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Nabi Elev-8 (Kids Tablet) mini review

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JCLW

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2002
Having recently bought my daughter a tablet for her birthday I thought I'd share my thoughts as well as the complete hardware specs.

Manufacturer's webpage: http://www.nabitablet.com/elev-8

I'll let you enjoy the manufacturer's pictures, as they are better then any I could take right now.

Hardware:

Inside the box you get a tablet, a red silicone bumper, a charging cable, and a 5V 2A USB charger.

The charging port on tablet is proprietary, supposedly to make it easier for kids to plug in. It looks a little like an HDMI connection:

Elev8_Cord.jpg
(picture taken using the tablet itself)

If it was really supposed to be kid friendly it would help if it could be inserted either way up.

When holding it in landscape mode, the top of the tablet has the microphone hole, a Micro SDHC card slot, as well as the volume and power buttons. The right side houses the 3.5mm headphone jack and the power plug.

The silicone bumper is a little softer then I was expecting, but seems to provide good protection.

Neither my 7yr old or 3yr old have any trouble holding it or using it.

AIDA64 System report:
Manufacturer: FUHU
Model: NBX208HQCG
Brand: nabi
Board: msm8916
Device: NBX208HQCG
Hardware: qcom
Platform: msm8916
Product: nabiX2
Installed RAM: 1 GB
Total Memory: 930 MB
Available Memory: 328 MB
Internal Storage Total Space: 21.53 GB
Internal Storage Free Space: 15.23 GB

CPU is a Snapdragon 615 (which is actually MSM8939), which seems plenty fast for the target audience. Same as you'd find in a mid-range 2016 phone.

I feel like 2GB of RAM would have been nice. It doesn't have trouble running apps but gets a little slow when trying to multitask.

Comes with 32GB of internal storage, of which ~15GB is available immediately after setup. On the plus side, many apps are not system apps and can be uninstalled if desired - more on this later.

WiFi works well, as does the Bluetooth 4 (LE/Smart) and NFC.

AIDA64 Display report:
Screen Resolution: 1280 × 800
Panel ID: LG LD080WX2 wxga video mode dsi panel
xdpi / ydpi: 160 / 160 dpi
GPU Vendor: Qualcomm
GPU Renderer: Adreno (TM) 405
GPU ALUs: 48
Current GPU Clock: 400 MHz
GPU Clock Range: 220 - 550 MHz
GPU Utilization: 10 %
Scaling Governor: msm-adreno-tz
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Default Orientation: Landscape
OpenGL ES Version: 3.0

Screen is relatively sharp and bright. I wouldn't want to use it a lot for reading small text but it works fine for the target audience.

It is an IPS panel with a 800:1 contrast ratio and 330 cd/m2 brightness (advertised specs).

AIDA64 Battery report:
Power Source: Battery
Level: 62 %
Status: Discharging
Health: Good
Technology: Li-poly
Temperature: 25.0°C
Voltage: 3.772 V
Charge Rate: 485 mA
Capacity (Reported by Android): 4500 mAh

Battery life seems to be in the 8~10 hour range.

AIDA64 Android report:
Android Version: 5.1 (Lollipop)
API Level: 22
Rooted Device: No
Build ID: LMY47O release-keys
Codename: REL
Fingerprint: nabi/nabiX2/NBX208HQCG:5.1/LMY47O/3.1.0:user/release-keys
ID: LMY47O
Incremental: 3.1.0
Java Runtime Version: Android Runtime 0.9
Java VM Version: ART 2.1.0
Java VM Heap Size: 128 MB
Kernel Architecture: aarch64
Kernel Version: 3.10.49-perf-gce13b3e

Marshmallow would have been nice, if only for supporting moving apps to SD cards.

AIDA64 Camera report:
<< Rear-Facing Camera >>
Resolution: 5.0 MP (2592 × 1944)
Video Resolution: 2.1 MP (1920 × 1080)
Focal Length: 3.16 mm
Focus Modes: auto, infinity, macro, continuous-video, continuous-picture
Video Snapshot: Supported
Video Stabilization: Not Supported
Zoom: Supported
Smooth Zoom: Not Supported
Auto Exposure Locking: Supported
Auto White Balance Locking: Supported
Flash: Supported
<< Front-Facing Camera >>
Resolution: 1.9 MP (1600 × 1200)
Video Resolution: 0.9 MP (1280 × 720)
Focal Length: 2.93 mm
Focus Modes: fixed, infinity
Video Snapshot: Supported
Video Stabilization: Not Supported
Zoom: Supported
Smooth Zoom: Not Supported
Auto Exposure Locking: Supported
Auto White Balance Locking: Supported
Flash: Not Supported

In my humble opinion the cameras are pretty bad in anything but ideal light conditions - and then they barely approach mediocre. But my daughter loves being able to take pictures and never complains about the quality.

AIDA64 Thermal report:
tsens_tz_sensor0: 36.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor1: 35.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor2: 34.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor3: 35.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor5: 37.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor6: 37.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor7: 38.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor8: 38.0°C
tsens_tz_sensor9: 36.0°C
pm8916_tz: 29.9°C
bms: 25.0°C
battery: 25.0°C
Battery: 25.0°C

It runs cool.

