Samsung Galaxy Tab Review
- 1 Introduction and Design
- 2 Interface, Functionality, Internet and Connectivity
- 3 Camera, Multimedia and Software
- 4 Performance and Conclusion
- Samsung Galaxy Tab specifications
- Samsung Galaxy Tab AT&T specifications
- Samsung Galaxy Tab CDMA specifications
- Samsung Galaxy Tab T-Mobile specifications
Taking pictures with the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 3.2MP autofocus camera is a fun experience. What makes it fun is the large viewfinder, which basically allows you to get a better idea of the image you are going to take. The camera interface features various options like shooting modes, scene modes, exposure, white balance, effects and ISO. Switching to video capturing mode is done with the touch of a single button. Note that autofocusing is done by holding down the on-screen shutter key.
The photos the Samsung Galaxy Tab takes are a bit on the dull side, when it comes to color reproduction, as they lack any vibrancy. However, we are satisfied with the level of detail that the 3.2MP sensor is able to capture. Exposure is fine for the most part, as objects turn out well-illuminated in non-contrast scenes. More dynamic situations however have a so-so presentation. Thankfully, noise isn't observed in outdoor shots, although indoor ones are quite messy. Speaking of indoor pictures, the Samsung Galaxy Tab does an okay job at capturing memories when there's not much light present, but the LED flash can sometimes cast a strange hue to a photo. It is still capable of illuminating a small room though. As a whole, images made with the tablet are by no means spectacular, but they are good enough, having in mind the Tab won't be doubling as your primary camera.
You might be disappointed to know that the Samsung Galaxy Tab lacks HD 720p video recording. Instead, it shoots video at 720x480 pixels, which is still fine. Fortunately, the videos play very smoothly at 29 FPS, with no signs of any stuttering, which, coupled with the still decent detail, makes for one more than acceptable video recording feature. The accompanying audio track sounds clear and audible.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Sample Video:
The preloaded music player is nothing spectacular, as it simply lets you filter your content through tabs. The player displays large album covers (as it should), and you also have a bunch of equalizer presets and effects to enhance your audio. The two speakers at the bottom of the Samsung Galaxy Tab are powerful enough, although they may start crackling once you take things to the maximum.
Samsung has included its so-called Music Hub, which is basically like iTunes, but for Android. The app lets you search, discover and purchase music and it also allows for 30-second song previews. It works very fluidly, but has an uninviting interface overall.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is one truly magnificent device to watch videos on! We could flawlessly play MPEG-4, H.264, DivX and Xvid videos at 720p HD resolution and high bitrate, resulting in brilliant image quality and smooth playback. Truly amazing experience right out of the box, with no issues at all. Moreover, the Galaxy Tab's screen aspect ratio is more suitable for watching movies than the iPad's. The loudspeaker is loud enough for the purpose and does a good job at producing the audio to your movies or music videos or whatever. All in all, you just need some kind of a dock and you are ready to watch full-length movies with no problems whatsoever.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with plenty of built-in storage space, you can easily extend it by inserting a microSDHC card into the slot on the right side of the tablet.
You didn't think that Samsung is shipping the Galaxy Tab only with stock Android applications on board, did you? Indeed, there are a few interesting pieces of software coming installed on the tablet that really deserve our attention. One of them is Daily Briefing, also available as a widget. What it does is to present you with a weather forecast, stock information, news from the Associated Press and your scheduled appointments.
eBook, on the other hand, does exactly what it says - lets you read ebooks. Similarly to iBooks for iOS, eBook displays some shelves that are eagerly awaiting your ebook purchases, and right from the start, you get a free copy of "The Marvelous Land of Oz". New stuff to read can be obtained from the Readers Hub app, which is integrated with PressDisplay for news, Kobo for books, and Zinio for magazines.
Given the Samsung Galaxy Tab's advanced computing capabilities, Samsung has also supplied it with a decent task manager. The app shows you a list with the currently active programs and also allows you to uninstall applications, as well as manage RAM levels.
