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Jumper EZpad 5S – TechRadar

Microsoft’s Surface 3 was, at least in the subdued PC market, a relative success, selling well despite a rather steep price point for what it provides hardware-wise (something we criticised1). At nearly 500 (£690 in the US, which is around AU£920) when you factor in the detachable keyboard and the stylus, it comes across as an expensive tablet even by Microsoft’s standards, especially as the competition has heated up in the 2-in-1 segment. So it comes as no surprise that, just like the MacBook Pro2 and the Yoga 3 (both of which had very similar competitors in the shape of the Xiaomi Air 123 and the Voyo VBook V34), the Surface 3 has attracted the attention of one Chinese vendor, Jumper.

The latter has unleashed the EZpad 5S, a Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard which is remarkably similar to the Surface 3.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

Gearbest sent us a review unit the device5 is currently on sale for just under 185 (£238, which is around AU£320) with the keyboard. Oddly, the model we received doesn’t look like the one that’s displayed on Gearbest’s product page the card reader is located on the side rather than under the kickstand, and there’s one microUSB port in lieu of a full-size USB 2.0. We strongly advise you to read our article on the pros and cons of buying from Chinese retailers6 (and generally speaking, outside of the UK).

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The Jumper EZpad 5S comes with the detachable keyboard, standard charger, a USB cable, and surprise, surprise, a stylus. Funnily enough, there’s no mention of the latter on the product page and it didn’t work when we tried it. You don’t need yet another charger as you can charge this tablet from pretty much any existing USB-equipped device and charger; and yes, that even includes portable battery packs.

The biggest difference between this slate and Microsoft’s effort is the aspect ratio of the display. To put it simply, the EZpad 5S looks like a stretched Surface 3, but other than this the differences between the two are relatively small.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The rather thick black bezel is there with the silver border and the slightly tapered edges. The physical Windows home button has been moved but the metal kickstand which locks in two positions (about 40- and 85-degrees) is present. The tablet’s enclosure is entirely made of brushed aluminium; Jumper says that it is as strong as stainless steel but a third lighter. From afar though, it looks like plastic painted to resemble, well, brushed aluminium.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The glass display is glossy and as expected, is a major fingerprint magnet, but that’s an endemic problem for (most) entry-level tablets in general. Microsoft used an Atom x7-Z8700 CPU for the Surface 3; Jumper opted for a much slower (and cheaper) x3-Z8300 processor instead.

The main differences between the two are the base frequencies (1.44GHz vs 1.6GHz), the burst frequencies (1.84GHz vs 2.4GHz) and the graphics units’ burst frequencies (500MHz vs 600MHz). Open the device up and you will see 4GB of RAM and 64GB on-board storage (eMMC) plus a large 8500mAh battery.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The EZpad 5S has a larger 11.6-inch display compared to Surface 3’s 10.8-inch screen, which translates into a lower pixel density, but that won’t mean much if you plan to use it mostly with a keyboard. The rest of the specification includes rear and front cameras (5MP and full HD respectively), Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi, and on both sides, a mini-HDMI port, a pair of speakers, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and a microUSB one.

The power button and volume rocker can be found on the top, while the magnetic connector for the keyboard is located at the opposite end.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The keyboard cover adds some significant thickness to the keyboard but is a welcome addition. The tablet measures 276 x 172 x 8mm and weighs 676g, and the keyboard increases the overall weight by another 50%, to just over 1kg. Despite being a passive keyboard, it worked quite well, and is probably the best keyboard typing experience we’ve had on a cover-type model from any vendor and that includes the likes of Microsoft. Sure, it is a tad small and should ideally have taken the whole width of the cover, but it has a decent size touchpad, and the fact that it is rather thick (9mm) means there is at least some travel and spring.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

Don’t expect miracles though the keys are tiny so will require some adjustment for touch typing, especially as there’s barely any space between them. Fat-fingered typists will probably have a worse typing experience, predictably enough. The touchpad is smaller than a credit card but produces a useful click when pressed harder, and it’s precise.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

The IPS display, although sharp, lacked the punch usually associated with brighter monitors. We also noted that blacks were lacking and that wasn’t helped by the glare caused by the glass overlay, which added what looks like a layer of smog, even when we pushed the brightness setting to 100%. Having a metal body is useful to dissipate heat as the EZpad 5S doesn’t have an active fan, but it still got fairly hot in our tests. General performance was, as expected, significantly worse than most of the products we test here.

