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Thread: [Review] Ainol Novo 7 Crystal

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    Default [Review] Ainol Novo 7 Crystal

    Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Review

    Ainol is probably a brand you never heard of. I didn’t know about it either, until I saw ads on Facebook. I wanted to buy an Android tab that was around 15000 BDT, since I didn’t want to spend so much on an entertainment device. Primary usage for me would have been watching movies, playing a bit of video game, reading magazines and listening to music. However, I didn’t want a bad device either. Wanted it have at least a Dual Core CPU and a decent GPU, plus 1 GB RAM. Those who are looking for similar device, but don’t want to spend too much, Ainol is a great brand to check out.

    Specification:
    CPU: Cortex A9 dual core 1.5 GHz (clocked at 1.2GHz)
    GPU: Dual Core Mali 400 MP
    OS: Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1
    RAM: 1 GB
    Storage: 8GB (5.72GB user available)
    Connectivity: Wifi
    Camera: 2MP front facing
    Display: 16MP 7 inch IPS screen at 1024x600 resolution
    Battery: 3700mAh

    The Strong Points:


    Jelly Bean:
    You get Jelly Bean 4.1.1 out of the box. Therefore, no need to mod for OS at least. You have to get a custom ROM for other reasons though.

    Good Price to Performance Ratio: First of I got it at 13k from Smart Phone Expo. But it packs the hardware of tabs that are worth 16K up, so a good price to performance ratio. Good brands like Hyundai charge almost $160-$170 for their tabs of similar specification. I am quite satisfied how games or high resolution PDF pages don’t lag on the device, all though it pushes the CPU to its very limit.

    Display:
    The display quality is quite good since its 16M IPS. However, I would have liked the resolution to be 1024x768, at least 720p. Nevertheless, I have watched a few movies on the device and it’s not bad at all.

    1 GB RAM:
    Many games and apps require at least 1 GB RAM. Therefore, you can go ahead and install those apps and games on this device.

    Dedicated GPU:
    The Ainol Novo 7 Crystal comes with a dual core Mali 400 MP GPU. This helps in running GPU intensive games and apps. Other tabs in its price range such as Symphony T7 or T8 do not have a dedicated GPU.

    Good Build Quality:
    For a not so popular chinese brand, Ainol has provide very good build quality. Something I did not expect in this price range.

    The not so strong Points:


    Battery Life:
    The Crystal comes with a 3700mAh battery, so you would be running out of juice at the end of each day.

    Display:
    Not 720p. So even though it doesn’t do much harm, still it’s a disadvantage. Moreover, the back lights are visible on the corner of the screen, which looks weird. It’s hard to get used to.

    Storage:
    Comes with only 8 GB and 5.72 GB user available. So you have to buy a memory card. Not a good news for those who don’t want to use a card.

    Connectivity:
    Only Wifi. So you don’t get 3G internet. But most importantly, no Bluetooth, which is a major drawback. We cannot use Bluetooth devices on the Crystal.

    Stock ROM is buggy: The stock firmware is very buggy. However once you upgrade to CM 10 or Crystal Clear, a dedicated ROM for this device made by fuser-invent of SLD, the tab performs way better.

    Factory fault:
    The device makes a clicking sound now and then. It’s a factory hardware fault and custom ROMs cannot fix it.

    Camera:
    Only front facing 2 MP camera. Sad news for instagram users.

    Final Verdict:

    The Ainol Novo 7 Crystal is not perfect. It has its drawbacks. Then again look at it price! You are getting enough for the amount you are paying. With custom ROM, the device performs quite well, at least as much as you need, if your need, is watching movies, playing games etc. This device is not an android enthusiast's device, and Ainol does not claim it to be. It won’t stand a chance against the big boys like Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 or the iPad. Then again, you are not paying as much as those, why should you expect similar performance? The amount you will have to pay is actually lower than the performance this device provides, so definitely the Ainol Novo 7 Crystal is a good buy. The brand is quite popular in China, especially Hong Kong and also Taiwan. Its available in USA too and lot of people use it there. Other than that, there are Russian, German and French users too. So we can assume, the Crystal has users in Europe too. From a Bangladeshi, I say recommended.

    Some photos of my device:Ainol Novo 7 Crystal
    The ports. DC in. Mini HDMI. Mini USB. Mic. MicroSD card slot. 3.5mm Headphone jack.
    Frosted black finish.
    Last edited by Robin Rayhan; February 5th, 2013 at 21:30.

