The Andy Pad Pro is the big brother of the Andy Pad (I guess you could say regular) and launched back on the 1st of September this year. It’s not been the greatest of launches in terms of some of the issues that plagued the tablet such as the Google Apps issue and some pretty poor reviews from giant tech sites however, it’s a point to note that this device is only £179 and should be reviewed on its merits for the category it sits in.
Where to purchase:
Similar devices at a similar price:
- Archos 80 G9 (£199.99)
- Advent Vega (£199.99)
- 7” Sensatouch (capacitive) screen, at 1024 x 600 pixels resolution
- 1.2GHz Processor (underclocked to 1GHz)
- 512MB DDR3 RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- WiFi and Bluetooth
- Front facing camera
- 2MP rear facing camera
- Android Gingerbread (2.3.1)
- Mini HDMI out (up to 1080p)
- 3600mAH battery (up to 6 hours battery life)
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- Very cheap and affordable
- Capacitive screen
- Nice selection of preinstalled apps
- Large 16GB of storage
- Good array of ports (microSD, mini HDMI etc.)
- Case creaks under slight pressure
- A bit laggy under high stress
- No Google apps (e.g. Gmail, YouTube, Market etc.)
- Poor cameras
In the box:
- Andy Pad pro tablet
- Mains charger (micro USB connection)
- Sync cable (USB to micro USB)
- Setup guide
- Front: 7” screen, front camera and touch buttons: menu, home and back
- Rear: Rear camera
- Top (horizontally): Volume control
- Left: Power button, reset button and speaker grills
- Bottom: Nothing
- Right: MicroSD slot, micro USB port, headphone port and mini HDMI
(Ignoring the usual apps such as Browser, Calculator etc.)
- AccuWeather; a weather app.
- Andy App; a dedicated app for the Andy Pad. It has a support tab, which allows you to see guides on how to do things on the device. It has an apps tab, which shows you apps and games which have been approved for the AndyPad. There is also a register tab to register the device so it can receive updates.
- Angry Birds Seasons; I think everyone knows what this is. A game where you slingshot birds at pigs.
- ApkInstaller; Rather much what it says on the tin. It allows you to install APKs to the device. It also features an app manager to uninstall apps on the device.
- Checkers Free; A checkers game, very self explanatory.
- Chess Free; A chess game.
- Drag Racing; A 2D drag racing game.
- Dropbox; A file uploading service, so you can store you files online and access them from anywhere.
- Evernote; A note taking app.
- Explorer; A file manager for the device.
- Facebook; This is the official Facebook app.
- Four In A Line Free; Another obvious game, think Connect Four.
- Free Games; A link to the Andy Pad website, where you can get free games.
- GetJar; As the device does not have the official Android Market, GetJar has been installed to the device. It has a fairly wide range of apps and games.
- Glow Hockey; An air hockey game with a futuristic neon look.
- Move it! Free; A block moving game where the objective is to get a block to a specific point.
- Movies; An app which allows you to view trailers and reviews of a film.
- PigRush; A game which involves jumping a 2D pig over 3D gaps in the platforms.
- Raging Thunder 2; A 3D racing game.
- Reversi Free; Yet another obvious game.
- Shelves; An e reader app.
- Slice It!; A game where the objective is to slice shapes in to various pieces with a limited number of cuts.
- Stupid Zombies; A puzzle game which involves shooting zombies with the smallest number of bullets possible.
- Sudoku Free; This is what it says on the tin.
- Swiftkey Tablet X; The tablet version of the popular Swiftkey keyboard. Works well on the device.
- TuneIn Radio; An online radio manager.
- Twitter; The official Twitter app.
- Zoo Story; An online game where you can manage your own zoo.
Upon opening the box, the tablet is immediately on display. It is protected by a bit of foam around the sides of the device. Under the tablet, and lifting a piece of card up, unveils the accessories, the charger, headphones and a USB to micro USB cable. Also in the box is a tiny guide showing where all the ports are on the device. What I do like is that the charger has a cable with it, unlike most phone chargers which use the same cable.