And the main culprits are the processor and the storage subsystem. We tested the Jumper tablet with Passmark, CPU-Z, GeekBench and Cinebench; unfortunately, CrystalDiskMark wouldn’t run. You can see the results below.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

We didn’t extensively test its battery life but we managed to play a YouTube video for about 3 hours 5 minutes on maximum brightness bear in mind that the battery saving mode kicked in on 20% battery life. That’s a decent result but a far cry from the Surface 3. You won’t buy the EZpad for its audio performance; the pair of speakers on this tablet is one of the worst we’ve encountered. The rendition of Alicia Keys phenomenal New York was appalling to say the least. All the ingredients for even an average audio experience were missing: there was barely any depth, a lack of definition, and muddled sound at higher frequencies. You could easily mistake this cacophony for the sound coming out of a pair of cheap smartphone earbuds.

Jumper EZpad 5S - TechRadar

And as with most of the Chinese devices we’ve tested up until now, the Windows 10 operating system has already been pre-registered, and ours even came with a Chinese version of WinRAR.

Early verdict

The Jumper EZpad is a better-than-average product with not much to be criticised concerning its performance or build. Sure, the battery life is poor and the speakers are terrible, but that’s about all on the moaning front. However, as with most products that ship directly from China, we have more than a few reservations, such as the OS installation and, as we mentioned before, be sure to check out our guide7 to online Chinese retailers. The truth of the matter is, though, that the competition outside the Surface 3 is, well, almost non-existent. The Acer Aspire Switch 11 V8 may have a much faster CPU but it also costs around twice the price. Ditto for the HP Pavilion x29 which is actually even more expensive (while having a better CPU and quadruple the storage).

As such the EZpad 5S almost wins by default sadly, none of the big players (Dell, Lenovo and HP) have anything even remotely competitive.

References

  1. ^ something we criticised (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ MacBook Pro (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ Xiaomi Air 12 (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ Voyo VBook V3 (www.techradar.com)
  5. ^ device (www.gearbest.com)
  6. ^ pros and cons of buying from Chinese retailers (www.techradar.com)
  7. ^ guide (www.techradar.com)
  8. ^ Aspire Switch 11 V (www.techradar.com)
  9. ^ HP Pavilion x2 (www.techradar.com)

Elephone P9000 Lite review: An affordable but generic Android phablet

Here in the UK, even the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei struggle for consumer recognition and pronunciation. This begs the question: is it worth considering the even more left-field Chinese brands? There are plenty of them, including UMi1, Ulefone2, Bluboo3, Cubot4 and Elephone5. And no, I haven’t made any of those up. All these obscure OEMs offer superficially enticing value for money even when you factor in the country-specific import duty the delivery company will demand before they hand over your phone. In my case that was 25 for the 143 (£189.99) Elephone P9000 Lite6. But you are still buying a grey import blind, and as for after-sales support, well… To be honest, I expected to be writing about the P9000 proper7 rather than the Lite version, but something got lost in translation. The P9000 will set you back £219.99, the major differences being a better camera, a fingerprint scanner and an NFC chip. Camera module apart, the two devices look identical.

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

The Elephone P9000 Lite’s styling is wholly generic and somewhat iPhone-like.

Image: Alun Taylor/ZDNet

Get the 9000 Lite out of its box and I defy you not to be just a little impressed. Granted, the styling is generic but the aluminium frame and finely textured — albeit plastic — back gives the device a high-end feel. The power and volume buttons don’t let the side down either. They have a well-machined action and are perfectly placed just below the halfway line on the right-hand side.

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

The slight lip between fascia and frame is reminiscent of Sony’s Xperia Z3.

Image: Alun Taylor/ZDNet

The left side has a multi-function button that with a long press mutes the device, but which can also be set to launch any app with a short press. I set mine to launch Google Maps and quickly found it to be a very handy feature. If I had to pick an aesthetic quibble it’s the slight lip between the fascia and the frame edge, redolent of the similar design cue on the Sony Xperia Z38. At least the slight inset of the screen keeps it safely off the surface when placed face-down.

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Physically the P9000 Lite measures 73.2mm wide by 148.4mm deep by by 7.3mm thick, and weighs 145 grams. That’s not at all bad for a 5.5-incher. In fact, the P9000 is one of smallest and lightest phablets on the market — it’s only a tad larger than Samsung’s Galaxy S7 with its 5.1-inch screen. The LG-made 5.5-inch 1,080-by-1,920 (401ppi) IPS screen takes up a healthy 76 percent of the fascia (Elephone claims 82 percent, but I’m not sure how they arrived at that figure). For comparison, the iPhone 6S’s 5.5-inch panel takes up 68 percent.

The display is a cracker. Bright, colourful, boasting excellent levels of contrast and very robust viewing angles, this LTPS (Low Temperature PolySilicon) display could happily grace a phone costing twice as much. At this price I expect to see some light bleed with a black wallpaper, but not a bit of it.

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

The quality of the 5.5-inch FHD-resolution IPS screen belies the P9000 Lite’s affordable price.

