My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel's US$200 Huawei Media Pad 7 Lite vs Apple iPad 2 and Google Nexus 7

Friday, November 22, 2013

Digicel's US$200 Huawei Media Pad 7 Lite vs Apple iPad 2 and Google Nexus 7

While checking my Blog traffic recently I’ve realized that interest in Digicel’s US$200 Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite is at an all time high yet again this Christmas 2013 since it made a splash a year ago back in November 2012 as stated in “Huawei Media Pad 7 Lite: The next big, little thing”, published Tuesday, December 04, 2012, The Jamaica Observer.

No wonder, as this is the very same 7” Tablet that was gifted to students at various Preparatory and High Schools Downtown by Telecom Provider Digicel on April 2013 as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel both make Donations of Tablets to Preparatory and Primary Schools - How Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark started a Love for Computer Programming Languages in Jamaica”.
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So I guess with the recent launch of the Apple iPad 5, now renamed the Apple iPad Air and the 7”Apple iPad Mini 2, Christmas has arrived for lovers of all things Apple as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad Air, the World’s Lightest Tablet launched in Silver, Space Grey, White - Christmas smartphone and Tablet Battle Royale as Winter is Coming”.

Only logical that Jamaicans, having gotten a taste of the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite last year from Digicel’s launch and now excited by the noise being generated by the launch of the Apple iPad Air in the US of A as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple iPad Air’s the World Thinnest Tablet and Apple iPad Mini 2’s a 3DS and Vita killer” that they may have caught Tablet Fever!

Digicel and the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite – Tablet Fever began in 2012 but Digicel oblivious

Telecom Provider Digicel later partnered with CSTS (Cyber School Technology Solutions) in September 2013 to package eight hundred (800) Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite Tablets with CSEC (Common Secondary Education Curriculum) Tutorial Material. The first guinea pigs were Hampton High in Malvern, St. Elizabeth. 

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They got ninety (90) of these Tablets with the rest going to other schools in the country as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel partners with Cyber School Technology Solutions to provide 800 Tablets with CSEC Tutorial - Corporate Spirit spreading to help Schools get Tablets”.

So the interest in this Tablet is obvious, as like the DL600 as described in my blog article entitled “Digicel officially launches DL600 smartphones on Friday October 18th 2013 and JA$100 2-Day Data Plans - Ours is the Fury as Digicel’s DL600 secures their Throne in this Game of Phones against LIME”, if Telecom Provider Digicel is behind it, then the perception in the Jamaican customer’s mind is that it must be a Good Deal.

Strangely enough, Telecom Provider Digicel hardly has any promotions involving their Tablets or even the idea of pairing their Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite with a “4G” Broadband WiMaX Modem with Wi-Fi support, a package deal that many customers would like for Christmas.In fact there are no ads on Television or even on YouTube promoting ANY of their Tablets!

They have promotions involving the Digicel DL600 smartphone, but even that is being done with little enthusiasm as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel's lack of enthusiasm in promoting the DL600 smartphone - How making Apps from their Text Messaging Promotions and helping Jamaicans to design Apps Bridges the Digital Divide”.

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Both DL600 and the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite need Telecom Provider Digicel’s involvement to drive the development custom Digicel Apps on both these products. This’ll help to develop a local Jamaican App Developer Community and an App Economy. Jamaicans will be more interested in the idea of buying smartphones or Tablets as they’ll eventually see the relevance of having a Tablet, aside from gifts for their children to further their education, thus driving sustained sales for Telecom Provider Digicel.

More importantly involving Jamaicans in building Google apps, it’ll empower the Programmer and Developer communities in Jamaica as well by showing them how they can make money from the development of apps in Jamaica’s first App Economy.

Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite – Trend of 7” Tablets coming to a boil in Jamaica

Maybe I’m reading the tea leaves wrong, but this increase in Blog traffic may indicate the coming trend of 7” Tablets to Jamaica as predicted in my Geezam blog article “The Two Towers of Tablets, 7” Amazon Kindle Fire and 7.9” Apple iPad are the Global Tablet size of Choice”. 

So I’ve decided to a quick review of the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite as interestingly albeit an underpowered Tablet, it’s a budget competitor with the Google Nexus 7 as stated in Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite review, published September 2 2013 by Dave Oliver, Wired UK:

1.      Processor: single-core 1.2GHz A8 Processor
2.      OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
3.      Screen: 7" 1,024x600 pixels at 216ppi
4.      Weight: 370g
5.      Thickness: 11mm
6.      RAM: 1GB
7.      Internal Storage: 8GB
8.      External Storage: MicroSD card 32GB
9.      Rear Facing Camera: 3 Megapixel
10.  Battery: 4,100mAh
11.  Network Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi

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To be fair, other Tablet are out there that are better but cost a lot more than US$200. If money is no object this Christmas, then scope out this video comparison for Tablets

Check this video out before making a decision on buying a Tablet for the Christmas, especially if the Apple iPad isn’t for you.

Huawei Media Pad 7 Lite – Alternative to the Apple iPad Mini 2 this Christmas

The main problem I still have with the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite is the Poor battery life, barely lasting a day. Also it’s a single Core Processor with 1GB RAM memory, which means gameplay is limited to games from the Google App Store such as Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Temple Run, Triple Town and Fruit Ninja. Some of the best Apps for the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite to enhance the experience are as follows:

1.      Adobe Reader for Android
2.      Angry Birds
3.      CNET News Official App
4.      Double Twist Player
5.      Facebook
6.      Fruit Ninja
7.      Google Chrome
8.      Google Maps
9.      IMDB official app
10.  Instagram
11.  Jamaica YP
12.  Skype
13.  Temple Run
14.  Triple Town
15.  Twitter
16.  Words with Friends

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However, to Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and some Millennials (ages 18 to 28) used to the bygone Blackberry era of toting around a Charger, this may not be a real issue. For then it’s paying for 3G Internet access or 4G Broadband Access, which may involve buying a “4G” Broadband WiMaX Modem with Wi-Fi support.

If you’re still looking for a great gift for Christmas that’s both educational as well as fun enough to keep your kids entertained without having to break the bank by buying a gift online as suggested in my blog article entitled “Great Gadget gifts for less than US$50 for you loved ones - Something Great for everyone that likes The Starving Games this Christmas 2013”.

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So there you have it my fellow Jamaicans! The Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite is an excellent choice to avoid the Delivery Man (2013) this Christmas!

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