Specifically for the workaholics, the Samsung Galaxy Tab features the ThinkFree Office suite, which is compatible with Microsoft Office documents. The program includes its own file manager, letting you organize your docs easily, while in the meantime an online account can be created for you to store your docs or share them with someone else.
Of course, your main source of applications for the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be Android Market, but how does the tablet handle all those apps that are not designed for its screen resolution? Well, it either stretches them to fill the screen nicely, or displays them in their native resolution. We are not aware of why some are stretched to full-screen, while other aren't, but all in all, we're happy to discover that the tablet has access to quite a few offerings from the Market to diversify your overall experience. According to the latest figures, Android Market should be a host to over 100,000 applications.
Of course, the YouTube client for Android comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, presenting you with tons of video from the world's most popular video-sharing site. While numerous options are available like rate, comment or share, videos are not streamed with the highest possible quality. They are still perfectly watchable though.
1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
yea, the ipad had no real optimized apps for it when it launched. apples to apples, the tab destroys the ipad in features and customizability as well as pretty much everything else. In 6 months they will have plenty of tab friendly apps. Tab please!
2. Sean (unregistered)
I had the hardest time finding a quality, protective case for my tab.
check this one out instead. Its the best I have found!
3. Vorais (unregistered)
@remixfa First of all the iPad did have a lot of apps already on the market when it was released in April (~3000 iPad specific applications on launch day and ~5500 within 2 weeks after launch due to the fact that Apple had released developer tools months ahead).
Now, I have a tab and I wish I had gone the route at this time. This is my review:
Well, obviously Google was right when they said 2.2 isn't ready for tablets. I'm wondering if that is the reasoning behind only 7" because anything bigger would really show off the short comings of the OS. I know people say Gingerbread will be released soon, but with Samsung's history (they still haven't released 2.2 for their Galaxy S phones) I don't expect to see that updated for another year or so. I do want to add that the size is great for somethings (e.g. watching videos, shoving in jacket pocket), but not so much for others (e.g. reading publications, surfing net).
Performance is sluggish as well, especially for what it is listed with. It feels like it is running on a 600Mhz processor, not a 1Ghz. Even the touch performance is annoying. During pinch to zoom and scrolling, there a delay between what your fingers do and what the screen is doing. It's definitely not smooth. This is very noticeable when using the browser (even with Flash turned off). It doesn't seem like much at first, but after awhile I start to hate it. Also at times the unit gets hot even though it doesn't seem to be doing much. I have gone through and made sure I'm not running multiple programs as well.
Under use, battery died less than 5 hours from fully charged. Couldn't even last half the trip from Heathrow to JFK.
The cameras are low quality. They are there, but the pictures they take are grainy, washed out, and can't differentiate between light and dark areas. My old Droid1 takes much better photos, and at least that was portable and easier to hold. Also, video chat is very laggy.
Flash is crappy, it can take what seems like forever at times on a wi-fi network to load a page that has flash ads installed. Yeah, I know you can turn flash off, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of advertising how great flash is? Although I am finding that almost all the real flash based video sites are also in HTML5.
Also, you can not charge this through your computer or laptop. It must be plugged into a wall to charge up.
I guess in retro spec I should have waited for a better Android tablet. Not happy with this one. I still give it 3/5 as it really is the best Android tablet out there right now. If you must have one and can't wait, this is the one to get.
6. theOne (unregistered)
Vorais, thanks so much for your input! It really helps reading a review from somebody that actually has the product. I'm currently using an X10i and the things that you mentioned (pinch-zoom and unresponsive touch actions) also are pissing me off on this phone. I was hoping that the Tab would address these issues but if you say they don't then I'm sure as hell not going to blow more cash on an android device that will just let me down.
Thanks again for adding your comment as its given me a much better insight into the Tab as a product that would either keep me captivated or just piss me off - I'm now thinking the latter unfortunately...
