A curious case of under-play

The first thing we notice about the Play Be 150 3G is its thick, bulky packaging, and the specifications that promise high quality performance. Available for just R10,990, Mitashi has done a pretty good job offering too many things at too little a price. But, we would soon realise that therein also lies the BE 150 3G’s biggest drawback, one that makes an impressive product like this fall out of the favourite spot. Here’s how.

Playback Time
First, it’s a pain to recharge this tablet in the USB mode taking at least 9-10 hours; the DC adapter that comes bundled (hence the bulky packaging) is slightly better at 7-8 hours, but no good as you get a video playback of just almost three hours that Mitashi claims. Even in stand-by mode it lasts just upto 8 hours.

Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The 7.0 inch IPS capacitive touch screen is impressive, and at par with most other tablets at this price range. However, we were highly disappointed with the colour reproduction. It’s dull, but then that’s the case with most IPS screens. The touch response does the job just fine. The camera is the next worst thing after a weak battery. We could have understood poor quality in the front camera, but the rear does not impress either. The speakers lack the punch we expected in a tablet, which goes by the name Play.

One may expect a 1 Ghz processor (Cortex A9) and 1 GB DDR3 RAM to be an awesome combination at this price, but numbers don’t tell the truth, always. The available RAM (894 MB), though is better than most other tabs, and despite powered by a Cortex A9, stops responding while using multiple apps. If you have multiple tabs open during web browsing, you might just have to wait till all the battery power drains out or reset it to the factory settings. Either way, you lose.

The BE 150 3G manual claims an inbuilt-flash of 4 GB, but the system information shows just 2.05 GB internal flash memory and an extra SD card of 819 MB, which when combined provides enough storage, but why lie?

What we like
3G Calling, Edge and GPRS; in-built apps like the ES Task Manager, ES Explorer and Documents to Go; multi-tasking accessibility; Web browser; HDMI support; Bluetooth; 7-inch screen; price; keyboard KB 100 sold separately for Rs 1,299.

What we din’t like
Low playback and standby time; very long re-charging time; camera; poor performance; speakers; false figures on manual; lack of GPS; no SMS support, small USB cable.

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