|Qube PhoneTab Review: Double The Fun|
Qube's first venture in the mobile industry is simply called PhoneTab, as the name suggests, it is a tablet with phone functionality.
It may have a basic name, but its specs are impressive - an 8-inch IPS capacitive Samsung made touchscreen display powered by a 1.2GHz MediaTek MT8389 quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is set at 8GB with expandable option up to 32GB via micro SD card.
It has also a rich retail package which includes the unit with screen protector installed, headset, charger with detachable USB cable, manual and a free flip case worth 500 pesos. If you think that the specs and the retail package are awesome, wait until you learn its price - Php6,990, but that's not all, they also offer free shipping.
>>Qube PhoneTab Preview And Initial Impression
The lockscreen is the typical Jelly Bean stuff wherein there is a padlock icon inside a circle which you can drag into any direction to unlock the tablet. If there is a missed call or there is a new message, it will appear somewhere above the circle, you can drag these notifications towards it in order to view them immediately.
The lockscreen also support 2 slots for the widget, the first slot is occupied by the digital clock while the second spot is vacant wherein you can assign Gmail, email, etc.
The homescreen has five shortcuts (max of 7) docked at the bottom of the screen, the middle always opens the app drawer while the four others can be assigned to any apps you want. There is also a reserved space below the shortcuts, this space is for the on-screen keys, namely volume -, back, home, recent apps and volume +.
There are a total of 32 default widgets and 31 default apps, all of which are mostly stock Android. The former is arranged in 2x3 format and covers about 6 pages while the latter has 5x7 layout.
|Notification and Quick Toggle Settings|
The notification panel can be accessed by swiping the top left portion of the screen while doing the same thing on the top right will open up the quick toggle settings.
There are three ways to respond to any incoming call, you can cancel it, answer it or cancel it with a message. There are pre-defined messages, but you can also compose your own.
The dial pad is part of the tabbed interface, it accepts numbers and name as inputs, but the smart dialing feature is limited, it only searches matching contacts if they have the same beginning.
By the way, if you have a big hand, you can hold the tablet in one hand when calling, but if you are not comfortable with it (especially when you are outside) better use a headset. The overall call quality is loud and clear on both ends.
The call history shows missed, outgoing and incoming call events, when you select a certain log, it will show more detailed information and some other options that you can do with it.
The contacts and groups are arranged alphabetically, if you have a long list you can use the search icon on the upper right hand corner to find what you are looking for. Items can be filtered based on where they are saved - phone, SIM or social accounts.
The messaging app displays the messages based on the latest time of arrival. On a certain conversation, your message will appear on the right while his/her is on the left. If you want to tweak the SMS, MMS and their notification, simply access the message settings.
The message editor handles both SMS and MMS, by default it is for SMS, but if you add any attachment it will automatically be converted to MMS.
|Email and Gmail|
The PhoneTab comes with the generic email app and Gmail, setting them up are quite easy, simply enter your username and password and you are good to go. Both email applications can handle multiple accounts, but only the former supports combined inbox
The gallery can be filtered by Albums, Locations or Times and can be viewed either by grid or filmstrip. It houses both photos and videos which you can share via Bluetooth, on email or through social accounts.
Under the gallery settings, you can see the trim option for video and the edit option for photo. The former is to cut out some unwanted part of the video while the former can be used to enhance your pictures by adding effects, filters, etc.
The video player has a good codec support, it can play .avi, .3gp, .mp4, .mov, .flv and .mkv files up to 1080p resolution. Playing any type of video is quite smooth, however those with AC3 audio will render no sound.
The music player displays all the audio file on your device, they can be sorted by artist, albums, songs, playlist and now playing. The now playing screen shows the usual controls and other options as well as the album art if there is any. If a song is playing, it will continue to play even if you minimize it, a mini player will appear in the notification area to control it.
The FM Radio is also on board, however you need a wired headset for it to work. You can search the channels manually or do it automatically. Like the music player, the songs will continue to play even if you minimize it.
Camera and Video:
|Camera & Video|
The camera and video share the same interface, their onscreen shutters are on top of one another. On the opposite side, you will see the shooting mode for the camera as well as the length and pause option for the video. The main camera can shoot a 5MP picture and up to 1080p videos.
|Camera and Video Settings|
The camera and video options can be accessed via settings, here you can adjust the still resolution and the video quality. You can also tweak the exposure, saturation etc.
The result of the 5MP camera is quite good, it captures a very detailed information of the subject, although there are times that it over saturates it.
The web browser is a stock Android app, it can hold up to 16 tabs and has incognito mode. The MT8389 chipset is capable enough in rendering web pages, it is smooth and loads quickly.
|Candy Crush Saga|
|Temple Run 2|
I installed some casual games like Candy Crush and Temple Run 2, both work fine without any problem and the tablet handles them relatively easy. I also installed graphics demanding games like Dead Trigger and Asphalt 7, both are playable and smooth, although there are times that you will encounter some hiccups, but it seldom happens and not really annoying.
|3G and Tethering|
The PhoneTab supports 3G connection which you can share with your friends via Bluetooth/USB tethering or WiFi hotspot.
Local connectivity such as Bluetooth and WiFi are working well, the signal reception is also good.
The tablet uses the standard micro USB and it supports OTG function. I used flash drive and mouse to test, both work just fine.
The organizing tools and productivity applications include calendar, clock, calculator, to do, sound recorder and file manager. What is obviously missing is the document viewer/editor, but you can simply download one in Play Store.
The Qube tablet has built-in GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance, during the test period, it took a bit longer to get a satellite lock and there are even times that you cannot get a lock at all. I do not know if this is a bug or just specific to my unit.
The PhoneTab has a non-removable 4200mAh battery, I looped a 1080p video and it lasted for more than 7 and a half hours before the percentage drops from 100% to 15 percent.
Qube managed to pick a good contender to start up their local mobile entry, the Phone tab has a good balance of specifications and has affordable pricing, not to mention rich retail package. It has a cost-effective solution without compromising performance.
Solid build quality
Rich retail package
On and off GPS performance
- Single micro SIM
- Quad Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Dual Band HSPA+
- Dimensions: 213.88mm x 123.9mm x 8.7mm
- Weight: 350g
- 8" capacitive HD (1280x800) Samsung PLS touchscreen display, 5-point touch
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 1.2GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7 CPU, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, MediaTek MT8389 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD
- 5MP auto focus main camera
- 2MP secondary camera
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG Support
- 3.5 Audio Jack
- Stereo FM Radio
- Multimedia Player
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, Light
- Battery: 4200mAh
- Freebies: Leather case worth Php500
- Price: Php6,990