I found the perfect Android tablet to buy this year

The man has a black Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet with a leather strap.
Tushar Mehta/

The iPad largely dominates the tablet market despite an exceptionally powerful battalion of great Android tablets. However, in the lower price range, Android dominates with countless offerings – often from lesser-known brands. With Google’s renewed interest in the tablet segment, brands like OnePlus introduced major competition in the sub-$500 segment – ​​even challenging the iPad. But as you lower the price, you may find brands cutting costs to remain profitable in the competitive market.

The Blackview Active 8 Pro feels like an exception, with solid and reliable hardware, an everlasting battery, and a desktop-like experience not seen on tablets higher up the price ladder. At just $360 (and likely even cheaper during the holiday shopping season), this tablet seems suitable whether you have an active lifestyle or are just looking for a secondary device to satisfy your appetite for sofa-tainment , or dedicating a device to your children.

Here are the factors that make Blackview’s Active 8 Pro a surprisingly excellent Android tablet – and one you should really buy.

one of the strongest pills

Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet in black on a pile of mud.
Tushar Mehta/

The Blackview Active 8 Pro is built to be a sturdy machine. Needless to say, it’s equipped with the chops to earn that identity. Like some of the other rugged phones we’ve tried in the past, the tablet gets a solid coating of shock-absorbing material that gives it enough strength to withstand hard drops that could easily dent the metal frame and May destroy the plastic or glass housing on other tablets.

The tablet gets a “MIL-STD-810H” military-standard rating for its strength (it is not certified by the military but is suitable for challenging environments). This enables the tablet to withstand challenging temperatures and extreme pressure. It is also resilient to coarse and abrasive materials like sand and can absorb shocks like a pro. Blackview claims the tablet can operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -40° to 60° Celsius (-40°F to 140°F).

As for water and dust resistance, the tablet receives an IP69K rating, which is usually reserved for electronics designed for harsh conditions. The IP rating means it can be submerged under 1.5 meters (about five feet) of freshwater for up to 30 minutes and still survive. More importantly, the “9K” in the rating indicates that the tablet can withstand submersion under high pressures of up to 1,450 pounds per square inch (equivalent to 99 times the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere). To secure it even more there are rubber flaps that seal all possible ports and jacks, including the USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack (yes, there is one!) and the SIM tray. Additionally, extra padding around the corner helps further reduce the impact of drops.

Man holds rubber flap covering ports on Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet.
Tushar Mehta/

Although these features make the Active 8 Pro an admirable gadget for industrial settings, they also give me the freedom to be clumsy with it. I can throw it on the bed and not have a mini heart attack when it bounces off the mattress and lands on the floor. I believe these features also make it ideal for kids and teens who are still learning to be responsible with gadgets.

Seeing its sturdy build and the company’s claims, I couldn’t resist testing the tablet’s strength against drops. Not surprisingly, it survived a fall from five feet to the floor without any visible damage. It’s safe to say that the tablet won’t go haywire, even if it’s used as a makeshift baseball bat or ping-pong paddle.

strength of belt

A man holds a Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet in black with a leather strap around his palm.
Tushar Mehta/

The stiffness comes at the expense of ergonomics, causing the tablet to weigh almost a kilogram (976 grams or 2.15 pounds to be precise). This can make it challenging to use, especially for long periods. But the company has thoughtfully included an additional strap that can be attached to the back, making it much less of a hassle to hold the heavy brick.

The strap is attached to two mounting points on the back of the tablet using screws. The company also includes a mini screwdriver so you don’t have to sift through your tools during initial setup. This is the kind of gesture you would never expect from mainstream brands. The strap is tight enough to hold the back of your palm and rests around the thumb of the hand.

Because of the strap, the entire weight of the tablet falls on the palm, providing a more even distribution of weight than placing the tablet on the bottom edge of your palm. This, in turn, makes the heavy tablet much easier to hold with just one hand and in both vertical and horizontal orientations.

A battery that refuses to drain

The man has a black Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet with a leather strap.
Tushar Mehta/

While most of the tablet’s features are interesting (at best) for their price, what is absolutely mesmerizing is its great battery life. The Blackview Active 8 Pro has a 22,000mAh battery – admittedly, the largest on any device I’ve used. This battery pack is four times larger than the battery pack of the Galaxy S23 Ultra or OnePlus 11. Even the biggest Android tablet we know of – the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra – has only half the battery compared to this.

With a larger battery and less demanding hardware, it’s easy to expect a battery that lasts for several days. In addition to the larger battery pack, changes to the way apps are handled in the background – especially during standby – result in surprisingly long battery life.

I was surprised that the tablet lasted more than 15 days continuously on a single charge. I averaged 1.5-2 hours of usage per day, which included basic tasks like watching video content on YouTube or Netflix, browsing the web, reading e-books or playing light games. During the over a month I had it for testing, I only charged it twice. If you’re constantly into watching content on the go, this tablet could really be a game-changer, eliminating the need for frequent charging – and hence, any battery worries associated with it. Finishes it off.

