With the launch of the Stellar A2, Best IT World, the promoter of iBall brand of products, has made it clear that it wants to capture the Indian tablet market as much as possible. The A2’s dive into the already heated affordable tablet segment goes to show how far ahead iBall is planning. The Mumbai-based firm touted the camera features of the device during the launch and also promised an actually stellar performance backed by a true octa-core processor. Let us take a look under the hood:
Design: iBall has been turning some heads with its new design aesthetics. As cool as it looks, the tablet feels quite handy although it has a seven inches display. The interesting aspect is that at the first look one would think that the tablet has a manufacturing defect as the volume rocker keys are missing. But what the firm has done with the A2 is that it has included the buttons in the user interface of the tablet which the user will notice as soon as the device starts feeding off the battery. The charging point is at the bottom along with the 3.5 mm jack. The power button is on the right and the front camera at the top right edge. The rear camera is at the centre of the back panel near the top edge of the device accompanied by a dual led-flash unit. The edges are a little on the wide side and is plated with a rubbery plastic material that gives a good grip.
Display, camera and sound: The A2 tablet features a 7-inch full capacitive touch display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and offers a pixel density of 215ppi that aids in viewing images from any angles. The highlight of the device is that it sports an 8-megapixel front-facing camera which the company claims make the tablet the first of a kind in India with the mentioned feature. The tablet also sports an 8-megapixel rear auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash. The camera has a plethora of preloaded features like the Panoroma Mode, Face Beauty, Live Photo, Voice Capture, Face Detection, Smile Shot, HDR, Self-timer and Zero Shutter Delay. The camera really impressed us as the quality of pictures taken under varied light conditions were really good. The zoom was impressive too. The sound of the device is pretty good and can be made a tad little better with third party apps like sound booster. The headphones provided are quite good and compliments the device.
Hardware, performance and storage: The latest from iBall sports a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor coupled with 1 GB of RAM. We experienced reasonable performance with the device, at least comparable in its own league of rivals. Graphics performance could have been better but the price proposition has to be kept in mind. There is 8 GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32 GB). The tablet also features HotKnot file transfer technology, which is similar to near field communications (NFC) in terms of application. It packs a 3000mAh battery which provides solid battery backup. The tablet gives good time on the run which goes to show that it has been designed to be carried out and fit mostly all kind of users and uses.
The Slide Stellar A2 supports 3G network while other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB, and Mini HDMI port. It also supports USB OTG. Another impressive feature is that the device supports dual-SIMs and an onboard call recording function. Other features include GPS, FM Radio and support for music, video files.
OS and apps: The OS might come as a disappointment as the tablet comes with Android KitKat 4.4 out of the box. No word is yet out on the Lollipop update. Regular apps seen in iBall devices are present in this one including Dr Safety, Kaamal Dhamaal, MX player, Askme etc. The device is accompanied with a pouch, charger, USB cable and a screen wiper that comes with the box.
Verdict: The Stellar A2 is the right tablet to buy in the market in the affordable segment. It is handy, light and supports entertainment plus work on the go. This one is a sure buy for the fun loving and for ones who want to get most out of their devices.
* Estimated street price: Rs 11,999