Samsung has quite an impressive line-up of Android devices that has fitted to a lot of consumer pockets around the world. And with the dawn of tablet PCs as sparked by Apple’s iPad, Samsung has dived in to have a piece of the limelight with their smaller Galaxy Tab. With prices of first-generation tablets going down, will the Galaxy Tab level the competition? Let’s find out.
One thing that’s apparent from the Galaxy tab is its 7-inch display as opposed to the iPad’s which is at 10-inch. Although smaller in size, it then gives you the benefit of being able to hold it in one hand.
The Galaxy Tab is curved at all sides and albeit the all-plastic build it still, managed to feel solid with a manageable weight of 380 grams.
On the right side you will find the power button, the volume rocker, SIM card slot and the miscro-sd card slot which supports up to 32GB. Left side only features the mic.
At the top is where the 35mm jack is exposed while at the bottom is where you’ll find the twin speakers and the 30-pin connector for the charger and USB. Unfortunately though, the Galaxy Tab doesn’t charge on USB (Ed. actually it would trickle charge and wouldn’t appear to be charging).
The 7” front glass as common amongst most touch-screen devices, is also a fingerprint magnet. The secondary 1.3MP camera is found on the top right while the four dedicated Android buttons can be found below. At the glossy back panel is where the 3MP camera with LED flash is located.
The display quality of the Galaxy Tab may not be as good as the SuperAMOLED of the Galaxy S but it can still render surprisingly good graphics for viewing and gaming entertainment. It’s important to note that viewing the display at certain angles causes the colors to change and look washed out but the graphics are still pretty much visible nonetheless.
Unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab supports phone calls and SMS which is a great step-up for the competition. Also, with the inclusion of 3G, Wifi and Bluetooth, you’ll have a host of connectivity options to suit your wireless needs. A Bluetooth headset is not included though if you wish to use the Tab as a phone as well.
The Galaxy Tab comes installed with the Android 2.2 Froyo. Users who are already familiar with the Froyo interface in their Samsung smartphones can dive right in with the Galaxy Tab’s user interface albeit some minimal changes in the home screen. The overall feel when swiping through the user interface is both smooth and fast. Thanks to the 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM.
Typing with the Galaxy Tab’s virtual QWERTY keyboard is a breeze with very minimal typing errors whether in portrait or landscape mode. It also features that Swype text input for that added speed in typing although you’ll have a larger screen to work with.
The battery life is rated at 4000mAh which is quite good for a multimedia device. It gave us around 6 hours worth of continuous video but on regular use with 3G on, you can get a day and half before plugging it in.
Playing games and watching videos in the Galaxy Tab is definitely a feat. Being able to play in a 7” display with the latest games from Android will have you playing for hours. The video delivers smooth performance in up to Full HD video resolution and it also supports DivX and XviD. The audio quality is very good and it’s topped off with a great music player that lets you organize your music and playlists.
Gaming is not a problem with the Galaxy Tab. The processor is very capable in playing even the resource-intensive games from the Android market. Casual gamers would love its 7-inch display because you can hold it in one hand while playing.
Users who frequently visit flash sites will now enjoy the full browsing experience because Flash is now supported by Android Froyo. Although web browsing tends to get a bit laggy when it comes to viewing sites with heavy contents, generally, the browsing experience is a breeze.
The Tab’s camera interface let’s you tap to focus on the subject and also provides you with a host of camera settings to suit your photographic needs. As to the picture quality taken from its 1.3 megapixel camera, the colors appear washed out but still decent. Here are some samples:
You better learn how to shoot without shaking the tab though as it is prone to blurry shots when used indoors without a flash along with the awkward way of handling it.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is by all means a great tablet device. It’s not just a promising tablet but can rather be the most coveted device for a lot of people. The Tab have come short of Apple’s iPad’s size (the latter having a bigger screen display), very smooth interface and attractive display. The Galaxy Tab’s inclusion of an expandable memory, Android Froyo Flash support, telephony and SMS capabilities and other features can strongly compel you to grab the Tab over the other.
With the original iPad getting a price cut, Samsung followed suit lowering the price of the Galaxy Tab to Php20,999 making it more difficult for you not to consider it as a tablet. Be that as it may, it all boils down to the user’s preference as to whether portability, features and display quality is concerned. If you prefer a more compact and capable multimedia device, then the Galaxy Tab is for you. For richer multimedia, tons of games and smooth browsing preference, the iPad is for you.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 Specs:|
|7-inch TFT LCD @ 1024×600 pixel resolution|
|Android OS 2.2 Froyo|
|Cortex A8 1.0GHz w/ PowerVR SGX540|
|512 MB RAM|
|16GB and 32GB internal memory|
|up to 32GB via microSD|
|3MP AF camera with LED Flash|
|1.3MP front camera for video calls|
|Adobe Flash 10.1 player support|
|3G (HSUPA 5.76Mbps, HSDPA 7.2Mbps)|
|Li-Ion 4,000mAh battery|
|SRP: Php34,990 Php21,990|
Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Carl Clasio with some slight revisions by the editor. Carl is a contributor here at PTB and loves playing with all sorts of gadgets. He’s also into photography, likes Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain.