Samsung Galaxy Tab Review

by on December 28, 2010
in Android, Gadgets




Yes, we finally got our hands on the best Android tablet (cum phone) available in the market right now – the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So far, I have spent almost a week playing with it: watched videos and listened to music, made voice and video calls, social networks, emails etc.

In this review, I won’t compare it with the iPad (See: Galaxy Tab vs iPad) or if it comes on par with it, but will do it with the Samsung Galaxy S (See: Galaxy S Review). Full review after the jump!

Samsung Galaxy Tab Specifications

  • Display: 7-inch TFT display (1024 x 600 pixels)
  • Processor: ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor (Hummingbird)
  • Camera: 3.2 MP camera, no autofocus, LED flash, secondary camera for video calls.
  • Video: Supports video recording.
  • Memory: 512MB RAM, 16GB internal memory, microSD slot upto 32GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi, microUSB, SIM card
  • Other: Flash 10.1 support, A-GPS, 3.5 mm jack, TV out, accelerometer, Swype, e-book, office, allshare etc
  • Battery: 4000 mAh, 7 hours of video playback
  • OS: Android 2.2 with TouchWiz UI

It actually sounds like an over-sized Galaxy S phone, isn’t it? Well, I won’t call the Tab an over-sized phone just because it runs on Android and can make calls. You can always use it without a SIM card or with just a data package.

Design

Galaxy Tab is flat on the front, but a slight curve at the back. On the front, just above the large 7-inch display, you see a front-facing camera for video calls, light sensor, and the Samsung logo. And on the bottom of the screen, you see the four standard capacitive buttons: Menu, Home, Back and Search keys. On the back side of the Tab, there is a 3.2 megapixels camera along with LED flash.

On the sides, you can find the power button, volume controls, microSD card slot and the SIM card slot, while on the left side, there is the built-in mic for making voice calls or to record audio.

Top of the Galaxy Tab has a 3.5mm audio jack that also supports TV out and at the bottom, there is a speaker that supports 5.1 surround sound and the USB. Galaxy Tab has it’s own USB cable, and doesn’t support micro or mini USB cables.

Check out the Galaxy Tab in the video below:

Display

The TFT capacitive display screen is certainly not the best we have seen, but features a great touch response on the Galaxy Tab. Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy S beats the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s TFT display to the punch, but we never had any issues with the viewing angle of the screen or when watching HD videos. But a 7-inch Super AMOLED display would certainly have been a treat for our eyes.

And not to mention, Samsung Galaxy Tab has a gorilla glass screen that means a solid, scratch-less screen. We took it through a stress test – video below.

Processor / Speed

Samsung Galaxy Tab is powered by the ARM Cortex A8 1GHz CPU (called as the Hummingbird). Hummingbird is way better than the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU featured in the Nexus One and HTC Desire, plus several other HTC devices. Not to forget, Hummingbird is also used in the iPhone 4.

Tab also has the same powerful mobile GPU as featured in the Galaxy S, and is the most powerful tablet atleast till Nvidia Tegra 2 devices start to show up. The GPU alone is capable enough to produce 36% of PlayStation 3’s processing power!

Overall, the Galaxy Tab is very fast and responsive. As compared to the initial releases of Froyo on the Galaxy S, Tab is very speedy and gave better benchmarking results. Even though there is a lagfix (same as the Galaxy S) available for the Galaxy Tab, but you don’t really need it as the Froyo build on Tab is a very optimized release.

Here’s a video of the Galaxy Tab running Angry Birds and Need For Speed: Shift.

Camera

This is where Samsung always disappoints me. Galaxy S had a poor 5 megapixels camera, and same is the case with the Galaxy Tab. It features a 3.2 megapixels camera with LED flash and is no better than a standard 2 megapixels camera.

Photo and video quality is not up to the mark. Photos come out with faded colours and are very blurry. It features autofocus, but not touch-to-focus like the Galaxy S phones.

Front-camera works best with video calling apps like Fring or Tango. I Tango-ed with a Galaxy S using the Galaxy Tab.

If you tune the Camera app settings according to your liking, I’m sure you can get the desired results. Same is the case with the Galaxy S phone camera. You have to fine tune the settings to get best possible results.

You can see a few sample shots I took with the Galaxy Tab below. Click on the image for the full-resolution photo.

Here’s a sample video recorded from the Samsung Galaxy Tab:

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Tab offers several connectivity options such as Bluetooth, WiFi and Samsung USB cable support. Direct TV output is also included which is one useful feature for viewing photos and HD videos on your TV. Unfortuanetely, the TV out cable is not included in the box. I used the cable that came with my old Nokia N96 to try out!

Unlike the Galaxy S phones, the Galaxy Tab P1000 has no GPS issues and is very quick in getting your accurate location. Geo-location supporting apps like Seesmic for Android, Foursquare, Google Maps worked like a charm! And in my opinion, they were far more better on the Tab instead of the Galaxy S.

TouchWiz UI

TouchWiz with Froyo on the Samsung Galaxy Tab is much faster than the version on the Galaxy S phones. It is very fast, responsive and optimized for the tablet screen size. Galaxy S users who like TouchWiz won’t have any problems in getting along with the UI.

It features a new/modified homescreen and the apps drawer and allows you to modify it in every possible way. Even you don’t like the TouchWiz UI, there is always an option to get other third-party Launcher apps from the Android Market – for free!

Galaxy Tab offers Need For Speed: Shift full game download for free from the Samsung Apps store, unlike Asphalt 5 on the Galaxy S.

Check out the TouchWiz tour on the Galaxy Tab video below:

Screenshots

Galaxy Tab Photos

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  • Stress test was amazing! Didn't know it could take that much. Awesome review!

  • One of the most comprehensive reviews out there… very 'lengthy' and a lot of videos. From an 'editor' point of view, that's a great review man.

    But the reason I won't buy the galaxy tab is the form factor; it's too small to be called a tablet, and just big enough to fit in any jacket pocket. And priced at like 60k, it is not that much of a bargain from the iPad, which is bigger and is possibly easier to use. (maybe you can review the iPad with this, together?)

    But a great review man. Good luck and keep it up!

  • sami

    awesome review…

    @Saini: the glass used in Samsung Tab and Galaxy S is Gorilla glass…scratch resistant and very strong!

  • Sandip

    Quite comprehensive Review, tempting enough to buy one.

  • Hamad Dar

    Bhains! Itni mehnat on a post, that has to be the most nicely done post on SC!

  • its an awesome complete review about this phone… keep it up

  • Great post.!!!

  • mcdkee

    is it a possible laptop replacement? need for light use, office, internet browsing and email…!

  • David Contreras M

    It is possible to use the RCA TV Out cable when the camera application is running?

    I want to show Layar in a TV :/

    Thank you!!!

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