Should you get a cheap 12-inch tablet? | Tech Reddy
The Honor Pad 8 could be the perfect entertainment tablet for many people. While you’ll have to live without most of the premium features for the $350 price tag, you’ll get a large 12-inch display, eight speakers, and Honor tablets are finally rebooting the Google Play Store. Sounds like a great tablet on paper, but is it really? Here’s what you’ll learn from this Honor Pad 8 review.
Display: Low resolution 12 inches
We’ll start with the Honor Pad 8’s 12-inch display, as that’s the tablet’s unique selling point. For 350 euros or 350 dollars, we usually only get 10-inch tablets. This also means it’s the cheapest 12-inch tablet available in most countries.
At 12 inches, it’s slightly smaller than 12.4-inch tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S7 FE. But this is noticeable only in direct comparison. But I immediately noticed the low pixel density. We’re getting a traditional LCD with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels, which is slightly higher than Full HD.
On a 10-inch tablet, I think the resolution is sufficient. But the larger the screen, the lower the pixel density. It’s noticeable here that the text and icons in particular don’t look as sharp as I’m used to.
Read: The best large 12-inch tablets you can buy
Is this a breach of contract? If you care about high resolution, then yes, of course. But I think it’s good for most people. It’s still a full HD screen and I think that’s enough for most people. Yes, you can see some pixels if you look closely. But, for example, when you are watching a movie and the tablet is sitting on the table, the pixel density is sufficient. I don’t want to be too easy on it, so be careful, it’s not sharp if you hold it close to your front.
In addition, all other aspects are very good. It is fully laminated, colors look good and contrast is good too. There will also be enough light. Not like the iPad Pro, but similar to other mid-range tablets. You can work with it outside, for example in the shade.
Netflix and Speakers
The Honor Pad 8 has L1 Widevine, which means you can watch Netflix and other streaming services in HD quality. It sounds like a no-brainer, but some Huawei devices weren’t capable of this before, so it’s nice to see that you can fully enjoy Netflix here. 4K YouTube videos are not supported because the screen cannot display such a high resolution.
I think the Honor Pad 8 is a great entertainment tablet. Full HD is definitely high enough for movies and in addition, the speakers are fantastic for this price range. We get a total of four dynamic grills and according to Honor, there are eight speakers behind them. Four for high tones, four for deep tones.
The sound is not on par with the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. But the speakers are surprisingly good. Indeed, it is excellent in this price range and better than the more expensive Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
Hardware and performance
The opposite of excellent is performance. Honor Pad 8 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor. I like that we have plenty of storage with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There is currently no LTE version.
In the Geekbench 5 benchmark, you can see that its CPU performance is slightly higher than entry-level tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8. However, it is much weaker than similarly priced tablets like the 10- and 11-inch Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and Xiaomi Pad 5.
Graphics performance is even worse. In the 3D Mark Wild Life test, it’s on par with cheap 8-inch tablets. Most 10-inch devices priced around $200 offer better graphics performance.
So it’s not a big surprise that games only work on the Honor Pad 8 at the lowest graphics settings. PUBG Mobile runs and is surprisingly smooth. But you can’t choose HD graphics either. Instead, you should play it with the graphics set to the lowest available balance.
You can install Fortnite and even set the graphics to average. However, it stutters so much that you can’t play it, especially when you crank up the 3D resolution. It works best when you set the graphics to low and reduce the 3D resolution from 50 to 75 percent. It might stutter a bit with these settings, but I’d say it’s playable. Simple games certainly work well.
Read: The best gaming tablets tested
In addition, the performance of Chrome, YouTube, Netflix, Microsoft Office, etc. Very good for normal applications like When switching between apps quickly, it runs much smoother. You can also open Chrome, YouTube and Gmail at the same time without any problem. I think it has something to do with the 6GB of RAM. Most tablets with a similar chipset only have 2GB or 3GB. So Honor is giving us more RAM and it’s very noticeable.
Design and build quality
I love that the Honor Pad 8 looks and feels like a premium tablet. We are getting a high-quality metal body that is very thin at 6.9mm and weighs only 520g. It’s only available in blue, which I think looks good. And again, it feels premium.
If you look closely, however, you can see that the built quality is not at the same level as high-end devices. For example, the WiFi antennas are not integrated into the metal housing. Instead, there is a plastic cover on top. And the transition from the screen to the metal body is not as elegant as the flagship devices of Apple and Samsung.
There is no headphone jack and no microSD card slot. There is a USB C port, four speaker grills, a volume rocker, and a power button. No fingerprint scanner. You can unlock it with facial recognition using the 5-megapixel webcam, and it works pretty well. But since the camera is only used for this purpose, it is not very secure.
The quality of the front camera is very good and suitable for video chats. That being said, the primary 5-megapixel rear camera is disappointing. Definitely not the most important thing on a tablet. But the quality is poor even in good light.
By the way, Honor doesn’t sell a keyboard cover or active pen for the Pad 8.
Software: Android 12 and MagicUI
The Honor Pad 8 runs Android 12 out of the box and sits on top of MagicUI 6.1, which is similar to their UI from Huawei. I don’t think there is any difference since Honor was owned by Huawei until recently.
It’s regular Android, but because of MagicUI, it’s a bit overloaded and some elements seem to have been copied from iPadOS. There are tons of pre-installed Honor apps as well as some ads, but you can install them easily.
Since Honor is no longer part of Huawei, the Google Play Store is again pre-installed. We also get all the Google apps like Chrome, Gmail, YouTube and more and they work as we are used to.
The split-screen view works really well, and I also like that you can open apps in a free-floating window. So the interface is perfect for multitasking.
Now, the question arises whether this tablet has updates or not. Until now, Huawei has not been as exemplary as Samsung and Apple. So I want to tell you now, but only time will tell how good the updates will be for Honor tablets. This is the first time it has been released internationally.
In my battery test, the Honor Pad 8 managed 6.5 hours of battery life. For this I always turn on an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness.
Honor Pad 8 test: the final verdict
So, is the Honor Pad 8 the perfect entertainment tablet for you? I think it’s great that we’re getting a 12-inch screen for just $350 and Euros. The build quality is very high, we get great speakers, lots of storage and big memory. Unfortunately, the graphics performance is very low. And it’s a bit of a shame that we only get full HD resolution.
With that said, if you’re looking for an affordable entertainment tablet, I think this is a good choice. Full HD resolution is high enough for Netflix and other videos, and other aspects of the screen are excellent. Other than that, the speakers are exceptionally good for this price range. But it’s definitely not the best gaming tablet.
Overall, I think Honor is giving us a good entry-level 12-inch tablet. If you’re looking for a big screen but don’t want to buy a flagship device, it’s a lot of fun. If other features are important to you, however, such as excellent performance, active pen or high pixel density, then you should check out the competition.
Let’s take a look at those alternatives.
The biggest competitor is the 12.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which is also a 12-inch mid-range tablet. It usually costs less than $100, but offers better performance, a high-resolution display, and the style of the S Pen. Just remember that the internal storage is only half of Honor.
If you want to get the most performance for your money, check out the Xiaomi Pad 5. Its 11-inch display is slightly smaller, but has a higher resolution. Thanks to a better processor, it is much more powerful and has better speakers. Prices are similar, but here we get plastic back instead of full metal. Updates are just as dubious and uncertain as Honor.
- Large display available
- Premium design
- Very good speakers
- Large internal storage
- Lots of RAM
- Android 12
- Full HD resolution only
- Weak processor
- Updates are not accurate