Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 Hands-on

Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 Hands-on
Samsung definitely has something to show for this year’s CTIA 2011, despite not seeing anything new in the smartphone camp, but rather, they unveiled their latest GALAXY Tab member. Finding itself squarely in the middle, the 8.9” Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 rounds out the selection as Samsung’s tablet offerings will be able to accommodate just about every consumer out there. Naturally, it embodies most of the characteristics that are evident with their current line, but it still aims to provide a tailored tablet experience with Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 interface on top of Honeycomb. Although seen as an unexpected gesture, Samsung concretely positions it to launch within the summer time frame (June 8, to be precise) – with the price tags of $469 for the 16GB model and $569 for the 32GB one.

After being somewhat taken by surprise by the iPad 2, there is no denying that Samsung is doing their best in making sure that their 8.9” Tab will be impressive on its own two feet thanks to its 8.6mm thickness and 470 gr weight. Holding the tablet for the very first time, we’re presented with a very plasticy constructed device that aids in making it rather light weight – however, there isn’t the presence of premium in its feel.  Still, it’s appreciable since it’s fairly easy to carry around and comfortably held in the hand. Conversely, it still doesn’t quite necessarily come off as being all that attractive with its conventional looks.

We find a dedicated power button, volume rocker, and 3.5mm headset jack all lining on the top side of the tablet, while the power port is located on the other side.  Since it flaunts stereo speakers, we find them clinging on both the left and right edges – which of course, should enhance the experience. There’s a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, while the rear hosts a sufficient 3-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash.
Naturally, the most prominent thing about it all is the 8.9” WXGA (1280 x 800) capacitive touchscreen that provides enough clarity to view even the smallest of text on-screen. As we set it to it the highest brightness level, we’re not too flattered by its color output – which mainly looks washed out. Still, it’s nice to see that it enables the tablet to be compact and light enough to carry around.

Interestingly, Samsung has been allowed to customize the Android 3.0 interface, and so it has equipped the tablet with a new version of the TouchWiz 4.0 (or TouchWiz UX) UI, but the unit on hand at the booth is still in production, so we wouldn't be jumping to conclusions about it just yet. Running the new interface on top of Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 moves at a decent rate, but it doesn’t quite have that silky smooth movement with its operation – then again, it’s still a pre-production build. Focusing on the social networking conscious users out there, we find the Social Network Hub which fittingly aggregates content from your various accounts. Quickly looking it over, TouchWiz 4.0 is everything we’d expect it to be, but it doesn’t seem to offer much more in terms of functionality over the core Android 3.0 experience.
So far, it’s just great to know that Samsung is doing its best to offer solutions to a wide array of consumers, and of course, the Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9” looks to complete their lineup.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Hands-on video:

Related phones

GALAXY Tab 8.9
  • Display 8.9" 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 3 MP / 2 MP front
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 6000 mAh



1. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Hey, is that the camera from my Samsung Rogue?

2. STUPID ADS! unregistered

Your banner ads are extremely annoying! You lost a viewer.

5. nd unregistered

dude if you dont like ads just get firefox and add the addon "adblock plus" it blocks every ad. (even ones in youtube videos)

9. N/A unregistered

Pretty much any browser now supports extensions so if you are that bothered, go download one, otherwise, quit complaining.

3. Fix your ads unregistered

Fix your ads, they suck, all the bouncing around of the page is ridicules.

4. Xan-Diesel

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 04, 2010

These adds are getting ridiculous. Please change them.

6. Andy Dell Streak unregistered

You stated in the video that the rear camera is 5 mp however in this article it states 3 mp...You may want to correct that typo...I look forward to seeing this tablet in person. I am not a apple fan and am getting sick of hearing about it...I do hope the 8.9 comes to Canada quite quickly...The xoom is out however I am not a fan of motorola either..especially since there are already rumors of it being replaced shortly...It just came out last week for 599$ wifi version and with that news is already god things are moving fast in the mobile phone and tablet industry...I have the samsung captivate and the dell streak for now and have only had them for 3 months or so and they are already old in terms or Androids

8. john unregistered

Looks choppy in some transition spots. I would be curious if that is because there are multiple programs running in the task manager...

10. Joel V unregistered

I think that is so awesome that Samsung turned around and showed Apple that they aren't playing when it comes to its products! The Galaxy Tab looks even more amazing than originally! I know as soon as this tablet comes out, I will be buying one! As soon as I do, I will be downloading the DISH Remote Access app. Using this app along with my 922 SlingLoaded receiver, I can stream live TV and my recordings to the tablet. As a customer and employee of DISH Network, I have been using this app for a while, and I think it will be great to see my TV on this 10.1 inch screen. I just hope that the summer comes fast so I can get my hands on this beautiful tablet! I cannot wait for this one!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.