Samsung Galaxy Tab Review – Part II
This is part II and concluding part of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Review where I covered the hardware part of this amazing device.
In this part, I cover the usability and software part of Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Samsung Galaxy Tab is powered by Google’s Android version 2.2 aka Froyo.
The 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet that I got to review showed an internal memory of 444 MB and disk space of 16GB.
When you first turn on the Galaxy Tab, you will have to do a quick finger swipe from left to right to unlock the screen after which you are shown the Home screen.
It has a screen resolution of 1024×600 which is very sharp and gorgeous for a tablet of this form factor.
The Home screen comprises of 6 desktops (screens) which can contain live widgets, icons to your often used apps, and a Google search bar. In the bottom, you have a menu bar containing 3 items namely Browser, Applications, and Email.
The Applications menu contain all the apps installed on your Samsung Galaxy Tab. When you press on the Applications menu, you see a pair of screens containing rows of icons of all the applications installed on Samsung Galaxy Tab.
From here, you can move an app to the Home screen simply by pressing and holding its icon.
The capacitive touch screen is a joy to interact with, and is very responsive to touch. A mere swipe of a finger is enough to move through the multiple screens.
And because Samsung Galaxy Tab gives you haptic feedback as you type, you get a small vibration with every key press. This works not just when you press icons of apps but when you type using the on screen keyboard as well.
While on the topic of keyboard, you do have access to an on-screen QWERTY keyboard which supports Swype to enter text quickly using predictive text entry.
The screen of Samsung Galaxy Tab looks bright and vivid when viewed indoors. And passable when viewed in direct sunlight.
In terms of day-to-day use, Samsung Galaxy Tab excels on every front.
The applications (apps) bundled with the Galaxy Tab are very useful. There are apps for your basic task management such as Alarm clock, Calendar, Contacts, Diary, and Email; A Video player to watch movies; a picture viewer; an app for shooting photos using the two cameras on Galaxy Tab; an e-book reader …
And of course, a good collection from Google that require you to go online to use their services such as Google Latitude, Google Maps, GPS, Gmail, YouTube, and so on.
You can view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint files using ThinkFree Office app.
There is no dearth of applications in Samsung Galaxy Tab. Google’s online market for apps – Android Market is installed, so is Samsung’s own App store. The first thing I did when I got my hands on this wonderful tablet was to download and install the free Angry Birds game app from the Android market.
One area where Samsung Galaxy Tab beats its counter part Apple iPad is in the area of viewing Flash based content on the web. Unlike Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with Adobe Flash Lite installed by default. This makes it real fun to watch videos and Flash content online.
And because Android 2.2 supports multi-tasking, you can open multiple apps simultaneously and switch between them in real-time. In fact, there is a task manager in Android which lists all the open apps on your Galaxy Tab, allowing you to close unwanted ones thus conserving memory and power.
If you want to zoom your screen content, you can do so using your two fingers. Yes, Samsung Galaxy Tab also supports multi-touch.
Samsung Galaxy Tab is not just a tablet, it is a phone too. You can receive and make calls from the Galaxy Tab the same way you do in any ordinary cellphone. When I tested, the call quality was crystal clear.
What I Like in Samsung Galaxy Tab
- The 7″ foam factor – It fits in the palm of your hand and is ideal for reading e-books.
- Dazzling looks. Galaxy Tab is sure to kick-start a conversation when you carry it around with you.
- Android v2.2 – Very good OS with remarkable features.
- Good battery power – A full charge will get you by for 7 hours.
And What I Dislike …
- Not an ideal size to be used as a cellphone.
- The usefulness of many apps depend on Internet connectivity.
- Typing on the on-screen keyboard will take some getting used to.
At Indian Rs 30090 ~ US $650, it is priced higher than Apple’s entry-level iPad. Mind you, Apple iPad is larger than Samsung Galaxy Tab. However, if you are keen on buying a tablet, and have cash to spare, then Samsung Galaxy Tab could give you your money’s worth. It has all the features that you seek in a tablet, and then some more (like making phone calls). More over, Android is heavily under development by Google and future enhancements in this unique OS will find its way to Galaxy Tab as well in the form of regular updates.