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Samsung Galaxy Tab review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £529
inc VAT

The use of Android and Samsung's hardware makes this tablet as good as the iPad, but the relatively high price could be hard to swallow.


7 in 1,024×600 display, 385g, 1GHz Cortex A8, 512MB RAM, 16GB disk, Linux

In addition, Samsung has provided its own App stores for Galaxy Tab-specific apps. Samsung Apps includes utilities, such as the Financial Times app, but it’s a bit buggy and refused to connect unless we installed a SIM card, even though we were connected to a network via WiFi. Currently, there are only three apps available. Samsung Games lets you download new titles to play, such as the first-person shooter Nova, which shows the tablet’s full processing and graphics capabilities off.

For entertainment, there’s the Samsung Movies app, which lets you rent and buy movies online. Prices are similar to the iTunes Store, although the range of titles is narrower and they’re not so up-to-date. Still, it’s early days yet and the range of apps and media is bound to increase in-line with Android’s increasing popularity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab rear

A 3-megapixel rear-facing camera lets you take photos. The quality isn’t particularly good, with shots lacking detail and noise evident even in well-lit areas. An LED flash lets you take pictures at night, but again they suffer from noise.

Video can be captured at 720×480 at 30fps and the LED flash can act as a torch. Quality is acceptable, but it’s hard to hold the tablet steady. Again, noise and a lack of detail mean that the Galaxy Tab isn’t going to replace a dedicated video camera.

For video calls there’s a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. This can be operated when you make a standard phone call using 3G, but we couldn’t find a way of enabling it in the Android Skype application. Hopefully, this feature will come with an update to the app. Standard phone calls can be made as well, although the only mode is speakerphone, so you’ll need to plug in a hands-free kit (wired or Bluetooth) if you want to make private calls.

Battery life was pretty good from the device, lasting most of a weekend for web browsing and other apps. Switching to video, we got just over seven hours of battery life out of it, which is most of a long-haul flight. Battery life is shorter than on the iPad, but then again Apple’s device has more room for a larger battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab bottom

There are a few minor niggles about the Galaxy Tab, too. We don’t like the proprietary USB connector underneath, which looks like a clone of the Apple Universal Dock connector, as it means you need to buy a second data cable if you want to charge the device in two locations, such as at home and at work. However, the dock connector will be used to for accessories, too, so you’ll be able to add things like a keyboard, docking station with USB, and in-car charger should you want to use this device as a giant sat-nav.

Then there’s the price. At £529, the Galaxy Tab is the same price as the 16GB 3G iPad, and a similar price to a decent ultra-portable laptop. This could be hard to justify for a lot of people, given that most will probably still want a laptop for writing long documents, photo and video editing, and other general work.

Still, if you’re hankering for a tablet, the Galaxy Tab is a great bit of kit. It’s super-smooth to use, incredibly comfortable to hold, and has a wide-range of apps and entertainment to download. In pretty much every way it’s the equal of the iPad if you can justify the high cost.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorCortex A8
Processor clock speed1GHz
Maximum memory0.50GB
SoundHD audio
Pointing devicetouchscreen


Viewable size7 in
Native resolution1,024×600
Graphics ProcessorPowerVR SGX540
Graphics/video portsN/A
Graphics MemoryN/A


Total storage capacity16GB
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

Wired network portsN/A
Wireless networking support802.11n, 3G
PC Card slots0
Supported memory cardsMicro SDHC
Other portsProprietary USB connection


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemLinux
Operating system restore optionN/A
Software includedN/A
Optional extrasN/A

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB