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Chinese tablets - pros and cons. Why not have a 'best of' list?


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Old 07-12-2012, 09:49
pfgpowell
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Last week, I received an 8in Ployer Momo8 IPS bought from China and I was pleasantly surprised. However, I am selling it again and getting a Cube Whatever (so keep an eye out on eBay as I shanít set a minimum price for the Momo8 and all other things being equal - see below - it could be a snatch for someone).

Overall it was, for £99, exceptionally good value - zippy, zippy, zippy with a dual core chip and Android 4.1.1., a very nice screen and out of the box absolutely nothing to complain about and a great deal to praise.

The trouble was - and this canít be blamed on the tablet itself - because it came with Jellybean, I couldnít watch TV live on iPlayer, which was one of the reasons I bought it. If you launched BBC Media Player and then iPlayer, you were taken to the web mobile site and you werenít allowed to use the desktop site. (I tried with the 4.1.1. browser, Firefox, Opera, Dolphin and Chrome.)

Oddly, I once did manage to raise live BBC 1, but didnít know how I did it and was subsequently unable to do so again. And there were quite a few more apps, e.g. bank apps, I regualrly use on my smartphone that also donít yet work on Jellybean.

Actually, I could have lived with that, given as everything else available on iPlayer was accessible, but what disappointed me was that the micro USB port lasted about five minutes before (apparently) shutting up shop and no longer working. It did work at first (and attaching a 3 Huawei mobile dongle worked a treat, the tablet recognising it and connecting to the web without any software having to be installed - accessing the web when out and about and nowhere near wifi was another reason I bought it).

I do suspect I was to blame for cocking up the micro USB port simply by not being careful enough inserting a micro cable - it seems as though while inserting the micro cable, I pushed back the gubbins in the port etc and that it is now recessed and a connection is no longer being made. The upshot is that I canít use it any more. But that really isnít good enough. Tech goods should be a lot - a lot - sturdier than that. Although I admit the damage was probably my fault, I can honestly say that I didn't force anything.

It is obviously still under warranty (though the warranty card is only in Chinese, so there is no way I could have registered the tablet), but given that I might have been to blame and, more pertinently, it would cost an arm and a leg to ship back to China for repairs, I have decided to sell it and get another tablet. Which brings me to the point of this post.

I emailed the store I got it from, detailing what I have written above and asking whether they could recommend a tablet (which, furthermore, still shipped with Android 4.0.3, the one I use on my smartphone). Their reply was quite interesting. Here it is:

Regarding the USB issue, have you tried some application like ďWifi ExplorerĒ which will let you transfer, download, read file on your device by using wifi (no cable needed), you will access your device through your internet browser. You will forget the usb cable forever.

For the Momo8 wifi power, have you tried application such as Wifi Booster?

It is true that some manufacturers will cut cost by using low quality components. We can advise you these brands, Window (now Vido), Cube, Onda, Ainol, Ramos.

Window has quite good product and Ramos too, their quality are a bit higher than the other brands.


This store sells a whole range of tablets, a great many made by firms not listed about (including, I notice, Ployer) which they tacitly acknowledge arenít quite up to scratch or, at least, not half as well-made as others. I think itís more than likely that loads of the Chinese firms just buy in parts and assemble them and obviously a great many buy in cheaper parts. That would suggest itís best to buy a brand from a big firm with a reputation to protect, though as Ployer is one such firm, perhaps the argument doesnít quite hold water.)

Before opting for the Momo8, I scoured the net for several weeks looking for reviews, complaints, plaudits etc about different cheaper Chinese tablets to decide which to get. And, I repeat, except for the hassle with the micro USB port - admittedly a big Ďexceptí - the Momo8 really is good value for money.

Given that were one able to get a better quality Chinese tablet, they would be worth getting by someone who simply couldnít afford an iPad or one of the more mainstream brands or who simply didinít want to pay the price. For example, almost all the Chinese ones come with an mini HDMI port and the ability to use an SD micro card which the mainstream ones donít.

So it really would be helpful for a Ďbest of listí of the bargain Chinese tablets similar to the list of mainstream brand tablets.

