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A Phabulous Phablet from Lenovo [Greg Laden's Blog]

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 10:49
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(Before It's News)

Lenovo makes two Phablets that are similar, the 4G and the 4G plus. The latter is not bigger (in fact, it is a little smaller) but rather, has higher specs all around, making it a fairly expensive device. But the Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet (regular) is practically free and is actually rather Phabulous.

OK, well, not fee, but about 170 bucks or so, except now closer to $130 from Gearbest. (As far as I know this is the only place to get it. Gearbest has a very large selection of Lenovo phones and phablets, as well as a high diversity of generally very affordable tablets.)

So, I tried out the Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet.

First, what is a Phablet and why do you want one?

The broadest definition of Phablet is that it is a kind of hybrid between a tablet and a phone. So, for example, the Nexus 6 is sometimes called a Phablet. That is the phone I use. It is very large (requires very large hands), so it has piles of screen real estate, yet it is a phone. But, the Nexus 6 is not really a true phablet by a stricter definition, because it acts like a phone, rather than a tablet, in those areas where they are different.

lenovo_phone_tablet_phablet_size

The Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet is, as far as I can tell, an actual phablet with phone hardware and software and, of course, a place for an SMS card.

It actually has room for 2 SMS cards, and in this and other ways, is highly adaptable and international. Even though you can’t (probably) get this phone from any US carriers, you can still probably buy it an put the SMS of your favorite carrier in it (check here first). Or two SMS cards if you want.

Or, you can use one of the SMS holders to hold the SMS, and the other to hold a micro SD card, for up to 64GB of added storage.

lenovo_phablet_in_handThe display is very large, and the glass front of the device continues out to the edge, with the display, within that area, having a 6.98″ diagonal. The phablet is thin, sturdy, light. The back is gripable rather than super smooth, so it is comfortable in the hand. I probably should put a case on this, but I’d almost rather not it is so easy to handle as is.

There is a normal headphone jack, so you don’t have to worry about that. And, a MicroUSB slot.

Specs:

  • The processor is a Qualcomm MSM8916 Quad Core 1.2GHz (with the ability to go to 1.84GHz)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB eMCP ROM Storage. Note: This tablet uses stock android, so more of this 16GB is available than you might find on, say Samsung phones, which may use many gigabytes of storage for its own proprietary non-removable system software.
  • Capacitive touch display, 6.98 inch, 1280 x 720 (HD 720)
  • Dual cameras, very good quality, 13.0MP rear (with flash) and 5.0MP front.
  • SIM card slot can hold two SIM cards, Dual Standby
  • MicroUSBV slot in place of one of the two SIM cards, as an option (up to 64GB)
  • the Battery is 3.7/4250mAh, and the device comes wiht an adapter that handles 100-240 volts
  • The dual SMS or SMS + microSD holder.

    The dual SMS or SMS + microSD holder.

  • There is a G sensor
  • GPS
  • Blue tooth and WiFi
  • Supports 2G + 3G + 4G high speed internet access
  • Unlocked for international use.
  • Comes with Android 5.1
  • The speaker seems exceptionally good, better sound than my Nexus. Also, the mic is pretty good, for dictation.
  • I am probably going to use this phone for two purposes. First, I’ll offload much of the funcitonality of my Nexus 6 onto this tablet, with its larger screen, etc. I’ve found that the Kindle Reader works really well on this, and the phone is just the right size and weight — Amazon should make a reader just this size and shape — so I’ll be reading non-text books (i.e., technology books, etc.) on this, when I can wrestle the device away from Huxley, who is reading his stuff on it as I write this.

    Second, I’ll get one of those inexpensive short term phone accounts, like Ting provides (but probably not Ting) and I’ll use the tablet as a wireless hotspot for the family’s laptops and other devices, when traveling.

    That second use will also allow me to use this Android phablet as a base for communicating with robots that have SMS cards. Once I get some of those.

    I have always loved Lenovo products, going to back when they were made by IBM. I used only Lenovo laptops back in the day, and I still have a few of them laying around. Lenovo was bought by a Chinese company some time ago, but continued to make laptops. This phablet seems to be in the range of engineering quality I would expect for a consumer grade product made by this company. In other words, well made and solid.

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