Expro x1 from IRULU: briefly about how engineers tried on firmware for the tablet

Not so long ago they suggested that I write an IRULU product reviewer. I already met their tablet in “discounts and sales”. I decided to take a try for the sake of curiosity.
I’ll warn you right away, the tablet is very simple, but I will test as well as everyone else.
And of course it will not do without disassembly.
First, I’ll give you the technical specifications.
Operating System: Android 4.4.2
Processor: AllWinner A33 4 core Cortex-A7
GPU: Mali-400 MP2
RAM (RAM): 512 MB
Internal drive: 16 GB
MicroSD card slot
7 inch TFT display
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Frontal: 0.3 mr
Rear: 0.3mr
Local Area Network: WiFi: 802.11b / g / n
3.5mm headphone jack
MicroUSB slot with OTG support
Battery: 2800mAh
Multitouch 5 touches
Size and weight: length x width x height: 193 x 121 x 9 mm
Weight about 270 grams
I foresee comments of the form - Is Kirich really assembled a time machine and brought a tablet as a demonstration?
No, unfortunately, I have not yet assembled a time machine, and the tablet is from ours, quite real time.
However, let's take it in order, everything has its time.
There were no questions at all about packaging, depreciation in the form of an air mattress, a box of thick cardboard sealed in a film, and a tablet in two packages, soft and ordinary.

The package bundle is extremely simple, although later I will mention it separately.
1. Multilingual instruction, no Russian.
2. Quick start guide in English and USB-microUSB cable.

Since the equipment is simple, and there is no PSU in the kit at all, I will turn to the subject of review, the IRULU Expro x1 tablet.
In addition to the main protective film, the displaythe transportation is also pasted up, where relatively brief information is also present, where to click, where to look and where to call if it doesn’t work when pressed, but does not show when viewed.
In any case, the manufacturer in his own way tried to give as much information as possible, only in English and, accordingly, quite a lot of people from all this will understand only the phone number.

Okay, removes the transport film and go to the external examination.
The tablet is very small, although taking into account the size of the screen it could be even smaller. The case is completely plastic, although there were no questions about ergonomics, it’s even convenient in its own way.

Suddenly revealed that I rarely meeton other tablets. The screen is slightly recessed into the case so that a frame around 0.5-1mm is obtained along the perimeter, i.e. If you put the tablet on the table with the display down, then it (the screen) will not be scratched.
With the general simplicity and budget of the device, this trifle was convenient.
In the photo I tried to show this side, but alas, black on black photographing is not very convenient.

The volume control buttons, as well as the headphone jack, are placed on the right side of the case.
In the upper right part there is a power button, power socket, microUSB and a microphone (in the photo it is in the very right part).

The front camera is also slightly recessed into the housing and has a protective film.

The back of the case is simply smooth, not a soft touch, not gloss, ordinary smooth matte plastic.

At the very beginning, I mentioned the cable as a complete cable, and above the power connector.
The fact is that already in the process of preparing the review,More precisely, the selection of photos, I noticed a power socket on the tablet. It is essentially no wonder, the bundle comes with the usual microUSB-USB cable, but I didn’t notice that there is a separate socket.
How did it happen that the manufacturer did not give inone more cable is bundled and thereby deprived users of a rather important advantage - a separate power socket, for me it remains a mystery. I remember quite often people are tormented using special USB hubs to simultaneously charge and use the tablet. Everything is there, but no cable.
A connector for a thin plug (like in Nokia phones).

Bottom left (if you hold the tablet with the screen toyourself), there is a speaker. I can say that the speaker is quite loud and quite high quality, which is very pleased. But it was disappointing that at the start of the tablet a short melody is played and it cannot be turned off. And since the speaker is quite loud, sometimes it can be annoying.
Also located behind is the second camera. At first I wanted to take some photos of how she takes, but I can say right away, the resolution is 640x480, then I think everything is clear, even my old Siemens M75 shoots better.

There are also no complaints about the weight, due to the fact that the case is plastic, the tablet weighs not very much, only 270 grams, a little more than a modern smartphone.
This parameter is critical for those who take a tablet for a child, as holding heavy models can be difficult.

