Review: Blackview Oscal Pad 15: Best value Android tablet from 2023?

Review unit provided by Blackview (Amazon store | AliExpress store)

The Blackview Oscal Pad 15 is a 10.36-inch tablet running on Android 13.

The number #15 in its name does not refer to the display size nor the version number. The tablet released before this was the USD 199 Oscal Pad 13 with many similarities.

Here are the specs for the review unit I reviewed:

Specs

  • 10.36-inch LCD display
  • 2000 x 1200 resolution
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • 8,280mAh battery with 33W fast charging
  • 16MP Front Camera +13MP Rear Camera
  • Octa-core Unisoc T606
  • 8GB RAM + Up to 8GB expansion (from SSD)
  • 256GB ROM with microSD card slot
  • DokeOS_P 3.0 Based on Android 13
  • PC Mode
  • USB-C port but does not support video output
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Sim card: Yes

Things included in the box

  • Tablet
  • Tablet case
  • Screen protector already applied
  • Spare glass screen protector
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • USB-C 33W charger
  • Stylus with disc tip
  • SIM ejection tool
  • Quick start guide


The tablet does not support active stylus. The pen that's included comes with a disc tip which is alright for drawing but not for note taking. It's not an active stylus so there's no tilt and pressure sensitivity, no palm rejection,

Design


Design looks good and build quality is solid. It's quite thin and lightweight for a tablet at this size.


The tablet comes with a screen protector already applied, and it's a glossy reflective one.

Visual quality of the 10.36-inch LCD display looks better than I expected. The colours are vibrant and bright, resolution is 2000 x 1200 with an aspect ratio between 16:9 and 16:10.


It's a wide aspect ratio so black bars are minimal when watching 16:9 Youtube videos.


Visuals are sharp with no noticeable pixelation.


The metal back is matte textured and has this light green colour. That's a 13MP rear camera.


The included flip case has matching colour.


At the bottom, there's one speaker, USB-C charging port with USB 2 transfer speed, microSD and SIM tray, and a 3.5mm audio jack.


On the top, there's the power button, volume buttons and the other speaker. Audio quality sounds slightly hollow but loud enough. Audio quality is serviceable and at the price of the tablet, I can't complain much.

This tablet is clearly designed for landscape orientation with the volume buttons at the side and a 16MP front camera in landscape mode.


There's a microSD and SIM card tray. The 3.5mm is positioned right at the corner of the tablet.

Performance

This tablet runs on DokeOS v3 on top of Android 13. The UI and features are quite limited but sufficient. There's face unlock which works quite fast and effectively.

I just don't like how the active apps mode shows so few apps and make you scroll a lot to find the open app you want. It's faster to just open your app from the home screen.


Performance with the Unisoc T606 (2 x A75@1.6GHz + 6 x A55@1.6GHz) with Mali G57 CPU is decent and lag-free. Multi-tasking is smooth enough.

There's 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. The tablet has a feature to expand RAM to a total of 16GB by using internal storage. Anyway, 8GB RAM is definitely more than sufficient for general use.

The tablet can be used for for light gaming as long as you don't use the best image quality settings. Loading huge games will take some time but again it's difficult to complain considering the price point of the tablet.


Text from comics are still big enough on this tablet, although I would prefer an even larger tablet like a 11 or 12-inch for comics.


This tablet has a "PC Mode" that can give you that desktop UI interface with floating windows and a taskbar. I don't find this that useful due to the small screen size. Floating windows from multiple apps work better on larger display.


Since this is an Android tablet, you can install apps and features via Google Play Store. For external wireless display support, you can use SpaceDesk, SuperDisplay or Duet Display (for Mac users).

Battery life

Battery life is decent. I managed to get 7+ hours battery life at 75% brightness. With auto-brightness, you can get around 8 - 9 hours battery life.

Conclusion

This tablet is worth the money. It looks good and works well. Blackview has packed enough RAM and storage, and there's even a microSD and SIM card tray. The only downside for me is audio sounds slightly hollow.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful tablet
+ Solid build quality
+ Vibrant and bright display
+ Screen protector already applied
+ Flip cover included
+ Thin, lightweight and portable
+ 8 to 9 hours battery life with auto brightness
+ MicroSD and SIM card support
+ 3.5mm audio jack
+ Stereo speakers
+ Camera in landscape mode
+ There's Google Play Store
+ Competitive pricing
- Speakers sound slightly hollow
- DokeOS has limited features
- OS and Android future updates are unknown
- PC mode not very useful on a small display, and there's no video out from USB-C port

Availability

The Oscal Pad 15 will be available from AliExpress from 18 Sept 2023.

Limited USD 159 pricing will last until 26 September 2023.

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