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Not iPad, not wePad, but MediaPad

If the price of today's fastest, biggest and baddest smartphones has been out of your reach so far, Huawei may be a brand that you'll be soon acquainted with; its simple formula for success is to simply keep the price down.

We popped over to the Huawei 2011 product showcase to see if the Chinese manufacturer would be continuing in this philosophy this year, and the answer is a resounding yes. From an AU$99 Android smartphone to a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, Huawei has a very competitive line-up covering the cheapest Android phones through to some really powerful devices.

The showstopper of today's event was the newly announced 7-inch MediaPad running Android Honeycomb 3.2. Huawei's tablet may be smaller in stature compared with tablets from Samsung and Motorola, but it's no less powerful, packing a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor.

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Premium-ness

One of the unifying factors across the 2011 Huawei range is a vast improvement in the company's physical design. The MediaPad is possibly the best example, with this excellent iPad-esque unibody design covering the hardware. It feels solid and sleek, and doesn't add to the tablet's weight too much.

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Get connected

The MediaPad supports HSPA mobile broadband connections, so you can easily get online wherever you happen to be.

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TV-out

Like several of the Android phones and tablets that we've seen so far this year, the MediaPad features TV-out via a micro-HDMI port.

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Big picture

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the MediaPad is its 7-inch WXGA (1280x800) IPS display. Packing all of these pixels into the smaller 7-inch screen space gives the MediaPad a superior dots-per-inch (dpi) count compared with the 10-inch tablets available today.

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Supercheap!

Huawei announced this week that its AU$99 Android, the Ideos X1, will be available through Optus from 1 July. Feast your eyes on the sub-$100 goodness.

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3D, kinda

This handset is called Sonic, and will be soon available through Woolworths and Dick Smith Electronics stores, to be compatible with the Optus and Vodafone networks. This model sports Android Gingerbread and an optional NFC chip, although we're not sure we'll see that here, given the state of NFC in Australia this year. In this photo, you can see the Huawei 3D UI in action.

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For Glory

According to Huawei, this is the big daddy of the 2011 roadmap. The Huawei Glory sports a 4-inch LTPS LCD that belongs to the same family of products as AMOLED screens, and it runs on a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor.

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Fashionably familiar

Sure, it looks a fair bit like a white iPhone 3GS from this angle, but then, that's a good thing, right?

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8MP AF HD

These acronyms sure piqued our interest. For a phone that will likely be a fair bit cheaper than the top gogs from Samsung and HTC, it is pretty impressive to see an 8-megapixel camera with a flash, auto-focus and HD video recording.

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Bright Spark

No, this isn't the Glory in black; this is the Huawei Spark, described as the little brother of the more feature-packed Glory.

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Rolling stone

The Huawei Boulder is the 2011 follow-up to last year's Boost Droid, again matching a QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen Android experience.

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