The Galaxy Tab three line shares so much in well-liked with the Galaxy S4, however non-Samsung fans can to find higher Android capsules in different places
For me, the Samsung has persistently been the go-to possibility for a top quality Android pill expertise. I used to be an early adopter of the unique Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 was the first device to make me feel like tablets were more than just oversized phones. As a Galaxy S 4 owner, I was eager to take the brand new Galaxy Tab 3 line for a spin and see how Samsung has incorporated the brand new version of TouchWiz into its flagship tablet line.
I recently got to spend a few days with both the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, and while I say I had a completely negative experience, it’s clear the Galaxy Tab line no longer represents the cutting edge of Android tablets.
The Galaxy Tab 3 line offers Galaxy fans a solid TouchWiz experience in three affordable form factors. The tablets perform well and are some of the thinnest and lightest Samsung has created.
Specs are well below flagship-standards, most notably the outdated displays. The Tab 3 line offers little we haven’t already seen on smartphones.
Inside this review
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that the Galaxy Tab 3 series is more attractive than any other Samsung tablets before it. Taking cues from the Galaxy S4’s patterned topcoat and chrome edges, these tablets are sharp and eye catching, and clearly cut from the same cloth as the company’s Galaxy smartphones.
The Galaxy Tab 3 devices are about as sleek and lightweight as you’ll find on the market today, all coming in a little thinner than 0.4 inches and lighter than 11 ounces. Coupled with the plastic body, though, the tab’s thinness feels borderline fragile, in danger of being snapped in half if you apply enough force. You’ll probably want a case if you plan on traveling with the Galaxy tabs, or if you’re prone to being less than careful with your devices. In short, these tablets are of a typical Samsung level of quality. For better or worse, you’re dealing with a lot of thin, shiny plastic.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 sports a 1024 x 600 TFT display, while the 8-inch and 10-inch versions up the ante to a 1280 x 800 resolution. If these numbers sound familiar, it’s because they’re the same-exact specs the 7 and 10-inch Galaxy Tabs have always featured. Yes, that’s right — three years after these tablets were first introduced, the display resolution remains the same. This a cost-saving measure, no doubt, but for its most visible line of tablets, Samsung should have done more to stay ahead of the curve. Simply put, there are a handful of tablets of similar size — the new Nexus 7, for instance — that stand head and shoulders above the Galaxy Tab 3 line in terms of display quality, and are well worth the additional cost.
Under the hood, each of the Tab 3 devices sport slightly-varying specs. The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 runs a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, a slight upgrade from the 1 GHz chip that the second generation packed. It’s paired with a full gig of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 packs Samsung’s own Exynos 1.5 GHz dual core processor with 1.5 gigs of RAM, along with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 4,450 mAh battery. Finally, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 introduces the Intel Atom Z2560 processor to Samsung’s line — this processor allows for 1 GB of RAM to function just as well as 1.5 GB does in the smaller Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, or so Samsung says. The 10.1 also includes 16 GBs of internal storage, a larger 6,800 mAh battery, and adds a pretty useful IR blaster, which allows you to use the device as a universal remote.
In my experience with the 8.0 and 10.1, performance was respectable but far from exciting, and I couldn’t really tell the difference between the Atom and Exynos processor. Though not horrendously slow, these products lack the speed and agility of vanilla Android tablets, and lack the top-of-the-line specs that the Galaxy S4 utilizes to power a speedy TouchWiz experience. In terms of battery life, each Tab was able to make it through two days on a single charge, something we’ve all come to expect from properly-optimized tablets.
All three tablets sport a 3.15 MP wide angle camera, which I won’t even bother wasting a paragraph on. Android tablets are still not where you should be looking for a decent camera experience. The Tab 3 devices are slow to focus, dreadful in low-light, and produce generally noisy, low-quality images. Not to mention how ridiculous you’ll look snapping shots with a 10-inch tablet.
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is running atop Android 4.1 on the 7-incher and Android 4.2 in the 8 and 10-inch versions. The manufacturer has trimmed some of the fancier capabilities, most notably AirView (hover touch), but most of the features remain, including Smart Stay, Multi Window, and S-Voice. TouchWiz is still a polarizing user experience among Android fans, and in tablet form it’s even more more so — you’ll still find some features useful, though others were clearly built for a phone and have been blown up for the larger device. It’s also not the most visually pleasing, nor the most consistent of Android UIs.
With the Galaxy Tab 3 line, Samsung brings its popular Galaxy smartphone experience to three new form factors. Whether you love it or hate it, you cannot deny that the feature-packed TouchWiz has become a staple of Samsung’s success. The manufacturer’s offering a consistent experience in terms of both hardware and software across its smartphone and tablet lines.
It’s the old iPhone-iPad strategy — create a uniform look and feel across all devices, and introduce these products into every corner of consumers’ lives. For those Galaxy S4 owners (up to 20 million now) who need to seamlessly transition between the pill at residence and the smartphone in all places else, the Galaxy Tab three simply matches into that function. The Tab three line bargains a superb TouchWiz expertise on a skinny, gentle software at a (largely) cheap worth level. For $ 200, $ 300, and $ four hundred respectively, the Galaxy Tab three 7.zero, eight.zero, and 10.1 the smaller Galaxy Tabs signify respectable worth. The identical can not slightly be stated for the ten.1-incher.
Samsung is sensible, however it additionally appears increasingly more lazy — regardless of what the corporate may have you ever consider, the Galaxy Tab three line feels very very similar to an afterthought, and a long way from the flagship line it as soon as was once.
I exploit the phrase lazy as a result of Samsung is aware of what it has to do to make its pill line extra than simply an adjunct — and it can be already carried out it with the Galaxy Notice. Right here’s a pill that serves a objective, one who takes TouchWiz and the pill kind issue and turns them into belongings fairly than liabilities. Positive, the Be aware capsules are priced a little bit larger than their Galaxy counterparts, however wouldn’t you reasonably spend an additional buck on one thing that’ll function extra than simply every other reveal, and every other machine in your shelf?
The corporate has already taken the preliminary steps in tailoring its TouchWiz person expertise for to pill type issue. Throw in an eye fixed popping show and a few juiced-up internals, and it may possibly have one thing truly unique. However for now, Samsung’s content material with making a complementary software which is too low cost to withstand — it is received thousands and thousands of smartphone customers to whom it desires to promote an less expensive pill.
On the finish of the day, the Galaxy Tab three line is doing little to shake up the Android pill area. For these in search of an less expensive technique to magnify their Galaxy expertise, the Tab three units are simple selections. They provide first rate specs, a dependable and acquainted consumer expertise, and kind elements for nearly each want. The 7 and eight-inch model are compact and top for studying and content material consumption on-the-go; the Galaxy Tab 10.1 inch is a good front room accomplice, and its incorporated IR blaster is a pleasant addition to your own home leisure arsenal.
For these, like me, who’re hungry for Samsung to drag out the entire stops, the Galaxy Tab three line isn’t going fulfill your pill cravings. If anything else, Samsung’s newest drugs promote the stereotype that Android pills are merely outsized Android smartphones fairly than first rate items of hardware in and of themselves.
In my opinion, I’ll make a selection to avoid wasting my cash for the following-technology line of Galaxy Notice pills. If Samsung is wise and turns to the Be aware model for its flagship pills, these merchandise can be one thing different certainly. Except then, I, together with everybody else who’s on the lookout for greater than an outsized smartphone, will probably be pressured to seem in other places.