Following on from my Venturer Saturn Pro 10 review, I’m now moving on to review the latest budget tablet from RCA/Ventruer the Mercury 7L. As it is currently priced at £49.99, the Mercury 7L is a direct competitor to the Amazon Fire tablet (which I take with me everywhere). Hey, for that price it’s almost a throwaway device.
- Google Play certified
- Propitiatory and micro USB charging
- Build quality
- Battery life
- No rear camera
- The screen is a fingerprint and scratch magnet
- Quad Core 1.3GHz with 1GB RAM
- Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
- 7” Capacitive Touch TFT Screen. with 1024 x 600 resolution
- 8 GB Internal memory
- Micro USB port
- Front Facing, 1M camera
- MicroSD card slot support, up to 64GB
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Google Play certified
Upon first unboxing the Mercury 7L, the first thing that I noticed was the actual build of the device. The whole device is made of what feels like is cheap plastic and when pressing on the back there is a definite give in the rear panel. Also, the screen looks and feels like it is sitting inside the rear panel, with a lip running all around the edges of the device.
The front screen is made of plastic that picks up fingerprints and small scratches like mad. The screen could have been a bit brighter in my opinion, as I felt it was at about 75% even though it was showing as the maximum. The screen also looked like it had a blue tinge to it, but then again this wouldn’t be a high spec panel on such an inexpensive device. All the controls and ports are on one edge of the device, with the small but surprisingly powerful speaker round the back.
That said, I was able to load my apps from the Play Store, and in use the tablet did cope quite well. The Mercury 7L only comes with a front facing 1MP camera, which was OK for video calls, etc but no rear-facing camera at all, which was obviously left out in a bid to keep costs down. The battery is rated to last 6 hours, and to be honest, in my tests I found this to be closer to 4-4.5 hours.
The Mercury 7L can be charged by either micro USB, (of which most of us have tons of the things lying around) or the supplied proprietary charger. This is a nice touch, as I can charge the device and use a USB OTG cable at the same time.
This lower-priced tablet market does have a number of competitors from several camps – including Amazon and Windows – to name but a few. Should you buy the Mercury 7L over the competition? It does have some advantages over the others, being Google Play certified means you can load apps from the millions available from the Play Store without side loading and hacking Google Play services on the device. Additionally, unlike the similarly-priced Fire Tablet, there are no adverts on the lock screen, to subsidise the overall price.
Would I use the Mercury 7L over my Fire Tablet? Erm, no, to be honest. I’m an Amazon Prime member, so I get access to the offerings from Prime Video and I was able to get the Google Play store on there quite easily by following some on-line tutorials.
In this case, the Mercury 7L doesn’t offer me any more for the same price.