Reviewers of the Samsung Galaxy Tab all liked its compact paperback-book size, two cameras (for video chat), ability to view Flash webpages and crisp, glossy touchscreen. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is available from many carriers with different options. Only T-Mobile, Sprint,Verizon, and U.S. Cellular enable mobile hotspots at different prices (see chart below).
Powered by the Android 2.2 platform, the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch enhanced TFT touchscreen, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, 3G connectivity, 802.11n, Wi-Fi, 3-megapixel camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, GPS and Bluetooth 3.0.
One reviewer noted that the GPS worked extremely well with Google Maps turning the
Samsung Galaxy Tab into an efficient GPS unit.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is more pocketable than the iPad and can be operated with one hand. EBook reader options are plentiful. Called an iPad contender that is more like a large Android phone, reviewers noted that the battery life was shorter and the processor speed was slower than the iPad. The email, file-management system, calendar, contacts, music player, video player, and messaging apps were redesigned to work well on the Tab. Touchscreen typing was rated from good to a little difficult.
Summaries of Reviews Reviewed
Donald Bell at CNET rated the Samsung Galaxy Tab for T-Mobile and Sprint 3.5 out of 5. He liked that it has two cameras, Flash compatibility and the convenient size. He thinks it behaves more like a large Android phone than a netbook alternative, apps aren't optimized for the screen size, and depending on the carrier, it may require a contract. He thinks that it is a serious contender to Apple's iPad. The 7-inch LCD (1,024x600) touchscreen is a crisp, glossy beauty with multitouch responsiveness. It feels like a solid paperback book. It shines with Google Maps because it has GPS. Audio, video, and photos all work beautifully. With multiple eReader support, it works well as an eReader but has shorter battery life and weighs more than dedicated eReader products.
Christopher Null at Wired rated the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 out of 10. He found the screen to not be as bright as the iPad. He liked that the 16GB microSD card, accessible via a flap on the side, can be upgraded to 32GB. He thought it performed well but was sluggish at times. He found it light in the hand but slippery. He sees the Galaxy Tab as a new class of tablet rather than an iPad competitor.
Walt Mossberg at All Things Digitall called the Samsung Galaxy Tab iPad's first real rival. The actual screen real estate on the Samsung Galaxy Tab is less than half of the iPad's. The Samsung Galaxy Tab includes the three most-requested features missing in the iPad: a camera (two in fact), the ability to run web videos and applications written in Adobe's Flash software; and multitasking. The iPad had better battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Tab lacks a Wi-Fi only model. Photo quality was average but video was fuzzy. He found the data plans from carriers confusing and warns buyers to calculate charges first.
Melissa J. Perenson at PCWorld rated the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.5 out 5 for its one-handed use, microSD card slot, and brilliant, bright screen. She didn't like its proprietary connection port, non-support of HD video and its slowness to recharge. It's a fine product with smooth Android implementation and design elegance. The screen looked gorgeous in dark and ambient light but was harder to read in daylight. Camera quality was plausible. Samsung has optimized some core Android apps, redesigning the memo functions, email, file-management system, calendar, contacts, music player, video player, and messaging apps. She wished that it used a USB port. An advantage of T-Mobile plans is that the use as a mobile hotspot is included in data plans.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is part of the Galaxy S phone series that is currently available as the Samsung Captivate (read review) at AT&T, the Samsung Epic 4G (read review) at Sprint, the Samsung Vibrant (read review) at T-Mobile, and Samsung Fascinate (read review) at Verizon. The Samsung Galaxy S phone has various features. You can see the differences in our Samsung Galaxy S comparison article.