There are plenty of seven inch tablets on the market and all the big Android manufacturers have an offering including Samsung, Google, Asus and of course Amazon. However with the new Nexus 7 costing $229 an up, there is room for something cheaper. The Freelander PX2 is a seven inch Chinese designed and manufactured tablet which comes with a quad-core processor and dual SIM 3G functionality. I have spent a few days playing with the device and this is what I discovered.
I’ll be honest, before I opened the box I wasn’t expecting much in terms of design. If the device was slightly thicker and slightly heavy than say a Nexus 7 (2012) then I would think it was just about par for the course. However once I had unpacked the tablet I was quite surprised. OK, this doesn’t have the same build quality and design as a $400 tablet but the PX2 is actually thinner and lighter than my Nexus 7 (2012).
The bezel (and case) take up about 1.4cm down the side, making it very similar to the Nexus 7 (2012) but along the top it is under 2cm making it shorter than the Nexus 7. In the top bezel, along with the front facing camera, there is a speaker grill which is unusual but logical once you remember that, because of the inclusion of 3G, this tablet can actually be used as a phone!
Since this is a budget tablet there are bound to be a few areas which aren’t bleeding edge and one of those is the display. The Freelander PX2 uses a fairly simple 1024 x 600 display. It isn’t IPS which means that the viewing angles aren’t brilliant. In a completely non-scientific experiment I reckon that text can still be read comfortably even with the device tilted beyond 40 degrees. Anywhere after 45 degrees and the text becomes unclear.
The display’s brightness is average and for indoor use was more than adequate. Outdoors the screen can be seen sufficiently when in the shade but in normal daylight it was harder to see.
The PX2 comes with quite a full feature list considering its budget pricing. Along with the quad-core CPU and dual-SIM 3G support the device comes with GPS, Bluetooth, HDMI output, and a micro SD card slot. The full specs are:
The processor in the PX2 comes from MediaTek and is an extension of the company’s quad-core portfolio. Based on the Cortex- A7 CPU, this SoC also includes the a PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU. In terms of performance the 1.2Ghz CPU and GPU package does remarkably well. Its AnTuTu score was 13749 making it faster than the Nexus 7 (2012) and comparable with the Nexus 10.
I ran Epic Citadel in all three of its quality modes (high performance, high quality and ultra high quality) and the PX2 managed to break the 60 fps barrier for the first two categories (scoring 68.7 and 65.5 respectively). It only faltered in the ultra high quality mode where it managed just 28.7 fps.
As expected with these kinds of numbers, the PX2 felt fast and fluid all the time I used it.
Before moving on to the software, it is worth noting that the PX2 does include GPS circuitry and it does work, but getting a lock can be a long process. My tests both indoors and outdoors showed that establishing my current location could take several minutes. This will likely be OK if you are a casual or infrequent user of apps that requite a precise GPS fix, but if you want to use the PX2 as your main GPS enabled device, you might want to reconsider.
The Freelander PX2 ships with Android 4.2.1 and although there are some forums discussing various firmware options for older Freelander models, it is unlikely that it will be upgraded to Android 4.3. A look around the official manufacturers website (www.link-create.com.cn) didn’t reveal any firmware download section. But Android 4.2.1 is still a recent and highly respectable version of Android. The RX2 comes with full support for the Google Play Store and works with all the usual Google apps like Gmail and Hangouts.
For some inexplicable reason the Freelander PX2 comes with a Windows 8 type launcher. If that isn’t your thing (and it certainly isn’t for me) then there is a handy “OS Switch” app which allows you to re-instate the default Android launcher.
It is also worth mentioning that the device comes with root access by default!
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You can get a Pipo S1 pro which costs £70-$100, sure it doesnt have 3G but is compatible, but has everything else
Jack, thanks for you comment, indeed the RX2 isn’t the only Chinese tablet available! However the Pipo S1 Pro uses a different processor and it has no 3G as you mention (nor does it have any calling abilities, the RX2 is a dual-SIM device). Neither does it have GPS. The cameras are much smaller (Front 0.3MP/back 2.0MP), it is thicker and it weighs more.
How about Tengda F5189?
Ah not bad then if you consider it a phone, Although im not sure i would want GPS, or dual sim on a tablet :P
Also consider the new Novo 7 EOS 7-inch Android tablet, which launches next week and offers a much better screen display, with an HD 1280X800 display as well as a much more powerful 4400 mAh battery. This new model is made by Ainol Electronics. which won runner-up for Best-Tablet-of-the-Year at CES 2012 and the Novo 7 EOS features a 3G HSPA+ SIM card slot for 3G service through any GSM carrier, including AT&T and T-Mobile. It also features Built-in GPS, a MicroSD memory card slot, Wifi, Bluetooth, a front 2 MegaPixel Webcam and a Rear 5 MegaPixel Camera, along with Android 4.2.2 O/S and Google Play store preinstalled… and Also works with both Google Chromecast and a new Miracast TV HD Wireless adapter($39) — and one of the first on l ine sources this new model is available through is T ablet Sprint –
Nice review there Gary. I would like to point out the device does not come with root access by default but it can easily be rooted with “Framaroot-1.6.0.apk” and it works with this:Thread: http://forum.xda-dev…d.php?t=2130276
Framaroot-1.6.0.apk Download Link: http://forum.xda-dev…33&d=1375631419
Someone posted a video on YouTube and uploaded “Framaroot-1.6.0.apk” to a link. Just access bit.ly/easyrooting and install to root :)
It works like a dream. Very speedy. Everything works so far. One thing to note, it seems to have a proximity/light sensor but all the benchmarking or cpu info apps don’t show it. That might be the only thing to look out for and I hope it’s not a fake sensor haha. Perhaps some firmware updates might allow us to access it. The Launcher8 is just a launcher like the numerous ones they have out there.
Screen is great. A little white-ish but good enough.
Given the price it can’t be beat. Someone posted on xda comparing it with HiSense Sero 7 Pro. 129USD in Walmart stores. Perfect specs with a HD (x800p) screen, NFC enabled, Dual Stereo with Nvidia quad core. However no 3G version.
How bout’ I just get the best 7 inch tablet on the planet… Nexus 7 (2013)… end of discussion
Sadly, not everyone is willing to pay that much. Students or people on a budget would appreciate it. Sure it doesn’t have a HD screen but with everything else it’s a great buy.
Did not mean to plus my comment… That is so… Blah
There is a firmware downloadable on manufacturers site ( two rar file one for SD card install one forPC intall). I downloaded and installed but no version difference compare to my 17th of July build.
Could you please post the link to the download area.
I have played with my PX2 a few days and am very impressed. However I can’t work out how to create multiple user accounts. I have seen screenshots of where “users” show up in the settings of other tablets running on Android 4.2.1 but this facility seems to be missing on my PX2. Has anyone else worked this out, please?
Having done a little more research, I see that the multiple users option is described by Android as being “for tablets but not phones”. Perhaps then, multiple users isn’t available on the PX2 because of its dual purpose as tablet AND phone? A shame as I only wanted the 3G capability for mobile data rather than phone use, and would have liked the option of setting up a guest user account, to keep my emails, etc, private when loaning the tablet to others.
Hmm, sadly, after 2 weeks, the charging port failed. I tried a replacement but that failed too, so I was given a refund.
I bought a freelander PD200 from deal extreme and its a great deal even without using it as a phone. I just got a SIM card for it but “mobile networks” stays dark, as if no card is inserted. Now I don’t know who to contact. DX’s approach to tech support is a customer forum: “have a problem? ask someone else who’s had the same problem and survived to tell the tale.” Thanks to your review I now know the manufacturer is called “link-create”, but their site is all in Chinese. Does anyone have any suggestions how I should proceed?
The PD200 doesn’t support 3G via the internal SIM card.
thanks for responding. Are you saying that the sim card itself is incompatible because it can be used in 3g devices, and therefore the pd200 ignores its presence?
No, I am guessing it should still work for 2G services (like phone calls and SMS) but you won’t get any mobile internet on it. I have never used the PD200 so I can’t give any specific advice. Is the SIM card GSM? From what country?
Israel. If its not a hardware problem (and so far the device seems to work perfectly well so I doubt there’s anything physically wrong) then I suppose resetting android would be advisable. What do I lose and have to reconfigure/install if I do a reset? Truthfully all I want is a tiny bit of tech support from the manufacturer. The chinese don’t seem to get that without support people are just not going to buy this kind of merchandise.
Hmmm… It shoudl work just like a phone. Can I suggest that you try using the SIM in another phone (to check that the SIM is OK) and also try another SIM (from a friend and preferable from a different network) in the tablet.
I guess time does sometimes really heal all ills. Out of the blue I hear this unfamiliar music coming from the tablet and lo and behold I’ve got a phone call. It seems to be working ok now. I still would like to have an email address for “link-create” support but at the moment I’m pretty happy with the device. By the way, since most of my internet access will be via wi-fi, the lack of 3g is not so critical.
Bought a PX2 about 1 month ago, when it doesn’t crash & restart its a good tablet! Thinking it was Firmware, I updated this – took a bit of working out using google translator as all instructions were in Chinese! But still same problem – it crashes randomly, as a max around 10 times per day & can happen during phone calls which is really annoying (but seems to happen more frequently when using the navigation app). So, as the supplier thought it may be a fault with the device, I ordered another with the intention of swapping everything over & sending the orig back. But the replacement also show the same problem! Is anyone else getting this problem as supplier says they have never heard of it – Thanks.
I have had mine for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t crashed at all. I don’t have a SIM card in it though. I wonder if that is where your problem lies. It has the stock firmware on it 4.2.1 MOLY.WR8.W1248.MD.WG.MP.V7.P1, 2013/05/20 10:49
Hi kpjuk, yes I think it could be this, but I need to use it for data roaming & with a Bluetooth earpiece it saves me carrying around a separate phone – hence the reason for this instead of the Nexus! I have the same firmware as you running, however on the Freelander Website: http://220.127.116.11/bbs/showtopic-13607.aspx It says it was updated in 08/2013?? Maybe the firmware update didn’t work?? Going to try & update again.
They are going back, it works well as a tablet, but not as a phone! So its a Nexus 7 & A Sony Xperia for me then!
YES! I bought a piece of Freelander PX2 tablet with phone one month ago, the phone NEVER work until today, it can’t use in USA!!! IT’S MADE ME CRAZY!
Anyone else unable to adjust screen brightness? Mine remains the same whether I adjust the slider to maximum or minimum. It’s always around half the brightness of my iPhone and very difficult to see outdoors even in the shade.
I bought a PX2 that had several problems right out of the box:
1. One dead pixel and one hot one
2. The MAC address on it changed whenever I turned it off and on again, making connection to various routers difficult, if not impossible.
3. The phone app didn’t work all the time. It often would not call out (it just said “dialing” endlessly) and when I called it from another phone it didn’t connect (my cell phone company’s recorded message said the customer was currently unavailable).
I tried resetting to factory but it made no difference.
Does anyone know anything about these problems, especially 2 and 3?
hey I don’t know if you’ve found a solution yet, but make sure your service is not 3G, if you want phone functions. if your phone service has no 3G or internet service
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For the price this little gem has got to be unbeatable, couple of things I can’t sort out though, app icons and text can’t be enlarged also there is no screen capture function, any suggestions. Thanks
Hi I just got a Px 2 that i ordered on line, I`m calling from Trinidad and Tobago, the Tablet is great but I`m having serious issues with the network, the signal keeps dropping, can you advise i already went to the network dealer
I got the px2 for xmas It works perfectly
Phone is ok
3g is ok
Wifi is ok
Bluetooth. is ok
We can not find the same in France
All the other tablets have no phone nor 3g capabilities