Torque EGO Phab Review

Last time we’ve told you about the Torque EGO Phab, the 7-inch tablet with call and text features that only costs Php 2,190. Now that we’ve spent some quality time with this tablet, we’re ready to share what we think about this very affordable tablet.

Torque Evo Phab and Android tablet

Design and Build

As one would expect from an inexpensive device, the Torque EGO Phab’s austere design isn’t exactly an embodiment of artful craftsmanship. Taking in to consideration, however, that this tablet is cheaper than a high-capacity powerbank from a reputable brand, it’s actually pretty decent compared to other cheap tablets from some shady brand that you’ve probably never heard of.

A quick tour of the EGO Phab reveals that it doesn’t deviate from the usual placement of the external components such as ports and buttons. Up top, you’ll find two ports: one for the headphone jack, and the other for the bundled USB cable for charging and data transfer.

Torque Evo Phab and Android tablet

Along the right side of the tablet are three physical keys, the volume rocker and the power button, which are neighbored by a pinhole for resetting the device. Meanwhile, the left and bottom sections of the tablet are devoid of any keys or ports.

The two SIM card slots, and the microSD card slot can be accessed by prying open the plastic cover just above the device. The protective plastic cover also shields the tablet’s 5-megapixel rear from accidental scratches or bumps.

Finally the EGO Phab’s 7-inch display, which occupies a good portion of the tablet’s front panel, is bordered by thick bezels. Just above it is the tablet’s earpiece, next to the 3-megapixel front-mounted camera.

Display and Multimedia

Since we touched upon the EGO Phab’s display, we can’t help but feel underwhelmed by its inability to provide a decent viewing experience. The resolution of the screen is fairly low, the touchscreen panel sometimes fails to recognize touch inputs, the colors don’t appear as they should, and the screen only offers a very narrow viewing angle.

Torque Evo Phab and Android tablet

On top of that, the sound performance we got out of the tablet’s loudspeaker is equally disappointing to say the least. Even at its loudest, we still find ourselves cupping our hand at the back of the tablet just to hear the sound better. Needless to say, you owe it yourself to get a decent set of earphones to go along with the EGO Phab because the loudspeaker is not up to par.

Part of the reason why the EGO Phab’s isn’t exactly the best pick for immersive media consumption is because of the tablet’s aggressive price tag. Torque had to cut some in order to keep the price at a minimum, and since the display usually account for a huge portion of any device’s cost, the OEM was forced to choose utility over beauty. But had they raised the bar a little bit higher, we think that they could’ve picked a tablet with a better display, and maybe even a better loudspeaker.

OS, UI and Apps

Although having to use a device running on Android KitKat as daily driver is a refreshing break from all the Lollipop and Marshmallow devices that we have lined up for review, it doesn’t take away the fact that this tablet is two generations behind as far as software advancements go.

It would’ve been better if the EVO Phab have come pre-installed with at least Android Lollipop, but it shouldn’t be a big deal breaker, especially if you’re not that particular with your device’s OS.

The EVO Phab’s interface looks and feels like stock Android which is a big plus for us. We also appreciate that Torque didn’t overextend with the pre-installed apps either. Apart from a few light but purposeful utility apps (App Manager, Clean Master, DU Speed Booster, and Easy Battery Saver), Torque has done a fairly decent job of keeping bloatware at a minimum.

On the other hand, the EVO Phab does not come pre-installed with the essential Google apps (YouTube, Maps, Gmail).

Torque EGO Phab UI

Camera

Like most of the components that we’ve discussed so far, the EVO Phab’s cameras aren’t exactly groundbreaking in terms of performance, but it should be enough to handle your basic photography needs. It would have certainly been nice if it had a flash, especially since the EVO Phab’s rear camera doesn’t have the fastest lens out there, but then again we’re probably asking a bit too much from a Php2,190-worth tablet.

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 6

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 5

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 1

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 2

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 3

Torque EVO Phab Sample Camera 4

 

Performance and Benchmark

The tablet’s modest internals, consisting of a MediaTek MT8312 dual-core processor with half a gigabyte of RAM, only has just enough horsepower to keep things smooth for fundamental tasks. We were still able to run EA Sports UFC on it, although lags and drops in frame rates are noticeable, albeit the game is still playable provided that there are no other apps running on the background.

Torque EGO Phab Benchmarks

AnTuTu: 12,541
Geekbench 3: 572 (Multicore), 322 (Single Core)
Quadrant: 5,169
Vellamo: 809 (Multicore), 584 (Metal), 996 (Chrome Browser)

Battery Life

On our video loop test, the EGO Phab’s 2,500mAh battery pack only lasted for 4 hours and 51 minutes as seen on the screenshot below. Large displays inherently consume a lot of power, and we saw roughly the same mileage when we ran PCMark Work Battery Life test on the tablet.

Torque EVO Phab Battery Loop

 

Torque EVO Phab PCMark

Conclusion

When dealing with a super-affordable device, expect that there’s always going to be compromises. As the price goes lower, these comprises becomes more evident, and such is the case with the Torque EVO Phab. If you’re on a tight budget, the Torque EVO Phab is a decent investment despite the modest things that it had to offer. However, if you can shell out more money in to your next tablet, there are certainly better options out there.

What we like about it:

* Respectable build for its price
* Support for dual-SIM
* Call and Text functionalities
* Very affordable price tag

What we didn’t like about it:

* Poor display quality
* Inadequate sound output from loudspeaker
* Essential Google Apps are not pre-installed
* Not ideal for graphics-heavy apps

Torque EGO Phab specs:

OSAndroid 4.4 (KitKat)
Processor1.3GHz dual-core processor
Memory512MB
Display7-inch touchscreen display, 1024 x 600
StorageExpandable 8GB on-board storage
Camera5-megapixel rear camera + 3-megapixel front camera
SIMDual-SIM
Battery2,500mAh
Others Call and Text feature
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