Review: Ainol Novo 8 Discovery Android Tablet

Ainol Novo 8 Discovery The proper model name of the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is actually the Ainol Novo 8 Discover. However, the Discovery name seems to be the more popular name for it. Therefore both retailers and users generally refer to this Android tablet as such. Therefore I have decided to use the more popular Discovery name to reference this tablet as well. The Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is also officially known as the Ainol Novo 8 Find as well.

The Ainol Novo 8 Discovery Android Tablet is an 8 inch quad-core tablet from tablet manufacturer, Ainol. Ainol has a very wider range of tablets and the Novo 8 Discovery is their version of the iPad Mini clone. The screen size is advertised as 8 inch instead of the usual 7.9 inch as used by other iPad Mini clones. The rest of the design and styling of the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery leaves no doubt that this is indeed an iPad Mini clone. It has the same brushed metal aluminum back cover with the slight tapering around the edges of the tablet. The rear camera is located at the top center instead of at the top corner of the iPad Mini and of course there is no Apple logo.

The front bezel is white and except for the missing Home button and a front facing camera that is slightly off centered, the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is a very good imitation of the Apple Mini. Besides the looks, comparing the Discovery with the Apple Mini will be like comparing apples to oranges (pun not intended) because of the difference in OS. However, if you like the iPad Mini’s form factor and design without paying Apple’s premium pricing, the Android clones are a good alternative.

The clones are much cheaper but there are notable differences in hardware specifications and quality. The secret to saving money with clones is knowing which features you need and paying for those while compromising on those which you don’t. In this review of the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery, we shall look at how the Android tablet performs as an iPad Mini clone as well as an Android tablet.

The Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is also an updated version of the Ainol Novo 8 Dream. Improvements include a higher resolution display, double the RAM and a slightly smaller form factor.

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from Dino Direct

DinoDirect.com is a world’s leading cross-border online store with millions of active customers from more than 200 countries. DinoDirect is committed to becoming the best reliable marketplace on the net by offering high quality products with the widest selections, reasonable price, worldwide free shipping and superior 7×24 customer service.

Buy from DinoDirect

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Dsicovery from Amazon.com

Ainol NOVO8 Discovery(Find) Quad-core ATM7029 Bluetooth Dual-camera HDMI 2GB/16GB Android 4.1 8-inch IPS Tablet PC

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from Amazon.co.uk

Ainol Novo 8 Discovery (Find) - 8 Inch IPS Screen 1.5GHz Quad Core Tablet PC Android 4.1 2GB RAM 16GB Bluetooth HDMI Dual Camera White

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from AliExpress

AliExpress has numerous retailers that are offering the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery at a great price and some even have free international shipping thrown in.

Buy from AliExpress

First Impressions

Looks wise, the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery passes off easily as an iPad Mini. Slap on an Apple logo sticker at the back or put it into a case and no one will know better. It has the same display resolution as the iPad Mini at 1024 x 768 pixels. However, this also means that the Discovery has a 4:3 aspect ratio screen instead of the more common 16:9 or 16:10 ration on most Android tablets. This is mainly a matter of preference. A 4:3 ratio might be preferable for reading while a 16:9 ration is ideal for watching video.

The display panel on the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is an IPS panel. IPS panels generally have good contrast and color saturation with almost 180 degrees viewing angle. The IPS panel on the Discovery is above average and does not disappoint.

While the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery looks very much like an Apple device from the front and back, a quick look at the edges is a dead giveaway that it is not what it seems to be. The Discovery has way more buttons and ports. Held in portrait mode and with the front camera at the top, the power button and speakers are at the top edge. On the left is the Home and Volume rocker buttons. On the bottom are the microSD memory expansion slot,  the microphone, micro USB port, HDMI port, DC power jack and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The actual dimensions of the tablet are 200 x 147 x 8.9 mm and it weighs 433 g. That makes it just slight thicker and wider than the iPad Mini’s 200×134.7×7.2 mm but significantly heavier as the Mini only weighs 308 g for the WiFi only version.

 How does the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery compare with other tablets?

Refer to our Top China Tablets Full Guide comparison matrix with over 40 tablets.

