Hipad Plus-impressions

Hey, I posted my Hipad Plus-impressions from my first week of use on r/Chuwi on Reddit and I thought it might be a good idea to share them here. Original Reddit-post is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Chuwi/comments/mxsoiw/hipad_plus_impressions_and_kind_of_a_review_after/

Just in case some of you don’t use Reddit I will copypaste it here as well:

I got Hipad Plus little over a week ago and I decided to write my thoughts about the tablet here. Tablet was ordered directly from Chuwi’s website (Spain-warehouse).

Tablet was delivered in a simple well padded Chuwi-box. Packet included tablet, charger and some basic paper stuff like manuals, warranty etc. and that’s it. I wish that they would provided a carrying case here but I fortunately had a couple of tablet cases laying around.

One thing I was particularly impressed by on my Corebook Pro was how well it was made for such a low price and Chuwi has done a good job with the build here as well, tablet has full aluminum body and there’s no plastic to be found as far as I can tell. I have an iPad Air 4 and I think Hipad Plus is bordering if not matching its build quality, back of the Chuwi might have a tad hollower feel to it compared to iPad but not by much (you won’t really notice it unless you’re directly comparing the two) Also the screen of the Chuwi doesn’t seem to have of any kind of protective material on it like on the iPad but instead it’s just pale glass. Tablet has screen protector applied on right out of the box but if you’re like me and want to go without it screen might be something to be careful with. It doesn’t feel super fragile or anything but I’m not convinced would it survive many drops on the floor (if even a one good drop). One minor nitpick I have is the power- and volume buttons which feel little bit flimsy but they probably will be OK if you’re just careful with them.

Chuwi really nailed the display and it’s probably my favorite thing about the tablet. Everything from picture to videos and text looks super sharp and clear and colors appear very vibrant and sparkling. Color accuracy might not be the most realistic/natural looking but it looks great nonetheless. Screen gets super bright and even the lowest brightness level actually looks plenty bright. There might be some light bleed in the corners as well as some visible general backlight from the panel but they are mostly unnoticeable (not really noticeable at all at lower brightness levels). Viewing angles are really good, no complains there. I would even go as far as saying that the display looks better overall than Air 4’s display, iPad might have more natural (but IMO more soft and bland) looking colors and while it doesn’t look literally bad at all there isn’t necessarily anything that would make you go “wow” while watching it. iPad has a tiny bit higher screen resolution (2360x1600 pixels vs 2176x1600 of Chuwi) but I wouldn’t call it a noticeable difference. So yeah, if good looking display is your main thing of interest Hipad Plus might be worth buying just because of that.

Speakers are only adequate but I doubt does really anyone buy their tablets particularly for listening audio playback. If you’re going to use tablet occasionally for listening dialogue on Youtube-videos, podcasts etc. they probably get the job done. I wouldn’t call iPad’s speakers amazing sounding but they sound considerably better. Just like on the iPad there are 4 speakers in total but only two of them are working. I find it little funny how faithfully they mimiced Apple here lol. They also get plenty loud, probably loud enough to fill a small room.

Cameras are pretty much what you would expect from a lower end tablet - very poor. Again, no one buys a tablet for shooting photos but that’s the reason why I’m wondering why companies can’t get rid of the useless rear cameras and put the effort on the front camera because especially during the lockdown people are most likely going to use that as a webcam in video meetings and stuff. Both cameras have very poor focus and stabilizing and generally poor quality but the front cam might be worth using in a video call as long as you’re not required to look too “presentable”.

Then I will cover a bit the general performance and using experience…

I like the software here, it’s just clean and unaltered stock-Android 10 and as a Sony-phone user this pleases me since the UI is similar and I don’t have to stop thinking “how I can find this and that”. Zero bloatware or ads. Latest security update is released fairly recently in February. Hopefully Chuwi will provide software updates in the future if they are needed or possible even update OS to newer Android.

I don’t want to ramble too much about the hardware or benchmarks and things like that but I wish that Chuwi wouldn’t have went with bare minimum… Chipset here (Mediatek 8183) can be found from a lot cheaper tablets (some of them costing even less than half the price of Hipad Plus) so I find it little questionable that Chuwi decided to use it on a almost $300 device. There are couple of cheaper tablets with even slightly superior CPU’s out there (like some models from Teclast and Alldocube with Unisoc Tiger T618 ). Something little more capable would have been appreciated but putting effort on hardware have seemingly never really been Chuwi’s thing but of course it could be a lot worse than this. 128GB storage and 4GB RAM is probably enough for most people. I managed to make one 32GB SD-card detected and working.

