Don’t look now, but there’s a trend happening and it’s called ‘Tablet Phone’ . Yep that’s right, we’ve had phablets, phones and tablets, now we’ve got a new breed of hybrid which combines the best of tablet technology with the flexibility of a 3G smartphone. We’ve just finished testing one of the latest of these hot products and it’s made us sit up and take notice.
The Ceros Motion is a new quad core, 7 inch 3G tablet phone which features a 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage and two SIM card slots with dual standby for the ultimate in free roaming without the need for WiFi. It sports an impressively sharp 1280×800 screen and unusually for a budget tablet at this price point, an HDMI out socket for connection to your television as a media player. Not bad at all for a device which comes in at a whisker under $180.
The product comes in a very professional looking package, with a quality box, a well written user manual and the usual accessories including a set of earphones (with flat ribbon cable – nice), a USB power block and cable and an OTG USB cable for attaching external peripherals like hard drives to the tablet. There are also two screen protectors and a hard backed case, which looks like it will protect your tablet phone from most casual mishaps.
What’s cool about having a hybrid product like this is the ability to keep computing even when you’re out of WiFi range, using the SIM card option. We’re not sure how many people will use it to make phone calls on, but we’re betting that most will be browsing, emailing and generally using lots of data from one or other of the two constantly running SIM card slots. The Motion also comes with a microSD slot which will accept up to 32GB of additional storage, which is plenty to play with.
The rear of the device features a standard looking camera and flash combo, and at 5 megapixel it’s definitely not going to blow your socks off in terms of image resolution. See samples below. However for a tablet…er…phone…it’s definitely adequate. You’ll also see from the photo above the three top ports, for headphones, USB charging and data transfer (no separate power socket hassle, yay!) and the mini HDMI socket for hooking up to the TV.
Check our our video to see our hands on for the performance and features of this cool little product.
The interesting thing about these newer quad core powered products is the fact that the extra horsepower really does make a difference as to how the thing operates. There’s no lag in web browsing, games play faultlessly, and you really don’t feel like there’s a compromise just because of the lower price at the budget end. Sure you’re not getting bells and whistles like sophisticated sensors (the Motion has accelerometer and gravity sensors only) and the camera is pretty ordinary, but apart from that it’s got just about everything you need.
The Motion comes with a 3200mAh battery which claims to support up to 5 hours use time, and around 96 hours standby, which is average for this type of device. In our time playing around with the tablet we didn’t experience anything to dispute those figures, and in fact the power management seems to match standard smartphones in terms of carefully eking out battery life. Play a few games though, and you’ll watch the power drain away faster than a leaky bucket. But hey, that’s how it goes generally.
Two surprises for us. First, how professional and well constructed this product is at this price point. There are no loose bits, or weird Android configurations. It runs 4.2.2 as stock as you can get, although one strange thing is we had to manually download YouTube and Google Play Services from the Play store to get YouTube on there. Can’t figure out why, maybe it’s a Chinese licensing thing?
The other surprise is how well the device performs. We would expect the 7 inch screen to suck away some of the processor oomph compared to 5 inch smartphones, but the Motion manages to crack on in best of style. The speaker is impressively loud, the screen is beautifully responsive and it’s really a nice product to use. And remember the price!
The only thing we felt could be improved upon is the latching for the SIM/microSD panel, which is a little fiddly, you really need to make sure you get it slotted in properly, otherwise we can see it popping open when you don’t really want it to. We also suffered from a few glitches with the HDMI out to the TV with some picture corruption, we’re not sure if that’s the fault of an early production model or whether there’s something weird with the graphics chipset. We’ll keep testing and see if we can find out more.
Overall though, it seems to be a pretty nice device, with bags of power, a solid feature set and good build quality.
Price: $179.99 / £106.35
OS Version: Android 4.2
CPU: MTK 8389 1.2GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7
GPU: Power VR SGX544
Processor Speed (max): 1.2GHz
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G: WCDMA 2100 MHz
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot (3G Tethering)
5 Megapixel Rear Camera + 0.3 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
Video Resolution: Back 1280×720, Front 640×480
Mic and Speaker
Battery Size: 3200mAh
Display Size: 7 Inch
Display Resolution: 1280×800
5 Point Capacitive Multi Touch Display
Micro SD Card up to 32GB
2 SIM Card Slots – 2x GSM/WCDMA
Micro SD Card Slot
3.5 mm Audio Out Port
Micro USB Port
Main product dimensions: 190x120x11mm (L x W x D)
Main product weight: 308g