17. Sasha (unregistered)
I think u r a pathetic user in each & everything respect u have wrote down the drawbacks of this tab. I'm using it from the very first day when it came in the market until now i don't face any problem with the same so how come u dealt with problems even though u r giving it 3.5. As per mine and most public reviews this really best tablet in the market or u can say the real competitor of Apple. There is no doubt that Apple is one of the best but if u'll browse the tab intently for sure u'll find things which r missing in Apple ipad like u can't insert the sim in ipad and so on. Let's talk about some of ur drawbacks which u have mentioned in ur comment.
1. For ur information the tablet is upgradeable to Gingerbread which is already available and ur expectations don't worth anything.
2. Regarding Performance let me tell u it is very fast when u touch the icon within no time application will be open (what else u need more) because it is having Cortex Hummimgbird Processor (the best Processor in it's class) so the Performance of the Tab is awesome.
3. May be u r mentally disturb (like work pressure, family problems etc.) definitely u r having problem with ur fingers so that's why u can't Pinch Zoom & Scroll properly.
4. Smoothly I'm browsing on my table without any hitch (did u really bought Samsung Galaxy Tab).
5. For ur 5 point where u said it gets hot may be ur body temperature is less than average so when u hold the tab u r feeling it's getting hot.
6. I have also gone through and made sure I'm running multiple programs as well at the same time.
7. My tab battery lasts 13 hrs on full charge. Ur battery is faulty.
8. Samsung really produces great quality Displays and Camera's also much clearer than any other phone. Ur old android will be having high Mega Pixels came so it is obvious higher Megapixel camera will take better quality photos.
9. For Video Chat u need high speed internet may be u r using 128 kbps so for sure Chat will be laggy.
10. For Flash i can say ur tab is getting old with an internet connection u need some re-freshness instantly.
11. Who said u can't charge the Tab via Laptop or Desk top kindly check ur USB Port.
Last but not the least there can be nothing better in the market for u so don't waste ur time & energy I'll suggest u to go for One Black & White old Phone that can be best option for u. I must say here it's ur foolishness to buy Expansive Gadgets or in simple words u r not worth of good things.
4. applesr4eatingtoo (unregistered)
Breaking Steve Jobs IS Jesus Christ resurrected. I am certain he would tell me that a 7" tablet is too small, it fits in one hand, who wants a tablet that fits in the palm of your hand. I am also certain tha nobody wants Flash or camera's on their tablet that would be sacralige, just ask Steveo. And who in their right mind would want to make video calls from a TABLET.
Actually the whole idea of a tablet is ludicrus, it is just another device. Has Crapple stopped making Laptops? I think not. The iMaxi is simpily a tax that iDiots impose upon themselves. Get with it Samsung there is no Tablet Market, only idiots that worship Steve Jobs and want to give him ALL of their money.
7. Frank the Tank (unregistered)
I have had mine for a month now and I love it.
8. Laokang (unregistered)
The Samsung Tab is definitely an iPad killer. For those of us that resist the limitations imposed by Apple, the Samsung Tab is a relief and joy to behold. While I admit, what Apple allows you to do on their devices is user friendly, the key word is "allows"! I'd rather struggle a bit with an open system and have endless options then to learn what few options are available in 5 minutes and be limited forever. The apps available just keep increasing and improving. With the 3G version, access is easy and everywhere. Even using the Tab as a phone is a pleasure, especially the video calls. I travel a lot for work and have been able to leave the laptop in the office. The Think Free Office app gives me access to all MSN office documents and spreadsheets and even allows me to edit them. Surfing the net is OK and is especially nice on 3G. All in all, the best gadget I've bought in a long time. Kudos to Samsung.
11. gohar (unregistered)
As far as its portability is concerned i don't think it would be a bad investment but kindly tell me will it be a good replacement of my cell phone and does the browsing problem also bothered you???help plz, i really want to buy a good gadget with cell phone ability and smooth browsing as well.
