As is the case with many other people I know, my reading has taken a big hit since social media came along. Gone are the days I used to read huge novels and biographies in just a matter of days. Back in the day, I read anything and everything and often prided myself in reading even the most boring stuff. I have not completely stopped reading. I still read at least a long read or two every day and especially as I retire to bed. 90% of my reading is now electronic and for this, I’m now using the Tecno Phonepad 3 since it landed into my life a few weeks ago. I’ve been using a bigger tab but with this one which is just 7 inch, it is easier to fit in the hand and enjoy the story without struggling with positioning. Other than reading, the large screen also means I can comfortably view reports, documents and ppts without having to amplify.

Build for business

As much as I use it for reading, I mostly use the PhonePad 3 for what it is actually meant for. A work and business device. Coming at 188mm long and 98mm wide, and a thickness of just 7.85mm, the phablet strikes a balance between mobility and bigger working space than a phone. It is big enough to work with fully and also small enough to fit into your life and even in the pocket if you insist. Putting gadgets into pockets is however not something I personally advocate for and with the Phonepad 3 which is noticeably bigger than a phone, the bulge is a bit too obvious. But it can be well hidden in a small purse for the ladies or even a business suit or murse for the guys.

Other than size, what makes this device stand out for business? First of all it is dual SIM and 4G enabled and that gets the communication bit sorted. It has 16GB ROM and 2GB RAM so we we’re sorted with speed and storage.  It also helps that the phablet has a beautiful and classy brushed metal finish. Nothing unusual yet right?

Well, the device comes with an inbuilt Business Assist feature, which packs business tools like WPS office, notebook, email, calendar, and more interestingly, CamCard which you can use to scan and store business cards into a central place, from where you can view or share electronically.  You’ll be required to create an account for this on your phone though and it took me all of 1 minute.  You can also access these business cards from multiple devices and make calls or send texts directly from the app. Nifty. Here’s to more permissions though. Now you know what to do with those business cards that you throw into a drawer and never take a second look at.

Another feature that is clearly meant for the business world is the CamScanner – inbuilt software from which you can scan, crop, store, share and even extract text from images. After scanning the image, which is basically taking a photo, you can then edit into black, grayscale or colour. You can also save as and view as PDF right from the app. Nice. You also need to create another account for this and the email address you used to create your CamCard account will not be accepted. Whyyy? Anyway, something else I noticed was that students and teachers get free 600M cloud space by signing in with a .edu email address.

Biz Assist also has a Meeting Mode which you can customize to only allow some alerts and not others for the duration of a meeting. For example, you could choose to be notified of events in your calendar and not alarms. I found a rather nice feature here where you can allow specific people’s calls through if they call a second time within a 15 minute window. Here, you can also customize to receive calls from only your contacts, or better yet, specific contacts who you’ll have starred prior. The same goes for messages.

All these Biz Assist features are safely under pre-installed Trust Look for guaranteed safety of your both your gadget and business documents therein.

Camera

Tabs have often been known to come with crappy cameras, but not so with the Tecno Phonepad 3 which has a 13mp back camera and 5mp front both with flash. The front camera is clearly poorer but hey! It is a business and not a selfie device no? ?. For a selfie master, look out for the Tecno Camon CX review which I’m doing immediately after this.

But if you want some Business Assist above, the camera also has a face beat feature so you can busy yourself taking discreet selfies and doing digital makeup to while away time in winding boring meetings ?

Security

The phablet has a fingerprint scanner on the side, something I took time to get used to seeing that I’ve only ever used gadgets with either a front or back fingerprint scanner. With the number of gadgets I go through though, this was no big deal. I get used to new features very fast and promptly move on. The fingerprint scanner is multi functional, and can also be used to accept incoming calls by long pressing, or for recording the call. This button will also serve to scroll web pages and documents. Anyone’s fingers will work to for other functions but to unlock the phone, only pre-scanned prints will do.

I initially had a slight problem with the fingerprint scanner though. It is mounted at the side of the phone and the scanning surface is therefore only a thin strip. This necessitates a higher level of precision than with the usual circular scanners and it failed to read my fingerprint several times. I’m not sure Tecno should make it even the least difficult to unlock a gadget.

Battery

What’s a business device that will die on you in the middle of the day? Certainly not the Tecno Phonepad 3 which has a solid 4100mAh. For estimate purposes, let say that the battery will give you more than 12 hours of video, or 48 hours of music, or around 9 hours of browsing. Not all three for all those hours but with time you’ll be able to calculate your average battery use. Whichever way the device will last you a full day of use under normal use.

Gifts

The Phonepad comes with a smart cover which you will use to prop and rest the phone beautifully. The cover also has pockets to house MicroSIMS and the tiny pin for popping the SIM and MicroSD.

This device goes for Ksh.22,199 which I think is a good price for all the features it is offering.

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