard, which is compatible only with the MatePad 11, but you have to buy it separately. We saw a couple of offers in some countries that include the keyboard if you go for the higher storage variant.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 20 Sep 2023
  • MnQ

Finally... Someone that speaks ... I'm not against Apple in anyway, but just the so "close" ecosystem the skyrocket prices, together with the grazy idea of not having expansion for memory card in any device... Not to mention the way th...

  • Huawei matepad 11
  • 20 Sep 2023
  • MnQ

Hey, I have to say it performs excellent in all areas, really all! the construction is very good, the display more than fine, the speed super fast, the sound maybe the best of ALL tablets and phones (you can check on measurements or in a store), th...

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Feb 2022
  • t7s

You basically have to just downlpad gspace and download every google play app that you want to use. Easy as 123. :)