Arms-on with Huawei MatePad Paper: E-Ink show on a flexible pill

If you happen to’ve ever used an e-ink show, it was in all probability on one thing like an Amazon Kindle. They’ve just a few benefits over regular shows, although they’re very particular. They’re able to large viewing angles with a extremely low energy draw and distinctive daylight visibility, however the benefits cease proper about there. Except for their meant objective — studying textual content — e-ink shows will not be actually good for the rest. They’ve low refresh charges, picture ghosting, and are sometimes monochromatic. Huawei just lately launched the MatePad Paper, however the attention-grabbing factor is that it runs HarmonyOS, which means that you would be able to sideload Android apps on it, too.

Word that through the course of this assessment, Huawei contacted me and informed me {that a} software program replace can be rolled out to repair quite a few issues that had been reported, and requested me if I may wait earlier than publishing this assessment. Most of this assessment was written on that older software program model, however the place issues have been fastened, I’ve mentioned as a lot.


Must you purchase the MatePad Paper? It’s difficult. If what you need is a premium e-reader with extra versatility than only a Kindle, then the MatePad Paper is value a glance. If you happen to additionally need to take notes utilizing the included pen, it’s good for that too, although I’m undecided why you’d need to. It’s a little bit of a random characteristic to have, to be trustworthy.

Nevertheless, if all you need to do is learn books and also you don’t care how, then actually, simply get one thing cheaper. That is far too costly for simply studying books and is available in at over twice the value of the Kindle Oasis. For context, a Kindle Oasis (the highest-end Kindle available on the market) prices €229. The Huawei MatePad Paper retails for €499 in Europe, which is considerably dearer. Huawei’s providing gives you extra options and final simply as lengthy, nevertheless it’s as much as you if it’s definitely worth the extra funding.

    The Huawei MatePad Paper is a Huawei competitor to the Kindle Oasis, and it packs all the things and extra that you just’d count on from an e-reader. Not solely that, nevertheless it has HarmonyOS too, with help for your entire favourite Android apps.

Huawei Matepad Paper folio case clasp

About this hands-onHuawei despatched us the Huawei MatePad Paper on the thirtieth of March, 2022. The corporate didn’t have any enter into the contents of this hands-on.

Huawei MatePad Paper: Specs

SpecificationHuawei MatePad Paper
Dimensions & Weight
  • 225.2 x 182.7 x 6.65mm
  • 360g
  • 10.3-inch e-ink show
  • 1872 x 1404 decision
SoCHUAWEI Kirin 820E
RAM & Storage
Battery & Charging
  • 3,625mAh
  • 22.5W wired quick charging
SafetyHigh-mounted fingerprint scanner
Rear Digital camera(s)N/A
Entrance Digital camera(s)N/A
Port(s)USB Kind-C
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2 x 2 MIMO, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • Bluetooth 5.2
Software programHarmonyOS 2
Audio2 audio system
  • Huawei M-Pencil help
  • Folio cowl

The Huawei MatePad Paper isn’t a traditional pill

Enlargened bezel of the Huawei matePad Paper

The Huawei MatePad Paper is an attention-grabbing machine for quite a few causes, and there’s loads to love about it. It’s a neat mix between an Amazon Kindle and an Android pill, and Huawei is positioning it to be precisely that. It’s considerably dearer although too, which is why there’s extra than simply the machine itself.

Within the field, you get each the Huawei M-Pencil and the Huawei Folio case. If you happen to don’t need to use the pill with the folio case, the pill has a bigger bezel on the left aspect for holding it whereas utilizing your proper hand to modify between pages. The M-Pencil can be utilized for taking notes, and it’s instantaneous when writing on the show. You additionally get entry to AppGallery, which means there’s a fairly large collection of apps to select from, and you may set up APK recordsdata too on-line.

Huawei MatePad Paper apps

To be clear, on condition that it’s an e-ink show, you’re going to have a very completely different expertise than a typical Android-based machine. We tried loading Genshin Influence on it to have some enjoyable, and the outcomes had been lower than fascinating. Another apps barely work, and the low refresh price makes any sort of scrolling troublesome to realize. I used to be capable of join the machine to my laptop and management it utilizing scrcpy on an older software program model, although an replace acquired on the pill just lately broke it.

The pill itself comes with a pair of audio system which might be optimized for spoken phrase, and never for playback of regular media akin to music. Assume podcasts and audiobooks.

Different {hardware} consists of the ability button doubling up as a fingerprint sensor, a backlight for the show with 32 completely different ranges of brightness, and the display screen itself has a paper-like texture. This makes it snug for swiping on and writing on, making it really feel a little bit bit extra genuine than only a regular pill. The great thing about e-ink as nicely is that it’s simpler to make use of in direct lighting, which means that you would be able to take it outdoors within the solar and never have any visibility issues in utilizing it.

HarmonyOS modified for e-ink

Huawei MatePad Paper

Huawei’s software program is kind of closely modified for this show, and you may check out among the screenshots under. Screenshots come out in full colour, although all the UI is designed to be utterly monochrome, anyway. It’s properly laid out for the show and appears actually good.

Utilizing this machine as an precise e-reader wasn’t doable for me earlier than the newest software program replace. A number of guide looking choices didn’t load, apart from those that did — however solely in Spanish. This was rectified, and whereas I nonetheless get a load of Spanish ideas when looking the guide retailer, there are additionally English-language choices too that weren’t there beforehand.

Nevertheless, I’ve additionally discovered that you would be able to load ePub recordsdata and others by the likes of ReadEra to nice impact, and it’s simply nearly as good of an expertise as it could be on a Kindle. You’ll be able to export books from companies akin to Kobo to be used in your Huawei MatePad Paper if you wish to learn an ePub file. I put in ReadEra utilizing Aurora Retailer sideloaded, although the official Huawei Books app will open them simply wonderful. The display screen itself is reasonably annoying and cumbersome to navigate, so I used adb to put in the Aurora Retailer APK file reasonably than downloading it on the machine like I usually would.

A complicated Kindle

The Huawei MatePad Paper is an attention-grabbing product that’s basically only a subtle Kindle, and I’m undecided how a lot of an enchantment that basically holds. It’s costly, nevertheless it’s additionally a extra premium expertise than you’ll discover just about anyplace else available. The {hardware} is incredible, the audio system are loud and clear, and even the software program is extra versatile than you’ll get on different units. If you happen to’ve ever used a Kindle, you’ll get the MatePad Paper.

Is all of it value it, although? It relies upon. I discovered that Huawei’s personal bookstore was reasonably restricted, and I’d extremely advocate utilizing ePub recordsdata or different proprietary codecs that you would be able to learn on Android by using third-party apps. The official Huawei books app can truly open them too, although in case you’re going to exit of your method to export books from different companies, you might as nicely use a extra customizable — to not point out higher — e-reader app. The Huawei Books app integrates with the system and basically pins books to your launcher, in order that’s admittedly going to be a greater possibility if all you need to do is open a guide and browse it.

Provided that it’s Android, you can too set up Android apps, and people apps embrace the likes of Genshin Influence. Given the show’s low refresh price, no video games are playable. In reality, even utilizing apps that scroll are fairly painful. Simply because it really works doesn’t imply you need to do it, is principally the lesson discovered right here.

Back of the Huawei MatePad Paper

General, this leaves the Huawei MatePad Paper in a bizarre place. I prefer it loads, however the value is difficult to justify apart from probably the most area of interest use instances. Irrespective of although, it’s a premium {hardware} expertise, and it’s pleasurable for what it units out to do.

    The Huawei MatePad Paper is a Huawei competitor to the Kindle Oasis, and it packs all the things and extra that you just’d count on from an e-reader. Not solely that, nevertheless it has HarmonyOS too, with help for your entire favourite Android apps.

If you happen to’re in search of a extra typical pill expertise, we’d advocate trying out recommended iPads and Android tablets.