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Kata T Mini 4 Review - Worthy Budget Tablet?

Huawei Nova 5T
Are you looking for an affordable mini tablet? Kata may have the answer for you with the Kata T Mini 4. For only PHP 4,599, you can get a 7-inch tablet with LTE capabilities. In this review, we will tell you how it fared with our normal daily usage. Let's see!
Kata T Mini 4 Review - Worthy Budget Tablet?
Meet Kata T Mini 4

Kata T Mini 4 Specs

Display: 6.95-inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution at 211 ppi
CPU: 1.0GHz 64-bit MT8735P quad-core processor
GPU: Mali-T720 MP1
RAM: 1GB
ROM: 8GB expandable via microSD card slot
Back Camera: 8MP f/2.8 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.8
Battery: 3,000mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Connectivity: WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, OTG, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity, sound
Price: PHP 4,599

Disclaimer: This is a seeded unit from Kata Philippines for our honest take.

Unboxing/Accessories

What's in the box?
What's in the box?

The box the T Mini 4 came with is the usual colorful Kata box which is a plus for us as it really looks cool. Inside the box, you will get a 1 Year Warranty Card, the manual, a power brick, micro USB connector and the tablet itself. The micro USB connector we got is decent in length and charges the devices efficiently.

Build Quality/Design

SIM card and microSD card slots
SIM card and microSD card slots

The Kata T Mini 4 is a 7-inch tablet with substantial bezels up top and at the chin. It's build is made out of a combination of metal and plastic. The back of the device seems to be made out of tough plastic with a silver matte finish. The sides of the device is made out of metal materials that gives T mini 4 some weight.
Charging port and 3.5 mm headphone jack up top
Charging port and 3.5 mm headphone jack up top
The speaker at the back
The speaker at the back
The power button and volume rocker on the right
The power button and volume rocker on the right

The power and volume buttons are found at the right side of the device. They are all lined up and but is is a pretty hard reach for an average sized hand. The top side of the device houses the micro USB port and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

There are no capacitive navigation buttons at the bottom bezels as well as no physical home buttons. They are all found on the screen.  The top bezel has a speaker for calls and the 5MP selfie camera.

The back of the device houses the 8MP camera and the speakers. The microSD card slot along with the SIM card slot is found at the back of the device the top side part of the back cover which can be hard to open without something to jimmy it open.

Like all tablets, it is near impossible to operate with just one hand.

Display Quality

The display
The display

The T Mini 4 has a 6.95-inch IPS display at HD 1280 x 720 resolution. It has a pixel density of 221 ppi.

The 720p resolution did not bother us that much even on a bigger near 7-inch display. Brightness can be better since it is barely usable under daylight.

Color reproduction is a bit of a hit or miss in our opinion. Sometimes it looks great but there are times that the colors seems a bit washed up.

In terms of video playback, it can play videos up to 720p at 60 fps. That is a great feature to have as most of the content on YouTube is switching to footage that runs at 60 fps.

It is also worth noting that when doing graphic intensive gaming and high res video consumption that device tends to get hot including the display.

Audio Quality

The audio quality with the T Mini 4 can be described as average at best. The positioning of the speaker at the back of the device hampers the sound quality, Since the sound is firing away from you, watching movies is a chore without a dedicated speaker or headphones. But, in a quiet room, you can use it to play music in a decent volume.

The 3.5 mm headphone jack is still present with T mini 4 which gets a thumbs up from us. The audio quality is good enough to enjoy listening music, watching movies and even for calls.

For calls, I highly suggest using a pair of earphones since holding a 7-inch device near your face for long periods of time can get pretty uncomfortable. The receiver, during the time that I tested it, does well during calls. There are times that the person I am talking to can't hear me well though so mic quality seems to need improvement.

Battery Life

Battery performance
Battery performance

The T Mini 4 has a 3,000mAh battery which is sufficient enough for a full day of normal usage. However, with a 7-inch display we expected at least a 3,500mAh battery since a display that big can burn juice fast.

Normal usage gets me around 6 hours of continuous usage. When I use it for casual gaming and YouTube, it gets to around 5 hours of continuous usage. This is good since it needs to power the 7-inch display.

