Customer Review

154 of 165 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value - Not Amazing!!!, 1 Aug 2013
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This review is from: FUSION5 XTRA COMPACT Tablet PC - 10.1" Screen - DUAL-CORE CPU - Android 4.2.2 JELLY BEAN - DUAL CAMERA - 1GB RAM - 16 GB STORAGE - BLUETOOTH - Capacitive 5-Point Touch Screen - FASTER THAN Xtra Tablet
I've only had this tablet one day and I really like it. Last Christmas I bought myself my first android phone. This was also my very first experience with Android itself. A Samsung Galaxy Mini. After a short time I started to wonder if could do much more with a bigger screen and I considered selling the phone for a bigger one. I'm glad I didn't. I decided that I would be better off with a tablet. I didn't want to spend over 100 and I've had several tablets in my amazon basket for the last two or three months. I've read hundreds of reviews, scratching my head. Should I get a 7" or a 9"? I kept coming back to these Fusion5's because of all the great reviews.

I was ready to buy the 9.1" xtra version when I saw that there were two brand new editions released. The 2.0 and the 3.0 which both have 10.1 screens. I won't bother you with specifications because you can easily look them up and do your own comparisons. However, the 2.0 and the 3.0 appear to be almost identical except for the fact that the 3.0 has a quad core chip. Each quad core runs at 1.2ghz while with the dual version, each run at 1.5ghz. I don't know if a quad core would drastically speed things up.

I settled for this one and I find this version to be pretty speedy. The pages move around at lightening speed. Better touch sensitivity than my little Galaxy mini. Doesn't require as much pressure and it never makes mistakes. Very fluid with no hint of a processor churning away in the background either. I've spent all day today getting used to Android in tablet form. It's a little bit different than my phone but still easy to use. I've read a lot of reviews where people say they can't put it down. It's true.

[Update: Having made those prevoius remarks back in august of 2013 I will tell you now that I have been back to edit this review several times. Now that it's almost christmas I can tell you honestly how my views have changed.]

I work a lot with electronics projects. I'm always reading e-books that I've downloaded. Mostly technical manuals that are time consuming to read and a strain on the eyes. I get fed up sitting in front of my computer reading huge amounts of pdf files. I wanted a tablet that could handle the job of an e-book reader. I think it does a stellar job. The screen is so clear and bright and easy to read. I feel it's every bit as good as an I-pad screen. Though I'm sure some more experienced users would scoff at this remark. If it's not as good, it is still clearly a fantastic screen. One of the amazing features I really like is that you can open several pdf files at once. Lets say you scroll to page 22 on the first book, page 55 on the second, etc. When you shut down the tablet and turn it back on the next day, it will still have the books in the "open app list" at the exact same pages. Either delete them from the list or carry on reading exactly where you left off.

[Update: the previous comments remain true. I've seen and handled a samsung galaxy tablet and this device has a superior screen and superior engineering and I'm still very happy with reading pdf documents.]

As far as video is concerned. I've been downloading 1080p avi and mkv video files from the net recently. I copied one over to my Micro SD card and with a single click of the file it starts to play. And it plays perfectly. The video is really great. It's similar to pdf files in that you can come back the next day to resume watching. If you delete it from the apps list, it will still remember the exact resume position. If you've previously started watching a film, then it will prompt you to either start from the beginning or continue where you left off. Really nice. I watched a 1080p version of Pulp Fiction in bed and noticed that the screen is very forgiving with viewing angle. No dropped frames here. Real cinematic video playback performance and the colours are spot on!

[Update: three months in and the operating system is starting to show some wear. the whole system has slowly become sluggish. Video has a tendancy of stuttering every 10 or 15 seconds for 1/2 a second. Sometimes the video just stops playing. A full factory reset seems to solve this for a short time but you lose all your saved web pages and passwords, etc. I've knocked the unit down one star for this and for internet browsing which I'll mention later. I have a gmail.com account which lets me back up all my saved webpages and other important information automatically so it's a minor annoyance to reset the tablet.]

Some negatives I can think off (from August 2013). It gets an 8.5 out of 10 for "solid feel." The I-pad does have a much stronger solid feel to it than this.. but not much. I think the back side of the i-pad is made from an alloy though. This is all plastic, but still very sturdy. When holding it in two hands, if you tork your left hand slightly and the right in the opposite directly slightly, you'll get what I call "creek" value. Every electronic thing made of plastic creeks a little it seems, unless it's titanium or high grade aluminium. Being that it's entirely plastic it does give out some creek. Not much, just a little. I don't believe it will survive if you drop it on a hard tile floor though.

The micro-sd card is a pain to get in and out because it lines up perfectly flush with the slot opening. You need fingernails. I've gotten used to it though.

Also, Android itself can be a bit fiddly at times. Sometimes it's unpredictable and annoying in it's own way. Some apps are designed for a small phone screen and don't look good at 10 inches. The good news is that if one application doesn't display or function exactly as you want it to, most likely someone else has made something very similar. I downloaded a highly rated scientific calculator from the google play store and it's annoying with it's gigantic buttons. I deleted ti. The idea is to just keep searching for apps until you get the right one.

Also, some of the films I've watched on it have the subtitles imbedded inside the file. These are displayed automatically and I see no way to switch them off. I will endeavour to track down a more robust video player. Perhaps one with some menu options.

This unit has the very latest edition of Android and seems pretty slick and well crafted. There are millions of apps for this device and all of them will work as this is the latest edition.

In my humble opinion, it looks, functions and appears like a device costing several times it's price. I'm very happy with it.

[update: Dec. 2013] This will be my last update. One big negative you should be aware off. The default internet browser is seriously out of date. It's version 4 and the latest one from the Googleplay store is version 7. I've seen a lot of people complaining about how bad internet is how some people have even rooted and switched to another version of Android. However, if you just go to Googleplay and install the latest edition, you'll find that internet runs pretty smooth. I only get the occasional timeout, compared to the old version which timed out every other second.

Last Update: Dec. 30th 2013:

Recently dealt with customer service and I'm happy to say that they are excellent and very helpful with fast e-mail response. It's better than the Samsung Galaxy at a 3rd of the price! The latest one has bluetooth. I highly recommend this tablet!
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Aug 2013 19:56:17 BDT
stefano says:
What is the battery life like?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2013 20:18:13 BDT
Spiff says:
Battery life is pretty good. I can't honestly tell you how many hours I get from a single charge though because I've lost track. Seems to go for ages on a single charge. I've watched three or four full length films since the last time I charged it and it's still at 30% so I'd consider that pretty good. The Wi-Fi has been on/off at various times, but I'd say it's been off a substantial amount of time. I downloaded some apps from the googel play a few days ago. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the biggest energy users for any tablet. I don't have any 3rd party apps installed for battery conservation though. My android phone has a program installed called "juice defender." I got that on the google play shop. It lets me get days out of my phone. Basically all it does it shuts stuff down temporarily and limits energy usage in a variety of ways. It works a treat so perhaps if I install it on my tablet it will extend the battery somewhat? I'm not sure. Currently, when you're not using the tablet, it goes into a hibernate sleep mode after 10 or 15 seconds. I'm not sure how to change this. I might be able to switch this off in place of a software solution to extend battery life. But honestly, I haven't worried about the battery too much. If you're using it professionally, I think with a good energy app, you could get a good solid day of usage out of it, no problem. Also, it's really easy to access the settings with a little tab at the top of the screen. You can switch Wi-Fi on and off very quickly. This isn't the best response, but I hope it helps a little. I'm still loving this little tablet. I'm so glad I bought it.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 11:02:58 BDT
stefano says:
My biggest worry is that it won't last the day.
I am thinking of getting one, as I am building a driving instructor business, and at the moment I am using drawings and paper, so maybe by getting a tablet I would still have the tools, whilst able to pull actual google maps of specific junctions my learner may be finding difficult. I have only just started driving school, having been made redundant twice in 18 months, and this is the only thing I may be able to do. I know a lot of instructors use an ipad, so this seems like a cheaper alternative.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 12:47:21 BDT
Spiff says:
I'm not 100% confident that this could be used professionally, but I could be wrong. I'm not confident that it would like you to constantly plug in and out a charger several times a day, 5 days a week. It's not super rugged with a titanium case that you get with an I-pad.

Also, this tablet has a 5000mAh battery and takes about 3 hours to fully charge while the I-pad has a 11,666 mAh battery and it takes around 6 hours to fully charge. Keep that in mind. It has twice the energy capacity but that doesn't necessarily mean it will last twice as long. The new retina display uses twice as much energy as the old style display.

I-pad has the advantage of having 3G built right in while you'll have to get a dongle to use 3G with this tablet. The dongle will no doubt eat into battery life. The only solution is to plug either device in while not in use, using common sense and finding just the right energy app that works best with your device. Searching the net, I see that energy use of the I-pad is a big concern for people with the number of hits I found. So energy use is going to be an issue no matter what you get.

When Android tablets first came out they came with both GPS and 3G but they slowly did away with it. I don't know why, but now I can't see any android tablets with 3G or GPS listed on Amazon. I put Sygic GPS on my phone. It uses the GPS chip in my Galaxy Mini and doesn't require any cellular service or internet/3g etc. You just need a working sim in your phone. It's great! You just download the map of the country and it's as good as any GPS device I've ever used. It finds satellites much quicker than my old Garmin Nuvi 200. (piece of junk). I installed the maps for Amsterdam and had GPS up and running in a couple of minutes. I logged my hotel as "home" and a few hours later when I had no idea where I was, I just selected my "home" as destination and it led me back to hotel with the phone in my pocket and being navigated by the sound in my headphones. Sometimes you feel like you're in an episode of star trek.

