Taiwan-based Nextab launches cheap alternatives for Samsung’s Galaxy Note and Nexus

by: AdrianSeptember 4, 2012

The market for cheap knock-offs of very successful phones is thriving over in Asia, with Apple and Samsung being the most often copied brands. We’ve just seen an iPhone 5 lookalike in China, which might prove to be more than that after a very unusual turn of events, and now two Sammy devices have gotten doppelgangers.

The Galaxy Note and Nexus clones come from Taiwan-based Nextab, who has shown off the duo at the COMEX 2012 tech bazaar. We don’t know much about Nextab (in fact it’s the first time we’re hearing about the company), but these two gadgets don’t look half bad – for their prices.

First up, it’s the Nextab Grande, a “phablet” that looks a lot like the original Galaxy Note, although it isn’t exactly a fully-fledged clone. The Grande (Italian for “big”) might start a new trend, sporting a huge 6-inch screen. That’s right, even the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 will look like a featherweight next to this “monster”, but the interesting thing is that, as you can see from the photo above, it can be held in one hand even by representatives of the “weaker sex”.

The 6-incher might leave the GNote 2 trailing in terms of display diagonal size, but as far as hardware goes there’s absolutely no competition between the two phablets. Nextab’s Grande only comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor and 2.5GB of on-board memory (say whaaaat?). The display is also more than disappointing, coming with a meager 800 x 600 pixels resolution.

MicroSD support and Android 4.0 ICS are two upsides of the Grande’s spec sheet, while the biggest surprise is by far the dual SIM function. And of course the S$279 (US$225) off-contract price, which is well below what Samsung charges for the Note and Note 2.

Is 6-inch not your favorite form factor? Don’t worry, because Nextab has thought about that too and has released the Nexus 2. The phone has nothing to do with Samsung’s first-edition Galaxy Nexus or with Google, which begs the obvious question – why in God’s name did Nextab choose this branding? Are they asking for a lawsuit? Or are they hoping to garner some public attention, while remain an insignificant enough global smartphone player for Google trials to be financially unfeasible?

In any case, the Taiwanese Nexus 2 is itself not a “true” clone of the Galaxy Nexus, taking some design cues here and there from Samsung, but not quite blatantly copying the original phone’s look. It also sports a much larger 5-inch display, while having pretty much the same tech specs as the Nextab Grande. Oddly enough, it’s priced exactly the same as its sibling (the Grande, not the GNex), going for S$279 (US$225).

Anyone here excited about these knockoffs? Would you buy any of the two if you had the chance? And would you do it for their looks and spec sheets or to brag around to your friends that you got a “GNote” or “Nexus 2” for 200 bucks?


  • Michael Paul

    The Asian markets have been selling Samsung and other brand 7 inch tablets with phone unlocked as phones for the last 2+ years. I have the Note and want bigger -6-6 1/4″ phablet. I don’t think the above product is 4G/LTE compliant. The best phones to be made will come from China someday, unfortunately.

    • Michael Paul is RACIST

      So it’s unfortunate that China’s gonna make the best phones? Was it also unfortunate that the Chinese invented paper? The Compass? WELL?

      • Michael Paul

        Not racist, just unfortunate there is no manufacturing capacity in U.S.
        You however are a crybaby.
        The compass is a natural phenomenon discovered and used, NOT invented.

        • Michael Paul

          And 30 years ago, most Chinese never saw or used toilet PAPER.

  • Laura

    I would no way buy any of these i have the Galaxy Note and love it but i also wanted a tablet and i seen a little 7inch one from a chineese company for 70 pounds so i bought it but i am a huge tech geek so i can not tolerate crap lol and this tablet was terrible it would freeze up crash the keyboard would type the wrong letters it was terrible so i sold it on eBay two days after getting it and i got myself the acer iconia a500 10inch as much as the cheap ones seem like an easy cheaper route to take if you are wanting a great tablet that works perfectly you are better off getting a pricier one with a great spec and memory that is smooth especially if you are going to use it for a lot of different reasons and you like your gadgets.

    • Are you DUMB?

      So you bought it from a Chinese company in Europe??
      Also I thought you guys switched to Euros.

  • Edward

    i’d get the galaxy player instead

  • MarylandUSA

    6-inch phablets began to appear in July. There are now at least seven, each with dual-SIMs, 512MB of RAM, and a resolution of 854 by 480:

    i9800 (Dapeng)
    i9877 (Dapeng)
    N9776 (Star)
    N9880 (Star, Upai, Viewsonic)
    Note5 F5 (Carpad)
    Note5 F6 (Carpad)
    Galaxy Tad (typo?) P100+ (HDC)

    Given that the Nextab Grande looks like the others, I suspect that its resolution is also 854 by 480.

    • Dude thank you so much for mentioning the variants of this phone !!! you dont know how much you have helped me !!!! I have bought N9880 and i was trying to search all over the web to find CWM for this phone and when i found this article i just scrolled down to look at the comments and i saw your comment. So i went back and searched in google for CWM for all the variants you have mentioned and finally i found a website with both CWM and an amazing firmware !!!! Also a big big thanks to the person who wrote this article !!! you guys dont know how excited i am !!!! Yayy !!!! :D :D :D

      • alex

        hey can you post what you found with rooting and installing clockworkmod, i have the note 5 f6 and i cant find anything

      • kenpachi

        i second alex here, can you post what you found? i have the dapeng i9800, the russian forums are too cryptic for me.

  • Nexttab website seems to be down .are the upgrading or fixing the page thanks

  • Joel

    anyone know frazer “root” in carpad note 5 mtk6577 f6?

  • I just got a Star Note 3 (N9776), running JB 4.1.1, and I love this phone. Having issues rooting it, though.

  • Marie

    I attended a computer market and purchased the nextab tablet pc…cost me $220….took it home and it wouldnt recharge…had to run around to find the seller as the markets are held at different venues…..To cut a long story short…he replaced it begrudingly…..it seemed to work ok….took it home…when recharge time came….it wouldnt recharge again….went around looking for the chap who sold it to me…..wanted a refund (suspected bad batch)…he refused….swapped it a third time…..this time i got a week use out of this 3rd one b4 it wouldnt recharge. He refuses to give refund….just replaces the nextab with another one. Says law says he just has to change while its under the year warranty….but after 3 faulty tablets i’m really getting annoyed….I read its a cheap taiwan substitute that sells for $100 (grr he took $220 off me..and they dont even work)….any advice? appreciated

  • j

    hi there,
    i have just got one of these phones and am wondering how to extend the ring tone? any help would be appreciated