Charging time is around 2 hours from 10 to 100 percent. It is what you would normally expect for that battery size. The device also heats up when charging so I highly recommend not using it while charging.

Cameras

At the back, it has an 8MP f/2.8 main camera. It has stock looking interface with basic Android camera app functions.

You can adjust the exposure, add filters, and change white balance settings. Camera modes include panorama, beauty, video and normal mode. Taking a panorama shot is a bit of a struggle for me since my hand is shaky so I was not able to produce a quality shot. 

The 8MP f/2.8 main camera is underwhelming in terms of performance. The autofocus is on slower side of things. It struggled focusing on a lot of occasions even if the subject was not that close. 

The shutter speed is also slow on the T Mini 4. Once you press the capture button there is a good second delay before it fully takes the photo. These may lead into a lot of blurry shots especially when taking a photo of a person or a moving object. If you turn the HDR mode on then the delay will be longer as well.

The field of view when shooting with the camera app is zoomed in a bit. I checked if it was zoomed in by mistake but it was not. The photos captured were washed out in color and has a lot of noise.

It has bad lowlight performance too. Use the flash in lowlight.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Close-up
Close-up
Lowlight
Lowlight

The selfie camera is a 5MP f/2.8 sensor. It has face beauty when needed. 

You need good lighting to take advantage of its capabilities fully though. During my tests, I found that most of the selfies I took had more vibrant colors and details than the photos I took with main camera.

With low light situations, it struggles since it does not have any kind of flash. The image quality is good in daylight.

Selfie Camera Sample

Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight

Note: It can also shoot up to 720p 30 fps videos. But quality is grainy and shaky.

Performance

Benchmarks
Benchmarks

The T Mini 4's performance is average at best. The 64-bit MT8735P quad core processor clocked 1.0 GHz along with the Mali T720 GPU is enough to run casual games as well as normal daily activities such as some YouTube and text messaging. However, the 1GB or RAM and 8GB of expandable storage affects its performance a lot.


One of the very few tablets with LTE for the price!

Trying to browse Facebook using the Facebook app is close to impossible since the app itself is kind of resource hungry. Add Messenger with that and notifications will make the tablet come into a crawl. We really hope that it can be upgraded to at least 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage even if it takes a small price hike.

Thermal management is a bit of a problem as well. There are some throttling that happened when the tablet heated up. It heated up during an extensive YouTube session and it crashed. We do hope that Kata looks into this issue and see if they can make changes to have better temperatures.

Connectivity in terms of WiFi is a bit inconsistent. When downloading apps, it works fast. However, during YouTube. it buffers the 720p content that I want to watch. It stops to buffer every few minutes as well. It is not out internet connection as I can play 1080p 60fps footage on my PC and phone.

The phone is still running with the old Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. The UI itself is pretty much stock Marshmallow.
The UI
The UI

The only Kata branding you will find on the UI is the wallpaper and nothing else. Everything is close to vanilla stock android. It is fast and snappy initially but once it heats up it comes down to crawl as well.

For security, it uses pattern, pass code and PIN. The rest of the usual features work well as well.

You can also use it for calls. LTE is good at places with great signal, it has OTG and calls are okay as well.

Pros - Great build, can play 720p content, great battery life, 4G LTE connectivity, good price
Cons - Sluggish performance over time, 1GB RAM with 8GB storage is small, thermal management, lowlight camera performance

Verdict
For a tablet under PHP 5K, the Kata T Mini 4 is kind of hard to recommend. However, if you really need a tablet for this price, we can say go for it. The 7-inch IPS display looks good and for media consumption it is a good device. 

We highly suggest that Kata can look into at least packing the next version of the T Mini tablet with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. If that will be a cause for a price hike then we say it can be worth it. It will performance better since a lot of the popular social media apps use a lot of resources nowadays.

In conclusion, the Kata T mini 4 will still get our recommendation if you are in the market for a tablet under PHP 5K.

Build/Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4
Camera - 3.5
Perforance - 3.5
Average - 3.83/5
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