The tablet wars are approaching at a frenzied pace as the latest entrants viz. Beetel’s Rs. 9,999 tablet and Reliance’s 3G Tab price at Rs. 12,990 are sure to make a killing, if they perform well enough. Keeping that in mind, we naturally wanted to see just how good a Rs. 13,000 tablet would be and what it would offer. The Reliance 3G Tab made it to our labs and we got to work. Here’s a closer look.
Reliance 3G Tab
Although it’s not unlike any old tablet including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the simplistic and no frills look of the 3G Tab made me feel quite comfortable. It’s equipped with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, which makes for pretty accurate control and it sports a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, which keeps colours and images reasonably sharp. ZTE are the OEM for this device, which is quite a backing considering the fact that these guys work with companies like Dell. On one side is a 3.5mm handsfree socket and a micro USB port for charging and PC interfacing is on the other. A power/Sleep button is placed on another side just above the volume rocker. The 3G Tab's Linkpack score showed an MFLOPS read out of 7.0 which is not as high as most high-end smartphones but almost at level with some of the lower end devices.
Quite like the Galaxy Tab but way cheaper
The 3G Tab comes with 8GB of internal space and supports up to 32GB via micro SD cards. Reliance even throws in a 4GB card with the device. A minor issue is that this may be the only tablet that requires you to remove the battery to access the memory card. Bad move. Other than that, the 3G Tab is quite well designed, and weighs in at 389g, which is just a few grams heavier than Samsung’s Galaxy Tab P1000, but it won’t really bother you.
Slim and easy to manage
Features and Performance
With an 800MHz processor backing it up, the 3G Tab runs Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread. It doesn’t however, manage to do it seamlessly. There’s a touch of lag that’s quite evident when it comes to transitions between screens, changing orientation and opening apps. Things ran just a little smoother after we installed Go-Launcher making it the default UI, but it still wasn’t as slick as we expected. Nevertheless, the 3G Tab ran quite well and managed to do almost everything well enough considering the price. Reliance has neither offered any major customization to the UI nor any substantial amount of free apps preloaded. Notifications for the number of emails, messages or missed calls shows up on the lockes screen, but can’t be accessed individually.
Not a very customised UI
Reliance has equipped their 3G with Dolby Mobile Audio Enhancement technology to boost its audio capabilities and it does so with panache. The music player’s settings, under the Dolby Mobile section include seven presets and two customizable options with an eight band graphic EQ three preset Environment settings, as well as three more of adding Natural Bass enhancement. It might not be as intense as a Cowon’s, but you will never ever have to peak the volume on this device, even if you’re in a crowded train, unless of course, you like pushing your eardrums till the limit. At three quarter of the volume, the music is crystal clear with just a tiny bit of a hiss in the background. Although the bundled handsfree kit is quite comfortable and provides decent audio, I highly recommend a better set of earphones and believe me that investment will pay off in spades.
Superb music quality with Dolby Mobile thrown in for effect
Video playback support is not as high-end as some other devices out there. For example, the list of formats that are compatible with this device include MP4, H.263/H.264 and 3GP, of course. You can, of course, easily get a player off of the Android market to play any and all other formats. The 3G Tab is not however capable of playing full HD or even 720p videos. The maximum resolution that works best with the 3G Tab is 800 x 480. The Dolby Mobile settings also help boost the audio quality for videos, as well.
An FM radio is also on board and although it didn’t really provide the very best signal reception while commuting through the city, it was pretty good when stationary. A sound recorder and Google’s Voice search is also available.