Vonino was perhaps the strangest tablet we’ve reviewed so far.
Although the brand proclaims itself to be an “American Company”, we haven’t found a single Vonino product anywhere in the US, not on eBay, nor on Amazon, Google Shopping, nor on any other US online shop for that matter.
Vonino products can be found only throughout the EU, and mostly concentrated in Central and Eastern Europe, thus we begin this review about this supposed “American Company” with a grain of salt and a big doubt.
Vonino Spirit S probably has the largest list of bugs and defects we’ve encountered so far on any other tablet.
Even though the tablet is supposedly “stereo” the two speakers are so close to each other, there’s no stereo effect to it, whatsoever. In order to achieve stereo sound, it isn’t enough to have 2 speakers, it is mandatory that the speakers are placed at a fair distance of each others, one on the left and the other on the right.
Now comes the interesting part, even though this tablet claims to have 2 speakers, the noise level is at least 40% WEAKER (with set volume at maximum) when compared to GoClever R83 for example which has only one speaker (mono sound). We haven’t had the curiosity to open the tablet and see if it has only one speaker and they’re only lying about having 2 speakers, or if it really has 2 speakers. However that may be, the volume is pathetic on this tablet.
Spirit S comes with 2 micro USB connectors which is good for connecting a keyboard and a dongle for internet connection in the same time, but unfortunately, even though this tablet has 2 micro USB connectors, none of them are capable of charging the tablet when connected to a computer and that is definitely regrettable.
The 2MP camera on Spirit S has a strange pinkish tone which ruins any photo or video taken with this tablet, especially in low-light conditions. First, we thought that there could be just a factory flaw on our test-tablet and that not necessarily all Spirit S tabs have this bug, so we’ve ordered a second Spirit S only to find the same bug and to confirm it.
The battery on Spirit S is supposed to be 8000mAh and to last for 8 hours. After just a few tests, we’ve discovered that the battery only lasts a maximum of 5 hours. For this reason, we suspect that the battery is as 8000mAh as the brand itself is based in the US…
The charging time on this model is equal or higher to that of usage. Yes, that means it takes 5-6 hours to fully charge Vonino Spirit S.
The screen itself hasn’t escaped our criticism either. We’ve discovered some strange shiny dots and grids across the entire screen on both tables which are very annoying especially when you’re outdoors. No matter how you set the contrast, these crazy grids and dots which seem to shine when you’re outdoors are still there with only one purpose: to troll the user. The gremlin grids and the shiny stars are both better seen when the screen is actually turned off or on standby. Here’s a close-up photo of these grids, they aren’t perfectly visible but you should definitely be able to see them.
Since now we had 2 Spirit S tables for testing, we couldn’t help but notice yet another disaster, there was a significantly big difference in colors and contrast between the two tablets, even though both were new of course. One had vivid colors while the other had dimmer colors.
Check out the photo below and keep in mind that both of them had their contrast at maximum while there was NO setting anywhere about changing the color tone, therefore this makes it a factory defect and a very unreliable product.
Spirit S’s case is also “infested” with 2 useless physical buttons, an ESC button (probably stands for Escape) which is probably meant to be used as a “back button” and a Menu button which is meant to be used a Home button. Both of these buttons are really useless because Android itself already has these two buttons at the bottom and no matter if you’re in an app or something, the Android virtual buttons will always be there.
The hardware part of this tablet is pretty much messed up and keep in mind that at the time of this review, this model (Spirit S) is their “high-end” tablet, the best Vonino can offer.
Now unfortunately the software hasn’t escaped our eXtreme analysis either. The default calculator app on this tab doesn’t have a percentage (%) button nor any other complex operations which some users may require. Of course, you can always visit Play Store and get a better Calculator but the default app should still provide at least a button for percentage calculations, which is pretty much basic these days.
The entire top of the desktop is covered by an ugly Google Search black stripe which has absolutely no purpose and no way of removing it (not Google Search but only its background black stripe), unless you root your tab and go through Android core files.
Just to make its desktop even more messy, they’ve added a bunch of fixed apps which take a lot of space. Most users would probably rather have that top black stripe and the bottom fixed apps removed so that we could gladly see a beautiful wallpaper instead.
But wait, that’s not all, the nonsense doesn’t stop here. ALL icons are encircled by strange lines of different colors and make the apps look as if they are all inside folders, when they aren’t.
You can see how the icons look in the photo below.
Now on the bright side, Spirit S isn’t really a complete mess, even though it’s really near…
The screen contrast was very decent, well at least on one of them, the one with the vivid colors, it has an excellent view angle and the image quality was quite impressing, thanks to the IPS Pro screen with the standard resolution for a 9.7 inch screen of 1024×768.
Spirit S has an aluminum back cover painted in black which helps the product not to break and shatter into pieces if dropped on its back.
The package contains headphones, OTG cable, charger and a USB cable. The package itself looks decent and probably makes a person want to buy this tab even though its not worth the price and since we’ve mentioned the word “price”, this tablet costs somewhere between 250-300 Euros, depending on where you buy it from.
As for a detailed hardware specification, it comes with a Rockchip 3066 chipset, powered by an ARM A9 Dual Core 1.6GHz CPU, ARM Mali400MP4 Quad Core GPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB Storage split into 0.98GB for the operating system and 12.73GB destined to apps. It comes with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, two 2MP cameras (front and back), microSD card slot for maximum 32GB cards, WiFi with B/G/N protocols, Bluetooth 2.1 for file transfers which is quite useful and a mini HDMI connector.
An ANTUTU Benchmark test rated the Spirit S tablet at around 9500 points which is pretty decent especially when taking into consideration all the bugs found on this tab. Due to its powerful components, we were able to play smoothly just about any game, including 3D games with HD graphics such as Alien vs Predator: Evolution for example.
Overall it’s not a bad tablet if you couldn’t care less about all these details… but we care because we’re eXtreme!
Our overall rating of Vonino Spirit S: 3 Stars out of 10 Stars
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