Ainol Novo 8 Discovery Specifications

BrandAinol
ModelNovo 8 Discovery
CPUActions ATM7029 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A5
RAM2 GB DDR3
ROM16 GB Nand Flash
CameraFront 0.3MP, Rear 2MP
Screen Size8 inch
Screen TypeIPS
Resolution1024 x 768 pixels
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n
3GNo
BluetoothYes
GPSNo
Battery Type5000 mAh
Size200 x 147 x 8.9 mm
Weight433 g
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1.1

While the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is a quad-core tablet, it has a quad-core Actions ATM7029 chipset with ARM Cortex A5 CPU and a Vivante GC1000 GPU. There are online resources that identify the ATM7029 chipset as an ARM Cortex-A9 chipset including Actions’ own website but this is an error. The ATM7029 is designed as a low cost and low power chipset. Benchmarks against other quad-core chipsets show that the ATM7029 lag far behind. In fact, the ATM7029 even loses out in some benchmarks to the dual-core Rockchip RK3066. So while technically the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is a quad-core tablet, do not expect similar performance as other quad-core tablets based on Allwinner, Rockchip or Samsung quad-core chipsets.

On the RAM side, the tablet comes with 2 GB DDR3 RAM and it also has 16 GB of Nand Flash for on-board storage. 2 GB of RAM is ideal and if you need more storage, you can always make use of the microSD slot that supports a maximum of 32 GB of extra storage.

Besides WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, the Discovery also has Bluetooth. Bluetooth is not a very common feature for China Android tablets so if you need it, the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery is one of the tablets that has it.

As for cameras, this tablet has two of them. The front facing camera for video calls has a 0.3 MP of VGA resolution. The rear camera is a 2 MP camera.

Last but not least, the tablet comes with a 5000 mAh rechargeable battery that is rated to last 5 – 6 hours on a single charge.

Ainol Novo 8 Discovery Performance

The Ainol Novo 8 Discovery certainly looks like an Apple iPad Mini but does it work like one? First of all, the 1024 x 768 pixel capacitive multi-touch IPS screen is comparable to the one on the iPad Mini. It has the same resolution and the touch response is good. Brightness may be a little lower but there is no problem whatsoever with brightness when used indoors. However, like all IPS screens, visibility deteriorates under bright sunlight conditions.

There is one odd thing that I discovered about the touch screen on the Discovery. The touch sensor occasionally becomes less sensitive or even erratic especially for screen swipes. This happens when the charger is plugged into the tablet. I am not sure if this is a problem with just my unit or if it is a common problem. Since I have not read of any other user having this problem, I presume that this is a problem unique to my unit. On the other hand, there are only a tiny handful of reviews online for the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery (or Discover for that matter). For me, this problem is further acerbated by the fact that it takes a long time to charge up the battery.

For web browsing, the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery performs well. The 2GB RAM definitely helped in getting the web browser to perform snappily. Opening multiple browser tabs and switching between them did not pose a problem or cause any lag or slowdown to the browser. However, accessing sites with Flash video does cause some lag with the video controls on the page becoming less responsive. If you avoid Flash sites, you are good.

Video playback is another area where the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery performs well. The video players on the Chinese tablets may not look great but they play just about anything you throw at them. If you don’t like how the player looks, you can always download your favorite player from the Google Play Store. Support for the Google Play Store is good with most major apps supported as far as I can tell.

Casual gaming is fine but don’t expect to do any intense 3D gaming on the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery as the ATM7029 processor is just not up to the task.

WiFi reception is a bit on the poor side. Unless I am near my WiFi router, WiFi speed tends to drop off rather quickly. As far as I can tell, the connection has not been dropped but there is a marked reduction in speed.

As usual, there is nothing much to say about the cameras on the China Android tablets except that they work.

The 5000 mAh battery gives about 4 to 5 hours of continuous use. This is with the WiFi left on and the tablet mainly used for casual gaming, web browsing and video streaming. This is about half the battery life of the iPad Mini. Strangely though, the Discovery actually has a smaller battery (5000 versus 6000 mAh) compared to the Dream that it replaces. Considering that the Discovery has the same ATM7029 chipset but with a higher resolution screen, this is a strange decision by Ainol.

Conclusion

First impressions of the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery are good. The built quality is above average and the screen quality is good. If you are looking for an iPad Mini alternative that looks like one, the Discovery certainly fits the bill.

However, the ATM7029 chipset lets down the overall performance of the tablet. It is adequate for tasks such as web browsing, video playback and casual gaming. However, if you expect more from the tablet, you are going to be disappointed.

If the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery pricing had fallen into the budget pricing range, there may be a niche market for it. Since it does not, there are better options other than the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery at this price point like the Chuwi V88, another iPad Mini clone.

Where to Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from Dino Direct

DinoDirect.com is a world’s leading cross-border online store with millions of active customers from more than 200 countries. DinoDirect is committed to becoming the best reliable marketplace on the net by offering high quality products with the widest selections, reasonable price, worldwide free shipping and superior 7×24 customer service.

