Shifting over 750,000 units Tesco’s original Hudl was a huge success for the supermarket giant, so it’s no surprise to find it has released a successor called the Hudl 2 – and it’s just in time for Christmas.
For many people the Tesco Hudl was their first tablet; for others it was an affordable second tablet. But both groups came to appreciate its low price and the enticing offers that came wrapped up in the Clubcard Boost.
Tesco hope their new tablet will appeal to a much broader audience.
Group Digital Offer Michael Comish said: “We believe Hudl 2 will be the primary tablet for its users.”
Let’s take a closer look and see if he is right - and you can check out the video above to find out more.
Tesco Hudl 2: Design and connections
At first glance the most obvious difference is the size: the screen has been boosted from 7 to 8.3-inches.
It doesn’t feel significantly heavier and you could just about use it with one hand, although two is more comfortable.
With eight colour variations to choose from, it’s far more aesthetic than its predecessor.
Meanwhile, the matte backing and edges ensure it won’t slip from your grasp. Volume and power buttons are located on the top.
Connections remain the same and include dual-band wi-fi and an HDMI port (a real bonus on tablets at this price point) for playing back content on a flatscreen TV.
Annoyingly, although it’s advertised as having 16Gb storage, you can only use 10Gb – but it does include a microSD card slot which supports cards with a capacity up to 48GB.
Tesco Hudl 2: Performance
With a HD resolution of 1920x1200, the screen has far more pixels than its predecessor. This means text appeals sharper and easier to read - and colours are more vibrant.
Inside the Hudl 2 there’s an Intel Atom 1.83 Ghz quad-core processor, which ensures it feels significantly faster than the original version. Web pages load more quickly, video streams smoothly and it just feels far more responsive.
This combination of screen and performance improvements ensures it’s a far better entertainment device than its predecessor.
Video streams smoothly and there’s less stuttering with 3D games. And, when watching movies, Dolby Optimised audio makes a real difference, creating a much fuller and atmospheric sound.
Tesco Hudl 2: Camera
The original Hudl had a 3-megapixel primary and 2-megapixel secondary camera, the Hudl 2 has a 5-megapixel primary and 1.2-megapixel secondary.
Quicker focusing, a sharper screen and less lag when you move the tablet, makes it much easier to use.
Photographs are better, too. They are sharper and more detailed, colours are bolder and exposure is more accurate. Certainly video calls will be a lot clearer.
But while we welcome the improvements, photographs are not fantastic, certainly not in the iPads league – but let’s not forget the difference in price between the two.
Tesco Hudl 2: Android and Tesco features
The Hudl 2 runs Google’s Android operating system, specifically KitKat, which is the latest version.
Although it sticks fairly close to native Android, Tesco clearly sees the Hudl as a portal to its other service and it comes pre-installed with seven apps covering its shopping and Blinkbox entertainment offerings.
Swiping left from the main menu (or tapping the T) takes you to a special Tesco services page. Sign in to Groceries, Clubcard, Blinkbox Books and Blinkbox Music and you get personalised information and special offers, which is fantastic if you are a Tesco customer.
If you’re not a Tesco regular, it’s a little annoying and as there’s no way to delete the page (like you can with the apps) - you’ll just have to ignore it unless you want to download another launcher.
Part of the success of the original Hudl was how easy it was to use - even if you weren’t familiar with tablets.
The Hudl 2 is just as user-friendly. For proof of this, look no further than the incredibly useful ‘App Discovery’ feature which groups together basic apps in categories, so you can get stated with the basics without having to dive into the Google Play Store and its one million apps.
Tesco Hudl 2: Child safety app
The family market is hugely important to Tesco and it pitched the original Hudl as a child-friendly device.
The company has now taken it a step further, introducing a dedicated Child Safety app, enabling parents to set up dedicated profiles for up to five children.
Parents start by setting a number of passwords/locks for the device. They are then invited to determine exactly what content each child can access, which websites they can visit, how long they are allowed to use it, and which apps they can access.
This means that when a child logs in, he or she will only be able to access apps and visit websites you’ve approved.
The app also includes a section of useful parental advice covering apps, games, movies, photos, music, books and movies, displayed in an interesting and accessible way.
Tesco Hudl 2: Verdict
We were big fans of the original Hudl and we’re pleased to say the Hudl 2 is a far, far better device in every way. It’s just as easy to use, but faster and more powerful, with a much better screen.
Could, the Hudl 2 become a primary entertainment device, as Tesco hopes? Yes, certainly for households new to the tablet market.
But even iPad owners might be tempted to pick one up as a secondary tablet.
It’s not perfect, the camera is disappointing and there’s a lot of Tesco bloat ware.
But at just £129 - or a staggering £65 with Clubcard Boost - the Hudl 2 offers fantastic value.
BT.com - 5/5