Vodacom Smart Tab 3G – A tablet in every pocket

image0029Vodacom’s second branded Android device, behind the Smart Kicka entry-level smartphone, is the Smart Tab 3G, a 7-inch tablet that comes in at a price point that just about everyone can afford. If you’re looking to go pre-paid then Vodacom’s hardware will set you back a grand, otherwise it’ll start off at R59 per month on a 500GB Top-Up contract (up to a max of of around R160pm for 3GB of data a month).

Read More: Entry-level Android Phones

Vodacom are obviously hoping to put more tablets in the hands of users in SA and this pretty darned low-cost effort is their delivery method. It’s not the highest spec piece of hardware you’ll encounter but it’s definitely one of the cheapest.

Made for SA

Encased in black plastic, the only available colour for this 7-inch tablet, the Vodacom Smart Tab 3G actually feels like an oversized smartphone, putting us in mind of the early Galaxy Note phablet devices. The feel isn’t premium, in the traditional sense but it’s well enough made for its price.

Lightly-textured backing, a slight bulge over the camera lens and a flap-covered pair of ports for the microSIM and microSD cards adorns the right-hand side. The audio jack and charging port live at the top of the tablet while the left-hand side is home to the volume rocker and power button.

Vodacom Smart Tab 3G

Tech Specs

Display: 7-inch TFT (960 x 540), 157ppi
Chipset/CPU: 1.3GHz dual-core (512MB RAM)
Storage: 4GB, up to 32GB external
Camera: 2MP/0.3MP (front)
Connectivity: , WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, 3G
Battery: 2,840mAh Li-Ion
Operating System: Android 4.4.2
SIM Card: Micro-SIM
Features: Zulu language support
Dimensions: 190mm x 107 x 10 (approx. values)

Internal Processes

The low-end CPU and RAM allocation are a contributor to the screen lag that we’ve seen in the Smart Tab 3G. Something as simple as swapping between menus will have a noticeable lag, though in all fairness this doesn’t happen all the time.

There’s a mere 4GB of storage fitted to the tablet from the outset, with 2GB available for use. We can upgrade that if we wish, with another 32GB using the microSD port. The battery is an all-day 2,840mAh lithium ion affair that should get you through whatever tasks you want to put the Android 4.4.2 system through.

WiFi and 3G access is speedy though, this is an area that matches up to other, more, expensive hardware. Since the main aim of a tablet is to allow you to browse the web from any room in the house (streaming everything on the planet is optional), this makes a lot of sense. But even thought the other hardware isn’t from the top of a roster it’s still suitable enough to power this little 7-incher.

Camera for U and I

If we were going to be complaining about anything it’d be the UI and that’s mostly the fault of the drop-down menu and the Home button setup. The Smart Tab 3G doesn’t feature dedicated Home buttons and will alter with the screen orientation in a way that always seems to put them under our fingers.

And then there’s the drop-down notification bar, which doesn’t span the screen or drop down enough to cover the entire display. It’s not a deal-breaker but we’re not keen on the aesthetics – we’re used to better from our user interfaces. The camera isn’t great either, a mere 2MP that’s okay for average snaps but nothing really artistic is possible.

Otherwise the Android 4.4.2 interface is surprisingly clean. Vodacom have obviously included a lot of their own software but the rest is just the usual run of Google-provided functionality. As always you can add your own but the low specs mean that you’ll be limited in terms of useful software – even if the Android version will play nice with that tasty game you’ve had your eye on.

Verdict

We’ve seen better. Far, far better in terms of tablets but we can’t really compare Vodacom’s second branded device to the likes of Samsung or Apple. For one, there’s the fraction-of-the-price factor and Vodacom have given the Smart Tab 3G some spiffy performance for relatively little cost. There’s some lag, true, but not as much as you’d expect from a R1,000 tablet.

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

55 Comments

  1. Can you please advice does this phone actually makes out going calls and incoming calls

    Reply
    • This is a tablet and doesn’t have calling capabilities. All that your SIM card will get you is a data connection.

      Reply
      • Ur not thinking if you have a some then ull b able to send a calls and stuff so don’t hate the player hate the game

        Reply
      • Ur not thinking if you have a some then ull b able to send a calls and stuff so don’t hate the player hate the game

        Reply
      • You’re not thinking or using your brain. If you have the sim in the device then you’ll obviously get calls and be able to send them out. I’m sure you ahvent even used the thing I’m and experienced user I’ve got whatapp bbm Skype and I call and receive calls. So please if you want to hate go hate elsewhere.

        Reply
        • Oops,u r very wrong.some devices use sim cards for data means only.some tablets do make n receive calls n some don’t. heban.huh…wife…I don’t want to say much

          Reply
      • Brent, I have just received on and it does have calling capabilities. I am however sending it back because I need a tablet with GPS which this one does not have.

        Reply
    • Yes. I own one as a spare. Data and voice sims work. Main phone Note 4

      Reply
  2. After comparing your comments on the Smart Tab 3G’s UI with the stock Android found on e.g. the Nexus 7, it seems that the issues you have with the drop-down menu and the homescreen button location is a fault with Android – Not specifically Vodacom’s customisation of this device, right? Please clarify.

    Reply
    • It may very well be a fault with Android but if it is then it’s one that we have not seen anywhere else in a single tablet or smartphone since Android 2.3.5 was a thing. Either way, it’s Vodacom’s device. Since everyone else has managed to make their versions of Android avoid this issue…

      Reply
      • does this device work in other countries, Ghana to be precise

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        • Hi, doesn’t exactely where to ask, will the Vodafone Smart 3 G phone/tab operate fully in Western Australia – Perth on prepaid card from Australia, and also in New Zealand, prepaid card from N.Z., thanks Philip

          Reply
  3. Why is the tablet beıng relesed the 21st of november and not sooner ? I saw one on dısplay Sunday but why is it not for slae yet ? ! It doesnt make sense !!!

    Reply
  4. can you download game for kids on this tablet??

    Reply
    • You can, but just keep an eye on the supported devices for games. Some will very likely be too resource-needy to run on Vodacom’s hardware.

      Reply
  5. Are there software availble to download to enable me to print from my tablet

    Reply
  6. This tab is great, can make phone calls as well as supports whatsapp calling. I got mine on a special 39 rand per month with 500mb per month.

    My only concern is if it will survive my 5 year old’s rough handling for two years. Four months in, at least two falls a day and still going quite strong.

    But it is no top tier tab, but then it still beats playing snake on a Nokia 3110!

    Reply
  7. Can I make calls from vodacom smart tab 3G or uusing it to receive phone calls

    Reply
  8. Can I make calls on a vodacom smart tab 3G? If yes,how?

    Reply
  9. Hope you van help me. My vodacom smart tab 3G doesn’t seem to play my songs and pic’s that’s on my memorycard. Although it play my musicvideos. Please help thanx

    Reply
  10. This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music..I think this phone or tab sucks

    Reply
    • This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music

      Reply
  11. Can anyone just help me how to recover my lost files on NY SD card

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  12. my tab has stopped working
    the only thing it does is wright powered by android when I set it on , I need your help

    Reply
    • That sounds like an update gone wrong or someone tried to root the device and failed. It’ll have to go to Vodacom and they’ll have to reinstall Android, most likely. It’s also possibly a hardware issue, which they’d also have to sort out.

      Reply
  13. Can u download candy crush on this tab?does it only come in black?

    Reply
    • Yes and yes.

      Reply
  14. Am using Smart tab 3g, Pls help, every time when I take video, tried to open, keep saying no thumbnails, what is this and to get rid of it cause I can’ view my picture and videos

    Reply
    • Got lots of pics but shows no thumbnail

      Reply
  15. I downloaded the screen grabber app on my tab but I can’t use it…please help!

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  16. The value of this device says it all. One cannot expect much from it. Despite all that, you are connected.

    Reply
  17. Hi! does this device has a gps? —only option in settings is ” location in use”…is that different wording for GPS? .would like to load speedometer apps….

    Reply
  18. When the fone says window limit reached, you must close some windows, when you are on internet, how do you close some windows ?

    Reply
  19. How do you reboot this tab when you can’t even get thru your pin

    Reply
  20. Must I take it to vodacom outlet

    Reply
    • Probably your best option.

      Reply
  21. please help, cnt seem to find the call button.

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  22. The camera does not show captured photos it writes ‘no thumbnails’. What should I do?

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  23. would like know what happend to the delivery of my tab which i qaulified for did not received it yet could you please reply

    Reply
  24. How do I fix this no thumbnail problem caused I can’t view my photo s in the gallery

    Reply
  25. What to do when pattern is forgotten? ?

    Reply
    • FIRST SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE AND WHEN SWITCHING IT ON HOLD THE POWER BUTTON AND UP VOLUME KEY SIMULTENEOUSLY.THEN FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO REBOOT

      Reply
  26. I cannot find certain music from my memory card. Pics too

    Reply
  27. I’m not able to receive incoming calla n my Vodafone smart tab 3G after I backup&reset it in factory reset. How can I fix it to be normal please help, even my drop down right notification bar its not available what is the matter plsssssss help

    Reply
  28. HI I HAVE LOST MY VODAFONE SMART Tab 3G.I WANT TO TRACK IT BUT ITS GOOGLE LOCATION IS OFF ANY IDEA ON HOW I CAN FIND IT?

    Reply
  29. I received a smart tab 3G a few days ago but have encountered a problem which Vodacom Customer Care appear to be stumped as well. I am trying to setup my present email on the tab. after all the info is successfully loaded, instead of synchronizing, it says that the authentication method is not supported by the server. what can this fault be? ? Please help asap..

    Reply
  30. How do you make your own album? Like certain pics in your own folder

    Reply
  31. How can l get the smart phone tablet battery in Lagos Nigeria. Do u have a store outlets here ?

    Reply
  32. This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music

    Reply
  33. I have always been able to play games on my vodacom 3g smart tab, including candy crush, diamond digger, farm heros saga and had whatsapp. Now suddenly it either opens the game to the main screen then just goes out or it just stops and goes out of the games in the middle of playing. I deceided to do a factory reset. It did not help and now i am also unable to download whatsapp again. Please help. All i can do on this thing now is browse and facebook

    Reply
  34. I have a voda smart tablet 2 3 g and it says memory card missing. What are all the issues about the memory card as I really need it I have a 4 memory card. I’m still new to the tablet

    Reply
  35. i have vodafone smart tab 3g when enter unsuported sim card it say emergency and it not come the place of inter code how i will unlock

    Reply
  36. How long does this device take to charge after purchase ?

    Reply

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