Chuwi advertises Hipad Plus having BT 5.0 but in reality it’s 4.2. I haven’t noticed any major connection issues while using something like bluetooth headphones except sometimes the connection starts to cut in and out a bit if I have multiple walls between me and the tablet but it’s very minor and have happened only briefly. Wifi works fine and tablet works with phone’s hotspot without any issues.

So far battery life has been great. I was expecting this thing to be a battery sucker because of the high screen resolution but it’s actually far from that. One reviewer estimated that the tablet would go down about 10% per an hour with 50% brightness and I think that’s pretty accurate. Considering that the screen looks plenty bright even with the minimal brightness you can probably make it with even less than that. If you watch a lots of videos or playing games it’s probably going to drain faster though but in lighter tasks the battery can survive one day of even heavier use easily. I’m less impressed by the charging speeds… They include a 10W charger but I tried charging the Hipad from 1% to 100% with my iPads 20W charger and unfortunately it seems 10W is all the tablet can get because it took enormous 3h 50min (approx.) to fully charge the tablet meaning that you’re getting maybe 15% of charge per half an hour which is painfully slow. They could have went with something like 20W or 18W charger instead. Because of this I have done only partial charges from 20-30% so I can live with it and it’s probably better for the battery in the long run anyway.

General experience while using the UI and apps have been good. I haven’t seen any bugs, apps crashing etc. Some users and reviewers have reported about flickering/screen tearing on bottom of the screen while using the top menu or adjusting the screen brightness but my tablet seems to be free of that. There is some minor lag here and there but it’s not anything that would really bother me, it won’t take ages for apps to open and the tablet feels most of the time more than responsive and fast enough.

Hipad Plus is probably most ideal for light “casual” use and thanks to the display it’s downright great for that. Using Instagram, Tumblr and other similar photo-oriented apps is definitely a visually pleasing experience as well as Youtube. Sharp image quality makes it ideal for reading text on Reddit, ebooks etc. Instagram and Tumblr looks actually really damn good unlike on the iPad where they appeared with huge chunky black bezels making them unusable- and watchable for me, I’m not sure what’s causing this but the 4:3-aspect ratio of Hipad might be more suitable for them. Youtube-playback can work somewhat inconsistently, I think watching video on higher resolutions can be negatively affected by things like amount of apps running in the background or opening heavy webpages (in picture-in-picture-mode) which indicates that the tablet lacks power quite a bit. 4K-content is unwatchable no matter what but everything below that is fine most of the time (minus some minor stuttering from time to time) if you just don’t do too heavy multitasking while watching.

One thing I want to mention is that there is no Widevine L1-certification which means that streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, movies in Youtube and Google Play Store etc. won’t show in HD. Very unfortunate because the display would make the tablet brilliant for watching them but it is how it is. Of course there’s possibility that Chuwi might get and add it later via OTA-update but I don’t feel very optimistic about that. I hope they would at least consider this.

I didn’t buy Hipad Plus for gaming but I have briefly tested how it performs and I can tell you right away that if you’re searching for a tablet particularly for playing mobile games it might be better to look somewhere else. I tried to play some PS One-games with Duckstation HD (emulator app) and results were OK but not great. I tried first running Spyro The Dragon running at 1440p (Duckstation allows you to upscale the resolution of older games which is cool) and the game was borderline unplayable (looked just super laggy and stuttering), 1080p was better but still a bit too laggy. I had to lower the resolution all the way down to 5x to make the game playable and I would say that going even a notch lower than that (720p) might be the most ideal graphics setting. On top of low fps I also experienced some weird audio glitching on 1080p and above (most likely just due to the chipset not being able to keep up because it disappeared after adjusting the graphics low enough). Spyro probably isn’t even the most graphically intense game out there so you might end up having even bigger performance issues with more demanding games. Some lower end or better optimized games are shown to run OK in some video reviews I’ve watched.

I hope this won’t be too long to read lol. I will update this post if something jumps to my mind or if I notice something new (good or bad) about the tablet. Feel free to ask questions if you have something in your mind.

TLDR: Overall a good basic tablet. Could have a bit better hardware but it’s still good enough for everything except more demanding tasks (some games, heavy editing etc.). Charging speed could be faster and I would like to see Widevine L1 some day.

Pros: high quality build, brilliant display, clean, sleek software with zero bloatware (stock-Android 10), very good battery life

Cons: Hardware could be a bit better, slow charging speeds, no Widevine L1

Thank you for this great review.
I have a question concerning the sd-card. Notebookcheck stated in a review, that hipad plus cannot cope with FAT32 or EXFAT format, but only with the old (stone-age-format) FAT. For my use cases I need really much memory space, up to 1 TB, which is not possible with stone-age-fat. Large add-on memory is a main feature for me.
Would you please verify that point?