This is probably the only phone/tablet I bought on its first day of sale in the market. It is definitely not my first phone or tablet for that matter. Let's not start on that, I've countless of them and am beginning to forget what I actually have/had!!!
Samsung is hitting up the competition with Apple in recent months, with the launch of Galaxy S2 last year (an android phone in direct competition to the iPhone; I have that for about 9 months until last friday when I traded in for this tab phone with a mere US$50!). On that very same day, I also sold my 18th month old Galaxy Tab 1 (the original 7" tab which I got for free when I signed up for the broadband service late 2010) for US$200 cash.
Confusing? To keep the story short... I had Tab 1 and S2 to begin with. Both I got for free for signing up online services. As of last friday, both are sold. One traded in for the new Tab 2 (subject matter of this review) and another sold for US$200. End of discussion.
Now, to the review about this new gadget.
Tab 2 comes in WiFi and 3G. WiFi price is a steal (US$250). Because I sold both my phone and tablet, and I need a phone of decent screen size (I do a great deal of reading!) I opted for the 3G version (retailing around US$380, I got it for $50 due to the trade in of S2 and I traded in S2 because S3 will be out next week & the old 2nd hand model will dropped in price very quickly otherwise!). The next smartphone size I'll be buying will be the iPhone 5!
Before I got on with comparing the tab and the pad, let's look at the range of Samsung handheld gadgets (phones and tablets). For non-Apple fans, Samsung has 2 bestsellers in the market right now where phones are concerned. The Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Note. I know friends who have had both and they claimed Galaxy Note is awesome. A bigger screen and much better resolution with a pen to draw too. As for the S2, it will be replaced by S3 next week! The S3 is already creating quite a buzz in the market. If you are interested in them, go to Engadget.com and you'll find a pro review on these products!
Tab or Phone? Or, both in one?! Now, back to Galaxy Tab 2 (7" 3G version). Comparing it with S2 is like comparing lemon and lime. One is bigger, another lighter. Both can be used as phone. One has bigger screen, the other so much smaller. To buy a phone or a tablet? It's depending on your own usage. I spent a lot of my time on the tablet (more so than my phone, from my past experience with the iPad 2 which I still own but will trade in for iPhone 5 soon, I hope!) so the screen size is very important to me. iPad 2 is a bit too heavy for me to carry around and shop in Hong Kong. The weight is a strain. So, with the Tab 2 a tad lighter than Tab 1, I will attempt to take it out and use it both as a phone and a tablet.
Tab 2 is lighter than Tab 1 and iPad 2. It is about 12 oz. It has a 7" screen size (same as Tab 1 but much bigger than S2 and S3. The new S3 has 4.8" screen and Galaxy Note has 5.3" screen. No doubt, to get a bigger screen one has to settle for more weight! There is improvement for the Tab 2 though, it is lighter than Tab 1 with a much better screen sharpness and clearness (comparatively similar to iPad 2). As I said in my quick tip, it feels like a mini iPad to me running on Android steroid, haha! Tab 2 runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich; hmm, yummy!).
Interface Switching from the interface of Android 2.3 (if I remember correctly) on the Tab 1 to that of Android 4.0 on Tab 2 is a little disorientating at first. I've had tons of gadgets before so it wasn't difficult to readjust for me. For some, it may be. You do need to experiment with your hands. Afterall, it's Ice Cream Sandwich! Hopefully, it won't get too messy for you!!! ;-)
This is an improved gadget. Other than the hardware, the software is a lot better too! I love to watch videos on this new tab. Reading magazines on Zinio is good too (though not as great as the iPad 2 due to its size and Zinio's imperfect Android app!) and now I can travel in trains and planes without having to lug along the iPad 2. I am not sure if I'll buy the iPad 3 but I am game for mini iPad!!! :-)
The major improvement is in resolution for the Tab 2. Now, it is quite a pleasure to travel around with it. Apple did up the game with the iPad 2 screen and renders the original Tab 1 less pleasurable. In exchange, after some upgrades, Samsung improves the Tab 2 to make it a desirable object! Especially with the much lower prices!!!
As for the operating system (Android 4.0), please read the reviews on other geek site to get a glimpse of all that it has to offer!
For now, I've to go play some games on my new phone! :D
P.S. One thing though, if you're looking to use your phone/tablet for a lot of photography, this is NOT the gadget for you. It only has a 3.0 megapixel camera! The S2 has an 8.0 megapixel camera and I have had no complain on that one! I'd have given it a +5 if it has an 8.0 megapixel camera keeping the price as such!!!
Before I forget, battery life is an hour or two shorter than the Tab 1 while double those of S2!!!
Samsung hits up the competition with an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet which is going to appeal to a lot of those who are in for an upgrade or trade in. I traded my 9 month Galaxy S2 (cellphone) in for a mere US$50 to get the newly launched (available last friday in Hong Kong) 7" tablet (version 2 of Samsung Galaxy Tab range, named as Galaxy Tab 2). The new Galaxy Tab 2 (Original tab was launched some 2 years ago; I sold it last friday for cash in the 2nd hand … more