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Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review

Posted: , by Brian K.

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Software and Features:

There are a few other small changes as well compared to the European edition, such as the inclusion of Media Hub on this version versus the broken down Hub segments we found on the EU version. Sprint and Samsung are sweetening the deal by throwing in a $50 credit towards “select content” in the Media Hub. Otherwise the software is nearly identical to the European Tab. The user can customize up to 9 pages, each supporting a 5x5 grid of apps. Like HTC Sense, this iteration of TouchWiz allows the user to pinch in to see all pages at once. It should be noted that Sprint has said their Galaxy Tab will feature their new Sprint ID interface, though they have not given a time frame for this. Beyond this we will see some mild carrier customizations, such as Verizon’s VCast service.

Home screen - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Main menu - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review

Home screen

 

Main menu

 

Media Hub - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Media Hub - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Media Hub - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Media Hub - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review

Media Hub


As with the European version, our biggest gripe with the Tab is browser performance. It’s not bad, but at times it feels like it should be quicker. Even over Wi-Fi pages sometimes took longer to load than we would expect, and we have a feeling it has to do with software rather than hardware as the Galaxy Tab is generously spec’d. We downloaded some alternate browsers such as Dolphin Browser HD and Firefox Beta and experienced the same issues. Flash content loaded and played well, and once a page loaded pinch to zoom was smooth. All of the Tab versions offer 3G, either CDMA or GSM, and as mentioned they all have Wi-Fi. We were disappointed to see no 4G from Sprint, especially at the price the Tab is selling at.

Internet browsing with the device - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Internet browsing with the device - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
Internet browsing with the device - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review

Internet browsing with the device



In terms of overall performance the Galaxy Tab did well, scoring in the mid 1000s on the Quadrant benchmark test. Of course since this is not a phone we could not test that aspect of the Tab, but it should be noted that text messaging is supported. The stock keyboard is inevitably smaller and more cramped than the one on the iPad, but Swype is also preloaded. The 4000mAh battery is rated to give a user 13 hours of usage and we were easily able to get through two days of casual web browsing, gaming and general playing with the Galaxy Tab.

The Quadrant benchmark test - Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review

The Quadrant benchmark test



Conclusion:

Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular do or will offer the tab subsidized at $399 with a two year contract. Both Sprint and T-Mobile offer two price points, but they vary greatly. T-Mobile offers a $25 plan for a paltry 200MB of data, or 5GB for the bargain price of $50. Sprint’s 5GB plan matches their aircards at $60/month, but we have a feeling most users will be okay with the $30 2GB plan. Sprint throws in unlimited messaging on their plans as well. U.S. Cellular offers 200MB for $14.99 and 5GB for $54.99. As we mentioned earlier Verizon does not require a contract, though this will drive the price of the Tab up to $600. Their plan is $20 for 1GB of data with a relatively reasonable $10/GB overage charge. AT&T has the highest pricing at $650, sans contract. Data plans match their phones: $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB.

Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Review
In the end we like many things about the Samsung Galaxy Tab, most notably the size and portability, but feel very much the same way we did with the iPad, which is to say it’s an expensive toy. It’s nice to browse the web in bed and watch videos on the train and play Angry Birds on a 7” screen, but in the end a tablet like the Galaxy Tab doesn’t offer anything a modern smartphone doesn’t, except a larger screen. There is definitely a market for these devices, but with prices ranging from $400-650 and data plans setting you back $15-60, the price of ownership is huge.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is just the second in what looks to be a long line of quality tablet offerings, but for now they are cost-prohibitive. If you need one now the Galaxy Tab is a fine choice, especially for those who love Android and want a more compact solution.  The Apple iPad is of course a great alternative, which is noticeably bulkier but can offer you a lot more quality software content. However, we can’t help but feel that we will see better, cheaper tablets soon enough.

This is was an overview of the Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. market. For an in-depth look at the device, see our review of the European version, since it's almost identical.

Samsung Galaxy Tab for the U.S. Video Review:



Pros

  • Good size, very comfortable to use and hold
  • Excellent battery life
  • Dual cameras allow for video chat

Cons

  • Expensive to both buy and own
  • Android apps aren’t optimized for tablets yet
PhoneArena rating:
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posted on 17 Nov 2010, 11:24

1. je2345 (Posts: 62; Member since: 05 May 2009)


I'm trying to figure out why this article keeps saying that the Verizon version doesn't have Wi-Fi when it does. I'm tethered to my Samsung Fascinate using Wi-Fi as we speak. Get your facts straight before you post some nonsense. Look at link below as it even clearly states WiFI:b/g/n.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneOverviewByDevice &deviceCategoryId=12

Also as far as android apps not optimized for this Tablet, I have not had any issues with any apps and their capability of fitting the whole screen yet.

posted on 29 Jan 2011, 18:07

5. ort037 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


Just wondering what article you actually read...? It clearly says that all the carriers have WiFi... last time I checked, Verizon is one of the carriers... ;-)

posted on 17 Nov 2010, 12:05

2. Richard (unregistered)


It's just lazy/sloppy writing... I can't take this site seriously anymore, not when there is Mobile Burn and GSMarena.

posted on 17 Nov 2010, 15:10

3. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


Hey, sorry for the silly mistake - it's been fixed. Of course the Verizon Tab has Wi-Fi!

Thank you very much for your feedback!

posted on 23 Nov 2010, 04:49

4. frequent reader (unregistered)


phonearena with new confusing look and its reviews are much less detail and none-sens !

used to be my fav website

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Display7.0 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels (170 ppi) TFT
Camera3 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches
(190.1 x 120.45 x 11.98 mm)
13.40 oz  (380 g)

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