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GoClever R974.2, the Best Price-Performace Gaming Tablet

 
 
 
 
 
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If you have already seen our review on the GoClever R83 Tab then you should know that the R974.2 is almost exactly the same with the R83.3, but you should still read our review on the R974.2 because this model does bring some nice new changes. If you haven’t read our previous R83 review, you should do it now because reading that review it’s almost as if you’re reading about the R974.2 itself.

GoClever R974.2 doesn’t bring anything new in terms of hardware when compared to GoClever R83.2 or R83.3. R974.2 features a very quick 1.6GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU on the RockChip RK3066 chipset, 1GB RAM DDR3, 16GB Storage memory plus a microSD slot for memory expansion. GoClever R974.2 also features WiFi, BlueTooth 4.0, two 2MP cameras, one on its back and the other on front, a microUSB slot for connecting your tablet to a computer, making firmware update or connecting your OTG cable for being able to use a 3G dongle for outdoors internet-access.

R974.2 brings a larger 9.7 inch screen compared to R83’s 8 inch screen, at the same 1024×768 resolution, using an IPS screen. The image quality is good but unfortunately some icons or text may be pixalated, as if it’s not using Anti-Aliasing to display the text and shapes correctly without any sort of pixelation, like on high-end devices such as the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. This happens in LCD-IPS screens when the resolution is not fit for its screen size, when it’s either too big or too small. We thought that this maybe could be an issue with this specific tablet and not necessarily with all R974.2 tablets, so we’ve ordered a second tablet for further extended analysis.

After receiving the second R974.2 tab we can confirm that this is a general issue with all R974.2 tabs. All of them have an issue with pixelation. An issue that was barely visible on the R83. From this we can only conclude that the resolution is definitely NOT fit for this 9.7 inch screen. It’s as if you’re trying to use 4:3 resolution on a 16:9 monitor, everything will look stretched and really bad. Well this is the case with R974.2 but however we must point that the issue is not really that bad. However it’s definitely worth mentioning especially for people for whom each and every detail of a product counts.

Android’s “App isn’t installed” issue

Upon further testing one of the tabs developed a strange but not uncommon issue. Almost all apps suddenly vanished by themselves out of the blue and even after several restarts the issue didn’t fixed itself as we have hoped. The apps’s shortcuts were still present on the home-screen and even the app file data (Android/Data) was still there and intact. When we tapped on any of those app shortcuts we were welcomed with this message “App isn’t installed.”. Furthermore, what’s more alarming is that one of the main system apps, Play Store issued the same error message “App isn’t installed.”.

We’ve tried to reset all app data to default but that didn’t fix the issue. It looks like the only way to fix the issue is to uninstall all the apps that give this “App isn’t installed.” error and install them again… And NO, it wasn’t a virus because we had avast antivirus installed during the tests as we do with all devices so that we can measure system stability, scan speed and more.

So anyway because Play Store itself was messed up, we’ve decided to give this problematic tab a second chance by factory resetting this tablet (the option Erase Storage was of course ticked) and start fresh again. So after resetting it, everything worked fine again until we started to install apps on it from Play Store and the tab did the exact same thing. Everything was broken, nothing worked… and this time the tab removed the WiFi password all by itself even though it was set to remember passwords.

It is worth mentioning that before everything went crazy again, for the second time, a small icon showed up in the Notification Bar saying something like “Preparing Storage…” or something. And shortly after that all apps went missing again.

There’s also another issue that keeps happening on both R974.2 tabs, after installing a handful of apps the memory gets “full” or so it says even though it has a 16GB memory with 12GB free space on the second NAND FLASH partition (called SD Card) and about 500MB free space on the first partition called Internal Storage. So the main problem with this tab is that every time you install an app it will install itself on the first partition and once that gets full, it won’t automatically move them to the second partition, so you will have to manually move them by going to Settings->Apps->select an installed (non-system) app->Move to SD card. This action will of course move the app on the 12GB partition and free up some space so you can install more, but this is very impractical when compared to Samsung’s automatic disk-space manager where you would never have to do something like that. When trying to move installed apps on the SD Card (the 12GB partition) the tab also becomes very slow and even gives occasional freezes and crashes. Moving apps is really a pain in the behind on this tablet…

And speaking of occasional freezes and crashes, the R974.2 gives these awful experiences quite often, sometimes even when browsing on the internet. And this is strange, because the hardware is extremely powerful and it gives a great 10623 to as high as 12000 score in AnTuTu Benchmark app.

