Review: BSNL Penta WS802C Android ICS Tablet With Calling Facility
A decent powerful tablet that will leave a low-end buyer well satisfied.
Pros: 20.32-cm (8-inch) display screen, touch sensitivity, decent sound quality, camera, 3G SIM support, calling facility
Cons: Heavy to hold, heats up quickly
Price: Rs 14,699
Pantel Technologies along with state-run telecommunication company, BSNL introduced an array of Android tablets targeting the low-end tablet market. There are plenty of other options available in the sub 15,000 tablet segment and going by the name, I expected the Penta WSC 802 C to be just another average tablet. However as soon as I unboxed the device, I had a good feeling, which thankfully stayed even when I started to use it. Having said that, I don't mean that the tablet is flawless. It has certain glitches, but it has a certain feel good factor that differentiates it from the crowd. This tablet is the most expensive of the Pantel lot. Here's an exclusive review of the device.
Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1GHzAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich512MB DDRIII RAM4 GB internal memoryExternal memory expandable up to 32 GB0.3MP front camera and 2 MP rear cameraBluetooth 2.1+ EDR HDMI 1080P, 720P support
Inside the box:
Along with the WS 802C tablet, you will get a charging adapter, earphones, micro USB connector, warranty card and user manual.
In terms of appearance, the device is simple yet attractive. However, it surely is heavy to hold. The tablet weighs a little over half a kilo, 550 grams to be accurate. The white of the tablet is quite catchy along with the techno design at the back. Overall, the tablet looked cool with a somewhat professional appearance.
The tablet sports a 20.32-cm (8-inch) display screen and is in almost a square shape. The company logo is placed at the centre of the bottom bezel and on the right are four capacitive buttons, meant for search, back, home and main menu. A 0.3 megapixel front camera is placed right beside these buttons. I found the front camera location to be a bit weird as it's placed on the right top corner of the tablet. The right side of the tablet houses the 3.5 mm earphone port, USB OTG host port, HDMI port, reset key, micro USB port, mic, memory card slot and charging port. Top right has the power key and volume rocker buttons; right below is the SIM card slot. At the back, it has a 2 megapixel camera and two sound speaker vents.
The tablet is made out of polycarbonate and has a glossy finish. The build quality of the device is good along with the overall finishing. It's highly recommended that you invest in a good screen protector and sleeve to keep the device tidy white and free of scratches.
Powered by a Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1 GHz along with 512 MB DRIII RAM, the tablet is indeed smooth overall. However, I noticed a lag while I pressed the power button to activate the screen. Coming to basic functions like the screen rotation, touch response, swipe functionality, the tablet stood up to my expectation. Applications work fined. I tried basic games on the tablet and it ran smoothly. What surprised me most was that the tablet supported my 500 GB portable hard drive with ease. I plugged it into the tablet's USB host and it read the hard drive quickly. In terms of performance, it has no glaring issue. A normal user will not find any difficultly or performances lag while using the device. One of the main concerns of the device is that it gets heated very fast. Though heating did not interfere much with the performance but I witnessed a hitch while watching a movie from my hard drive.
Good brightness level and screen resolution. Photographs appeared decent when viewed on the tablet and also the picture quality while watching movies was acceptable. You will not find it difficult to view the tablet on outdoor sunlight on maximum brightness level. The viewing angles were good; though for best results hold the tablet straight.
The tablet is power-packed for good multimedia experience. Sound quality of the device was pretty decent. In a quite environment, you can watch a movie without earphones! The earphones provided by Pantel are pathetic and investing in a good headphone set, especially a wireless one will enhance your multimedia experience. Almost all popular video formats are supported along with HDMI 720p and 1020p files. However, I experienced a lag while watching Transformers 3 in HD 720p format. The entire movie seemed like a slideshow! So, HD videos are a problematic area. Normal video files played pretty well on the tablet. I also noticed a problem while scrolling forward a movie. If I jump from the start of the file to the first few minutes, the application crashes. I witnessed this with all files, so I decided to watch an entire movie patiently without skipping the typical Hindi songs! Overall, media experience on this tablet is really pleasing.
The tablet sports a 2 megapixel rear camera, which can take decent photographs. However, don't expect more from it other than basic snaps. The front 0.3 megapixel camera is decent enough. I have not tested it for video chatting though but going by the quality I expect it will not disappoint you.
The tablet supports 3G SIM cards only and allows voice calling. Before considering this tablet for calling your buddies, you will have to invest in a Bluetooth headset. It's impossible to call over the tablet as there is no ear piece and the phone uses the loud speakers for voice output. Also, the shape and size of the tablet will not allow you to make calls at ease, since you literally have to hold it with both the hands on to your ears. Get a Bluetooth headset to make the most. Support for 3G SIM cards mean that you can use 3G data packs for surfing the Internet. BSNL has some attractive data and voice plans but you will have to pay extra for it. The tablet also supports 3G dongles along with regular Wi-Fi.
There is a dedicated HDMI port through which you can connect your tablet to a HD TV. You will have to buy a connector to do that. The tablet can be connected to a computer via the micro USB connector. The tablet doesnâ€™t get charged through the micro USB port as it requires more amperes to fuel the 4000 mAh battery. You can connect your pen drive and portable hard drive to the tablet and perform regular operations like cut, paste, etc.
Also, you can connect an USB keyboard and mouse to the device and transform it into a portable PC!
Internet browsing on the tablet was decent without any lags. However, on zooming web pages, the device couldn't take the accurate inputs. WiFi also operated pretty fine on the device without any loss of connection.
The tablet is powered by a 4000 mAh battery which takes pretty long time to charge fully. The overall battery backup of the device is not that great. It is advisable that you carry the charger all times as you cannot charge it through a computer using the mciro USB cable. While charging, the device gets heated up badly, but I did not experience any performance glitch. A complete 3 hours movie is good enough to drain the battery from 100 per cent to less than 10 per cent.
Among the low cost devices, I found this tablet to be decent. At a price of Rs 14,699, the tablet can deliver pretty decent performance. If you fixed to your budget of Rs 15,000 then go forward and buy it, but if you can afford to pay around Rs 4,500 extra, then you might as well consider buying the Samsung Tab 2.
Coming to scores, this tablet is worth its price and it gets a good 7.5 out of 10.