Verizon Ellipsis 7

 

1383776912484Introduction / Review

The Ellipsis 7 is a 7-inch budget value tablet designed and sold through Verizon Wireless and manufactured by Quanta Computer.

Verizon sells the device for $250 outright or $150 under contract.

Specifications

Inside the Ellipsis there is a generic quad-core 1.2 GHz ARM based CPU accompanied by 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage with the option of adding additional storage space through a removable microSD card (up to 64 GB).

Storage

Continuing on the point of storage the feature of including a microSD slot is a good benefit that seems to be found only in a decreasing number of mobile devices. This is a very useful option for users that have a greater amount of media to store. The downside to the Ellipsis’s storage capacity being Verizon has only dedicated a single gigabyte (1 GB) to Android apps. This can be a deal breaker for those who need very many apps or gamers that have apps with large amount of downloadable content.

Update: Verizon released an additional software update to allow more space for applications.

Software

Taking a look at the software on the Ellipsis, which received a software update to Android 4.2.2 which improves a lot of the base functionality such as battery life, overall stability, and LTE modem improvements.

For the most part the Ellipsis maintains a pretty stock vanilla experience. Some minor parts of the core Android system and settings have been slightly modified.

Verizon has added a few quick toggle changes to make things easier. The mobile network tile is actually a Verizon 4G LTE tile which shows the network signal strength. Tapping the tile opens the data usage menu of settings.

Another extra tile added is the screen timeout toggle. This allows the user to select between 15, 30, or 60 seconds of inactivity before the display turns itself off to save power.

The final additional tile is a standard auto-rotate/orientation lock toggle which is a common feature on many AOSP ROMs.

Verizon has modified the Location Services toggle to instead display as “GPS”. The icon resembles a GPS indicator seen in older versions of Android. Tapping the tile will toggle Location Services but display a “location consent” warning, informing the user that location information will be shared with apps and services on the device. It also warns the user of mobile data usage which will count towards their data plan. There is no way to disable or hide this warning.

Hardware

The Ellipsis is powered by a MediaTek MT8125 SoC.

The MT8125 is a low end chip designed for budget devices. While it may be enough to keep the Ellipsis running it isn’t comparable to the performance of other devices which utilize better chipsets such as Qualcomm Snapdragon or Nvidia Tegra.

Mediatek is known for its dominance of the Chinese mobile market.

More negatively, Mediatek chipsets are known for poor build quality which may lead specifically to GPS issues as well as other hardware issues.

Modifications

Root Access

The Ellipsis 7 can be rooted using the Framaroot exploit application.

Kingo rooting methods may also work, however the exploit has not been verified as safe by the community. Kingo refuses to release their source code to the public, therefore the app’s code has not been confirmed free of malware or other risks.

Kernel Support

Due to Mediatek’s refusal to publicly release kernel sources it is not possible to create custom kernels for the Ellipsis at this time.

Bootloader

The OEM (manufacturer) has locked the bootloader at the request of Verizon. Since the bootloader is locked and secure, it is currently impossible to flash unofficial ROMs, kernels, or recoveries not signed by Verizon.

There is no known method to unlock the bootloader at this time.

Recovery

The Ellipsis ships with a standard “android recovery 3e” recovery image. This is a common recovery setup for many generic or low-end android devices. The recovery includes basic features for factory resetting, user data backup and restore, and flashing of signed system images only. The stock recovery does not allow flashing of unsigned images such as custom ROMs.

The recovery mode can only be accessed through a rooted app or through ADB.

“Factory Mode”

When holding the Volume Down and Power keys during boot the Ellipsis will boot into “Factory Mode”.

Factory Mode is an additional pre-boot mode designed for device QA testing such as checking sensors. The mode activates some USB access for ADB and fastboot modes.

Other Modifications

As rooting is possible with the Ellipsis it is capable of using root applications that do not require an unlocked bootloader, custom kernel, or custom ROM.

The Ellipsis works with Xposed Framework and compatible modules.

It is advised not to modify the system partition if possible as this can cause the tablet to become stuck in an unbootable state.

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