PS. I havenít a clue about second-league, non-Chinese tablets such as Archos, TouchTab, Storage Solutions and Yarvik and the rest of the lesser brands available form places such as Maplin and Tesco, for which there are evaluations online and in magazines, except that none seems to get a ringing endorsement.
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:00
lamblamlamb
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Do you not use "TV catch up" that does live BBC streaming + the other digital channels. Not sure if works with Jelly bean though but am pretty sure it's it own app that does not use flash (which I am assuming is the reason you can't use Iplayer)
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:35
Anika Hanson
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Do you not use "TV catch up" that does live BBC streaming + the other digital channels. Not sure if works with Jelly bean though but am pretty sure it's it own app that does not use flash (which I am assuming is the reason you can't use Iplayer)
Tv catch up works on my tablet running jelly bean.
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:42
SkipTracer
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Interesting point about the USB port as I am disabled and get into a bit of a struggle sometimes when I charge my ZTE San Francisco and my Huawei G300 and in particular the SF as this has its USB charging port on the side and is a sod to get the USB lead in the right way round and quite often find I am forcing the plug in upside down however on both these cheap phones they have handled my abuse of them very well.

So going by that there is cheap and there is very cheap.

I hear conflicting thing about Jelly Bean and video players. I have a Samsung Tab 2 with ICS 4.0.4 and it has a 4.1 JB update waiting for me to get up the courage to press the download button as over on another thread everybody is saying no problems with catch up or live TV but here I read different and itís not just here I have read this. I am going to wait a week or two before I update and see if anything surfaces...

... or curiosity gets me and I update anyways.
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:59
Anika Hanson
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Interesting point about the USB port as I am disabled and get into a bit of a struggle sometimes when I charge my ZTE San Francisco and my Huawei G300 and in particular the SF as this has its USB charging port on the side and is a sod to get the USB lead in the right way round and quite often find I am forcing the plug in upside down however on both these cheap phones they have handled my abuse of them very well.

So going by that there is cheap and there is very cheap.

I hear conflicting thing about Jelly Bean and video players. I have a Samsung Tab 2 with ICS 4.0.4 and it has a 4.1 JB update waiting for me to get up the courage to press the download button as over on another thread everybody is saying no problems with catch up or live TV but here I read different and itís not just here I have read this. I am going to wait a week or two before I update and see if anything surfaces...

... or curiosity gets me and I update anyways.
I think the problem at the moment for those services is for those devices (nexus) running jelly bean 4.2.

The catch up services seem to have been optimised for 4.1 but the developers havent made them compatible with 4.2 yet.
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Old 07-12-2012, 18:02
pfgpowell
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Do you not use "TV catch up" that does live BBC streaming + the other digital channels. Not sure if works with Jelly bean though but am pretty sure it's it own app that does not use flash (which I am assuming is the reason you can't use Iplayer)
Well, it might work on the Jellybean tablet of the chap who posted after you posted, but I tried it and although it worked, it was not very good, kept stuttering, that kind of thing. Of course, there could be all sorts of other reasons for that as well.
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Old 07-12-2012, 18:05
pfgpowell
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Interesting point about the USB port as I am disabled and get into a bit of a struggle sometimes when I charge my ZTE San Francisco and my Huawei G300 and in particular the SF as this has its USB charging port on the side and is a sod to get the USB lead in the right way round and quite often find I am forcing the plug in upside down however on both these cheap phones they have handled my abuse of them very well.

So going by that there is cheap and there is very cheap.

I hear conflicting thing about Jelly Bean and video players. I have a Samsung Tab 2 with ICS 4.0.4 and it has a 4.1 JB update waiting for me to get up the courage to press the download button as over on another thread everybody is saying no problems with catch up or live TV but here I read different and itís not just here I have read this. I am going to wait a week or two before I update and see if anything surfaces...

