Updated at end of post.
Three weeks after it was announced and just about one week since its release in China, we have the first video of the Onda V818.
Let’s review the specs:
200mm x 139mm x 7.5mm, 340g, AllWinner A31s quad-core Cortex A7 CPU at unknown speed, Imagination PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 16 GBs storage, WiFi, microUSB 2.0 OnTheGo, microHDMI-out, microSD slot up to 32GB, cameras 0.3MP front and 5MP back, no Bluetooth.
Is it worth buying?
I am very disappointed to see this. Onda got ambitious and sabotaged themselves with this model.
The first hint of something being wrong is the home screen:
I expected Onda’s trademark widgets. What I didn’t expect is a change in the bottom bar — no screensnap icon (Onda usually includes one), separate volume Up/Down icons, and a weird back arrow. It also has a bizarre layout that spans the screen width instead of being all near the left side. Then there’s that screen layout with icons off the right side in a vertical row. This is just too much customization of Android.
It only gets worse when he accesses the camera:
That’s a custom UI too. Onda should have used the Jelly Bean camera UI.
It continues to get bad when he accesses Settings:
That’s yet another custom UI! Why bother to tout you’re using Jelly Bean if you intend to customize it beyond anyone’s reasonable expectations?
I’m also not impressed by the AnTuTu score:
And no wonder:
The AllWinner A31s CPU tops out at 1GHz! That’s not at all impressive.
There’s ten-point multitouch:
But it’s difficult for me to imagine when that will be useful on a 7.9-inch screen!
But the truth is, we’ve come to expect good gaming scores like that from budget Chinese tablets, so I’m just not impressed by that. Also, I’m not someone who plays games.
And now we hit something that’s simply embarrassing and also frightening. He touts the WiFi reception:
But he’s consistently unable to call up any web pages:
He uses the lame excuse that his office network has “too many users” on it! That is the final straw that rules out this tablet as a possible buy for me.
The CPU is just too weak. Why isn’t it well over 1GHz? Also, this video is done by a seller. This is basically an advertisement for the tablet, to entice you to buy it from them. But absolutely no demonstration of web browsing? That’s just wrong.
The video itself is in English but it’s also borked. Although the run time is twenty-nine minutes, it actually ends a little past fourteen minutes then repeats(!) without audio(!). Ugh.
Onda had a hit with the V812 (aka Archos 80 Platinum) but going by this video the V818 is just a poor sequel of that device. I can’t see this as being worth buying.
I had been looking forward the V818. Now I’m just very disappointed.
Update, Saturday April 13, 2013:
See? NenaMark2 score for the V818 is nothing special. The Archos 80 Titanium has a Mali-400 GPU. As for AnTuTu, it’s higher than the V818 — and the Archos 80 Titanium has a dual-core Rockchip 3066 running at 1.6GHz. Really, that A31s CPU in the V818 is pretty miserable performance for a quad-core chip! It should be at least 1.5GHz to 1.6GHz, not a weak 1GHz.
Anyway, if like me you had been looking forward to the Onda V818, just let it go now. You can get a better tablet for just US$169 — the Archos 80 Titanium. Or you can hold out for the Archos 80 Platinum with a quad-core AllWinner A31 CPU — ironically, it’s originally the Onda V812!
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