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Old 12-03-2014, 02:40 AM   #1
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Chinese tablets?

So anyone got one? Thoughts? Any brands considered good or bad?

I'm considering getting the FNF iFive Air....

http://www.chinistore.com/en/chinese...air-style.html

It's pretty new, so not much in the way of reviews out there on this specific model. It is the same as the iFive mini 4 except for the larger screen. The mini 4 has a few decent reviews out and the iFive brand seems to have a decent reputation overall.

This would easily satisfy my needs, I'm mostly concerned about build quality and firmware/software issues.

I'd be interested in hearing any opinions on those who have actually used any iFive brand tablets recently. Or any opinions on other Chinese brand tablets. The good, bad and ugly.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #2
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Virtually all tablets are made in China, of course, so that doesn't really mean anything. The main thing to watch out for, in my experience, with cheap tablets is battery life and screens; those are the two areas that differentiate cheap and not-so-cheap tablets.

Last edited by HarryT; 12-03-2014 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:00 PM   #3
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I realise that most tablets are produced in China. However there is a difference between say Apple, Samsung or Nexus and a non-brand name Chinese Tablet. The quality control is better and the polish of the firmware is usually better. I have been reading that the non-brand name stuff from some companies has come a long way in the last couple of years though and it seems it might be worth a try now. Mostly I'm concerned with how the firmware and OS runs on these non-brand name Chinese tablets. Is it smooth, responsive, not filled with bloatware, can the menus all be changed to English, how hard is it to root if need be, that sort of thing. Hopefully we have some adventurous MR members who have already taken the plunge and can give some impressions and experiences.

Regarding the screen, it's always hard to tell from youtube videos but the screen does look impressive. Same resolution and dpi as the iPad and the colours and brightness look to be very good. As for battery life, some reports do suggest the standby mode is not all that great but I would have no problem charging it every night if need be.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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hmm, interesting. i was about to comment differently, but considering it's an iPad clone and has a nice high-res screen in the 4:3 ratio, it does look intriguing! have you poked your head into the XDA forums to see if anyone has rooted the thing?

http://forum.xda-developers.com/andr...k3288-t2976594
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:12 AM   #5
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I have a small look around but to be honest I've never rooted anything in my life and so am not real sure what it all entails. I was kind of hoping it would be usable out of the box without too much hassle.

I did find this thread.....

http://www.arctablet.com/blog/forum/...ware-20141118/

It's the only custom firmware I've found thus far. It does talk about bricking the thing if you don't put the right "kernal" in and that makes me a tad nervous.

Have you rooted tablets before? Is it easy and you just need to follow simple instructions or am I likely to brick it because I don't know what I'm doing?
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:28 AM   #6
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i've only rooted Nexus stuff - which is (supposed to be) the easiest range of Android devices to root. the rooting itself was easy - getting ALL the bits of software and understanding the process was anything but.

it might be fun to learn to root and do this on an old cheap Android device of some kind, like some $10 phone or tablet that's too old to be modern.

it does look like a nice tablet, though! i might get one in a few months (i overspent in Dec)
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:40 AM   #7
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One thing to consider with these less-known brands is the issue of support. These things tend to be pretty reliable, but should the worst happen and you need to have it repaired under warranty, it can be difficult - and extremely time-consuming - if doing so involves returning it to China.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:59 AM   #8
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It is very easy to brick a device after rooting if you install custom roms and kernels. Why do you want to root? If you just want a different look, install a launcher app like Nova launcher. The xda thread you linked to actually had Nova installed as a system app which seems very strange - I wouldn't install any rom by someone who would do that.

If you want to root to use some apps that need root you could always try Towelroot.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Purple Lady View Post
It is very easy to brick a device after rooting if you install custom roms and kernels. Why do you want to root? If you just want a different look, install a launcher app like Nova launcher. The xda thread you linked to actually had Nova installed as a system app which seems very strange - I wouldn't install any rom by someone who would do that.

If you want to root to use some apps that need root you could always try Towelroot.
I don't necessarily want to root it. Ideally it will be good enough for my purposes straight out of the box. However, I've read that the firmware on many Chinese tablets run buggy and have problems so most people root them and I'm interested to know how difficult the process is and how likely it is that I could kill the device.

I have read some good things overall about the iFive brand but unfortunately all the reviews of this particular device I can find are in Chinese and even the translations are unintelligible. So I don't really know what the firmware is like on it. Hopefully over the next couple of months some English reviews might come along to help with my decision.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:37 PM   #10
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I have two tablets from ifive, the mini 3 (I gave to my dad) and mini 3GS. They are not speed demons, but I really like them. The build quality and screens on both are excellent, and they are solid performers.

You'll need to, at the very least, root them. Although you'll be able to switch to English language, it will be filled with apps and apps stores (most are Chinese language only) that you will never use and that slow the tablets down. Also, you probably want gapps installed. Both can only be done with root. And it's a fairly easy process.

There are also some modified ROMs available that i recommend. Archtablet has some really great ones for the Mini 3, while XDA has one for the 3GS.

The only issue I really have with them both is their use of DDR2 ram. The r/w speed sometimes will slow it up, not necessary laggy, but you'll occasionally hit a speed bump, especially on big PDFs. The ROMs on Archtablet and changing the CPU governor/scheduler really helps the mini 3 though. The 3GS, I haven't noticed any speed increases in changing them. To me it's not a big deal, it just there. It more important to me that they are stable and don't crash or reboot when I really need them.

a minor issure, IMHO, is cover availability. There aren't any really good choices. There are basically one or two to choose from and that's it. the mini 3 does have a better selection the the 3gs though.

All in all, I would recommend them. I would also recommend Pipo and even the Xiaomi mipad.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:29 PM   #11
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Thanks for the in depth response Dai Shan. It's very much appreciated.

It's good to know the Archtablet ROMs are worthwhile too as those were the ones I was thinking of going with. Also the iFive Air used DDR3 so that should help alleviate the speed issues you mention. Though I am like you in that the speed isn't the biggest factor to me. Stability is more important.

Once again thanks for taking the time to respond.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:13 AM   #12
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My cousin has chinese phone jy-g4, he says it's ok
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