ZDNET’s key takeaways
- This is a review of the Oukitel OT5 Android tablet, which goes on sale on November 11 $179 on the Oukitel site.
- This tablet has an incredible battery life and a buttery smooth display that is sure to please any Android tablet user
- Cameras cannot be compared to expensive devices.
Android tablets get a bad rap — and for a reason For the most part, Android tablet hardware simply can’t compete with Apple.
While Apple focuses on premium, flagship hardware, most Android tablets lean heavily into the budget-friendly zone. And that approach is great because it makes Android tablets affordable But for those looking for a more advanced experience, Android tablets are a tough sell these days. Often they include underpowered CPUs, not enough RAM, or displays that don’t impress.
Also: These are the best Android tablets you can buy
Every once in a while, however, I run into an Android tablet that punches above its weight. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never used a sub-$200 tablet that ticked every box. But once in a while, a tablet comes along that ticks off most of the important items.
To be clear, I don’t need a table with a best-in-class camera because I don’t tend to use tablets for video or photo purposes. What I need is a table with enough resources to not lag and not collapse under the weight of multitasking.
Recommended by ZDNET
Oukitel OT5 Tablet
This 12-inch tablet impresses in enough categories to make it a no-brainer recommendation.
I need an Android tablet that makes it easy to work with the Google suite of tools, read the news, work with my teleprompter, and watch the occasional video. I need a tablet with a solid battery life
So, when someone from Oukitel reached out to me to review the OT5 tablet, I was willing to give it a go (assuming it would impress). When I got the tablet, I put it away, connected it to my wireless network, linked it to my Google account, and had a game.
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To my surprise, this sub-$200 tablet really impressed me.
No, it’s not going to be the best of Apple’s flagship tablets, but the OT5 can certainly stand toe-to-toe with any mid-range Android tablet – even some flagship devices.
Before diving into my experience with the tablet, let’s take a look at the specs:
- 12″ 2K display with 2000 x 1200 resolution that is TÜV SÜD certified
- Corning Gorilla Grass 5 Screen
- MediaTek Helio G99 Octa-Core CPU
- 86% screen-to-body ratio
- 16MP main camera
- Four 1217 speaker boxes
- 11000mAh battery
- 36GB of RAM
- 256GB internal storage
- 7.5 mm thick and weighs 560 grams
- OS Android 13
- The OT5 comes in grey, blue or green and has a soft cover that doubles as a stand
My experience with OT5
The first thing that grabbed me about the device was the display. It’s pretty, crisp, bright and big. Even the Windows 11-esque default wallpaper didn’t bother me. In fact, the OT5’s display is probably the best I’ve seen at this price point. I’d go so far as to say it’s better than other, more expensive, tablets I’ve tested.
Next, came the smoothness of the UI. Thanks to the 32GB RAM, 8-core CPU, and Android 13, the OT5 interface is great. Apps open quickly and switching between them is smooth as butter.
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What really struck me about the OT5 was the battery life. I have been using the device for about two weeks and charged once. Now, I’m not saying you’ll get the same longevity from a single charge. If you use the tablet for social media, watching a lot of videos or doing video conferencing, I’m sure the battery life will decrease dramatically. But for my general use, the OT5’s battery has been seriously impressive.
Consider the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra (which usually sells for $900-$1,200), which has an 11,200mAh battery. The OT5 (which retails for $179.99) has an 11,000mAh battery. If battery life is a high priority, you certainly can’t go wrong with this tablet.
Of course, a sub-$200 tablet will have a caveat or two. The big problem with the OT5 is the camera. That’s not to say they’re bad. They actually take serviceable photos, as long as you have good lighting. In poor light, the cameras on most modern phones can’t stand up. But if you can always find good lighting, you’ll find the photos aren’t terrible.
This is the case for both front and rear cameras. However, I was actually surprised that the lesser of the two cameras (the “selfie” camera) did a fairly good job of capturing subjects, as long as the lighting was good.
My biggest issue with the camera, however, is the lack of options. I’m used to Pixel cameras (which, I know, is an unfair comparison) that have portrait, macro, and other modes to create stunning photos. Instead, the OT5 camera app is fairly generic. You get photos and videos and not much else. But it’s a tablet, so you shouldn’t expect the level of flexibility found on phones, especially the Pixel 8 Pro.
So, if you need to venture into the fundamentals of tablet photography, you’ll have no problem with the OT5.
ZDNET’s buying advice
If you’re looking for an inexpensive Android tablet for yourself or as a holiday gift for a friend or loved one, the Oukitel OT5 is an outstanding bargain that makes a strong case for the continuation of Android tablets.