SKK Marian Tab Review: No Compromises

When I first heard that SKK Mobile was going to release the first ever locally-branded octa-core tablet, it was impossible not to be intrigued. After all, it ticked off everything on my list of must-haves for a high end tablet. Octa-core processor? Check. Full HD resolution? Check. 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM? Check. Expandable storage? Check. Heck, the fact it can make calls and texts is just icing on top of the cake.

SKK Marian Tab Smart View

However, it also has one of the highest price tags of any locally-branded device, something that got it a lot of mixed reactions when I showed it around to some blogger and tech enthusiast friends of mine. Often I would get a “Man, that thing’s gorgeous!” Followed by a “Wait, you said how much?!”

Well, I’ve been using the SKK Marian Tab long enough to help you guys decide if the price tag is worth it. So is the Marian Tab worthy of its name-sake brand ambassador or is it better to settle for something cheaper and less powerful? Read on to find out in my full SKK Mobile Marian Tab review.

What’s in the Box?

SKK Marian Tab Box and Accessories

I can’t say I’ve ever liked SKK Mobile’s retail packaging and it isn’t any different with the Marian Tab. The tablet comes in a bright blue box with brand ambassador Marian Rivera on the cover.  Inside the box, you’ll find the following.

  • tablet
  • headset with in line mic
  • micro USB transfer cable
  • charger
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • smart cover
  • warranty card

Build Quality and Design

As far as 7 inch tablets go, the SKK Marian Tab is one of the slimmest I’ve seen yet. The screen takes up as much of the front of the Marian Tab as would seem possible and the bezels are so small, you would think you were holding a 7 inch smartphone rather than a tablet.

SKK Marian Tab Screen

Above the screen, you’ll find an earpiece that would actually allow you to take calls, as well as the front camera for selfies and video chats. There’s also the ambient light and proximity sensors.

SKK Marian Tab Profile

Below the screen are the smallish capacitive navigation keys. While small, they aren’t that hard to find and press because of the relatively small bezel.

SKK Marian Tab Left Side

On the left is a slim volume rocker.

SKK Marian Tab Right Side

To the right is the equally slim power/lock button.

SKK Marian Tab Top

Up top is the 3.5mm headset jack.

SKK Marian Tab Bottom

On the bottom is the micro USB port.

SKK Marian Tab Back

On the back, you’ll find the 13mp camera with its LED flash and SKK Mobile branding toward the top, and Marian Tab branding and dual loudspeakers toward the bottom.

SKK Marian Tab SIM slots and Micro SD

The back cover is removable, which is surprising considering this is a tablet. Taking it off reveals access to the dual SIM slots, micro SD card slot, and the massive removable 4,000mAh battery.

Overall, the build is pretty solid. Even if the back cover is removable, there’s hardly any gaps in construction to speak of. I do have some reservations about repeatedly taking off the back cover. It’s the kind of back cover that you would typically see on a Samsung Galaxy phone with its flexible plastic.

The Screen

The SKK Marian Tab features a 7 inch WUXGA IPS display. In case, you don’t know what resolution WUXGA stands for, it means 1200 x 1920, which is a bit non-standard for a mobile device. Still, it’s Full HD resolution and you’re getting a pixel density of 323ppi, not to mention excellent color reproduction and viewing angles. In fact, the Marian Tab probably features the best screen you can get from a local device and can even go head to head against some international competition.

SKK Marian Tab Angle

I did notice though that the screen didn’t seem to be as sensitive as I would have liked. I’m a Swiftkey user and I like to enlarge the keys to make them easier to press, so I was rather surprised to find I was still making a lot of mistakes while typing out messages on the Marian Tab. I removed the pre-installed screen protector, which remedied the problem quite nicely. However, it still feels like the screen could have been more sensitive.

The Chipset

The SKK Marian Tab is equipped with a 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor, which is basically the best chip you can get on a local device right now. The MT6592 is an all-in-one SoC that not only gives you an octa-core CPU, but a Mali 450 MP4 GPU as well, not to mention various wireless connectivity options.

Chipset Information
Chipset Information

While the MT6592 can deliver performance equivalent to a Galaxy S4 or HTC One M7 in terms of benchmarks, the unusually high resolution gives it a 10% heavier graphics load to render. Still, navigating through the UI is plenty smooth with no evidence of slow down during normal usage.

Of course, I’m sure some of you are curious as to how well the Marian Tab fared in the benchmarks, so here are some results from running it through Quadrant, Antutu and Nenamark 2.

Software and UI

The SKK Marian Tab runs Android 4.4 out of the box with very little in the way of customizations. However, for what’s supposed to be a flagship device, the UI feels unpolished. Sure, it’s your typical vanilla Android interface, but the icons look too large for the screen and are poorly spaced. A 3rd party launcher like Apex, which is the one I’m using, quickly takes care of that, but it would have been nice if SKK Mobile had tweaked it a bit to make it look and feel nicer. This is a flagship device after all.

RAM and Storage

The SKK Marian Tab comes equipped with a whopping 2GB RAM, 1,939MB of which is usable. You also get 16GB of storage, which is partitioned into 1.97GB of system storage and 11.45GB phone storage, with the rest going toward the system (OS, etc). On top of that, it’s also expandable via micro SD.

In terms of multitasking and storage, it’s about the best you can get on a local brand. Sure, it could have been better if it came with 32GB of storage, but casual users will hardly end up using that much and there’s a micro SD slot if you really need that extra space.

Telephony and Wireless Connectivity

Because the SKK Marian Tab comes equipped with the MediaTek MT6592, it also comes with all of the wireless support that has been built into the SoC. You get support for up to HSPA+ connectivity, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. No, there’s no LTE, but LTE coverage in the Philippines is pretty limited anyway.

The Marian Tab makes for an excellent communication device because it’s slim bezels and large screen. Because there are hardly any bezels, the device is easier to hold in one hand so you can realistically make calls on it without it looking too much like holding a chopping board to the side of your head. Also, it’s easier to compose messages as well since it’s large but not too large that you have to stretch across with your thumbs from the side.


SKK Marian Tab Camera

Unlike most tablets, the SKK Marian Tab actually comes with a really good camera. It boasts of a 13mp rear-facing autofocus camera with LED flash, which is on par with the best that any local brand can offer. Even the front camera is surprisingly good at 5mp.

[Photos to be uploaded shortly]


The gorgeous 1200 x 1920 Full HD IPS screen is one of the biggest reasons the SKK Marian Tab is a great on-the-go entertainment device. The high resolution and pixel density combined with the reasonably powerful Mali 450 GPU help to deliver some of the sharpest and most vibrant images you can get from any tablet, local or otherwise.

SKK Marian Tab Entertainment

Here, the included smart cover is a huge plus as well. You can easily convert it into a stand for those impromptu movies at a coffee shop or lunch breaks to while away the time. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that it supports CTIA-compliant headsets.


If there’s anything you’re going to enjoy on the Marian Tab, it’s definitely gaming. The Mali 450 MP4 makes short work of most games you can find on the Play Store. However, the experience isn’t perfect based on my gaming test.

SKK Marian Tab Dead Trigger 2

The first game I played on it was Dead Trigger 2 because it’s a quick download and there’s a quick toggle between low and high graphics settings. Playing it on high graphics settings looked awesome on the Full HD screen, however, I did notice that the frame rates weren’t as good as I hoped they could be. Knocking the graphics down to low still looked gorgeous though.

SKK Marian Tab Minion Rush

Another game I played was Minion Rush. The updates have been adding to this games bloat since it initially launched and while the gameplay is pretty simplistic, it’s also one of the heavier games you can play based on graphics. This time, if there was a frame rate and responsiveness issue, I didn’t notice it. There was hardly any delay between my swipes creen and the Minion’s movement onscreen.

SKK Marian Tab Real Racing 3

Finally, I tested the game on Real Racing 3, one of the most realistic racing games you’ll ever find on the Play Store, not to mention one of the most taxing when it comes to graphics. The initial cinematic has been serving as a gaming benchmark for me since slower phones tend to experience audio sync issues when they can’t process the graphics as quickly as they can the audio. With the Marian Tab, there was little issue. There was some delay toward the end, but only minor.

The 1200 x 1920 resolution is actually heavier on the GPU than typical 1080 x 1920 Full HD resolution screens that you see on smartphones, which is likely the reason for the slight drag in performance. However, it was hardly a deal-breaker for me as the experience was pretty close to perfect.

Battery Life

The SKK Marian Tab packs a massive 4,000mah battery, which is pretty large considering most local tablets tend to come with 2,500mah to 3,000mAh batteries. Of course, the high resolution means the GPU will need more juice than most tablets so it’s about right.

SKK Marian Tab Back Cover and Battery

Still, overall battery life is pretty good. Even when I use the Marian Tab for extended manga-reading periods, the battery drain isn’t too bad. Standby time is even more awesome. I have a few apps that sync information every hour, which can drain the battery of my other devices pretty quickly. However, the Marian Tab just takes it in stride. I’ll often leave the device and pick it up a few hours later and see that it’s only lost single digit percentage points. Not bad at all considering this is a 3G-enabled device as well.

So Should You Buy the SKK Marian Tab?

Make no mistake. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the Marian Tab. It makes no compromises in terms of screen, RAM, storage, connectivity, battery and overall performance. Everyone I’ve shown the Marian Tab to have always marveled at just how good it looks and how well it performed after trying it out for themselves. If you’re looking for a complete tablet that excels at everything, the SKK Marian Tab is the tablet to get.

SKK Marian Tab Featured

However, it’s hard to get over that Php19,999 price point. At that price, the SKK Marian Tab isn’t even competing with local tablets anymore, but with the likes of the iPad Mini 2 and Nexus 7 2013. That’s dangerous territory to enter for a brand that has yet to prove itself against the local competition.

SKK Marian Tab Smart Cover Angle Shot

SKK has been having a few sales lately, some where they’ve offered for as low as Php7k and a few others where it was closer to Php10k and Php16k. These were limited to a few launch events though, but if you can find it at such a deal, I would absolutely get it.


11 thoughts on “SKK Marian Tab Review: No Compromises

  1. this is a nice device by skk mobile… kudos to them in their hardwork even other local brands are competing. though its still pricey. i rather get nexus 7 2013 but no hate… this is still a good one considering its octa core and has a big batt juice

    1. Yup. Up until now, sila lang ang nag offer ng tablet na ganito ang level sa performance and features. Hopefully, magrelease din ang ibang brands at lower pricing para bumaba din presyo nito.

      1. oo nga pero ung cm nag release naman ng tegra note kaya pang tapat naman nila siguro yun dun. pero nexus 7 parin ako hehe

    1. wala pa 2013 pa lang… i hope they are going to make it. kung hindi man octa core sana gawin nilang quad core na 2 ghz or something.

  2. Grabe mahal neto. Chineck ko dito sa SM Cebu ang price at P19,999. Nagulat ako! Kung ganito ang price lalangawin sila. Bibili nalang ako ng branded na tab kung ganito kamahal. Goodluck sa tab nila. Hehe

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