When it comes to tablets, the options available are numerous. Samsung, Asus, Lenovo, etc are competing, offering feature rich tablets at competitive prices. MTV Swipe is yet another collaboration trying to make its mark in Indian market. It’s a relatively newer brand in Indian scenario and so natural for a buyer to understate its products altogether. The Swipe MTV Slate is a tablet available for an affordable price of Rs. 13,999 approximately, a price bracket considered to be very competitive. Moving on, I got a chance to take it up for review. Read on my experience using it and complete Swipe MTV Slate review below.
Design Language – Build Quality
Starting with the front, MTV Slate features a 7.85″ inch HD IPS display surrounded by relatively large bezel. Located at the top right corner is a LED indicator, nifty but useful inclusion indeed. Next to it is the 0.3 MP secondary camera (front camera).
At the back, MTV Slate carries a shiny metallic panel with a small removable portion at the upper edge which houses space for a microSD card and SIM card. What I liked the most about its design was the slim side panels, unlike what is seen in Galaxy Tabs, MTV Slate has sleek side panels featuring a curvature around the edges which makes it feel lighter in hand.
On the sidelines, you’ll find a power button, volume rocker at the top right side accompanied with clear markings defining their respective purpose(s). There’s a speaker grill right at the top and two others at the bottom, which gives an extra punch to audio output and produces good sound quality.
The Screen – Display
Swipe MTV Slate sports a 7.85″ inch HD IPS display with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution (approximately 164 ppi pixel density). Although the pixel density is on the lower side however using it as a daily drive I did not find any startling difference in viewing. The HD movies were enjoyable, Games were great, Browsing web pages was okay, it fared well in short.
One area I found the screen lagging is the outdoor screen brightness. Even at full brightness the screen is barely visible under direct sunlight.
The device has only a single SIM support. There’s no dual SIM swapping or anything of that sort. The good part is you can use MTV Slate both, as a tablet and as a cellular device, though, it would make less sense to place the tablet across your face and attend calls but there is this feature (P.S – You’d want to use bluetooth!).
You can use SIM connectivity to access 3G or 2G internet alongwith WiFi. There is also the ability to transfer files to and for from your PC using the available micro USB port. As far as sensors are concerned, it does pack in a limited number of sensing capabilities including G sensor, proximity sensor, e-compass, gyro sensor, accelerometer.
Swipe MTV Slate comes with a 1.2 GHz MTK8389 quad core processor, PowerVR SGX 544MP dedicated graphics processor, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, 8 GB internal storage (approximately 5.20 GB available to user) and Android Jelly Bean version 4.2.2 (pre-loaded, no word on its upgradability). We carried out a couple of random benchmark test during our usage period and the Antutu scored hovered around 12700 mark. Below is a screen shot of the most recent test score results.
These stats are for the nerds, talking about its performance in actual usage, as a daily driver, I must say there wasn’t any lag. Using some of the very basic apps I install, I had no problems using the apps and switching between them wasn’t troublesome either. Music playback (via Poweramp) and Video playback (via MXPlayer) was enjoyable with no midway hangs, shutter of any sort.
About the present camera, I wasn’t really expecting anything from it. As a matter of fact, the tablets, for me, are meant to capture average images with lesser emphasis on image quality. But first the presence of dual camera (front and rear) and 5 MP shooter at the rear was a surprise for me especially the price tag MTV slate carries. The secondary camera is a welcome inclusion, allowing you to make video calls via the supported 3G capability or using 3rd party apps like Skype, Hangouts, etc. The 5 MP primary camera is capable enough of capturing good quality snaps, in daytime only though (don’t even bother using it at night).
As mentioned earlier, it comes pre-loaded with Android Jellybean 4.2.2 and the experience you get is near to stock android. Swipe telecom hasn’t customized the OS much barring inclusion of a handful of useful applications and features. One good example of application is Easy Touch application available for free in Google Play store, it tries to mimic iOS and is does a good job on tablets as well. Another example is UI customization, MTV Swipe Slate features 5 on-screen buttons instead of the usual 3 buttons (return, home and recent apps switcher). The first 3 server the same purpose as do the prime buttons of android, the fourth one has been dedicated to capturing screenshots whereas the fifth button allows you to minimize the on-screen button bar enitrely, thus providing added screen space as and when required.
MTV Swipe Slate carries a 3200 mAh Li-Ion battery. As I clarify in most of the reviews, the battery performance depends largely on usage of device. So commenting on even the approximate longevity is a difficult proposition. I installed Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, LinkedIn, Gmail (5 accounts background sync), Facebook Messenger, Google+ Auto Image Upload feature turned on, Yahoo Messenger, Twitter and Skype with the ones requiring background sync enabled. With all these applications , ~30 minutes of full HD video playback and an hour of music streaming via bluetooth, the tablet survived for around 17 hours.
Swipe MTV Slate has it’s plus points and negative aspects. When on one hand it has calling facility, a quad core processor, 1 GB RAM, HD display, primary and secondary camera, while on other, the rear metallic covering as well as front screen is prone to scratches, battery is mediocre and then there is a certain question on quality of future product servicing (warranty, guarantee support). Moreover there is stiff competition from prominent sellers like Asus Fonepad, Lenovo IdeaTab, etc. It boils down to whether you can live with lows of the device or want to play it safe with established giants like Asus, Lenovo or Samsung.