Huawei likes to make its tablets and phones stand out with useful features that put you in control instead of bloated software that tries to sell you games, films and music.
The MediaPad T3 may not carry a flagship pricetag, but Huawei’s Emotion user interface is full of ways to make the most of it. Here are our favourites.
Avoid eyestrain and get better sleep
The bright blue light of a daytime screen can hurt your eyes in dim light and make it harder to get to sleep.
Huawei’s Eye comfort mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted from the screen to ease eyestrain and put your brain in sleep mode.
It’s operated through a shortcut if you swipe down from the top of the screen, or by going to Settings > Display > Eye comfort. You can also set it to run automatically every night.
Put power-hungry apps on pause
Power-hogging apps like Snapchat, Outlook and even BBC News can run down your battery, but the MediaPad T3 has tools to keep them under control.
Open Tablet Manager (it’s in the Tools folder by default) and tap the % remaining battery icon to see how long you have until you’re out of juice.
Power intensive apps helps you to identify the hogs, The Optimise button gives you tips on how to reduce power consumption, and Lock screen cleanup helps to save energy when the screen is off. When you’re running low, Power saving mode will turn off non-essential features to keep going.
Work smart with a split screen
Some things are easier when you can have two windows open on the same screen, like browsing for hotels with Google Maps at hand.
Split screen mode brings this desktop feature to your tablet: just open an app and swipe up with two fingers (or left from the button bar in landscape mode). A blue divider will pop into the centre of the screen. Choose the second app from your recent apps, or the home screen, to fill the space.
If you want to change the balance, tap the three dots in the centre of the bar and drag it. To go back to a full screen, drag the bar to the bottom or right of the screen.
Share your contact information easily
Why spell out your email or address to someone when you can just send it from your contacts list? That's the idea behind My Contact.
Tap the Contacts app (at the top of the right-hand home page, by default) and touch Me. Edit your details and tap the tick in the top right.
You can share your contact card in different formats through any of your messaging or email apps, or copy it as text. The Contacts app also creates a QR code that someone can scan or photograph to get your details.
Make photos more fun with cheesy noisy smile detection
Saying “cheese!” is one way to ensure a smiley photo, and Huawei has taken this to heart with a camera app that shoots when it hears the magic word.
The Camera app can also be set to take a picture when it hears a loud noise, which means your subjects can shout any word, or you can take sneaky photos of noisy people.
The other way to guarantee a happy photo is with smile detection - it shoots when it detects a smiling face.
To choose your ideal photo mode, open the Camera app and swipe right for the controls screen.
Unwind without unlocking
You don’t need to unlock the MediaPad T3 to enjoy music, pictures and a few other handy features on its lock screen cover.
Swipe up from the bottom of the lock screen and you’ll see a strip of icons: there’s a play/pause button for music (using the built-in media player), and shortcuts to the voice recorder, calculator, clock (for alarms and timers) and a QR code scanner.
If you swipe across the screen you can see different photos from the cover collection. Tap the “x” to remove a cover image and tap the photo icon to choose which images appear - you can create a slideshow. Tap the share button to send your favourite photo to a contact.
Create a safe zone for your kids
Kids are often a main user of family tablets, and Children’s Corner is a safe space for young children where they can have fun without using your apps or stumbling onto the wider internet.
There’s also a simple camera, a voice recorder and a fun painting app - they can record messages and save their drawings to show you and their friends. You can add apps and games that you trust.
The Children’s Corner is PIN-locked, so they can’t get into your apps by accident, and you select which photos and videos your children can see.
Get help to hear what’s on the screen
TalkBack is one of many accessibility features built into the MediaPad T3. It provides audible prompts and captions for visually impaired users as your finger moves across the screen.
There are dedicated gestures for scrolling through screens and lists, changing the rate at which text is read out, selecting items. You can even access special context menus to provide descriptions of menus in apps.
To activate TalkBack and find other accessibility features, tap Settings > Advanced Settings > TalkBack.
Make the home screen your own
If you like to keep a clean, minimal home screen layout, Huawei provides some unique ways to set up the MediaPad T3
The most unusual of these is where it keeps your apps. The standard Huawei setting places all of your apps on a home screen - swipe right and you’ll find a lot of apps waiting for you. This is very similar to the way Apple’s iOS treats apps and can create a lot of clutter.
If you prefer a more traditional Android approach, you can turn on the File Drawer. This creates a button at the base of the screen, which you tap to see all of your apps. To change your home screen, go to Settings > Home screen style.
You’ll also see options for changing the navigation bar to include a shortcuts button (Settings > Navigation key), and for changing the colour temperature if you experience eyestrain from too much screen time (Settings > Display > Colour temperature).
Capture your thoughts with an audio note
A picture tells a thousand words, but a few seconds of audio can remind you what you were thinking when you took the photo.
Audio notes let you record up to 10 seconds of speech with a photo, and you use the same 5MP autofocus camera as for other photos.
To create an audio note, open the Camera app and swipe left to the camera Modes menu.