A Phablet in the House

I picked up a 5 inch Android 4.0 3G smartphone tablet (a Phablet) on Amazon recently.

It’s very, very similar to the Galaxy Note from Samsung and made in China but don’t let that put you off. My expectations weren’t high… but boy am I a happy camper so far with this phone. My thoughts so far.

Here’s the deal – it’s a €132 (correct as Oct 2012)  on Amazon and the delivery wait was 10days which wasn’t too bad.

It has the following:

  • Dual Sim – yupe and it works really well.
  • A 5inch screen (it’s huge!) which is very responsive. The resolution is 480×800
  • 3g (it’s fast – got 5Mbps up and 1.25Mbps down)
  • Wifi / GPS
  • FM radio
  • Decent camera (haven’t tried video). 8.0 mega pixel
  • Android ICS 4.0
  • Analogue TV receiver (yes you’ve read that correctly – now defunct in Ireland/UK)
  • Two batteries / Back cover/ear phones and screen protector
  • Cortex A9, 1.0GHz + GPU Power SGX531T + 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM ( I don’t believe it’s an A9 processor see comment below )

 

It’s big massive and very bright. You need two hands to use this beast. It does pass the pocket test but not while driving. I make most of the calls using the headset but when I

Since I’ve got it – I have lost all the desire to get a tablet.. this thing covers sitting on the couch, tweeting, reading and looking stuff up. Voice commands work very well and search results are returned very quickly.

It’s no surprise that Google services works brilliantly on this Android phone. We use Google Apps in work and I use Gmail etc. for personal stuff and Android is great displaying both accounts on the phone. The phone notifies me of new mail before it appears on the desktop which is very impressive. With such a large screen email is a pleasure to read on the phone and with Swype (touch pal) replying to GTalk/texts and email is super quick. Twitter and Facebook work great too.

Favourite Apps

  • Google Gestures (wow! if you haven’t tried it.. what are you waiting for.. get to a contact/app/setting in a swipe of your finger)
  • Touch Pal (smart keyboard replacement)
  • Atooma (the IFFTT for mobile Android devices)
  • Media Apps including: Sky + / Plex/Netflix / Spotify / Google Music
  • Xero / Dropbox
  • Google Maps & Navigation
  • HulloMail
All the apps listed above work really well  on the phone and with the big screen makes the experience even better.
The battery last a day and half which is surprising considering the size of the screen.
The phone call quality is very good (after all this is the main function of a phone!)  and I seem to get very good reception everywhere I go. Can’t complain here at all.  I do however have some niggles.

Some complaints

WiFi  is fine if you are standing beside the router.. it’s otherwise a bit crap. Similarly with GPS the time to fix is poor and even though the device can see multiple satellites it’s slow to lock. When it did it was accurate.  I’ve read on forums that you can apply patches for both I haven’t tried this yet.

For some reason the phone’s English dictionary doesn’t want to work correctly. I installed User Dictionary Management and imported a standard dictionary. Problem solved but it shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.

The phone says it has a A9 processor but netflix is a little stuttery and leads me to think it’s a different chip. Installing AnTuTu and running the bench mark shows it has similar results to that of Nexus S which has a A8 processor. Further digging shows infact it’s A7 processor. AnTuTu benchmarked the phone at 3717.

 

Ronan

Sharing my experience on startup, sport, linux, mobile phones, movies and some other random stuff.

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