Teclast X16 Support Through GearBest

| by Ken | in Technology Add comments

I bought my Teclast X16 Pro from Gear Best at the end of January.  I previously wrote about my initial thoughts on the device and my opinion hasn’t changed since.  I still think the device is pretty good overall.  But it still has serious battery issues and a WiFi problem.  The battery drains completely within 48 hours without using the device at all so it appears that the device never properly sleeps.  And the WiFi will only find 2.4 Ghz networks, not any 5 Ghz networks.  Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about these two issues.  And I’ve been keeping my eye on a third potential issue – that the screen occasionally flickers.

As far as I can tell, there is no support option for me through the manufacturer.  But the seller, GearBest, offers support so I took them up on it.  I submitted a ticket.  The ticket process was a little rocky.

I submitted the ticket early on March 1 stating that I had WiFi problems, battery longevity issues, and screen flickering.  Within a couple hours, I had a generic response on the ticket.  The response included typical language about asking for general things and even asking for pictures or video to show the problem.  I batted back right away with answers to some of the questions (like “item code indicated on the outer package”) and pointed out that pictures and video of a WiFi network not working wouldn’t be very useful.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a response waiting for me saying that they wanted me to reset the device to factory settings and send a picture of the WiFi problem.  I have no instructions for how to reset the device to factory settings.  Even if I did know how to do that, I wouldn’t be thrilled about doing it since I don’t know how to back up the way I have set it up so far.  And a picture of a WiFi problem?  I don’t see how that could help.

For the next two weeks, I mulled over what to do.  And at the same time, I would periodically log in to check the ticket but couldn’t get in to see the ticket.  It would tell me I would need to login when I wasn’t logged in but after I did, it would hang when trying to query the ticket.  Eventually, I switched from Firefox to Safari and got right in.  And when I did, I updated the ticket with a picture showing the available WiFi networks and how the one that is set to wireless N only didn’t show up while the ones set to B+G did show up.

The next morning, I had a response that implicitly acknowledged the WiFi problem.  They presented me with 4 options:  1.) return the item for full refund or exchange – I’d pay the shipping; 2.) $10 credit toward a future GearBest purchase; 3.) $5 credit to PayPal; or 4.) Send a replacement device without me returning the original and for that I would be charged $240.  It took me a while to process what these options meant, in particular, that last one.  I think I figured it out.  If I just want to register this as a complaint and continue using what I have, then I can either get a $10 credit to GearBest or a $5 credit to PayPal.  If the problem is so bad that what I have is unusable, then I can pay to ship the tablet back to GearBest in China and either ask for a replacement or ask .  Or if shipping back to China is cost prohibitive, I could keep the original and have GearBest send me a second one for $240.

I had a couple of things to figure out.  First, how serious is the WiFi issue to me.  Sure, I bought a tablet thinking I could use the latest WiFi but how limiting is it to me if I can’t?  Probably not very limiting.  Second, is the WiFi problem likely to be solved with a replacement tablet?  What about the other issues of battery life and screen flickering?  My guess is that they would not be.  So given that the behavior I see on mine is probably the behavior on all of them and while I might not have bought the tablet knowing these limitations, at this point the limitations aren’t enough to make shipping the tablet back to China for a refund worth the trouble.  In fact, there are still positive points about this tablet (as I mentioned in a prior post) that make it still very useful to me.

I still hadn’t responded to the ticket from GearBest telling them which of the 4 choices I would choose.  And in the meantime, I began an overhaul of WiFi in the house (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3).  Mostly for other reasons, but I was curious if any change in the WiFi status in the house would enable reception on the 5 Ghz frequency.  It did not.  However I did learn some things in that process that make me think the published specs for the Teclast X16 may not actually be contradictory to what I am seeing.

In my house, prior to the networking changes, I had the 2.4 Ghz antenna only working with 802.11b and 802.11g while the 5 Ghz antenna was only working with 802.11n.  I don’t know why I did it that way but I’m sure I had a reason!  (As flawed as it may have been!)  The Teclast tablet couldn’t access the N network despite the fact that it was supposed to be able to communicate with 802.11n – that is in the specs.  But what is not in the specs is whether the tablet can communicate over 5 Ghz.  It only says that it works with N.  When I set up the router before, I had been under the impression that B & G worked over 2.4 Ghz while N and AC work over 5 Ghz.  But in the process of changing router setup, I learned that N will work over 2.4 Ghz in addition to 5 Ghz.  My routers are now set up to operate over all 802.11 standards on whatever band they can work with.  And therefore, my Teclast X16 may now be communicating on 802.11n even though it is on 2.4 Ghz and not 5 Ghz. I checked the specs for the WiFi chip in the tablet.  It is a Realtek RTL8723BS.  From what I can find for info about it, it does not appear to be capable of 5 Ghz.

So, umm, GearBest, sorry for the misunderstanding.  I still think the Teclast tablet should operate on 5 Ghz.  Our iPad 2 does and that’s 5 years old now.  Maybe the 5 Ghz band isn’t a big deal in China?  It just seems like such a strange omission.  But the hardware is not defective and it actually does match the stated specs.

I went to update the GearBest ticket to update it with this info and found I couldn’t get in – similar problem to what I described above.  You click on the link from the e-mail notification and it says the link has expired.  Okay, so you go to login and you see the home page and there’s a think that says you have a ticket waiting so you click on that and it says you need to login to see that.  But didn’t I just login?  So you click to login and a box comes up that is empty, as though it knows you have already logged in so there’s no point in doing the login again.  But it won’t let you see the ticket because it wants to go through the login screen.  What a mess.  So here’s how you get around the problem.  Go to support.gearbest.com and on the upper right, login (even if you already logged in to the main gearbest site).  You’ll then be redirected to a place where you can create a new ticket.  Instead paste in this URL and edit it with your ticket number:  support.gearbest.com/index/index/review?t=<your ticket number> (and don’t include the <> characters).  My ticket number started with a “T” and had 11 digits after it.  It should bring you right to your ticket details.

As for the fast draining battery, it seems that the device doesn’t sleep properly because something is preventing that.  And that’s not something that GearBest is going to resolve and just about every comment I’ve read about other people’s experience with the X16 Pro mentions the same problem.  It’d be nice if Teclast issued a new image at some point that fixes the issue though Teclast doesn’t appear to do that often or at all so I won’t hold out hope.

And regarding the screen flickering occasionally, it may not be a hardware issue at all.  It may be Android doing updates or something similar.  I worry about that because I know that displays that fail often show signs early on and that the way displays fail is usually due to cheap capacitors blowing.  So it won’t surprise me at all if the display suddenly stops working at some point.  And I was hoping that if it was thinking about failing, it would do it soon.  But now I am hoping that we are past the point of likely early failure and that I’ll get some good life out of it.

5 Responses to “Teclast X16 Support Through GearBest”

  1. Robert says:

    Hi, I had the same issue with the screen flickering. At first it was like a shadow passing over the screen and I thought my eyes were deceiving me but it gradually got worse. After 2 months it went off and I had to try and power it off and back on again, it started doing this more and more often so I sent it back. I didn’t have any battery drain issues though. Lastly pretty much no Chinese tablets support the 5GHz band WiFi so no fault with your tablet there. I was looking at getting the power version of this tablet but no where is stocking it and it seems it’s been discontinued which might be good if they all suffer screen issues. Also slightly worrying that Teclast would drop this model after less than 5 months since its the only tablet rocking the fastest z8700 atom!

  2. Ken says:

    Robert, thanks so much for your comment! Although it isn’t the news I was hoping to hear about the screen flicker, I appreciate the warning. I’ll keep my eye out to see if it gets worse.

    Surprising that you didn’t have battery issues.

    And yes, I discovered that about the Chinese tablets not having the 5 Ghz WiFi. That’s why I was wondering if maybe 5 Ghz just isn’t that common in the country. It seems to me to be just expected these days for devices sold in the US – and has been for years.

  3. Patrick says:

    Hello, I`m having the battery drain issue, opened a ticket with Gearbest, but as much as they tell me they want to help me, I explained multiple times my problem, and never have a good answer. They still telling me to remove all installed software.
    My battery indicator is sometime stuck a 7% on Windows. On Android, the battery indicator goes from 98% to 85% in 15 minutes, and the tablet shutdown. Start the tablet, rebooted in Android, the battery indicator gives me 48%, and after 1 minute, the tablet shutdown. Reboot to Android, and it shutdown immediately, just having the time to see that the battery indicator is at 0%.

    My other problem is the power button. There is no way to start the tablet unless I press the power button for around 7 to 8 seconds. This is usually for a hardreset, not to boot the tablet. Still no answer on that issue.

    The tablet is “usabled” on Window 10. But I will never buy something else that expensive on Gearbest… I`ve read on a forum that AliExpress have a better customer service policy …

  4. Ken says:

    Patrick, thanks for writing with details about your X16. Most of my rechargeable devices get the same treatment: plug it in to charge it and remove it when done charging; only plug it back in when it needs charging. But I found when I did that with the X16, it was always dead. So I now take the opposite approach with the X16 – it is always plugged in. That’s normally not a good idea but it’s been working fine for me. In fact, I can usually get probably 5 hours of use after a full charge. And the battery indicator shows steady discharging, not a rapid jump like you see. My only suggestion for you is to try the typical battery reconditioning cycle: charge it full, drain it completely, charge it full, drain it completely, etc..

    As for the power button, that’s true. It is a weird power button. When the tablet is “on” but sleeping, a single tap of the power button will wake it up, sometimes delayed by a second. Which means sometimes I think maybe I didn’t push it enough so I do it again. Which then has it wake and sleep right away. So then I do a third and fourth which wakes and sleeps again. I usually get it right on the 5th try! And when the device is truly off (like when I forgot to plug it in to charge before the battery drained completely, then plugged it in when I saw it lying around), you do need to hold the power button for those 7 to 8 seconds. Which I agree is strange because it is similar to a hard reset. But it isn’t a hard reset, it is just the way the X16 works. It isn’t how I would have designed it but I don’t think there’s a problem with the device.

    I actually thought Gearbest was pretty good to deal with. Their web site was broken and/or confusing. But the people there were okay to deal with and were willing to replace my tablet for a problem that turned out not to be a hardware issue. How long have you had your X16? Maybe I got better attention than you because I was working with them close to when I bought it?

    Finally, I think there is a bit of “you get what you pay for” here. If you really wanted a full featured Windows tablet, you would get a Surface and if you wanted top notch hardware build, you’d get an iPad. (I can’t say I know of a top quality Android builder – maybe Lenovo or Samsung.) This X16 carries a bargain price and the strange omission of 5Ghz WiFi, the battery drain issue, and the power button design are all things that seem allow it to be sold at the bargain price.

  5. Ken says:

    Oh, I should also comment that I haven’t seen a screen flicker in a while. I should probably not post this because then I’ll start to see a problem right away!

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