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This $180 Android tablet is capable of things my iPad Pro can only dream of

Want a cheap, large-screen tablet that can take a hit? This one from Oukitel is worth a look.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
The Oukitel RT3 Android 12 tablet on a wooden post outside

The Oukitel RT3 Android 12 tablet.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I love my iPad Pro, but I find it just a little big, a little expensive, and a little fragile to take into the great outdoors. This is why I've been on the lookout for a cheap, yet durable Android tablet. I wanted something that can give me access to a bigger screen when I'm out and about. 

In particular, I wanted a large display to look at drone photos and videos I'd captured, and perhaps to act as a monitor for my Sony A7IV mirrorless camera

Also: I wish my iPad had this game-changing Pixel Tablet feature

I came across the Oukitel RT3 Android 12 ruggedized tablet, but how good can a $180 tablet be?

Note: The regular price is $210, but there's currently a $30 off coupon on Amazon.

View at Amazon

Oukitel RT3 tech specs

  • Processor: Octa-core MT6762
  • Memory: 7GB(4GB+3GB) RAM + 64GB ROM, external memory supports up to 1TB
  • Display: 8 inches HD+, 380 Nit, 14.4:9 aspect ratio
  • Battery: 5150mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12
  • Camera: 16MP rear camera | 8MP front camera
  • SIM card: Dual SIM card (1 * Nano SIM + 1 * Nano SIM or 1 * Nano SIM + 1 * microSD)
  • Size: 207 x 134 x 14mm
  • Weight: 538 g
  • Certification: IP68/IP69K waterproofing/dustproofing and MIL-STD-810H impact rating 

For regular readers who've seen my many reviews of rugged Android smartphones, the RT3 will be familiar. 

Also: This rugged Android phone is fit for the outdoors and the office, too

It is, essentially, an upscaled version of a ruggedized smartphone.

The Oukitel RT3 on a wooden post outdoors with the Ulefone Power Armor 18T on top

The Oukitel RT3 looks and feels like an upscaled rugged Android smartphone. Here it is with the Ulefone Power Armor 18T on top.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

All the ports and SIM slot (yes, this can take a SIM, or even two) are covered by rubber bungs to keep out water and dirt.

Closeup of rubber bungs on the Oukitel RT3

Rubber bungs cover all the ports.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There's a lot of protection from bumps and knocks. But try to drop it on its side or back since the front display offers a lot of potential impact area. 

Closeup of corners of Oukitel RT3

The corners get a lot of protection.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The 16-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera are much like I'd expect from something from this price range -- fine for social media snaps and video calling but don't come close to the output you get from an iPhone or a top-tier Android device

Closeup of cameras on the Oukitel RT3

The cameras are fine for social media photos but lack the punch and clarity that you get from an iPhone or a higher-end Android device.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

But remember, this costs less than $200. The Magic Keyboard for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro cost almost twice as much as this tablet.

Also: iPad Pro (2022): Stop me if you've heard this before, but...

Combining a rugged tablet with a chunky 5150mAh battery means that this package is quite the handful, dwarfing my iPhone and making my iPad Pro feel svelte and streamlined. 

A hand holding the Oukitel RT3 outdoors

The Oukitel RT3 is chunky.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

But that ruggedness allows it to survive things my iPad Pro couldn't dream of. It meets a whole array of standards, including IP68, IP69K, and MIL-STD-810G, which means that it's happy to be immersed in water at depths down to 1.5m for 30 minutes, exposed to high-pressure water jets and steam cleaning, and dropped from heights of 1.2m. It also resists dust getting in, shrugs off any acid spills, and it is happy to spend time in low-pressure environments that can destroy other devices.

Also: The best rugged tablets (and what 'military-grade' means)

From a performance point of view, the RT3 is what you'd expect from a $200 device. It's fine but in no way has that snappy feel of a high-end device. If you're used to an iPhone or a top-tier Android smartphone, this is going to feel a bit kludgy at times. That said, it still does everything I need it to do, so I'm not all that bothered by the fact that it doesn't have that buttery smooth feel.

All in all, the Oukitel RT3 is a solid purchase to use in a garage, workshop area, or the great outdoors. It can also be an option for first responders. The Oukitel RT3 is tough, cheap, and works well. It's the perfect tablet for situations that could break something more expensive. 

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