So you’re about to go on a vacation, taking time off to visit a faraway land or exploring a big city. You have to make the most of it, and unless you’re going to the middle of nowhere and cutting yourself off from all technology, you’ll want to pack your favorite tech to capture the moments and keep you entertained.
We all agree that packing light is key. With more and more stuff one needs to pack and minimal space aboard a plane, as well as higher fees per bag, you want to get as much tech into as little space as possible. Here are a few Huawei products that will make your travels better and your memories sweeter.
Your portal to the world may be your phone, but as good as smartphones are these days, most of us still rely on a real computer to get things done. Bringing a laptop on your travels is key to doing anything more than Facebook browsing. Whether it’s getting some work done, editing photos and videos, or playing some video games more advanced than Candy Crush, the versatility of a laptop is what you really need.
Most are familiar with Huawei’s smartphone lineup, but with the MateBook X Pro in 2018, the company has made a big step into the laptop game as well. The MateBook 13 is their latest entry into the premium laptop market and has received great reviews from journalists and consumers alike thanks to its versatility and competitive pricing.
The Huawei MateBook 13 comes in two variants, with the higher end model featuring an 8th gen Core i7-8565U, 8GB of RAM, a roomy 512GB NVMe SSD (that’s the fast kind of SSD), and a 25W TDP version of the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU. The inclusion of the faster version of the MX150, the upgraded 8th gen i7, and tons of storage are big plusses for this laptop.
Performance is phenomenal, giving you enough horsepower to use Photoshop to edit photos from your DSLR, managing a Chrome session with more than four tabs, or even playing some of the latest games, the MateBook 13 doesn’t skip a beat. It’s a real pleasure, especially at this price point.
The display is a 13-inch touchscreen unit with an 88% screen-to-body ratio and a resolution of 2160×1440 and a 3:2 aspect ratio. This taller aspect ratio allows for much more information to fit on the screen at once since web browsing and work are far more important than watching 16:9 movies. The height really gives it more space than bigger laptops in practice. It’s also bright, vivid, and the blacks are so deep you’ll almost think it’s an OLED panel.
When it comes to the keyboard, Huawei knocked it out of the park with a sharp, comfortable keyboard with light actuation and a muffled click. It’s truly the unexpected highlight of this laptop. As a mechanical keyboard enthusiast (read: snob) laptop keyboards usually don’t impress me. There’s no flex to the keys or chassis and key are nicely sized and spaced. The trackpad is great as well, featuring Windows Precision, making it both responsive and very customizable.
Lastly, the laptop offers dual speakers mounted at the bottom with Dolby Atmos support. They’re impressively loud and clear, and the software allows you to play with audio tuning to get the best experience. They’re perfectly suited for watching movies and playing games.
For an ultrabook, the MateBook 13 offers so much. It’s a pleasure to use and will run almost anything you throw at it outside of graphically intensive games. And when you’re just browsing Facebook, the battery will last quite a while too. When you need a charge, top it off with any 65W+ USB-PD charger. It’s a great laptop overall, but it’s especially alluring at the $1,299 price point. It’s hard to find anything else at the price that offers a 25W TDP GPU and so much storage.
For most, the goal of traveling is to experience new places and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s an amazing dish in a hole in the wall restaurant, a gorgeous sunset over a beach in Italy, or your trips through the winding alleys of Morocco, you’re going to need a camera that can capture those moments to cherish for years to come.
Now, a proper DSLR with quality lenses will outshoot any smartphone any day in perfect conditions. But on the go, in a rush, a smartphone will often take better photos, especially in low light. I often find myself putting my DSLR away on cruises and tours in favor of the Leica-branded Mate 20 Pro simply because of the consistency and the strong software behind it.
The beauty of the Mate 20 Pro is that it has four different lenses, delivering the same versatility you’d get from lugging around a 10-pound bag full of camera equipment. You have a regular 40MP sensor with amazing detail and dynamic range. In an alleyway and want to take a photo with a crazy perspective? Bust out the 20MP ultrawide camera. You also have an 8MP 3x telephoto sensor with optical image stabilization to catch those faraway moments. The ultrawide also doubles as a macro lens with a 2.5cm minimum focusing distance. You can get ridiculously close up and take incredible photos of plants, bugs, or anything imaginable.
Now, you’ll need some serious juice to handle your adventures. You can bring a battery bank with you, but having a wire hooked up to your phone for hours at a time is no fun. The 4,200 mAh battery is already quite big, but the software behind it means you can take those 3 AM selfies after a late night meal without having to top up.
Otherwise, you’re getting a flagship processor, 8GB of RAM, and reverse wireless charging to top off your earphones or your friend’s iPhone. You also get dual SIM support which is a godsend when traveling internationally which allows you to keep your regular SIM at the same time. You may want to turn off data, but not missing those important texts can be critical. It’s an awesome phone in general, but one especially suited for travel.
While we always want to experience as much as we can while traveling, sometimes you simply need some quality R & R to recharge. Just because you’re halfway across the globe doesn’t mean you won’t want to catch up on your favorite Netflix show while in your hotel room or on that dreaded 12-hour flight. When your phone is just too small and you don’t want to bust out a laptop, the Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro ticks all the boxes for media consumption.
On the front, you’ll find a 10.8-inch 2560×1600 IPS display which is surprisingly bright, punchy, and gorgeous. The colors are vibrant, the resolution is high, and it has a 16:10 aspect ratio so it will fit your media better than other 4:3 tablets. It’s an amazing display and big enough for two people to share a show or movie.
On the back are quad speakers tuned by Harman Kardon that put out a surprising amount of sound. They get loud, and they lack distortion too. The fact that they face rearward doesn’t seem ideal, but it does create a spacious effect when watching movies.
Other specs include last year’s top of the line processor, 64GB of storage and a microSD slot for all of your movies and games. The mix of high-end processor means you can play your favorite games without stuttering or lag. When you have internet, games like PUBG Mobile run at full settings and give you that huge screen advantage when you’re on that train.
There’s also a beefy 7,500 mAh battery that will satisfy all of your binge-watching needs. When it comes to local content from YouTube and Netflix, a trip from San Francisco to London won’t put a dent in that battery. Even games don’t drain it quickly so you’ll have plenty of entertainment wherever you go. You also get an active stylus (rechargeable with a USB-C cable!) in the box if you’re feeling artistic.
When you’re out and about, you want to keep an eye on the time and notifications without constantly pulling your phone out. Take a break from fiddling with your smartphone and enjoy the scenery. The Huawei Watch GT is my go to watch for travel. It shows you only the most important notifications and doesn’t need to be charged for two weeks (or more if you turn off some features) so you can leave that charger behind.
If you feel like a bit of exercise in the morning, the full suite of fitness apps have you covered. Go for a run, get on the hotel gym’s stationary bike, or dive into the pool with a special mode for each exercise. And with GPS built in, you’ll be sure to get accurate results. And to combat jet lag, the watch can monitor your sleeping patterns and show you statistics of the quality of your sleep to help beat the jet lag.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like a fitness watch. It looks like a normal sporty watch, slimmer than many smartwatches and with a tough ceramic bezel that will remain shiny and scratch free through the abuses of travel.
Together or on their own, these devices from Huawei will make your next trip more enjoyable and help you make memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Whether it’s the fantastic triple camera setup of the Mate 20 Pro or the awesome keyboard of the Matebook 13, you’re ready to take on any location you decide to explore. Just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!