Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus: The re-boo(s)ted Android Tablet

Nov 28, 2017

The Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus (TB-8703F) is an 8" tablet powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor (as used in the Xiaomi Mi A1/5X).

It is one of the few tablets with reasonably recent specification in that format.





TB-8703F Main Features:

● Android 6.0
● Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa Core 2.0GHz
● Adreno 506 GPU
● 8.0 inch 10-point Touch Screen (1920x1200)
● 3GB RAM
● 16GB ROM
● Dual Cameras 8.0MP AF rear camera + 5.0MP front camera
● Dual Band 2.4GHz / 5.0GHz WiFi. 802.11b/g/n/ac
● Weight: 330gr

Unpacking, first look, design, quality... 

The compact box offers the strict minimum: the tablet, a USB cable and the AC 5V/2A adapter.


Compared to the best build tablet I ever owned (Xiaomi Mi Pad), the P8 is thinner and lighter, with its 330gr but it still feels just right and well built in the hand. I particularly liked the presence of a notification LED and the position of the speakers. 



Expanding the storage is almost a requirement here and the micro SD card slot is hidden behind the Lenovo tab, which is quite stiff to snap out and click back in. It always feels like it's going to break but so far I've been lucky... 
Better get familiar with that operation as the P8 tends to be picky with the type of micro SD card used.



Software & Performance

The Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus / P8 (a.k.a TB-8703F) is a refreshed version of an obsolete model (TB3-850F) with improvements in almost every aspect:
- faster Snapdragon 625 Octa Core 2.0GHz processor (was 1.3 GHz MTK 8161 before) ,
- 3GB RAM instead of 1GB,
- 1920x1200 FHD resolution (was 1280x800 before),
- More megapixels for the cameras (was 2 & 5MP before)

Unfortunately, Lenovo did not refresh the Android 6.0 and the 16GB of ROM when almost all Android devices comes today with Nougat (Android 7) and at least 32GB of ROM.
Judging by the Upgrade Plan for Tablets on Lenovo web site, the Tab3 8 Plus is not going to receive an upgrade to Nougat or above anytime soon.

At least, it received a security update earlier this year with the "5 September 2017" patch.

Play Store is already there, so not fussing with apk files as with too many chinese tablets.

Lenovo did not push too many "free" stuff in the already limited 16GB storage. The few freebies, SyncIt, ShareIt, and McAfee Internet Security can be easily uninstalled.

There's a "Kid mode" allowing to set restrictions on the available apps and usage time.

In terms of stability, I did not experiment any crash or freezing so far and the tablet was performing well in all situations tested despite the modest benchmark scores.

I should probably add that I tested the P8 with its own internal storage and assigned the microSD card as a portable storage.  You should think twice before choosing otherwise as this will directly affect the performance: the eMMC internal storage is likely faster than any SD cards.

Display

The 8 inch IPS screen Screen type is bright and sharp with its WUXGA resolution (1920x1200). It's a 10 points touch screen as expected for that size.


In addition, there are different display modes to prevent excessive eye strain: Media Mode, Standard Mode, Reading Mode and Kid's Mode. The custom mode can be modified (after a long press on the icon) for a specific combination of screen mode and Dolby mode. Apps will recall the display mode that was selected previously.

Cameras

The back camera has a resolution of 8.0MP, Auto Focus and LED flash.
The front camera is a simple 5.0MP.


Cameras are traditionally terrible in tablets of that price range but I found the Lenovo P8 to be actually okay. The front side is perfectly fine for video chat and the back camera will do fine for occasional shots as long as there's enough light.

The camera software (Snapdragon camera) also offers more options than what's generally found in budget tablets.



Sound

The P8 features the Dolby Atmos technology to enhance the audio quality (basically, it's just a branded equalizer).
In general, the sound quality is good and the various Dolby presets (Movie, Games, Music) provide optimal settings for each situation. 
The speakers are located on top and bottom which places them ideally to provides a proper stereo effect when watching a movie in landscape orientation.


Connectivity

Both 2.4GHz/5.0GHz bands in WiFi worked well for me with no range issue or drop. GPS got the lock in a few seconds and Bluetooth did the job as expected with game controllers and audio equipment. The micro-USB is located on top like the 3.5mm audio jack.


Battery life

The battery is a li-ion 3.7V / 4250mAh. Combined with the fast and energy-efficient Snapdragon 625, I was expecting a better battery life.
I still got up to 8 hours on one charge under intensive use which is okay but not exceptional.

Accessories:

The P8 needs and deserves some protection and that can be sorted out for less than 10€:
Tempered Glass Film is probably a good addition for its non-Gorilla glass screen.
Consider also a Protection case supporting the auto-sleep function.


Conclusion:

With the lack of SIM slot and its average battery life, the Lenovo P8 might not be the ideal traveler, but it does make an excellent home entertainer, perfectly suited for gaming and watching videos. The sound quality is above average for that price and the speakers are ideally located to provide a good stereo effect in landscape orientation. The high density 283ppi display and dedicated color mode also make this tablet a great e-book reader. 

The Lenovo P8 "Tab3 8 Plus" is currently available at Gearbest.com around ~127.55€ (~150$) for the white version. With the limited choice in that format, it's safe to say that the P8 is one of the best tablet in its league.

Deep Blue and Silver versions are also available but their price can vary a lot for no other reason than the color, so just pick the cheapest of the moment.






Special thanks to Kylie @ Gearbest.com
for providing me with this sample!




0 comments:

Post a Comment