The Teclast P98 4G is an updated version of the Teclast P98, loosing the MTK8392 Octa core in favor of the newer 64bit MTK8752. Although the CPU support 64bit, the OS is Android 4.4.4 and it’s not running 64bit. Hopefully Tecalst have an Android 5 lolipop update coming soon to enable 64bit on the tablet.
Hardware & build:
If your family with the Teclast X98 Air 3G or Air II, the P98 shares the exact same shell and build quality, even the ports are in identical places. The P98 looks very much like an iPad Air, it’s using the exact same screen a “Retina” LG IPS panel. The backing plate is made of an alloy and gives the tablet a nice feel to it. It’s not overly prone to finger prints or smudges and holds up reasonably well, better than the Cube tablets which are often panted and scratch more easy.
The top of the tablet you’ll find no ports, on the top left there is a power on and volume rocker. These buttons are made of white plastic and not really the highest quality buttons you’ll find on a tablet, but they do the job. On the bottom right side of the P98 there is a microsd card slot for up to 64gb expandable storage and below this is a normal sized sim slot fo 4G data and calls. On the bottom left there is a micro usb port which is used for charging and OTG via the included mirco usb to full sized usb adapter.
On the back of the tablet down the bottom there is a reset button and two speakers left and right.
The power behind the P98 consists of a MediaTek MTK8752 8 core processor that can clock up to 1.7 Ghz, with a Mali-T760 MP2 GPU handling the graphics. I originally thought this might have been a MP4 or MP6 version like in the Galaxy Note 4, but after seen the benchmarks (below) it’s only the 2 gpu core version.
On the ram side there is 2GB and a 32GB eMMC drive for storage. The P98 has two battery cells with a total capacity of 8500mAH.
The screen is a sharp 264PPI iPad retina display, which offers a nice 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution which looks great. The colors of the screen are very rich and the IPS panel gives great viewing angles. The black levels are good and the brightness is okay. It’s not a laminated screen, so there is a slight gap between the glass of the touch panel and the IPS display below.
This makes the screen more reflective than say a laminated iPad Air 2 display. The brightness levels of 309 lux weren’t the best I have tested but still good for indoor use. Outdoors you will struggle to make out anything on the screen.
The P98 offers Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless N 150mbps (2.4Ghz) I had no issues with the wireless signal in are around my house. I had no dropped connections.
GPS is onboard and took some time to get it’s first lock. There doesn’t seem to be any GLONASS support. Below is the result using GPS Test.
One of it’s it’s selling points is the 4G modem the P98 4G sports. Once I got into a 4G area I expected the P98 just to jump over to the 4G signal, like my Note 4 would. However it wasn’t that simple, the P98 was still displaying 3G when I knew I was in a 4G coverage area. No luck getting 4G until I reboot the tablet it latched itself onto 4G. I managed 22.8 mbps download and 8.62 mbps. This was around the same figure my Note 4 could get at the time. Overall much faster than the 3G speeds of around 3.5mbps download I was reaching. You can see my speedtest.net result below:
During my time with the P98 4G I made a few phone calls. The call quality was below average and it was hard at times to make out the other person via the rear speakers. Using a headset helped but the mic is still on the bottom of the tablet so I had to hold it up to my mouth other wise the receiving end couldn’t hear me so clearly. My LG Quadbeat headphones with remote and microphone didn’t work and it looks like the 3.5mm jack is only supporting stereo 2 pole plugs.
Launcher and Rom:
Teclast have their own launcher on the P98 4G, just like all their Android and dual boot tablets. The launcher to be honest, it’s the best. It’s full of Chinese bloatware apps and you would be best to dump it in favor of Nova or Apex launcher.
Some of the pre installed Chinese apps can be uninstalled, others will require root access to remove them.
Performance and Benchmarks:
The P98 thanks to it’s eight cores cores, it’s snappy and quick. The performance of the MTK8752 is excellent and the GPU I felt is lacking somewhat. I got the feeling the Mali-T760 could do much better than the results I got. I think it’s down to poor rom optimization and GPU drivers. See how it compares to other tablets I have tested below:
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme: 6430
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited: 9982
GFXbench: 11,355 (Res normalized score 33,487)
Geekbench 3: 796 single core & 3900 Muli core
Unreal: Average FPS 28.7 (Ultra high quality)
Gaming wasn’t an issue from the P98 4G, every game I tried from Real Racing 3, Modern Combat 4, GTA Vice City all ran fine. Apart from Aliens Vs Predictor which would crash on loading. All the games ran smooth and were perfectly playable.
Battery life is one of the positives of the P98 4G, the MediaTek chipset is great on the battery, it uses around 1% battery after 12 hours of standby. I was ale to get around 8 hours of screen on time with the rightness set to around 40% and medium use. The battery should last most users a few days and heavy gaming users a good 6 hours.
The MediaTek MTK8752 is one cool running chipset, that and Teclasts thermal transfer pads are doing their job. The P98 4G barely gets warm, even after non stop benchmarks or gaming the P98 is just a little warm. It’s really one of the coolest running tablets I’ve come across.
The tablet took around 4 hours to full charge from empty, this is around the normal charge time for most 9.7″ retina tablets I have tested and used.
The two rear facing speakers offer average volume output and the audio via the 3.5mm jack was clean and loud enough for most. People that love to blast their music super loud or want to drive some huge Beats headphones might find the volume lacking for them.
The P98 has a rear facing 8 megapixel that takes okay macro photos, but as you can see from the below camera samples, the images look a bit blurred and with washed out colors when taking anything but macros. I’ve seen 5MP cameras take better photos tahn this
The camera app does feature a nice set of options, including HDR and panoramas. But it’s let down by a bad sensor and lens.
The front facing 2MP camera is only passable for video chat use. I’ve definitely seen Telast’s other retina tablets take better images and they only 5MP cameras. I wouldn’t buy this tablet if you need a decent camera!
My P98 4G experience was plagued with a sleep issue. Not even the 1.16 firmware update could fix my problem. As soon as I installed a few apps and then let the screen turn off there was no coming back from this sleep of death. I would have to use the reset button on the back of the tablet. Once Teclast sort out tand patch this sleep issue, the P98 4G will be decent 4G tablet, great CPU performance and still decent enough for all games currently out. While it’s no gaming beast in terms of raw GPU power I feel it would be sufficient for most. Unless you demand the ultimate in GPU power.
The battery life, build and screen and the stand out features of the tablet, and if it wasn’t for the sleep issues on my unit, I would rate this higher.