9. UncleWalt (unregistered)
I have had the US version of the Tab for about 3 weeks now and keep finding more great uses for the device. Weather, traffic, GPS in the car, YouTube, connection to work e-mail and calendar, Kindle Reader, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, CNN and lots more. Recently, on a 6 hour flight, I found it easy to hold and read for 1-2 hours at a time. No, it's not perfect, but it is a pretty amazing device overall. Most of my use is at home so the cheapest data plan from T-Mobile will work fine for me. (My one envy is the cell phone usage in Europe. Are you listening, T-Mobile?)
10. manil (unregistered)
the phone with amazing features
12. Isabel (unregistered)
I've had the tab for barely 2 days and I haven't put it down the whole time -- it's great!!!! Yes, it's not perfect, but it sure comes close to it. It just takes a little patience to figure things out, but after that come endless possibilities. I'm having a blast discovering new things my tab can do (with the apps installed) every hour! Definitely one of my better investments.
13. Alex (unregistered)
I have the tab since October 2010. I absolutely love it and now with flash support in the Opera browser, the "sluggish" performance of the browser has been resolved. Think of my Galaxy Tab browser as being faster than Firefox on a quad-core desktop with 6GB RAM. It is instant. When you play flash movies and you scroll, the browser is snappy, only the player lags behind (same as in desktop browsers).
The device is a joy. Plays full HD MKV files out of the box. Has full support for 99.99% of all apps on the Android market. I found a single app, a game, that was not full-screen. That's it. There are also tons of apps that have native support for the tab, with superior interface design to use the entire screen real estate. I currently have 64 apps installed on my tab and 250MB of free RAM during regular use.
The tab is perfect for:
eBook reading, watching TV, watching movies / YouTube, playing 3D and HD games, doodle & drawing, chatting, Facebook, twitter, video-calls, remote controlling YouTube or your computer from your couch, using it as an access point for your friends that don't have a data plan, browsing ANY website, listening to music, torrent downloads, office, email, productivity apps and last but not least the final and best feature of all in my opinion: keeping it in your jacket or back pocket all the time.
I always have my Tab with me! I may not need it when I go shopping or out to the theater, but being able to search the web in under 5 seconds can always come in handy. No other tablet size will have the final feature, which is fairly disappointing.
It is true that I had to tweak my tab to get all the bells and whistles on my desktop, with instant access to email previews, sms previews, weather, music controls, news, calendar, and torrent status. 80% of daily use is literally just a couple of clicks away for me.
If you can be bothered to actually learn how to use a gadget or an advanced device and not treat it like a toaster or a blender that have only basic operating modes, you can benefit from the Galaxy Tab. If not, you will become frustrated because it works the way it was intended to and not the way you intended or imagined it should.
14. Omprakash (unregistered)
Amazing device. It has everything I want in it. The andriod market has tons of apps to download. Sound quality is great. Performance is very good. Able to make calls through blue tooth. Here making phone calls and answering incoming calls are easier than a normal phone. (Only If you have a blue tooth head set). Had a camera problem once. Resetting the device solved the issue. Reading e-books in this device gives a nice experience. Battery performance is okay. T9 on screen keyboard is missing. Video quality is good. But picture is quality is not very impressive in the indoor. Overall I love this deivce.
15. anthony (unregistered)
how about the batt life?
16. Omprakash (unregistered)
I initially was impressed with this tab. Few days later when I turn the brightness of the screen to max and came to know that this tab had back light bleeding issues. It was noticeable when I am working in dark. I got exchanged another tab. That tab had back light bleeding along with dead pixels. And got exchanged with another tab, that tab had two dead pixels. They gave me fourth tab. That tab also had dead pixels. I checked this in the showroom itself. Moral is that quality of the product was reduced for the price drop in India.
18. Sasha (unregistered)
This is really awesome tab it has everything. The real competitor of ipad or u can say an ipad killer. I love this device.
19. santes (unregistered)
Generally, how would u rate the samsung galaxy tab? in terms of its functions
20. hooher tod (unregistered)
Yes there should realize the reader to RSS my feed to RSS commentary, quite simply