Even though it says “Internet Device” on its box, the tab has some serious compatibility issues with important internet apps such as Skype for example. The tab comes with Skype installed as a system default app (you are not able to uninstall it) but it’s not able to fully support it. For example, in a Video call the sound is extremely low and barely hearable, the only way to have a normal conversation on Skype is to buy a pair of headphones which are not included in R974.2’s box. Yahoo Messenger, another important internet app also has a big problem… you can install Yahoo Messenger from Play Store but unfortunately if you try to install Yahoo! Messenger Plug-in from Play Store which enables Voice and Video calls on Yahoo Messenger, you won’t be able to. Play Store will greet you with this message “Your device isn’t compatible with this version.”. However, there’s a trick to it, you can go to Settings->Security-> and tick the Unknown sources option. Now all you have to do is to install Aptoide (not from Play Store) but just go to www.aptoide.com, search for “Yahoo Messenger plug-in” and install it. After installing the plugin, we were able to successfully hold voice calls over Yahoo Messenger but Video calls had a problem. The image looked as if the camera had 100x zoom activated and you would have to stay really far away from the tablet in order to have a proper video call over Yahoo Messenger.

The R974.2 is actually slower in simple tasks such as decompressing a file or moving a file to another destination than when playing a complex game for example. We found that both these tabs perform flawlessly when playing 3D games with high definition graphics. Games such as Temple Run 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Shine Runner, Asphalt 7: Heat ran perfectly on R974.2 without any sort of lags whatsoever. Needless to say, is that every other game with simple graphics such as Angry Birds for example, runs smoothly also.

Just like its smaller brother, the GoClever R83, and unlike Vonino Spirit S, GoClever R974.2 also comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 which is left uncustomized and untouched by GoClever except for a few apps such as Koi Free live wallpaper, Angry Birds which are included and set as unremovable system apps.

GoClever R974.2 has a better battery than GoClever R83, a big 6800mAh lithium battery guaranteed to hold for 6 hours (in reality it holds more than that) compared to R83’s 3800mAh which is guaranteed to hold for only 5 hours. Unfortunately though, the recharging time on R974.2 is huge (up to 10 hours for a full recharge). Just like R83, R974.2 also doesn’t charge via USB.

The tab comes with a charger, an OTG cable, a USB cable and user manuals.

Conclusion

GoClever R83 series (R83, R83.2 and R83.3) was already a great tablet if you take its price into consideration but you should consider GoClever R974.2 as the “luxury” or better said elite version of the already great R83. Among everything already mentioned about R974.2, it is also worth mentioning that the sound quality is also better than R83’s sound quality. The speaker performs better and clearer even though its mono (one speaker). Vonino Spirit S for example has stereo sound with two side speakers but the sound level is only about 50% of R974.2’s sound level. GoClever R974.2 also scored better in AnTuTu than Vonino Spirit S by 1000 points and on top of that, R974.2 is cheaper than Vonino Spirit S.

Even though R974.2 is called an “Internet Device” on its box, this tab better suits as a “Gaming Device”. Don’t get us wrong, the device is great for internet activities also but its just better for games. Because the R974.2 runs games flawlessly we have to declare this tab as the BEST low budget gaming tab out on the market at a very cheap price of only 170-200 Euros depending on where you buy it from. However because we are extreme and we find bugs in everything, we can’t give GoClever’s R974.2 tab a perfect 10! So…

Our overall rating of GoClever TAB R974.2: 7 Stars out of 10 Stars

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