HiSense recently launched their own tablet in the UK, dubbed the Hisense Sero 7 Pro it is one of the companies first ever tablets, moving away from their usual product base of home theater equipment, TVs and appliances. But does this mean that the tablet is no good? Definitely not, especially if you simply look at the price tag of £119 in the UK, which makes it one of the cheapest tablets for its spec range, which includes a 7 inch 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution display, a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

However due to this price tag the materials used aren’t exactly premium, and it’s not exactly the lightest tablet either weighing in at 12.7 ounces, it features a plastic design that is surprisingly grippy thanks to a rubbery backing, and the overall design is thankfully sleek-looking.

On the top of the device you will find a selection of ports which include a 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot (that can handle 32GB), a microUSB port for charging and syncing (and even plugging in a keyboard, mouse or flash drive thanks to USB on-the-go technology) and finally a mini HDMI-out port. On the right hand side there’s the power and volume rocker buttons, and then finally on the left side and bottom there’s nothing but plastic.

On the back of the device you will find a couple of stereo speakers towards the bottom of the design, above which is an NFC sensor and the 5MP rear-facing camera which also sits next to the LED flash on the uppermost edge, then on the front you will find the 2 megapixel front-facing camera and the display.

Inside there’s also GPS, Bluetooth and 5GHz 802.11n WiFi connectivity with 1GB RAM + 32GB Flash storage.

Display and features

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Coming from Retina display devices might spoil your view of the Sero 7 Pro’s display, however if you have yet to splurge on an iPad or any other with an over eccentric display you will find this one will suit you just fine, with a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution colours are vivid, with a great dimension and depth, and blacks look extremely detailed for a mobile device, all of which keeps to the same when viewed at multiple angles.

The main problem with this device however is its speakers, often sounding a bit too tinny, it can make watching YouTube videos are even a movie somewhat difficult, which is disappointing given the perks of the display, however that can often be overcome with the use of a set of headphones or by plugging in a set of speakers.

One great point about the Sero 7 pro is that it comes pre-installed with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with very minimal skinning, something that I am always happy to see in a recent device.

There’s not much bloatware either, with only a selection of preloaded applications, you don’t feel to overcome by apps the moment you switch on the device, something that is all too common with Chinese manufactures. The Sero 7 Pro does however come with the needed applications like Chrome, Gmail and YouTube, alongside the TegraZone store, which is a store for NVIDIA optimised systems.

Hisense have also added a screen capture button to the bottom navigation bar, which is a useful addition for someone like me, but I’m not too sure it would be for anyone else.

Performance and Battery Life

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In terms of performance, the Sero 7 Pro’s 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor performs respectively, measuring up decently against the other 7 inch tablets in our benchmark tests, and even beating the previous Nexus 7 (not the 2013 model), however although we did find the processor to perform well at various tasks, we did often find some delays between switching applications.

Alongside this, we often found lag with waking the device, often taking more than just a single press of the power button to get the screen to turn on again, and there is often lag when switching from landscape to portrait orientations.

Despite this, the tablet runs without a problem when running games like Temple Run 2 and Deer Hunter, and even when using load heavy apps like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, however we wouldn’t recommend trying to play a high-level game like Mass Effect or Dead Space.

The battery life is however extremely impressive, and with the brightness set at half, we easily managed to use the tablet for around 9 hours straight, however whack the brightness up to full and that number will drop surprising fast, as with any tablet.

Featuring a  power saving mode you can however manage the Sero 7’s 4,000mAh quite efficiently, easily lasting a day when enabled.

Camera

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Personally I don’t really care about cameras in tablets, I have a smartphone, got the DSLR and even have a compact sitting around, there’s no way I’d ever need one, however I’d respect that some people might find the camera on a tablet important, and for those people who like to use a tablet as a camera, you might be happy to hear that the Sero 7 isn’t that dreadful of taking pictures.

The 5 MP rear-facing shooter isn’t perfect, but it’s decent enough for a tablet, featuring a good LED flash coverage, along with a number of settings and filters that can be tweaked and applied to personalise you image.

There’s also auto-focus functionality in the camera, which works well, and outdoors the camera still takes adequate shots, and that’s all a similar situation for the front-facing camera, which takes great video, and isn’t too grainy. 

Overall the Hisense Sero 7 Pro is a decent tablet, and definitely worth buying if you are looking for a tablet on a budget, however if you have a bit of extra cash lying around, go for an iPad Mini, new Nexus 7 or even one of the many 10 inch tablets available.

Disclosure: We were sent the Hisense Sero 7 Pro from Ebuyer, from whom you can buy the tablet priced at £119.

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