Samsung Galaxy Tab Review: Your Next Tablet?

In just 2 years, Google has produced a worthy competitor to Apple’s iOS. It’s known as Android and runs on over 70 different handsets across every  major US carrier. It’s being adopted by mainstream (my mom) at a faster rate than anyone anticipated.

In recent months, Google started moving into the tablet market, competing with Apple’s iPad. Google plans to release a more tablet optimized version of Android, dubbed Honeycomb (Android 3.0). Until, here’s a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab from Verizon Wireless, one of Google’s answers to the iPad.

(Discloser: This review was made possible thanks to Verizon Wireless by loaning SheGeeks.net a Samsung Galaxy Tab.)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is pretty much made for anyone that isn’t a content creators. That’s on par with much of today’s tablet market. From the voracious reader (documents and ebooks), to media junkie (social media, youtube junkies, and all else) the Galaxy Tab has you covered.

After a nearly a month with it, I’ve found it to be a great personal management device that anyone with a hectic schedule could benefit from using.

Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Tab sports a bright 7-inch display capable with a 1024×600 resolution (equivalent to a laptop). The internal memory maxes out at 2GBs, which isn’t much. Thankfully a 16GB microSD comes with it and the microSD slot supports up to 32GB cards.

Recording DVD quality videos or video chatting with the Galaxy Tab is supposedly an app away thanks to a 1.3MP front camera and 3MP rear-facing camera with flash. Not bad considering the iPad doesn’t have any kind of camera. However, I get better quality images and video from my iPhone 4’s 5MP camera.

The power button, volume rockers, and camera button line the right side of the device. Lastly, a 3.5mm slot can be found at the very top of the device.

On The Go

Less than half the size of an iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is easy to carry around. I’ve managed to carry it in a small backpack, laptop case, jacket pockets, and in my hands. It’s small enough to not worry about drawing too much attention to it when in public.

Transferring documents from the Galaxy Tab to work on the go is a seamless experience if you’re using most of Google’s services. Whether in the middle of replying to an email or reading an ebook I could move around without feeling completely tied to my laptop.

Typing on the Samsung Galaxy Tab is a luxury for my small hands. If you have large fingers you shouldn’t have any troubles with typing on this. However, I did have some trouble hitting the space bar when typing. Moving the cursor around the screen or copying and pasting text is easy. The speakers on the bottom of the Galaxy Tab can get incredibly loud. As for taking pictures with the Galaxy Tab, it takes some getting used to but it’s not uncomfortable when you do it. I haven’t received any weird stares so far.

Battery life on the Galaxy Tab  is subpar. I’m not getting much more battery life out of the Samsung Galaxy Tab than I am from my iPhone. It’s definitely not making it to the end of a work day, but using airplane mode and switching to wifi can help improve battery life. Also, minimizing the display brightness to the lowest setting helps tremendously! The display usually uses the most battery power on any device.

App Experience

I find myself reading more emails and ebooks on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Squinting on my iPhone’s small screen seems like a thing of the past compared to the Tab’s 7-inch display. The Gmail app supports multiple email aliases without any messy configurations unlike the iPhone.

However, even with the 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo) on the Samsung Galaxy Tab runs slower than any device I own – old or new. Froyo isn’t the latest version of Android, but the more I used the phone the more Android began to feel sluggish and jittery as if it was tired, yet running on too much caffeine.

The apps I used the were include:

  • The Official Twitter App for Android
  • Pulse (News)
  • Calendar
  • Facebook
  • Skyfire

The Verdict

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab isn’t worth the money.  Once my mom saw the cameras and size of the Galaxy Tab she was ready to trade her iPad for it. However, I warned her that there would be no Netflix watching on this device, something she loves to do on her iPad.

If you can’t wait, then go for it. Otherwise, I’d wait for Honeycomb for a better experience in the future.

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