The hardware specifications have been outlined in full above, but I will now comment on what I think about it. Obviously, when it comes to making a budget device, the hardware has to be limited to what can be used. The Andy Pad team have had to limit the hardware to keep it at the low price that it is.
The device has a 7 inch screen at a resolution of 1024 x 600. The screen is very bright and has a good viewing angle in all angles. The touchscreen is capacitive, and fairly responsive. It did require multiple touches in rare occasions, but most of the time it was very good. The device supports five-finger multitouch, which worked fine (more on this later).
The Andy Pad pro has a 1.2GHz processor underclocked to 1GHz, but can sometimes feel surprisingly laggy. Sometimes the device can randomly lag on easy tasks, but this could be due to poorly optimised software, and hopefully an update can solve this.
The device has 512MB of RAM, which isn’t a large amount, but is good for a budget tablet. Other, more expensive tablets have 1GB of RAM, but most budget tablets have 512MB or even less. This is a perfectly good amount.
Battery life of the device was surprisingly good, and is typical for a 7 inch tablet. 6 hours is the quoted time on the box. It obviously will not last this long when watching a film on it, but it is a good amount of time.
Another nice addition is the vibration motor in the device. This is actually a rare thing, which even some expensive tablets (such as my Xoom) don’t even have. It is useful for haptic feedback when pressing buttons or using the on screen keyboard. It can even help when playing games.
The build quality was good, but in some places, if pressed, the device creaks slightly. Whilst this isn’t a massive problem, it can get quite annoying. It was actually really good for such a cheap device.
The Andy Pad pro runs Android 2.3.1 with a few interface tweaks here and there. It has a blue and white theme with colourful icons. It has a lot of preinstalled software, as I have shown above. The pre-loaded software is good and there is a wide range of software on the device. Swiftkey Tablet X is a nice addition to the tablet, and is a perfectly capable keyboard. Unfortunately the device does not run Android 3 or 4, so it does not have the tablet optimisations that they have.
Upon powering up, the device has a nice big Andy Pad pro logo as it boots up. After it has finished booting (which doesn’t take too long), and swiping the unlock slider, the homescreen appears. This is rather much like the Android Gingerbread launcher, with links to settings, music, app launcher, WiFi settings and the browser. The homescreen is absolutely cluttered and is full of shortcuts to apps on the device, in no particular order at all.
The notification bar is black and grey, with custom icons. It has various indicators, such as the clock, rotation indicator, network status and battery. It also says it has no service, but it will always say this as it does not have phone hardware inside of it.
Whilst the Andy Pads used to ship with the Android Market, they have stopped doing so. GetJar has been installed as an alternative. Whilst this has a wide range of apps, it certainly does not have the same amount of apps as the Android Market does.
Browsing was good on the device, and it ran the stock Android browser with no problem. As the device has multitouch, it supports pinch-to-zoom. This worked well with no problems at all.
The Andy Pad team have said that the device will receive an update to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which will hopefully improve the performance of the tablet.
The camera of the Andy Pad pro is poor, but this is to be expected as it is a 2MP camera after all. Images and video is extremely grainy, as the sample images below show.
The device was able to play a 720p film with a very small number of problems, but unfortunately I was unable to test the HDMI output, as I do not have a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. It did sometimes stutter, but it was very rare.
Gaming performance is fairly good. Angry Birds ran extremely well on the device, and was lag-free. As this is not the most demanding task, I moved on to Raging Thunder 2, a racing game which came on the device. It ran well and again, remained lag-free. All the pre-loaded games ran absolutely fine.
The Andy Pad pro is a perfectly capable device. If you have a limited budget, the Andy Pad pro is perfect. However, devices such as the Archos 80 G9 are only £20 more and in this case have a dual-core 1GHz processor and run Android Honeycomb 3.2. If the guys at Andy Pad update the device to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the device could have great potential. It is perfect if you have a limited budget. For £180, it is one of the best tablets you can buy.