Gemini Joytab Duo 9.7 – Initial Impressions

Gemini Devices are one of those companies that keep releasing decent products at decent prices. The latest products in their line-up are a selection of Jelly Bean tablets. Over the years we have had reviewed a few different tablets from them, most recently I used the JoyTab Pro which was an Ice Cream Sandwich based tablet with a keyboard, I liked it and getting hold of this latest tablet made me quite excited.

Gemini claim big things about the DUO 9.7 and its dual core CPU and quad core GPU combo so I was looking forward to getting to grips with it. At £149.99 I was quite interested in it as a device to throw in a rucksack and to take on holiday with you. It would make an ideal mapping and multimedia device.

As usual with our initial impressions here are the initial good and bad points.

Good Points

  • Nice solid feel due to metal back panel
  • Nice bright screen
  • 4:3 screen ratio is nice for web browsing
  • Vanilla Android build means no bloat
  • Adequate internal storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • Mini USB OTG cable supplied with it

Bad Points

  • Some viewing angles on screen slightly blurred
  • Proprietary charging port
  • Heavy
  • Vanilla Android means that the UI is very basic
  • Odd partitioning of the internal memory means that only about 1GB is available to apps


The DUO 9.7 has a pretty basic design, the metal back panel has the logo on, the top edge has all of the buttons and ports on it, leaving only really the screen left as a feature. The screen sits proud of the casing, this is because they also ship this model with a Bluetooth keyboard case which uses the slight bevel at the edge to clip onto.

The DUO 9.7 has a squarer feel to it compared to many other Android tablets, which gives it an easier to hold feel.


Spec wise the DUO 9.7 is pretty decent it ticks most of the boxes of things people feel they should get with a tablet these days.

Operating SystemGoogle Android 4.1   (Jelly Bean)
CPUDual Core ARM Cortex   RK Processor
GraphicsMali-400 Quad Core
Memory1GB RAM
Storage16GB Built in,   upgradeable to 32GB with Micro SD Card.
Display9.7 inch LCD –   1024×768 Pixels, Capacitive Multi-touch Screen
Connectivity1 Micro SD Slot (up   to 32GB)
1 x Mini USB (OTG)
1 x Mini HDMI
1 x Stereo Earphone Slot
1 x DC-IN Jack 5V 2A
WirelessB/G/N + Bluetooth   2.1
CameraFront 0.3M, Back 2   Megapixel
SensorsG Sensor
DimensionsWidth 242 x Height   185 x Depth 9.8 (mm)
WeightTablet 632g


As I mentioned before the CPU GPU combo means that most games and apps shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll be loading up some intensive games soon to test it out. The internal memory is split in a strange way, meaning that you get internal memory, some more internal memory for media and then your memory card slot. Which limits the potential for installing thousands of apps.


I was pleasantly surprised by the build of Android supplied on the tablet, a few apps handling updates and a file manager and that was it, apart from a Gemini wallpaper there wasn’t much else added to shy away from stock Android.

Strangely though the tablet came pre-rooted and had SuperUser pre-installed, I’m not sure whether this was due to it being a review unit or not. Gemini have said that future retail units will not be rooted.

The internal memory thing could affect you if you’re planning on installing lots of big games, but in the main larger apps install to the internal fake SD card memory.
Gemini Joytab Duo 9.7   Initial Impressions
I am itching to try some different launchers on the DUO, not that the stock launcher is laggy, it’s just it lacks features, with Apex I could set up fancy swipe gestures for app drawers or notifications or with Chameleon I could make something quite cool looking. There is a lot to be said for alternative launchers. The stock one is just that, some apps, some widgets and the app drawer, end of.

Initial Conclusion

I quite like the DUO 9.7, it has a nice feel in the hand, albeit a little heavy, but you can easily use it either way round. After using it for a few hours I didn’t find anything broken, the root thing was a bit odd, but hey I’m sure that won’t make it into the public domain.

