Today we are going to have a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab. This is the original Galaxy Tab released by Verizon in November of 2010, not the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. While it is hard to review a first generation device, comparing it to newer devices, I can personally still see it having a place in the consumer market. Is this tablet right for you? Read on and decide for yourself.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is one of, if not the smallest Android tablets on the market measuring 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches, and weighing in at 13.58 ounces. It features a 7″ WSVGA screen with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The device has a black unibody construction, with a textured black back. It feels solid holding in your hand. It could probably survive a fall, not that I would test it. As far as devices go, I am a huge stickler for size. I really enjoyed the pocketable size of the tablet. Plop it in your cargo pants pocket/purse/etc., on the way out the door, and you are good to go.
The back of the device has an auto focusing 3MP camera with flash and on the front there a 1.3MP front-facing camera. Also on the front, around the screen, there is a black bezel with touch buttons to navigate the Android OS. I will go over these things in more detail in the camera and software sections of this review. I got around 7.5 hours battery life with heavy use including gaming a video watching, and 10-12 hours with casual use.
For those of you familiar with Samsung android phones, the Galaxy Tab features the TouchWiz interface. I find it looks even better on a tablet. The colors on the screen are very vibrant. I experienced no viewing angle issues. The tablet runs Android 2.2 Froyo. The standard Google apps are included on the device, in addition to, a few demo games and Samsung apps. Included, and my favorite, is the Samsung Media Hub app. With the Samsung Media Hub, you can rent or purchase movies and/or tv shows right to your device. I rented 2 movies at $3 a piece. It was wonderful. The quality was superb. The only problem I found with the Samsung Media Hub was that you have to download the videos to the device. It can take a while to download a 1.3GB movie. It isn’t instant streaming like Netflix (which I can confirm works on the tablet, with the new version of the app). I had to hide my wallet from myself to keep me from renting movie after movie to watch on the tablet. I enjoyed it too much.
Web browsing ran relatively well on the tablet. Only flash heavy websites had trouble rendering thing fast enough when scrolling through.
Because the tablet runs Android 2.2 Froyo, not 3+ Honeycomb, it caused minor issues. The tablet has touch buttons to navigate through the interface, not software buttons used in Honeycomb. I say this is a problem because there where times when I was holding the tablet, commented on Youtube, social networks, etc, and I would accidentally press the back button on the tablet bezel. It is not a big deal when typing emails because of autosaves, but for other things, you have to start all over.
If you thought gaming on the Sony Xperia Play was good, just wait til you try it on the Galaxy Tab. Gaming on a tablet is pure awesomeness! Like I said before, the Galaxy Tab came with a few demo games including Nova and Lets Golf. Lets Golf was noticeably not a tablet version, with visible pixelation. On the other hand, games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, etc looked great. Fruit Ninja was especially fun due to the tablet’s multitouch screen, which allowed for multiple finder/blade slashes. The xPiano app has also put multitouch to good use. It gives you a portable piano.
The camera on the Galaxy Tab produced somewhat fuzzy photographs.
You are probably asking me now, “Well Joe, why/should I buy a Galaxy Tab?” I can give you 2 reasons. Size and money. The 7″ size is a more pocketable size than a full 10″ tablet and/or newer tablet. If you look at the prices at Verizon, the next tablet will run you $300 more. You will need to decide for yourself, do you want to spend the extra money for the latest greatest? I found this tablet worked very well. Suited its purpose wonderfully. This tablet is great for first time Androiders, or maybe people who an iPhone and want to get a little taste of Android.
I enjoyed using this tablet for 2 weeks. It was a joy to use for my website. There is nothing better than relaxing out on the back porch, away from my computer, answering your all’s questions and comments using the tablet. Gaming, movies, etc was absolutely awesome on the device. Everyone should have a tablet. :) I only wish 2 things. One, it was a tad bit lighter and two, it gets upgraded to Honeycomb soon.
Thanks to Verizon for sending me out this to review.