First of all this has been a hard device to take pictures of. Maybe it is me, maybe the camera. But all in all, it is shiny, big and the metal finish is prone to smudges. Anyway, this is the full review of the TECNO PhonePad 3 which I have been using for close to 2 and 1/2 weeks now.
I have loved it specifically for reading web content, saved content on Pocket and e-books and PDFs. I have used it for editing videos using Filmora and for editing images.
So in this review I will focus on the things that you can get to enjoy from the device and will finish with the problems I have encountered.
Specifications of the TECNO PhonePad 3:
- 7 inch 720p HD fully laminated IPS display
- 1.3GHz Quad Core MT8735W 64-bit Processor
- 16GB internal storage (Expandable)
- 2GB RAM
- 5MP front camera with flash
- 13MP rear camera with dual LED flash
- 4100mAh battery
- Supports 4G networks
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow with customised HiOS skin
- Dual Micro SIM Support
- Fingerprint scanner
Is the PhonePad 3 a tablet or a phone?
You cannot call this a tablet because it has been made as a big phone. It is in fact a 7 inch phone. And that’s why it is called the PhonePad, I guess. Its screen orientation isn’t like a tablet’s. So if you’re getting this device you’re literally getting a 7 inch phone, not a mini tablet. And some of you just want that.
TECNO have called this device a business companion. That it is designed for business people. And somehow, with the screen size and the already loaded apps, you get the kind of feeling that this is actually designed for business. Some of the business apps that you’ll find already installed in the Phonepad are:
- WPS Office – for reading and editing Word, Sheets and Presentations and PDFs.
- CamCard Scanner – for scanning business cards and storing them safely
- CamScanner – for scanning documents
- Trustlook Security – makes sure your device is secure and free of attacks and viruses.
720p resolution isn’t very good for a 7 inch screen. Not that you get to see pixels or anything, but if you’re used to Full HD screens, you’ll feel the difference. Still, it is a good display for reading.
The best thing about the device is the Eye-care management that has been included. It makes the display softer and better for the eyes. You can leave it on by default if you use the PhonePad mainly for reading. But you need to switch it off when watching a movie or gaming. You’ll find yourself turning this on often when reading at night.
The 4100mAh battery holds up well when reading or when watching a movie or when browsing using Wi-Fi. Under 4G you see it drain more quickly. Still, as a primary device you can have it work perfectly throughout the day and still have about 13% before bed. As a secondary device, you will charge it after 4 or 5 days.
It is a smooth device. You don’t have frequent lags for heavy games. You’ll only feel a lag when installing the game and when launching. But as soon as you start gaming, you enjoy. Games feels great on this device. Especially my favourite car games. I think what would be crazy is gaming on something bigger than 8 inches.
The PhonePad 3 can handle a lot of tasks easily. I give it that.
Front camera is 5MP. And here’s a sample selfie:
Back camera is 13MP with dual LED flash that’s kinda really bright. Here’s a sample image:
The cameras are reasonably good. But i think it is kind of weird holding such a huge device to snap photos.
I want to emphasize. This device is best used for reading. I use the following apps for reading:
- E-Reader Prestigio for Epubs, Mobi etc
- Adobe Reader for PDFs
- Pocket for saving offline web content
And you get to scroll through your content using the fingerprint that’s on the side. You don’t hassle to go to the next pages or scroll, just swipe your finger across the fingerprint scanner up or down to scroll! Pretty neat.
The best thing about this fingerprint scanner is the placement. Having it on the side was a really wise decision for such a big device. Being able to use it for reading is also a very wise decision.
- You cannot rely on it to unlock your device. It doesn’t easily recognise your print and you find yourself most times having to key in the Pin or draw your pattern. Which is kind of really annoying.
- You find yourself accidentally touching the fingerprint scanner when carrying or holding the device. When off and you accidentally touch the fingerprint scanner, it vibrates. And this kind of bores you.
Maybe TECNO should have made it a full on mini-tablet. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It makes you productive. It makes you read. It makes you work.
Anyway TECNO should do the following next time:
- Making it a full mini-tablet would make it serve better as a Business companion
- The display should have been 1080p for better use as an entertainment device. Having to watch 720p videos on YouTube isn’t cool in 2017.
- The fingerprint placement is cool but it gets annoying with accidental touches and not being able to quickly recognise people’s prints.
- The battery could be bumped up. 4100mAh on a 7 inch device when we have 4500mAh on 5.5 and 6.0 inch devices? Make it at least 6000mAh next time.
What are your thoughts on the device?