by Givemore Chiwanza T

Nothing is displeasing as a low performing mobile device with a short battery life that you will have to carry a charger with you always. I have used an inefficient phone before and I know how frustrating it is. My name is Givemore Chiwanza and I am currently using an Alcatel 3T 8 Tablet. Why this tablet you may ask. Well, with this device I can kill two birds with one stone. I use the tablet as a phone and as a PC. This purchase was in line with my strained budget at the moment and I needed to be frugal (I bought it at $130). Additionally, my writing gigs and school work require a lot of flexibility which the Alcatel tablet offers. In this article, I am sharing my experiences with this device together with its specifications and features.

Battery life and drainage

With a battery of 4080 mAh, the tablet lasts 4 hours when talking incessantly on video. This battery power allows me to do my tasks throughout the day without worrying about where to find a port in the library to charge my tablet. Sometimes I spend the greater part of my day at the university (from 8 am to 2 pm) and return back home with the battery at 10%. Not a lot? Remember I don’t have a PC so that is impressive because I will be using it throughout the day taking note, reading, browsing the internet, and chatting on Whats App and Facebook. I also travel most of the time for a church meeting and the tablet is quite handy. The stand-by time is nearly 21 days and you can last 8 hours if you are using WiFi. Normally it takes 5 hours to fully charge. However, I recently used a charger that was not compatible with the Alcatel tablet and now it is taking a long time to charge.

Camera features

If you are not shy in front of a camera like me then you will not be disappointed. With 5 mega-pixels both on the rear and front camera and the tablet allows you to do amazing photo editing.

High Performance and Memory

The Alcatel 3T 8 tablet has a little RAM of 1 GB but this does not reduce the overall performance of the device. This is because it uses Android Oreo (Go edition) which is a lighter type of Android that permits devices with low RAM to run the latest version of its operating system. I use the same Applications as my friends who have mobile phones with 2 GB RAM but you cannot easily spot the difference in performance. The Android is 8.1 with a processor of 1.28 GHz, Quad-Core. Memory is 16 GB with 12,8 available to the user. The device can support up to 128 GB of Micro SD card memory. It is also compatible with 2 GB-3 GB RAM and 32 ROM. This amount of memory allows me to download a reasonable amount of applications from Google Play without worry. Large videos or files can be stored directly to the SD card by changing the storage settings.

User-friendly Screen size and Resolution

With a screen of 8 inches and a resolution of 1280 × 800, I watch movies, lectures and read books with ease. The tablet has an Ambient light sensor and I can protect my eyes when reading by reducing blue light without straining my eyes. This has been useful since prolonged exposure to blue light has been associated with eyesight problems. I spend most of my time reading, preparing for my professional accountancy examinations. Besides this, it is super easy to type on the screen and the touchscreen is adjustable to suit one’s tastes. As a freelance writer, I find this to be a great advantage as I often type and edit documents.

Built Quality

The device is lightweight with a thickness of 8,2 mm and a weight of 279 g. An outer metallic black color makes the tablet lustrous and durable. Though the casing is strong, I chose not to take any risks and I bought a cover to protect the tablet in case of falling-I have a history of damaging phones this way. The cover helps as a stand when using the tablet anywhere and makes it easy to carry even without a bag.

Security and Privacy

The device has a pattern and pin lock which you can use as you wish. You can tailor your privacy settings by using Apps lock for specific applications. However, these are not as effective as the fingerprint sensors lock or face recognition. This tablet does not have these advanced privacy and security features. This is quite reasonable given the cost of only $130.

The downside

Not everything is rosy about this tablet. It has an in-built battery (that’s the case with most tablets) meaning that if you want to replace the battery in the distant future, you have to open it up or look for someone who can. The battery is also very sensitive if you use a charger not specially meant for the device. The camera does not have a flash and auto-focus. This makes it only possible to take photos during the day or where there is a lot of light. This is a big disappointment to aspiring photographers without advanced skills in using a mobile device camera. I constantly face problems with the headphone jack. It broke just a few months of purchasing and works only on a selected number of headphones. If you are gamer and love your fps games you will have to reduce the number of other applications so that the games can run properly. However, less demanding games can play just fine on the device.

Overall Review

My conclusion is that this device is adequate if you are on a budget and want to be as economical as possible. It is easy to use features, sound battery and large screen make it a favorable option. However, given the rate at which mobile device technology is advancing, and the increasing size of mobile device screens, the tablet is being outperformed by a lot of brands and models. As such, I rate it 7/10.