There are many phablets in the market, but most of them are based on the Android operating system. So when a Windows 10 phablet hit the market recently, everyone took note. The Windows 10 phablet in question is the new Wise Pad W7. You will find it marketed as the Microsoft Wise Pad W7.
People immediately asked us to review it, and as if they were reading our minds, they sent us one! So today, we present to you, our review of the Wise Pad W7 Windows 10 phablet!
Updated @ 2017-06-23 : Updated the links in the review. Added more information on the included software. Reworked the Verdict.
Updated @ 2016-09-04 : Added new information on its manufacturer. Made various improvements and corrections to the review.
Originally posted @ 2016-08-18
Wise Pad W7 Specifications
|Specifications||Wise Pad W7|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile|
|Display||7" IPS display (540 x 960 pixels)|
|System Platform||Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 (MSM8909 v2)|
|Processor||4 x ARM Cortex-A7 cores (1.3 GHz)|
|Graphics Processor||Qualcomm Adreno 304 (400 MHz)|
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM|
|Storage||16 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 64 GB)
|Front Camera||1.9 MP sensor (720p video recording)|
|Rear Camera||5.0 MP sensor (720p video recording) with single LED flash and f/2.4 lens|
|Connectivity||4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)
WiFi : 810.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth : 4.1 LE
USB : Micro USB 2.0
|FM Radio||Yes, but lacks antenna (earphones)|
|Battery||3,200 mAh lithium-ion battery (11,840 mWh)|
|Dimensions||13 cm wide x 21 cm tall x 5 mm thick|
Phablet, Not Tablet[adrotate group=”2″]
There was some confusion about whether the Wise Pad W7 is a phablet or a tablet. Partly because the advertisement calls it a “tab“. Let us clarify this once and for all.
The Wise Pad W7 is a phablet, not a tablet. There are tablets of the same size, like the ASUS ZenPad 7.0, but tablets do not have telecommunication capabilities. They cannot make calls like smartphones or phablets can.
The Wise Pad W7, on the other hand, is a 4G LTE phablet. You can make calls on it, like any other smartphone or phablet. It’s called a phablet because it is a smartphone that’s the size of a small tablet.
Designed & Made By Microsoft?
What attracted people the most was the claim that the Wise Pad W7 was designed, made and sold by Microsoft. Perhaps it had to do with the product descriptions in the advertisement :
Microsoft has truly outdone themselves with this creation, introducing innovative features and designs that are sure to impress.
Microsoft has engineered a unique design that showcases the tab’s 7-inch display screen in the slimmest form.
We reached out to Microsoft for clarification. They informed us that the Wise Pad W7 is not an official Microsoft product, but an OEM product running on Windows 10. Of course, Wise Pad may have cooperated with Microsoft, or received their assistance, in developing this phablet.
Our further investigations revealed that the Wise Pad W7 is actually made by Meizu, and marketed in Malaysia by Blue Kor (also known as Meizu Malaysia).
Unboxing The Wise Pad W7 Phablet
The Wise Pad W7 comes in a nice, shrink-wrapped box with the Microsoft logo prominently printed on the upper left corner. Let’s take a look inside!
The Wise Pad W7 is a low-cost phablet, so you only get the bare essentials :
- One Wise Pad W7 phablet with a screen protector
- One Wise Pad W7 user manual
- One 10 W charger with one micro USB cable
Unfortunately, the Wise Pad W7 does not come with any earphones, even though it has a built-in FM radio. The FM radio requires a pair of earphones to be attached, to serve as its antenna.
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Overview Of The Wise Pad W7
Now that it’s out of the box, let’s take a quick tour of the Wise Pad W7 phablet!
The Wise Pad W7 comes with a 2 MP front camera that is okay for video chats, but takes noisy, low-resolution selfies. You will most likely rely exclusively on the 5 MP main camera at the back, which is supported by an LED flash.
The only physical buttons are located along the right side – a Power button and two Volume buttons. The micro USB 2.0 port is located at the top, together with the earphone port, and a compartment for the microSD and micro SIM cards.
Setting Up The Wise Pad W7
Let’s show you how the Wise Pad W7‘s initial setup process is like.
That’s not the worst of it though. After we set-up the Wise Pad W7, Windows 10 Mobile took an additional 2.5 minutes to decompress and install its apps. Generally, it will take you about 10-15 minutes to setup the Wise Pad W7.
Windows 10 Mobile[adrotate group=”2″]
Another point of confusion for many potential users is the fact that they marketed it as a Windows 10 tablet. It gave the impression that the Wise Pad W7 is a smaller and far more affordable version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
The Wise Pad W7 actually runs on Windows 10 Mobile. This is the mobile version of Windows 10, that is designed to look and feel like Windows 10. However, unlike devices running on actual Windows 10, it is not capable of running Windows desktop applications.
