Teclast P98 4G review – high performance full-featured 64-bit Mediatek MT8752 based tablet with LTE support
This tablet is attractive by many technical specs: here we have a large and high resolution 9,7″ IPS screen and 2/32 GB of expansible memory, hardware support of navigation, mobile communications and data transfer, good battery, 8 megapixels main camera… But all this, one way or another, we’ve already seen before. 8-cores 64-bit Mediatek MT8752 processor – this is a novelty. We already tested Jiayu S3, equipped with the very similar phone-oriented MT6752 processor, but here we have the tablet version of the processor, which, theoretically, should be even faster, since it is less limited by the dimensions of the case (which affects the removal of heat) and the battery.
By the way, Teclast has a lot of 9.7″ tablets in its range, but many of them have very similar names, with significantly different technical specs. We are talking specifically about the Teclast P98 4G, but there is still P98 3G, P98 Air, T98 4G, X98 and others. Teclast P98 4G and Teclast T98 4G have basically the same hardware, so in most tests they will show similar results. The difference between two tablets is the resolution of the main camera, the number of sensors, and a small difference in design and capacity of batteries. Oh, and the price, of course. The basic specs of these tablets, such as the processor, screen, RAM and flash memory are the same.
|Device||Teclast P98 4G|
|CPU||Mediatek MT8752, Cortex A53 ARM v8, 8 cores, 1690 MHz|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T760MP2 700 MHz|
|Internal flash memory||32 Gb + MicroSD support|
|Screen||9.7 inches, Retina 2048x1536, IPS LED|
|Touch screen||capacitive, 10 simultaneous touches|
|Battery||built-in, 8000 mAh|
|Mobile networks||GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 800/850/900/1900/2100MHz, LTE Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 13, 20|
|SIM cards||1 MiniSIM card|
|Cameras||frontal 2 megapixels, main 8 megapixels, autofocus, FullHD video recording.|
|Navigation||GPS, Glonass, BDS, mobile and Wi-Fi networks navigation, accuracy up to 1 m|
|OS||Android 4.4.4 (Android 5.0/5.1 upgrade is expected)|
|Language support||40 languages|
|Weight||528 (534) g|
|Dimensions||240x169x7.4 (8.4) мм|
|Other||Metal back panel for better heat dissipation, with a plastic window for antennas, OTG support, OTG cable included|
|Set||The tablet, packaging, manual, warranty card and certificate of quality control, 5V 2.5A charger, cable for charging and data transfer, OTG cable, an adapter for European sockets|
The appearance of the tablet is quite simple: it looks like iPad, somewhere between iPad 2 and iPad Air. The same is true for most of the competitors, but in this case the similarity is reinforced by the fact that the rear panel of the device is made of metal, and, as in the old iPads, equipped with a plastic “window” with wireless interfaces antennas behind it. This architecture is good, because the metal cover can effectively conduct heat away from the CPU and other hot components of the system, and, at the same time, the window does not interfere with the signals of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and GSM/3G/LTE. Of course, there are differences in appearance between Teclast P98 4G and iPads, but the latter has set the standards in this area for years to come, so this difference is small.
On the frontal panel we have, not surprisingly, the screen and the frontal camera, and that’s all. On the back panel there are plastic insert with antennas in the metal rear panel, which also integrates the optical system of the main 8 Mp camera. Below there are two decorative meshes of speakers (although, it seemed to me that there is only one speaker), and a small hole through which you can reload your device. The top and right edges of the device in the portrait orientation are not burdened with connectors or buttons. On the left edge we have the power button and volume control key, made of white plastic, and below – slots for MicroSD and standard MiniSIM cards, as well as built-in microphone. At the bottom edge there is a 3.5mm jack for headphones and headset, and the MicroUSB for charging, connecting to a PC and external devices through OTG.
As usual, the manufacturer is not entirely honest about the thickness of the device: instead of claimed 7.4 mm I got 8.4 mm. Although, the tablet is still very thin, both subjectively and objectively. The other parameters are correct, except that the tablet is 6 g heavier than expected.
The firmware is almost raw Android 4.4.4. It has its own, non-remarkable shell, as well as plenty of pre-installed programs. Unfortunately, almost all of them only support Chinese interface. Most of these programs can be easily removed in the standard system settings, but you will need the root, which is not pre-installed in the system, to remove the rest of them. There is a wireless update of the firmware via Wi-Fi, which works fine.
The screen is almost standard for 9.7″ tablets, 2048×1536, IPS LED. OGS technology is not stated, but the air gap, even if there is one, is very thin, which is reflected by the total thickness of the device. Even 1 mm air gap matters in this case. The rest, except for the resolution, specifications of the matrix are also good – excellent dimming range, no dead pixels, good uniformity of black and white (which indicates, by the way, the traditional for Teclast high quality of assembly), excellent viewing angles, lively and bright colors… Even the black color at the maximum brightness is black enough. In general, there are almost all the charms of modern high-quality tablet matrix. You can complain about the fact that there is no automatic adjustment of brightness, because there is no light sensor, but it is not directly related to the screen. The screens in the tablets of medium and high level today are so good that even the progress in this respect in recent years has slowed down. Resolution of more than 3-megapixels, as well as the rest of the parameters, are quite good for the vast majority of users and manufacturers. I am also quite satisfied with them.
Touch screen supports up to 10 simultaneous touches, and, again, there is nothing more to wish, unless you have 6 fingers at each hand and use the exotic techniques of Kama Sutra when working with the tablet. And even all 10 touches simultaneously are processed accurately, but in this case there are quite unpleasant delays, while 3 to 5 touches are processed almost perfectly. In general, the touch screen is very good.
The situation with sensors is far from perfect, because among the sensors, we have only accelerometer, which works fine, and the microphone, if you may call it sensor. There are also working temperature sensors built into the processor, and, oddly enough, quite rare for tablets battery temperature sensor. The other sensors, such as light and proximity, magnetometer, gyroscope, linear acceleration sensor, orientation, and others are absent.
Battery demonstrates quite the expected results. Based on user feedback, as well as the current and time of battery charge, the battery capacity is about equal to the declared – 8000 mAh. The charge current, using the original or other good quality cable and charger reaches approximately 2.1A – again, like in iPad. It also means that the charging will take a reasonable amount of time – typically, no more than 3-4 hours. The battery life does not disappoint. MT8752 is quite an efficient processor. Similar MT6752 shows good energy efficiency even in the phones, so for tablet with much higher battery capacity it should not create an excessive burden. In such circumstances, the main consumer of energy is the large and high resolution screen. Accordingly, battery life greatly depends on its brightness. You can expect 6-8 hours of battery life in heavy games, 8-12 hours of video or Internet via Wi-Fi or mobile network, and dozens of hours of phone talking or music listening.
The sound in the tablet is not bad as a whole, but we should mention a couple of things. Firstly, despite the fact that the tablet has two decorative meshes for the speakers, I had the impression that there is only one speaker. Previously, I came across a similar architecture in Teclast tablets, and they had 2 speakers, but here the situation is different. Secondly, the tablet suffers from the same problem as many of the latest phones tested – significant noise from the speakers after any system sound before automatic hardware muting. Sound system collects interferences, so its design is far from perfect. When the speakers play any sounds the noise is absent or inaudible, but once any sound is over, for a few seconds, before the system disconnects the speaker in order to save energy, the noise is clearly audible. In day hours it is usually not so irritating, because of background noise, but at night it can be a problem. Other than that, the sound is quite decent: sufficient volume reserve, no wheezing even at the maximum volume level, the frequency range of the reproduced sound is sufficient for the tablet. The sound in the headphones is also quite good: no background noise noticed, the interferences are collected only by the main speaker.
Mobile Networks. The tablet supports one SIM-card of standard size – Mini-SIM. Thanks to MT8752 on board, it supports not only the most advanced variant of 3G with data transfer rates up to 42 Mbit/s, but also all the main ranges of 4G/LTE with speeds up to 150 Mbit/s. Also, despite its impressive size, the tablet supports not only mobile data transfer, as some of its counterparts, but also the phone calls and SMS. But, for obvious reasons, there is no phone speaker and no proximity sensor. Therefore, to make calls you should either use the speakerphone or headset.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and navigation work fine.
Wi-Fi. As usual, near the router, 1 m from the router through a reinforced concrete wall, 6 meters from the router through a reinforced concrete wall, 10 meters from the router through three concrete walls. The results speak for themselves.
I don’t consider the cameras in tablets as the basic items in technical specifications. Unlike with phone, it is very uncomfortable to take pictures with tablet, especially such a large. However, Teclast P98 4G is equipped with 2 cameras, with a fairly good for a tablet resolutions (2 and 8 megapixels) and quality. You can evaluate the photos from the main camera by yourself. The impression is that the matrix of the main camera actually has 8 megapixels and interpolation is not used. The frontal camera completely fulfills its 2 megapixels and can be used without problems in Skype or other similar applications. Also, the location of the main camera is quite poor, so you will frequently close its lens by hand when trying to take picture.
As usual, the photos are taken in Camera FV-5 application.
I have no special claims to the main camera, considering its resolution. The white balance is not always perfect, and the right side of the frame is sometimes a bit blurred. Other than that, everything is good. Fairly good sharpness across the frame, good autofocus, including macro shots, good exposure, no chromatic aberration, and, importantly, almost complete absence of noises. Noise is likely to be removed by the software noise reduction, but removed qualitatively, almost without losses of details. Phones occasionally have a bit better 8 megapixel cameras, but more often they are comparable or even slightly worse. For a tablet, the camera is clearly above average level.
The performance of the tablet is very good. In AnTuTu Benchmark it shows even slightly better result than Jiayu S3 with the same processor and smaller screen resolution. Apparently, the tablet version of the processor, possibly due to better cooling and a metal rear panel, shows slightly better performance. The three-dimensional tests are faster on Jiayu S3, as they are already significantly affected by much higher screen resolution (2048×1536 vs. 1920×1080). In general, performance is at the level of top devices of 2014.
Among the shortcomings of the tablet I should note a small number of built-in sensors, poor location of the cameras, the noise in the speaker under certain conditions. Software defects, i.e. those you can easily correct by yourself or will be corrected in a future firmwares: no root in stock firmware, an abundance of Chinese applications, not all of which may be removed without root, and non-working Glonass (but the navigation still works fine even without it).
At the same time, Teclast P98 4G has lot of advantages: a great performance with a modern, energy-efficient 64-bit processor, good screen, a large amount of built-in memory and support of its expansion, the full-featured tablet (except Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, we have also the hardware support of navigation and SIM-card for data transfer and phone calls, with LTE support), the battery life is good enough, quick charging with the current up to 2.1 A, the metal back cover with a window for antennas, favorable temperature conditions, good build quality, excellent work of all wireless interfaces, good cameras (for tablet), support of wireless firmware update, multi-language interface, support of Android 5.0/5.1 (expected in the future), low price.
In general, the drawbacks of the tablet are not critical and may be mostly corrected by software. If you are looking for an high performance and price efficient full-featured tablet, the Teclast P98 4G can be your choice. If you are even more uncompromising, then it makes sense to look at Teclast T98 4G, which has even better technical specs, but at the expense of higher price.
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