The Mate-9 Solution to the “We don’t need an iPad” problem

My daughter goes to a private pre-school (only because public pre-school in NYC doesn’t exist,) and I, of course, volunteered to be a class parent.

One of the very first meetings with the teachers showcased an interesting problem – The teachers made “logs” every day of the student’s activities, including occasional photos of what they were learning and how they were interacting with each other.

When I asked about perhaps including video logs, they said that it was more difficult, as neither of them had room on their phones to shoot video each day, and they didn’t have the funding to go out and purchase iPads for each classroom, or in their words “a full device that’s only going to be used for videos once a day.”

I asked if they’d considered other devices, specifically the Huawei Mate 9, which I’d just received from Huawei, as one of their Key Opinion Leaders. As expected, they’d never heard of Huawei or the Mate 9.

After I’d done my tests on the Mate, I gave it to the teachers in my daughter’s class to use for a while, and see if they found value in it.

Here’s what happened:

  1. An IMMEDIATE improvement in the quality of the daily classroom logs. Not only did they start including video, but the built-in software on the Mate made it incredibly easy to shoot, edit, and upload video in seconds. They were in love with it, and videos started becoming almost a daily thing in the logs. And let’s face it, what parent doesn’t want to see videos of their child doing great things in school each day?
  2. Added bonus: The camera on the Mate 9 is off the chain ridiculous. 20 megapixels vs the iPad’s 8. The quality of the photos the teachers are taking of the students is just mind-blowing in comparison, let alone the video.
  3. The teachers realized that not everything needs to live in one ecosystem, and that yes, products with different labels can still talk to each other very, very easily. This was a big one – Most teachers have Apple products, and not Android devices. When I was able to show the teachers that anything they created could automatically be uploaded to Google, or to Dropbox, or to any specific cloud, and then easily downloaded on any other device, it was like watching light dawn on Marblehead. To see all her teachers grasp the difference between “device” vs. “everywhere” was a huge, huge wake up call for them, and made me think that we, as tech people, might be telling the story wrong.
  4. The Mate 9 seemed to fall under more of the “workhorse” category, and less under a “plaything.” This was important. Teachers are scrounging for every dollar they can get – Not just in NYC, but worldwide. So when a teacher has a few bucks to buy something that’s “needed” but not “critical,” they’re going to go for the most bang for their buck, every time. It’s possible that Apple’s major reputation has inadvertently made people think about anything “i” as more of a luxury, less of a critical need. Huawei (at least in the US) is pretty much an open slate – brand new – no rep, so people are free to make their own decisions.

I went to a parent event at the school the other day, and sure enough, more than one other class’s teacher approached me asking where they could get their own Mate 9.

Disclosure: I am a Key Opinion Leader for Huawei. They cover my travel to certain events to learn about them. They do NOT pay me to make statements, for or against Huawei, and none of my reviews/comments or posts are influenced in any way by anyone at Huawei.

Sometimes I link to things using affiliate links, which send me a few cents if someone buys a product I recommend. I donate any revenue made this way to no-kill animal shelters in NYC and across the country, because it’s the right thing to do.

  • Hal Robb

    Huawei makes great products. Here in SE Asia brands are secondary to technology, service and value. As an example Starbucks cannot buy a conversation here as there are literally thousands of competitors.

  • Loved the use you put your phone to, and the transparency demonstrated in the disclaimer in the footnote. Great idea, Peter.

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