01-05-2013, 09:20 AM #1
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Not just another 8-incher – Nextway Fast8 Basic Review
The Nextway F8 is a decent, reasonably priced, 8 inch dual-core tablet made by Shenzhen Firstview Electronic Co., Ltd. For people who have never heard of this company, I can tell you that it was founded in 2001 and has made its name by electronic products such as MP4 players, eBooks and digital photo frames.
◇8” 16M-color IPS display of XGA resolution (1024X768 pixels), PPI reaches 149.
◇Weighs 408g, 199.6mm*151.5mm*9.0mm in size.
◇RK3066 chipset: Dual-core 1.6GHZ ARM Cortex-A9 processor; 1GB of DDR3 RAM; Mali-400MP4 GPU
◇Stock Android 4.1 JellyBean
◇16GB of built-in-memory
◇VGA front facing camera; 2.0MP rear-facing camera
◇Micro SD card slot (supports card up to 32GB)
◇Standard 3.5mm audio jack
◇Adobe Flash 11 support
◇1080p videos of all formats
◇4000mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery
Design and Build
The Nextway F8 sits in the middle bracket of 8 inch tablet price range, retailing for RMB799 (Around USD129), pricier than the popular MOMO8 and Cube Cheery, yet cheaper than the iFive MX.
The tablet’s price is reflected in its build quality, with the F8 being made of metal as opposed to plastic. This means that the device feels sturdier than cheaper tablets like the Ployer MOMO8.
The device is fairly small, measuring in at 199.6mm*151.5mm*8.9mm and weighing 408g. This, combined with the device's metal back, means that the F8 feels quite comfortable in hand.
The F8’s screen is as impressive as any 8-inchers. Running at 1024*768 pixels resolution, the IPS display the FB boasts has great viewing angles, vibrant colors, and nice contrast ratio. As there are only regular IPS displays for 8 inches, you can’t expect the F8’s display to be as bright as the Super IPS+ boasted by the Apple iPad or the incomparable PLS display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, even though it does have higher display density, it pales in comparison of brightness and outdoor visibility.
One area the F8 really stands out among the peer 8 inchers is ports and slots, with the tablet featuring Mini-HDMI input and MicroSD card slots. The inclusion of the two means that you can actually plug the F8 into an external monitor or display and upgrade its storage past its standard 16GB option.
The F8 weighs only 408g, very ideal for a tablet with metal back cover. And the 9mm body depth makes it very easy to hold.
There’s really not much to talk about when it comes to F8’s internal components, with the tablet featuring a powerful but also popular 1.2 GHZ Rockchip RK3066 dual-core processor, ably backed up by 1GB of RAM.
Testing this RK3066 powered tablet, I never suffered any performance issues, while the device easily running multiple applications and requests at once. Even streaming multiple HD videos in separate tabs on the stock browser, the F8 remained responsive and ran with zero lag or chug.
For those who don’t know RK3066 that well, here are some F8’S benchmark scores and its comparison with other dual core Android tablets:
Even at such an uncommon resolution, the F8 still surprisingly supports all sorts of games I’ve tested on it. Thanks to the impeccable Mali-400MP4 GPU, all games can run smoothly on this tablet:
Another impressive feature is the unit’s sound volume. The F8 packs dual speakers on the back cover, although the two are too far apart to create much stereo effects, the volume is incredible though. You can watch movies without a set of headphone in a quiet room:
The cameras are less inspiring. Neither of the 0.3MP front facing camera and the 2MP rear camera can shoot satisfactory images. However, is camera really that important of a feature on a tablet, it depends. As for myself, I never use tablets to take photos, ever.
According to my test, there’s no pleasant surprise at all. Playing a 720P movie called “Magic Mike” with 50% display brightness and full volume, WIFI off, the F8 lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes before it automatically shuts down due to battery drain.
One annoyance regarding the F8 is that it doesn't charge using a standard micro-USB input, instead requiring the kind of cable almost all Chinese tablets use.
Overall I have to say I do like the F8, with it offering better display to the Aiwa MiniPad AW920, more ports and slots to the Cube Cherry, even though retailing for around $20 more than most other 8 inchers. I am not a fan of it, as the tablet's deadly shortcoming is its battery life, one might have to experience multiple charges a day with intense use.
Below are the scores I give the F8 after 20 days' experience :
01-05-2013, 10:17 PM #2
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Battery is the only issue, but a very annoying one.
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