Categories
Gadgets

Tecno Droipad 8H – A Hands On Review

TECNO DROIDPAD 8HINTRODUCTION

Reviews of this tablet is not very much available on the Internet. Worst still, the website of the manufacturer also do not have information on this device. Something akin to a mystery surrounds this tab.

It has been wrongly referred to as DROIDPAD and H8 in many online references, coupled with incorrect product specifications.

While its product specifications can be considered decent, there is no surprises here. Product differentiation among recent android devices, especially those manufactured by Chinese companies, can be considered trivial and almost non existent.
However, the Droipad 8H manages to differentiate itself in 2 key departments. More on this later.

TECNO 8H KEY FEATURES

Detailed device specifications, images and video reviews can be viewed here.

FIRST THOUGHTS

A few things have changed since i penned my first thoughts on this product (read here);

  1. OTA updates now works, but not with a 64GB memory card. I was able to achieve the update with a 2GB card. The 64 GB card, however, works well for regularly usage.
  2. Though this tablet charges somewhat slowly, power inverters and generator effectively charges it. Not sure if this good fortune was a result of a bug fix from the systems update.
  3. Side loading apps is a tad faster but still generally slow.
  4. And I still do not know where Tecno hid the game data of the games that came bundled with the tablet. Gigabytes of space remains tied up.

DESIGN AND BUILD

The trend is for manufacturers to have their products encased in very beautiful and attractive retail packages. Unfortunately, It is also a fact that some of these packages are probably worth more than the device itself.

That is not the case with Tecno.

The black variant of the Tecno Droipad 8H that I chose came in an all black beautiful retail packaging, with gold lettering.

Unboxing the package, the Droipad is the first thing that stares you in the face.

Carefully thought out and put together, the mature and premium feel that the retail packaging exuded continues with the device itself. Predominantly black with gold trimmings at the top and bottom edges, the gold colour choice was also extended to the volume and power buttons.

Digging deeper into the packaging, you can not help but wonder why such a premium designed product would come with such austere accessories; Flip case, decent earpiece and the mandatory charger. That is all! Not even a memory card!

The flip case that comes with it fits snugly onto the tablet giving it a protective feel. For those familiar with Tecno products, their flip case design has become somewhat boring as it does not seem to have changed at all over the years.

OUTSTANDING FEATURES

  • Audio

The speakers on this device would blow your mind. Audio quality is rich, mature and loud enough. Playback via the 3.5mm jack is also very good. For the audiophiles out there, i recommend this. Do not look any further.

The stereo speakers are located on the face of the tablet on its top and lower edges.

  • Battery

After 12 hours of moderate mixed use; WiFi on all through, light video watching, music playback, a game of scrabble, etc, the battery stood at 49%. Shocking, but true. To think Tecno quoted only 9 hours battery life for this device.

  • E-Reader

With about 2,000 epub ebooks, a sprinkle of Pdf files and my choice ebook app, Mantano, reading has been a joy. Scrolling through my ebook collections is a breeze, with almost unnoticeable lag.

OVERALL

It is a highly saturated market for Android devices. The tablets, especially, have never fared as well as the phones. Moreso, manufacturers have intentional crippled the features of tablets for reasons best known to them.

I will definitely chose the Droipad over any other tablet in the market, mainly because it managed to find the sweet spot between quality and price.

Definitely not the best in the market, but the audio quality and battery life is definitely too hard to ignore.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Blackberry Blues

As a very late adopter of RIM’s Blackberry services, I was just settling down to get high on the proverbial “Crackberry”. Alas, this is not going to be and already, buyer’s remorse is already setting in.

It started out with the usual delay in getting the BIS service enabled on my ergonomically friendly albeit cheap Blackberry Curve 8520. It took calls to a personal friend in Nigeria’s Glo to hasten the process.

Secondly, the grass is definitely not greener elsewhere. Blackberry Internet services is just as slow as other Internet packages. The major reason I settled for the non-3G Blackberry 8520. 3G is almost non existent anyway.

At N2,800 ($18) per month, BIS full monthly subscription on Glo mobile network in Nigeria is still expensive. Unfortunately, the crippled variants of the BIS packages being offered by Glo just do not fit the bill for me. The N1400 ($9) per month “comonth-single email account” option is definitely not good enough.

But I guess the greatest spoiler is the Blackberry outage that took the best of 3 days to resolve. Expectedly, I was quick in putting all the blame on Glo’s doorstep. Glo was however also quick in dissociating itself with the text message it sent out to its subscribers;

Dear subscriber, RIM is presently experiencing some technical issues which affects all carriers in Europe, Middle East & Africa. This has led to temporary BlackBerry service disruption. Full services will be restored as soon as RIM resolves the issues.Glo!

So much for getting high on crackberry!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories
Articles Gadgets

Mobile Internet Usage In Nigeria

Nigeria is a country in West Africa with a population of over 150 Million, the most populous in Africa. With this statistics, it comes as no surprise that Nigeria has been listed as having the highest number of Internet users on the continent  and 10th in the world. However, Nigeria was conspicuously absent from the list of top countries with broadband internet users.

The quality of internet access in Nigeria is, at best, extremely unreliable. Most individuals get on the internet via the mobile networks ISPs who, despite false claims of mobile broadband speeds, can hardly boast of 2.5G (GPRS) speeds in most places, if at all. And all these, unfortunately, at a high premium!  Nigeria has the most market share for mobile phone browsing in the world, with over 31% of all internet content being accessed from mobiles. More details can also be found on Opera website. A bulk of the remaining 69% of users accessing the internet also do so via “3G” USB modems provided by these mobile networks. As of today, broadband speed is almost non-existent in Nigeria, perhaps only available to a very select few that i do not know of. You can read more about the state of Nigerian Mobile sector here.

Of the mobiles used in browsing the web, the Nokia brand of phones are still the market leaders by a very long mile, thanks to its perceived reliability and cheapness of some of its low end phones. But how well are the other mobiles by other manufacturers faring? I was particularly interested in knowing the rate of usage of the iPad and android tablets in Nigeria. A very fair way of getting this statistics is from the mobile internet usage reports.

Statcounter rates the number of users of  iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) more than the collection of Android devices users in Nigeria. Could this be true?

Categories
Gadgets

Unlock Your Etisalat Dual SIM Phones

I recently got a dual SIM phone from Etisalat, the variant without the camera. I needed the phone to house my numerous SIM cards as it is almost impossible in Nigeria to be loyal to any mobile network. And no, i am not a con artist, all my SIMs are duly registered!

Unfortunately, Etisalat signals is almost non-existent in my neighbourhood, so it was like i was carrying a dead weight around.

By the way, the phone is dirt cheap at less than N5000 (about US$30) and has the first SIM slot locked to Etisalat network.

The unlocking process is quite easy and, i hope, without risk. But if you brick yours in the process, well, it’s just N5000!

Here goes;

1. Get your phone’s IMEI number underneath your battery. There are two numbers there but you only need the first one.

2. Use the IMEI number to generate your unlock code from this site ; http://a-zgsm.com/calculator/

3. Do not insert any SIM into your phone. Replace the battery and switch it on.

4. Type the following code on your phone and press the left green (send) button; *983*8284#

5. You would be prompted to input a password. Insert the unlock code into the phone. Note that the phone may not accept all the characters of the unlock code, just insert as many as it would take.

6. Boom! Password Accepted. Your phone is unlocked! Insert any non-Etisalat SIM to confirm!