Buy from DinoDirect

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Dsicovery from Amazon.com

Ainol NOVO8 Discovery(Find) Quad-core ATM7029 Bluetooth Dual-camera HDMI 2GB/16GB Android 4.1 8-inch IPS Tablet PC

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from Amazon.co.uk

Ainol Novo 8 Discovery (Find) - 8 Inch IPS Screen 1.5GHz Quad Core Tablet PC Android 4.1 2GB RAM 16GB Bluetooth HDMI Dual Camera White

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Ainol Novo 8 Discovery from AliExpress

AliExpress has numerous retailers that are offering the Ainol Novo 8 Discovery at a great price and some even have free international shipping thrown in.

Buy from AliExpress

Our Rating

 

Your Rating

GD Star Ratingloading...
Review: Ainol Novo 8 Discovery Android Tablet, reviewed by Roy Yap on 2013-09-27T15:01:13+00:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

Author: Roy Yap

Roy Yap is the administrator of TopChinaTablets.com. Roy has been writing both online and for print magazines for many years. He writes mostly technology related articles, particularly on consumer electronics and gadget reviews.

Share This Post On

44 Comments

  1. here is a message I sent to Ainol.

    I have installed your new 4.2.2 firmware to my Novo Discover 8

    The reason I bought this tablet, in the first place, was because I wanted the Miracast function, which is now enabled in the 4.2.2. firmware

    The Miracast works, but it is useless, because when it connects to a mirrored display it also automatically switches off the regular WiFi, so it is not possible to mirror streaming internet content, for example

    I have other Nexus devices with Miracast, and both of those work properly, so it is a fault with your firmware, or a design fault with your Actions processor?

    Will this be fixed please?

    Post a Reply
    • It is strange that the WiFi switches off. Sounds more like a bug in the firmware than a fault with the processor. Let us know if Ainol replies to you and thanks for posting this.

      Post a Reply
      • I have done some more reading, and it seems perhaps the actions processor is simply incapable of operating in a dual frequency band mode. Other earlier miracast handsets apparently have the same failing, but it seems to make the miracast rather pointless IMHO

      • did some more research. Seems a lot of early/cheaper Miracast capable devices have the same failing, because they simply can’t handle the dual band wifi requirements. It’s not a bug, because the Novo8 actually asks permission to turn off wifi, so it can connect to a miracast device. Rather makes the whole miracast thing pointless, imho. My new Nexus 7 (2013) tablet works fine, with simultaneous wifi and miracast, confirming that this is a hardware shortcoming in the Ainol/Actions CPU

      • As far as I know, dual-band WiFi is not a requirement for Miracast or WiFi direct.

      • I sure hope you are right and that a fix is possible, but why the prompt to turn off wifi in order to have miracast? I’m not holding my breath for a reply from Ainol, having had any questions ignored by them in the past.

      • You can try custom ROMs 🙂

      • I would gladly try a custom ROM, if anybody could tell me that one exists which works properly? Otherwise this tablet is junk to me, as the only reason I bought it was for a very specific Miracast requirement. It was bad enough that when I bought it a few months ago the specs on Ainol’s site stated “Miracast Capable” and a couple of days later they deleted that statement. It has taken all these months for the 4.2.2 firmware to appear, at all!

  2. ok, this seems to be the answer:

    http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/mobile/J1PwrVGujyU%5B101-125-false%5D

    “IMO most wireless devices should be able to do Miracast. However not many devices can connect to both an Internet wireless router and the Miracast receiver simultaneously (dual-concurrent wi-fi). So you may see Miracast devices out there that could connect to the receiver, but it will disconnect from an AP as soon as Wi-Fi Direct is enabled. This is a drawback for user’s experience and whether Google allows that to happen on their devices is still up in the air. That’s why you don’t see the “Wireless display” option available for the current N7 and N10 even both received JB 4.2.x update”

    Post a Reply
  3. I have this tablet in boot loop How to make a hard reset to solve it?

    Post a Reply
    • Hold down the VOL UP and POWER until tablet reboots. You will then get the option to do a factory reset.

      Post a Reply
      • I did, but did not work
        In this tablet apparently is VOL DOWN. (In this case it worked)
        Thanks!

      • Glad you got it resolved.

  4. how to hard reset novo 8 discover quad core it stucked at gmail account.

    Post a Reply
    • Hold down the VOL DOWN and POWER buttons until tablet reboots. If that doesn’t work, try with VOL UP instead.

      Post a Reply
  5. i tried both ways but didnt work. tablet is stuck at too many pattern attempts. at google sign in screen and device is not connected to wireless network.

    Post a Reply
    • You have to hold it for quite a long while and wait for the system to reboot itself. It should work.

      Post a Reply
  6. Thanks it worked but now after selecting factory reset/wipe all data it is on green andriod rebot laying down screen for 30 minutes 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • It takes quite awhile for it to reset. Make sure that it is plugged in to power and leave it awhile longer.

      Post a Reply
  7. Hi, Please help me o how to update my ainol discover 8 4.1JB to 4.2.2 android. I have been told that it is a dangerous move and could damage the tablet. Please advise

    Post a Reply
    • Firmware update guides are available online. If followed properly, the risks should be minimal. Just make sure that you take all necessary precautions such as charging the tablet fully and connect to power if possible while updating.

      Post a Reply
  8. hi , which one is better (performance , display)?? Ainol discover , Cube u55gts , ainol bw1 , chuwi v88s???
    please answer…

    Post a Reply
  9. Sir i have a problem that when i install firmware files on my discover with firmware tool there have a problem is data.img file cant install on my tblet software shows DATA PARTITION FAILED plzzzz help me what i do.plzz

    Post a Reply
    • Unfortunately, I have not encountered this problem before so I am not sure what is causing it. Did you make sure you have the right firmware?

      Post a Reply
  10. Why when I play mkv 1080p video feels very lag, I tried using mxplayer, the result is the same, there is a message “does not support the codec dts” not to mention his lcd bleed quite disturbing.

    how so I can play 1080p video smoothly?

    Post a Reply
    • The Vivante GC1000 GPU on the Discovery is not exactly a graphical powerhouse but it can handle video playback adequately most of the time. However there is a limitation when it comes to high bitrate video as the GPU might choke. Try lower bitrate (smaller files) and see if you have the same problem. If the lower bitrate videos play fine then it is a bitrate limitation.

      MXPlayer does not have support for DTS as it requires licensing from DTS. You can find custom codex for MXPlayer that supports DTS but since I’m not sure of the legality of the codec, I’m not going to link to it form here. However, downsampling DTS to stereo does put unnecessary load on the CPU so it is probably a better idea to look for a video file with a stereo track.

      Post a Reply
      • ok thanks for u’r info sir,
        so gpu ainol 8 discover no better than other GPU (ex: Mali, PowerVR, Adreno, etc)
        and , whether ainol novo 8 LCD screen discover vulnerable to damage lcd bleed? I just bought it a few days ago, when I received, the screen is bleed

        whether the advantages of the new firmware 4.1.2? I am using version 4.1.1 today

      • Vivante GPU has very little support compared to Mali and PowerVR. As for bleeding, it is much more prevalent among the Chinese tablets compared to the major brands. On the other hand it affects some people more than others. There isn’t much difference in terms of features between the two firmware versions. If you are not facing any major software issue, you can probably leave it.

      • thanks for your info sir,

        This blog is very helpful for me, so firmware 4.1.2 no overall excess, may I know where can i get the latest firmware ainol novo 8 discovery, according to you, after the firmware update if I have to root again?

      • I posted the links in an earlier comment.

      • so is there a way that ainol able to play files with a framerate limit? by using a tweak? and is there any custom rom to discover today? I’ve tried searching on the internet, but did not find him.

        ainol novo 8 discover why I have been at the root, while the BNIB (brand new in box) if it is, already at the root deafult.

      • Unfortunately I don’t have the time to test custom ROMs like I use to and neither have I checked if there are any for the Discovery.

  11. I have a problem, since the update to firmware 4.2 . my stock recovery can not be used, what is wrong? how to install CMW to discover ainol novo 8, I’ve got TWRP (look like CMW) for ainol novo 8 discover the format. img what can be installed with a PAD PRODUCT TOOL?

    Post a Reply
  12. I have ainol novo 8 discover… It is hanged on ainol logo when i start it.. Please help… I tried to reset but it didn’t work !!!

    Post a Reply
  13. Why the hell there is not a single OS upgrade(ROM) out from official ainol people for Discover tablet yet!
    They are focusing on selling and making only money instead of providing customer care.
    I got this tablet and i”m stuck with 4.1 ROM.

    Post a Reply
    • One of the beauty of Android devices is that you do not have to rely on official ROM releases. Popular Android devices get a low of support from the open source community. Do check out for alternative custom ROMs for your device.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *