Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review

After using the HANNSpad for a few weeks now it’s time for the full review. I thought I should get this review published before my Nexus 7 arrived as that would just ruin my experience with the HANNSpad. First of all I feel I should point out this HANNSpad is the new model from Hannspree. It is a 7″ model and it runs Ice Cream Sandwich. We are not suddenly deciding to review the aging 10″ model from back in the day, that ran Gingerbread.

The HANNSpad has obviously been designed and manufactured to hit a certain price point. The main saving for Hannspree has always seem to have been the Android Market or Play Store as it’s now called. Another way Hannspree have cut the price down is with the hardware spec and the screen.


Design

The HANNSpad is well made, it is basically entirely plastic, apart from the screen obviously, the back panel is a textured leather look, which makes the device easier to hold, a non slip coating would have been nice, but hey I’ll survive without it. The HANNSpad is nice and thin and because of this the HANNSpad doesn’t have many ports or connectors. You get a microphone hole, headphone socket, mini usb (yes mini not micro), a proprietary charging socket, a micro sd slot (on the outside of the case), speaker, volume rocker and power button. It is nice having most of the ports on the right/bottom (depending on which way you hold it), holding the device in portrait it is different having the power and volume at the bottom of the edge. Normally these buttons would be up at the top right. Again I will survive with this layout.

I have always liked 7″ tablets, the form factor really lends itself to ebook reading or media playback whilst on the move. A 7″ tablet can actually be held in one hand and operated with the other. You can also fit it in your pocket to move around the house or wherever you are.  One thing with the 10″ tablets is you can really pocket them you have to use a carry case to move it around.

Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review Hannspree HANNSpad SN70T3 review

Hardware

The HANNSpad has a fairly basic spec and because of this I really expected it to be a slow clunky device. The basic single core processor (ARMv7 RK29) seems to cope with most basic tasks, AnTuTu benchmark comes out at 2077 which puts it around the Milestone 2 and HTC salsa area of performance. I notice that if I have too many apps running in the background, if I kill some performance picks up. With a lot of my other devices this never really occurs. The other slight issue that always seems to raise it’s head with budget devices is the storage space. It has 4gb of space. About 512mb is used up for the system stuff, 504mb is available for app storage and 2.14gb is available for storing other things. After installing about twenty apps I started getting storage warnings. This meant I had to shift some apps to the 2gb other storage area. Not a problem really, but imagine you had got this for a child or non technical relative. They may soon run into problems. Oh I nearly forgot to mention the wvga 800×400 screen which makes things a little fuzzy looking at times. The other problem with the screen is it’s a bit dull, even on max brightness it struggles. Viewing angles are a little odd as well, the screen is best viewed in landscape, when used in portrait it appears a little off, luckily reading ebooks wasn’t effected by this.

Oh and the battery struggles a little under load. Doing battery intensive things really does ake a chunk out of the battery.

Screen 7” (17.8cm) / 800×480 / 16:10 / LED backlight
Touchscreen Type Capacitive Multi-touch (5 points)
View Angle Horizontal: 120° / Vertical: 140°
Processor ARM Cortex A8 CPU 1.0 GHz
Memory 512MB
Storage Internal 4GB FLASH
Storage External Micro-SD Card Reader, Max. 32GB
WLAN WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth No
Camera Front 0.3M pixel
Microphone 1 x Mono
Speakers output 1 x 1W
Headphones output 1 x 3.5mm
USB 1x Mini-USB 2.0 , Supported: USB K/B , Mouse , USB flash-disk (Max. 64GB)
LED Indicator Power Charger (Red), Power Down (All LED Off)
Battery Type 3000mAh / 3.7V Li-Polymer
Battery Life 4.7 hours  (Wifi on)

Software

The HANNSpad doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store, instead it comes with the 1Mobile Market. The 1Mobile Market is a strange thing, it seems to have a huge catalogue of apks that you can download and install, similar to side loading apps on other devices. It will also advise of available updates, which is nice. At times the 1Mobile Market fail to download or fails to install, but again I’ll survive. Interestingly new apps like Instagram and Flipboard appear in the 1Mobile Market and both work as they should. Strangely a lot of the Google Apps also appear in the 1Mobile Market, some work like YouTube and Google Maps and some that require the Google Services Framework don’t work like Gmail. Little things like that make me wonder how the 1Mobile Market works behind the scenes.

The one thing that gets me is when companies like Hannspree, Storage Options or Viewsonic leave the Play Store of a device to save money and then along come a company like Ergo with their GoTab offering something comparable with the Play Store. Is it a case of not being licensed to use it like AndyPad did or just corners cut elsewhere? Either way for the sub £100 market I don’t think a huge amount of people will mind the lack of Play Store. The alternative allows you to fulfill most of your needs. As long as that is multimedia based and not too much latest and greatest apps.

One nice thing about the HANNSpad is that Hannspree haven’t messed about with Ice Cream Sandwich, they have just installed it and then installed the 1Mobile Market and that’s it. No bloatware, no skins, no “useful” apps added because they thought they should. Just plain old Android.

The previous version of the HANNSpad was picked up by the community, they hacked it and got the Android Market installed. Development still continues today with Ice Cream Sandwich builds floating around. At the moment nothing has really happened with the new one. Previous Root methods have failed as the previous device was a Tegra 2 chipset and this is a Cortex A8.

Multimedia

Music, video and books is really what this device is about. So I decided to test them all. Books are available via the Amazon Kindle app which works surprisingly well. Buying books is a little tricky through the web browser, you may want to buy them on a real computer and sync them across.

Music is an ideal use for the HANNSpad, the memory card slot on the back panel makes getting music onto the device easy. One thing that always worries me about budget devices is hiss. You know when the music goes quiet and you can hear a faint hiss. This is usually down to poor quality parts in the sound card part of the device. So I gingerly plugged in my headphones and set about listening to music, no hiss and it actually also had a trace of bass as well. Overall I was fairly impressed, it isn’t nowhere near as whole a sound as say my Transformer Prime or my Nexus 7, but for the money I was impressed.

Video playback is always something that people are going to want to do on a tablet. Once you have your video file in the right format your good to go I tried a few dvd rips which played back with no problems. There are plenty of alternate video players around to try if you have any problems. Obviously hd video is going to be difficult on a wvga screen and it doesn’t have hdmi out either. The HANNSpad would make an ideal holiday tablet loaded up with books, music and video.

Conclusion

Two things are against the HANNSpad from the very outset. They are not having the Google Play Store and the fact that there are devices with very similar specs for sale that are cheaper and also have the Google Play Store.

What I can say in defence of the HANNSpad is that it is a well put together device, that would be ideal to take on holiday for book reading or media consumption. Another use would be to get for your kids to use in the car or something. Although the fact that you can get slightly cheaper devices, with similar  specs, but with a poorer quality build and with the Play Store really puts the HANNSpad in an awkward position.

One thing they may happen is the price may drop or the community may try and hack this one like they did the last. Either may promote sales.

Either way you can get the HANNSpad from eBuyer at the moment for £84.99 (actually it is £69.99 today) here.

Jelly Bean arriving on the Motorola Xoom
Coolsmartphone Podcast - Episode 7