During this year’s Jumia Mobile Week’s unveiling, there was one new device that stood out from the rest that various brands paraded on stage. That was the Tecno PhonePad 7 II which Tecno’s tablet head John Marshal briefly teased.
It was unique in that, with a 7-inch display, it strayed into tablet territory while its makers were just happy to let us think of it as a big smartphone. Don’t ask us where we get to blur the line between big smartphones aka phablets and the tablets themselves because now we don’t know.
The PhonePad 7 II, is, to be honest, a big smartphone as well as a small tablet. See the confusion now? This is what strikes you at first when you meet Tecno’s second tablet in the Kenyan market after the 8-inch DroiPad 8 II.
The other thing you notice is the black bars on the side which come in handy when you hold it in landscape mode (may be to view video content, read, browse etc) since it is such a big device. The big bezels work in its favour when handling device but, like the black bars, work against it when it comes to the looks. The looks are boosted a bit by the all-metal body.
Even with such a footprint which is too big for a smartphone, it is still possible to hold the Tecno PhonePad 7 II in one hand and actually use it. If you are to use it as a phone – for making calls, this is how you achieve that which is way easier and less a hassle than it is on the DroiPad 8 II.
Since it has to pack all the components in a much smaller chassis, the PhonePad 7 II is marginally thicker than the bigger DroiPad 8 II at 8.9 millimetres while the latter is thinner at 8.3mm.
The other surprise comes in the user interface. It’s still the good old Tecno UI. There’s no sight of Tecno’s new user interface, HiOS. We didn’t get to see that in the PhonePad 7 II’s elder sibling, the DroiPad 8 II, either so it’s not a surprise as such.
In the box
One gets a free flip cover worth Kshs 1,000 in the box alongside the usual stuff: a user manual and warranty card, a USB cable and an adaptor. Unlike in the DroiPad 8 II, you don’t get a USB OTG cable here even though the device actually supports OTG.
- Size: 193.7 x 105 x 8.9mm
- Display: 7-inch 600 x 1024 pixels IPS LCD panel
- Memory: 1 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage (expandable via microSD slot)
- Camera: 5 MP main with LED flash; 2 MP sensor on the front with flash as well
- Processor: Quad-core MediaTek MT 8735M
- Operating System: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- Battery: 4,100 mAh (non-removable)
- Network: 3G, 4G LTE
- Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, microUSB 2.0
- Other: FM radio, dual-SIM
The PhonePad 7 II continues the trend of Tecno targeting budget tablet buyers with its low pricing. The Tecno PhonePad 7 II is on sale in the Kenyan market both in stores countrywide and online through Jumia for Kshs 14,500.
Since we’ve had this device for some time now, look out for our full review soon.