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Huawei’s MediaPad X2 is a dream phone … if you’re in the NBA

When does a phablet become a tablet? Huawei is pushing the limits of the category with the MediaPad X2. It’s packing a 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,920 pixels. Huawei has done what it can to cut the MediaPad down to size. It is super svelte at just 7.28mm, and the screen goes edge to edge with fairly minimal bezels top and bottom, which scores it a screen to body ratio of 80 percent.

It’s just about as slim and compact as you could expect a device with a screen this size to be. But let’s be honest here, most people will feel silly holding it up to their face to make a call, and Huawei is stretching credulity to breaking point when it claims that the borderless design makes it “easy for single-handed operation.” — maybe if you’re in the NBA.

As befits a monstrous phablet like this, there’s some serious power lurking within the premium aluminum body. It has a 64-bit octa-core processor, the 2GHz Kirin 930, backed by 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on whether you opt for the standard silver, or the premium gold finish.

We went hands-on with the more expensive gold version, though the pricing is yet to be revealed, and it was silky smooth and lightning fast. It’s running Android 5.0 Lollipop with Huawei’s EMUI on top, which I can only describe as slick, iOS-inspired, and colorful.

The larger than life design extends to the power because this bad boy is packing an unrivaled 5,000mAh battery, which brings the MediaPad name into sharp relief. It can stream video all day long. In fact, you can expect 12 hours of Netflix before it needs a charge. Throw in the latest dual LTE and dual Wi-Fi antennas and the DTS surround sound, and you have yourself a great device for watching movies.

The MediaPad X2 also has a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel selfie cam, but sadly you’ll look almost as daft taking photos or shooting video on a device this big as you will making a call.

There’s no denying this is a stylish device and that screen is impressively sharp up close and personal (we’re talking 323ppi just like the Nexus 7). The metal finish feels expensive, if a little cold, and it’s a more compact design than Google’s tablet, but at the end of the day it does still feel like you’re holding a tablet. You will not be able to use this one-handed without contortions or accidental drops. Even die-hard phablet phans will have a tough time adjusting.

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The ever-increasing display size trend shows no signs of abating, but surely you have to draw the line somewhere? Officially the phablet/tablet border is supposed to be 7-inches, and having handled the MediaPad X2 we think it’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.