Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tab range also includes an 8-inch tablet, the second time we have seen the company go with this display size for a tablet. Unlike the Galaxy Note 510, though, the 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 has no stylus and is also a tad underpowered. There are two variants of this tablet, with the Tab 3 311 being the Wi-Fi and 3G model and the Tab 3 310 being the Wi-Fi-only model. These are priced at Rs 25,725 and Rs 21,945. With these two tablets, Samsung has made an interesting proposition to those looking to buy a small tablet. Here’s a look at the specs of the 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3.
OS – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz
The Galaxy Tab 3 will naturally get the TouchWiz treatment and that means users will get Samsung staples like Multi Window, Popup Play, Smart Stay etc. This being a Jelly Bean tablet, we expect performance will be smooth, although we don’t know how much of a toll Samsung’s customisations will take on the user experience
Cellular connectivity – 3G (optional)
Those looking for round-the-clock connectivity should most definitely opt for the 3G version, the Tab 3 311. Users will be able to enjoy 21Mbps downlink speed and 5.76Mbps uplink speed on 3G.
Display – 8-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
We would have ideally liked to see Samsung push the limits on the display resolution of this tablet, but even so the WXGA display is not the worst option. As we have seen in the Galaxy Note 510, this display is definitely good enough for daily use. The 8-inch display is a TFT LCD panel and has a pixel density of 189 ppi. The 8-inch display will obviously be better for media consumption and reading, a point Samsung made during the launch.
Slim and compact design for easy handling
Form factor – Same old Samsung design
Samsung better get some new design inputs because all of its devices have become homogenous in terms of looks. The tablet gets a physical button with two capacitive keys flanking it. Someone has to tell Samsung that the days of tablets with physical buttons are long gone with Gingerbread. The device itself has a narrow but tall display, making it easier to carry and (sometimes) use with one hand. The edges have the same metallic look that we saw on the Galaxy S4, while the patterned back panel is polycarbonate and has a glossy look.
Wi-Fi – Standard fare
As is expected, the tablet comes with dual-band support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi channel bonding and Wi-Fi direct. In addition, you can use the Tab 3 as a Wi-Fi hotspot as well.
SoC – Samsung Exynos 4 Dual 1.5GHz
Samsung has gone with a homegrown Exynos 4 dual chipset for the Tab 3. The SoC has a dual-core Cortex A-9 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and an ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU. With 1.5 GB of RAM in tow, this combination should deliver smooth performance ideally. Don’t expect it to set benchmark records, although most apps and games should run just fine without hiccups.
Cameras – 5 megapixel and 1.3 megapixel
The Tab 3 has dual cameras, but neither seem to be outstanding performers on paper. While the 5 megapixel camera seems almost like an afterthought, the front-facing camera will be good for basic video calls and not much else. The back camera can record 720p videos, which is bitterly disappointing as nowadays some 5 megapixel modules are capable of 1080p video.
Storage and GPS
The Tab 3 comes with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot which can take in cards up to 64GB in capacity. For location pinpointing, the tablet has a GPS chip that comes with A-GPS support and GLONASS.
Battery – 4450 mAh
Considering the non-demanding hardware and not-so-high resolution display, we are pleased to see the large capacity battery of the Tab 3. While real world performance may vary based on usage, we reckon this should be good enough for about 10-12 hours of usage.
5 megapixel camera on the back can only shoot 720p videos
The bottom line
By aligning its smartphone and tablet design, Samsung is hoping that the homogeneity will make the buying decision easier for the consumer. However, we feel some areas of the tablet, such as the processor, display and the back camera, are a tad underwhelming. Considering the price tags of the two variants, we are very sceptical about their chances in the market, especially after the entry of Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. Having said that, those who are used to and are happy with Samsung’s software offering will have little to complain about.