4.3 inch Emerson Tablet Review and Recommendations
So I recently purchased 2 of those Emerson 4.3 inch tablets that were available at Big Lots for 60 dollars. I got one for each of my 2 children for Christmas. Why? Well for one reason, they both love playing with my android phone and my wife’s iPhone. For another, I really can’t afford 2 more phones. And, I cannot afford a 200 dollar tablet.
So I decided to try out the Emerson tablets. I figured the worst thing that could happen is that I have to return it, which I have until January to do. So, there’s very little risk for me. Plus, since it’s 4.3 inches, it looks like a phone and is very portable.
Well, after testing out the devices for the past couple of weeks, I have to say I’m pretty happy with the performance and the value. I was successfully able to install all the apps I was looking for, and the performance of the device is fine. The Emerson Tablet is the same as the Polaroid PMID4311 4.3″ Tablet
There are only 2 real drawbacks to the device that I can see. One is that the screen resolution is grainy for text. Two, the device only come with two gigabytes of storage. So, you pretty much have to buy a 20 dollar micro SD cardto boost memory. Given the price for the device, these 2 items are not surprising and no big deal, as far as I’m concerned. The device has it where it counts. The performance is fine, and it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich, which is cool.
If there is one other minor drawback that I noticed, it’s that the USB connection to charge the device is loose. It comes out by itself very easily, so you really have to position it well on the table to make sure that the cable does not come out and your device gets charged. Again, for 60 dollars, I can live with this minor annoyance.
So, for those of you thinking about getting this tablet, or if you got it already and are wondering how to get favorite apps on there, here is what I did to setup my Emerson 4.3 inch tablet:
1. The Emerson comes with widgets on the home screen. One of the widgets willsend you to a page that lets you download some app stores. So, I connected the Emerson to the wifi in the settings, and then went to the widget and downloaded the Amazon app store. This, by far, is the safest App Store there is if you’re buying this device for children. However, the Amazon app store does not have all the Google Apps, like maps or the play music app. In order to get that, you need to download the 1 Mobile App Store, download what you need from there, and then uninstall that app store. I repeat, you do not want to leave that app store on your device if you’re buying this for children. Why? Because that app store contains R rated material that would not be appropriate for youngsters. I guess that’s how they make their money.
So, leave the Amazon app store on the device. If your kids want an app that cost money, tell them to click the save for later button. And then, later on, you can download the 1 mobile app store again, download the app you need for free, and then uninstall that app store. The save for later function in the Amazon App Store will show you the apps your kids want, and then you just have to download it from somewhere else. Or you can just pay for it. Of course, if you’re buying a 60 dollar tablet, you’re probably interested in saving money, so I would recommend getting apps from another store.
I also believe it’s very easy to sideload apps into this Emerson tablet. So if you want to download the apk from your computer to your device, be my guest. I also believe it possible to download the apk from the 1 Mobile App Store. I have not tried it, but that would certainly make it easier to get the apps, as opposed to having to reinstall and uninstall the app store.
2. If you decide to install the YouTube app on your device, be sure to put the safe search mode to strict if you’re giving this to kids.
3. I like to group my favorite apps into categories on the home screen. It’s very easy to create folders in Ice Cream Sandwich. You just put 1 app on top of the other and it automatically creates a folder. Then you click the folder, click the bottom of the folder, and name the folder whatever you want.
So, I’ll put games in 1 folder, reading apps in another folder, like the Kindle, map apps in another folder, like NYC mate or Google Sky Map, and so on and so on. You can leave it up to your kids to organize it, or you can show them how its done. I figured I’d help them out, and then they can do whatever they want what the apps.
4. The main reason I got the tablet for the kids was so they could make phone calls. I downloaded and installed Google Voice (you need a phone number to associate the account to, as far as I know), then installed Viber. Once I activated Viber with the Google Voice number (you can get the activation code by having Viber call your Google Voice number), I was able to send and receive calls to other Viber members (just install Viber on your cellphone).
A side benefit of this is that you can also use the Google Voice number to sign up for Tango, which allows you to make video calls to Tango members. Most of our family is on Tango, so it’s a great way for the kids to stay connected.
Of course, WiFi is required for phone or video calls. The WiFi works well at home and at fast foods places like Subway.
5. A word of warning to you: setting up your tablet properly can take hours. The way I see it, I could spend all Christmas Day setting up these tablets or I could set it up ahead of time for the kids. If you’re buying this device for children, I think it’s critical that you childproof the device as much as possible, and set it up properly before hand. That way, your kids can start using the device immediately, watching Netflix or playing Agent Dash, and you can enjoy the Christmas spirit.
For more cool Android Tablets under $100, check out this buyers guide I wrote for all the readers of this blog: