Three owner videos have been posted to Youku in China highlighting problems with the Chuwi V88.
At least two of these problems are potential deal-breakers.
For those who aren’t patient enough to sit through three Chinese-language videos, I’ve done screensnaps and will explain the problems.
These screensnaps aren’t of the highest quality because I’ve not yet found a way to rip Youku videos to play locally (several methods recommended on the Net don’t work). Click any snap to enlarge.
First, a rare view of the Chuwi V88 screen in portrait:
Unlike the Onda V818, Chuwi left Android mostly unmolested. No custom launcher, no change to the bottom navbar. That is good.
Now the bad.
Problem one: Protruding buttons.
Wow, the On/Off and Volume buttons really stick out! That could be a problem when carrying it in a bag or using a case. Could it be turned on accidentally? Update Wednesday May 1, 2013: A Commenter states the owner is actually talking about the buttons being plastic and not how they protrude. They still seem to stick out too much to me.
Problem two: The microSD card protrudes.
That is bad. Very, very bad. How could Chuwi have let that happen? The protruding buttons are one thing. But imagine having a 64GB microSD card and it popped out either in a bag or while using it outside. Who wants to risk losing a whopping 64GBs of data? Seriously, Chuwi couldn’t have found another two millimeters to sink the microSD card?
Problem three: Case fit.
That’s supposedly a case — albeit a fugly one — designed for the V88. Um, wut? If you watch the video, you’ll see the case covers the entire front of the unit. Which makes no sense. If you can’t access the controls at all, what’s the point of leaving clearance for the camera and the speaker? Again: Um, wut?
Problem four: Bad video centering.
I understand what’s happening there. Chuwi’s software (and it seems to be their bundled player, although I can’t be sure) isn’t including the bottom navbar in the vertical centering calculation. AnTuTu also tends to do that, reporting the screen as not being a full 1024 x 768. This problem can be fixed with a firmware update. It’s annoying to see it happen, however. Attention to detail is what makes a company world-class. This is just sloppy.
And those are the problems. The microSD card really bothers me and could be a deal-breaker.
Now for something brilliant that Chuwi did!
In Settings, tap on that (it has a checkmark, indicating it’s already selected here):
And BAM! The navbar gains a camera icon for screensnaps!
And I love the way it indicates a snap has been taken:
Bravo to Chuwi for that!
So before any “official” reviews have appeared, we have an owner pointing out problems. It will now be very interesting to see if any of the “official” reviews even mention what he’s pointed out.
Same-day update: Whoops! I left out something!
That’s the screen assembly issue mentioned in this earlier post. It’s something that many Chinese tablets suffer from but it’s still no excuse. The top is slightly warped and you can actually pinch a gap shut, as shown in the snap. So, if you intend to be an early buyer of the Chuwi V88, you might have to settle for that unless you like shipping things back and forth to China!
Now here are his three videos. With a bonus! A fourth video — thirteen minutes long — by someone else demonstrating several large games being played on the V88.