When I first caught wind of Verizon selling a self branded 7 inch tablet, admittedly, I was immediately skeptical and I started making judgements without even hearing the facts first. Why was I so skeptical? Because Verizon is not a hardware manufacture, they are a mobile wireless carrier, and they make their money from data usage, not by selling top of the line hardware. And since the actual hardware manufacture didn’t put their name on the tablet, I could only assume that they weren’t even impressed with it themselves.
Interlude: I interrupt this review to tell an important story.
So I’m sitting on the beach of Panama City, soaking up some sun and trying to relax. Away from the office and watching the kids kick around some sand. Thought I would sit back and enjoy some music and read my news. I pulled out the Ellipsis tablet with intentions of turning on Google Play Music. What? No signal? OK I pulled out my phone, the trusty Moto X. Wow, that’s weird, three bars of signal on my phone. So I go back to the Ellipsis. Huh? Still nothing. OK. Reboot. There we go. Only one bar, but it’s something. Turn on the music. Connect Bluetooth speaker. Signal gone. Getting irritated. Why would the phone get better signal than the tablet and the tablet continue to drop whatever signal it does get? In short, LTE radio quality and proper antenna placement.
The Ellipsis 7 does have a camera on the front and on the back. I’m not big on taking pictures with a tablet, and not many are. I can only assume this is the thought process behind the choice of cameras on this tablet as the front camera is 0.3 MP and the rear camera is only 3.1 MP. These will not capture your family reunion photos in mint condition. Barely good enough to capture your beautiful plate of food to share on Instagram. For the purpose of Skype, it’ll make do. But you will not capture anything like a masterpiece with the rear camera at all. Thus, I cannot fail to mention that the shutter is slower than the software. When you take the picture, the animation appears to have captured the exact picture. However, the camera didn’t actual grab the picture that quickly and the shot that is actually saved is about one half to 1 full second later. This picture was supposed to be of my boy with his tongue all the way out and sister in the background standing still. But it actually captured him pulling his tongue back in and sister walking away AFTER the flash.
Storage space, oh my, probably the worst part of this tablet. The Ellipsis 7 only comes in one flavor and part of it’s recipe includes 8 messily GB of storage space. This little amount of space might work with a phone. However, on a tablet, its atrocious. I wish I could tell you how many applications you can store on these 8 messily GB, but there is a bigger problem, for some unknown reason, Verizon broke the memory up into two parts and the default app storage is limited to 1 even messilier GB. To make things a little bit more confusing, Verizon allows the user to manually move apps from “App Space” to “Tablet Space”, there is 4GB of storage in the Tablet Space. However, one thing that Verizon did not account for is that NOT ALL APPS CAN BE MOVED. That’s right! Some apps have a requirement to stay where they are first installed in order to work properly. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Out of the box Android does nothing of this sorts, therefore Verizon purposefully changed the basic Android operating system to restrict the memory in this way. But there is no rhyme, reason, or validity to this decision.
To round off the package it packs a low end punch as far as RAM and the CPU are involved. Only 1 GB of RAM compared to last year’s high end tablets which had 2 and this year’s high end tablets have 3. It does have a quad core processor which is in line with today’s high end competitors. However, it is one of the lowest calibor quad cores processors I’ve gotten my hands on. After direct comparisons with Nexus 7 (2013) , which is also a quad core processor, every application opened quicker and jumping between the exact same applications and loading the same websites, the Nexus 7 (2013) blew it away. Below is a benchmark score from a respected app called AnTuTu Benchmark. You will see the Ellipsis 7 at the very bottom with a score of 13,715 out of 40,000.
I haven’t had a whole lot of fun and I’m not really that impressed with the Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet. It is not the only 7 inch tablet available on Verizon’s network. However, it’s price can’t be beat at $50 for a 2 year contract. While there are others with better specs and better quality, if you are on a budget, it will make do. Personally, I would save the monthly data charges for 4 extra months and buy one of the $200-$250 tablets such as the LG G PAD 8.3 or the Nexus 7 (2013).