HANNSpad 7" SN70T3 – Budget Tablet Without Google Play

11/28/2012 12:48:36 AM

We wonder why companies make such poor choices when it comes to Android

The world has been waiting for affordable tablet PCs, and when the HANNSpad 7" SN70T3 first turned up I wondered if we'd reached a turning point on that journey.

On paper this device ticks many boxes. Built around an ARM Cortex A8 CPU 1.0 GHz, the SN70T3 offers an ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) implementation of Android, 4GB of Flash storage, a 800x480 display, Accelerometer, and 0.3m front facing camera. You can expand the storage another 32GB using the microSD slot, and connect it to a PC for media transfer using a Mini-USB port. What's more, all this costs well under $160. If that was the whole story I'd buy one myself, but alas the caveats here come thick and fast from this point in the review onwards.

Description: Description: Description: HANNSpad 7" SN70T3

The first issue, though, is the screen. It has poor vertical viewing angles and a decidedly soft display when presenting any contrasting text. Turning the brightness down helps, but the bottom line is that this panel isn't good enough for this job.

Hold it at the right angle and you can see what you're doing, but the pad is also generally unresponsive, often requiring multiple stabs to illicit a response. With the hardware in here it shouldn't do that, so I can only conclude they mucked up the Android implementation in some fashion. That theory gets some supporting evidence when you start using the pad in earnest.

Other faults aside, the Android implementation is the real deal breaker here; it doesn't give you Gmail or access to the Google Play market for apps. They've come up with two alternative app stores, neither of which provide the range of apps that Google makes available.

What's super-annoying is that on these stores you can download GMail, but it won't work because they stripped out the Google Services Framework that it requires to function. I manually found the APK for this on the Internet and installed it, but why I should jump through so many hoops to get basic functionality is beyond me.

As such, without modification, this device is of no practical use to anyone with an Android phone who'd like something synchronized that they can use to tap out emails while watching TV. That's a gaff of Godzilla-sized proportions, and what Hannspree was thinking here I've no idea.

Description: Description: Description: HANNSpad 7" SN70T3

It is possible to root this device and replace the OS with one crafted by enthusiasts who've a better grip on why people buy Android pads, but that requires more technical knowledge than a typical punter might be expected to have. I can't really recommend it as a the start point for a project where you have to do something that drastic to make it slightly useable, invalidating the warranty in the process. Just pay the extra and get a Nexus 7.

A cheap Android pad that doesn't offer critical apps



Price: $134

Manufacturer: Hanspree

Required Spec: Local Wi Fi access to the Internet



  • Touchscreen Type : Capacitive Multi-Touch (5 points)
  • Weight : 380 gm
  • CPU : 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A8 Processor
  • Dimensions : 230 x 150 x 10.5mm
  • Screen : 7” 800×480 resolution (16:10)
  • Memory : 512MB
  • Internal Storage : 4GB Flash
  • Camera : 0.3 Mega Pixel Front Camera
  • Connectivity : WiFI 802.11 b/g/n
  • Audio : Microphone + 1x 1W speaker
  • Battery : Lithium Polymer 3000mAh/3.7V
  • I/O Ports : 1 x Micro SD Card Reader, 1x Mini-USB 2.0-Cable supplied, 1x Headphone (3.5mm)
  • OS : Android 4.0.3
  • Supported Video Formats : MKV (H.264), FLV, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG3
  • Supported Image Formats : JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, WBMP Supported Audio Formats : MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV


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