Like the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate I reviewed in December, the Galaxy Tab operates with Android 2.2 and pretty much had the same feel and function as the phone, except with the a 7 inch screen. The Tab comes two cameras, 3.0 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, HD video recording with rear camera, 1 Ghz processor, standard 16/32 Gb storage with an additionally microSD slot for up to 32 Gb more of storage, wifi and 3G capabilities. All the bells and whistles you would want in a tablet.
The screen was very bright and detailed. While surfing the web the tab responded very well and all images appeared great. I found that viewing a website in landscape was much easier on my eyes than in portrait mode. Even with zooming while in portrait I didn’t find viewing websites as enjoyable. I did find the Flash support to be lacking on some sites with loading speeds taking sometime to load. Granted I don’t get Flash support at all on the iPad.
The keyboard, as with the Galaxy Captivate, was very responsive and I did enjoy the slight vibration as you typed. I found it hard typing in landscape mode as the keys were very far from each other to use your thumbs, but still too tiny to try to type as you would with a standard keyboard. My fastest typing was in portrait mode.
Though I truly liked the camera on the Galaxy Captivate, I didn’t enjoy using it on the Galaxy Tab. I found it a bit cumbersome and found the image quality to be grainier than I would have hoped. I even found it awkward using the tab to take photos and video, it just didn’t feel comfortable or “natural”. I will say the same the thing about the iPad 2. Even though we all wanted tablets to have cameras, I do find that I’m not even using them at all, but it’s great to have in the event you need one.
I did find the placement of the ON/OFF button to be difficult. I would rather have it be located on the top of the Tab than on the side as I found myself accidentally hitting it from time to time while reading and turning off the screen. Truly annoying as it’s also located close to the volume control.
I truly enjoyed using the Tab as an e-reader. Even though it’s back-lit like the iPad, i found it easier to hold and flip through pages. I was using the Amazon Kindle app for all my reading and it seemed to function better than the iPad version for me.
The Apps were disappointing for me. Firstly some of the Apps that are available for free on the Apple version are paid version for Android. I don’t understand why there was such a difference. I know this isn’t Samsung’s doing, but it really is a pain. Secondly the Apps weren’t different from the phone to tab versions. I thought they could have benefited from a larger screen. This might be due to Andriod itself and I do hope that when Andriod 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) comes out, this will truly help the tablet market differentiate itself from the smartphone market. As I see it right now the Tab just feels like a larger size Captivate with the same functionality.
Cost wise, the Tab is available on Bell and Rogers for a 3 year contract at $200, and without a contract on Bell it’s $400 yet on Rogers the no contract price is $625.