Ainol Novo Crystal: Lower Cost Alternative to the Nexus 7 (With Pics!)

Ainol Novo 7 Crystal

The Nexus 7 is one seriously powerful piece of hardware, with the latest buttery smooth Android Jelly Bean 4.1 OS coupled with a beefy 1.3Ghz quad core chip that eliminates the lag that the Android platform has been known for. You can already get it locally for just Php12,750 for the 8Gb version and Php15,750 for the 16Gb version through Widget City and other local gray market sellers. However as affordable as the Nexus 7 might be, there are still those who might find it out of the reach of their budget. Enter the Ainol Novo 7 Crystal tablet, the first tablet to run Jelly Bean after the Nexus 7. At least, to my knowledge. If you guys know of another Jelly Bean tablet aside from the Nexus 7 that launched before the Crystal, please let me know in the comments.

Anyway, the Novo 7 Crystal has some pretty solid specs despite the budget price tag of only $139. Yes, it’s that cheap. You get a 1.5Ghz dual core CPU, which is already impressive in itself when you consider that most budget tablets in the Philippine market only sport a 1Ghz – 1.5Ghz single core chip. Then there’s the powerful Mali 400 GPU, which also happens to be the same graphics chip that the Samsung Galaxy S2, Note and Note 2 sport underneath the hood. You’ll virtually be guaranteed to be able to play every graphically intensive game that’s available on the Play Store. The 1024 x 600 IPS screen is also a beauty and will give you great color reproduction and wide viewing angles similar to what you would get on an iPad, although not as sharp. The resolution is a little behind, particularly when you compare it to the Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 display, but it’s still a lot better than the 800 x 480 resolution that most budget Android tablets come with. You also get 8Gb of internal storage, although it’s likely there’ll be a 16Gb version shortly.


  • CPU: 2nd Generation Amlogic8726-M6 Cortex-A9 Dual Core 1.5GHZ
  • GPU: Quad Core Mali400*4
  • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 7″ IPS at 1024 x 600 resolution
  • RAM: 1GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage: 8Gb, expandable up to 32Gb via MicroSD
  • Camera: Front-facing 2mp
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, No Bluetooth
  • Battery: 3,700mAh

Some of you might be skeptical with the Ainol brand, but while they may be a Chinese brand, they have already made a name for themselves by making seriously decent tablets at budget prices. Ainol was the first on the scene with an ICS tablet (Ainol Novo Paladin) back when that OS was first released. Also, Ainol provides some great software support for their tablets, and there are also a number of third party developers if you’re looking to get more out of the Novo 7 Crystal in the future. No word yet on official pricing and availability in the Philippines for this one, and the official website lists the Novo 7 Crystal as being out of stock for the moment, however local sellers like Darex Marketing are selling the 16Gb version of the Aurora 2 (same specs, but on ICS) for just Php6.7K at, just to give you an idea of what the price might be like if they decide to start importing it here.




Update: Notebook Italia reports that the Novo Crystal will start shipping internationally beginning September 28.

Sources: Ainol 1 and 2, Notebook Italia via Engadget, Darex Marketing Sulit Page

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