Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch Review
The Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch runs on the now quaint looking Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean (currently, the latest Android version is 4.4!) with a sprinkle of TouchWiz flavor on top.
Samsung’s skin definitely brings a lot of functionality and optimizations to tablets, arguably even more so than it does to phone. We find features like the screen rotation , two-column layout for apps like the music player and gallery, and others nice optimizations that improve the user experience. What could be a subject of more heated debate is the actual cartoony looks and nature-inspired visual effects.
Other highlights of the TouchWiz skin include a notification shade that brings together important quick-access buttons for common settings and most importantly a convenient brightness slider. Samsung is also bundling all its signature apps: S Voice, S Planner, S Memo, ChatOn, Мusic/Learning/Video Hub, AllShare Play, Group Play and Samsung Apps. We definitely like the S Planner rich calendar experience and the fact that it easily integrates your Facebook events for instance, and ChatOn has also grown to be a good cross-platform instant messenger.
The Tab 3 7.0 does come in a Wi-Fi-only model and there is a pricier version that adds support for a SIM card and you can actually use it not just for data, but also to make phone calls and send text messages, just like a regular phone. True, it’s a 7-inch tablet and that would look weird, but you have the option.
The Tab 3 7-inch ships with a phone dialer, contacts and messaging app right away, and all of them are well optimized to the larger screen and generally to the tablet form factor. Contacts for instance displays two columns, one for the contact names and another one for contact information, and that’s convenient. And while you cannot text single-handedly on a 7-inch tablet, typing out on the larger screen with two hands is very convenient and the added numbers row speeds it all up further.
Processor and Memory
Performance is not the Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch’s strongest point, but it is not a terribly laggy device either. It surprisingly does not feature a Samsung Exynos processor like we’ve seen in the Tab 3 8-inch, but a dual-core Marvell PXA986 Cortex A9-based system chip, a slower run of the mill chip that runs at a clock speed of up to 1.2GHz. The fact that the chip is not made by a well-known company would not matter at all if it was speedy, but it delivers fairly mediocre performance when you add the strain of multitasking. For daily use and just navigation around Android though it’s mostly a smooth affair. It features 1GB of RAM which is not terribly low, but is part of the reason for not having perfectly smooth multitasking.
Gamers can rely on the PowerVR SGX540 graphics chip that is powerful enough to play even more complex games, but the more sophisticated the game, the less smooth the performance. For casual gamers playing only the likes of Temple Run 2 and Despicable Me: Minion Rush the Tab 3 7-inch would be perfectly adequate, but for those venturing into shooters and sports games and other games with more demanding graphics, this tablet would be too slow.
Speaking of memory, the Tab 3 basic model comes with 8GB of internal storage of which around 4 gigs are available to the end user. Luckily, that low amount of memory can easily be expanded via microSD cards of up to 64 GB.
Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 5854
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 3612
Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013) 2948
Asus Fonepad 2830
Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 19786
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 10453
Asus Fonepad 9174
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 40
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 18
Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013) 17
Asus Fonepad 12
Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 692
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 444
Asus Fonepad 456
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 1571
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 1422
Being a media and web centric device, this 7-incher is supposed to be used for reading books and content on the web, but with a paltry resolution and lack of sharpness, text looks jagged and the experience is flawed. Still, the 7-inch screen real estate somewhat makes up for that. You have two browsers pre-loaded to access the web: Google’s mobile Chrome and a custom browser by Samsung.
We have the cellular data-enabled version of the tablet (there is a Wi-Fi-only one), and it comes with support for 4G HSPA+ connectivity with downlink speeds of up to 21Mbps. It’s not 4G LTE, but it’s not slow either and we appreciate having that extra connectivity on the go. Bad news is that extra costs an exorbitant amount of money - you should expect to pay from $90 to $130 more for a cellular data enabled Tab 3 7-inch.
Other connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS and GLONASS. One thing that’s missing from the 7-inch Tab 3 is the infrared port of the larger 8- and 10-inch Galaxy tablets.
11. ihavenoname (Posts: 966; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Samsung has 3 nice tablets: Nexus 10, Note 10.1 2014, and Note 8(+ Ativs are not bad either). This is unusable because it is slow and lags. Screen is low res and looks washed out. Nexus 7 ftw.
15. Brane (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)
Ipad mini has low res.,so is good he.For 7 inch tablet not bad res.
14. johnbftl (Posts: 163; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)
It got a 6 because iVictor reviewed it. The guy absolutely bashes anything that isn't Apple, and praises everything Apple does, down to Tim Cook's bowl movements. I sell these things everyday, and they are great devices for the everyday user. It does everything a tablet needs to do, it's nice and portable, and its ridiculously cheap. We're selling it for $50 right now on 2 year. The only complaint I've heard is that multiwindow only works with native apps.
2. sarb009 (Posts: 265; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Samsung's phones are good but their tablets are never good enough. just compare it with nexus 7 specially the screen
5. SleepingOz (Posts: 2481; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
The Note 10.1 on the other hand is one of the best, if not the best tab available right now.
8. SleepingOz (Posts: 2481; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Yup you're right, the Ativ Q is the best tab rigth now.
9. emadshiny (Posts: 1089; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
lol, you're living in illusion bro.
How can a tablet which is a copy of another one and even doesn't exist in the real world be the best tablet?
Open your eyes and live in the real world.
10. wildfiregt (Posts: 66; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
I'm still trying to find what did the 2014 Edition Note 10.1 copy
12. emadshiny (Posts: 1089; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Im not talking about Note 10.1, but Ative Q
Read all comments carefully.
3. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 616; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)
While this tablet seems adequate for my daily needs, the Huawei Mediapad 10 Link costs the same in my country, while offering a lot more (well, except in the software department)
4. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3659; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
With all of those crappy specs, this tablet is just irrelevant. For $80 more with the Nexus 7, you get nearly 4 times the amount of pixels, well more than double the performance, guaranteed updates, and just a generally better experience in every conceivable way.
I get that this is a budget tablet, but at this point, you're actually getting less for your money, which is not fair to consumers and a failure on Samsung's part in this market.
7. avin007 (Posts: 139; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)
Why today????....... I mean this tablet was announced a few months back and review comes today.....why???
16. Tech_Junkie1996 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Aug 2013)
Would like to point out a very inaccurate statement about this tablet. It does in fact have an IR blaster located along the right side of the device, below the volume rocker. This is important because it adds a functionality to the device that other items similarly priced lack. Now, this is not to say that the inclusion of the port alone it makes it excellent, it is a poor device. However, to include a blatant lie in an attempt to further downplay the device is unnecessary and bad journalism.
17. shopbychoice (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is Slim, powerful, intelligent yet stylish, your life is going to change instantly with this Tab.It is integrated with latest technologies . This Tab is designed with Wi-Fi channel bonding to give you an enhanced connectivity experience . Really , I like this phone so much .
18. AUTUMNB33 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Jan 2014)
samsung galaxy tab 3 sucks soo muc ass i got it because my galaxy tab 2 was stolen so i thought i should juz go aead and upgrade ugg i hate i did navigation sucks freezes after 30seconds every time apps dont work they always shut down the camera is s**t n the suck ass best buy guys juz keep replacing it with the same s**tty ass tablet.. im actually waiting for best buy to open up so i can downgrade back to the f**king tab 2 . it was a waste of time and money .
20. Tech_Junkie1996 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Aug 2013)
Are you sure you didn't have the device in power saving mode? I did this too when I first bought it and thought it was the device. After turning this off, the performance improve marginally.
21. Carolvin (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)
This horrible tab ruined my happiness. i was so excited to own a tab and just within 20 days of purchase the Display went cracking. i did not mishandle nor drop it any time. i always made sure that i kept it in a safe place. I put it on charge in the night and the next morning when i opened it , i got the shock of my life! The tab was cracked from the bottom side... when we took it to the service center they were so rude that they didnt even have the patience to listen, If i had dropped the tab so badly there would be scratched or dents on the sides right... it wasnt there and they were in no mood to listen,... im never going to touch the stupid thing again . it brought more depression than happiness. Such a poor quality product from Samsung