Huawei MediaPad S7-301w review: pretty basic tablet for basic stuff, not for gaming

Written by B Johnson February 23, 2014
Huawei MediaPad S7-301w Specs

Earlier, i’ve just showed you one of Huawei MediaPad tablets which i thought could be a pretty good gaming tablet, if not great. That tablet was Huawei MediaPad, a 7-inch Android tablet sporting an HD 720p display.

(Huawei MediaPad S7-301w Specs)

The reason why i thought this tablet could be a pretty good gaming tablet was because, based on what i’ve seen on some video reviews of this tablet on YouTube, this Huawei MediaPad is surprisingly able to play some high-performing games in buttery smooth performance, although mostly not in full graphics.

We can expect the same thing on other Huawei tablet which I'm going to discuss here in this review, Huawei MediaPad S7-301w.

The name of this tablet may not sound too familiar to you, however, aside from its complicated name, this tablet could still be a pretty good gaming tablet, especially if you’re looking for a cheap dirt budget tablet right now, although i have many other better alternatives than this tablet (which i’m gonna share to you at the end of this review).

Anyway, talking about its gaming performance, i personally think that this tablet could be similar with its old brother, Huawei MediaPad tablet.


Well, that’s obviously because they both actually share the same exact internals, like the same 720p display (1280x800 pixels), the same MSM8260 Snapdragon dual-core processor with the same clock speed of 1.2GHz, the same Adreno 220 GPU and the same 1GB of RAM.

Okay then, if you’re interested to know more about this device, and especially its gaming performance, not to mention, the thing that makes it different with Huawei MediaPad i’ve just showed you before, then you better check out my personal review of Huawei MediaPad S7-301w.



In tablet-making business, Huawei may not sound too familiar to hear for many tablet enthusiasts out there, even tablet shoppers in general.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that because for me personally, it’s still quite rare to hear about Huawei making tablets around tech news sites, although i perfectly knew and heard about one Huawei tablet named Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth a couple of months or a year ago if i’m not mistaken.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w Review and Gaming PerformanceHowever, despite being an underdog in tablet market, we actually can still find some of Huawei tablets that are still worth considering, even worth buying for many of you here who are looking for budget tablets that have good performance and gaming capability.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w could probable be the one you’re looking for.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is actually similar in many ways with its older sibling, Huawei MediaPad tablet.

They both share the same display, CPU, graphics chipset, camera, battery and they both, in fact, look just the same one to another.

However, there is one that separates them apart. And that’s their cellular connectivity support.

If on Huawei MediaPad, you can find the mini-SIM card slot for 3G cellular support, then, on the other hand with Huawei MediaPad S7-301w, there is no cellular support for this tablet.

So this is basically similar with some of Acer tablets like Acer Iconia Tab A100 and A101 or Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A501, with A101 and A501 getting the SIM card slot, while A100 and A500 don’t have it.

But the real question is, with all of the similarity on these 2 Huawei tablets, what makes Huawei MediaPad S7-301w so special and worth recommending to you here, especially if you’re looking for a cheap budget tablet that has good gaming performance?

Well, we’re about to find about that in a minute.


In terms of design, this tablet actually looks quite similar with its sibling, Huawei MediaPad.

In fact, they both look just the same one to another.

They have those thick bezels, thick chrome trim around the side of the tablet and those sharp corners.

Even the back cover of these tablets look similar, with those 2 separate different materials, the plastic materials on top and bottom, plus aluminum part covering the whole side of back cover.

At the glance, this tablet looks really generic with other Android tablets out there.

However, if you see the thick chrome trim on this tablet, it actually kind of gives more great accent to the tablet and makes it look sturdy as a budget tablet.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w - Full tablet specifications/SPECS

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w - Full tablet specifications/SPECS

Compared to other cheap budget tablets around the market, i think Huawei MediaPad S7-301w still looks better than many of its rivals in its class.

And that’s thanks mostly to its thick chrome trim around this tablet.

