Learn From My Mistake: Don’t Buy a Cheap Android Tablet

The Nokia T20 has sparked a tablet epiphany. I have owned many different tablets over the years, and my lifestyle fits the functionality they offer. Still, unfortunately, most of them have been quickly discarded due to either never meeting expectations or not being able to keep up with my usage. All except the Apple iPad, that is. I have owned several generations and none have been hidden in the “tech drawer of doom.”

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using the Nokia T20 tablet, and you’ve finally bought into that epiphany. I’ve refused to believe it for years, but now I can safely say that if you want a tablet, it’s worth paying more to get an iPad.

So many tablets

I don’t know what the tablet is all about in general. Maybe it’s because it can seem more frivolous than a smartphone, but I’ve often thought that I should be able to buy a cheaper one and have it to meet my relatively basic needs. Over the years, I have used, purchased, or reviewed tablets made by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Amazon, and a few others. The ones I have personally purchased have been cheaper models, usually seen at a sale, but none of them are in use today. Poor software, poor displays, and squeaky performance put me off almost immediately, and after using them for a while, they would pull out.

Screens on iPad Pro and Nokia T20 tablets.
Andy Boxall / Tips Clear

Also, during this time, I have owned a few Apple iPad models, including the original iPad, an iPad 2, an iPad 3, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2015, and my current 11-inch 2020 iPad Pro. It’s five years between updates to my most recent iPad purchases and, best of all, the older models live under the care of my parents rather than being sent to the tech drawer of doom, including the original iPad. Neither the first iPad nor the iPad 3 are updated anymore, nor are they compatible with most new apps, but they still work surprisingly well for tablets that are a decade old. Even the batteries have a decent charge.

This should have been enough to spark my epiphany by now, but even in the face of overwhelming evidence showing splurging on an iPad rather than saving a bit of money and getting a cheaper Android tablet is the sensible thing to do, here I am with the Nokia. T20. I still wanted to believe that a modern, low-cost Android tablet from a major company could be a worthy alternative.

It’s not what you do with it

What do I do on a tablet? The vast majority of the time, I watch YouTube and other streaming services, surf the web using Chrome, read the news, and use some social media and shopping apps like Amazon. More occasionally, I use it to edit videos with LumaFusion, create documents, and make video calls via Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet. I do nothing, outside of video editing, that a cheap tablet shouldn’t be able to do.

Screens on iPad Pro and Nokia T20 tablets.
Andy Boxall / Tips Clear

I currently use the 11-inch iPad Pro 2020, which costs $ 800 new. It is absolutely flawless. The screen is fantastic, the performance is incredible, the software is simple, and it’s so versatile that I can use it to work if I want to. The Nokia T20 costs $ 250, so obviously there will be a difference in performance, but the screen is almost as large as the iPad and has a decent resolution of 1200 x 2000 pixels, so if all I really do is watch videos and using a few apps, it’s unlikely to be that different, right?

It’s definitely the main reason I wanted to try the Nokia T20. I love the iPad Pro, but I still see it as a very expensive product. It’s always in the back of my mind that I could probably get away with something a lot cheaper, since I don’t really ask for that much. Well, I can’t. Even the simplest task is too much for the T20, and that feeling about tablets that I couldn’t seem to get rid of all this time has now been properly banished.

Is the Nokia T20 bad?

No, the Nokia T20 is not a bad Tablet. It does some things well. Battery life has been excellent, staying usable for at least a week on a single charge with daily use, and the 7.8mm thick case feels durable. I also like Google’s Entertainment Space and Kids Space; make using an Android tablet much smoother than before. There is also an acceptable amount of software support for the future, with security updates for the first three years.

But that’s really where the good news ends. The most basic thing I want to do with my tablet is watch YouTube, but the T20 seems to make that simple task off-putting and surprisingly frustrating. The display has a 60Hz refresh rate and in my eyes, certainly spoiled by the high refresh rate displays on the iPad and various phones, it’s a blurry mess when scrolling the YouTube home screen.

IPad Pro and Nokia T20 tablets.
Andy Boxall / Tips Clear

When you find a video to watch, the screen dullness hits you first, followed by the fact that you can’t hear it unless you have the volume turned up. After starting the video in a room, I moved the tablet to my office, where the T20 quickly dropped the Wi-Fi signal. My iPad, which is next to it, still has the proper signal. Forced to leave the office, I continued to do some research on work using Chrome, but only after manually reconnecting Wi-Fi.

The performance is disappointing. I am using the UK model with a Unisoc T610 processor, which I am not familiar with at all. It’s typically a few seconds slower than the iPad when performing the same tasks, there are stutters throughout the OS, and 60Hz screen blur is almost always present. There is no part of the Nokia T20 that encourages me to use it, like the many tablets of similar offerings that I have endured for only a few months at a time in the past. It is an absolute world apart from the Apple iPad.

Sure, but money?

At this point, you are probably thinking about that price difference. Of course, the iPad is technically superior to the Nokia T20 – it can cost four times as much. Absolutely true, but let me explain why this argument doesn’t really apply. If I had paid $ 250 for the T20 and found it not connecting to my Wi-Fi in a different room in my house, I would be quite upset. If it ruined my view due to the dim 60Hz screen blur, I would quickly decide not to use it. It would just become another tablet that you wanted to enjoy but couldn’t.

I can have the iPad Pro, but I don’t need to buy such a flash model to get almost the same vastly improved experience. The $ 329 10.2-inch iPad is the cheapest iPad, so it’s not really much more money than the T20, but I’d really recommend buying the $ 599 iPad Air with its better screen, smaller bezels, and more processor. new. The iPad Pro is the definitive iPad and possibly the definitive tablet, but it starts at $ 800. Yes, I know I am saying spend more (much more) money and you will get a better product, which is not groundbreaking information, but I don’t think I have ever come across such clear evidence for this rule. as I have with tablets.

IPad Pro and Nokia T20 tablets.
Andy Boxall / Tips Clear

The Nokia T20 has shown me that even if you’re just doing the basics on a tablet, then “saving” money by not buying an iPad probably just means you use it less, enjoy it less, and end up forgetting about it. in less than a year. My original 11-year-old iPad still works today and while I might not necessarily want to use it myself, I also find it extremely unlikely that the Nokia T20 will still be as usable in 2032, let alone 2024, when it stops. getting security updates.

This is not a hit piece against the Nokia T20, or any cheap tablet, which I think may work well for children. No, this is consumer advice from someone who has spent a lot of money making poor purchasing decisions, when I should have made a decent decision in the first place. Yes, I am telling you to spend more on your new tablet, but I sincerely believe that it will save you money in the long run and you will enjoy owning it a lot more.

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