May 1st, 2013, 01:17 PM
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The iFive Mini2 Hands-on Review
When it comes to android tablets, the 7 inch display size is probably preferred most amongst customers today. Simply because the bigger display unlocks many potential uses for the device while keeping it portable enough so as not to make it cumbersome. While there is a slew of 7 inch tablets present in the market, the choice for customers has really widened.
While the prices of most Chinese branded dual core tablets have already dropped to below $100, the iFive Mini2 hit the market just now with a price of $130, declaring a war against those more celebrated tablets with quad core chipset.
Before I received the mini2, I had no idea what to expect from iFive, though I have been hearing great things about it. Once I laid my eyes on the tablet, it easily became my new favorite!
☆7 inch IPS display of 1280*720 pixels.
☆8.3mm body depth.
☆5MP AF camera.
☆Gyroscope, Bluetooth, HDMI
☆iFive Skin 2.0
iFive is pretty generous when it comes to the Mini2's retail package and bundled fittings, a high quality pair of earphones and an OTG cable have been packed in a very elegant-looking paperback box along with other fittings such as the manual, the quality guarantee card and the data/charging cable.
As the Mini2 is 30 dollars pricier than average 7 inch dual core tablets, everybody would expect better build quality and more fashionable design, and iFive doesn’t disappoint us at all. The narrow bezel, the white plastic chassis, the silver frame and the 8.3mm thick body makes the Mini2 the best-looking 7 inch tablet I have ever seen.
The front of the mini2 really is everything I want a tablet to look like, a 7 inch screen surrounded by very narrow pure white bezels, you can also find a 2MP camera and a light detection sensor which enables the tablet to automatically adjust its display brightness.
The back of the tablet kind of reminds me of the famous galaxy tab2, only it’s even smaller. A very gorgeous LOGO is in the middle of the back cover. Although the material is plastic, yet it doesn’t feel cheap at all, thanks to iFive’s exquisite workmanship.
The few physical buttons and connectors are all conveniently sized and positioned, so they're always easy to find, but never get in the way.
At the top of the unit is a micro USB port for charging the tablet or connecting it to a PC or other USB device. Next to that there’re also a micro HDMI port, a micro SD card slot and a power/standby key.
On the right edge there’re a volume rocker and a menu button.
The four ACC speaker gates and a 3.5mm audio jack are located at the bottom of the device.
The information of the storage and the serial number of the device is delicately plated on the left edge.
It’s even thinner than the 8.6mm slim Galaxy Tab 8.9.
The Mini2 has featured the same display used on the famous Nexus 7, so I don’t want to go into details about it, just so you know it has amazing brightness, nice contrast ratios, vibrant colors, and great viewing angles. And the 1280*720 resolution is really great for the eyes.
System & UI
The iFive Mini2 offers no surprise when it comes to the system it carries, Android 4.1.1 is currently on every tablets with RK3066 chipset. But still, the iFive Mini2 refuses to be normal, the iFive skin 2.0 user interface on the Mini2 is by far the best UI I have seen on any Chinese tablets.
The home screen, the app drawer, the music app and the video app and lots of the widgets have been exquisitely customized.
The Mini2 is powered by Rockchip RK3066 chipset, based on Cortex-A9 frame and uses 40nm workmanship, it has also had the impeccable Mali-400MP4 as its GPU and 1GB of RAM. I don’t think I need to again go into details about how powerful this chipset is, but one thing I will say is, after the so-called quad core tablets with the Allwinner A31 and the Actions ATM7029 all failed my expectations, I am glad to go back to a RK3066 tablet. Here are some benchmark scores of the Mini2 comparing to some other quad core devices:
Although it’s just dual core, the Mini2 is no loser to any quad core tablet I have used. It does almost everything better than those A31 and ATM7029 tablets, whether I am browsing image-heavy webpages or streaming super HD videos online.
The RK3066 Soc. Is no letdown when it comes to gaming and video playback, it does support all formats of videos to at least 1080P through hardware decoding, and the powerful Mali-400MP4 GPU ensures all the games to run smoothly on the Mini2.
By the way, I am not playing a pornography on the Mini2, it’s an Usher Music Video called “Dive”.
The iFive Mini2 has actually very pleasant Wifi connections, I noticed no fluctuation at all, and the reception is still solid even when the tablet’s 10 meters away from the Wifi Reuter.
Besides Wifi, the Mini2 has also featured built-in Bluetooth, which is very convenient. I even used it to connect to my friend’s smartphone to play a Virtua Tennis combat against him!
The iFive Mini2 has featured a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear facing AF camera. But don’t get fooled by the specifications, either of the cameras can shoot satisfactory images. Not only are the pics quite glossy, but the focus also happens very slow and imprecise.
Photos shot by Mini2
Mini2 has featured a 4,200mAh Li-PO battery, which gives the tablet normally five to six hours of on-screen use. During my 720P video playback test (30% brightness, 50% volume), the Mini2 stood for 5 hours and 45 minutes, which is solid, but not impressive.
As I said earlier, the iFive Mini2 became my new favorite. I am always a bigger fan of the 7 inch display, but as the Ainol NOVO7 Venus and some other tablets with A31 chipset all failed me, the iFive Mini2 arrived just right on time!
But it’s not all good things to say about the Mini2, the cameras are a little bit under my expectations, and the battery life should have been better.
Although the RK3066 dual core processor does help the mini2 deliver a decent performance, but I would prefer to see the RK3188 Soc. update for a 7 inch device, we are already in the quad-core era after all!
Very fashionable design.
Super clear IPS display with vivid images.
Exquisite user interface.
Dual core Soc.
Unsatisfactory battery Life.
Pricier than alternative options.
Last edited by jupiter2012; May 1st, 2013 at 01:34 PM.