I am back in my home country now for the winter holidays and that means I get to play with the Cube U30GT-Mini and Ainol Flame tablets I ordered for my family before! Or so I thought.. Before I go on, I must say that I can only speak for the units that I have. I bought 2 Ainol Flame and 2 Cube U30GT-Mini so whether or not that is a fair representative of the devices as a whole, I will leave that for you to decide.
Out of the four devices, only 1 is actually working right now and that is one of the Ainol Flame. According to the users, the Flames were fine devices for any kind of usage. However, about after a month of abuse, one of the Ainol's charger gave up and simply stopped working so both Flames have to share one charger which is quite an inconvenience.
Even worse, my niece accidentally dropped one of the Flames from the sofa and that broke the screen. To be honest, our sofa was not even that high and many electronics have fall from this height before but the Flame was the first to ever be permanently damaged by such incidents.
If you say that this has nothing to do with the tablets themselves, fair enough but I honestly won't be buying any Ainol products in the future. And now for the Cubes....
Neither of the Cubes are actually working right now. Both are doomed to be a paper weight constantly reminding myself why I should test a devices myself first before recommending it to others. According to the owners, both of the Cubes constantly freezes during usage so much so that it was unusable. One of the Cube U30GT-Mini was damaged because the charger's pin melted and permanently blocked the charging hole. How that happened, I have no idea. The other Cube was still working when I came back but somehow suddenly decided to brick itself. The screen was also so heavily scratched although obviously the owner didn't really get to use it much. The speaker apparently only worked for a while and after that making horrible clicking sounds when used so is really useless. Battery life? 2000mAh. Enough said :)
Although I was very disappointed, that didn't stop me from investigating further on why these Cubes freeze during usage. First I tried different custom/factory ROMs and managed to unbrick it. However, the freezes still occur under all the different ROMs so I concluded that the problem must be the hardware. Next, I tried taping all the exposed wires and switches in the inside just in case something caused the tablet to short-circuit but that failed too..
Finally, I tried using some desk fans to cool off the back of the tablet (with the cover opened) and guess what, it worked! Not only did it booted correctly, I also managed to download a few games before it finally freezes when I accidentally covered the SOC with my hand causing it to overheat. Oh well, at least now I know what the culprit is; overheating.
So now I am waiting for some copper shims and aluminium tapes from China to arrive so that I can try to repair the still chargable Cube. How such devices were even allowed to be released to the general public, I have no idea but lesson learnt; no more purchasing Cube products in the foreseeable future.
Conclusion? I might review the Ainol Flame if I managed to replace the broken screen but there is no way in heaven I would even post a full review on the Cube U30GT-Mini. That thing is so disappointing that I am not even willing to spend time and write a proper review for it. This does not mean I am forbidding you to buy these products but just consider yourself warned.
PS: I am currently reviewing two other tablets namely the Pipo Max M3 and Onda V712. Although the devices are not perfect by any means, I also have NOT encountered any serious issues so far but I will keep using them for the next few days just to make sure. Stay tuned!