23 Comments

Summary:

With no refresh of the $199 Nexus 7, the latest Android tablet from Hisense is worth a look. It has nearly all of the same hardware features as Google’s tablet, plus a few more, but costs $50 less.

Hisense Sero 7 Pro

The de-facto standard for small Android tablets is arguably Google’s own Nexus 7, which debuted last May. I was expecting to see the popular $199 slate get a refresh at last week’s Google I/O event, but that didn’t happen. Instead Google focused on software: Unifying the services and APIs between Android and Chrome. That opens up a window of opportunity for other Android tablet makers. Take, for example, the Hisense Sero 7 Pro, announced Thursday and now available at WalMart.

Sero 7On the surface the Sero looks just like the Nexus 7 and it shares many of the same hardware specifications: a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, a quad-core 1.3 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, 10 hours of battery life and 1 GB of memory. The device also runs Android 4.2 out of the box, so the software is up to date. The Sero has a few extras though, when compared to the higher priced Nexus 7.

Hisense’s new tablet includes a mini-HDMI port and a microSD expansion slot; neither of which exist on Google’s tablet. The latter port may come in handy, mainly because the Sero only has 8 GB of internal storage. In this area, the Nexus comes out on top with the $199 tablet offering double the capacity. But the Nexus doesn’t have expandable storage, so that 16 GB is all you get.

If you want to output the Nexus 7 display to an external monitor you’re out of luck as it has no HDMI output nor does it support MHL adapters for that purpose.

The Sero 7 Pro has a front-facing camera like the Nexus 7 but it uses a 2 megapixel sensor as compared the 1.2 megapixels on the Nexus 7 camera. Hisense also added a rear camera — not found on the Nexus 7 — with a 5 megapixel sensor.

I may sneak over to my local WalMart to get a quick hands on with the new Hisense slate. If it’s essentially as good as the Nexus 7 with a few extra features included, I think it will be a hot seller at the large retailer. Of course, when Google eventually does give the Nexus 7 an overhaul, it could offer the current model for $149 or less.

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  1. This is pretty interesting. Obviously no one believes that Google isn’t going to refresh the Nexus 7, and soon, but to have better specs AND a better price? Interesting.

    I know most consumers won’t care, but my question is, what’s the bootloader situation look like? I’m going to go ahead and assume the HiSense isn’t one that most people know their way around – did they even bother to lock the bootloader to begin with?

    I dig my Nexus 7 more than I thought I would (coming from an iPad 2), but it definitely gets a bit sluggish – if this HiSense model had 2GB of RAM, I’d be all over it like white on rice.

    1. Kevin C. Tofel rcadden Friday, May 24, 2013

      Ricky, I’m right there with you. If this had 2 GB of RAM, I’d have been at WalMart when they opened up this morning. ;)

      1. I’m happy it doesn’t I’d hate to see your ugly ass in my store. Thanks hisence of 1 gig

    2. HiSense is well known for high rate of failure of their TV’s – just look at customer complaints online – drastically higher than most other budget brands. Spend the extra $50 and buy just about any another brand, chances are it will last significantly longer.

  2. John Nemesh Friday, May 24, 2013

    I would much rather my money go to the Republic of China rather than the People’s Republic of China! No “Hisense” for me.

  3. i just hope it has a sim card slot

  4. No offense but i would pay the extra 50 for asus and not some cheap brand i never heard of

  5. Getting more with less pay, what a fantastic device

  6. The cost is reasonable and makes a good gift for an early Christmas present or Birthday. Some are just not into the specs thing. They only care that it is fast enough and works without a problem. As for my preference, the earlier post if the RAM were 2GB instead of 1GB would definitely catch my interest. a Hifive to Hisense for trying.

  7. I saw this new Sero Pro Model the other day, bought it but had problems and took it back and replaced it but it had problems too. Both the memory slot & HDMI connections on both were bad and system kept flaking out. Spotted some reviews of this today, heads up.

    1. exactly my thought. All I know about hi-sense is that they make insanely low priced big screen tvs that has very high failure rate. They usually thrive on black friday sales. Why would I buy such a brand device over Asus made nexus 7 backed by google. If you find a deal on nexus, the price difference might be well less than fifty bucks. Buy nice than buy twice.

  8. Faheem Ahmed Sunday, May 26, 2013

    will someone buy this for me!

  9. Brian Magers Thursday, May 30, 2013

    I’ve got a Nexus 7 and there are are two major complaint areas that will make me try this other device.

    1) MHL/HDMI – I want this option really bad. The tablet could act as a fully functional computer on any screen anywhere you go.

    2) Rear facing camera. I want one device to do it all which means I need a rear facing camera.

  10. Cloned? The Sero7 is a beast! It beats the Nexus7 – has a back camera, HDMI out and SD card slot AND its cheaper! Looking at the full specs here:

    http://www.sero7.com/2013/05/full-specification-for-sero-7-pro.html

    Blows the nexus7 out of the water!

    1. Sadly, it doesn’t. A shined up piece of crap is still a piece of crap.

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