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Interface and Functionality

Samsung has nailed its tablet UI.

We have to commend Samsung for its tablet UI - it nailed it. The first time we saw this new look was in the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2. We're sure happy to see Samsung bring it over to its new range of tabs, because this UI just works. It provides an uncluttered experience that feels friendlier than stock Android, but still respects Google's vision.

We have to note that Samsung acted smart and didn't try to turn a tablet that's obviously meant for light, mundane tasks into something more than it should be. Thus, you don't get any fancy gesture controls or highly ambitious apps, but the little you get in terms of proprietary enhancements is quality over quantity. The default apps - Contacts, My Files, S Planner, Memo, Browser, E-mail, Music, Video, Alarm, S Voice, are polished and feel like they belong to the experience. Whether you'll opt for them, Google's stock apps, or 3-rd party solutions is entirely up to you. Just like it should be.

Processor and memory

The Tab 4 can get downright sluggish and unresponsive at times.

Unfortunately, this major department is the one where Samsung's new 7-incher comes short. In theory, the Tab 4 7.0 has a better than average set of specs - a quad-core Marvell PXA1088 CPU and 1.5GB of RAM is nothing to frown at. In terms of memory, our version has 8GB of storage, and about half of it is occupied by Samsung's belongings. Fair enough but, to our surprise, the Tab 4.0 is not only far from athletic, but it can get downright sluggish and unresponsive at times. There's a slight stutter in the menus and drawers which is always present, and the sluggishness can become overwhelming as the RAM memory gets filled up.

Furthermore, this version of Samsung's UI doesn't animate its icons when you tap on them. Thus, when you poke an icon to launch some app, and the tablet not only fails to obey, but it doesn't give out any visible indication that it actually registered your touch, it feels jarring.

Sadly, the benchmark results confirmed our suspicions that Samsung either has some optimizing left to do, or the Tab 4 7.0 is destined to remain an under-achiever. In each of our tests we saw the tablet unable to compete with the Nexus 7 (2013) - a tablet that makes do with a generation-old chipset (the Snapdragon S4 Pro) while having many more pixels to push.

As the Tab 4 7.0's sluggishness is evident both in practical usage and in synthetic benchmarks, we have to say that we are left disappointed by its performance.

Quadrant Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 4291.6
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 3612
Alcatel OneTouch POP 7 4063
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 13785.3
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 10453
Alcatel OneTouch POP 7 12512
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 537.3
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 444
Alcatel OneTouch POP 7 518.67
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 1559.1
Alcatel OneTouch POP 7 1353.3
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 295.6
Alcatel OneTouch POP 7 169.67

Internet and connectivity

Browsing performance is the same so-so ordeal as general usage.

The version which we have for review is the Wi-Fi only one, thus there's nothing special about the tablet in terms of connectivity. Its browsing performance is the same so-so ordeal as its general usage. Browsing is perfectly functional, of-course - web pages display correctly and scroll reasonably quickly, but as a whole, the tablet feels slow. At least Samsung's in-built Browser and E-Mail clients are a decent alternative to Chrome and Gmail, provided you actually need one.

It's worth mentioning that you will be treated to 20GB of free Dropbox storage by buying the tablet. Both Dropbox and Samsung's own Samsung Account system are integrated deep within the system, and allow for features such as automatic backups.

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