Over the years we have seen and heard of some pretty horrible stories regarding what we call budget tablets. They are generally tablets that are made by lesser known names, with lesser known parts and distributed at tempting prices. Year ago these types of tablets lived up to their names and were clunky at best with limited abilities and generally no access to the Google Play Store. Now a days, there are a number of budget tablets floating around that actually do a pretty good job for the price point. We think Google has a lot to do with that since the older tablets tried to use OS versions that were meant for phones, long before the universal Android OS builds existed. Heck, even Honeycomb wasn’t that great, but did help. Now we have a myriad of lower cost tablets being released by the likes of Lenovo, HP, Acer and even Samsung. While those are names you all know, we have another one to add to the mix. This one comes fromÂ Trio, which is a subsidiary company of Apollo Brands. Apollo Brands also is the parent company for JLabs, Eclipse, Bear Grylls, Black Ops and Ignite.
Trio AXS 4GÂ
What’s in the box
- Trio AXS 4G tablet
- Wall charger and micro USB cable
- T-Mobile SIM card
- Vudu Movie coupon (at least in our review unit)
Trio AXS 4G tabletÂ
The tablet measures in at 220 x 135 x 10.3 mm and weighs 385g. The outside of the table looks like any other rectangular tablet out there. If has a set of sensors, LED notification light and a front facing camera at the top on the front. The front facing camera is a smaller .3MP camera that is just fine for video chats and things.
On the bottom you find a set of speakers and your typical micro USB charging port to charge up the 3500 mAh battery.
On the rear at the top you have a small removable door that covers up the SIM card and the micro SD card slot. To the left of the cover is the 5MP rear camera and to the right is a tiny reset hole.
- 7.85-inch screen (1024 x 768)
- 16:6 aspect ratio/5 point multitouch Capacitive
- 1.2 GHz Quad-Core MediaTek 8389
- PowerVR SGX544 MP3
- 1 GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- Android 4.2.2
- Wi-Fi 802.11/b/g/n
- USB 2.0
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- 3500 mAH battery
- FM Radio
There are a lot of interesting aspect to this little tablet. For instance, the outer casing is aluminum, not plastic, but the small removable door that covers the sim and sd card is plastic. The general UI is very much so stock Google with only a few minor tweaks. In the softkey area there are two extra buttons. The on the left which minimizes the software keys and the one on the right that takes a screenshot for you. You can still take screenshots with the volume down + power combo too.
You will also see a that small floating circle. This is aÂ AssistiveTouch application that is preinstalled. You can long press it and move it around the screen anywhere you want. When you tap on it, it opens up a quick link spot for up to 4 apps and your usual softkey buttons that you see at the bottom, minus the screenshot button.
Apollo Brands partnered up with Walmart and T-Mobile on the Trio AXS 4G tablet to bring some special benefits along with it. On the T-Mobile side of things the tablet comes with a T-Mobile sim card that is ready for you to activate. Activation costs nothing and you gain 200MBs of data for free for the life time of the tablet. As you can also see, Walmart has a set of apps that preinstalled as well to help you shop, but at least Vudu is preinstalled Like I mentioned above, in my box I was given 5 free HDX movies to choose from out of a list. However, that special apparently ends September 30 2014. I didn’t waste any time taking advantage of it though.
What I like about the Trio AXS 4G tablet (the Pros)
- Google Play Certified
- It looks pretty good with the aluminum casing.
- It is responsive enough that even the small amounts of lag that sometimes happen aren’t all that bothersome.
- The home screen and UI are fairly stock Google with only minor changes to the softkey area.
- 200MBs of free T-Mobile 4G for life lets me be connected without tethering my phone for simple stuff.
- Apollo didn’t overly bloat the tablet with other apps, there are only like 11 or 12 apps that aren’t Google related, with only the Walmart ones being the most useless.
- Even though the screen resolution is lower, it has a descent viewing angle and is good enough for movie watching and casual gaming.
- Battery life on standby lasts an incredible amount of time. In one screenshot below you can see 5ds 18 hours with 25% life remain.
- 16Gb of internal storage
- Micro SD card slot for expandable storage.
What I don’t like about the Trio AXS 4G tablet (The Cons)
- The plastic cover for the SIM and SDÂ slot seems out-of-place with it being white on a silver back. I have not had issues with it popping off though.
- The tablet sits on Android 4.2.2. Being a newer entry to the budget tablet line race I would have liked to see at least 4.3 at launch.
- The battery life isn’t stellar when in use. Spec’d for up to 2Â hours video playback time streaming through Wi-Fi. That was about what I got streaming from the Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile. With between 4 and 5 hours of other use time on Wi-Fi like general browsing, Hangouts, Email and some Angry Birds Epic.
- I have yet to see the purpose of the apparent speaker at the top above the camera. It makes it look like a huge phone without a phone function. It could be the speaker for video calls, but I didn’t test that.
- The camera is SLOW to take photos and ends up blurred most of the time. The front facing camera snaps pictures much more quickly.
The Trio AXS 4G tablet isn’t something that a die-hard Android fan and user would buy. It is easily suited for first time tablet users who just need a bigger screen and something handy that connects to the internet. I can see one of these in the hands of teens due to its lower price point and free data. For $179 it isn’t terrible, but I’d be a little happier to see it for around $149. I am sure the price reflects the free data from T-Mobile and Walmart integration.
Do I use it?Â
Absolutely. Once I turned on developer options and made some toggles. It has been a great tablet to have on road trips. Hand it off to one of the kids paired with some Bluetooth headphones and we have a much nicer, and quieter, drive. It has also been a pretty nice little reader for Kindle books and late night movie watching while the wife is sleeping.
If you are interested in the Trio AXS 4G tablet then you will want to point your browser to Walmart.com.