So perhaps then a tablet isn't exactly what you need? Since you're using maps, perhaps if you find yourself a device with real GPS, that would be a better solution? Google maps uses a lot of 3G or Wi-Fi energy. I find it works inconsistently at times. You're subject to net access issues, etc. Works great sometime and not so great other times. Perhaps your planning on tethering the tablet to your phones Wi-Fi? I almost got booted from Giffgaff because of excessive 3G usage. :-/ These are all things to consider (worry about). So keep your monthly access fee's in mind. You might have to upgrade your phone plan.

Also, personally, I don't want to abandon the Android platform. I'm really starting to get into it. The I-pad may have a luxury screen but you're cut off from programming it. You're limited to the propriety nature of all Apple devices. I've never liked Apple products and I've been using computers since the late 1980's.

I recently got myself a Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9EB digital camera. It's a tiny 16megapixel with an ultra-sensitive CMOS sensor. It has Wi-Fi and with my Android tablet I can connect to the camera using the Panasonic android app, I can view what the camera see's from a distance and also control the camera itself. Zoom, take pictures, etc. The camera has a time lapse feature effect, but I'm designing my own custom time lapse app just for the fun of it. It's a good way to learn how to program for Android. I downloaded the free Android SDK to my pc. I find Android to tick all my boxes, with it's open source format. But of course, that's just me. I'm a geek.

But ask yourself, "what exactly do I need the device to do?" When I decided to buy this tablet, price was a concern, so I ran over to e-bay to see if anyone was selling one used. Nada. People aren't selling these used at all. I couldn't find anyone saying, "hey, I bought this on a whim 3 months ago and I didn't like it so I got myself a 400 I-pad so take this off my hands for 50." It's just not happening. People are keeping their android tablets it seems.

So if you get this, keep the box and all it's contents and if the battery doesn't hold up as well or android doesn't deliver as expected, then sell it on e-bay. You'll get most of your money back. I think though that you'll be surprised by how easy it is to coax it to do what you want. You'll figure out a way to work around energy issues because these issues apply to every electronics device. It doesn't have a Retina screen but it does look really nice. GPS maps look visually pleasing and are easy to read. Overall, I just think Android tablets are a much better solution in the long run. If you break it, well you've had a good bit of use from it and you're only down 100. You sulk for a while and then buy a new one. By then, they've come out with a new device with a new version of Android with new features your old unit didn't have. android tablets seem to evolve very quickly these days. But if you break an I-Pad, well it a real bummer because that thing is like 400. You need to get insurance for something like this and all that baloney. With an I-pad you also have to worry about thieves because it's highly geared towards social networking and all the kids want one but can't afford one. You can't leave it for a minute in a hotel room or it will go missing. Guaranteed! I have to worry about pulling something like that out in a coffee shop because you've just pulled out half a grand of the most sought after technology device on the planet.

Good luck! Let me know how it all works out for you! If you do decide on the apple, then it would be great to hear how it worked out for you.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2013 12:36:08 BDT
Hi there - could you tell me with this tablet what film apps you can get to work on it cause we have tried netflix and love film. The Apps install but the films wont play - getting frustrated with it and my 11 year old son whos tablet it is is very upset !!!!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2013 13:12:56 BDT
Spiff says:
I've never used Netflix before but from what I understand, it's for streaming video directly to your device. If you downloaded the netflix app, installed and have a netflix account, and then have paid to watch a film and it's still not streaming and showing up on your tablet, then you'd need to contact Netflix to resolve the streaming issue. However, some people who use Netflix use a 3rd party app to capture the video sream and save it to hard drive. These files may or may not have what is known as DRM, which is a copyright protedtion measure to keep people from doing such a thing. But I think most capture softwares work around DRM but still the file must be converted and saved as a different format than the original Netflix format. So I'm not sure what exactly you've got going on because the limited information you provided. So basically, if you're attempting to stream directly from Netflix and nothing is working, then contact them directly to resolve the issue. However, if you're trying to play captured/converted films from Netflix the format should be either in MP4 or WMV and they should play without issue. In that case, I suggest that you just start downloading free video apps from the Play store and keep trying until one finally plays back your video. Once you find one, just delete the rest. And if none of them will play the netflix files I think it's safe to assume that the DRM is imbedded inside the video which will prevent playback. Sorry I couldn't help more.

Posted on 26 Sep 2013 11:16:01 BDT
Really helpful review thanks
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