Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Milagrow M2 Pro review: Good intent, but this tab is a bit too heavy on wallet and your hands

Milagrow M2 Pro 3G 32 GB review At Rs. 21,990, the device ends up providing a basic experience, especially, when brands like Samsung, LG and Asus Google Nexus has a lot more to offer.
Written by Debashis Sarkar | New Delhi | Posted: August 20, 2014 2:21 pm | Updated: August 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Milagrow had entered the tablet market a couple years back with its TabTop range of tablet PCs and since then it has been trying hard to make a dent on the minds of Indian tablet buyers. However, the company is struggling to strike the right balance of price, specs and quality, given the fact that most of its tablet models are targeting the mid-range market. And when someone is planning to spend something around Rs. 20,000 or more for a tablet, he or she will surely peep into the specs and prices of the iPad Mini and Asus Google Nexus 7C.

Unlike smartphones, people expect tablets to have a greater life span as most of the products are claimed to be a replacement for laptops. Someone wouldn’t mind changing a smartphone after an year of use, but will definitely want to stick to a tablet for a longer period of time.

m2 m1

Coming to M2 Pro 3G 32 GB model, Milagrow seems to have tried to deliver a nice device, however, it did not impress us much.

Key specs: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, 7.9-inches display at 768 x 1024 pixels (~160 ppi), Quad-core Rockchip CPU at 1.6 GHz, Mali-400 GPU, 2 GB RAM, around 27 GB of available internal storage expandable up to 64 GB, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera, calling and 3G support.

Price: Rs. 21,990

Design: The device is made out of white plastic along with aluminium metal finish at the back. It tries to look like the iPad Mini but it’s nowhere close. The device looks plain at the front, but the black camera area with flash along and metal finish at the back gives the device some premium look. The power/wake button and volume rocker keys are located at the bottom right corner- which is weird and makes its pretty difficult to operate. The build quality is good.

m3 m4

The device weighs 390 grams and it would have been great if Milagrow could have shed a few grams.  If you are using it with the flip cover that comes along with the device, then the weight doubles and your hand will start paining after 10 minutes of usage. Milagrow definitely needs to work on this part, given it want users to use the device as a ‘TabTop’.

Screen: The display quality is pretty average at 768 x 1024 pixels, and 160 ppi. Given the price, at least the display could have been much better. Viewing angles are good. The screen offers an aspect ratio of 4:3, so, everything appears a bit squarer compared to other Android tablets. Indoor visibility is decent, however, you won’t feel like using the device outdoors on a bright sunny day. Outdoor visibility is poor and dialling numbers for making a call or reading a message is very difficult. Overall, display is disappointing.

Performance: Again, pretty average. Housing a quad-core Rockchip CPU at 1.6 GHz with Mali-400 GPU and 2 GB RAM, users will not face any problems in basic operations, HD videos and a bit of gaming. However, I witnessed several lags while using the device in general. It scored 19717 on AnTuTu benchmark test, which is okay, given its a Rockchip CPU.

HD video playback was pretty ordinary and on scrolling through the time line, the device did not respond as desired. The speakers are relatively loud, but sound quality is poor.

Milagrow M2 Pro 3G 32 GB review Milagrow M2 Pro 3G 32 GB review

Camera: Not good. The 8 MP rear camera completely depends on lighting conditions. Under day light, the images captured by the device is okay but indoors, the image quality is grainy and the colour is far from perfect. Using flash  did not help much. Nothing much to comment on the front 2 MP camera as I did not try video chatting.

Milagrow M2 Pro 3G 32 GB review Front camera test.

Storage: This is a plus point of the device. It offers 32 GB of internal storage out of which 27 GB is available. The device supports microSD cards up to 64 GB. Also, it comes with USB OTG connectivity through which users can connect pen drives and portable hard drives.

Software: The device runs on an outdated Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. Unlike Milagrow’s M8 Pro 3G tablet which we reviewed earlier, the interface of this model is mostly stock Android with no eye-popping customisations.

Battery: The 4000 mAh takes time to charge. Once, fully charged, the device lasted through 3 hours of video playback and around an hour of web browsing before it signalled low battery. Battery life is expected to decrease with usage. Overall, battery life is nothing great.

Connectivity: The device supports 3G and voice calls. There are no issues in  connectivity as such.

Verdict: Milagrow has a lot of homework to do- improve display, provide latest OS, improve performance, battery life and of course camera. At Rs. 21,990, the device ends up providing a basic experience, especially, when brands like Samsung, LG and Asus Google Nexus has a lot more in its kitty to attract Android tablet buyers with a budget of something between Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 25,000.

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