Hisense Sero 8
The Sero 8 is a solid and useable budget Android tablet
One of the best things about Android is that, while the gorgeous flagship models are certainly a delight, the budget options can be highly functional and pleasing. The Hisense Sero 8 is one such option. It’s not designed for anyone who needs the latest and greatest, but for anyone on a seriously tight budget (it sells for a pocket-pleasing £69.99) or with very simple needs, it’s a great choice.
It’s quite a large and heavy tablet, but with a small bezel, it makes good use of its size so that its 8-inch screen is noticeably bigger and more useable than a 7-inch. The plastic casing doesn’t feel particularly classy, but also doesn’t feel particularly cheap – it’s a sturdy, well-made item.
It comes with a near-stock version of Android 4.4.2, which is good news for those who prefer to keep their tablets free of bloatware. Although the version of Android is quite recent, there is something of a problem when it comes to app availability, presumably because the model is quite obscure and developers tend to cut their losses when it comes to optimising for the myriad Android models available. Some apps weren’t available for the Sero 8, which is somewhat annoying.
When it comes to the tablet’s specs, they obviously aren’t cutting edge, but they are very decent. The 1280 x 800 display is on the low-res end but isn’t painful to look at, and the overall experience is surprisingly crisp and responsive.
The experience of video and simple games is also a pleasant surprise. With a 1.6 GHz processor and 1GB RAM it wouldn’t be worth pushing the tablet to its limits, but it’s certainly up for a quick game of Cut The Rope. It comes with 16GB internal storage and, unlike other similar Android tablets, it has the option of adding up to 32GB via MicroSD.
The cameras – 2MP rear, 0.3MP front – are the only feature that’s really noticeably on the shabby side. With rear-facing cameras of little use on tablets in general, it might have been a better option to cut the rear-facing camera altogether for an even lower cost or potential boost to other features.
Surprise is the constant theme of using the Sero 8: for its price, it genuinely is far higher quality than one would expect. For anyone with more modest tech needs, it’s a great choice.