First Impressions of Polaroid’s New 4.3″ Android PMP

This morning I picked up a Polaroid PMID4300 at BigLots, and I have to say that it’s not bad for a $60 device. For some time now I’ve been looking for a cheap Android handheld and this might be it.

This was one of the new gadgets that Southern Telecom had on display in their booth at CES 2012, and it looks like I am the first to post a review. I just barely touched on it back in January, so specs and some background would probably be a good idea.

This is a 4.3″ Android tablet, and it’s running v2.2 Froyo on a Rockchip RK2818 CPU (600MHz). It has a resistive touchscreen, 4GB Flash storage, microSD card slot, Wifi, and speaker/mike. I don’t know the screen resolution, but I would bet that it’s 480×272.

There are 3 buttons below the screen (power, back, menu), and they’re the only buttons on the device. The home button and volume buttons are on the screen. The ports and card slots are on the lower edge. The mike is on the left edge and the speaker is on the upper left rear corner.

It comes with quite a few apps, including Kobo, Adobe Reader, Twitter, NYTimes, and the usual email, browser, file manager. Note that there’s no Android Market (Google Play) or Amazon Appstore, so you’ll need to find a source of apps (Freeware Lovers is good.)

So I’ve set up Kobo, watched a few Youtube videos, and did some basic browsing. The speaker isn’t very loud, but this is a small device so I would rate it as adequate (you’re going to be using headphones, anyway).

The screen is rather dim, compared to most devices. It seems that the backlight has just the one setting, with only a slight difference between it being on and off. The viewing angle is about what I expected from a $60 device. The on screen keyboard is a little difficult to use, but that’s a result of the screen being tall and narrow, so it’s not worth complaining about.

All in all, it’s not bad. I’d say that it rates better than any of the other cheap Android PMPs I’ve looked at. I plan to post a review next weekend.

Specs

  • 4.3″ resistive touchscreen
  • Android v2.2 Froyo
  • 600MHz Rockchip RK2818 CPU
  • 4GB Flash storage
  • microSD card slot
  • Wifi
  • speaker/mike
  • g-sensor

33 thoughts on “First Impressions of Polaroid’s New 4.3″ Android PMP

  1. >>>Adobe Reader

    HA! You Know What You Must Do. *rubs hands in glee over forthcoming FAIL*

    And as for that Rockchip CPU, I’ve been seeing complaints that some Android apps won’t run on it. Something to do with some sort of “native” distinction in coding that I’m not conversant with.

  2. Had it for 2 days now; learning to navigate Android OS (coming from previous experience with iPhone and iTouch…)

    It is quite annoying that Google’s Android Market is tricky to navigate; I gave up and tracked down an “apk” download package for Amazon’s Android marketplace.

    With that installed was able to pull down some free apps. Angry Birds challenges this little guy’s CPU (and takes a good 30 second to load up); but no matter I wasn’t expecting performance for $60.

    Was nicely surprised to be able to use the inTune app to tune into NPR/APM’s Marketplace pod-cast. YouVersion’s Bible reading application works as well.

    Haven’t tried any videos yet (downloaded to local storage that is.)

    YouTube runs great!

    The screen is a bit tricky to use with my fat fingers so I’m taken to using pen-caps and have ordered some Nintendo DS stylus knock-offs to see how those work.

    Trying to hunt down a Flash apk for this guy so I can see if flash works with browsers on some of the websites that my kids like (flash-based ABC videos).

    Over all for the money; a decent value. Won’t replace the iTouches or iPads but at least it’s more fun than a good old plain MP3 player. Will explore more eventually; but this is just initial impressions after 2 days.

  3. After a few more days with it; I’ll keep it (for the price of $60; it serves as a great device attached to external speakers and pull down internet radio while I’m in the garage shuffling stuff around; plus I can jump on the Hotmail client and check email if I feel inclined to do so…)

    The hotmail client is available from Amazon’s android market; works pretty well but updates are slow (well then again updates using the iPhone with the client is slow too).

    Found a 10.1 Flashplayer APK and it installed without issues (don’t try 10.2 or anything higher; it won’t take). So it appears flash is working and I tested using sesamestreet websites for some basic flash games. It does tax the little guy out trying to run those games on a small screen…

    However my kids’ favorite letter learning program (starfall.com) still refuse to work; keeps asking me to download flash.

    Response time with respect to input is a bit slow; so be very patient and use a stylus to hit the keyboards. I’ve been spoiled by the capacitive screens of iPhones so this takes some getting used to.

    It played iPhone’s video files (.mov) files just fine. An 8GB microSD has been installed and I’ll try to figure out how to get cartoons on this guy so I can pass this to the kids vs. the iPhone… :)

    1. can you send me the link or the apk file to the flash player that worked on this tablet. i can’t find one that works

      thanks
      dave

      1. Hi Dave, sorry I didn’t check back for quite some time. I’ve lost the link as well. This unit really does nothing for me now except as a garage “Stitcher” Radio player and PodCast (forgot which one I’m using; I can look it up if someone needs to know) tuner hooked up to an external speaker…

        The only I do with it is power on; hit one of those 2 apps; get streaming going; and power off when done. Don’t try to do too much… As someone else said…with $99 7″ tablets running Android 4 out there…do NOT waste time/money on this unit… It was fun/cheap when it came out back in early 2012….

        Since then there’s been better “cheap” tablets…

  4. Bought mine a week ago. For $60 I think this is an excellent buy. Those who don’t mind spending more will get a better experience out of Samsung’s Android Player (at a much higher price). This is great for the tinkerer like me. Thinking about rooting it to see if I can get better performance out of it.

    Does anyone else have a problem with audio popping while the wifi is on? If so, I’ll chalk it up to cheap components, if not I think I may exchange it.

    1. I did notice slight static at times during streaming audio playback (Stitcher app for example). Changing earphones didn’t help; and pushing buttons also sends out little pops & hisses…

      I have not tried with wi-fi turned off yet; maybe that is the cause…

  5. I bought one of these from Big lots and it worked great – that is until I dropped it about three feet onto the floor – my fault! After dropping it still worked great – BUT the three buttons at the bottom had all popped out. The two sides of the case had separated slightly – but enough for the buttons to fly loose. I found the two small round buttons, but never found the larger central button. Fortunately Big Lots let me exchange it for another one. This time I have put some clear tape around the body at the bottom – just in case I do it again.

  6. I just need something to check my e-mail and surf the web. Don’t need any apps, music, camera, etc. Will this tablet little perform those functions well?

      1. Yes the battery life is short. Turning the screen off only doesn’t seem to help (you have to turn it completely off to avoid having a half-battery status after a few hours).

        Also the battery indicator might give false status initially when you wake it up…I’ve seen it literally go from full green to 1/4 status within 3 minutes time as it catches up with detecting the actual charge.

        Again..a nod to another post..this is more of a tinker unit. It was my first foray into Android and having gotten use to how the OS & Apps behave.

        Now I’m more inclined in future to pickup a capacitive screen Android tablet (waiting for a 7″ deal that one can’t refuse….) The pressure-based (resistive) screen is so frustrating at times…I’ve taken to using any plastic semi-sharp objects around me whenever I need to type on the keyboard. Also dragging screens or attempting to scroll up/down the screens with resistive screen is quite tricky…you end up “selecting” instead of scrolling.

        They should “ban” this type of screens :) Yes granted if you wear gloves…pressure sensitive screen beats capacitive but seriously I like to see anyone type on the keyboard with gloves on! :)

    1. Surfing the web will be quite painful with the resistive screen. As you will need to move web pages left & right & up & down… The resistive screen makes screen movements quite tricky.

      Email (with a client like Hotmail or built-in client) isn’t as bad because scrolling isn’t as painful as web-browsing.

      For browsing…you have to select an area of the screen that doesn’t have a hyper-link and then drag it keeping pressure on the screen the entire time (I’m always afraid I’ll be scratching the screen; use something that won’t scratch) and then lift it off just at the right time…or it ends up confused or sometimes it goes in reverse of the direction you want.

      It is a much different experience than using capacitive screens. It was my first (and probably last) resistive screen based device. Spend an little more say $30-$40 and look for touch-screen (aka capacitive screen) units. I’m waiting for Big Lots to have some 7″ capacitive screen tablets to go on sale in the future.. And I do see them coming out more so now (Sears ad; or even Kohn’s ad show capacitive screens; but still at $100-$150 range).

      It’s almost as if Big Lot is now getting the last discontinued shipments of resistive screen based tablets….

      So if I were to buy again, I’d wait a few months and get the better screens to work with; after all it is the main interaction method we have with this device!

      1. One final comment (at least for March) is that my order of 4 cheap plastic stylus with a rounded non-scratch ball end… It is much better and accurate than say a pen-cap and more comfortable to hold.

        So that makes using this unit tolerable when I need to type on the on-screen keyboard. However it is still jittery and sometimes typing 1 char ends up with 2-3 extra characters and deletes are sometimes jittery too. So type SLOW and watch the screen for errant characters.

  7. I’m Connected to wifi with excellent signal and
    none of the web pages or apps will load. Anyone know what the problem
    Might be and how To fix it. It’s going back if I figure it out soon.

  8. where is there customer support or a user manual for this device? for non-techies, this seems to be a difficult gadget to learn how to use it

  9. I am looking for a cheap tablet just for writing. Does this have bluetooth so I can hook a wireless keyboard up, and are than any good word processing apps?

    Thank you,
    Casey

  10. I am having trouble with my PMID4300. When I go to the ereader Kobobooks.com, it stops and says:”“Sorry! The application Kobo (process com.kobobooks.android) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” With a Force close button. of which I have done over and over. Any solutions, I really like this tablet, but would like to use the reader. Please advise me.

  11. I’m looking for something for my kids, it may sound crazy. I had recently purchased a leapfrog tablet, but my kids would rather play the games on my phone. With the price being cheaper than leapfrog and able to get the games from my phone, would this be a good buy??

  12. Well here goes: For about 40 bucks BigLots you get 1 GHz, android 4 ICS, 1Gig apps of 2Gig storage + mini-flash storage, WiFi (weak pick up), Cam (adequate but better res and color with mp4 video), and a cheap battery that drains fast and charges slowly. Also the USB plug tends to fall out (duct tape?) However this device roots easily – yeah! Some Apps I like that work well: AppControl CloseEverything DrawingPad GoogleEarth MusicalPro PlasmaSound ScreenShot (root req) TalkingTom WiFiAnalyzer…..you can probably fit 200+ apps on this device at one time–I’m up to 1OO.

  13. I agree with Tomac; if you’re looking for “good” things about this guy…don’t bother. Many sub $100 Android tablets with 7″ running Android 4 out kicks this little guy… It was cheap/fun when it first came out early 2013. A year later and with Android 4; 7″ screens running around for $99…sometimes as low as $80…..

    As I mentioned in another post: I use only 2 apps on this guy now: Stitcher Radio and PodCast tuner (forgot which one specifically); the rest of apps are frustrating (Hotmail) or browsing the web… For streaming radio where it just runs in background while you tinker about it’s good…

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