Emerging Technology

GADGET WATCH: Galaxy Tab 3

Patrick Stafford /

Samsung has been on a roll with its Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets, offering enough competition for those who want to avoid going the Apple route.

 

 

The new version of the Galaxy Tab has now hit shelves. With more features and upgrades, will these versions maintain Samsung’s position at the top of the Android competition?

Hardware and features

The Galaxy Tab 3 comes in two different sizes, an 8 inch and a 10.1 inch. Both devices are powered by a dual-core 1.2GHZ processor, with 1GB of RAM and either 8GB or 16GB of memory.

Connections include USB 2.0 support and a microSD slot, as well as a micro USB port. Naturally, Wi-Fi is included.

The device features two lenses, with the front-facing camera measuring 1.3 megapixels and the back 3 megapixels.

What’s the consensus?

At The Verge, the publication starts on a good note, praising the size of the eight inch tablet and its form, calling it “exactly like a blown-up Galaxy S4”.

“The only design departures are the rear-facing camera moving to the top-left corner, and the TV infrared blaster slotted on the right edge rather than the top.”

However, there was some criticism, with the publication noting the screen did not match the S4 in richness.

“Both brightness and viewing angles are fine, but the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD’s IPS display has the same resolution and looks brighter and more vivid.”

While over at GSMarena, the publication said the series is “finally coming to terms with playing second fiddle to the Notes”, Samsung’s other tablet-based series.

However, it praised the power of the device, calling it “decent” enough so that the “cost cutting might not cost too much in terms of user experience”.

The good thing is the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 makes a very positive visual impression – the slim bezels and the great screen-to-surface ratio are a nice advantage over the 8 inch Note.” 

At PC Mag, the publication took points off for battery life, noting it wasn’t a strong point, and also said the camera performance was “pretty basic”.

However, it did say the Jelly Bean software works extremely well, and noted that many of the modifications “don’t really get in the way and are, for the most part, pretty useful”.

Who’s it for?

While both the 8 inch and 10.1 inch versions of the Galaxy Tab 3 are fair enough, these reviews are consistent in saying they’re simply not packing enough wow factor to demand a purchase. For the money, you’re much better off picking up something from Apple, Amazon or Sony.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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