The following plot shows the battery degradation (measured using the Battery Log app) from 93% on the first day to still 15% remaining on a single charge after 18 days of use:

Blackview Active 8 Pro Android Tablet 22,000mAh battery consumption.
Battery consumption on a single charge with basic usage. Tushar Mehta/

And, while it may seem like it would take years to refill the large 22,000mAh battery, Blackview makes sure the process isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. With the 33W USB-PD charger included in the box, the Active 8 Pro takes about 4.5 hours to charge from 5% to 100% battery capacity.

While this may seem excruciatingly long, the wait is easily dwarfed when you consider the long battery life. In practice, this will only amount to one overnight charging for several days of use, so I don’t mind charging longer than usual.

works well for entertainment

Man holding Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet in black with leather strap on the back.
Tushar Mehta/

The Active 8 Pro gets a nearly 11-inch LCD screen with 2K resolution. There’s no support for HDR or high refresh rates, which means you’ll enjoy it for watching YouTube and casual viewing on other video content apps. However, what immediately changed my opinion and established the tablet as a worthy device for some serious entertainment duties was its set of speakers.

It gets two sets of speakers on the left and right sides, with separate units for bass and treble producing incredible sound. The output is loud and crisp, allowing me to keep the tablet at a reasonable distance and still enjoy music/videos despite environmental disturbances.

A desktop experience not seen at this price

Desktop mode on a handheld Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet.
Tushar Mehta/

The Active 8 Pro’s capabilities as an entertainer go hand in hand with its usefulness as a work machine. Tablets already have built-in Android features like split-screen view for multitasking and productivity. What takes it up a notch is a desktop mode that allows you to open multiple apps as resizable windows.

The experience with desktop mode is similar to Samsung DeX (or the Linux desktop environment), where a taskbar takes up space at the bottom and lets you switch between open apps. The right side of the taskbar is dedicated to quick settings icons and navigation buttons.

On the desktop area, you can easily open several different apps and place icons for the apps you use most often. These windows can be resized and stacked to your liking, with practically no limit to the number of apps running simultaneously. I had 10 apps open simultaneously, actively switching between open apps, without experiencing any lag or crashes. Games even open in windows instead of running in full-screen, so you can easily switch to another app without interrupting your gameplay.

As expected, a keyboard and mouse – whether you use a third-party accessory or choose one by the brand itself – brings this experience closer to a desktop and can prove very useful, whether you need to work on the go. Need to make quick edits to a presentation on the go. Or your child may have to type an entire paper.

Strong hardware to support it all

Gaming on the Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet.
Tushar Mehta/

While the external features and software of the Active 8 Pro tablet provide an enjoyable experience, what’s inside isn’t your typical hardware. The MediaTek Helio G99 chipset and 8GB of RAM not only provide enough power for basic functionality like browsing webpages or watching videos – they’re also more than enough when it comes to more engaging tasks like playing games. I’m enjoying a manga-inspired role-playing game naruto x boruto ninja volta Without any lag or abnormal battery drain on the tablet. Don’t expect it to run heavy games genshin impact Like a breeze, but you can easily enjoy some light dishes without any problem.

The chipset and RAM are complemented by 256 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by another terabyte (TB) of storage using an external SD card. It also features 4G (sadly, not 5G) connectivity that will allow you to stay connected even without an active Wi-Fi connection. Given the SIM support of the tablet, it can be used for data browsing as well as calling.

Although I don’t think many people will use the tablet to take photos, you will get a 48MP rear camera with a Samsung sensor. It captures 12MP by combining four pixels into one for brighter images. For selfies but mainly video calling, there is a 16MP front camera which is fast and accurate.

Why is this Android tablet unusually good?

Blackview Active 8 Pro rugged Android tablet in black with leather strap.
Tushar Mehta/

While there’s no shortage of value-for-money Android tablets out there – especially if you managed to score a good deal over the Black Friday weekend – the Blackview Active 8 Pro distinguishes itself with a robust design that’s ready to take a beating. Is. More importantly, the massive 22,000mAh battery and software optimizations ensure that the battery not only lasts for days. weeks With a single charge, you get unmatched peace of mind.

The company is going to include a desktop mode which, coupled with reliable hardware, can take care of most of your work-related tasks. All things considered, the Active 8 Pro is a machine that’s useful for a variety of purposes, from pure entertainment to hardcore productivity. If you are looking for a secondary Android device, this could be one of the top options you should look at.

blackview active 8 pro

But a limited-time discount brings the price down by 25%, bringing it to $270. To get this discount you have to use the coupon code.active8proAnd this offer is valid only till 8th December.

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