AIDA64 Thermal report:
AL3320 Light sensor:
BOSCH Acceleration Sensor:
BOSCH Gyroscope Sensor:
BOSCH Orientation Sensor:
BOSCH Gravity Sensor:
BOSCH Linear Acceleration Sensor:
BOSCH Rotation Vector Sensor:
BOSCH Game Rotation Vector Sensor:
BOSCH Gyroscope Uncalibrated Sensor:
BOSCH Step Counter Sensor:
BOSCH Step Detector Sensor:

It does NOT include a GPS or compass, which is disappointing as apps like Google Sky Map don't really work.

AIDA64 Apps report:
Almightree: com.crescentmoongames.almightree(v1.4)
Bag It!: com.hiddenvariable.bagit(v2.10)
BB Racing: com.vectorunit.purple.fuhu(v1.2.6)
Block Story: com.mindblocks.blocks(v10.4.12)
Bookstore: com.fuhu.wings.bookstore(v3.0)
CN Video: com.turner.cnvideoapp(v2.8)
Draw a Stickman: EPIC: com.hitcents.stickmanepic(v1.4.2)
Dream Pro Animator: com.vblast.dreampro.animator(v1.3)
Dream Pro Draw: org.pogi.DrawingPadFuhuPreload(v1.2.100)
Evertales: com.crescentmoongames.evertales(v1.1)
Fruit Ninja: com.halfbrick.fruitninja(v1.8.10)
Granny Smith: com.mediocre.grannysmith(v1.2.0)
iHeartRadio: com.clearchannel.iheartradio.controller(v4.11.0)
iStoryTime: com.zuuka.istorytime.fuhu(v1.1)
Lightbot: com.lightbot.lightbot(v1.6.0)
Maxthon Browser: com.mx.browser(v2.6.4)
Maxthon Kid-Safe Browser: com.mx.browser.kids(v1.2)
Monkey Boxing: com.crescentmoongames.monkeyboxing(v1.05)
nabi Clock: com.fuhu.nabiClock2(v104070101)
nabi Clock: com.fuhu.nabiClock(v104070201)
nabi Clock Minigames: com.fuhu.minigame(v104060301)
nabi Stopwatch: com.fuhu.nabiStopwatch(v104021201)
nabi Timer: com.fuhu.nabiTimer(v104073001)
nabi Weather: com.fuhu.nabiWeather(v104102702)
nabi Web: com.fuhu.nabiWeb(v104061101prod)
Panic Flight: com.Ama.PanicFlight(v1.3.3)
PaperMonstersHB: com.crescentmoongames.pmhumble(v1)
Puffin: com.cloudmosa.puffin(v4.8.0.2790)
Puzzle 2: com.ama.puzzle_f2p(v1.3)
Riptide GP2: com.vectorunit.red.nabi(v1.1.1)
School of Dragons: com.KnowledgeAdventure.SchoolOfDragons(v1.15.0)
Siegecraft Defender: com.blowfishstudios.siegecrafttd(v0.6)
Slingshot Racing: com.crescentmoongames.slingshotracing(v1.3)
Speakaboos: air.com.speakaboos.fuhu(v1.3.1.1)
Sprinkle Islands: com.mediocre.sprinkle2(v1.1.0)
Swim and Play: air.com.captainmcfinn.SwimAndPlay(v1.4)
The Counting Kingdom: com.littleworld.magicmath(v1.1.0)
Threes: vo.threes.exclaim.navi(v1.2.3.4)
Toca Builders: com.tocaboca.tocabuilders.freetime(v1.0.6)
Toca Cars: com.tocaboca.tocacars.freetime(v1.0.4)
Toca Lab: com.tocaboca.tocalab(v1.0.2)
Toca Mini: com.tocaboca.tocamini.freetime(v1.0.3)
Twisty Planets: com.firstsightgames.twistyplanets(v1.056)
YT Kids: com.google.android.apps.youtube.kids(v1.99.3)

This is a list of the apps that come with the tablet. I'll get a little deeper into the software tomorrow.
 
OP
JCLW

JCLW

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2002
Software:

When you first turn on the tablet you go through the standard Android setup where you can sync it with your Google account, etc.

https://www.nabitablet.com/apps/blue-morpho-os

Once you've got Android set up the way you like you can set up Fuhu's Blue Morpho OS overlay (known as "Nabi Mode"), which is the kids interface. The first step is to set up a "Mommy" or "Daddy" account which allows you to get back to regular Android as well as remote manage the kids interface and track what they are doing.

You'll want a good WiFi signal for setup, because even though some of the OS overlay apps come pre-installed a lot of apps are automatically downloaded during setup (or the first time you use them). Although this is time (and bandwidth) consuming, I actually prefer it as this allows you to easily uninstall most of the apps you don't want using the regular android Settings -> Apps controls. And there will be apps you don't want.

Nabi Mode retains the standard Android Back, Home, and Recent buttons and adds a forth Menu Shortcut button on some screens which provides quick access to the camera, Mommy/Daddy mode, settings, switch kids, etc. The Nabi Mode launcher contains one welcome screen that kids can personalize with their own picture & wallpaper as well as a bunch of other homescreens on which up to eight oversized app shortcuts (per screen) can be placed. There is also an app drawer which shows all the apps visible in Nabi Mode - you can select which apps are visible in Nabi Mode through an app in regular Android (Mommy/Daddy) mode.

There are fairly decent time controls - you can designate:
- the total amount of time per day the tablet can be used in Nabi Mode
- a sleep period in which the tablet cannot be used (only one period)
- individual time limits for individual apps (or groups of apps)
- apps that don't count against the total time limit (ie: educational apps)
- apps that provide time rewards (ie: spend xx mins in an educational app and get yy mins of extra free time)

As for the apps themselves, there are a bunch of Fuhu/Nabi specific apps:
- Nabi Clock - just a digital clock with backgrounds you can change, would be nice if it also included an analogue clock for teaching
- Nabi Stopwatch - animated stopwatch
- Nabi Weather - always seems to default to LA and Fahrenheit (no matter how often I set it to Toronto and Celsius)
- Nabi Timer - animated timer
- Nabi Calendar - basic calendar - doesn't seem to do anything useful like give notifications if you add events
- Nabi Konnect - allows chatting between Nabi friends - I was under the impression that the parents had to approve all friend requests but my daughter was able to become friends with her Aunt without any action by me - also does not give notifications so kind of useless
- Nabi Play - videos and music, looks like stuff filtered by Fuhu
- Nabi Web - an extremely basic web browser that only lets you visit Sesame Street and select Dreamworks sites (ie: Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda...)
- Nabi Radio - subscription based music service

All in all I'd rate most of the Fuhu/Nabi apps as "Junk", although my daughter occasionally uses the stopwatch and timer.

There are some dedicated educational apps (called English, Math, Science, and Social Studies) which I'd currently rate as so-so, although my daughter has not spent much time on them.

There is also a set of three "DreamPro Studio" apps called Draw, Animator, and Publisher that my daughter really likes. They seem well done.

Maxthon Kid-Safe Browser (http://www.maxthon.com/kid-safe-browser/) is installed. It's not bad when it works, although a lot of sites don't work correctly on it as they download content from different addresses (even http://play.dreambox.com and https://play.dreambox.com are considered different sites). It would be nice if you could just have a whitelist without each website appearing as a shortcut on the browser homepage. Oh and the master password reset is listed on the help page so it's not really that secure.

There are a bunch of games installed as well. Some seem good. Others are ads. A few are questionable (like Captain McFinn Swim & Play).

We have not yet explored what looks to be the best software on the tablet - Nabi Pass and Wings Challenge. Nabi Pass is a subscription based service (US$5/month) which offers music, movies, shows, apps, ebooks, and access to Wings Challenge. Wings Challenge is an educational app that actually looks pretty decent - The tablet comes with a free 6 month subscription which we are saving for the summer months. I'll do a comparison to Dreambox (http://www.dreambox.com) in a few months from now.

Overall I feel it's a bit commercialized. Lots of Dreamworks stuff, etc. As a parent you can buy Nabi "Coins" (with real money) which your kid can earn in the educational app (Wings Challenge) or by completing chores on their chores list, They can then be redeemed for movies, apps, etc. I guess everyone will have their own opinion on this.

Was it a good buy? I'd say yes, It has better hardware then the Amazon Kids Fire HD tablet (and the Elev-8 is cheaper here in Canada as well). The parental controls are good. No real complaints about the build quality. There are some good apps and bad apps pre-installed, like on any Android device these days.

Is the US$5/month Nabi Pass worth it? After we try the free 6 months I'll update this.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Problem with android is that there are a plethora of devices that are manufacturer locked, meaning they are bloated with adware and spyware, and generally no gps. Probably no updates either. But considering the "target audience", they are basically disposable. Personally I refuse to purchase any android device without gps and without the ability to root. If it will be used for a specific purpose only at home like a remote then the gps is optional. The ability to root is not, as without root there is no security whatsoever built-in (no proper firewall). Speaking of which there are a couple aps I recommend. Greenify, Netguard vpn firewall (donationware for the finer options), aard2 (the full english wikipedia slob file is 14gb), disable mgr, lightning web browser, and mixplorer file mgr as it is by far the best. I'll add apk updater as well as it will allow you to update stuff that you may not be aware has an update.

Forget apk updater. Yalp Store is waaay better. I got it from fdroid.
 
Last edited:

DocClock aka MadClocker

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Stockton Cal, USA, Earth
The proprietary power cable ruins it for me.. It should be a micro-usb or a simple barrel connector.
What could be easier to insert than a barrel connector?
I have one (barrel con) on my Dragon Touch x10, and it comforts me that I don't have to ruin my usb connector trying to charge the unit.
I have seen tablets that couldn't connect to anything because the charging port was the usb and people got careless with it, and ruined it.
Other than that, I would say you got a decent kids tab:thup: