Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Review
Just a month ago, we managed to preview Samsung’s answer to the Kindle Fire – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Needless to say, if you’re expecting something cutting-edge, you won’t find it here, but rather, it’s affordably priced at $250 and somehow manages to employ some modest hardware specs to keep up with the times. Across the landscape, this is the first time we’re seeing a premier manufacturer making the leap of faith in producing a competitively price tablet, so we’re hoping to find the results somewhat rewarding in the end.
Unlike the prototype we previewed, there is one major difference we find with this final retail Wi-Fi only version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – and that’s the titanium silver plastic casing it’s using, as opposed to the matte backing from before. Still, it employs some of the design schemes found with the previous Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, but it’s a hairline thicker at 0.41” – though, its weight is about the same at 344 grams. Frankly, it’s not an impressive looking design, but we take comfort in knowing that it’s easy to hold and solidly built to ensure it won’t be falling apart over time.
Being an ICS tablet from the get-go, it ditches those separate capacitive Android buttons, but above the display, we find a front-facing 0.3-megeapixel camera that’s ready for our video chatting sessions and random self-portrait shots.
On its left side we find its microSD protected by a plastic cover, and on the right we have the lock key and the 2-button volume rocker, both of which you can feel with your thumb relatively easy. Becoming a standard with Samsung’s tablets, we find an IR blaster perched on the right edge as well, which turns it into a universal remote. Its top side is occupied by a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and microphone. Along the bottom edge, we find Samsung's proprietary 30-pin connector and a pair of speakers, which are sufficiently loud.
microSD card slot (left)
3.5mm jack (top)
Lock and volume keys, IR blaster (right)
Charging port and speakers (bottom)
The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)
Just like the very first Galaxy Tab, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) sports a 7-inch (d'oh) display with a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. That translates into a pixel density of 170 ppi, which is nothing spectacular, so don't expect everything on it to look silky smooth like on those high-resolution tablet displays. Relying on Samsung's very own Super PLS LCD technology, it would seem to be spectacular, but we’re not totally sold by its appeal. Indeed, it all culminates to one pleasant looking display, as it sports natural looking colors and decent viewing angles, but we still find ourselves having difficulty viewing it in direct sunlight.
1. kshell1 (Posts: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
Yet another day when a TABLET gets put down for its camera.
2. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I got my wife the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus at Best Buy about 2 weeks ago. The price was $299.99 down $100.00 from the original price of $399.99. (Good Deal) That is $50.00 more than the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is the best 7" tablet Samsung has ever made. It has the dual-core Exynos chipset found on the Samsung Galaxy S II & it has a better front facing camera & it's thinner than the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.
It's going to get Android Ice Cream Sandwich very soon form what I am reading so then it will be even better than it is right now. My wife says her tablet is great, that it's so smooth & that she loves Honeycomb. I told her that the tablet is going to get better when Ice Cream Sandwich finally lands on her tablet.
She said the tablet is great & now her phone gets better battery life because she is on her tablet more & only now uses the phone mostly for calls.
3. kshell1 (Posts: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
I still think it is kind of stupid that it gets put down for the rear facing camera. I can understand if the front facing camera was horrible, but the rear facing who actually uses one of those on a tablet on a daily basis. and good job on the 7.0 plus, great device.
4. mercorp (Posts: 954; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)
much better than the kindle fire.Samsung,blow away this amazon tablet!
5. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
Front facing cameras are more important in tablets yet these reviewers keep ignoring it.
6. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2864; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
So the new ipad just gets LTE and a higher screen resolution and its magical lol
This gets a dual core processor, out of the box ics upgrade, and at a very affordable price but it gets points down for touchwiz UI when IOS hasnt changed at all?