For comparison, the sizes of devices with different screen diagonals.
5-inch smartphone, monitored tablet, 8.9-inch tablet. The photo was specially made so that, in addition to the size of the devices themselves, the screen area is at least a little visible.

The first inclusion, nothing unusual, well, except for a little melody at start стар
By the way, the tablet is loaded relatively quickly, especially considering only 512MB of RAM.

Then I conducted various tests and went on todisassembly, but I will post the description of disassembly before the tests. I already wrote once that I try to disassemble it after the tests, "so as not to violate the reporting", and, more correctly, for the purity of the experiment.
The tablet opens very simply, this is facilitated by a plastic case. I inserted the opener blade and just ran around the perimeter.

The WiFi antenna is mounted in the upper left corner, and the speaker is glued to the back cover. The speaker contacts are additionally insulated with glue.

On top of the board there was a foil screen with an additional layer, the material of which I could not make out, however it doesn’t matter.
In general, if you remove this foil, which simultaneously acts as a radiator, you can get to the filling of the tablet.
If you do not take into account the abundance of rag tape, it looks relatively neat, although it feels like a budget.

1. The tablet is based on the SoC A33 from AllWinner. This processor was announced almost three years ago and of course we can say that it is weak, very weak, just super weak, if not for a small nuance. I already somehow did a review of a small computer called CubieTruck where an even weaker version was used - A20 (two cores), and at the same time quite desktop Linux worked without problems, therefore it can be said that everything is relatively and pretty much dependent on software optimization and ... cooling. In this case, the cooling is weak, the tablet body is noticeably heated under load.
2. Two Samsung RAM chips are installed, which is pretty good if not in terms of speed, then presumably at least in terms of reliability.
3. Flash memory is also not anonymous, manufactured by SKhynix.
4. WiFi is implemented on the basis of the RTL8703 chip, from the no less well-known company Reaktek, although the chips of this company are most often used in tablets and TV boxes, therefore there is nothing new.

Also found on the board:
1. Presumably an accelerometer.
2. Multi-channel power controller
3. Touchscreen controller
4. Sound amplifier and backlight power converter.
Perhaps I did not find only an audio chip.

Two cameras are hanging on the same cable, but as I said, in this case they are more likely camera emulators, since the image is really sad.

The tablet is powered by a lithium battery with a declared capacity of 2800mAh. The battery belongs to the "old" type, that is, 3.7 / 4.2 Volts, and not 3.8 / 4.35, as they often use now.
The capacity is certainly small, to say the least, but my goal in this case was not to evaluate a lot or a little, but it corresponds or not, since on the product page a capacity of 2800mAh is also stated.

The battery was sealed off from the tablet and connected to the battery tester. I already somehow explained why I test the battery capacity in this way.

As a result, I got a result even slightly higher than the declared, 2883 mAh instead of 2800 or 10.67 Wh instead of 10.36.
The test was carried out according to a simplified method, the charge is up to4.2 Volts with shutdown at a current of 100 mA, and then discharge to a voltage of 2.8 Volts with a current of 1 Ampere. Initially, the current was set to 1.4 Amperes, or 0.5C, but after 5-10 minutes the battery protection turned off the bank and I had to reduce the current to 1 Ampere.

That's all with disassembly, you can proceed to further tests and software inspection.
But first, a few words about the screen. The characteristics indicate that the TFT matrix is ​​used. Yes, this is not IPS, but a much simpler TFT, and unfortunately in its very not the best option.
If in a vertical orientation everything looks relatively good externally, then in a horizontal orientation they are completely inverted at an angle of about 45 degrees.

For comparison, the photo next to the phone which has an IPS matrix, although also from the budget.
By the way, do not forget that the resolution is 1024x600, i.e. 1.7, and not 1.77 as in 1280x720 or 1920x1080, because the screen turns out noticeably narrower than with the same smartphone.

