Samsung Galaxy Tab Review Mix!

This image described by iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab Samsung, galaxy tab prices, galaxy tab cost, samsung galaxy tab pricing, Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-420-90


The reviews for Samsung's Galaxy Tab are rolling in. We've looked at the device before, and we definitely don't think it's an iPad killer. While some thought we were contradicting ourselves to say that it's too small, yet too large (we said it wouldn't fit in a pocket), it seems that some reviewers agree. It's set at a weird in-between size that doesn't quite make it right for one use or the other.

We took several well-respected opinions (full review links can be found below), and grabbed the important bits to help you sort through the huge amount of information. 

Screen Quality and Responsiveness

Pogue (NYT): The screen is gorgeous. The touch response is immediate and reliable.

Mossberg (WSJ): The screen is sharp and generally responsive to touch, though in my tests, a bit slower than the iPad's screen.

Wired:  The screen (a standard LCD) is not as bright and as clear as the iPad's beauty. Bright, high-resolution screen.

CrunchGear: Nice, bright screen. Responsive Touchscreen. The touchscreen is very responsive and except for a few jolts during zoom-in and multi-touch, there was no lag in the application.

Gizmodo: Screen is pretty killer. The Pixel density–1024×600 pixels packed into a 7-inch display–makes everything from reading to watching video seriously pleasant. (Put another way: Reading Kindle books feels better than the iPad.) The viewing ables are vast liek the BP oil spill. The colors are nice and saturated.

Engadget: The Tab doesn't have a Super AMOLED screen like its Galaxy S smartphone brothers, but the 1024 x 600-resolution LCD is still stunning. It's notably better than most other tablet screens we've seen as of late, which, of course, means that the first thing we noticed was its stellar viewing angles. Tilting off-axis doesn't cause any color distortion.

The Display itself is extremely bright and colors appear extremely crisp. Tab's resolution isn't as high as the iPad's 1024 x 768-resolution IPS panel, the screen does have better pixel density, which translate to a crisper e-book and webpage reading experience than the iPad.

Boy Genius Report: The screen's quality–while vibrant and vivid–is pretty poor resolution-wise, especially when compared to the displays on some of the latest Android smartphones.

iSmashPhone Verdict: Everyone seems to like the screen's responsiveness and most seem to agree that the screen is sharp and vibrant. Many praised the viewing angles and the pixel density, saying it made for a better ebook reading experience than the iPad.



Screen Size

Pogue (NYT): E-mail works well on the 7-inch screen. Most of the 100,000 apps on the Android store are designed for a phone-size screen, not a tablet. The Galaxy either blows them up, at the expense of clarity, or lets them float in the center of the larger screen with a Texas-size black border.

Mossberg (WSJ): The actual screen real estate on the Tab is less than half of the iPads. That's a disadvantage, but it allows the overall unit to be much smaller and lighter. While the screen is smaller, it has almost the same resolution as the iPad, so almost as much material can be displayed on it.

Wired:  7-inch diagonal screen instead of the iPad's 9.7 inches. However, the Tab's 1024 x 600-pixel resolution makes this less of a big deal than you might expect. Considering the iPads 1024 x 768-pixel resolution, you'll find the Tab nearly as spacious.

CrunchGear: The only value-add in this device [CrunchGear was referring to the Tab being "literally just a big phone with a big battery"] is the larger screen, and it's not even that much larger than a regular phone. Seven inces isn't that big and if you've been using a phone or iPod Touch to watch movies, you're not getting mch more out of this device.

Gizmodo: Text entry swallows up the entire screen. Swype may might be dandy on a phone, but on a seven-inch screen it doesn't work so well–you have to travel a lot further to sketch out words.

Engadget: The Tab's central UI–the panes, app drawer, home screen, Swype keyboard–lends itself nicely to the 7-inch screen. Similarly, the slightly re-skinned Android browser scales nicely to the 7-inch display. However, that experience [upscaling of apps] really depends on the app at the moment.

The Display itself is extremely bright and colors appear extremely crisp. Tab's resolution isn't as high as the iPad's 1024 x 768-resolution IPS panel, the screen does have better pixel density, which translate to a crisper e-book and webpage reading experience than the iPad.

Boy Genius Report: Let's go for the obvious thing–size! Apple's CEO–who will remain nameless–publicly stated that a 7-inch screen was too small for a tablet, and after using the Tab, we tend to agree…It's a very weird in-between feeling; we cant decide it feels like a smartphone that is too big or a tablet that is too small. We still can't figure out the best way to use the keyboard in portrait mode. Hold it with both hands and try to thumb type? Hold the tablet in one hand and only use one hand to type? Use Swype?

iSmashPhone Verdict: The feelings are a little more mixed here. Most do feel that the smaller screen is odd, as it's too small for a tablet computer, but too large for a smartphone. Typing is said to be a bit weird on it. However, many do note that the resolution makes up for the smaller size, and allows for the device to display almost as much as the iPad can. Engadget seems to compare it more to a smartphone, noting that the increased real estate works well for the device. 

  This image described by iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab Samsung, galaxy tab prices, galaxy tab cost, samsung galaxy tab pricing, GALAXY-Tab-P1000-Product-image-4


Pogue (NYT): The Galaxy doesn't feel like a cramped iPad. It feels like an extra-spacious Android phone. Galaxy is much lighter than the iPad (13 ounces vs. 1.5 pounds) making a huge difference when you have to hold it to watch a movie on the plane. And it's so small you can carry it in a blazer pocket.

You can even slip it into jeans pokect, although you might walk around looking as if you have pulled a muscle or something…Almost the same size of the latest Amazon Kindle–and makes it a great e-book reader.

This image described by iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab Samsung, galaxy tab prices, galaxy tab cost, samsung galaxy tab pricing, Samsung_galaxy_tab_ac_9-540x531

Image from Android

Mossberg (WSJ): [When talking about screen size vs. iPad] It allows the overall unit to be much smaller and lighter, and thus more easily used in one hand, something some users will welcome.

With its lighter weight and smaller size, I found the Tab easy to use while standing and moving. It easily fit in one hand, though for many tasks you'll still need two hands.

Wired:  What you do gain, however, is considerably better portability: The iPad is not always convenient to tote with you, while the Tab really feels like a jumbo-sized cellphone and slips easily into any bag and many jacket pockets. Smaller form factor offers much better portability.

CrunchGear: This is obviously more Kindle-sized but the Kindle is lighter. You can stick this in your pocket, but you won't be happy. (CrunchGear also Listed "A bit small" and "Thick and heavy" as Cons in their review)

Gizmodo: Galaxy Tab is small enough that apps simply blown up a little bit still fundamentally work. Which means, conversely, that there's almost no added benefit to using the Tab over a phone. It's not big enough. Web browsing doesn't have greater fidelity. I don't get more out of Twitter. A magazine app would be cramped. Videos do look better than they do on a phone, but a bigger tablet would be even better.

Feels dense and sturdy (if surprisingly thick)–probably the best constructed Samsung mobile device ever. 

Engadget: To be honest, our real appreciation for the device's design comes more in terms of its form factor…7-inch tablets are much better for one-handed use than larger-screened ones. Steve Jobs may not think the size is optimal, but we loved being able to wrap our smaller hand around the 0.83-pound/ 0.47-inch thick Tab when reading a book or hold it like a phone and use our thumbs to type on the on-screen keyboard. Sure, it's not as light or thin as the 0.53-pound / 0.33-inch Kindle or the 0.48-pound / 0.4-inch Dell Streak, but it's still light enough to hold up in bet without fearing that you'll drop it on your face.

Boy Genius Report: When holding the device in the landscape orientation, one of our fingers covers the ambient light sensor and dims the display to the point that we can't use the device. It's borderline slippery to hold at times…We're not sure we'd trade 3-inches of valuable screen real estate for something that's slightly more portable, yet not really. [Comparing to the iPad] Both aren't fitting in your pocket, both would fit in your laptop bag or backpack, and so on. 

iSmashPhone Verdict: Overall the size seems to be favorable for use as an ebook reader. It's lighter and smaller than the iPad. While most agree that it fits in a pocket, they all say that it's not a very good fit. Most do like the fact that in can be used with one hand. Still, many seem to prefer smartphones or larger tablets.


Battery Life

Pogue (NYT): The iPad gets 10 hours on a charge; the Galaxy, about 6 hours.

Mossberg (WSJ): I gave the Tab the same test I used for my iPad review: I put the screen on nearly full brightness, left the Wi-Fi on to collect email and played back-to-back videos until the unit died. My test Tab lasted six hours, 50 minutes, though at six hours, 10 minutes the screen dimmed irrevocably to a darkness level that made it useless. In the same test last spring, the iPad logged 11 hours, 28 minutes.

Wired:  No mention of battery life.

CrunchGear: Battery life is pretty good. I got two days of intermittent use on one charge including a four-hour bout of movies one night. This should last a good three days without heavy network polling, and you can definitely get about 10 hours of movie watching out of this.

Gizmodo: Battery life is thoroughly phenomenal: Four hours of constant, heavy usage over 3G‚ÄîGoogle Talk, browsing, YouTube‚Äîonly knocked it down to 40 percent. Building controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS into the Android notification shade makes it convenient to turn stuff off to stretch the battery further.

Engadget: The Tab's 4000mAh battery lasted for 6 hours and 9 minutes. That's around the same as some of the other Android tablet's we've tested, but not as long as the iPad's 9 hours and 33 minutes. 

Boy Genius Report: No mention of battery life.

iSmashPhone Verdict: The battery life is far from that of the iPad. Most say that with heavy use you will get about 6 hours. The same kind of use will get about 10 out of the iPad.


Software and Internet

Pogue (NYT): Because the Galaxy runs Android 2.2, it can also play Flash videos online (touch√©, iPad!). Or at least it‚Äôs supposed to. After some delay, I got Flash movie trailers and CNet videos to play, but at, the Play Video button just stared at me sullenly.

Mossberg (WSJ): Ability to run Web videos and applications written in Adobe‚Äôs Flash software; and multitasking, though, to be fair, the latter feature is coming to the iPad imminently via a software update. Another strong point is that like Apple, Samsung has rewritten some of the standard apps, such as the email and calendar programs, to make them look more like PC programs and less like smartphone apps.

Wired:  Everything you‚Äôd want from a modern Android phone (version 2.2, upgradeable when 3.0 hits) is here: Full app support (though, as with running iPhone apps on the iPad, many apps look JUMBO SIZE in use).

CrunchGear: Google doesn‚Äôt allow ‚ÄúWith Google‚Äù branding on devices over 7-inches simply because they believe Android is still a phone OS.

Gizmodo: The browser is miserable, at least when Flash is enabled. It goes catatonic, scrolling is laggy, and it can get laughably bad.

Samsung's built-in task manager, with one-touch kill switches to free up gobs of RAM, is plenty effective at dealing with apps running in the background. But why does it have to be there in the first place. Should you really be actively managing background apps?

Engadget: The Tab differs from that other tablet with its full Flash support. So, is it everything you've been waiting for? Thanks to its 1GHz processor, the experience isn't as slow as we've seen on other Android 2.2 devices, but we can't really say we took advantage of the feature all that much — in fact we decided to disable it eventually to speed up browsing. 

Boy Genius Report: Browsing the web with Flash on (enabled by default) proved to be a pretty frustrating experience. Scrolling was jittery, slow, and sometimes pages just wouldn‚Äôt even finish loading. However, once we changed the browser‚Äôs plug-ins setting to on demand (think Click2Flash), the browser popped to life.

iSmashPhone Verdict: Thanks to Android 2.2, this device will play back Flash content. However, all the critics seemed to agree that the device slowed to a crawl when trying to run Flash. Aside from that, most seem to agree that the browser and OS are pretty snappy.

This image described by iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab Samsung, galaxy tab prices, galaxy tab cost, samsung galaxy tab pricing, Samsung-galaxy-tab-2


Pogue (NYT): So yes, the dawn of the would-be iPad is upon us. But the Android tablet concept represents more than just a lame effort to grab a slice of tablet hype. As with Android phones, it represents an alternative that‚Äôs different enough to justify its existence.

Mossberg (WSJ): It‚Äôs different enough from the iPad, yet good enough, to give consumers a real choice.

Wired:  The Tab ultimately reveals itself not as a competitor to the iPad but as a new class of mobile devices: a minitablet that is designed to go everywhere you do.

CrunchGear: This device is what it is: a small, fairly powerful tablet for Android lovers. I‚Äôd love to play to my own bias and state that the iPad is unequivocally better but I can‚Äôt. This is for a different consumer and based on a different architecture. It is a good product, a little big, and an able device for media playback, e-book reading, and general email productivity.

Gizmodo: The Tab is an awkward first attempt at this kind of tablet‚Äîwait for somebody else to do it better.

Engadget: After spending the last couple of days with the Galaxy Tab, we can confidently say it's the best Android tablet on the market. Now, that's not saying much given the state of the Android competition, but we can also assuredly say that the Tab is the first true competitor to Apple's iPad. 

Boy Genius Report: Holding over final thoughts for a fuller review.

iSmashPhone Verdict: The critics seem to take the Tab for what it is. A tablet running on Android. For most, the final say was along the lines of "It's okay, but it's not great," while Gizmodo trashed it. If anything, it's the first real alternative to the iPad to hit the market.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pricing and Payment Plans

We feel that in order to truly compete with a device like the iPad, this device has to be priced competitively. Unfortunately, the breakdown doesn't seem very pleasing.

Verizon sells a contract-free Tab for $600.

Plans break down like this:

Verizon: $20/month – 1GB.

Sprint: $29.99/month – 2GB; $59.99/month – 5GB.

T-Mobile, on the other hand, is said to have different rates for new or existing customers.

The Tab has 16GB of Flash storage, same as the iPad.


As a comparison, the iPad 3G runs $629.00 for a $16GB model. Which is only $29 more.

It runs on AT&T's 3G network, with a no contract plan.

250MB for $14.99 a month

2GB for $25 a month

Final Thought

The Galaxy Tab is probably the best contender currently on the market for those who don't like iOS. However, it seems like a device we would recommend to the Android enthusiast rather than the casual user. It has a long way to go, and Google still has to introduce a true tablet OS to make this work effectively.

Most users complained about the iPad's lack of Flash. However, while most reviewers noted that it runs much smoother on the Tab than it does on most Android devices, many found that it was best to turn it off. Effectively turning the Galaxy Tab browsing experience into an iPad browsing experience. We are sure hardware and software will improve in the future. Still, it offers an alternative to Apple's device.


Credit: David Pogue (New York Times), Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal), Wired, CrunchGear, Gizmodo, Engadget, Boy Genius Report

About 8bitjay

Google + Profile