I’m Disgusted With China’s Cheating

This is not how any tablet screen should be:


That’s the screen of the Teclast P89 Mini, which I posted about here.

I dismissed that as something wrong with the Kindle software.


Chinese vendors are cheating on the color depth and quality of their screens, despite all the hype that some claim they’re using the same screen as the iPad Mini.

It might be the same screen, but their tablets aren’t like an iPad Mini if they’re decreasing the color depth!

Look at this:


That’s a screen color test of three iPad Mini clones. Top left is the Freelander, which I’ve never heard of before now. Top right is the Cimi/Simi X8. Bottom by itself is the new Onda V819 Mini.

Only the Freelander is displaying true color depth.

To continue, look at this image on the Onda V819 Mini screen:


In isolation, you’d think that was pretty good.

Now compared to those other two clones:


Look at how washed out the color is. It simply lacks color depth!

Again all three screen compared:


And again:


That final image is very telling, with everything so washed out.

All of those images are from a long in-progress post about the Onda V819 Mini [Google English].

I’ve seen these color tests in the past but I can’t recall being bothered by them until the news of the Teclast P89 Mini’s screen came to my attention — and then made me pay attention when I saw this latest test.

I know many people are interested in Chinese iPad Mini clones — but I don’t think anyone is so desperate for Android in that form factor that they want to pay money for something sub-standard.

As I’ve read through Chinese forums these past months, little bits of information dribble out here and there that now combine to create a damning mosaic from the chipmakers to the component suppliers to the tablet makers.

When each and every one of them think they can get away with cheating, they will do it.

Chipmakers find a way to make their chips detect AnTuTu and then run a certain way to produce a better score. They also claim their chips will run at a certain speed but tablet makers must downclock them because of chip yield problems — which the chipmakers paper over by simply discounting their chips.

Component makers get customers not on the basis of quality but by cutting deals on price.

Tablet makers hype their products without full and honest specs and with abysmal warranties, return policies, and repair policies.

One investigation into tablets revealed a defect rate of one in three!

I cannot in good conscience recommend any Chinese iPad Mini clone due to this rampant cheating — as well as atrocious quality control.

There’s a reason companies grow big.

They don’t cheat their customers.

They have commitments to quality control — including that of their suppliers.

They serve their customers instead of milking them.

All of you who have iPad Mini clones, go run some screen tests. I’d like to know how many of you have gotten screens without full color depth.

There’s still a big untold story about just how bad some brands are in China. I’ve seen forum posts where people have sworn never to buy certain brands after having bad experiences with them.

And even on the whole, domestic Chinese tablet makers — en toto — are held in low regard by the Chinese themselves.

Yet we outside of China think we’re getting some sort of bargain!

When the Japanese learned they were the laughingstock of the world back in the 1960s, they didn’t continue to produce crap. They made a commitment to improve and to be world-class. That bold move gave the world brand names such as Sony, Matsushita, Sharp, and many more.

As things stand now, it’s difficult for me to believe that on their current paths, Chinese brand names such as Chuwi, Onda, Teclast, and the others will ever become world-class.

For myself, my choice of tablet will be from a global brand name — either the LG G Pad 8.3 or the HP Slate 8 Pro.

Chinese cheating has driven me out their market and after a few more posts about them, I will be dropping coverage of them here altogether.

They really make the Ferengi look good and thoroughly subscribe to their first two Rules of Acquisition:

Rule 1: Once you have their money, you never give it back.

Rule 2: The best deal is the one that brings the most profit.


Buying Advice!



Filed under iPad Mini Clones

35 responses to “I’m Disgusted With China’s Cheating

  1. what about the chuwi ice green

    • mikecane

      I can’t recommend any of them. Chuwi still has ongoing and uncorrected problems with its AC charger.

      • charging problems are due to faulty chargers, if one has genuine properly working Chuwi charger there is no problem, you can use as well third party charger, it just must be able to deliver at least 2.5A and 5.4V, also new firmware for Chuwi V88S is supposed to have some fix for charging issues

        cheating/optimization for benchmarks is worldwide problem and not Chinese one, I don’t really care about these synthetic benchmarks but I am interested in real user experience

        also color depth seem OK, so I really can’t say anything wrong by my experience with three bought V88S and I have this feedback also from other people in forums

      • mikecane

        Another scandal has erupted over faulty chargers, this time from Ramos, which failed after several months of use. It turns out Ramos warrantied their chargers for just *fifteen days*! So there’s still many ways they can cheat in China.

    • Aaron

      My Onda V975M always stutters when typing or hangs. Also Netflix plays choppy as if there is something wrong with either the ROM software or the video chip that decodes it. Strange that YouTube video always plays fine. Onda never updates their firmware or let’s their customers know of updates, fixes and or bugs. Once you buy Onda tablet you are on your own, goodluck as China always says to their customers.

  2. Cheating benchmarks etc has been going on for decades by Qualcomm, Nvidia, Intel, Apple, this is nothing specific only to Chinese companies. But sure it would be easier for us to review etc if not most of all new Chinese devices were running fake antutu and etc. But I wouldn’t trust even non fake antutu for other than to figure out specs of what’s inside. Benchmarks are just not that easy as just running an app on these types of very integrated ARM Powered devices, and you cannot compare ARM to x86 just by some benchmark, that’s for sure. Also each GPU does things so differently, you cannot compare just by some benchmark how real performance of the device compares on each.

    • mikecane

      Yes, I know that. But even AnTuTu Labs has called out companies in China by name for outright cheating. And there’s a huge fight going on in a Chinese forum right now over a third-place chipmaker blatantly trying to cheat on its AnTuTu score to boost its sales.

      • Thomas

        I dont care about any of these scores. I want an above avg screen that runs Kindle/Nook/Google Books, with decent video streaming. Its mine. And with Mike, just wish they(International Brands) would bring their prices down.

      • mikecane

        Given that the original 7-inch Samung Galaxy Tab was around $500, I see a $299 LG G Pad 8.3 as a reasonable price (if that turns out to be the actual price).

  3. mid

    Chinese always lie, and that’s been a standard for hundreds of years now, it’s an integral part of their culture. I don’t think any of those iPad mini clone makers has plans to become BIG, otherwise they wouldn’t clone others so blatantly or use dubious guerrilla advertisement tactics.

    I’m starting to think of (cheap) Chinese hardware in disposable terms, you use it for some time and then it either breaks or you sell it off and move on to the next thing. Since you like to keep your hardware (for a long time) Chinese clones are definitively not for you :)

  4. avid reader

    My Vido Mini One does not seem to have a full color depth display, either. It shows most prominently in the Browser tabs and the Facebook App loading screen and obviously anywhere with gradients

  5. yeahman45

    but you get what you pay… the chinese tablets are cheaper for a reason: they cut costs on build quality and quality control.. although nowadays there are more budget quality tablets like the nexus, asus memopad and upcoming lg…so the chinese companies need to increase their quality if they want to compete

    • mikecane

      Yes, that’s how I feel about it too. Ramos says they intend to do that. Which is why I’m not yet dropping all iPad Mini clone coverage until I get all the information about that new Ramos K1.

      • yeahman45

        the stuff that still interest me with the chinese tabs is the connectivity… you don’t get sd card slot and hdmi in most non-chinese budget tabs like nexus. I got the galaxy note 8 btw (as i read too much complains about chinese tabs: commmon issues are charging, screen, power, battery and wifi) but it is damn expensive compared to other tabs but it has a great screen, build quality, sd card slot, tv output, usb otg, bluetooth, ir and great battery life

      • mikecane

        Both the LG G Pad 8.3 and HP Slate 8 Pro have microSD card slots. And I think both will also do Miracast. I’d rather pay a little more for the assurance I can return it easily and am not being cheated at the start.

  6. yeahman45

    i am still following the chinese tabs though lol.. i am interested in getting one mainly as a media player/gaming device .. not for serious important stuff(will use my galaxy note 8 for that) .. i also have an hp touchpad which is great but severely lacks storage (no sd cart slot and no usb otg out of the box)

  7. E.T.

    This is quite sad. Chinese companies have missed a window of opportunity to fill the niche of affordable yet competent tablets. Now however, Acer, Archos, Asus, LG, HP, etc. are filling the gap.
    I am especially disappointed by Teclast, which I thought had a good reputation. I’m also a bit perplexed because I got the impression that in the smartphone market companies such as Thl, Zopo, Jiayu, etc. (not mention the high end Xiaomi, Meizu) are offering reasonable devices. Why is the tablet market different?
    Indeed, all this increases the attractiveness of the known tablet brands. An affordable Windows 8 tablet with 4:3 aspect ratio may have also been a valid alternative (if existed) as being able to work on Office documents may compensate for the smaller App echosystem.

