MWC 2014: Hands-on preview with the Huawei MediaPad X1

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Huawei has positively bounded into Barcelona, spreading the love with the launch of five brand new devices before Mobile World Congress has even officially kicked off.

One of these products particularly stood out to me: the MediaPad X1 phablet. I managed to fight my way through the crowds and get my hands on the handset, to discover whether the big chat lined up with reality.

My first thought when I picked up the X1 was, "Whoa, this is huge." With dimensions of 183.5 x 103.9 x 7.18mm, this is not the perfect smartphone for small hands. However, at just 239g in weight, it's easily manageable (in two hands) for extended periods of time. The 7in 1,920 x 1,200 LTPS display, translating into a pretty satisfactory PPI of 323, matches that of the Nexus 7 II. The iPad mini with Retina packs a slightly superior 326PPI.

Richard Yu introduced this device as a would-be rival to the Google Nexus 7 II and Apple iPad mini tablets, citing its enormous 5,000mAh battery pack as a defining feature. The rest of the specs are equally impressive, and ensure that the two superpowers above take notice.

The 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 13-megapixel rear one absolutely dominate the iPad's and Nexus' 1.2- and 5-megapixel snappers and, unlike the Nexus and iPad, the X1 fits snugly into a blazer pocket - pretty handy for a businessperson on the move. It's 80 per cent screen-to-body ratio also beats that of its rivals. However, it is let down a little by its software. The MediaPad M1 runs the previous iteration of Android - 4.2.2 Jelly Bean - rather than the much-heralded 4.4 KitKat. Its 16GB of internal storage can be boosted by 32GB via the microSD slot, and the 2GB of RAM is respectable.

The €399 (£330) pricetag is fairly steep when compared with the Nexus 7 but falls below that of the iPad mini. For any businessperson, this is a bit of a snip, while it won't break the bank of ordinary consumers, either. Available in "Snow White" and "Diamond White", the MediaPad X1 is a sleek, attractive, dependable phablet, and a good fit for the boardroom. The inclusion of picture-enhancing "selfie-window" and "face enhancement" tools and ability to shoot video at 1080p make it a great fit for multimedia-loving consumers too. Oh, and its massive battery can also function as an external juice pack, charging other devices when they run flat.