FNF iFive Mini3 Review - Specs and Performance

Specs and one particular area of performance are only places this tablet falls down. In my real-world "usage" portion of the review I will balance all of this out a bit as my overall experience with the device has been extremely positive. First, lets talk specs...

Where the FNF excels is in the area of raw processing horse-power. It is a well-known fact that currently nothing coming out of China can touch the RK3188 Quad-Core Cortex A9 processor. At 1.6 Ghz on a 28 nm process it is one the quickest chips currently available and the uncontested champ in this pricing segment. Compared with chipsets like the Tegra 4 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, the RK3188 is going to lose a lot of ground. But compared with chips only one generation Prior, the RK3188 not only holds its own but often excels. We don't even need to really bother discussing chips like the Allwinner A31, Actions ATM-7029 or the aging AmLogic MX dual-core. Anyone that is worth their salt that is up-to-snuff on current China chips knows that the most premium parts available is the RK3188 and that is exactly what sits at the heart of the FNF iFive Mini3.

Less stellar, but still quite sufficient/decent is the 1 Gb of DDR3 Ram. Most of the "ultra" high-end parts coming out of China these days are featuring 2 Gb of ram. I have used both the Chuwi V88 1 Gb and 2 Gb RAM parts and this device. Honestly, in normal day-to-day use, and even in fairly heavy gaming, I couldn't tell a difference between the two. My guess is that if you are prone to having lots of tabs open in your browser and playing music, and forgot to shutdown your game you were playing, and you are currently reading a book, and... you might be able to take advantage of an extra 1 Gb. A lot of budget devices out of China are actually still coming with 512 mb of Ram (half of 1 Gb) and an interesting point to note here is that the iPad Mini actually only sports 512 Mb of ram. So, long story short, having 2 Gb would have looked nice on the spec sheet and I would have preferred it, however in real-world usage I doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference.

Quite stellar, but perhaps considered lower-resolution, is the 1024x768 7.9" display. Due to the panel being fairly small, 1024x768 looks very sharp. The panel itself is nothing short of awesome otherwise. Excellent viewing angles, incredibly bright, perfect color reproduction. I put it side-by-side with a Chuwi V88 and they are pretty much identical and it is one of the best panels I have seen in a Chinese device. It probably goes without saying but I will say it anyhow :)... ZERO light-bleed. Which is very a-typical for a china tab. There is no warbling/water ripple effect on the screen even though the unit is extremely compact. Also...

The touch-panel and display-panel I believe are put together using what is called a "Glass on Glass" method. What this means is that there is little-to-no noticeable "gap" or space between the glass touch panel layer and the IPS LCD screen underneath. The result of all of the above is a pretty much immaculate viewing experience.

The touch-panel itself is also ultra-responsive and extremely accurate. I used a multi-touch tester application and it measured 10 points of touch. What's more is that it was perfectly accurate. A lot of cheap tablets advertise 10 point touch HOWEVER they are only good for about 3 points... Anything more and you will see ghost touches appearing on the screen, touch points jumping all over etc. Even good tablets have problems when you get past 6 points. I was pleasantly surprised that this tab tracked 10 points effortlessly. It gives me the impression that FNF has done a good job all-around and is in the market to make a quality product.

Bluetooth is present, I am not sure which version however it is probably safe to say it is Ver. 2.1 or higher.

WiFi was the only "less than stellar" item I came across in my review. I live in a 1100 Sq. Foot apartment and I was able to get a decent signal from all rooms. My router is at the absolute far end of one side of the building so we are talking probably 35 - 40 ft from the opposite side and several walls in-between. Just for reference, my "best" performing wifi tablets can get a working (if not amazing) signal from outside of my apartment at a distance of about 60 foot. Those tablets have "above average" wifi. My average units can get a working (if not amazing...) signal from immediately outside my apartment at a distance of about 45 foot. This tablet can get a signal just fine anywhere inside of my apartment and while it did maintain a connection outside of my apartment, the connection speed was so slow as to not be very usable.

UPDATE: (11/16/2013) Having used this device for quite some time now, and having even traveled abroad with it for two weeks... I am going to say the Wifi is actually quite good. I have used it at hotels, airports, and we moved to a new two-story townhome with the router upstairs, and I haven't had any frustration with Wifi in all that time. I think that spot at my old flat was particularly tough as even my best tablets had some trouble there. Yes, the range could be a bit better, but the connection is rock-solid and there are not "drop" or connection stability issues as experienced with a lot of other Chinese models. So... The Wifi is very good, solid, stable, reliable and my experience with the Mini3 has been pretty much frustration free as a result. Yes, I have left this note in two places in this review... -Roman

My guess is that the all-metal design probably hinders this device from having stellar WiFi. All tablets that I have had that have had phenomenal Wifi are plastic backed units. Considering how awesome the design and feel of this tab are, it is a trade-off I can live with, but I realize others might differ on that front and want something with more usable range.

The rear speaker is "sufficient" and actually fairly loud. However overall audio quality kind of sucks. It is a bit "tinny" and there is some crackling at full volume when there is bass of any-kind involved. Overall, you will want a nice pair of headphones with this device or a bluetooth speaker. I think it will be fine for things like youtube video watching, light music listening/audiobook, and occasional gaming. I am playing Colin Hay right now via Google Music and full volume while writing this review and it is okay but you do notice the tinniness.

If you have made it this far in the review then you pretty much know the most important bits :).

The only other negatives I will mention here are:
- A lack of additional functionality such as GPS
- No HDMI out (this was a bit of a surprise but once again it does keep the exterior lines looking good and I can live without it as I have a million other electronic devices connected to my TV as is)
- No Flash on the Camera

Regarding the camera's... They are significantly better than most of what I have seen in other China tabs but they aren't anywhere near as good as say an iPhone 4s. So, if you need to scan QR codes, take a few quick shots in broad daylight from time to time, skype, or take a picture of a check to deposit electronically... You are in luck. The rear camera does have Auto-Focus which does help a bit. Just don't expect to be capturing your life's most important memories on this thing.