The Cheapest Android Tablet? SF-M703A Tablet Sells for $44

I’ve just noticed Liliputing posted an article about Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci tablet, the commercial version of Aakash2 tablet, that sells for $37.99. There are two caveats however: it’s only available in the U.S., and the price does not include a $9.99 shipping charge which brings the total price to $47.98. That’s still dirt cheap, but I’ve decided to look for the cheapest 7″ tablet that ships internationally. I did so on Chinese websites, including Aliexpress, where you can find such tablets for as low as $12 including shipping from sellers without feedback. These are obvious scams, so I filtered the products sold from sellers with decent feedback, and products with reviews. Based on these criteria, the cheapest Android tablet I could find is SF-M703A, or just called 703A. It goes for $43.99 including shipping via Swiss Post.

SF-M703A Tablet
SF-M703A Tablet

Let’s compare the specifications of SF-M703A with Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci.

SF-M703A Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci / AAKASH-2
SoC AllWinner A13 @ 1.0 GHz with Mali-400 GPU
System memory 512 MB RAM
Storage 4GB NAND Flash + micro SD card
Display 7” capacitive touchscreen – Resolution: 800×480
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
I/O mini USB + 3.5mm audio jack
Camera 0.3MP front camera
Sensors G-Sensor
Battery 1800 mAh 2100 mAh (AAKASH-2).
Up to 180 minutes on battery
Dimensions 183x120x10mm 190.5×118.5×15.7mm
Weight 320 g.
Android Version Android 4.0.3
Price (inc. shipping) $43.99 $47.98

Both tablets have basically the same specifications, with the only real difference being a battery with a slightly larger capacity on Ubislate 7Ci. Both devices are sold with a power adapter, and a USB cable.

Such tablets could be given to kids, although many games may not play smoothly, used as a remote control using apps such as Droidmote, or as a Chromecast remote, a digital photo frame, and possibly some projects where you need a cheap Android console (3D printer, home automation, etc…). For 10 to 15 dollars extra, you could also upgrade to a tablet with a dual core SoC including a more powerful GPU.

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9 Replies to “The Cheapest Android Tablet? SF-M703A Tablet Sells for $44”

  1. Very nice comparison, just one minor addition:
    the listing you picked as an example on Aliexpress shows me “US $4.61 to Russian Federation via Swiss Post” shipping fee, so $48.60 total. I have found another one, with free shipping at the same total at $48.59:
    this one lists the battery as 2000 mAh. And also it’s actually the “famous” and perhaps the most popular tablet model on Aliexpress, the “Q88”. There are countless reviews of it, e.g. on YouTube:

  2. Good to see a low-price dual-core, 1GB RAM (ie usable for general purposes!) tablet comparison sometime too 🙂

  3. @rm
    Interesting only some countries have free shipping. Russian is one of them where free shipping is not available. Brazil may won the crown however, as only UPS is available for a whopping $105.05. That’s only for shipping, not including the tablet.

    They mention Q90 on the listing, but it could be Q88. It’s difficult to know. I can see a picture with “Model: 703A” on the back of the tablet.

  4. I bought a 49USD Q8S from Geekbuying two weeks ago (–Capacitive-Touch-Screen-1024-600-512M-RAM-4G-ROM-1-6GHz-Tablet-PC—Black-315345.html, I guess that was Black Friday promotion, now it is 70 again), that one is even RK3066 and 1024×600. Still, it’s dumbfounding how crappy it can be when in principle the hardware should be quite capable. It kind of works but stuff randomly drops, in particular HDMI is totally random.

    I think I should quit buying cheap Shenzhai stuff… Even the well-reputed hardware like the Cubieboards ends up being barely working when you get down to it (for example, the Cubietruck makes weird high frequency noises when you plug in USB devices and still has no real 1080p kernel).

  5. Also, looks like the 55USD for the WM8880 device from earlier this year have finally came to pass at Geekbuying – does that one output 1080p reliably (looking for a cheap gadget I can hookup to my mothers full HD TV)?

  6. I’ve just noticed some people game the review system in Aliexpress. A new product just has over 2600 order, with 2500 reviews. So I guess they must have updated the product description of an old product, with a new product to keep the good review…

  7. Very interesting . It would be also interesting to see low cost tablets with a large screen (9″-10″) , decent resolution(720p) , and a decent ram and processor.

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