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Review: Reliance’s Android tablet

tech reviews Updated: Sep 03, 2011 13:51 IST
Shayne Rana

Reliance’s Android tablet is well priced for the Indian market, but cuts certain corners to hit that price tag.

The tablet wars are taking place at a frenzied pace and Reliance’s 3G Tab, priced at Rs. 12,990 seems sure to make a killing. Although it’s not unlike any old tablet including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the simplistic and no frills look of the 3G Tab made us feel quite comfortable. It’s equipped with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, which allows accurate control and it sports a 480x800-pixel resolution.

The 3G Tab comes with 8GB of internal space and supports up to 32GB via micro SD cards. Apart from the issue of having to remove the battery to access the memory card, this tablet is quite well designed, and weighs in at a light 389g. But even with its 800MHz processor and Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’, there’s a touch of lag between screens and opening apps. Reliance has neither offered any major customisations to the UI nor are any substantial apps preloaded.

The tablet sports Dolby’s audio enhancement tech that makes audio sound clear. But video playback support is not as high-end as some other devices out in the market. For example, the compatible formats include MP4, H.263/H.264 and 3GP, of course. There’s FM reception too but the signal isn’t good when commuting.

The Reliance 3G Tab is obviously locked to Reliance SIM cards and you’ll need to subscribe to a Reliance connection to get it working. All of Google’s goodies are loaded up though — YouTube, Google Maps, Latitude, Gtalk and the Android Market Place for downloading other apps. A few extra apps like a file manager, documents to go and a task manager are thrown in.

For photos, there’s a three-megapixel fixed focus camera and a VGA-grade front camera located in front above the display. Features include sharpness adjustment, saturation, ISO levels up to 800, colour effects, location tagging and white balance. Video recording is possible at a maximum resolution of 640x480, but it’s not too bad all things considered. Image quality is not the sharpest and in low light conditions it’s quite grainy too. But if you’re looking to upload the photos on Facebook or other social networking sites, it’s should get you by.

Equipped with a 3,400mAh Lithium-ion battery, the 3G Tab manages functionality extremely well. We eked four hours out of it with videos running non-stop and an active 3G connection. Add another hour to that if you disable 3G. Overall, with normal usage, you can expect the tablet to easily last over a day which 3G active. With a price tag of just Rs. 12,999, the one possible thing we could say is lacking in the Reliance 3G Tab is the lack of substantial internal memory. Nevertheless, the 3G Tab does well for itself considering it offers tremendous amount of functionality albeit just a little slowly for our taste.

What we like
Latest version of Google Android installed
Good battery life

What we don’t
Don’t have too much memory built in
Locked to Reliance SIM cards
Low quality camera
Processor isn’t powerful enough

Rating: 4
For those who need the features only a tablet can provide like large screen internet and email browsing on a 3G connection, the 3G Tab is a great choice if you’re willing to go with Reliance’s 3G plans. If you’re not into the whole 3G thing it’s perfectly usable without a SIM card. The only competition will be the Beetel tablet, so have a look at that too before making the decision.