With the help of one of my listeners, I found and purchased a new tablet. The tablet showed up in a box labeled DUODUOGO, and that is also the brand on the back of the tablet and on the openin g screen. (The black model I purchased is sold on Amazon as “Tablets” and the gold model – $6 more – is listed as “Novel TTT”.) (Since I wrote this article, the item has gone in and out of stock, back in, etc. On Aug 17 2020, the only model available comes with a keyboard and mouse and other stuff and sells for $119.99 on Amazon, and the brand is listed as “Tablets” again. I’ve also seen the brand listed as Allmeida – not a typo.)
Here are some unboxing photos. (I am not a professional photographer.)
The Other Side of the Box
Opening the box
The back with plastic cover
Closeup photo of my phone text, taken with rear camera
The cover is attached, is actually hard plastic clipped on the back with a plastic-coated cardboard flap folding over the front. It looks kind of cheesy, but hey it’s a cover. It is made to look as if you could prop the tablet up by folding that cover, but you can’t. Nonetheless, it’s a cover, and those are not cheap for 10 inch tablets, especially one like this which is half specially-molded hard plastic.
After booting, it wanted to run the DUODUOGO app to set itself up. However, to run that app I had to grant full access to the tablet. Since this is from an unknown Chinese company, I wasn’t comfortable doing that. So I set it up myself on my own terms. The tablet has a few apps on it without running setup, including the Google Play Store, but only a very few of the Google universe apps. The standard keyboard does not feature voice text or Swype, but I easily added the Gboard to gain that functionality. This tablet can be as much or as little a Google product as you like. This way, it feels a lot more like it’s my tablet instead of a tablet.
3 Gb RAM, 32 Gb storage
MediaTek6580 1.30 GHz
Mali 400 GPU
8,500 mAh battery
8 MP back, 5 MP rear camera
Android 9 Pie,b> kernel 3.18.35
2 SIM card slots, 1 micro SD slot
2G GSM; 850/900/1800/1900
3G WCDMA; 900/2100
4G LTE; FDD B1 B2 B3 B7
Included are the case/cover, charger plug, USB C cable, and wired earplugs, also a brief, multilingual users’ guide and warranty information. SD card is not included.
The battery was at 32% upon arrival. It charges via USB C. The battery is rated to last 5 hours, but so far I’m getting much better.
The tablet takes about 1 minute to boot and about another 30 seconds before you have the home screen displayed and ready to use. I have a video of it booting up: Of course I’m reflected in it very much. I did, of course, move the camera way when I entered my PIN number.
The SIM cards and micro SD slots are hidden behind a removable panel, and you need to remove the case to access this panel.
The tablet plays GIFs and short videos just fine; I previously had a Hyundai Koral 10×3 tablet which failed to load these, although the advertising claimed it to be as powerful as my home computer. Video quality is very good to excellent. How’s the camera? Actually it looks pretty good. I took a close up of my phone and it was sharp. The sound is quite loud, even on telegram messages, and while it can’t be confused for a media center in terms of sound quality it is still better than I’ve heard on other tablets in this range. If I am to believe the case cutouts, there are 4 speakers on this unit.
I thought my message timestamps on Telegram looked hours old, then I noticed that all my times were set for China Standard Time. Fixed it!
I did drop the tablet, from my bathroom sink to the floor, and it fell face-down. I had not yet installed the included screen protector. The tablet appeared to have collected a light scratch and a couple light pits. I was then pleasantly surprised to learn that there already is a plastic skin layer like a screen protector on the front of the screen, so the scratch and pitting I saw was in this layer, not the screen itself. It’s easy to miss, as it actually rolls over the curved edge of the screen. This curved edge I just mentioned is slightly problematic, as it means the screen actually pokes out even with or past the cover’s protection.
Rating it against other sub $150 Android tablets excluding Fire, I will give this a 9.5. I wouldn’t sell my $800+ tablet for one of these, but this item is a knockout at this price.
– Moss Bliss
Update August 5, 2020
I’m still happy with the tablet in general. The battery lasts longer than expected, but the charger takes a LOT longer to charge than it should. And Firefox tends to crash. A lot. But everything else works great, and it is still recommended, especially at this price point. Yes, it’s now $6 more than I paid for it. Yes, Amazon still doesn’t know who makes the tablet (some listings say Allmeida, others say nothing at all). But I have not seen a better specced tablet under $150 that wasn’t a Fire Tablet, and there are reasons to buy or not buy Fire Tablets. If you think you find a better one (more memory, for instance), check the processor and check the Android version. (I’ve seen some that look really hot, until I see they’re running Android 4,1.) I’m not happy that this one uses an ancient kernel with Android 9, but it works. It could be that updating the kernel could fix the few problems I’ve had, but of course they don’t make kernel updaters for Android tablets.
And if you find instructions on how to root this tablet, let me know. It is more than powerful enough to run other Linux-based tablet OSes.