Camangi returns to the Android party with promising Camangi II and FM600 tablets
The Camangi WebStation that launched at the end of last year was an Android tablet with a nice design and a lot of promise, but it ultimately didn't meet expectations due to underwhelming performance, an unresponsive resistive touch screen, and no support for Android Market. Undeterred by its first effort, Camangi went back to the drawing board and has now returned with not one, but two all new Android tablets: the FM600 and high-end Camangi II. Both look to address the shortcomings of the WebStation and compete with the latest competition.
Let's start with the Camangi FM600 (shown above). It's identical to the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 and OlivePad VT100 since it comes from the same manufacturer and like its rebranded stablemates, the 7-inch tablet includes full phone functionality. The FM600 also sports a capacitive, multitouch-supporting touch screen, Android 2.2 with support for Android Market, 600MHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, a microSD card slot, a front-facing VGA webcam and rear-facing 3MP camera, A-GPS, b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 3G data, and support for 2G (quad-band GSM) and 3G (WCDMA) phone networks with a SIM card slot. The tablet also includes the usual array of USB 2.0 ports, headphone out jack, accelerometer, electronic compass, and a 3240mAh Li-polymer battery that lasts up to 25 days on standby, 26 or 9 hours of talk time (GSM and WCDMA, respectively), and 5 hours of video playback or web browsing.
Less has been revealed about the company's second offering, the 7-inch Camangi II (above), with the tablet appearing to have a very similar design to the WebStation but with very different internals. With a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 based Samsung S5PV210 chipset also running Android 2.2, the Camangi II will be more powerful than the FM600, but may lack support for Android Market because it doesn't seem to have phone functionality needed to comply with Google's hardware requirements.
On the other hand, the Camangi II impresses with a WSVGA (1024×600) 7-inch multi-touch capacitive touch screen, 512MB DDR2 RAM, 2GB local storage expandable via SD cards, b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 3G data connectivity, GPS, a front-facing 5MP camera, a 3-axis accelerometer, a mini-HDMI output, and a removable battery.
Both devices are currently on show at IFA, with the FM600 reported to be priced around €399 (~US$514), placing it in the same ballpark as the ViewSonic ViewPad 7. Unfortunately there are currently no confirmed details regarding price and availability for the Camangi II.
Based on the available information, I think Camangi's second attempts at the ultra-crowded Android tablet scene look very respectable. Both tablets seem to have addressed some of the key issues with the WebStation with more powerful processors, the latest version of Android, and capacitive screens.
It seems like the FM600 is intended more as a general MID tablet, whereas the Camangi II looks to offer a few more media features such as the mini-HDMI output. It's still uncertain whether the Camangi II will have support for Android Market, but hopefully it either does or a version of it will be released that does, since such a combination would be an extremely promising entry into the tablet market. Check out a hands-on video of the FM600 by CarryPad's Chippy below and let us know your thoughts on Camangi's latest efforts in the comments.
[IFA website via CarryPad]