Camelio 2 (Android Tablet) Review
The tablet for kids who will probably destroy a tablet.
Vivatar's Camelio 2 tablet is an inexpensive Android-based tablet designed for kids. If your goal is anything other than getting a tablet into the hands of your kids as cheaply as possible knowing that sooner or later, but probably sooner, they will inevitably destroy it, then read on. Otherwise, 'you get what you pay for' applies here - and what you'll get is a slow, constrained tablet that will soon having you wish that you spent a little more on a Kindle Fire or other tablet.
Setup is relatively easy out of the box as the Camelio 2 will walk you through connecting to a WiFi network (it can only detect 2.4 Ghz signals, though) and creating or connecting to a Google account. You can also set up parental controls on the maximum time allowed per day and week with the tablet, as well as lock certain applications with a passcode in case adults want to share the tablet with children. The tablet supports up to five users in total and adding the additional users is done after setup is complete through the Theme app, which is not at all obvious and may lead to some frustrating hunting around before it's stumbled upon. It's also strange the parental controls option is part of the initial setup since you'll only have one account at that point that will need to be tied to a Google account, and that account will presumably belong to a parent.
While going through this setup process you'll quickly notice that the Camelio 2 is not a particularly fast or responsive tablet. I can type faster than the tablet can keep up with, and the pause between keystrokes and the letters on the screen appearing is noticeable. The tablet often has a delayed reaction to screen touches and even seems to miss a few altogether, so you may find yourself hitting a button on screen repeatedly hoping for a response and then have the tablet lurch forward as it processes those touches in little batches. The 1.1 GHz processor is clearly struggling to keep up with everything, and Android benchmarking apps verify that the tablet's performance pales in comparison to that of other Android tablets to the tune of a ratio of 1 to 4 or worse. Apps such as Netflix and Hulu are a little slow to load and navigate, but once a show or movie is playing it seems to do OK. Games are another issue, and you'll be forced to stick with simpler games and educational apps if you don't want to face the inevitable lag and hiccups that will accompany more processor-intensive games. Games such as Angry Birds play just fine, but you have to wait a bit for the levels to load.
The tablet's first screen has a tabbed box that includes a few of the tablet's pre-installed apps. These include a checkers game, a basic photo editing app that allows you to paste clipart onto your photos, and the usual Google apps like Gmail and Google+. There is an Add App button that lets you add additional apps that are apparently already on the tablet, and most of these are educational apps or simple games. A More Apps button takes you to a small list of apps that can be downloaded from Google Play, but some of the apps in this list seem to direct you to the Japanese version of Google Play. While on the topic of Google Play, the only apparent way to access it is to select one of the apps in the More Apps list and then use the search box in the upper corner of the screen to find other apps which is an odd roundabout way to do things.
Battery life seems to be a bit on the short side. You can probably get through two movies before having to recharge with a little bit of luck. The battery seems to continue to drain when the tablet is left off for a while such as overnight, though, so it's probably best to power it down or leave it plugged in when you won't be using it for a bit.
Cases for the tablet are sold as 'Personalization Kits'. Each kit is built around kid-friendly themes like Batman, Hot Wheels, Hello Kitty, and My Little Pony. A rubber sleeve and a hard plastic shell keep the tablet fairly safe from falls and drops, although the rubber is a little loose on the ends so the tablet is a bit vulnerable to drops at just the wrong angle. A Personalization Kit also includes a code to unlock a related theme on the tablet which includes the background wallpaper and clip art and frames to use in the photo editing app. These codes can be tied to user profiles, so each user can have their own theme. You'll have to switch the cases on your own, though.
The Camelio 2's positive points include its price, the parental controls, and multiple user profiles. The negatives include the slow processor, slow response to input, battery life, and the learning curve imposed by some of the non-intuitive functions such as app installation and user management. Overall the negatives probably outweigh the positives, unless you're pretty sure that your kids will eventually destroy it, in which case replacing a Camelio 2 will set you back a lot less than replacing an iPad.
Transmitted: 3/30/2017 4:24:00 AM