Looking at Black Friday 7″ Android Tablet Deals

With the iPad mini 2 selling for $269, those 7″ tablet deals showing up in Black Friday announcements sound like an incredible deal. Or are they?

seven inch tablets

Some of the 7″ tablets on sale for Black Friday showing relative size.

I’ve been going through some Black Friday sales flyers and seen quite a few 7″ Android tablets at $50 or less. None of these are big name brand products, and so far they all seem to have older versions of Android as well, although a few are just one version behind.

With Android 6.0 Marshmallow recently released, one big question is whether these tablets can be updated to it – or to any more recent version of Android. Then there are questions of screen resolution and quality, camera quality, WiFi connectivity options, and build quality. Also, keep in mind that brands such as RCA and Polaroid are not the companies we knew in the past; they are just brands used for marketing nowadays.

Be aware that a lot of places selling tablets for the holidays don’t normally stock and sell this type of device, so you may not be able to find anyone familiar with the equipment, so buying online can be a real alternative to standing in line. Quantities may be limited. I hope this article will help you sort through some of the options.

BTW, Android versions proceed up the alphabet as follows:

  • 4.0-4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), October 2011
  • 4.1-4.1.2 Jelly Bean, July 2012
  • 4.4-4.4.4 Kit Kat, October 2013
  • 5.0-5.1.1 Lollipop, November 2014
  • 6.0 Marshmallow, October 2015

Except for the NuVision tablet, all tablets listed are based on ARM processors. The NuVision is the only Intel Atom-based model in this list.

Nuvision 7 inch tablet

NuVision

This one is pretty up-to-date with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Staples usually sells this model for $70 but is blowing it out at $40 over Black Friday.

  • CPU: 1.83 GHz quad-core Intel Atom
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 32 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: 2 MP
  • Front camera: 0.3 MP 640 x 480 pixel VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions: 7.58″ x 4.25″ x 0.4″
  • Weight: 0.6 lb.

More info on the Nuvision website.

On the plus side, it’s only one Android version behind. There’s not much in the way of online reviews, but we have seen comments about it being a slow system.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Fire, $35

This is Amazon’s entry-level Kindle Fire with just 8 GB of built-in storage. It retails for $50. Part of the reason for this price is that it display ads – removing ads costs $15 additional. $35 at Best Buy.

  • CPU: 1.3 GHz quad-core
  • RAM: unknown
  • OS: Fire OS 5, customized version of Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 128 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600 pixels
  • Rear camera: 2 MP, 720p video
  • Front camera: 640 x 480 VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth:
  • Dimensions: 7.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″
  • Weight:

More details on the Amazon.com website.

Of all the tablets covered here, this is the most likely to receive an update to Android 6 Marshmallow, although it will be customized by Amazon and called Fire OS 6.

Engadget calls this an incredible value with great battery life, so it should be a top contender among Black Friday options. PCMag goes on and on about its great value as well, giving it an Editors’ Choice.

RCA 7 Voyager II tablet

RCA 7 Voyager II

Walmart is selling this 7-incher for $35 and will offer it for $28.88 as a Black Friday special. Part no. is RCT6773W22B. The manual is online.

  • CPU: 1.4 GHz quad-core
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 32 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: 2 MP, 720p video
  • Front camera: 640 x 480 VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions: 7.56″ x 4.65″ x 0.47″
  • Weight: 0.63 lb.

More details on the RCA website.

With 93 customer reviews, the RCA 7 Voyager II averages a 3.4 rating out of 5 at Amazon.com, where it sells for $50. Comments include average battery life, slow charging, but sturdy for the price.

Camelio 2 tabletCamelio 2

Sold under the Sakar and Vivitar brand names, the Camelio 2 was widely available during the 2014 holiday season and appears to be discontinued. However, Toys R Us is selling it for $30.

  • CPU: 1.1 GHz
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Storage: 4 GB
  • Expansion: T Flash Card to 32 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: 2 MP
  • Front camera: 0.5 MP
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz only)
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions: 8.0″ x 4.76″ x 0.45″
  • Weight: 0.74 lb.

Reviewed on Gamer’s Temple, which calls it “a slow, constrained tablet”

Polaroid S7 tabletPolaroid S7

This is a close-out deal at Kohl’s for $50.

  • CPU: 1.6 GHz dual-core
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Storage: 4 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: 2 MP, 720p video
  • Front camera: 640 x 480 VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions:
  • Weight:

More info on the Polaroid website.

Amazon.com users give this an average rating of 3 out of 5 stars, while Toys R Us customers are a bit more generous, averaging 3.5 out of 5. Lots of warnings against buying this one.

Polaroid A7 tabletPolaroid A7

This is also a close-out deal at Kohl’s for $50.

  • CPU: 1 GHz dual-core Rockchip
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • OS: Android 4.4 Kit Kat
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 32 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: yes
  • Front camera: 640 x 480 VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions:
  • Weight:

Not too many details on the Polaroid website.

Linsay F-7 tabletLinsay

This tablet includes a kids defender case and is Black Friday priced at Kohl’s for $50 – available online only.

  • CPU: 1.6 GHz quad-core
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • OS: Android 4.4 Kit Kat
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 64 GB
  • Display: 1024 x 600
  • Rear camera: 2 MP, 720p video
  • Front camera: 640 x 480 VGA
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions:
  • Weight:

seven inch Zeki tabletZeki TBDG734B

This is another Black Friday deal at Kohl’s for $50. It’s the first one we’ve seen with 800 x 480 graphics instead of the more common 1024 x 600 pixels. It’s out of stock at Zeki, which was closing this model out at $30.

  • CPU: 1 GHz dual-core
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • OS: Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Expansion: microSD slot to 64 GB
  • Display: 800 x 480
  • Rear camera: no
  • Front camera: yes
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Dimensions: 7.6″ x 4.92″ x 0.43″
  • Weight: 0.66 lb.

More info on the Zeki website.

I would avoid this one on principle due to its lower resolution display.

Conclusion

This is a representative sampling of 7″ tablets being offered for $50 or less over Black Friday. A lot of times we can’t find full data on these, and we’ve done our best to scour the Web looking for anything available, especially regarding CPU speed (sometimes a 1.2 GHz processor actually runs at 1.0 GHz to conserve battery power), size, and weight. Even finding online reviews is challenging for some of these models.

The bulk of these are undoubtedly built by a handful of plants in China, and sometimes you may see exactly the same tablet under different brand names – or the same model at different prices due to different amounts of storage.

Looking forward, Android 6.0 Marshmallow has a wonderful new feature that lets it use a microSD card as an extension to built-in storage, something previous versions didn’t do. If you get a tablet that can be updated to Marshmallow, that’s your best bet going forward.

Of the models covered here, the Amazon Fire and RCA 7 Voyager II look the most promising, as they have Android 5 installed and are ARM-based, unlike the NuVision model.

Do your research, make a wise choice, and whatever you do, do not get pushed to buy a model you know nothing about no matter how good the price. Google search is your friend here!

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