by May 18, 2013 0 comments

1. Unique features: 7/10. The Swipe Fablet F3 comes with interchangeable back panels. The unit which we received had the white panel put on, whereas the box contained two more back panels (blue and black), along with a sleeve for the phablet. Each of the back panels have cut-outs at the appropriate positions for camera, flash, speaker, etc., similar to how the sleeve has cutouts. The presence of a dual core processor at this price is a good deal.
2. Look and feel: 3/10. While the phablet may slip easily from hands and is too glossy, resulting in visible fingerprints, one can’t help but mistake it for the Samsung Galaxy Grand, which has strikingly similar looks. Build quality could have been better as the unit seems very fragile.
3. Weight: 3/10. It is ironic that 4 such F3 phablets, measuring 145x80x10.9 mm (LxWxD) put together can actually outweigh a small ultrabook. The Swipe Fablet F3 is pretty bulky at 260 grams, making it nearly as heavy as many 7″ tablets, such as the ICE Xtreme or the Mitashi Play BE-150 3G. Bundle that with the sleeve’s additional space and weight and you realize that this is not as portable as it ought to be for it’s size.
4. Camera: 6/10. The rear camera has a 5.0 megapixel sensor and the front camera has a 0.3 megapixel sensor. Both the cameras are able to take good photos with average color reproduction in ambient light in daytime.
5. OS: 7/10. The presence of Android Jelly Bean (4.1.1) is definitely something that can be considered to be desirable. The user interface is good and users will feel at home with the way various icons, menus, file folders, etc are presented. Application multi-tasking could have been slightly more responsive. Quite a few widgets (such as 3D weather, analog clock, etc.) as well as applications (such as office suites) come pre-installed on the tablet. There is also an `easy installer’ app offering quick access to installing some of the most popular apps.
6. Battery: 6/10. After being fully charged, streaming a full HD movie over Wi-Fi at a fixed sound volume caused the battery to drain in a little above 4 hours. Charging takes place via the mini-USB cable, and an adapter is provided for using the cable with AC mains.
7. Price: 8/10. This is a dual-SIM 3G phablet with voice call support. That said, the price of Rupees 9290 seems to be worth going for.
8. Processor and connectivity: 7/10. The F3 comes with a dual-core 1 GHz processor. On the connectivity front, there is mini-USB and a 3.5 mm audio jack, apart from the GSM+GSM dual SIM support and the usual Bluetooth/WiFi.
9. Screen and sound: 6/10. The maximum resolution supported is 800×480 which could have been slightly better. The screen is a capacitive touchscreen, 5″ in size. The phablet comes with comfortable earphones and the speaker produces clear sound.
10. Memory: 5/10. The F3 comes with an internal memory of 4 GBs, expandable upto 32 GBs, which is the least you can expect for a phablet at this price point. Only 512 MBs of RAM feel insufficient.

Comparing this with others in the price range, the 8″ tablet Penta TPad WS802C, which is cheaper by about Rs. 1000, offers very similar hardware specs, with notable exceptions being no 3G, no dual-SIM support and an older version of Android. On the other hand, the Micromax Funbook Pro, which will make the pocket lighter by about Rs. 700 more than what the F3 costs, offers a 10″ screen, higher resolution of 1024×600 and double the RAM of the F3 but is pretty bulky at 600 grams and doesn’t come with either built-in calling support or the latest Android.

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