Like many other companies, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (which is based in Shenzhen, China) has entered the tablet market with its S7 tablet. While Huawei is not well known in the US, they are a leading global telecommunications solutions provider and the largest networking and telecommunication equipment supplier in China. Sold through Best Buy and some online retailers, the 7" Ideos S7 has quietly entered the tablet market. So is this another unimpressive tablet?
I had the opportunity to use the $300 7" Android tablet which is in the same price range and screen size as the recently reviewed Cruz Tablet. The exterior and quality are not as impressive as the Cruz Tablet. The casing feels plastic and feels cheap. The screen appears to be of hard plastic but I am not sure. The S7 does have a built-in kick-stand which is a nice touch. Unlike the Cruz Tablet, it include a 2MP front and rear facing camera, Android 2.1 and Bluetooth connectivity. The Cruz Tablet does have an amazing battery and from what we have heard the S7 battery averages 3 - 4 hours of usage. I was unable to run our battery test to determine actual battery life.
The 7" resistive screen has an 800x480 resolution which looked fine and appeared more vibrant than the Cruz Tablet. Unfortunately, I couldn't compare them side by side. However, I was very impressed by the responsive of the resistive screen. Its probably one of the best resistive screens that I have used. It was more responsive than the capacitive screen of the Cruz Tablet. However, it still is not as responsive as a typical capacitive screen. The 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon performed well but I could not run any of our benchmark apps.
Other things I noted was the decent pics that the camera took. Just remember it is 2MP so don't expect professional looking images. The S7 has an accelerometer which was OK but we couldn't test it with any games. One thing I did notice is that the accelerometer does not rotate 360 degrees (this means that the image will only rotate from landscape to portrait and vice-versa in one turn only; it will not rotate if you keep turning the device around 360 degrees). The device does include Android Marketplace which is a huge plus although I was not able to test this.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the device in the limited time that I used it. With a better responding screen and more powerful processor than the Cruz Tablet, we would recommend the Huawei easily. Having Android Market is another bonus. Again the battery life and the overall quality are not as great as the Cruz Tablet, but the processor and screen are what one really needs to pay attention to. Hopefully, we can obtain a unit to do a full review as this is the best value out there for the moment.