Samsung Galaxy Tab review

Price when reviewed

“It’s going to cost how much?” Given the number of times we’ve heard that this week, there’s really no other way to begin a review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab than with its pricing. Yes, Samsung is asking you to part with £599 inc VAT for the 32GB version, and a barely-less £529 inc VAT for this 16GB model. Or, to put it another way, £100 more than the cheapest Apple iPad.

Even contracts aren’t really subsidising that cost – Orange, for example, is offering it on a £5pm year-long contract for £499 up-front. Though both Galaxy Tab models include 3G, whereas that £429 iPad doesn’t, for that outlay the final product would have to be something truly special to be a rival to Apple’s groundbreaking device.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Fit and finish

Where the iPad looks and feels gorgeous, the Galaxy Tab is, well, okay. The black front looks nice enough, even if the bezel is a little plasticky, and the same goes for the white rear. It’s fine, attractive even. But it isn’t luxurious, and when you’re paying more than £500 for a gadget you should demand luxury.

At least the screen is of high quality. Measuring 7in diagonally across, its biggest strength is its sheer brightness. Pump it up to full and photos pack a real punch, so much so that it could fool you into thinking it’s a Super AMOLED panel rather than a plain old TFT.

But plain old TFT it is, and it isn’t too readable outdoors in sunny weather. It also lacks the vibrancy of an AMOLED screen, but that’s being a little picky: most people will have few complaints.

Size is everything

The main question for most users will concern the 7in size of the device itself. It isn’t a smartphone, but it also isn’t really a living-room tablet. Placed next to the iPad, the Galaxy Tab almost looks a totally new category of product. For a further sense of perspective, we’ve pictured the iPhone to its right.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Compared to the iPad, then, the Galaxy Tab feels tiny, so it’s perhaps surprising that the screen doesn’t feel cramped in use. That’s despite it having a 1,024 x 600 resolution to the iPad’s 1,024 x 768.

It’s significantly lighter than the iPad as well (385g to 680g), but the key difference is that size: the Tab isn’t for leaving on the coffee table. It should be out and about with you every day, all day. And because it’s so small, it can comfortably fit in a jacket pocket. Believe it or not, it even slips into a jeans back pocket, although you’ll walk funny.

So we don’t see the size as a problem in itself. The problems come when you start using the Tab.


Cheapest price on contract£499
Contract monthly charge£5.00
Contract period12 months
Contract providerOrange

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted16hrs
Standby, quoted25 days


Dimensions120 x 12 x 190mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity1,000MB
ROM size1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating3.2mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size7.0in
Resolution600 x 1024
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familyAndroid

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