Alldaymall 7” Android Tablet (Model A88S), A low-cost entry into the Android ecosystem with surprising performance.
That’s not a word that you would expect to say, let alone hear, when the topic of discussion is a cheap small-screen Android tablet. Nevertheless, my time working with Alldaymall’s A88S has been a mostly positive experience.
Initially, the tablet gives the impression of decent build quality and snappy performance, but even during the first use, several issues threaten to turn away the user.
This is a tablet running an older version of Google’s Android OS (Android 4.4.2 “KitKat” to be exact). There are not any user friendly “Update Now” buttons to pull down an installation of a newer version. KitKat is still pretty common in the Android world, though.
The tablet has a screen that will not win any awards. It has a very narrow viewing angle with plenty of backlight bleed. The screen has some color reproduction issues resulting in a faded appearance. Motion blur seems minimal though and the screen doesn’t seem to be the lowest resolution that I’ve seen.
The tablet has a small amount of storage at 8GB. Worse, only 1GB seems to be available for sideloading software or installing apps from the Google Play Store. To use the larger partition, the user will need to go through the iWaWa app store built into the tablet.
Battery life is listed at 3 hours. This is the big one and a dealbreaker for many users, so I guess that’s it for this tablet. Better luck next week. See you next gadget review. Thanks for your time.
Before you go, though, let me tell you why this tablet is GREAT.
Believe it or not, the heavy “kids throwaway tablet” vibe offered by the manufacturer fits really well. A parent would best use this tablet to start good habits based around “screen time” and proper care of fragile toys.
If you run into trouble during these proper care lessons, don’t worry. The tablet comes with its own silicone case which will help with the usual dings and minor drops from tiny hands. My son has found a love for throwing his toys around, but with a little luck and the supplied silicone case, I still haven’t seen a cracked screen. (Plenty of scratches, though.) Any major damage to the tablet is likely to be managed by replacing the tablet, which seems more than fair for the price.
The provided “kids mode” software has a very colorful and friendly frontend that hides away the usual Android UI and allows parents to control purchases and also select which apps are available for child use. A scheduling application is provided for a parent to set allowed screen times. This small level of additional parent control quickly became my favorite feature. The tablet can exit this “kids mode” completely by tapping an exit button and solving a simple multiplication problem.
During my use of the tablet, I consistently ran battery times nearly an hour longer than the rated time, and that was through normal video streaming and web browsing. In my experience this was more than enough for car rides to and from home, a quiet cartoon episode or two if naptime wasn’t happening, and playing around with some games between dinnertime and bed time.
Heavier apps such as benchmarks and games did cut through the supplied battery much faster, with the tablet running only two hours or so before begging for a charge. I ultimately chose to look at the tablet’s small battery with a neutral perspective since the longest possible single session with the tablet is three or four hours and that would seem to fit many parent’s screen time schedules.
Saving the best for last, I’ll call out the outstanding performance of the tablet. Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube are the heavy hitters for my household and this tablet effortlessly swapped between functions at the tap of an on-screen button. Whether the tablet was used for Fruit Ninja or coloring book apps, my son was never held back from doing what he wanted (until my assigned session timer went off, of course). During my own tests, I was able to swap between browsing with Chrome, running a game or two, and even toying around with a few of the available videos streamed from my home network, all with minimal performance issues. Don’t let the low benchmarks fool you: For the expectations of a child’s first tablet, this device performs very well.
If you have young children, this is a great buy. If you’re a diehard iOS or Windows user, I’d still recommend the purchase if you’re curious about Android while wanting to avoid putting too much into a curiosity. Try it out!
BUY FROM AMAZON
|Example Benchmarks||Alldaymall A88S||Nvidia Shield Portable||Astro Tab A10|
|OS Version||4.4.2 (KitKat)||4.4.2 (KitKat)||5.1 (Lollipop)|
|CPU||ARM sun8i @ 1.34Ghz||ARM sun8i @ 2Ghz|
|*only 1GB available for general use.|