At £149.99 the Duo 9.7 makes for a great tablet, if you’re interested you can pick one up here.

I plan to test every type of app I can think of on the DUO, if you can think of anything you’d like us to test on it let us know in the comments below.

Inactive Account Manager from Google
Asus Fonepad is now up for pre-order
  • Paul

    The main question on my mind when I see cheap tablets is “how long does the battery last on a single charge?”. I’d want 8+ hours out of medium to heavy usage, and the more expensive tablets advertise this as one of their major selling points. Anything less, then portability is a real issue with frequent charging becoming a real pain. The price tells me you’ll be lucky to get 4 hours out of it before it needs more juice, just like all the other cheapos out there.

    I’d love to be proved wrong though

  • Anonymous

    Main question on my mind is WHY do they put in a proprietary charging port!? I think it’s just to annoy us. I am fairly sure other devices use Micro USB with ~2A input, yet still support OTG. This alone puts me off buying this thing. I really hate having to carry extra chargers around with me. I have one, which is capable of charging all my devices (simultaneously), because it has a very meaty regulated output for 4 concurrent devices.

    I know the designers of these things have other considerations, but to have to carry another charging brick around with you is pretty inconvenient.

    • flibblesan

      It’s not a proprietary charging port. It’s a standard power jack used by many other tablets on the market.

      • Anonymous

        Well above it says “Proprietary Charging Port” – got to go with the data we’re given here. Besides, I don’t care how many tablets have it – if it’s not all of them and there’s no USB cable for it, then it’s a pain. Just like the bloody iPad 4.

        • stuart

          This charging-port ‘issue’ winds me up – even the ‘experts’ and ‘expert-reviewers’ ALL OVER THE WORLD, STILL, haven’t cottoned on to its F.A.B. (feature and beneft) attributes, or its technical specification. So much, as usual, for ‘Experts’. Bah, Humbug! :-) It IS a STANDARD, NOT proprietary, D.C. Coaxial Plug, albeit ‘thin’, and it has to be ‘thin’ otherwise you would end up with a bulge or thicker tablet to accommodate a thicker D.C. Socket! One of the ‘Laws’ of Physics: The ‘thicker the plug, the ‘thicker’ the socket! DOH!!! Or perhaps (not directed at anyone in particular), the ‘thicker’ the reviewer, the ‘thicker’ the review. :- It IS EXTREMELY useful if, like me, you want/need to keep the tablet powered-up for long periods of time whilst using USB O.T.G. i.e. using a USB Flash Drive. In case anyone hasn’t realised (which appears to be the worldwide-case), one CANNOT plug in a USB Drive AND a USB charger i.e. two cables, at the same time, into a single socket! And, for those ‘high-spec’ ‘branded’ e.g. Nexus et al Tablets that don’t have a secondary power/charge port, one has NOT got the ‘Charge n Play’ (copyright to me 2013 :-) ) feature and benefit i.e. one’s battery runs out when one still needs the tablet to be running a file from a USB drive. When selling (or reviewing) an item, and IF one was EVER trained ‘properly, one should ALWAYS explain a F.A.B. by saying, “It has… which means… “. IMELO (in my extremely learned opinion) (copyright, again, to me, circa 2005) ALL tablets should come with a secondary USB/D.C. power/charging port AND USB O.T.G. AND Bluetooth (for keyboard, mouse, etc without, again, blocking the O.T.G. port). In fact, it’s NOT just some/most reviewers who are ‘thick’… it’s also the manufacturers unless, of course, they are missing things off on purpose in order to flog us the next model with it on. Nah, they wouldn’t do that, would they!? Watch out for ‘weak’/bad-quality ‘thin’ i.e. 1.7mm o.d./0.9mm i.d. (I think it is) D.C. power connectors on tablets (and ones that stick out i.e. don’t sit flush e.g. one of the Versus 10” Tablets is the worst I have seen, thus far) which break very easily. So can you guys please re-blog my comments and educate those ‘thick’ reviewers, consumers and manufacturers out there. Thanks.

          a stuart of a renshaw family

          • Martin

            Really, the thin wide connectors are a standard? So the connector on my Asus TF201 will fit this JoyPad and vice-versa?