As I wrote above, in a vertical orientation, the image looks normal, although the brightness is not enough, even when set to 100% I want to add another 20-35.
This could be finished with a descriptionscreen if not for one but, and unfortunately again unpleasant. The fact is that such a tablet could be used as a book reader, but because of the small viewing angles, even with a vertical orientation, a problem comes out, a different truth. Colors are not inverted, everything is beautiful outwardly, but since a person has two eyes, it turns out that we see a slightly distorted image in one direction with one eye and a little distorted in the other direction with the other eye. Therefore, in this case, when viewing in a vertical orientation, the eyes get tired very quickly. It’s like when watching 3D without glasses.
The optimal position for this tablet is horizontal, with not a very large deviation from the center axis of the screen.

With the hardware everything, you can safely switch to the software, as well as performance tests.
To start about the first inclusion. There are a lot of questions, suggestions and tips on how to do everything better and more convenient, I have never seen this before.

And then I was offered to download a bunch of software at all,not very necessary. Be careful, some positions are selected by default, and since the test passed in a state as close as possible to the base, I canceled everything.
No, well, in its own way a good solution is possible,they launched the tablet for the first time, they immediately offered you a bunch of options, downloaded in bulk and don’t think further, but as for me, it’s an amateur ... heaps of useless software.

Again tips ...
A lot of programs were initially installed, later I will talk briefly about them.

Yes, comrades, Android version 4 is installed here, not 5, 6, or 7, but the Quartet is quite old, but I think that this processor is also possible at the time, especially considering only 512MB of RAM.
Perhaps a little can compensate for the badthe mood from a small amount of RAM is 16 GB of flash, and it was a little strange for me to see such a ratio of RAM / flash, somehow you often see configurations like 1/8, 2/16 or 2/32.
When we try to update, we receive a notification that everything is OK and there are no updates.

In the display settings, the presence of the ability to work with wireless displays slightly cheered up, although in my opinion it is unlikely that anyone will use it.
Along the way, I saw quite a few running processes, some of which seem to me superfluous.
But I can not help but note a very convenient file manager, using is really simple and easy.

Again, there is nothing new here, becausethe screenshots are more likely “for reporting”, but in the process I accidentally noticed that for some reason the battery is displayed as LiFe, but we already know that this is not so.

In the light of the budget device, I'm quite familiarI expected to see this with two touches, but it turned out that the picture is slightly better and the test displays five touches, and there were no special problems in this regard during operation.
Actually, there are only one sensors, an accelerometer, except for the microphone as a sensor.
In order not to produce screenshots, I also attached a test of the speed of working with RAM and a flash here, the test refused to check the SD card.
Well what can I say, slowly, 678MB / s RAM and 17/12 flash. During operation, this is also noticeable in the form of some "lethargy" behavior.

AnTuTu predictably shows a relatively low result, 15600 in version 5.2 (poorly visible, noticed late) and 14000 in version 6.

Geekbench also clearly does not shine with large values, and I could not install version 4 at all.
Along the way, I checked the battery life in this testwork, especially since the processor was initially positioned as low-power. But really came out a little more than three hours at maximum screen brightness. In a typical application, I think it will be about 4 hours of playing a movie, hardly more. If you want to play, it’s rather closer to 2.5-3 hours, again not enough.

The battery charge graph looks a little strange, after a full discharge and connection of the charging reading, they immediately jump to about 60%, and then grow smoothly.

AnTuTu Video, well here it is clear what miracles to expectit’s not worth it, you can forget about “high-level” formats right away, although I think that there are few people who come in to watch 4k videos on this device. I tried, and for the first time I saw how my test Doctor House in FullHD .MKV issued a message - this format is not supported. But as far as I know, with simple formats, everything is noticeably simpler, since most of them are supported by hardware and, therefore, will most likely work.

When I ran the familiar Epic Citadel test, I openly doubted whether it would start.
But the test starts, it slows down of course, but it works, and without any artifacts.
In High Qality it issued 44.8, and in Ultra 22.8, which, as for me, is pretty good. For the most part, it works only thanks to the small resolution, trimmed also by the bottom panel with buttons.

This test was just for fun, but itIt also passed without problems, though after such tests the tablet “wakes up” for a long time, because in order to download such a program, you have to unload everything that is possible from the memory.

