Top critical review
3.0 out of 5 starsWhat it does, it generally does well
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 22 December 2022
If you are looking for a simple device to browse the web, scroll social media (Twitter, Facebook apps are available), do email and shop at Amazon, this device will probably meet your needs. It's nippy, with a good screen and battery life is phenomenal. You'll need a cover for it though -The back has less grip than Teflon.
If however you are a dedicated Android user, it will drive you nuts with all the things it doesn't do. That speed and battery life have a high penalty.
The keyboard is terrible - no Swift key here - with no shifted (long press) options or direction arrows, necessitating frequent switches to the numeric layout. The predictive text is also persistently obtuse with hashtags.
No widgets probably wouldn't bother Apple users (like they would be buying this,lol) or customisable home screen - it's basically the app drawer - make this a joyless interface.
On those apps. The lack of Google play store and services is a major handicap. There are some looky-likey apps for Maps, for example, but it's a clunky 'view' of the web version with a constant prompt to switch to the app, which of course isn't available. These apps are not available; Your banking or utilities app, Komoot, Strava, Zwift, Bkool, Evernote, Nimbus, Gmail, Contacts and many many more, probably niche, but valuable to you. Finally no Chrome, Firefox,Opera or Safari. So no browser syncing with other Android, Windows or Apple devices and no browser extensions in the provided Silk browser. So password manager integration is sub-optimal (Lastpass,Dashlane, 1Password are all unavailable anyway). No voice search in Silk either.
The small details niggle. There's no tap screen to wake. No fingerprint scanner. No face recognition. So it's the ON button and The PIN, every time. So ... Old.
The final irritation is the focussed ads. In theory it makes sense to tailor ads to your defined needs, but serving you ads for stuff you have just bought helps neither buyer not seller. The only area this might work is groceries, but there are no ads for those.
In summary, as a long time Android user I find this device an immense irritation to use. It's cheap, but it just doesn't do the job for me. I prefer my phone,even with a screen a third of the size.