Tag Archives: Android Tablet

Digiflip Pro XT 712 Tablet Unboxing and Review

Last week, Flipkart stepped into the electronics market with the launch of its own tablet – the Digiflip Pro XT712. Much like the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Digiflip will serve as a vehicle to increase customer engagement with various Flipkart products. However, unlike the Kindle, Digiflip doesn’t quite put Flipkart left, right, and center. Instead, it offers an almost pure stock Android experience with a couple of bundled Flipkart apps. But, before getting into the details of the software, let’s take a closer look the hardware.

Digiflip by Flipkart

Unboxing the Digiflip

The packaging is neat and functional. Lifting the thermocol seat that comfortably houses the Digiflip, reveals the accessories compartment. Included in the package are a power adaptor (along with an USB cable), an in-ear earphone, an earphone converter, a manual, and a soft wipe. I also ordered the book case, which was available at 50% discount.

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 1

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 2

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 3

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 4

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 5

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 6

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 7

DigiFlip by FlipKart Unboxing 8 Flipkart Digiflip Unboxing

Appearance and Display

The Digiflip is sturdily built, and feels solid and reassuring. There’s no metal here, but the polycarbonate body manages to avoid the cheap plasticky feeling. The power button and volume controls are on the top left, but there is no physical camera button. The 3.5 mm earphone jack is on the top, while the micro-USB port is at the bottom. The speaker grill is just beneath the front camera.

The Digiflip Pro sports a 7’’ IPS display with a resolution of resolution of 1280 X 800, which amounts to a 216 ppi pixel-density. If you look closely, you can spot the pixels, and outdoor visibility is just about decent. However, considering the price range, the display is actually quite decent, with good contrast and viewing angles.

Flipkart Digiflip Tablet - Front
Flipkart Digiflip Tablet – Front
Flipkart Digiflip Tablet - Side
Flipkart Digiflip Tablet – Side

Hardware

Perhaps the weakest point of the Digiflip Pro is the hardware powering the tablet. It uses the low-end MediaTek MT8382 chipset, which houses a 1.3 GHZ Quad Core CPU. GeekBench3 benchmark suggests that the CPU is on par with flagships from a couple of years back. The GPU is Mali 400 MP2 clocked at 500 MHz This is even weaker than the CPU, and is comparable to GPUs that Android flagships like the Galaxy SII were using as far back as 2011. Quite obviously, with such an outdated hardware, the Digiflip Pro doesn’t fare very well in synthetic benchmarks.

Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark - Geekbench 3 Single Core
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark – Geekbench 3 Single Core
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark - Geekbench 3 Multi Core
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark – Geekbench 3 Multi Core
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark - Basemark X
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark – Basemark X
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark - 3D Mark
Flipkart Digiflip Benchmark – 3D Mark

Synthetic benchmarks aside, the Digiflip performs quite well for regular day to day tasks. Web browsing experience is smooth, as is watching videos on YouTube. It handles casual games like EA Golf and Score! With ease, but if you’re planning on playing more heavy duty games, this is not the tablet for you.

Multimedia

The Digiflip features a 5 megapixel rear camera with flash and autofocus that’s capable of recording videos at 1080p. The front camera is takes snaps at 2 megapixels. On paper all of these specs sound decent enough, but specs can be deceiving. There’s no way to sugar coat this. The Digiflip camera is bad. Both the front and the back camera fail to take a decent picture in any lighting. Using the flash over exposes the picture to the point of hiding any detail in the image. Here are a few sample images captured with the rear camera.

Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample - Outdoor
Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample – Outdoor
Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample - Indoor with Florescent Light
Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample – Indoor with Florescent Light
Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample - Indoor with Flash
Flipkart Digiflip Camera Sample – Indoor with Flash

Flipkart uses MxPlayer, which is a great decision, given that it’s one of the most versatile players available in the market. MxPlayer managed to play back any video I threw at it, and had no issues in with playing back 720p HD videos, even with software renderer. 1080p videos, however, proved to be too much to handle for the software renderer (none of the formats I had worked with hardware renderer).