... or curiosity gets me and I update anyways.
I have ICS on my g300 and it works a treat, so my advice would be to let sleeping dogs lie for a few months until there is def confirmation that all niggles have been ironed out. It's a shame, really, because in so many other respects the Momo8 I bought is rather good and if you don't mind missing out on having the cachet of owning an iPad - and I really don't mind at all - all other things being equal - which, of course, they aren't - the Momo8 does the trick and then some. But build quality? Hmm. Maybe it was a Friday afternoon tablet.
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Old 07-12-2012, 18:08
pfgpowell
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Do you not use "TV catch up" that does live BBC streaming + the other digital channels. Not sure if works with Jelly bean though but am pretty sure it's it own app that does not use flash (which I am assuming is the reason you can't use Iplayer)
In theory, the BBC came out with its own Media Player app to do the work Flash did, but on Jellybean I am simply continually referred to the web mobile iPlayer site, which doesn't do live, and when I request the desktop site I get a message which - paraphrase - says '**** off, no, you can't!'
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:34
lamblamlamb
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In theory, the BBC came out with its own Media Player app to do the work Flash did, but on Jellybean I am simply continually referred to the web mobile iPlayer site, which doesn't do live, and when I request the desktop site I get a message which - paraphrase - says '**** off, no, you can't!'
I think you need to download that app before hand if I can remember. I got ICS so I can't really say
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Old 12-12-2012, 16:27
ftsemonks
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Interesting point about the USB port as I am disabled and get into a bit of a struggle sometimes when I charge my ZTE San Francisco and my Huawei G300 and in particular the SF as this has its USB charging port on the side and is a sod to get the USB lead in the right way round and quite often find I am forcing the plug in upside down however on both these cheap phones they have handled my abuse of them very well.

So going by that there is cheap and there is very cheap.

I hear conflicting thing about Jelly Bean and video players. I have a Samsung Tab 2 with ICS 4.0.4 and it has a 4.1 JB update waiting for me to get up the courage to press the download button as over on another thread everybody is saying no problems with catch up or live TV but here I read different and itís not just here I have read this. I am going to wait a week or two before I update and see if anything surfaces...

... or curiosity gets me and I update anyways.
I have the Samsung tab 2 7 just got Jelly Bean update and catch up tv plays great, BBC IPlayer, ITV Player play great too. 40D on the internet with the browser on the device also plays great too.
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Old 13-12-2012, 11:09
TonyOther
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Here's my contribution to the list: Cube should come bottom of a Best Of list.
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Old 13-12-2012, 12:52
Rodney McKay
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In theory, the BBC came out with its own Media Player app to do the work Flash did, but on Jellybean I am simply continually referred to the web mobile iPlayer site, which doesn't do live, and when I request the desktop site I get a message which - paraphrase - says '**** off, no, you can't!'
Can't you use the other website that lets you watch BBC live TV?

www.bbc.co.uk/Tv

My Playbook happily plays live TV from that.
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Old 13-12-2012, 19:05
jabbamk1
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http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showt...6#post62955236
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Old 13-12-2012, 20:12
pfgpowell
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Thanks, that's helpful. Not surprised about Huawei and Lenovo topping the list as I have a very good Huawei phone and a very, very good 11in Lenovo laptop. I also know that before aiming at brand status, Huawei made their money from producing goods for others to brand and are also well-respected in the the non-domestic computer market. (There was a spat a few months ago when it won a computer contract for the Canadian government and some were about 'security' as the contract was going to a Chinese company.)
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Old 13-12-2012, 21:46
jabbamk1
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Thanks, that's helpful. Not surprised about Huawei and Lenovo topping the list as I have a very good Huawei phone and a very, very good 11in Lenovo laptop. I also know that before aiming at brand status, Huawei made their money from producing goods for others to brand and are also well-respected in the the non-domestic computer market. (There was a spat a few months ago when it won a computer contract for the Canadian government and some were about 'security' as the contract was going to a Chinese company.)
Yep Huawei and Lenovo are two very good quailty premium brands inside (and to some extent outside) China. I like Lenovo's CEO for what he did earlier this year. Yes it was a publicity stunt but at least he followed through with it unlike some Chinese CEO's who just take a picture of a cheque meant to go to charity/workers and then just pocket it after the camera has left.
http://news.yahoo.com/ceo-lenovo-giv...nvestment.html


Sorry to hear about the micro USB port on your tablet. the one on my phone is working for now and i'm surprised because i got it in early september and it's still working now with no problems yet. (touch wood)
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