The Cinebench test passed without problems, but on the 3Dmark the tablet saved. I downloaded the update and then silence, the test does not start normally, alas.
But I checked the WiFi and the result wasquite normal. The tablet calmly sees my access point from anywhere in the apartment, although it does not show normal speed in all places. But the fact of a rather stable connection and decent sensitivity is already pleasing.
In the screenshot, the results turned out in the reverse order than I usually demonstrate in the review, so just in case I’ll explain:
1. About 1.5m from the router
2. Neighboring room with a router
3. About 6m from the router, there are obstacles in the form of interior walls.
4. About 11m, quite a lot of obstacles.
5. 12m, bearing and interior walls.

With tests everything, I will pass to the description of the preinstalled software.
I think many noticed a small circle onscreenshots, this is actually a shortcut menu for some functions. If necessary, the menu can be customized by adding or removing some of them. It’s very convenient in its own way, although annoying in some applications.

There are quite a lot of programs from Amazon,this is access to the store, and the Kindle reader, Amazon video, and more. but naturally, part of the content is paid, and access anywhere requires an Amazon account.

There is also some kind of messenger, and a program for reading news, though consisting of approximately 99% of news about politics, which against the general background looks somehow awkward.

There is also a YouTube application, and it works great. You probably don’t look at FullHD, but otherwise, in my opinion, it’s more than normal.

And finally, the game.
I think we all understand that the 2014 processor is unlikely to be capable of something grandiose, so you can really count on games like the ones shown in the screenshots.

In principle, I think the tablet will pull and NeedForSpeed,but Asphalt is gone. Of course, I tried to install it, then the game reported that there is a new version, then updated the new version, and then refused to start normally, just freezing.
And as a small portion of the positive, the original translation of the exit confirmation in the file manager

What in the end can be said in the summary of this device, for a start I will divide by points.
Convenient housing with screen protection
Fully Viable WiFi
16GB flash memory
A separate slot for powering the tablet
Relatively thought out software
Durable packaging
TFT matrix, not IPS, and very poor quality
512MB RAM total
Low speed RAM and flash memory
Small battery
Low resolution cameras
The lack of a power cable
My opinion. The first time I turned on the tablet I even liked it, mainly due to the “friendly” software, personally it seemed to me very convenient. The second pleasant surprise was WiFi that was working fine, which not only immediately “saw” my access point, but also “hooked” to it without any problems. However, the joys ended there.
The first disappointment was a matrix of very lowquality, the image is normally perceived only in a horizontal orientation, and then at small angles, in terms of brightness, a roughly similar situation had to be set to the maximum.
The second thing I noticed is periodichangs, especially after (and sometimes on time) the completion of resource-intensive tasks. In this case, the problem does not relate to software or malfunctions, but to the banal lack of RAM, an additional 512MB would significantly improve the situation.
And of course the battery, 3-4 hours of autonomy is still not enough, at least in my opinion.
Well, if very briefly, it is clear that the engineersWe tried on the software part, installed completely proprietary components, but they ruined everything with a bad matrix and a small amount of memory. In fact, I’m ready to relate normally to any cameras, since I did not expect miracles, and to a small battery, although there is a place for a more capacious one, but otherwise ...
However, after writing a review by chanceThere was a very real and useful application for this tablet. At home, I used to listen to online radio, usually 101.ru. But as it turned out, this tablet is suitable for this pretty well as it has:
1. Relatively good sound.
2. The sensitivity of WiFi is enough for normal operation anywhere in my apartment.
3. A separate socket for connecting power, which means you can have free USB for connecting flash drives.
4. OTG.
And since this tablet does not need a high-quality matrix, a capacious battery and high performance.
Now it remains to take some kind of power supply,a small D class amplifier of about 2x5 watts, a pair of speakers, stuff it all into a suitable box and get an IP radio with a 7 inch screen. In general, if there is time, I’ll try to do it, just for the mood
In general, the review was originally planned a littleanother tablet model of this company, it costs a little more, but it has 1280x800 IPS, 1 / 16GB of RAM / flash, as well as a 4000mAh battery and a 2MP camera. True, in terms of the target audience, it has a more explicit positioning, but the seller for some reason decided differently.
The review lay in draft copies for quite a while, since I was waiting for a response from the manager and most likely a price reduction, but no one answers my letters, so I post it as is, excuse me.
Now everything seems to be, I hope that the review was useful, I tried to be as objective as possible.