The Swipe Halo Value Plus reaffirms the Californian company’s intentions to capitalize on the growing voice calling tablets market in India. It is an upgrade to the Halo Value launched earlier this March. The major difference lies in the processor. It is now a 1.2 GHz Dual core processor powering the device in place of a single core 1.5 Ghz processor on the Value. With multiple cores, it is now better equipped to handle multi-tasking. Another major change: no Dual SIM option for the Value Plus. Apart from this, everything looks to be the same. If you are looking for a voice calling tablet, should you go for this new offering from Swipe?
This budget voice calling tablet is powered by a dual core 1.2 GHz processor. The previous version had a 1.5 GHz single core processor. That means, it’s now a multi-core processor (from an unknown manufacturer, probably Mediatek), making multi-tasking faster. It is really responsive. Browsing is not a problem over WiFi. The tablet does not lag even while scrolling on slightly heavy web pages. A meager 512 MB of RAM (DDR3), same as that of the older version might run into problems sometimes. Some apps quit unexpectedly due to memory shortage. The tablet does behave a bit funny at times. This tablet is not something that you would use for running high graphic games. This apart, most of the basic operations like watching videos and playing basic games are smooth. I played the Temple Run 2 and the tablet could run it without skipping frames.
There is 4GB of internal memory and you can add more through a MicroSD card. The battery performance is pretty good. The 3000 mAh lithium ion battery reserves enough juice between charges and can be used for a complete day when begun on full charge.
The Design and Build
This tablet looks pretty solid. The 380 gm weight is slightly on the higher side. The cameras and buttons are placed on the bottom of the device, making it difficult to take photos from the tablet. Your hands always end up closing these lenses (front and rear camera). You need to hold it using only your left hand to use the camera. The ear piece is placed exactly where you would expect it to be. Taking calls is easy. Due to the weight, taking long duration calls on the earpiece is not a good option.
The rear houses a speaker grill and a flip cover that opens up to reveal SIM and memory card slots. It’s easy to change SIMs or memory cards. You cannot open the tablet from the rear because of two tiny screws sealing the device from the bottom, along with all the buttons and ports. The sleep and volume control keys, Micro USB port and headphones jacks are placed at the bottom. The other three sides are completely empty. There is a tiny reset button on the rear, just in case you want to reset the tablet to its default factory settings.
The tablet won’t give you a premium feel and the reason is obvious – its price. For a price tag of Rs.7000, you get a pretty decent looking device with clean edges and an overall nice feel. Be careful thought, because both the front and back are prone to scratches. During the two weeks that I used the tablet, it collected a lot of tiny scratches from daily use.
you get a pretty decent looking device with clean edges and an overall nice feelCamera and Display
The main camera is a 2 MP shooter and is placed just where you hold the tablet with your right hand. It blocks the lens and you need to hold the tablet either with your left hand or from the top to keep the lens view clear. The photo quality at 1600×1200 pixels is decent. The colors are not very vibrant and you need a bright area to capture clear photos. There is a panorama mode for photos that doesn’t do such a good job. The tiny VGA front camera can be used for video calling over Skype. In short, there is a 2MP camera just in-case you don’t have any other camera to catch some moment.
there is a 2MP camera just incase you don’t have any other camera to catch a moment
The display on this tablet is very pixelated. 480×800 pixels on a 7″ screen look very stretched out. Text looks crisp only after zooming in a little bit. If you shell out another thousand, you can find an alternative with a better screen in the Micromax Funbook Mini. Just so that the price is justified, the Mini has double the RAM memory too. The capacitive multi-touch works well on this tab. The brightness is good for indoors. Even at full brightness, it gets hard to look at the screen outdoors.
Sound quality and multimedia
The speaker on the rear is quite loud but a bit on the rougher side. Vocals are very clear and making calls over the speaker is very comfortable. Sometimes, it gets too loud and the sound loses quality. The earpiece sounds clear and talking over calls is pretty smooth since after all, it’s a voice calling tablet.
Swipe has added FM to this tab. You can now listen to some new music even when you are not connected to a WiFi network. This is a welcome addition to this tablet. However, you need to connect the headset to use the FM. There is a MicroSD slot, just in case you want to stuff more of your songs and videos into the tablet.
Software and UI
This tablet runs 4.1 Jelly Bean with minimal UI enhancements. Efforts to make changes would have proved futile owing to the low-res screen. Google Now and Google Maps are some apps that I used on the tablet and they worked without any glitches. There is a standard Android home screen with Swipe’s logo next to the menu icon.
Connectivity and Network
Swipe has skipped the Dual SIM option in this version. You can still connect to one 2G network for voice calls. There is EDGE for data connectivity over 2G speeds and I don’t think you would want to use the internet over these speeds for a very long time. There is Wi-Fi, so you do have access to high speed internet at homes and offices. There is also Bluetooth on board, but it’s the old 2.0 Version.
Other connectivity features include GPS, MicroUSB to sync up with your PC and a 3.5 mm jack to connect your headsets.
Swipe Halo Value Plus Quick Specs
|OS||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean||Processor||Dual-core 1.2 GHz|
|Touchscreen||Capacitive touchscreen||Display Resolution||480 x 800 pixels|
|Display||7" TFT||Primary Camera||2 MP|
|Dimensions||192 mm x 116.8 mm x 11.30 mm||Weight||380 g|