Ekotek is in the business of making ultra affordable for quite some time now. This time they decided to amp up their game by releasing the Ekotab Encore 3G, a cool new tablet that packs a phone function and an improve overall specs compared to its predecessor.
|Ekotab Encore 3G review|
Ekotab Encore 3G specsDisplay: 7 Inch IPS Capacitive screen at 1024 x 600 pixels and 5 point multi touch
CPU: 1.3 GHz MT8382 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400
RAM: 1 GB
ROM: 8 GB expandable via micro SD card
Back Camera: 5 MP
Selfie Camera: 2 MP
Battery: 2,500 mAh Li-Pol
OS: Android 4.4 Kitkat
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, OTG, Dual SIM
Others: Phone Function
Price: 5,499 Pesos
Unboxing / Accessories
|The thick box of Ekotek Ekotab 3G|
One part that I most admire Ekotek is their ability to consistently come up with an aspiration looking box that makes the device feels like an expensive one. Upon opening the box, you get good amount of accessories. It includes a 1 A charger, thick micro USB cable, 1 OTG cable, stickers, paper documentations and the Ekotab Encore 3G itself.
While the non-inclusion of a screen protector and case that's found in their other products is acceptable due to its price, I'm missing here an earbuds with mic as I'm sure most tablet users would like to have it.
Build Quality / Design
|At the back showing the speakers on the left side, rear camera at the right and the ekotab logo in the middle|
The Ekotab Encore 3G, just like the Encore 2 is a durably built tablet. It's made out of hard poly-carbonate plastic that's tough to break and all the other parts feels solidly intact. The back has semi round edges and a micro matte like texture at the back that makes it feel great to hold. It's also neither too thick or too thin and just have the right amount of weight to hold it comfortably even with one hand.
|The volume rocker, power button and emergency reset button found on the right side of the tab|
|When you open the upper part of the tab, you'll see the dual SIM card and micro SD card slots|
|On top you'll find the micro USB data / charging port and the 3.5 mm female port|
The design of the tab is neat / clean that could appeal those people who's more into the standard and simple design.
|The improved display of the Encore 3G|
Compared to the older Encore 2, the Ekotab Encore 3G had a major improvement when it comes to the display quality. It still features the same screen size at 7 inch, but this device now use an IPS Capacitive screen with higher resolution at 1024 x 600 pixels that drastically improves the quality. It now has better color output, less glare and now boast nicer viewing angles. However, one weakness that Ekotek needs to solve like the slightly compressed resolution.
Ekotek managed to include some good quality speakers here. It was loud, detailed and fund sounding. It's great to listen with up to 90% of volume which is quite impressive for a budget tablet. On the audio output using the headphone category, it was also able to pass my picky ears given its budget price. The Encore 3G can drive low powered headphones or earphones even at just 40% of the volume. I was able to enjoy some webisodes and music videos very well due to the good audio clarity and quite wide soundstage this tablet was able to produce.
At 2,500 mAh of battery, some of you might think that its too small for a tablet with 7 inch screen and a quad core processor. However and fortunately, this tablet lasted me a little over 7 hours on regular usage. On heavy usage I was able to record a little more than 4 hours. (4:12 to be exact). So if you're not doing heavy stuffs all the time, the battery life of this tab might be just enough.
Ekotek also improved the camera of this one, its now using a 5 MP sensor at the back and a 2 MP sensor in front. It also boast a standard and simple to understand stock Android camera app that has a beautify function, HDR mode, some adjustments and panorama.
To my surprise, the rear camera can record 1080p videos using the fine settings and can take nice wide angled photos whenever you have outdoor sunlight lighting. It's view-able in indoor lighting and needs improvement in low light condition just like almost everybody else. What I missed with the rear camera is the lack of flash when taking photos in the dark.
When it comes to the selfie shooter, it was able to deliver my expected quality out of a 2 MP sensor. Quite good in daylight and needs improvement when used indoors with not that good lighting. I also discovered on selfie bug on the front camera as I can't fit my face even if I extend my arms fully away from the tablet.
Update: My selfie camera issue was fixed by installing the Google camera.
|Outdoor shot, accurate color details with great lighting|
|It can focus on objects even if it's quite near the sensor|
|HDR mode on a flower shot that increased the brightness and sharpness of the image|
|Sample selfie shot|
|The basic clean android UI of ekotek|
The general performance of the Ekotab Encore 3G deliver what I just expected with the it's Mediatek quad core processor paired with 1 GB of RAM. It was fast and reliable and rarely lags on normal usage like browsing, social media, watching YouTube videos and listening to music. It's also quite decent in multitasking as you can open several apps at a time, just make sure that you won't over do it. I also like that Ekotek managed to make this a dual SIM 3G version that you can use for SMS, calls and of course 3G connectivity.
The Encore 3G is based on Android 4.4 Kitkat on an almost stock mode. While tt has several pre-installed apps that can be classified as bloatwares, it can fortunately be uninstalled whenever you wanted unlike other UI's out there. That gives you a lot of control with your OS.
Gaming-wise, its a very good light to moderate gaming device that can also run some heavy games like Real Boxing and etc even on smaller frame rates. I just experienced some minor heating when running those types of heavy applications.
|Antutu score and multi touch test|
|Geek bench and quadrant|
|GPU bench score|
Pro's - Durable build quality, great packaging, improved rear camera
Con's - Icons slightly compressed, mild heating issues
This is the best Ekotab so far which should be in your top priority when looking for an Ekotab. It now has an improved screen, packs better camera, stable performance, phone function and 3G connectivity. It's also a decent multimedia tablet for your on the go entertainment needs due to its decent audio quality. At the price tag of just 4,999, it's a good buy if you're not looking for a smartphone.
GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars