Cube has been very successful in selling tablets with smartphone functionalities. Ever since the release of the Cube Talk 79 back in 2013, the Chinese brand has been dominating in this special area. The Cube Talk 9X, T7 and T9 were all once considered as the best offerings from the Chinese tablet industry. The Cube T8 is the newest member of Cube’s successful 4G tablet line. With the latest version of Android OS, moderate specs and a very considerate price ($79), it is definitely designed to woo the buyers with a lower budget, buyers whom the $157 Cube T7 failed to impress. Cube T specifications •OS: Android 5.1 •Display: 8-inch IPS, 5-point multi-touch •Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 (16:10) •CPU: 64-bit MT8735 quad-core processor (4 cores of Cortex-A53) •CPU Frequency: 1.3GHz •GPU: Mali-720MP2 •RAM / Storage: 1GB / 16GB •Function: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, OTG, Miracast, FM Radio •WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot •GSM: band2, band3, band5, band8 •TDS: band34, band39 •WCDMA: band1, band5 •TDD: band38, band39, band40, band41 •FDD: band1, band3, band7 •Camera: 2MP back camera, VGA front camera •Battery: 4000mAh •Extend Port: TF Card Slot, SIM Card Slot, Micro SIM Card Slot, Micro USB Port, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Micro HDMI Port •Weight & Size: 354 g / 215*122.9*9.85mm Design The Cube T8 looks quite similar to many of Cube’s other entry-level tablets, the one thing that sets it apart is the metallic rear side. There’s nothing else you haven’t seen before: a widescreen display which dominated the front panel, a relatively small bezel around the screen, rounded corners, some branding and basic information on the back, a single rear-facing speaker, and dual cameras. The only physical buttons you will find are the power/standby key and the volume rocker, both hosted on the right side. The T8 is a very promising slate when it comes to connectivity, as there are quite a slew of ports and slots on board. On the top side of the tablet you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Micro HDMI port, a Micro SD card slot, a Micro USB port which supports USB on the go. Once you remove the plastic lid on the rear, you will find a Micro SIM card slot and a full-size SIM card slot, both of which support dual 4G network (TDD and FDD). At 9.85mm, the T8 is not thin by today’s tablet standards, but I would say it is an okay thickness as I didn’t feel much more burden with the T8 than with my super slim Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. Also, the T8 feels very solidly constructed, There is no sign of unwanted gaps in the casing or wobbly buttons. The T8 comes with two color options: the white version has a white front and a silver rear, while the black version has a black front and a blue rear. Screen and sound Like many other Cube’s 8-inch models, the Cube T8 sports an 8-inch IPS display. I am sure that many people will complain about the 1280 x 800 screen resolution. But as the diagonal is smaller on the 8-inch screen the pixel density is higher, and such a low resolution is not as obvious as is the case with those 10.1-inch tablets, but is still visible with the naked eye on the T8. To be specific, pixel density on the Cube T8 is 189 ppi, which is below average for a contemporary 8-inch tablet. Fortunately, poor sharpness is the only real minus which can be linked with the T8. Color imaging is natural and precise, it is more than vivid and vibrant for a entry-level tablet. The same goes for the contrast, which offers very pure white tones and extremely dark black. The viewing angle on the T8 is very wide, and it offers amazing brightness even suitable for outdoor usage. The touchscreen is also very responsive, in fact it is as responsive as the panels on my Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Jide REMIX Ultra Tablet. Every touch is instantly registered, with wonderful accuracy and precision. The sound from the rear-facing speaker has a decent amount of volume and bass, and I found it pretty acceptable for watching YouTube videos and online radios. But I would recommend an external audio system for music and movies. System and Apps The Cube T8 ships with Android 5.1, which is also the latest version of Android OS. Customizations have been kept to the minimum, and there aren’t a load of preinstalled applications. The T8 also support OTA, making firmware much easier for average users. Performance The 64-bit MT8735 Cortex A53 quad-core processor, although low end, is a good choice for a tablet with this screen resolution. It offers entirely satisfactory performance for the typical tasks this tablet was intended for. Everything runs fluidly and without glitches on the Cube T8. While the MT8735 is not a chipset that’s normally included in high-end models, this is evident only when certain tasks are initiated. For instance, some 3D games take longer to load, heavier websites take a second more to render etc. As far as synthetic benchmarks go, the T8 offers poorer marks than the T7 and T9. It scored 9,074 in Quadrant benchmark, 1,130 in Geekbench, and 19,556 in Antutu, which are the basic scores of today’s mobile devices and are approximately on the same level as top models were three years ago. Battery Life The 4000mAh battery of the T8 offers quite a lengthy time frame for the users to enjoy their tablet without the need to recharge. With average tablet usage of approximately two to three hours per day, the battery will last 3 days. In our standard cngadget battery test, the tablet lasted 7 hours and 47 minutes looping an 1080P video at 50% screen brightness and speaker volume, pretty impressive result for such a cheap tablet. Connectivity As one of Cube’s T series tablets, the T8 can be used as a smartphone. It supports both TDD and FDD 4G networks, and there are two SIM card slots on board to enable dual standby. Other smartphone functionalities such as voice call, SMS, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio are also included. You can also connect your T8 to your HDTV through the Micro HDMI port and enjoy movies and video games on a bigger screen. Cameras The T8 has a VGA front-facing camera and a 2MP main camera with fixed focus. Both cameras are about as basic as a camera can get. The rear-facing camera is merely there just for the sake of it but honestly you’re better off sticking to the smartphone in your pocket. Photos are low resolution and while it’s usable outdoors once you go inside photos become noisy quick especially in low light. Photos taken with the main camera Price and availability The Cube T8 has been on sale for a while in China, with a price tag of RMB499 ($79). Prices in other part of the world may vary. You can also place your order on **************, which now offers a price of $96.95 inclusive of shipping. Final verdict The Cube T8 It certainly a nice choice as far as tablets are concerned as it offers decent performance, a bright and vivid display, solid battery life, phone functions and an extremely competitive price tag. Although it is not really a powerhouse tablet, it still handles everyday tasks with ease, and gives its users the promise of stepping in when their phone runs out of juice.