Not too long ago, the in-thing in town was the feature phone which had a camera, had the radio and came with some extra wow accessories, and that was it – case won. Those days seem to be so far away now, with the advent of Smartphones, smart tablets, and the phone-tab hybrid combo all rolled in one.
Here we are at a time where a phone, tablet, and even a computer system could all run on the same OS (operating system), in such a way that you could migrate your job from one device to another and keep it going without missing a beat. At least not in the continuous flow of the job, even if the convenience levels are somewhat different – considering screen size, keyboard comfort, and similar features.
Enter the Bamboo android smart tablet. Imagine the features of two phones, a mini laptop, touch screen features, with rear and frontal cameras, combined in one light and easy to carry around piece – There you have the Bamboo D700. Been playing around with it for some time now, just so that I could get some perspective to do this review.
Not Just another Android Tab
At the point of picking it up, I thought the same – maybe it is just another tablet of the many out there now. But I found out something different. The Bamboo tab seems to be made for the Nigerian market, because it has got features customized for this environment. Let me just give you a tip before we get into the real deal, a tab with a relatively rough-designed back, bundled with apps like the IrokoTv, Jobberman, and FM radio. Does that tell you anything? Just about what we need in this market. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s get back to the beginning.
What’s in the Box
The Bamboo Tab D700 comes packed like a Smartphone in a rectangular box. Inside the box, the tab is bundled with a full set of accessories such as a comfy suede comfy pouch with a rope-knot lock piece, a micro USB cable, a wall plug for USB charging, a pair of earphones, a car charger kit, a reader stand /holder (car/table leg stand), and a manual. All of the latter colored black, except the manual.
Hardware Design and Accessories
Designed with the slightly rough back for good grip and convenience, at just the right weight which allows for convenience even if held in hand for a long time. It runs on a dual core processor, with 1GHz frequency, and as much as 12.94 Gigabytes of internal storage, put together to provide superior performance.
On the top of the tab, the power button is located at the upper left corner, with the volume up and down buttons next to it. To the upper right are the dual SIM slots, and the TF or mini SD chip slot. On the right side there is the HDMI slot, the earphone jack, a Mic (mouthpiece point) and the micro-USB slot. The rear (2.0 megapixels) camera lens is more to the left of the center point on its end, while the frontal facing camera (0.3 MP) is quite centralized – which I must add has got lovely color separation and comparatively great output.
Also available are the usual features often seen on Android now: 3G / Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB interface, and a lovely touch screen keypad, with spaces between each tab to allow easy typing. It can also be used as a Mi-Fi device when the tethering spot feature is enabled, plus a micro-usb to full USB interface converter which allows for use of flash drives, data modems, and other dongles.
Using the Bamboo D700 Tablet
Enabled for dual SIM use with an efficient SIM management interface; the amazing thing is that even with all of the latter, it still adequately features an impressive battery life to boot. Pre-loaded with interesting applications, such as mobile terrestrial TV, crisp and clear FM radio application, business applications, and reader apps like Kobo.
Truth is, the Radio feature is my personal best especially as it can record FM, has the open speaker option, and lets you get a listen while doing other things on the Tab (first I have seen, and just right for Nigerians in love with their radio). An added advantage for female users would be the ovulation and fashion applications which come with the bundle.
Bundled with other great apps like GPS test, Airtel TV, flash player, kobo reader app, my days, MX player, Pose, and a paired wireless input device app enabled via Bluetooth. World clock and power control widgets. It works well even when plugged in to system via usb charging cable. With Long lasting battery life – it could go 2 straight days without charging, if put to fair use.
Impressive Camera Settings
The abilities of the cameras may not be entirely wowing, but they have got features that would endear the tab to users who love video recordings. Especially the pause option feature while recording videos, which is really great – done with a brief hold on the record button – It could adequately resume and pause recording intermittently. It has also a great zoom half circle track.
You could slide to fast forward or reverse track. same zoom track exists for still camera shots, plus color effects enhancement for pictures, combined with a flash mode. It could be set to capture a max of 16 continuous shots; with very stable and smooth slide touch.
How About The Down Sides
Even with as much quality and performance that it exhibits, I found a few down sides. The TV signals were not too clear, and ran on a mono sound system. (Listed countries did not include Nigeria although it picks some more channels, when I chose Morocco and South Africa, both of which seem to run on similar TV bands we do).
Also there are only one set of buttons for back, home, and refresh functions, with no options elsewhere on the panel. I was equally disappointed that it didn’t come with an HDMI cable, even though the HDMI slot exists. There was no felt pen and no games available, except you had to download from the play store.
Should you buy the Bamboo D700
On the strength of its features, quality and performance , I would say the Bamboo D700 tab would make for use, as it has got unique features which definitely make it stand out. Selling for a little over the naira equivalent of $250, the price might be the slight issue here, but compared to others out there it is relatively cheaper proportionate to the value of its amazing offerings. Another incentive is that the Bamboo D700 comes with a free Airtel SIM card, 100MB of data, 20 Free SMS, and 20 minutes voice calls every month for 6 months.
I cannot cover all of the features of a fully functional tablet in the few words of a review, but I have managed to highlight some of its interesting sides and maybe the seeming downs, just to create some perspective. The product happens to come with some game-changing features which could make a huge difference in these parts. Don’t expect miracles out of it –but if you are looking for a tab which creates a new dimension, bundled with features that could make your life easier – especially on the move, then I feel the Bamboo D700 is your better bet.