The stereo speaker won’t impress anyone with its loudness or quality, but it gets the job done. And, thankfully, it’s front-facing, which means most of the time (but not always) it’s loud enough to be audible. As I mentioned earlier, the Digiflip accessories bundle also includes an earphone adaptor. The reason behind this is that the Digiflip uses OMTP standard, which pretty much everyone else has abandoned. If you want to use your Apple devices compatible existing earphone on the Digiflip or the Digiflip earphone on other new electronic devices, you’ll need to use the bundled CTIA-OMTP converter. As far as the earphone itself is concerned, it’s not very good. But, even using a different pair will only help improve sound quality marginally, as Digiflip’s audio processor itself seems to produce a lot of noise.

Connectivity options include dual-SIM 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and USB OTG. There’s no NFC. The battery is not removable and is rated at 3000 mAh battery with a talk time of around 8 hours. Digiflip ships with 16 gigs of internal storage (out of which about 12 gigs is available to the user), and supports micro SD cards up to 32 GB.

Software

The Digiflip runs an almost stock Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean). While I’m glad that Flipkart chose to provide a near stock experience, it’s disappointing that the version of Android that Digiflip is shipping with is over sixteen months old. Given that there are no custom modifications to handle, I don’t understand why the Digiflip couldn’t ship with KitKat. What’s worrying is that Flipkart hasn’t even committed to shipping KitKat or newer builds.

Flipkart Digiflip Homescreen
Flipkart Digiflip -Homescreen
Flipkart Digiflip - Version Info
Flipkart Digiflip – Version Info

While Flipkart hasn’t modified the core Android experience, the Digiflip comes bundled with Flipkart shopping and eBook apps, which aren’t removable. The eBook app comes bundled with a dozen eBooks work Rs. 2, 300, while the shopping app includes various coupons with a cumulative discount of Rs. 5000. Each coupon can only be used once, and is valid until the end of the year.

Flipkart Digiflip - Free eBooks
Flipkart Digiflip – Free eBooks

Conclusion

The Digiflip is a rather well rounded tablet, whose main draw is obviously the low price point (Rs. 9,999). The added goodies thrown in by Flipkart (including a Platronics Bluetooth headset) sweeten the deal further. The weakest link of the Digiflip is its low-end chipset, which makes it unsuitable for heavy duty tasks. The camera output is also disappointing. However, the near stock Android helps the tablet to remain snappy and it’s well suited as a media consumption device. The Digiflip is all about making the right compromises. It doesn’t have any killer features to set it apart from the crowd. However, there’ also no Achilles’ heels. For a budget tablet, that can often prove to be enough.

Barnes & Noble Breaks Down the Walls, Nook Gets Access to Play Store and Other Google Apps

One of the oft-cited drawbacks of the Barnes and Noble Nook has been its closed ecosystem. Both the Nook HD and the Nook HD+ are attractively priced competent Android tablets. Yet, their sales have been so underwhelming that at one point B&N was reportedly considering quitting the hardware business. The Nook’s biggest weakness is its poor app catalogue. Nook runs a heavily customized version of Android that only allowed users to access its own app catalogue, which housed just a few thousand apps (a good chunk of which are paid). By comparison, the Google Play Store has nearly a million apps in its catalogue. Amazon also takes a similar approach with its Kindle tablets. However, thanks to heavy promotion and great deals, the Amazon App Store has has managed to cross the 75,000 mark.

All this is changing now. Barnes and Noble is pushing out an update to its Nook HD users, which will bring down the wall and provide access to the Google Play Store. Since, Google’s Android app offering is a “take it all or leave it” proposition, Nook is now sporting Google’s full suite of apps including Gmail, Chrome, Maps, and YouTube. As of now, the update is restricted to the Nook HD and Nook HD+, with no mention of Nook Tablet and Color owners.

Barnes-Noble-Nook-Update-Play-Store

Obviously, the new open stance from B&N means that you get access to your full catalogue of Android apps that you might have purchased on some other device. Apps installed via the B&N app store are now watermarked with an ‘n’ on the icon to indicate its source. The update also makes it possible to install Amazon Kindle on your Nook, and enjoy content you might have purchased from Barnes and Noble’s biggest competitor.

Both Nook HD and Nook HD+ are good pieces of hardware that were being held back by the software. The latest update liberates the tablets from the Barnes and Noble’s walled garden, and users will finally be able to realize the full potential of the devices they paid for.

Videocon Launches Dual-Core Jelly Bean Tablet for Rs. 11000

Google and Amazon rained on the parade of budget Android tablet manufacturers with the Nexus and Kindle Fire series respectively. However, both of those devices aren’t officially available in India, which has left the field open for Indian brands as well as Chinese manufacturers. Videocon is hoping to grab a slice of this market with its new VT10 tablet.

Videocon-VT10-Tablet

As you might have guessed from the naming scheme, the Videocon VT10 is a 10” tablet. It sports a capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280×800, which is pretty good for a budget tablet. It’s powered by a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor, which is again better than what is found in most budget tablets in India, but not as powerful as the Nvidia Tegra 3. The VT10 is equipped with 1 gigabyte of RAM, and 8 gigabytes of storage. You will almost certainly fill up the limited internal storage quickly. Thankfully, the VT10 includes support for external memory up to 32 GB. Both front and rear-cams are 2 megapixels, and the battery is rated at a hefty 6800mAh. The VT10 is Wi-Fi only, but supports 3G dongles. The default packaging includes an adapter, headset, battery, HDMI cable, OTG cable, and manual.

On paper, the VT10 appears to be a competitive tablet, which makes just the right compromises. However, its biggest draw isn’t really the hardware specifications. It’s the software and the price. The Videocon VT10 ships with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and is available for purchase from Snapdeal and HomeShop18 for Rs. 11200 (about $204) with free shipping.

PengPod Brings a true Linux Tablet with Dual Boot

There are a number of Android tablets in the market, but very few of them are marketed as being purely open devices. There are some other manufacturers as well, who have taken a shot at creating Linux based tablets, but have never been popular. The open-source tablet ecosystem is dominated by Android, which provides an unmatched experience with its apps. However, PengPod might change this notion with its dual boot tablet, which runs on both Android and Linux.

This dual boot tablet is powered by an ARM Cortex A8 processor and has a MALI 400 GPU with OpenGL support. It runs on an 800 MHz DDR3 RAM extendable up to 1 GB. The PengPod supports a max of 2160p video playback, and has an USB port, an HDMI port and is quite powerful. The processor has a low power consumption for its specs, which gives it a high power efficiency. The Allwinner Linux kernel source is open source and is well maintained, and this has been a big help for the PengPod tablet.

The tablet is priced at $120 and it would not be wise to expect a Nexus 10 like finesse from this tablet. However, it is a great attempt, and they are running a fundraiser on Indiegogo that will go towards improving the project.

Our experience has proven it takes a lot of time to locate, research, build and run all the pieces needed for a working A10 Linux system. We are working to coalesce all these parts into a stable image so users can be up and running right away. Our time is precious and every hour we can avoid redoing something that already works is another we can spend hacking!

Learn more at PengPod.com. Also, consider making a donation at this Indiegogo campaign.

Acer Unveils The A700 Tablet Packing a FullHD Display and Running Ice Cream Sandwich

Acer has unveiled a bunch of new devices in a pre-CES event in Las Vegas, including ultrabooks, a new cloud service and a new tablet – the A700. The tablet had made a pre-CES special appearance in Russia late last year.

The A700 is among the first Android tablets to come with a 10.1-inch display with a whopping FullHD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Internally, the tablet packs in a gig of RAM, a microSD card slot, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a bunch of sensors. While not the thinnest, the A700 is relatively thin with a 9.8mm waistline.

The A700 is powered by a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core SoC from Nvidia and runs in the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – with some minor modifications from Acer.

Acer did not announce anything about the pricing of the tablet or as to when the A700 will hit the retail stores. Compared to all the previous tablet offerings from Acer, the A700 is definitely a step up. Now, if only the company can price the tablet right and release it quickly as well.