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    Impressive review

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    nice review...Can you please light up something using it as a reader(E books Pdfs etc) also are the pirated apps smooth running???...
    People should stop blaming games for allegedly *copying* each other: "oh this game is Skyrim copy", "this game is WoW knock off", "this game is just another DMC" - enough!

    On this rate every 3rd person action will be God of War, every 3rd p shooter Gears, every 1st will be CoD.. it's ridiculous. They are called genres people! And if you look carefully you'll see allot more than mimicry out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reventon View Post
    nice review...Can you please light up something using it as a reader(E books Pdfs etc) also are the pirated apps smooth running???...
    Adobe Reader used to lag. So I started using Quickoffice pro. Have not faced lag on any PDF files using the software. That is because, Adobe do not utilize the CPU completely, whereas Quickoffice pro, simply hits the highest clock speed of 1.2GHz, both cores reach 90+% usage, thus the files don't lag. Some people would be worried, but I don't care, since the CPU is built to with stand upto 1.5GHz. Its actually running under clocked. However, reading PDFs for too long, or playing hardware intensive games will result in empty battery quite soon.

    I have not yet faced any issues with apps compatibility. I am waiting for my SanDisk 32 GB Class 10 MicroSD card. When it arrives, I will try more games and apps, and also do benchmark. The device has score 8775 at Antutu. Will try Quadrant later. I will also install Asphalt 7 and NFS Most Wanted soon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS: The tab has phoneUI as you can see. TabletUI comes when you flash to Crystal Clear ROM.
    Last edited by Robin Rayhan; February 5th, 2013 at 18:54.

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    Can u provide .zip link of crystal clear rom.so that i can flash it with cwm recovery

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt.Mactavish View Post
    Can u provide .zip link of crystal clear rom.so that i can flash it with cwm recovery
    You have a Novo 7 Crystal? Hifive! I though I was the only one. One thing though, you have to know your device's batch number. Mine is Batch 1.

    To check batch number read this thread:
    ROM Compatibility trace "How To Figure Out Your Batch Number"

    For ROM download browse this thread and find the download link:
    [ROM] Crystal Clear by fuser-invent

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    Is this brand any different than other chinese brands that are out there for android tabs?
    Did you get warranty for this?
    01000010011000010111101001101001011011100110011101100001001000010010000100100001 001000000011101001010000

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    Quote Originally Posted by йЦммєя³¹ View Post
    Is this brand any different than other chinese brands that are out there for android tabs?
    Did you get warranty for this?
    You get factory warranty. Which means, if you buy from a dealer like GG7 or Dx Generation, they can arrange the warranty deal for you. If you buy on your own, you have to send the device to the factory address by your own cost through DHL. In my opinion, its not actually wise to expect warranty. Ainol is better in quality than other brands that are available, for example AAA, Oxcel or Alphar. I saw other tabs in the market, and they all had same type of cheap looking plastic. The Novo 7 Crystal has a better build quality and makes it look more pricey than it really is. Downside is its fat. Not really pleasing to the eye. In my personal view, though I am not bothered about the weight or thickness, so I didn't mention it in my review. But to some people, it is something they consider.
    Last edited by Robin Rayhan; February 5th, 2013 at 22:29.

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    Some Updates:

    1. NFS MW installed. Running with slight lag. Playable.
    2. Swift Key 3 for Tablet installed. Running great.
    3. Virtual Tennis installed. Running great.
    4. Minecraft PE installed. Running great.

    Apps that didn't work:
    1. Batman Dark Knight Rises did not run. Ran on SGSII, so no data error. Compatibility error confirmned.
    2. Modern Combat 4 did not run. Ran on SGSII, so no data error. Compatibility error confirmned.

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    Got internet downloaded a lot of apps. Working fine. Crystal Clear 1.8 ROM is awesome. Playing GTA 3 with no lag now.

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    Ainol has announced Crystal II. Its only $94 without shipping. (Shipping is $20-30) It looks exactly like Crystal, but Ainol has put Quad Core A9 inside and Vivante GC860 as GPU.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ainol has announced Crystal II. Its only $94 without shipping. (Shipping is $20-30) It looks exactly like Crystal, but Ainol has put Quad Core A9 inside and Vivante GC860 as GPU.

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    Nice Review. How does it feel to read eBook on a 7"? Or a 10" is needed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaib View Post
    Nice Review. How does it feel to read eBook on a 7"? Or a 10" is needed?
    Feels ok. If the PDF is print grade quality with insane resolution and size, there is lag. But its bearable.

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