There’s a lot of 7-inch Android tablets from multiple manufacturers currently out in the market, making the 7-inch category a highly competitive one. ZTE is not allowing itself to be left out by releasing a follow-up to last year’s Light Tab. Now with faster and better specs, let’s find how the Light Tab 2 fairs this time around.
Design and Construction
At first glance the tablet looks really solid. It is obviously made in plastic but doesnâ€™t look cheap at all. The entire body has a matte finish with the glossy part left for the bezel.
At portrait position, you’ll find the headset jack and a speaker right on top. Down at the bottom is the microUSB port, microphone and another speaker. On the right side is the power/sleep button and the volume rocker. On the front above the display is the front-facing camera and down below are the Home, Options and Return touch buttons. Turn it on its back and you’ll find the 3.2 megapixel camera. Remove the back panel and you’ll see the SIM card slot and microSD slot.
As for its dimensions and weight I can say that the Light Tab 2 is thicker and heavier compared to the likes of Ainol and Bmorn but not at all bulky or uncomfortable to hold.
The Light Tab 2 has a 7-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1024Ã—600 pixels at 170ppi. Not the best resolution out there but viewing angles are good, color vibrancy is okay and not painful to watch movies with.
For your picture taking needs, you will have to settle for a 3.2 megapixel camera with no LED flash. Images appear bland and bluish even with sufficient amount of light. It can also record videos but only in VGA quality.
UI, Multimedia and Apps
The device comes with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread out of the box with slight customization. This is a downside if youâ€™re used to seeing and using Android Ice Cream Sandwich. As of the moment I havenâ€™t found any news about an ICS update. But overall, the device is snappy 95% of the time. I did experience some lags but not that serious.
As expected from Android multimedia is not a problem but I suggest using earphones when listening to music or watching videos as the speakers are a bit on the weak side. As for apps, the Google Play Store is here to hook you up. I also want to note that Temple Run works well on the Light Tab 2. No graphic flickers and the Gyro works flawlessly compared to other Chinese Android Tablets weâ€™ve reviewed so far.
Calling and Texting
The Light Tab 2 is also a phone with 3G capabilities. It accepts a regular SIM cards. Call quality is good. The person on the other line was able to hear us clearly even with a lot of background noise. But I strongly suggest using headphones to hear your caller instead of relying on the weak speakers. As for texting, nothing new here. Just expect to use a bigger keyboard when sending SMS.
Performance and Benchmarks
Quadrant Standard gave it a score of 2,297 â€“ scoring higher than the HTC Desire HD. AnTuTu gave it a score of 3,561 â€“ scoring higher than the Google Nexus S. As for the graphics, NenaMark gave it a score of 20.2fps.
I was able to squeeze 3 days on the Light Tab 2′s 3,400 mAh battery. This is with regular WiFi browsing, texting and a couple of calls. But when I went heavy on multimedia such as watching videos, playing music and gaming, it lasted almost two days.
The ZTE Light Tab 2 is a fully capable tablet phone that can do what is expected of it but overall it has nothing great to offer. The Android Gingerbread makes it seem outdated considering that most tablets right now are shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich. Speaker volume quality and battery life can be improved as well.
All in all the Light Tab 2 is pretty basic. For a retail price of Php15,490, it could be better.
ZTE Light Tab 2 specs:
7.0-inch LCD @ 1024Ã—600 pixels, 170ppi
1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
512 MB RAM
up to 32GB via microSD card (4GB pre-installed)
3MP rear camera
VGA front-facing camera
HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA 7.2Mbps
Dolby Mobile Sound Technology
GPS w/ aGPS support
FM radio tuner
Li-Ion 3400mAh battery
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
What we liked about the Light Tab 2:
â€¢ Good, solid build
â€¢ Decent performance
â€¢ Good viewing angles
â€¢ Has 3G/HSDPA connectivity
What we did not like about the Light Tab 2:
â€¢ Android Gingerbread instead of Ice Cream Sandwich
â€¢ Speakers are a bit weak
â€¢ Battery life can be improved