Its been about 4 months that I’ve been using the Samsung 7” Galaxy Tab and quite honestly, I think that this tablet is severely underrated by many people. I reckon a lot of people have been lulled into an Apple-is-the-best-and-nothing-can-compare state 😛 just because they kinda came out with the tablet thing first (not technically, but you know what I mean). The thing is, that this ‘little’ tablet can mix it with the big boy iPad anyday. The iPad 1 I might add, dual core processors kinda make it a bit unfair with the second iPad.
First Impressions and Overview
The first thing I noticed about the Galaxy Tab was the size. Sure it looks like an oversized smartphone and I have been ridiculed about its size (OMG WHAT A HUGE PHONE! :O hehe) but I think the size is a perfect mix of the best of both worlds. Not as huge as a 10” iPad-sized screen but not as small as an average sized smartphone). This means beautifully crisp video playback and social networking made really easy for the user. And I can still put it in my pocket if needed! Nice sized icons and Google’s famed Android (2.2 Froyo on this tablet) OS make user interaction a breeze. I never got ‘stuck’ in an application, where I did not know what to do next (that’s good programming/coding! :D).
In terms of apps, I could blog all day about this. Android Marketplace has soooo many cool apps, and the majority of them are free! The first couple apps I downloaded was Google Maps, The Bible, Whatsapp and Layar. Layar is a really cool augmented reality app that uses the real external environment within the app. There are different ‘layer’ configurations that, when the camera points at something, information will appear about that object. For example, a Wikipedia layer is activated and the camera points at a national monument. A little box will pop up with information about that monument. It’s like web browsing on steroids. Another cool app is SoundHound, where one can HUM a tune and the app will recognise it (through Gracenote databases) and provide information about the song. And these are only the apps within Marketplace, there is a whole ‘unofficial’ market as well for apps that have been blocked by Marketplace (such as a Youtube video downloader, and torrent clients and a whole lot more!).
The keyboard is really responsive and also has Samsungs Swype option in which the user can slide their finger over the letters they want to type. The traditional touch-to-type keyboard is also an option. Typing is similar to the usual thumb-attack approach in portrait mode; in landscape mode, one might require a little stretching (small hands won’t really work in this mode, lol). So messaging is pretty easy to do quite quickly. Phone calls are a bit of a different story, the ‘normal’ mode is speakerphone which can be troublesome in public and crowded places. I use the headset 90% of the time, and I must admit I do get caught off guard with phone calls and fumbling to get the earphones in, lol. I think a Bluetooth headset would solve that problem ;).
One gripe I do have is when the thing syncs, it makes EVERYTHING slow. You have to wait till it finishes syncing so that some RAM is freed up (444MB is not that much anyway). The same thing happens when many apps are open. Another one is that I cannot see who is calling. I’ve tried apps that have a Call ID function, but alas. It might be a Samsung design flaw.
All in all, I am very happy with this tablet. It has proven capable to the tasks I need it to perform and has been very reliable in its software and hardware design and operation. Samsung is really giving Apple a run for its money.
Tech it or leave it 😛
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