Let’s face it, this isn’t going to be the greatest thing in the world. Quad-core it may be, but in all honesty it’s going to be about as terrible as most of the 7″ Android tablets you see on eBay direct from China. It’s called the “Q8″, even though it’s got a 7″ screen. I don’t know. Perhaps “Q8″ is the manufacturer. If it is, they’ve not even bothered to give it a model name.
Coming complete with a probably terrible 800×480 pixel screen and 1GB RAM, it has 4GB storage and WiFi. It doesn’t look to have Bluetooth, GPS or a microSD card slot, which is naff. I was going to grab this to use as an internet radio, but if I can’t hook it up to a Bluetooth speaker I’ll need to plug a speaker into the 3.5mm audio port, which it actually does have.
If you want a VERY cheap and probably NOT VERY good tablet, it could be worth a punt maybe. Stick it on the wall and use it as a control panel for something, I don’t know. Whatever floats your boat. For this price I could stick it on the wall and just have it showing images constantly from my Dropbox account, albeit at 800×480.
Oh, there’s a couple of VGA cameras on-board too, but believe me, you won’t be using them. They’re terrible.
Before long, you won't have to choose between charging your phone quickly and plunking it on a convenient wireless charger. The Wireless Power Consortium has rolled out a new version of the Qi standard that supports 15W fast wireless charging, much like the sort we saw late last year. The organization isn't making any performance claims at the moment, and it'll be a while before phone makers have compatible devices on store shelves. However, it's safe to say that this will save you some agonizing wait times -- you could return home from work, drop your phone on a pad and expect to have a meaningful amount of energy when you head out for the evening.
Not a fan of the iPhone 6's less-than-flattering antenna lines? Neither is Apple, apparently. The company has filed for a patent on a composite material that looks like anodized metal, but still allows wireless signals to get through. You'd get a cleaner-looking phone (or computer, or tablet) without watching your reception take a nosedive. It could be used to blend other surfaces into a device, too, such as the trackpad on a laptop.
I have now had this tablet for a few weeks now and I was holding back on the review until a few software updates had been delivered. Since I did the unboxing video back in April it has been a very busy time for the Remix as it has now shipped to all the Kickstarter backers including the Infamous KS 155 (the group that broke Kickstarter). Jide Technology (the makers of the tablet) have also been busy pushing out tweaks for the OS including a couple of keyboard fixes. There has also been the announcement that Lollipop will be coming to the device in late June. So they have been busy and I have been busy testing the tablet out as my daily driver.
I am not going to spend too much time covering this as I have already covered it in the unboxing and first impressions piece. Here is a quick montage of some hardware pics for you to check out.
Here is a gallery showing off the tablet’s hardware
I have been very impressed with the hardware and I have not experienced a huge amount of issues unlike some of the other Kickstarter backers. The biggest issue’s I have had with the hardware have been with the keyboard and these were rectified in the first round of software updates that came out at the same time as the backers tablets started shipping.
I am still not hugely impressed with the kickstand as it feels like it will break away from the tablet. I don’t actually think that it will break off but it is just an niggling thought that sits at the back of my head. What I have found when I compared it in size with my other machines is that although the screen is 11.6”, the device actually takes up the same footprint as a Surface Pro 3. This is due to the relatively large bezels, whilst these allow you to hold the device fairly well I think they are too big. I can only hope that they are reduced slightly on the next version which I am sure is being worked on.
I do find that 11.6” is a bit too big for me and if I was going to be buying a new tablet device the biggest screen I would be going for is 10.1” as this is really the sweet spot for me. I like to be able to use my tablet for reading as well as video and I feel that the 11.6” screen is too unwieldy in portrait as the centre of gravity is just in the wrong place.
This is the real point of the device these days as it offers the user a very different experience from that of a normal Android tablet. The Remix OS kinda feels like someone put a drunk Chromebook and an Android KitKat tablet in a room and let nature take its place!
Let me explain what I mean, imagine using a launcher that doesn’t allow you to have widgets on the display and that has no app drawer and you are halfway there. Then you need to bring the Taskbar from Chrome OS and the fact that you can pin the most used apps to the task bar. The next little item on top of that is that the multitasking is done in the same way as Chromebooks.
