The Galaxy Tab is the first actual Android tablet that tried to take a stab at Apple’s iPad. How can you review an Android tablet without first comparing it to the iPad. I believe that the Galaxy Tab was a great attempt at beating the iPad, but it’s not quite there yet.
The specifications for the Galaxy Tab include a 1GHz processor which makes it quite snappy. The tab also sports a 7-inch display at 1024×600 resolution and supports full HD video at 1080p for movies. Android Froyo 2.2 comes standard on the Tab but with Gingerbread 2.3 just released by Google it should be on the Tab soon. The tab also sports full flash support thanks to Android 2.2 and can play all those Facebook games like Farmville. Read on for the TekGoblin review of the Galaxy Tab.
The screen on the Tab may not be the Super AMOLED screen that you can find on other Samsung Galaxy S line phones but it is still quite beautiful. Taking pictures and video on the tab proved quite easy with the 7-inch screen. The screen was also very responsive to the touch even the lightest touch.
The display also offers much more control over its settings than the iPad. For example you can set Font Style, Brightness, White color density, Black color density, Color Saturation, Window Animations, Screen Timeout, and TV out settings. All of these settings allow you to customize the experience the way you like it most.
Froyo on the tab is great but it could be even better when Gingerbread 2.3 is available on it. The speech to text features in messaging and built in applications is great and I hope that becomes available on iOS.
Viewing and reading email is a snap on the Galaxy Tab because you can sync all of Google’s services since its the Android OS. Email can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode and supports flash and full HTML messages.
It is claimed that video chat is available on the Galaxy Tab however we found it very difficult to get it to work. We tried Fring, and Qik and ran into compatibility issues. So we were unable to test the video calling features, we will just have to wait till they iron out all of the bugs with this.
Instant messaging on the Tab is great with Froyo. You can stay connected to your Gmail contacts and easily message them in the notifications slider. The tab also includes the ability to send SMS messages to other phones even though the Tab isn’t actually a phone.
Web browsing on the Galaxy Tab was fast and responsive over WiFi but sometimes problematic over 3G. Different browsers can also be installed on the Tab and you can choose which one to use when viewing web-pages. However scrolling up and down on pages the Tab did stutter at times unlike the iPad. Other than that browsing was great on the Tab.
Also available on the Galaxy Tab is the Media Hub which allows you to purchase TV shows and movies to play back on your Android device. Your purchased content is available on up to 5 Android devices all linked together by your Google account. The library is still growing with around 1000 movies currently so don’t expect to find everything just yet.
Taking pictures on the Galaxy Tab with its large screen is quite fun and different. The Tab only has a 3 Megapixel camera but it still takes decent pictures check out our samples below. The Tab also features a very bright LED flash and different scene modes and image settings to take the best picture.
I do really like the Galaxy Tab and I do also own an iPad. Now the Tab has many features that I love including the ability to have your instant messenger and email completely integrated into the OS and always on, something the iPad doesn’t offer. The Galaxy Tab will greatly benefit from Android 2.3 Gingerbread right now it feels like Froyo just doesn’t fit. When you change the orientation on the Tab it doesn’t seem to adjust as smoothly as the iPad which seemed to really bother me. Overall the Galaxy Tab is the best alternative to the iPad and I would love to own one myself. I would rate the Galaxy Tab at 4/5 Gears with Froyo and 4.5/5 with Gingerbread.