Although Spice had launched its first tablet, the MiTab as early as
September 2011, it wasn't really able to get a foothold in the highly
crowded Android tablets market, dominated by players like Micromax, Zync
and Karbonn, amongst others. The company's sort of made a comeback with
a new 10-inch tablet, which it calls, the Spice Stellar Pad (Mi-1010). The tablet
with impressive specs has been priced well at Rs. 12,999 and runs Jelly
Bean, the latest iteration of Android. We've been playing with the
device and here's our take on the mid-economy tablet.
Hardware/ Build & design
tablet feels solid although it's a bit on the heavier side but the
weight has been distributed well. The tablet has a 10-inch screen
surrounded by a black bezel on the front, and a silver back, which is
made of plastic, with a matte finish. The back also sports the Spice
logo, placed right at the middle, two speaker grills and the camera lens
at the top. There's some branding at the lower part as well.
are no hardware buttons on the front, giving it a sleek look. The
materials used don't feel cheap, and we can safely say that it's one of
the better designed Android tablets available in the market.
the right side, there are charging and connectivity ports including a
USB on the go port, an HDMI port and 3.5mm headphone jack, in addition
to a 2.5 mm custom charging port. Thanks to the USB on the go port, you
can connect this tablet to PC in disk mode, just like a regular
Micro-USB port and then turnaround and act like a PC when you connect a
USB drive or 3G dongle to the tablet.
On the flip side, this
implies that you need to carry the tablet's custom charger along, which
is a bit inconvenient.A large number of devices support charging through
micro-USB, eliminating the need to carry multiple chargers, we don't
think devices should come with custom charging ports.
also a microphone, a reset button, and a memory card (SD/ TransFlash)
slot. There are markings for each on the back of the tablet, albeit in
grey colour which tends to reduce the visibility since the back is
silver. The top sports a Power/ Sleep button and a volume rocker, all in
Overall, the hardware appears to be durable and is tastefully done.
10-inch TFT display comes with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels, which
is pretty decent compared to other budget tablets in the segment. The
screen is bright, and although we found that it's reflective to some
extent, visibility under sunlight was not bad. The display has an IPS
panel that facilitates wider viewing angles, which essentially means
that more than one person can view content playing on the screen
properly, even from different angles. We found that this holds true in
the case of the Spice Stellar Pad, and we were able to view media
playing on the screen from different angles. There was a slight
backlight leakage from the sides and a blue tint towards the right hand
side of the screen, but we're not sure if it's limited to our review
unit. The touch sensitivity is good, and we didn't encounter any issues
while using the device.
Stellar Pad runs Android 4.1 - Jelly Bean, the latest iteration of the
operating system, and doesn't include any custom skin. It's a stock
build of the OS bundled with a few third party apps including music
streaming app, Dhingana, a file browser, the Economic Times and Times of
India news apps, Shark Dash- a game, a video player and a Gravity
Calibration utility. We like the fact that there's no bloatware.
Spice Stellar Pad is one of the few tablets that runs Jelly Bean.
Unlike the Nexus 7, the tablet's onscreen controls are on the bottom
left instead of the centre, and the notification panel and quick access
settings (for Wi-Fi, Screen rotation, brightness, sound and shortcut to
settings) are located at the bottom right.
During our use, we
didn't notice much lag while navigating through menus, and Google's much
touted 'Project Butter'makes the overall experience more responsive
than tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich.
The other major feature
that Jelly Bean brings is 'Google Now', a voice based information
assistant and an extension of Google search. You can ask questions and
the tool returns answers or search results. It uses 'cards' which are
essentially small boxes that offer different sets of information ranging
from weather forecast, directions, traffic information, scores,
appointments, and currency conversion, among others. Google Now collects
information based on the user's behavior, location and even e-mail to
offer information, automatically.
We're not sure if the tablet
will get updated to Jelly Bean 4.2, but if it does, features like
multi-user accounts (different profiles and access for different users)
and lock-screen widgets would also come to the tablet.
Spice Stellar Tab comes with a 3-megapixel rear camera and a front
facing VGA camera. We found that the pictures taken with the rear camera
were a bit grainy. It was worse when we tried clicking them in low
light. The rear camera does not have auto-focus. Though we're not sure
if someone will use the tablet as dedicated devices for clicking
pictures, we found that it's only suitable for casual clicks. The front
camera is functional at best and does a decent job when used for making
Performance/ Battery Life
The tablet is powered
by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, a quad-core GPU and 1 GB of RAM. We
did not encounter any crashes while working on this tablet and
multitasking was comfortable. We also did not notice much lag and were
able to play tablet optimized games and HD video clips, without a hitch.
The tablet comes with the native Android browser and Chrome, and
renders all webpages well. Adobe Flash is pre-installed allowing the
browser to display Flash videos, banners and other elements. The
speakers on the tablet deliver good quality sound at even high volume
levels. There's no voice calling but the major omission is Bluetooth
connectivity. We're not sure why Spice had to exclude it since all major
Android devices offer this feature.
The Spice Stellar Pad comes
with a 7600mAh battery and we were satisfied with the backup that it
offered, although we had some problems charging it up after the battery
was completely drained. It took almost 2 hours to get to 10-15% charge
levels delivered but the problem could be limited to just our unit, and
we've requested Spice to send a replacement. We'll update our review if
we see a difference. We were able to get around 8 hours of video
playback, even with the display on full brightness levels. The standby
time with push notifications and e-mails on was also decent. With
intermediate usage during the day, we were able to get 2 days of backup.
The tablet would easily give 8-10 hours of usage on a single charge.
we mentioned earlier in the review, the Spice Stellar Pad is one of the
better Android tablets out there in the market. At a price of Rs.
12,999, it offers a good package with decent hardware, a bright screen
that supports wide angled viewing and the latest version of Android,
Jelly Bean. It's a good value for money proposition. If you're looking
for a tablet that also offers voice calling, the Huawei Mediapad Lite is
another good option available in the same price range.
- Runs Jelly Bean
- Good performance
- Display with decent viewing angles
- Slightly heavy
- Battery charging issues (could be specific to our unit)
- No Bluetooth
Ratings (Out of 5)
- Design: 3.5
- Display: 3.5
- Performance: 4
- Software: 4
- Battery Life: 4
- Value for Money: 4
- Camera: 2.5
- Ecosystem: 3.5
- Overall: 3.5
Spice Stellar Pad in pictures