Tesco Hudl review
Despite offering a barrage of its own digital content services, Tesco has thankfully resisted the temptation to overwrite the stock Android interface with one of its own, as Amazon has done with the Kindles. Yes, it comes preinstalled with a choice of Tesco-related widgets littered across the device’s homescreens, but these can be easily removed. A small Tesco icon in the bottom-left corner is the only bit of branding that can’t be removed.
Tesco is obviously keen to push you towards its own Blinkbox Movies and Music apps, not to mention its online groceries store, but the full breadth of the Google Play store is available, too. You needn’t touch a Tesco service if you don’t want to.
The Hudl begins to betray its budget when it comes to performance. Its Rockchip 1.5GHz quad-core processor and Mali 400MP GPU splutter along in anything more demanding than basic games. FIFA 14 was reduced to Sunday league kickabout speeds; Despicable Me: Minion Rush exhibited more stutter than Arkwright from Open All Hours.
The Hudl trundled along at less than half the speed of the Nexus 7 in the Geekbench 2 benchmark, and delivered a lowly 4.7fps in GFXBench. It’s fine for basic web surfing, movie watching and digital book/magazine reading, but if it’s already struggling with today’s games, you have to worry about its long-term performance prospects.
Battery life is better. It recorded a score of 10hrs 24mins in our continuous looping video test, which is good going; out in the real world, though, it only lasted a couple of days of light use.
The final weakness is audio output: the speakers are feeble and tinny. While the official case leaves holes for the speakers, if you fail to fold the stand in precisely the right way it covers them up, muffling music and movie soundtracks. We’d definitely recommend plugging in a pair of headphones, whatever the case.
Yet, despite its performance limitations and occasional idiosyncrasies, we think Tesco has done a stand-up job with the Hudl. The screen is decent, the design is inoffensive and the price can’t be argued with, especially if you have a stack of Clubcard vouchers to hand. There’s even a memory card slot so you can add to the 16GB of onboard storage.
It can’t match the luxury and speed of the new Nexus 7, but we’d much rather see one of these under the Christmas tree than a locked-down, storage-strapped Kindle Fire.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||193 x 10.3 x 129mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,440|
|Resolution screen vertical||900|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1.5GHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||3.0mp|
|Upstream USB ports||0|