Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite PreviewSamsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite
Interface and Functionality
It might not have the latest Android version, but it features a very well optimized for tablets TouchWiz user interface with landscape support and improved multitasking.
The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is now nearly a year old. We all wish for the latest version of Android, but since this is an affordable device and since the changes that later versions of Google’s platform brings are not that major, we would not really consider this a huge downside.
What we absolutely love about the Tab 3 Lite is Samsung’s TouchWiz skin that’s loaded on top of Android. TouchWiz might be a polarizing skin for smartphones where some could argue that stock Android is leaner and cleaner, but we find Samsung’s user interface to be a great fit for tablets. It adds two key features that we find to improve the tablet experience a lot: the first one is landscape mode in the home screen and app drawer, and the second one is the multi-window feature for better multitasking.
All the core Samsung and Google apps are here as well. Google’s Play Store along with its YouTube, Maps, Gmail, Drive and Hangouts cover a lot of the things people do on their smartphones, and Samsung’s apps such as S Calendar, the ChatON instant messenger, the great Gallery, the fitting two-column Contacts app and Samsung’s music player complement them well.
Typing on the 7-inch display is comfortable as you have enough space for both of your thumbs to quickly hit the buttons that are larger and easier to hit than on a smartphone. Single-handed typing, of course, is not practical.
Processor and Memory
It runs on a humble dual-core chip, but our pre-production unit was perfectly capable of running the interface and casual games like Temple Run 2 smoothly.
The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite runs on a very humble dual-core chip, but with its low-res display, it also won’t put too much of a strain on it, and we expect the device to perform relatively smoothly in daily use. We installed some casual games like Temple Run 2 and they all ran perfectly well on the tablet. Still, do not expect to be able to play the latest games like Real Racing 3 or Asphalt 8 without a stutter - you’d be able to run them, but chances are they won’t run perfectly smooth.
The exact chip that powers the Tab 3 Lite show is the 1.2GHz Marvell PXA986 unit (Cortex A9-based) with Vivante GC1000 graphics processor, and 1GB of RAM.
We’d abstain from any final judgments about the Tab 3 Lite’s performance since what we have is not the final unit. In our final review, you’d also find conclusive benchmark tests of the tablet.
The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite features only 8GB of internal storage, but luckily, you can expand that via microSD cards of up to 64 GB.
Internet and Connectivity
The Tab 3 Lite The Tab 3 Lite comes in a $160 Wi-Fi-only model and a $240 3G-enabled version.
You can surf the web via the built-in Android browser or on Google’s mobile Chrome. Both do a fine job, but Chrome has a slightly better optimized for touch interface and neat cross-device syncing capabilities.
In terms of connectivity, the Tab 3 Lite features a single channel Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and A-GPS, but it lacks NFC.
It’s important to note that the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite comes in two versions - a Wi-Fi-only model that does not support cellular data connectivity, and a 3G-enabled (more expensive) one with data that is likely to support traditional calling and texting as well. This preview is of the Wi-Fi-only model.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite Preview - Interface and Functionality