  8. yeahman45

    the LG G Pad looks very nice.. lg has been making pretty good phones lately; they have done the nexus 4 and google still trusting them for the nexus 5 meaning LG is doing a pretty good job and they are amongst the top screen makers

  9. dgm196

    I was right on the point of getting a ipad mini clone from China when UK major UK retailer Tesco announce their HUDL (odd name) today

    Android 4.2.2 / 7 Inch (1440×900) / HDMI
    RK3188 / ? RAM / 16 GB Storage & Micro SD slot
    9 hour battery life (does look a bit chunky though)
    For £120 (~$190) which is only about 10% more than direct from China price delivered to UK for the clones albeit not with my preferred 4:3 aspect ratio for the screen

    • mikecane

      Well, good luck with it if you get it. I need 4:3 (HP Slate 8 Pro) or a screen at least as wide as an iPad Mini (LG G Pad 8.3) for Google Books PDFs.

  10. Sebastian

    I have a Chuwi V88S, as usual with chinese tablets the charger is crap, the volume down button doesn´t work, and the rom is unstable from time to time. Please tell me the names of those screen tests so I can try them.

  11. Harvid

    So far, I`ve been happy with my Chuwi V88. The specs are good and I`m happy with my screen. The ROM is a bit flaky, but I bought this as an experiment and to test out ROM and Android in general. For a non-mission critical device, I think the purchase is reasonable, especially at a time when tablets are evolving rapidly and bigger and better will be on it`s way in the not too distant future.

    As for Chinese tablet makers, I think that it`s a bit of a wild west situation there. We`re talking about a domestic market that doesn`t have the sort of regulations that we generally have here in the West. In time, I suspect that the market will sort itself out. Even with phones, there are a lot of crappy ones in China, with the best of the breed being pricier than a lot of their domestic competition (would really like an OPPO Find 5 if I don`t go back to iPhone as my GNex is getting a little tired and has always been a bit buggy). What might help the Chinese tablet market is if companies like Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu start getting involved….

  12. Pingback: Rampant cheating by Android knockoffs prompts AnTuTu to launch new benchmark | Mac4Schools

  13. Pingback: Rampant cheating by Android knockoffs prompts AnTuTu to launch new benchmark

  14. avid reader

    Hey, I have to redact the comment I made on September 21st. I just flashed the arctablet ROM based on the 0828 firmware and the apps I mentioned now look completely normal. This means that at least for the Vido Mini One I can confirm that it is in fact equipped with an IPS display. The question remains why Vido chose to use a color depth lower than what the screen is actually capable of. Antutu X bench shows 18846 points, so that’s okay for an rk3188 tablet.

  15. Dai Shan

    iFive Mini3 here. No banding or washed out colors. I’m also running a modified firmware, so I’m not sure what the original looks like anymore.

  16. Pingback: mod rom for teclast p89s mini?

    • mikecane

      At the above linked post, I’m accused of being ?racist” because I’m criticizing Chinese companies with a record of sub-standard and outright fraudulent products. Yet in the post of mine, I cite how the Japanese conquered the business world. In addition, I’m not alone in criticizing Teclast. They’re routinely blasted by Chinese customers themselves in forum posts as a brand to avoid — along with Onda. That the Teclast P89 Mini costs far less than an iPad doesn’t mean a damn thing if they cheat on the color depth of their screen. That’s fraud, period, whether it’s done by the Chinese, Japanese, or Americans. I’d reply at the forum itself, but it requires registration to do so — unlike this blog — and I’m not going to create another account somewhere with another damn password I’ll have to remember for the very, very rare times I’d need to use it. The Commenter is a goddammed idiot using a slanderous argument and he’s invited to come here to prove otherwise.

  17. Adrian

    Also here in romania we have those scammers…companies like Eboda, allview etc..(romanian ones) are s*itting us telling us that their tablets are 100% romanian tablets, so..they are re-branding those chinese ones and sell them as romanian tablets…:(

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