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  • No SIM
  • Announced 2011, Q3
  • 7.0 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, 256K colors (~216 ppi pixel density)
  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz Scorpion Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon Chipset
  • Adreno 220 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Android OS 3.2 Honeycomb, upgradable to v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • SRS sound enhancement
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera, LED flash, capable to tae 720p@30fps videos
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera, capable to take 720p@30fps videos
  • MicroSD Card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 5.8 GB Internal storage, 8 GB ROM,
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • HDMI port
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • No Radio
  • Non-removable Li-Po 4100 mAh battery
  • Up to 6 hours for Talk time
  • Up to 200 hours for Stand-by
As a budget tablet, Huawei MediaPad S7-301w actually has specs that are still considered as pretty good, even for today’s standards, of course in its class.

It has an HD display, good 5MP camera on its back that even has LED flash, pretty good processor from popular brand, big battery capacity, and even a pretty good graphics chipset, allowing it to play some high-performing games.

With all of these goodies, then this tablet can be a good value for the money.

In fact, compared to other more popular tablet brand, like Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 7.0, i still think this Huawei tablet is still a much better choice than Samsung’s slate given its higher quality specs.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w comes with:
  • a 7-inch display sporting the resolution of 1280x800 pixels,
  • a dual-core Snapdragon MSM8260 Scorpion processor,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • Adreno 220, which is pretty impressive and will be great for gaming,
  • 5MP rear-facing camera with LED flash that is able to take 720p videos,
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera,
  • Android v3.2 Honeycomb out of the box (which can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich),
  • 4100mAh power battery
  • and many more.
With all of these specs, i think Huawei MediaPad S7-301w will fall in mid-end category, although its processor is not on par with other competing 7-inch rivals like Tegra Note 7, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX 7.

However, given that with this processor and its graphics chipset, this tablet is still capable to deliver a smooth performance in HD display, plus it can handle most of graphically demanding games released around 2012 or before it, then Huawei MediaPad S7-301w still deserves to be positioned alongside those rivals, although it might need a much cheaper price tag to make it a good alternative than its rivals.


Just like the original Huawei MediaPad 7, this Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is also packing the same 1280x800 pixel display or known today as 720p display.

For a 7-inch tablet, this display resolution actually is already good enough.

The screen looks sharp, the details look great and everything that you throw on the screen will straightly look sharp and crisp.

However, given that this screen is not that huge, plus its resolution is also not that high compared to 1080p resolution, then you will still need to do the pinch-to-zoom gesture, especially when reading books/magazines or browsing the web.

But overall, having the 720p resolution on a small 7-inch screen size already looks great and sharp.

User Interface and Features

In terms of User Interface, this Huawei MediaPad S7-301w looks similar with other Huawei MediaPad tablets out there, with the same Android homescreen, skins, wallpaper, visual presentations/effects, pre-loaded apps and even the same ring UI on lockscreen key.

Huawei MediaPad S7-301w comes pre-installed with Android 3.2 Honeycomb out of the box, which can be upgraded to Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Too bad this tablet is not officially getting Android Jelly Bean, let alone Kit Kat.

So you might miss a lot of cool features from Android latest software.

The good news, you can always root this tablet and install the custom ROM of latest Android OS from XDA developer forum, although it’s a bit risky and requires you to have technical skills in order to do it successfully.


When it comes to performance, Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is still considered as good, if not great.

With the specs like 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8260 processor, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 220 GPU, all of the tasks can be executed perfectly with less amount of lags and stutters.

And for your information, the Adreno 220 graphics chipset inside this table is actually considered as pretty good given that many latest high-end rivals are packing Adreno 320 GPU or Adreno 330 GPU (and this is the highest on the market).

So for doing some basic tasks like watching HD movies, checking emails, updating Twitter, reading books or magazines, using live wallpaper, browsing the web or even playing games, this tablet is more than capable to handle these tasks without any problem whatsoever.

However, in the real world implementation, the overall performance of this tablet might not be really fast given its HD 1280x800 pixels display, which gives burden to its processor.

So there will be some lags and framedrops especially when using some multiple apps at once, even though it has 1GB of RAM.

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In terms of gaming performance, Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is actually quite similar with its sibling, Huawei MediaPad 7, given that they both share the same exact hardware specs, from the same 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8260 processor, 1GB of RAM, Adreno 220 and even the same quality 1280x800 pixel display.

