My iPod Touch went dead (technically life support). It was failing to charge properly. It would stop for no reason, and act in an erratic behavior. Considering I had this player since 2009, I am satisfied with the work I got into it. However, 5 years ago was some better days. Simply put, there was no desire to keep a player where I will be forced to use iTunes which have been becoming more of a Pain in the Ass with every update. So with my iPod Touch about to no longer function, I needed a new media player. I wanted a few things with my new player such as:
- Android OS (iOS is too expensive, and iTunes has a lack of confidence)
- A sufficient enough screen to function as a bedside clock
- Sufficient space to hold a large collection of music
- A good dim setting on the screen
The Hisense is not a great player, but it is good enough. Considering I needed something on a budget as if I had $250 or more, I would have acquired a Nexus. I got the HiSense about 12PM today, and therefore had it for about 8 hours. I of course charged it which the plug gave me a hard time in plugging in. The Sero 7 has a dual core 1.6Ghz CPU, 1GB of memory, and 2GB of storage (although much is used by the OS, and software). It has a front side camera which I am not so interested in – but no rear camera. It connects with Wifi-N, and has no cellular connectivity. It has microUSB, HDMI, 3.5mm Audio, and a micro-SDHC (32GB capacity). All of these ports and jacks are on the top. The power and volume is towards the top left, and problematically close. The tablet is exclusively available at Walmart, and their page noted that it had Android 4.1, and Android 3.0. Obviously, one was a typo, and thankfully for Walmart, the tablet has 4.1 and would have been returned if it was lower. The tablet has most of the Google Applications, but for some reason is not capable of installing Google Keep. This means it will never serve as my primary tablet (and therefore still need such).
It was cheap. I bought it for about $90 with taxes, and S&H. While I would have wanted something better, my budget constraints will force otherwise. The screen resolution isn’t great, but good enough. Even after removing almost all of the software I would never use, I only had about 600MB of storage for applications. And Vudu can not be uninstalled. The screen is responsive, and the applications load well enough considering. The tablet also has a good enough shape for it as well.
The back has been slippery. It went out of my hands twice today, and thankfully the headphones has lessen the impact. The front camera is horrible, and unusable for anything other than the most basic of video chatting in extremely good lighting conditions. The placement of the buttons, and connections are odd to say the least, and will take some getting used to. And while the CPU, and memory is sufficient, you have 2GB of storage. If you want to do anything beyond what they gave you, expect to get a micro-SDHC card. I personally spent $25 at Amazon for a 32GB card which will hold all of my media. Yes, you can use Pandora, and Play Music, but if you leave your home network, you better have a cellular router.
The tablet also has decided to disconnect itself when it doesn’t think it needs to be connected to the Wifi Network. If you want this device to provide a second screen for email, Twitter services, and other social networks, you may be giving this tablet a few choice words. It also gave me some problems with my WiMax router. And while I know WiMax isn’t the best choice, this tablet still gave problems with connections. It didn’t give any problems with home router
The keyboard is terrible. I am actually considering looking into another keyboard. Since I am happy with the Google Keyboard on my Nexus 4, I never thought of a suitable replacement. Which brings me to another issue. This tablet does not have stock Android on it. It has a somewhat modified UI, and while it is not the kind that screams in your face such as LG’s or Samsung’s – the placement of certain things is not where they should be with the stock version.
The tablet went through 3-4 updates, and while I never complain about updates, these updates didn’t update the OS (still at 4.1.1). This leads me to believe there were some serious bugs with the drivers, or the UI changes. In other words, Hisense didn’t take time to make sure their tablet worked properly. With so many updates in the first day, you would expect an OS update. And as I mentioned before, there are some software issues – even with Google apps. While Google Keep is a minor program, there could be other programs that won’t work. I guess it shouldn’t be a big issue since you only have about 600MB of storage.
There is no Bluetooth. With Bluetooth built into most CPUs, it would seem as if every device should have Bluetooth. If you want a wireless listening experience, you are SOL. Also, there doesn’t seem to be an Auto-Brightness feature which means no ambient light sensor. The accelerometer also seems to be a little too sensitive switching from vertical to horizontal on the screen at a whim.
Yes, I know this is a sub-$100 tablet, and you get what you pay for, but if Walmart is doing as Amazon where they hope to make their money on after market purchases (such as Vudu content), you would think that this tablet will have a value of $125. For that, I would have expected more storage and maybe someway to have a kickstand or other means of propping up the tablet. If they are shoving Vudu down my throat, you would figure they will put more thought in how a person will use the tablet. And as with many devices these days – no removable battery. At least I can store 32GB of content (with a Micro-SD card)
If you are like me, and very tight on money, this might be a Good Enough tablet. However, there is nothing great about this tablet. Most good things about this tablet is just Good Enough. However, it does seem as if you can eliminate all non-OS apps with the exception of Vudu. Again, app management is just good enough. Based on first day experience, the tablet will last most of the day. However, a better solution if you can spend an extra $50 might be the HP Slate 7. At least, there is a chance in hell to get an update. I have no confidence of any OS updates with the Hisense. If you are like me, and want a much better tablet, try to save the $250 for an Nexus 7. While this tablet (with the SD card) will have more storage, you will likely get a great experience.
However, this tablet will be a primary tablet until I can afford for a Nexus 7. Once that happens, it will be demoted to home media device. As a home media player with clock functionality, Good Enough is probably Good Enough.