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Interface and Functionality

The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and while that’s not the latest Android it is just one small step behind 4.2. Samsung has sprinkled its usual TouchWiz flavor on top, adding to the stock experience.

Some might like it and others might not, but it remains one of the easily recognized UIs out there with its cartoony looks and nature-inspired effects. Among the highlights of the TouchWiz skin are the redesigned notification shade that integrates important quick-access buttons for common settings and most importantly a convenient brightness slider.

This handset does support a SIM card and good news is you can actually use it not just for data, but also to make phone calls and send text messages. It might seem a bit weird to do this on a 7-inch device, but if your phone battery has died or if you love to experiment, then why not? The contacts application differs from what you might have seen on Galaxy phones. Here, it is optimized for the larger tablet screen and has two columns, one for the contact names and another one for contact information.

Texting is a mixed bag. On one hand you have a larger screen than a phone with a larger keyboard that allows you to type quicker and more accurately. On the other hand, it’s still a pretty large device and you’d need to hold it in two hands to type.

Samsung is also bundling its signature apps: S Voice, S Planner, S Memo, ChatOn, Мusic/Learning/Video Hub, AllShare Play, Group Play and Samsung Apps. We definitely like the S Planner rich calendar experience and the fact that it easily integrates your Facebook events for instance, and ChatOn has also grown to be a good cross-platform instant messenger.

Processor and Memory

The tablet uses a dual-core chip, but now it runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core chip with 1GB RAM. That should definitely be enough to run the low-res screen and allow you to play basic games on the Play store lag-free. For heavier gaming loads however, it does not seem like this is the right device.

It’s hard to judge the actual performance just yet. We had an early prototype that we are certain will change a lot until it arrives to users.

Speaking of memory, the Tab 3 will come in two models - one with 8GB of internal storage and another one featuring 16GB. Luckily, that memory is expandable via microSD cards of up to 64 GB.

Internet and Connectivity

With its SIM card slot, the tablet supports HSPA connectivity with downlink speeds of up to 21Mbps. That is great for travelers wishing to use the web on the go.

You have two browsers pre-loaded. One is Google’s Chrome and the other is the stock Android browser. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean support for Adobe Flash has been killed, so you might see blank spots on some web pages.

The tablet also supports dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and can beam data to external screens via Wi-Fi Direct or DLNA. In addition, it also supports Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS and GLONASS.

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