Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE Review
Not everyone is a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz UX, but that’s what we’re greeted with running on top of Android 3.2 Honeycomb with the tablet. Aside from the obvious depth of personalization that it offers, the Mini Apps tray provides some basic multi-tasking functions between some core apps that allow us to accomplish tasks simultaneously.
With the addition of faster data connectivity thanks to LTE, it’s further complemented with a newer 1.5GHz dual-core processor to match its speediness. Sadly though, it doesn’t provide any better performance over what we’ve seen before, since we’re still seeing some recognizable bouts of sluggishness when live wallpapers are used – though, it runs a ton faster with a static one. It’s not terrible per se, but enough to spike the experience.
Seeing that there are a variety of keyboard options available, we find all of them to be extremely usable thanks to their responsiveness and spacious layouts.
Knowing that this is a tablet we’re talking about, it actually takes some nice looking photos and 720p videos with its 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera – just like before! Finding a neutral balance between fine details and color reproduction, it’s more than capable of delivering some quality shots. However, in low lighting situations, things are dulled down a bit due to some instances of digital noise.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE Sample Video:
Presented with both the stock Honeycomb music player and the TouchWiz one, they’re both functional in playing some tunes, but the stock one has a much more appealing presentation. Even with its two speakers, they’re good with a lot of strong tones being emitted out of them, but it sounds rather shrill and irritating at the loudest volume.
Likewise, the video watching experience is good, thanks to the combination of its smooth playback and quality PLS LCD display.
Internet and Connectivity:
Above all, its 4G LTE connectivity stands out prominently, which should naturally provide considerably faster speeds over its 3G counterparts. So you don’t have AT&T’s 4G LTE network in your part of the woods? Well, as backup, the Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 LTE offers HSPA+ connectivity to get you some decent speeds in the near term. Even though we used the tablet with HSPA+ instead, since AT&T’s LTE network is unavailable in our area, we’re pleased by the overall web browsing performance thanks to its fast page loads, responsive navigational controls, and unflinching execution with Flash content present.
1. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)
Phonearena ... for these LTE AT&T phones ... you NEED to get in an area where there is AT&T LTE.
Considering LTE is the largest contributing factor, not to have it makes the review really lacking.
And not just this review either.
There are countless other AT&T LTE reviews out there on this site where it was stated to the effect:
"... AT&T’s LTE network is unavailable in our area ..."
It is like doing a review on a sports car and then saying you were only able to drive it in school zones.
2. shanesol (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Considering the fact that AT&T's LTE network is only available in 14 cities as of this time, I think you should cut them a little bit of slack. Complain to AT&T for not setting up a larger LTE network before releasing it.
3. Jkidd569 (Posts: 10; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Its available in 15 cities, it may be 16, because people are reporting that they've seen the LTE icon on their phones with increased data speeds over the weekend in the NYC area.
6. shanesol (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
I counted 14 when I checked at&t's website, so I guess I missed one. My point still stands though, 2 more cities isn't suddenly going to cover enough to warrant the above comment.
7. gregdaniels (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Jul 2012)
Good review. AT&T's 4G LTE data speeds are breakneck here in NY. Perfect for transmitting the graphic design sketches i create on my Galaxy Tab.