So you have all your active apps in the task bar and then you click on them as and when you need them or even Alt-Tab to change them as you do on Windows. The next unique thing that can be done here is that you can run apps in either phone mode or fullscreen mode. When running in the phone mode you are able to have up to 3 apps side by side(four is possible with overlaps).
This makes for a much neater and better multitasking system which sounds great. However in practice it is slightly jarring, I find myself wishing for the split screen functionality that you see on Windows 8.1 instead of the phone mode. I think it is because for me I just prefer working in the full screen version of apps instead of windowed phone representations. This is of course a personal preference and some of you may love the idea, but it does take some getting used to. A nice touch is that you can copy and paste between the phone mode apps without any issue which does work wonders for editing content and collaborating between two apps. You are also allowed to have an app in a phone mode in front of an app in fullscreen mode but it does not “stick” which I think is a missed opportunity as that would be immensely useful. Imagine having Hangouts open with Word underneath in fullscreen mode but that being the active window which you are working in. To be fair to Remix OS this is something that cannot be done on either Windows or OS X.
Remix OS does come with some custom preinstalled apps which are designed for the tablets screen size and to best make use of the modes concept. If I am honest I have barely given them much notice as I am heavily invested into the Android OS as it is and I have my apps working the way I want them to. On my device I also had the Chinese App store and Chinese feedback App, this is purely because I was using a prototype device and I have had it confirmed by other Kickstarter backers that this is not the case for them.
The notifications area is a bit different from what you will have seen on any other Android device, in that when you drag down from the top of the device you will see your missed notifications grouped on a per app basis. Until you tap on the apps name you will not see the information within. This seems illogical to me as to why it is a good thing as it requires an extra unnecessary step to access your information.
Alongside this you have the option for your settings which are laid out in a screen those accustomed to the Windows 8.1 tiles will find familiar it allows you to get to all the main things quickly and easily enough. To be honest I will normally just use the settings icon on the desktop.
Once you get into settings the layout is familiar to any Android 4.4.4 device, although some things are not present but that is because they are not really needed. One thing I would have liked to see is the option to invert the scrolling direction on the trackpad but alas no it is not there I am not sure if this is android specific thing or not.
That brings me onto the software keyboard, which you will hardly ever see if I’m honest it is pretty good as it is using the the AOSP layout but for those wanting swipe input you will need to download the Google keyboard which I have done.
Like on any other tablet the soft keyboard will take up half of the vertical display which make sit largely useless for any real work. But with the hardware keyboard you shouldn’t really need to use it. One thing to note is that if the hardware keyboard is connected the soft one will not appear unless it is folded flat against the back of the tablet. In this position it will most likely come off anyway due to the magnets not being able to hold it in place properly so you might as well just remove it for that scenario.
Overall I like what Jide are doing with the software I just think that there is a large amount of work to be done to polish it up and I am pleased to say that this is being done as we are currently getting updates more or less every week all of which are in response to customers feedback. This is really what the Remix Ultra tablet s about in its current form, a testbed to develop the OS for future endeavours, but more on that later.
For those of you wanting an all singing all dancing powerhouse PC replacement then this is not going to be for you in fact it is not even close. However if you are looking for a fluid and functional machine to work on then this might be a worthwhile investment. The device is running on a Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset with a 4+1 configuration allowing the machine to dial back to one core when it is needed i.e. in sleep state. That being said I have used slower tablets that have cost more so I am still impressed. I have run some benchmarks on the Remix and I am going to be using the Xperia Z Tablet as my comparison. The reason I have chosen them is I have owned it and it is similar in specs albeit with different processor manufacturers. Here goes;-
Xperia Z Tablet Antutu 20216 Quadrant 7215 Sunspider 1.0.2. 1629
So we can see that the Remix is performing much better than that of the Xperia Z Tablet however this is not surprising considering the different generation processors involved.
I also played Asphalt 8 on the Remix to test for lag and frame dropping here is a quick video showing this off.
It performed pretty well and I didn’t have much issue with frame dropping and lag but there was some in there. However for any one considering using this for games get a gamepad as otherwise it is very awkward as 11.6” plus bezels is a lot to wield as a gamer.
Battery Life and Power
This is one of the area that the Remix is a letdown as it should have a great battery life as it has a whopping 8000 mah battery but it just doesn’t last.
I am uncertain as to the cause of this issue but the guys at Jide a very busy trying to fix it and optimise it for longer life. I have been slightly spoiled by battery life due to my Xperia device over the years but that rate of decline is just not normal. Another handy feature is that if you connect a phone to the Remix it will actually allow it to be charged albeit very slowly. This can be done via the included Micro USB to USB break out adaptor take note Apple and others it was included for free!
The tablet can be charged wither via the proprietary connector or via a high ampage Micro USB charger. The charging times are not that different. What this does mean is that you can have a peripheral connected to the Remix whilst you charge it. Nice touch as this is something that is missing from most tablets other than the Surface range.
Other things of note
As I have mentioned a few times this tablet is very much a development tool to allow Jide to test things fro the next platform. It is very much like the a Nexus product in that respect, albeit one that is running CyanogenMod on it with the nightly updates being weekly. Jide recently attended CES Shanghai which was run in the last week or two and during that time they were there they showed off Remix OS on a variety of different form factors ranging from Tablets to All In One style devices. They are very keen to experiment and play with what can be done with the Remix OS and have made it open or OEMs to use it as the OS they ship tablets with.
Those who backed the Kickstarter Campaign after the tablets all sold out may have put a pledge of a few pound. This means that you will be getting sent a copy of Remix 1.5 when it is made final for free. Jide are looking to have this in place by the end of the year. What is Remix 1.5? Well in short it is Jide’s interpretation of Lollipop. This is great to see from such a young tech company and is doing it better than some of the bigger names out there.
UPDATE I have been invited to test the Remix 1.5 beta and I have got it running on the Remix as I type. I will add an article in the next few days once I have done some testing. It is a big improvement so far. More to come soon…..
How about a tablet with a 10″ IPS screen, Qualcomm quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and 4G connectivity for just £22.50 on a pay monthly deal with a £22.99 up-front cost?
O2 will soon be selling the new Huawei T1 10″ tablet in white. It’s powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, and has a slim (8.3mm) metallic unibody build with a 4800mAh battery for lengthy browsing, streaming and gaming. The tablet, which also has all the GPS and WiFi goodness, should be good for a full 12 hours of HD video playback or 6 and a half hours of WiFi use.
Around back, there’s a 5 megapixel shooter for snapping shots and a 2 megapixel selfie cam up front.
Sales Director at Huawei Technologies, Rhys Saunders, tells us ..
We are really excited to be launching the Huawei T1 10” which is an outstanding tablet designed for those who want to enjoy unparalleled entertainment. Its superior 10-inch IPS screen, 4G LTE connectivity and exceptional camera makes it the perfect tablet for those on the go this summer.
We can’t find it on the O2 website just yet, but it should be there soon enough,
HUAWEI launches the Huawei T1 10” tablet, helping you exceed the limits of entertainment
Stay connected on the go with the Huawei T1 10” and discover a life without boundaries
Huawei, the third biggest global smartphone provider in the world, has launched the stunning Huawei T1 10”. Delivering outstanding audio and visual entertainment with state of the art technology, the Huawei T1 10” boasts a slimmer frame making it easier to use anywhere, anytime.
Whether it’s watching HD movies or listening to your favourite tracks, the Huawei T1 comes equipped with a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor coupled with Android 4.4 KitKat to give the T1 a faster and smoother performance. With a 10-inch IPS LCD screen and state of the art speakers, the Huawei T1 delivers enhanced sound quality and stunning visual experience.
An all-round stylish device, the Huawei T1 10” is ultra-slim at just ~8.3mmwith a sleek metallic unibody design that fits seamlessly into your hand for ultimate ease of use. The large 4800mAh battery makes streaming videos and checking social networks easy, guaranteeing 12 hours playback for HD video, 6.5 hours on WiFi of non-stop entertainment as well as a staggering 570 hours on standby. With its multi-window screen and 2MP front facing camera, the Huawei T1 10” offers a superb visual experience, anywhere; while its 5MP rear camera means you can easily take and share pictures of your favourite moments this summer in an instant.
Rhys Saunders, Sales Director at Huawei Technologies UK said: “We are really excited to be launching the Huawei T1 10” which is an outstanding tablet designed for those who want to enjoy unparalleled entertainment. Its superior 10-inch IPS screen, 4G LTE connectivity and exceptional camera makes it the perfect tablet for those on the go this summer.”
HUAWEI T1 10” is available from May in White from O2 on a £22.50 pay monthly plan with a £22.99 upfront cost.
Getting streaming TV on your phone or tablet is great. You get to watch TV anywhere. However, if you’re out of the house and you don’t have a clever DVR or set-top box that’ll squirt the TV picture from your aerial to your device over your WiFi, you’re going to be using data.
Oh my days. Data is a precious commodity nowadays. Once we all had oodles of data but now there’s a bit of a premium on high data usage. Plus, if you’re going to be watching high quality streaming TV you’re at the mercy of the network coverage, throttling, congestion and b..uffeeerrriinngg…
An alternative is this thing, which picks up the digital TV signals that are washing around this great nation of ours. Then it gets squirted into a WiFi hotspot for you to join onto with your smartphone or tablet and watch the resulting video. It’s a battery-powered tuner with an aerial that lets you watch outside of your home via the on-device WiFi hotspot, but there’s also a “home network setting” so it can become part of your home WiFi. This means you can still browse the internet whilst watching TV.
There’s two models – the mains tuner (£64.99) which turns your tablet into an additional screen and a portable version (£69.99) which you can slot into your pocket. Get it on the TabletTV website or the mighty Amazon and then you and your friends can laugh hysterically at your tablet screen just like absolutely nobody ever does…
It’s not just a tuner though. It’ll also let you record TV shows and then play them back anytime. Great for long journeys or if you’re going abroad and you want to take a bit of TV from home. No buffering, no internet needed. Boom.
TabletTV for Android Devices Launched in UK TTV on Android and Apple in time for Wimbledon
Motive Television PLC (AIM: MTV), announces that the TabletTV UK app for Android devices are available for download on the Google Playstore. Users of the most popular Samsung Android tablets will be able to join those with iPads in being able to watch and record over-the-air television (Freeview in the UK) on their tablets in time for the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
Available from just £64.99, TabletTV is a simple device which lets you watch Freeview TV channels via your tablet anytime, anyplace and for free. There is no reliance on 3G, 4G or WI-FI, all you need is a TV signal, tablet and the free TabletTV app (available to download from the App Store and Google Playstore). You can even record live TV and watch it at a time that suit.
Key features: • Watch live television absolutely free on your tablet in most European countries* without any cables, satellite or internet • One-touch-recording so you can record and catch up on your favourite shows whenever you like • A home network feature allowing you to easily flick between the TV and internet, so you can join in conversations on social media without interrupting your viewing • Comes in two tuner models: the mains tuner (£64.99) enabling your tablet to act as an extra screen and a portable tuner (£69.99), which easily slips into a coat pocket or bag while you are out and about • Available to buy via the TabletTV website www.tablettv.co.uk or Amazon.co.uk – no subscription required
Those rumors of Google letting Android app developers experiment with what you see in the Play Store? Yes, they're true. Creators can now conduct tests to see what pricing works best, or whether one icon color is more alluring than others -- you'll only view one of each while the test is ongoing. Also, app makers are getting Developer Pages (shown above) that showcase all of their apps, so you'll have a one-stop shop for everything from your preferred brand. If all goes well, you'll find more Android apps with prices you're willing to pay, and you won't have to scrounge quite so much to get every app you need.
Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.
If you thought Microsoft's app deal with Samsung was surprising... well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows maker has reached agreements to bundle its apps and services on Android tablets from 20 companies. Most of these firms are small regional brands, but there are a few global powerhouses that include LG (which will include Microsoft on an unnamed future device) and Sony (starting with the Xperia Z4 Tablet). Yes, this probably means getting the Office suite and other apps you might not use much, if at all. However, it's evident that Microsoft doesn't mind -- it'd rather make its services as ubiquitous as possible than send you straight into Google's arms.
Want a tablet stand that’s cheap and portable? How does £3 grab you?
This one is made from strong cardboard and ideal for slipping into your case or bag. It’ll prop up your device and you can get a dozen of them for £16 – about the same price of one normal stand.
To be honest with you there’s really not a great deal more we can say about this particular product, so it’s perhaps best if you head to their website and scroll down to see just how easy it is to construct. You can also stick your phone in there and fold it all back up when you’re done.
The makers, Finchtail, tell us…
The Finchtail Tablet and Smartphone Stand supports handheld devices for an ultra-convenient hands-free experience. Whether squeezing in a few chapters before bed, watching a film on-the-go, powering through paragraphs while sipping on a coffee or getting utterly lost during a flight, the innovative Finchtail Tablet Stand is the perfect solution for turning tablets and smartphones into free standing devices.
If you want one, head to finchtail.com or dive into the press release below for more information.
Simple, Useful, Sustainable: Introducing Finchtail Tablet Stand
Inspired by design, sustainability and common sense, Finchtail is an innovative product start-up that aims to solve everyday problems in simple and stylish ways. Its first product is a Tablet and Smartphone Stand that re-thinks the approach to turning smart devices into hands free gadgets. The reusable and recyclable cardboard stand has already attracted acclaim in the design world, and has been featured by Design Week, BP&O and the coolector.com.
Initial business wins for the product have been encouraging. The Design Museum trialled it in their shop and promptly sold out of the initial order within a few days. En Route, a global travel firm recently featured Finchtail as one of its exciting new products at a major travel trade exhibition in Hamburg.
Built on visions of sustainability and common sense, the Finchtail Tablet and Smartphone Stand supports handheld devices for an ultra-convenient hands-free experience. Whether squeezing in a few chapters before bed, watching a film on-the-go, powering through paragraphs while sipping on a coffee or getting utterly lost during a flight, the innovative Finchtail Tablet Stand is the perfect solution for turning tablets and smartphones into free standing devices.
Finchtail are currently working on further product ideas that are simple and useful. They are also looking to develop an innovative collaborative product development pipeline where budding designers are able to work with Finchtail to get their ideas to market under the Finchtail brand umbrella providing the ideal home for their simple, useful products.
Martin Woodhouse, Founder of Finchtail said, “When we needed a simple, useful (and inexpensive) solution for a business presentation the product we wanted just wasn’t available to buy – so we created it. Taking the idea through to concept and to market has been a challenging and rewarding experience and we are thrilled to now be stocked by the Design Museum Shop.
“We worked hard with creative agency Believe In to create a distinctive brand identity that could be a host for lots of simple, useful ideas. Moving forward we are excited about what the Finchtail brand will stand for and what it could become with our approach to design collaboration. If you have an idea and want to work together to get it going give us a shout!”
The Tablet and Smartphone Stand is available to buy direct from the website — finchtail.com — as a single stand (£3), 6 stands (£16) or box of 12 stands (£30).
To find out more about the Finchtail Tablet Stand and join the smart, simple and sustainable technology revolution, go to: http://finchtail.com/
We’ve been covering smartphones since the Orange SPV and Microsoft Smartphone 2002. That, along with Microsoft Pocket PC, eventually became Windows Mobile 2003, then Windows Mobile 5.0, Windows Mobile 6.0, Windows Mobile 6.1, Windows Mobile 6.5 and then we had the whole “Windows Phone 7 Series” launch that quickly got renamed to Windows Phone 7. Now, with Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, Microsoft have made the decision to bring back the Windows Mobile brand, albeit as “Windows 10 Mobile”.
The details, revealed in this Microsoft post, show 7 versions of Windows. For mobile handsets you’ll see Windows 10 Mobile. For mobile tablets and business customers you’ll probably be seeing Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
The details are as follows..
Windows 10 Mobile – Delivering the best user experience on smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. This will give you the universal (previously known as Metro) apps included in Windows 10 Home, plus a touch-optimized version of Office.
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise – For business customers on smartphones and small tablets. Delivered to Volume Licensing customers and will give mobile device management and security
The OS should be available “this summer” according to Microsoft, and it looks like we need to rename our “Windows Phone” category once again. :)