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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why Pay Premium for Android Devices

Image courtesy of  phanlop88
/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I recently decided that Android operating system is now mature enough for me to get a cheap alternative for tablets and phones. Ten inch tablets are all more than RM 1000/-. The exchange rate is US$1 = RM 3.25.


In order to test my theory, I bought three devices. They are:


  • 9.9 inch tablet from HK Video (‎AM10D1B‎) (RM 699).
  • 5.5 inch phone from HK Video - also known as Note 3 (RM 599)
  • 7 inch phone pad from Asus (RM 699)


UI

All three devices came with Android 4.1.x installed. Quite often those using HTC phones and other branded Android phones and devices complain about how the HTC Sense or third party UI weights down on the devices. However, when I started using the above devices, that was the first thing I missed. I preferred the keyboard that came with HTC Sense UI instead of the keyboard in HK Video.


Android 4.1 had a lot of added features compared to the Android 2.3 on HTC Desire HD.


Battery Life

Battery life on all three devices were better compared to what I was getting on Desire HD. Asus provided the best battery life with about six hours of gaming and browsing, followed by the 6 inch tablet and the 5.5 inch phone.


Memory

The main reason why the HK Video devices cost so much less is due to the amount of RAM provided. The 9.9 inch tablet came with 1 Gbyte RAM, the 5.5 inch phone came with 512 Gbyte RAM and the Asus came with 1 Gbyte RAM.


Moving the applications from the main memory (RAM) to the other built in memory is manual. Again Asus does a better job at this.


Camera


The camera provided by all three devices are of low resolution (1.3 Mega Pixel). The HK video units came with front facing camera as well but as far as I am concerned the resolution is way too low.


Reliability


I had to reset the 9.9 inch tablet at least six times to factory mode. I encountered frequent failures where the core applications such as Calendar, Gmail stopped working. After my last reset, I accidentally chose the wrong timezone. I was unable to change it without resetting the device back to factory mode.


The HK Video phone is now at the shop because the touch screen stopped working. This happened once before but recovered by itself after a few days.


The Asus unit is much more reliable. I have not had much trouble with it.

Usage


The 9.9 inch tablet is used mainly to read emails, calendar invites, facebook and Google Plus. The 5.5 inch phone is used more for gaming and alarm. The Asus is used more for gaming and YouTube.


Dimension


The 5.5 inch phone is way too bulky to comfortably bring around. The 9.9 inch table is fine but I am not able to use it in the office since it is not able to connect to our Wifi.


The Asus is a bit big as a regular phone but is thin enough that it fits great on the car dashboard, as a GPS device.


Others


HK Video now has phones that match the dimension for Samsung S4 and Note 2.


Conclusion


It is still worthwhile to pay the premium for Samsung, HTC and Asus. Those devices are still more reliable compared to their cheap alternatives.

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