So basically, their gaming performance will be on par, especially when knowing that they both are made by the same company, with the same software and features.

So for handling games like Asphalt 7: Heat, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Modern Combat 4 or N.O.V.A 3, no doubt this tablet is more than capable to do that just fine.

However, most of these latest will not run in full graphics, only Asphalt 7 that can run in high graphics setting i guess.

As for Need for Speed Most Wanted, just like on Huawei MediaPad 7, yes - this game may run in full graphics on this tablet, but there will be some lags and stutters along the gameplay, as seen in the video review of this game when played on Huawei MediaPad 7.

And for the latest-gen games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or GT Racing 2, i don’t think this tablet is strong enough to handle these games given that they are too heavy to run, with their high-quality graphics, details and sophisticated visual effects.

The good news is, for games like Asphalt 8 and GTA San Andreas, these games provide the setting to control the graphics, resolution and visual effects inside these games, so you’re probably in luck when running these games on this tablet, although i can’t guarantee that.


It’s good to see that this tablet is packing a 5MP camera on the back, which amazingly has LED flash and is able to take 720p videos at 30fps. On the front, there is also 1.3MP camera that is also able to capture 720p videos.

However, in terms of quality, the photos and videos taken with this tablet might leave a lot to be desired, especially compared to other rivals like Tegra Note 7 or Google Nexus 7 that have much better quality cameras.

But apart from that, i think it’s a great decision by Huawei to include this 5MP rear-facing camera on this tablet.

It may not produce some great quality shots, let alone the best just like on iPad, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 or Sony Xperia Tablet, but at least, it can deliver satisfying results that are still worth showing off to your Instagram followers or Twitter.

You’ll never know if it might come in handy when you forgot to bring your digital camera and smartphones at your disposal.

Battery Life

Just like Huawei MediaPad 7 or Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue, this Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is also packing the same amount of 4100mAh battery capacity.

This battery capacity is still considered as huge though given that most of 7-inch tablets are packing this amount of battery.

So for doing some heavy-weight tasks, like watching HD movies, checking emails, checking your Twitter updates, listening to music, reading books or magazines, browsing the web or playing games, all in mixed usage, you can expect to see this tablet last all day long, of course in one full charge.

This tablet actually has a great stand-by time, lasting around 210 hours, while talk time on this tablet could only last about 6 hours, according to GSMarena.

But this will also depend on the brightness that you set on this tablet.

So if you usually set its brightness to the high-level, then its battery could probably drop much even faster than expected.

It goes the same if you’re using this tablet for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all, like for watching HD movies or tv series, or playing games in the row, its battery could probably only last around 5 to 7 hours, although is still considered as good for a 7-inch media-consumption tablet.

My Personal Opinions

So to end this personal review, i’ve got to say that Huawei MediaPad S7-301w is a pretty good tablet, of course in its class in cheap budget tablet market.

It still has good HD display, good processor, pretty good gaming performance, good supports on the camera sector (5MP, LED flash, 720p video recording, etc), good design and rich features.

However, there are still some downsides on this tablet. \

One of them is its gaming performance.

Even though this tablet is capable to handle some of the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 7: Heat, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Modern Combat 4 and N.O.V.A 3, not all of these games can run in smooth performance when played in full graphics, only Asphalt 7 that works great in full graphics.

So with that being said, you might face some troubles when using this tablet to run the very latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or GT Racing 2 even in medium graphics, let alone in full high graphics.

But apart from that, this tablet is still pretty good in its class.

And if you manage to snatch this tablet at really low price point, probably around $130, then you just made yourself a good deal.

This tablet will be the direct competitor to Asus MemoPad 7 HD or Acer Iconia A3, although Acer’s tablet is still better given its 3G cellular support.

However, if you want to get this Huawei tablet that also has the 3G cellular support, then you should definitely get Huawei MediaPad 7 instead, which packs the same exact specs just like Huawei MediaPad S7-301w.

Around the market, other great 7-inch alternatives for this Huawei's tablet are Tegra Note 7, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX 7, which are affordable tablets around $199 - $229, but are just way better in gaming performance than Huawei MediaPad S7-301w tablet.
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