Think of the Wise Pad W7 as a larger version of the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones. It will run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone applications, and comes bundled with Office for Windows 10, and Microsoft Edge.
Built-In Microsoft Apps
What’s advantageous is the fact that the Wise Pad W7 comes with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, the Microsoft Edge browser and even Skype pre-installed. That takes care of the productivity requirements for most users.
You can literally start using it to do your work right out of the box. And the tight integration between those Microsoft apps allow you to sync your files and switch between your desktop and the Wise Pad W7 very easily.
Next Page > Wise Pad W7 Camera Performance – Photo & Video
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Camera Performance – Photo
The Wise Pad W7 has a 5 MP main camera, with f/2.4 lens and an LED flash. It takes photos with a resolution of 2592 x 1456, with file sizes ranging from 650 KB to 1 MB. Here are some photo samples from the 5MP main camera.
The photos taken appear washed out, unless HDR is enabled. But because the lens is relatively slow, using HDR may result in blurry pictures. The highlights are also easily blown-out when HDR is enabled.
Generally, the pictures are okay for viewing on the Wise Pad W7 itself, or posting on social media. However, the camera’s limitations are very apparent when viewed on a high-resolution computer display.[adrotate group=”1″]
Camera Performance – Video
The Wise Pad W7‘s 5 MP camera sensor is capable of recording 1080p videos. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor powering the Wise Pad W7 is only powerful enough to handle 720p video recording. So you are limited to recording 720p videos. Here is a sample of the 720p video recording by the main camera.
What is most distracting though is the camera’s inability to maintain focus. You can see the camera losing focus and seeking very often. The audio quality was also terrible, sounding really muffled and monotonous.
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Memory & Storage Capacity
The Wise Pad W7 comes with 2 GB of memory, and 16 GB of internal flash storage. Unfortunately, we cannot find out how much free memory is available for your apps to use. But we can tell you that out of the 16 GB of internal flash storage, you will have at least 10.75 GB of free storage space.
You can top up the storage capacity with a microSD card (up to 64 GB), which should be plenty enough for most users. The Wise Pad W7 also supports OTG drives, so you can easily transfer data.
Problems With The Display
The automatic brightness feature in the Wise Pad W7 does not seem to be working at all. Even though its light sensor is working (we checked), the Wise Pad W7 maintains the same brightness level whether it’s in the shade or in direct sunlight. Hence, the display was completely useless in bright sunlight. The workaround? Disable the automatic brightness feature and set the brightness manually.
The other issue we noticed was its improperly calibrated digitiser (touch panel). It appears to register our touches a few millimetres lower than expected. Unfortunately, there is no option to recalibrate the digitiser, so if you face this issue, you will need to learn to touch a few millimetres higher on the display.[adrotate group=”1″]
|Wise Pad W7||honor 5C||ASUS ZenFone Zoom|
|– 3D (Marooned)||1306||5795||9863|
|– 3D (Garden)||323||4047||6976|
|– UX Data Secure||9262||5577||5896|
|– UX Data Process||1202||2706||4353|
|– UX Strategy Games||2328||4109||4118|
|– UX Image Process||196||3144||2926|
|– UX I/O Performance||1163||3761||4078|
|– CPU Mathematics||4385||4198||5196|
|– CPU Common Use||2763||5947||8699|
|– CPU Multi-Core||4685||9109||9215|
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 is slow, period. It may have four cores, but they are the slower ARM Cortex-A7 cores. It was particularly poor at graphics, due to its slow Adreno 510 graphics processor.
The Wise Pad W7 is an interesting phablet. Mainly because it runs on Windows 10 Mobile. This can be a boon or a bane, depending on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a ton of games and apps, then you are going to be disappointed with the limited choices in the Windows Store. But if you are only interested in using Microsoft applications like Word or Excel, then you will love the tight integration of those Microsoft apps into Windows 10 Mobile.[adrotate group=”2″]
The Wise Pad W7 was definitely not designed or manufactured by Microsoft though. The design and build quality is far from what you would expect from Microsoft. It is certainly very cheap, but it is a mixed bag of hits and misses. You will have to compromise with its limitations.
The Wise Pad W7 has a decent polycarbonate chassis with a matte metallic finish, but the display and the camera lens cover lack oleophobic coatings and are very easily smeared. The 7″ display has a lot more screen space than a smartphone, but it is limited by its low resolution of 540 x 960.
What really concerned us the most was the non-functioning auto-brightness feature and improperly-calibrated digitiser. We have no idea how it could have passed quality control checks at the factory. It also has a relatively small 3,200 mAh battery for its size. The much smaller ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom, for example, boasts a 5,000 mAh battery!
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor is just fast enough for work applications, but do not expect to play 3D games on the Wise Pad W7. The good news is that it sips power, so the Wise Pad W7 putters on longer than we would expect for its small battery.
Pros & Cons
To summarise, here are the pros and cons of the Wise Pad W7 phablet :
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