8. bbblader (Posts: 531; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
iPad has the same problems but they will turn it into +
''Choppy performance'' - because of the display and it's a Tablet it's normal to be a little sluggish
''Same old TouchWiz UX experience'' - classy iOS still remains the same vintage awesome experience
''Not so great with its still shots'' it's sensor is with 5 lenses and because of the retina display it's normal to be not good at still shots
see? so please stop making bullsh*t out of this just because one is a samsung and the other is apple
9. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2864; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
The only time you see "choppy" performance is with a live wallpaper active and even still its not horrible. You wont see live wallpapers on IOS but it seems like PhoneArena downrates Android for allowing Live Wallpapers and Flash when in reality you can turn them off.
10. kshell1 (Posts: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
I agree RORY, if a android can't handle flash or live wallpapers just turn them off, usually solves lag problems, my old wildfire didn't lag when i didn't have a wallpaper even though it had a horrible processor. Now my e4gt runs all over live wallpapers and flash like there nothing.
11. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
if it uses live wallpapers (i find them stupid and huge battery-drainers) it should do itoutright without choppiness.
Apple doesn't use them because they are well aware of lower overall performance.
And review is not about "you can turin this or that off, it will be better".
You get device, you start testing. Why on earth should I turn sth off in my new, just bought device?? In order not to see sluggish? Come on.
12. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2864; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Your right lets remove anything that slightly hinders performance and go back to flip phones that you can just make calls with. IOS is way too boring. It performs well but its too boring. I like Android how it is and it might not perform as well but the positives easily outweigh the minor negatives. If you actually open your eyes youll see this tablet performs well.
14. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
i have nothing against this tablet. And I do not like neither samsung nor apple.
I wrote about user experience. It you can spot that your new device is slower because of, touchwiz, sense, live wallp., etc, it should be considerate as a minus.
PA pointed that.
Quoting: "''Choppy performance'' - because of the display and it's a Tablet it's normal to be a little sluggish"
No. It's not normal, well it shouldn't be. I want to buy a device which is not slow because it was bore as a tablet, not a phone.
It's a stupid excuse.
And you see...apple knows that with true multitasking, live wallp, flash and a few other things their ios would not be so fluid (and fluidity is one of the biggest advantage apple has over android). That's why they don't implement it.
My point is, not to throw everything we got into one device in order to be super-duper-achiever if we don't know how to optimize it.
Manufacturers keep doing it (lg/moto for example...half baked products).
15. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
moreover...it should be considered as an inadvisable action, but money is money.
zero optimalization...not our problem, end user will have to deal with it.
16. saiki4116 (Posts: 302; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)
"Same old TouchWiz UX experience" is that a con,then you have to say that for the iPhone 4s.
"Not so great with its still shots" .You should have the suggested the 0.3MP front cam,for a tablet front cam is more important than the rear one.the rear one might be used for an occasional photograph of documents.
17. japper88 (Posts: 2; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
I am quite surprised about the "choppiness" mentioned in the review. I picked one of these up on Sunday, and overall it has been smooth, significantly better than most of last year's honey comb tablets.
It does bog down a little bit if you have a ton of apps open, but that goes for most android devices.
18. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2864; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Like I said before. I watched closely when he turned on the live wallpaper and only noticed a slight, and I mean VERY slight performance difference. You would litterally have to stop and stare for it to even notice. It's not going to effect your day to day use and he even admits with flash running the web browser runs very smooth. All in all this is a smooth and up to date device with an extremely affordable price. Cameras are not required for me in the first place on a tablet.
19. mnmutt (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 May 2012)
Ok, ok, ok. Here's the deal. I have one. It's awesome. OF COURSE it doesn't run like a super computer, but here's a secret, every piece of hardware has it's limits. I can make a super computer run like s**t, and I can make an average student Dell run well. It's all about the user's common sense (which, granted is limited in among the common people) and what its intended use is. If you want a super pad, cough up the money, but seriously, if you want to do serious work, get a farking computer built for the job. I mean, seriously, you won't buy a Toyota Carolla to race in the Indy 500, but it is a solid car that your unborn kids will be able to drive if you basic mantainance on it.
Even if you load a PRECIOUS Apple Ipad with a s**t ton of widgets, it too will run like an obese diabetic in a marathon. I have the live wallpaper running ane one clock widget, because, let's face it, widgets are merely useless eye candy for short attention spanned twits who like tin foil and other shiny objects. It's snappy even with six or seven apps running in the task manager along with music all day long. ALL DAY LONG. That brings me to my next point. The battery isn't good, it's fantastic. I've been messing with this thing all day at work along with constantly playing music and the battery is only down to 67%. That kicks the CRAP out of my Droid phone which needs the sweet nectar hook up at the end of every day even if I don't use it much.
This next part cracks me up. Blue tinted photos, really? Calling bulls**t on this one. The thing about cameras is that if they take bad pictures it is the user. My photos were great even at 3.2mp, well, because I know how to use a camera. Someone who knows what they are doing will take better pictures with a disposable camera than a moron with a Canon (but it's still funny to see them try). The SECOND you hit lower light conditions you are breaching bad picture territory no matter what kind of camera you are using unless you know manual Fstop and Aperture settings (even between film and digital!) because that's how ISO works. Larger light cells=more grain= less necessary light to capture an image. Check your white balance. Most cameras are set to cool because most people prefer that over warm (I prefer warm). Also, no flash= no good pics in anything below great lighting conditions, but the lack of flash is really no big deal because THIS IS A TABLET! Who's going to run around with a giant square and shove it in people's faces to take a picture? Most people have a "for-real" camera when it counts. I've only ever seen people using tablet (Ipads or androids) cameras for taking creepy stalker photos while they're in public to put on fail blog. I have an 8pm camera on my Droid and I've only used it to take a picture of gifts I was considering for people around Chirstmas time.
Well, despite all the bitching the article did, the site gave it an 8 out of 10. Odd, it's almost like the product is better than the review lets on...
23. cyberfun2000 (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Well, aren't you the brilliant and gifted one!!
I am one of those weird common people that love to take pictures with my giant 7" square. I bet I'm not the only one either or why would they even put a camera on the tablets in the first place and why would people buy them over another tablet that doesn't have a camera. I would say that apparently the "common idiots" must want them.
I can also have the brilliance to make a camera talk to me and take pictures that no camera that has been invented yet can take.
I can also fly without wings.
24. oztraveller222 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)
Not only did I enjoy your positive spin on the tablet but your humour is priceless. That's what we need to see more on - people who enjoy giving their views. I have just purchased a Samsung Galaxy 2 but am hesitating in opening the box in case I need to return it. Am reading lots of reviews to see if I bought a dud or not. Next time someone shoves a giant square in my face to take a photo I will think of you.
20. venkatsreekanth (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 May 2012)
I saw there was a sim card slot in the preview blog. It seems to have disappeared in the final release. Can someone please confirm if there is a slot for sim card?
21. heavylildude (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 May 2012)
This is my current PHONE, having shifted from Galaxy Tab 7 on 2.3.3 and have to say.. best 'phone' I ever have...
Books, internet, media, on the go coding device, word processing, plugging to a projector for presentations, etc etc etc...
Btw the developer options enable us to 'disable' some preinstalled app, i completely ditched the touchwiz launcher and hell it boost the performance!
22. leonlynz (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
i just wonder, if something wrong with the tablet, such as hank or suddenly we nneed to execute like take out the batre, how to oopen tha casing
becoz i cant find the execution buttons. i just have it for 2 weeks and 2 times hank suddenly cannot work
25. paulman (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
If you want a tablet for browsing, video chatting with friends and plenty of storage for apps, the Galaxy Tab 2 can do the trick for a nice price. You can use the Nexus 7 for playing high resolution video games and more demanding applications but it comes with a higher price tag if you compare both. Check out a review about the Tab 2 and then make a decision: squidoo.com/samsung-galaxy-tablet-2-review