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Orange Tahiti Review

By Simon Thomas on 01st February 2012


3G Total Score Get phone arrow

Pros: Reasonable start-up price; integrated 3G; good build quality; light; clear, sharp display


Cons: Total ownership cost is high; disappointing battery life; slow performance under pressure

 

Verdict: The Orange Tahiti is the first, we suspect, of many decent tablets to be available on contract. The benefits of this are that you don’t have a huge outlay to start with, yet still get decent features and 3G connections with a data contract. However, the total cost of ownership is pretty high, and as it isn’t quite up there with the top-end tablets now, by the time you’re halfway through your contract it could well be a disappointment to you.

 

Full Review and Specification for the Orange Tahiti

2012 is going to be the year of the cheap tablet we suspect. And here we have Orange’s contribution to the cause – the Orange Tahiti, the cheapest tablet to be released so far. But hang on a minute, it could also be the most expensive. Confused? No need, it’s simply because the Orange Tahiti is one of the first of what we suspect will be a huge raft of tablets available on contract to be released this year. So while your initial outlay will be small, which is appealing to anyone on a tight budget, the total cost of ownership over a contract period could make it pretty pricey.

 

So let’s look at that initial price. It’s an amazingly low £69, which gets you a 7in, 3G-equipped Android tablet with a dual-core processor. But then you have to sign up to a two-year data contract that costs £25 a month and gets you 2GB of data a month. That adds up to a whopping £669 – a tenner more than buying a 64GB iPad 2 with 3G.

 

 

Design points

 

When it comes to build quality, the Tahiti is a winner. It’s really well made, and while its design is not exactly a head-turner, it looks good. A rounded reverse side and metal sides are reminiscent of the original iPhone, while other features (such as the drilled power, mini-HDMI ports and speaker) look rather like the iPhone 4S.

 

Sizewise, it is a 7in tablet – this makes it very portable (it measures 190 x 124 x 10.5mm and weighs just 390g), but it does mean that the display looks rather more cramped than those on its 10in rivals. Another thumbs-down goes to the battery life, which is unimpressive, offering only 6 hours from a fully charged battery – most tablets get around 8-10 off a full charge. Standby is decent though, at around 200 hours.

 

Under the bonnet lurks a good 1.2GHz dual-core chip, as well as 8GB onboard storage (which can be expanded by 32GB with a microSD card) and 1GB of RAM. The Tahiti continues to impress when you turn on the device. Happily, Orange has seen sense and decided not to weigh down the Tahiti with bloatware and its over-the-top themes. It also runs on Android 3.0, which is Google’s interim tablet OS until the promised upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in February.

 

The display impresses too. It offers rich colours and pin sharp text with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution that is better than that on the iPad 2. Mind you, this is not an AMOLED screen, so the colours aren’t going to be quite as impressive.

 

Nor can the Tahiti compare with top-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or iPad 2 when it comes to performance. It does work well, apps are speedy and the screen is responsive, but under pressure (when viewing Flash video or loading image-heavy websites, for instance) it does tend to slow down.

 

Worth the commitment?

 

When you sign up to that contract, you need to be sure the device is worth a two-year investment. There are some signs that the Tahiti isn’t, for instance, it disappoints on graphics performance – this is evident when playing the latest games from Android Marketplace, watching Flash video and zooming into anything other than simple websites. Plus the image quality from its two snappers (a front-facing VGA model and a five-megapixel camera on the back) is very average.

 

 

Our conclusion

 

So what do we reckon to the Orange Tahiti? If you have the money to spend now, we’d suggest buying one of the top-end tablets, because this device will look out of date by the time you’re coming to the end of your contract. However, for plenty of us who don’t have the ready cash to buy a tablet outright, this is a decent option, especially with the 3G and data contract included. Expect to see more tablets appearing on a contract basis in the near future.

 

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Orange Tahiti Review Scoring

  • Style and Handling
  • User Friendliness
  • Feature set
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Overall Score

Orange Tahiti Phone Specification

Type of phone:

N/A

Style:

N/A

Size:

190 x 124 x 10.5mm

Weight:

390g

Display:

N/A colours

Resolution:

N/A

Camera:

5 megapixels

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

Yes

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

eAAC+, MP3, WAV, WMA

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

Yes

Voice Control:

N/A

Voice Dialling:

N/A

Call records:

Yes

Phonebook:

N/A

Ringtones customization:

Yes

Display description:

1280x800 pixels

Website:

shop.orange.co.uk

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

N/A

Launch Status:

Available

Radio:

N/A

Operating system:

Android

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Announced date:

N/A

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

N/A

International launch date:

N/A

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

N/A

FM Radio Description:

N/A

Internal memory:

8GB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

GPS:

GPS

Java:

N/A

Games:

N/A

Frequency:

N/A

Talktime:

N/A

Standby:

N/A

Display size:

7 inches

Keypad:

N/A

Audio recording:

N/A

# sales team/customer service: 0800 358 9048

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