Our boys love their technology and were both very keen to play on our mobile phones when they were smaller. After several ‘incidents’ involving our phones, think wiped contacts and random calls, we decided to purchase a tablet for them.
The Nabi 2, made by Fuhu Inc, is designed to be a robust tablet that grows with your children. B has had his over 2 years and O received his 6months ago.
Firstly, the geeky stuff courtesy of the Mr. The Nabi 2 has a 7″ multi-touch capacitive touch screen boasting a moderate 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The brain of the operation is a NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 mobile processor with quad-core CPU and 5th battery-save core supplemented by a reasonable low 1gb RAM. It has 8gb of on board storage, which after Android 4.3 is installed only allows for 4gb of space for apps. But, there is a microSD slot for adding an extra 32gb of storage although this can not be used for apps.
There is a front facing 2MP camera for the selfie loving child and a reasonable 3,850 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Charging the battery is done with a thin single pin socket which is known for bending and causes charging issues. This is an issue Fuhu is aware of and were offering free replacement charging cables but only.if you live in the US.
The tablet itself is quite heavy at nearly 600g and has a red bumper which has saved ours on many occasions. It also has a rear face that allows for alphabet tiles to be clipped to the back so you can personalise your tablet. My 2 love nothing better than rearranging their letters into incomprehensible english!
The hardware is reasonable and very well placed for its price. The processor, surprisingly, seems to struggle and is sluggish. But other than that, the battery lasts 5 or 6 hours comfortably and the addition of a microSD slot is fantastic.
The Android software installed is a special version which is heavily customised by Fuhu Inc. It features 2 modes, mummy/daddy mode and Nabi mode. Mummy/daddy mode operates justs like standard android. It has Google Play for all the apps, Chrome browser, email, Hangouts etc. Here, you are able set up multiple kids accounts.
The Nabi software offer some specific apps which enable the parent to set chores and reward your child with silver coins (which parents need to purchase) that can be saved to buy apps.
This idea behind the Nabi mode is to stop the little ones accessing the things parents wouldn’t want them to or making in app purchases. All well and good, but somehow B was able to buy £80 worth of gold coins without us knowing. Fortunately, Fuhu were pretty good and refunded the money when we explained what had happened, but it did take 21 days for the money to be credited back to our account. We still have no idea how he managed to do it! The child is surely a genius.
Fuhu are also trying keeping up with the rollout of Android by releasing regular updates. Unfortunately, these are released to the US long before anywhere else. Those of us outside the US are treated a little bit like second rate citizens.
We have had a fairly serious problem with O’s Nabi 2. It keeps freezing and the only way to unfreeze it is to completely restart by holding the power button for 10seconds. This is pretty frustrating for a 2 year old who has no patience.
After support from Fuhu’s very active Facebook group, we were passed to the higher level support and it was agreed the unit is faulty. But, due to the lack of receipt (Nabi was given as a gift) and proximity to a Smyth’s toys store (best part of 100mile journey), Fuhu agreed they would replace it under warranty as long as I can get the tablet to them in California, USA. The cost is quite prohibiting to do this and we have yet to send it back.
In conclusion, Fuhu have made a great attempt at making a kid safe tablet. They have not got it all perfect but, at the cost when we first got the Nabi, it was fantastic value.
If you asked us a year ago we would have recommended this to anyone looking for a kid safe tablet. But, having had issues with the customer services, the slow rollout of updates plus, the old spec hardware, I would now recommend other tablets in favour of the Nabi, especially if you’re outside of the US.
The Nabi faces stiff competition from the likes of the Tesco Hudl2, which we have since purchased and found to be as good, if not better for children.