When I started doing my first reviews here on Gizchina.it, now more than 6-7 years ago, I often tried devices from the Chinese brand Ulefone, a company we have been talking about for years and which, among the low-cost Chinese, continues to always be my favorite (perhaps for the nostalgia of the first reviews, who knows!).
These days I have had the opportunity to test theUlefone A7, a product that is actually not that new but that on Chinese sites like Banggood or Aliexpress often goes on offer but nobody talks about it: I caught the ball in a period like this where tablets continue to be in great demand, especially in a age group younger than during 18 where the main prerogative is only one: the low price.
Ulefone A7 review
Design and Materials
Ulefone A7 has a chassis made of metal, rounded edges on the sides and rather compact and manageable dimensions, despite the 10.1-inch screen: let's talk about 243.6 162.4 x x 7.9mm and a weight of about 566 grams. The rear finishes are satin, they help to improve grip and above all not to retain fingerprints.
On the constructive front, Ulefone has always been characterized by good assemblies, excellent strength and durability over time, it is no coincidence that it is a leader in the production of rugged smartphones, currently among the best in circulation in terms of indestructibility: however this Ulefone A7 is the confirmation of how the company takes care of these aspects without neglecting anything.
Rotating the device, however, we are faced with rather important frames, almost half a centimeter thick and that a little damage the beauty of the home device. Ulefone. Patience, this is a low-cost product for which choices like this are totally eligible.
Along the left side, then, there is a magnetic connector five-pin through which you can connect the keyboard (which must be purchased separately) in addition to two stereo speakers good quality; on the right side, however, the company has inserted in the upper corner the AUX connector for the headphones flanked by the trolley for the double SIM card (or a SIM + MicroSD) while at the top there is space for the connector Type-C, the keys for adjusting the volume and the power key.
I'll be honest: when I receive low-cost tablets on test I recognize them immediately from the display for two reasons, the first is the very cold calibration of the white tending to blue and the second is the feedback of the vibration to the touch, a little too noisy and dry. Here, I have revealed my secret to you.
In practice, Ulefone A7 perfectly reflects what I have just said. It is, first of all, a display LCD IPS from 10.1 ″ with FullHD resolution and 224ppi of pixel density: that said, it is a panel without infamy and without praise. It has a decent brightness indoors in the house and only sufficient when used outdoors under sunlight.
The color balance is not among the best ever, as I anticipated, and the viewing angles exceed by poco sufficiency. As for the color adjustments, they are available in the configuration menus but unfortunately they do not improve the situation much. On the other hand, the sensor for automatic brightness adjustment is absent.
Aspect that has not particularly convinced me, however, is the touchscreen: it will be that nowadays see touch poco reactive like this has become increasingly difficult, the fact is that between the slightly slow touch and the too strong and decisive vibration feedback, this Ulefone A7 left me a bit of a bitter taste.
Hardware and Performance
The hardware sector is essential: it is not a high-level platform, but sufficient for any use of the clientele for which this product is designed. Let's talk, in detail, about a CPU UniSoc SC9863A Octa-Core from 1.6Ghz, flanked by 4GB of RAM memory and one GE8322 GPU with clock up to 550MHz. The internal storage of the Ulefone A7 is equal to 64GB and, as anticipated, there is the possibility of expanding the memory up to an additional 128GB.
I tried this tablet in the concrete and in the most disparate daily uses, which is why I want to clarify some aspects: this is a tablet from poco more than 100 €, designed for a rather young audience and whose practical needs almost never go beyond playing content on various online platforms, using some text editors, school apps and some sporadic play from time to time.
Having clarified this aspect, I tell you: the results in the benchmarks paint an almost disastrous situation, but the reality is another. This Ulefone A7 is reliable in everyday use, it has never crashed (with conscious use, it seems useless to specify it) and is a good adventure companion for simple daily operations.
I am also reminded of the use by sales agents to make invoices or by waiters to take orders at the tables. In gaming, of course, performance drops and compromises are reached, as it should be: even the most important titles such as Call of Duty and Fortnite they work without major problems, as long as you are willing to accept a not very high resolution and a framerate that, perhaps, could make you lose a few games. Better Fruit Ninja, if you really want to play it!
The connectivity sector is good: the Ulefone tablet supports two SIM cards with perfect compatibility with our networks, including the 20 band, then there is the 5Ghz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.1 as well as the GPS Glonass. Small note about the USB-C port which supports the OTG function but unfortunately does not provide video output, so it is not possible to connect it to external displays.
It is definitely known that the photographic sector on tablets has always been almost useless except for some rare exceptions (see Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and a few others) and this Ulefone A7 is the confirmation of this. Technically the equipment is good because on the back there is a 13MP lens with LED flash, while on the front a 5MP one, but in the concrete there is definitely something wrong.
The only scenario that this tablet conceives for taking pictures is outside during the day with a lot of light: stop. Yes, because if you want to take pictures of a document or anything, inside the house for example, the scene will be almost dark: I'm not sure it's a lens problem, more a software problem, or at least I want to hope that it is.
As for the front camera, however, the question is better: it's good for some sporadic selfies, and it's just fine in video calls, with a good yield even in less than optimal lighting conditions. The rear lens then records video in FullHD with a fast enough focus, but with suboptimal stabilization: only 720P, on the other hand, for the anterior chamber.
At the software level this Ulefone A7 has not seen updates since November 19, 2021, poco more than 6 months after its official release on the market dating back to May 2021. The Android version available here on board is 11, while the latest update of the security signatures dates back to April 2021, not the best on this front.
Leaving aside the aspect of the updates, which has always been a sore point for manufacturers such as Ulefone and the like, I can tell you that the software is very simple and without too many frills: the interface is a mix between the Pixel Experience and a few touches of Ulefone, but not too invasive. There are all the pre-installed Google apps, including the Play Store. Too bad for the absence of Widevine L1 certifications, so no full resolution streaming.
The battery present on the Ulefone A7 is from 7680 mAh, a size slightly above the average compared to other competitors and which is able to ensure coverage of a working / school day of 7-9 hours, always with various synchronized mail accounts, some videos on Youtube and some sporadic gaming use.
I also tried to do some video playback tests on Netflix to evaluate the battery life and I found an hourly consumption of about 7/8% with maximum brightness and stereo sound, not bad. Ulefone A7, to close the battery circle, supports the rcharge at 10W with loading times poco more than 3 hours.
Price and Considerations
Ulefone A7 is not very recent, I will be honest: it is a product that has already been around for a year, but still enjoys good value for money. Buying it today costs poco more than 100 euro, net of discounts and shipments, and it is a completely honest figure in relation to its potential and the opportunities that the company exploited badly.
Ultimately, Ulefone A7 is a reliable tablet but with which you have to be lenient: realize that you don't have a rear camera given the poor quality, but otherwise it can be a faithful study or work companion.of GizChina with always different exclusive offers and coupons.