            If it is a standard why the hell is it so hard for me to find a replacement mains charger for the TF201?

          • stuART

            Hi. Compiling a reply – will post asap. Thanks. stuART

          • stuART

            p.s. this post is not about the TF201 nor its thin, ‘WIDE’ proprietary 40-pin connector – it is about the thin, ‘LONG’ co-axial D.C. (direct current) connector (which is one of the standard-sized co-axial D.C. connectors) which fits the Joypad and some other tablets (as well as hundreds of other devices, and which has been in use for years, if not decades). You have mis-read and/or mis-interpreted what I stated and/or what this post is about – I never stated that the Asus connector was a standard connector, and this post has got nothing to do with this Asus. Also, the Joypad doesn’t have an Asus-type connector. As for a replacement Asus charger… there are plenty advertised on the internet. Again (which is extremely common these days), we have someone who is not concentrating on what they are reading and/or writing, and, as such, mis-reading, mis-interpreting and mis-understanding the information, and, in turn, making erroneous statements and asking erroneous questions… and, perhaps, being sarcastic in trying to equate an Asus 40-pin connector with a co-axial 2-pole connector. The reply, which I am compiling, will discuss the co-axial connector/s and some other aspects of chargers/power-supplies which use these connectors in order to inform the situation on this standard thin and long connector (being used on many tablets at the moment) a bit further. Thank You.

          • Martin

            Well thank you for putting me in my place, with such brevity too :) You are totally right, I did indeed miss the fact that the charger is a standard dc coaxial type, I sit corrected. I related the ‘thin’ to being the thin flat type connector as used by Samsung, Asus and Apple to name but three.

  • Anonymous

    just avoid this thing. on reading a good review here, i bought a “joy”tab at christmas. it was the biggest pile of junk i’ve ever tried. took me ages to get a refund too :-(

    • flibblesan

      You seem to have sort sort of personal vendetta against joytab judging by your previous comments on this site.

      • Anonymous

        Not really mate, just trying to help people avoid the same mistake I made. The one I bought was a Christmas present for my dad and crashed constantly. It would not allow me to install the gmail app from the play store. FCs on so many standard apps it was a joke! On paper it looked like the bargain of the century. In reality it wasn’t fit for purpose. In the end I spent 50 more and bought a Samsung which has behaved flawlessly. You pays your money etc etc…

        • flibblesan

          Strange that it took a while for a refund though. Where did you buy it?

          • Anonymous

            at that time the only place to get them was the return was tricky. after ages on hold to very, I eventually was told to call joytab for an rma number. again ages on hold to them and I eventually got through to someone who told me I had to wait a few days for an rma by email. it eventually arrived after a few days and then I was back on hold to very to arrange to return it. no refund on postage or return postage, as is the law under the distance selling regulations, (about £8 in all), plus all the hanging about on 0870/0845 numbers, (another £10 in the end), got quite costly. all in all a pretty dismal experience. took me best part of 10 days to get to the point where I could send the thing back then very took 28 days to do a refund. as I said, best avoided!

      • Paul

        I have to say, it’s nice to see some honest user experiences here. Sihaz obviously had a bad experience, which happened as a result of
        reading similar “endorsement article” on this site. He is letting
        readers know so they’re aware of them before they part with their cash
        and end up disappointed.

        More honest in-depth reviews please CoolSmartPhone and less of the “initial impressions” where your recommendations maybe a little premature.

  • I bought this tablet excluding the keyboard. Android 4.1 OS and it is very good. Only one (tiny) issue I have is the weight of the tablet but apart from that its very good value for money! Took me some time to sift through all the tablet reviews. It came down to a Nexus 7 but I wasn’t too excited about the size and I opted for the JoyPad. Great machine and you can expand the storage (32GB) which is great. I’m giving it 5 stars.