I had just been delivered the Samsung Galaxy Tab by PCCW (the former Hong Kong Telecoms) early in the week as a free bonus for my subscription of a 2-year contract of Netvigator Everywhere (which essentially is a mobile broadband service, aka pocket wifi or mifi as commonly know) in Hong Kong. The TAB feels right in my hand (and that's just one hand even though mine is not that big to begin with) and a sexy one to hold onto (I also love the white backing it has, smooth and lovely to the touch!). It looks a tad smaller (it is 7" as compared to iPad's 9.7") and MUCH lighter than the iPad. I know, I wanted an iPad but I don't fancy getting a toy that has no flash and also no cameras in it! The Samsung Galaxy Tab is another story all together!
The beauty of Galaxy Tab is that it is small (like a paperback), light and can be hold for an extended period of time with just one hand! It is just like a slightly bigger version of my last MP5, except that the screen is so much more beautiful and the resolution absolutely gorgeous. On top of all that, it is a luxury to listen to music (either with the mic or an earphone, yes, it does have an earphone jack) and read a book from the same gadget at the very same time while your mobile is waiting quietly in the background for the next video calls. Hmm, I haven’t tried it but I’m wondering if I can record these video calls onto the Micro SD cards which is available on this versatile gadget. It does have a slot for 16 GB cards (up to a max of 32 GB or almost infinity if you simply swap cards). The biggest bonus of which is that you don’t need iTune to work!
These are simply some of the best features of the Galaxy Tab which the iPad is lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I was and to some extent am still a fan of Apple. What I am not is to be compulsive buyer with Apple products. I’ve had my share of flops where Apple is concerned, the main of which is its proprietary softwares (highly expensive and not shareable…). My first Apple computer costs me some US$10,000 (yep, can u believe it! that was in 1993 & if you take into account inflation, it's a lot more!) and then I have had the iMac, the Macbook Air and I had since vowed not to go gaga over the iPhone and iPad. All in all, it’s partly my fault that I didn’t want to spend tons of money on Apple’s softwares and partly Apple’s fault that it is not following industry standards!
Now, the Galaxy Tab is another story altogether. Not only did I get it for free, it is a Made in Korea product (some of you hate those Made in China stuff... &/or the controversies that Apple has had with a few of the workers committing suicide at Foxxcon, see Review on Apple if you're interested). It can be used as a phone with video calls & the earphone jack guarantees that no one can overhears what the caller is saying. What it has in addition to the iPad is a front-facing 3 MP AF camera with LED flash for taking pictures (& the beauty of it all is that it has a 7" WSVGA (1024x600) 169ppi TFT display as a "viewfinder") & a back camera with 1.3 MP camera for video conference. I haven't taken a picture with such a huge TFT screen & it's certainly a delightful experience! Gosh, a 7" viewfinder!!!
Other than flash capability, Galaxy Tab also has a built in Micro SD card slot (which is essential for all those videos and one can simply swap cards whenever one runs out of space without having to worry about files going corrupted on the machine!). Other than that, you can have a card for yourself, another for the kids and another for business even! That's cool, isn't it?!
In addition, there is a SIM card slot if you so wish to connect directly or using wifi connection with a pocket wifi (or mifi). Multi touch support & capability are inherent in this machine as well.
Unlike the iPad which many complained of as heavy, the Galaxy Tab is a mere 380g (which works out to about 0.84 lb). Many users have observed that it is a better e-reader than the iPad although it might still be lagging slightly behind the iPhone 4. I may just be getting back into the reading habit with this baby!
The Galaxy Tab uses Android 2.2 (Froyo) as its OS and I'm hoping I'll be able to upgrade it to Honeycomb (Android 3.0) soon enough. That will provide users with lots of Android apps to choose for. So far, I haven't tried downloading but I hope so very soon! Any good suggestion from Lunchers? I'd appreciate it if you could point me to some cool gaming apps or news & magazines apps.
According to Samsung, the battery will enable 7 hours of movie playing, that sounds good to me. Other than that, the charger is quite light so there wouldn't be much concerned about added weight if one wishes to lug it around town. Incidentally, Galaxy Tab not only has camera function but also full HD video player & a video recorder which I believe the iPad lacks.
That about sums up the main functions but I'm sure there are more. Tablets are more apps dependent and with Android as OS, I've confidence there are lots more to learn, play and have fun with. Oh, it does have the navigation function where Google Map comes into play. I'd have to figure how to use that to the fullest!
The latest Android tablet PC from Samsung can be had for free! Well, only if you're living in HK. PCCW is offering it for free with a 2 year contract on its Pocket Wifi which connects up to 5 gadgets. I'm signing it up since I was planning on getting the Pocket wifi anyhow. This is a great bonus. The monthly charges for the Pocket wifi is HK$358 (US$46). Cool! Official site: http://galaxytab.samsungmobile.com/ … more