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We've bought some Zoostorm Playtab 10inch tablets for £80. MIxed impressions so far. For about another £15 we could have gotten the newer version and got 2GB RAM instead of 1, but a relatively generous 16GB storage (many budget tabs have 8 and 4GB is not unheard of!) and 1GB RAM with a dual core processor is not too bad and fine for basics. The feel is fairly solidly built and it looks credible as a device - I quite like the organisation of physical features for example.

The screen resolution is far from 'retina' quality, but it does the job and is an IPS panel for reasonable viewing angles. It won't delight anyone but it could be worse!

I mentioned the generous storage but there is a catch - the memory is partitioned it looks like, so only just under 1GB is available for apps. Why some manufacturers hamstring the storage like this is beyond me - 1GB will let you add a few apps but if you are a heavy app user then this won't fit the bill and you'll need to leave some space for updates too. Rooting may be an option, but renders it pointless as a digital inclusion device (not to mention attendant security issues)!

The main issue I have is lack of upgradability - these are stuck on Android 4.1.1 with no firmare update - which means no user accounts which would be really useful for us and allows setting up of an adminstrator account quite easily, to avoid being locked out of own tablet by a user (we loan equipment). For a home user this might not be an issue although a parent could be locked out of the tablet by a child if sharing the device. The £95 version I mentioned earlier does have 4.2 already which begs the question why an update isn't available for this. However it does mean the newer tab should support this feature, which may make it a better buy for the few extra pounds.

So a few corners cut which I think do Zoostorm no favours ultimately and may suppress the price of their equipment, but recognising the price, for just under £80 this is not too bad.

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Thanks for this James.

I think it's a problem with Android devices generally. Apart from the high end Android Smartphones and tablets, most devices are left stuck on the version that they ship with. This severely limits their usefulness over time as apps stop working with older versions.

It seems more a problem with low end smartphones (historically) and with tablets than higher end smartphones (e.g. the Galaxy S3 is now up to at least 4.2 Jellybean if recall correctly, maybe even KitKat) but I think the success of the Moto G is down partly to the excellent firmware support and one key the reason the Nexus series ("Nexi"?) have a fervent fanbase is long term and speedy firmware support. I'm surprised manufacturers haven't realised that brand loyalty has to be earned, and if you have a good experience with a brand, your next purchase is much more likely to be with same brand (and of course reverse is also true). With short life cycles of equipment, you want people to come back to you and buy more again surely...

Agree about Nexus. I had a little message pop up on my N7 only yesterday, to say that a firmware upgrade to 5.0 was available. Simple click and the new version was loaded.

Expect my Moto G update will be a week or two then :-)

No doubt John will tell us this is all seamless on Apple products ;-)

Hey, I've got a MacBook Pro and an iPad, but my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S4, which I love.

The high end Android phones / tablets do stuff just as well as Apple products, but the cheaper ones don't tend to get the updates and upgrades. I suppose you get what you pay for in that respect

Actually John as I was saying earlier, I think that is starting to change.

Certainly if you want a great phone for £90 with good support for upgrades (so far from 4.1xJB to 4.4K and 5.0L promised to come very soon) then the Motorola G 2013 is hard to beat. The 5inch 2014 version is out now too for under £150 and I think the sales history is probably one other manufacturers will (or should be) be following closely.

...Oh and the entry level Moto E is also promised 5.0L and that was available on offer the other day for under £50!


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