Image: Alun Taylor/ZDNet

What the screen lacks is anything in the way of the hardened glass made by the likes of Corning or Asahi. That could raise longevity issues for the perennially careless, so some sort of case or screen protector (one comes pre-applied) is probably in order. There’s no waterproofing of any sort either. It’s a shame the single speaker (the other grille you can see, to the left of the USB port, is the mic cover) doesn’t match the quality of screen. It throws out plenty of volume, but the sound is raucous and rather grating. It’s some recompense that when I plugged in my reference Sennheiser headphones the P9000 sounded very composed indeed. Wired connectivity is via a USB-C port and an appropriate cable comes in the box along with a two-prong 2-amp charger. Unlike the 9000 model, the Lite does not support Qi wireless charging, but you do get MediaTek’s Pump Express fast-charging tech. The bundled charger can charge the Lite’s battery in around three hours. The fast charger can apparently cut that in half.

Many people consider MediaTek SoCs to be rather less than the full shilling, but that’s really not the case these days. Granted if you want absolute power in a smartphone not much can hold a candle to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 component, but if we’re talking about SoCs priced for budget and mid-range devices then MediaTek’s offerings can often be the better option. The new-ish Helio P109, the least powerful and cheapest SoC in MediaTek’s Helio lineup, uses a genuine octa-core setup. The 28nm chip packs eight Cortex-A53 cores with a maximum clock speed of 1.95GHz. Taking care of the graphics is a Mali T860 GPU and there’s an impressive-at-the-price 4GB of RAM. The Elephone P9000 Lite delivered the following benchmark results:

AnTuTu10
45,370

Geekbench 311
3198 (multi core), 814 (single core)

These benchmarks show that the P9000 Lite gives a pretty good account of itself for a lower-tier device. And if you’re into mobile gaming, it also easily runs the likes of Modern Warfare 5: Blackout, Real Racing 3, Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8 and World of Tanks Blitz. Be aware, though, that it does get a little warm when playing graphically demanding titles.

Packing a generous 32GB of storage (or just over 26GB after Android 6.0 has parked its tanks on the lawn) and with space for a 128GB MicroSD card, finding room for your media files and games won’t be a problem. It’s worth pointing out that using a memory card means dumping the second SIM card. It’s a case of one or the other, but not both. Android on the P9000 Lite is presented in almost stock form. You can even delve into the developer settings and activate the percentage indicator in the battery icon just like you can with a Nexus device. Usefully the P9000 runs Marshmallow with very little bloat — just a torch, a radio, a basic file manager and, rather less usefully, a pedometer and a service portal.

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

The UI is as close to stock Android Marshmallow as makes no odds.

Images: Alun Taylor/ZDNet

The one significant change Elephone has made to the UI is with the single capacitive button below the screen — a setup that Elephone calls E-Touch. Tap it once and you take a step back, tap it twice and you return to the home screen. Tap and hold and the recent apps list opens. If you want the traditional Android navigation bar you can toggle it on in the Settings menu. There are a host of other subtle additions grouped together under the Smart Assistant banner, like an option to bring the phone off standby by double-tapping the screen, launching apps by drawing on the off-screen, taking screen grabs with a three-finger swipe, flipping-to-mute and such like.

The one aggravating omission is a status light of any sort. With the screen off there is no visible sign that a message has been received, a call missed or that the device is charging. Why Elephone didn’t give the P9000 Lite’s fascia button the capacity to glow when something is afoot is beyond me. While the P9000 proper has a 13MP Sony IMX258 camera at the back and an 8MP OmniVision OV8558 shooter at the front, the Lite model makes do with a f2.0 13.3MP OmniVision OM13850 main and a 5MP (again OmniVision) secondary. If photographic excellence in an Android device is what you are after, you should be looking at something like a Samsung Galaxy S7 or the new Leica-badged Huawei P9 rather than a no-name budget device regardless of the make of the camera module.

That said, there’s not a whole lot wrong with the P9000 Lite’s camera. It turns around fast, is quick to focus, and both definition and colour balance are reasonable in decent light. There is an sometimes annoying tendency towards overexposure though.

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Given good light, the 13.3-megapixel main camera performs well.

Image: Alun Taylor/ZDNet Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Elephone P9000 Lite Review: An Affordable But Generic Android Phablet

Overexposure can be a problem with the P9000 Lite’s main camera.

Image: Alun Taylor/ZDNet

With nothing in the way of image stabilization, things go downhill when you take pictures indoors or as the light fades — but no further or faster than with most other devices in this price range. Since the Helio P10 SoC doesn’t support 4K video there’s no need to worry about how well that works. The HDR mode messes up the lighting and colour balance badly, and so is best avoided. The camera interface similarly is nothing to get excited about but there is a small array of manual overrides — ISO, exposure compensation and colour balance – if you want to get a bit artsy with your snaps.

As for the forward-facing camera, well strangely my P9000 Lite came with a 8.3MP rather than a 5MP component. It takes a pretty decent still picture, but can only shoot video up to 480p which is poor in this day and age. I had no complaints about the performance of the non-removable 3,000mAh battery. Running a 1080p video using VLC with the brightness and volume at 50 percent drained the battery in 12 hours 15 minutes. In everyday use I easily managed a day and a half before I had to go hunting for a wall socket. To round up the P9000 Lite’s technical offering you get a decent range of 4G bands (for Europe anyway: 1/3/7/8/20/38/40), dual-band 802.11n (but not ac) wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a recording FM radio.

You don’t get much in the way of sensors though — just an accelerometer, proximity, light and orientation sensors and a magnetometer. Call quality (with active noise cancellation), signal reception (both 4G cellular and wireless) and GPS reception, were all well up to snuff. The lack of an NFC chip is a drag with Android Pay having now launched in the UK. So, is the Elephone 9000 Lite a wise buy? For 168 all-in it’s certainly a decent bit of kit — but remember that for the same price, the 16GB 4th-generation Moto G12 may be a safer UK-sourced bet (although you only get half the storage and it’s a significantly chunkier device). Thanks are due to GearBest13 for our review handset.

Read more reviews

References

  1. ^ UMi (www.umidigi.com)
  2. ^ Ulefone (ulefone.com)
  3. ^ Bluboo (bluboo.hk)
  4. ^ Cubot (www.cubot.net)
  5. ^ Elephone (www.elephone.hk)
  6. ^ Elephone P9000 Lite (www.elephone.hk)
  7. ^ P9000 proper (www.elephone.hk)
  8. ^ Sony Xperia Z3 (www.zdnet.com)
  9. ^ Helio P10 (mediatek-helio.com)
  10. ^ AnTuTu (www.antutu.com)
  11. ^ Geekbench 3 (browser.primatelabs.com)
  12. ^ 4th-generation Moto G (www.zdnet.com)
  13. ^ GearBest (www.gearbest.com)

Samsung EVO+ 256GB microSDXC Memory Card Review

It seems every day there is an advancement in NAND technology pushing capacity limits even farther. This is quite evident in the recent launches of high-capacity microSD storage solutions from vendors like Lexar and now Samsung.

The Samsung EVO+ lineup is at the higher-end of portable storage solutions. We have seen a few cards come through from this portfolio and have always been pleased with the performance. The 256GB solution ushers in a new era of even higher capacity maintaining that same 95 MB/s read and 90 MB/s write performance level and its UHS-I U3 certifications. Of course, this solution is being pushed to those who enjoy shooting 4K video or extreme resolution photos and is supplied with an SD adapter to ease any transition between form factors.

MSRP of the 256GB Samsung EVO+ comes in at £199.99 with a ten-year warranty.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

Packaging is the typical hard card plastic retainer we get with SD and flash drives. Samsung has added a bit of marketing for performance and features to the front while capacity is in large print at the bottom.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

On the backside, we have a bit more detail about the drive including warranty in the middle.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

Packaging includes an SD adapter seen to the left in the image above. To the right, we have the EVO+ microSD with its orange on white color scheme.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

Just a few marking adorn the backside of the card.

GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^1

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

The Samsung EVO+ 256GB microSDXC memory card arrived in the exFAT filesystem with a usable capacity of 238GB.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

Getting on with things, performance was right there with many UHS-I solutions. I reached a touch above the advertised specifications at 98 MB/s read and 88 MB/s write.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB MicroSDXC Memory Card Review

Price/Performance was quite good for the EVO+. This 256GB solution landed at 96% just behind a few Lexar solutions and the Pro+ reviewed a few months back. After doing some calculations, if this drive were to hit £149.99, it would actually take over the top spot in this chart.

Like many innovations that come from Samsung, they too, along with several other vendors, have been pushing capacity to new heights for microSD. With the introduction of this card, I believe they now hold the honor for highest capacity microSD at 256GB, just passing the 200GB solution from Lexar and I think there may be a solution in the works from SanDisk as well. Build quality is as always top notch with Samsung, and the EVO+ is no different; I had no issues with the several devices I tested with this card.

The performance was on par with what marketing had specified at 95 MB/s read and 88 MB/s write, and looking at our Price/Performance chart, this solution at £199.99 came in at 96%.

In closing, with this solution aimed at creative professionals and enthusiasts for those wanting a boost in capacity either for shooting video, or taking high-resolution photos, the EVO+ is certainly a viable option for you to consider.

References

  1. ^ GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^ (www.tweaktown.com)

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