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Published On: Mon, Jul 22nd, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3–Good tablet but pricier than competition

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is the latest eight inches tablet from this company and it also a good example of how weird Samsung’s pricing policies are. It is priced at $300 and is a bit too much for a tablet like this. There isn’t anything spectacular inside about the hardware or features apart from one-and-half gigabytes of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 belongs to the size of seven to nine inches and such tablets are usually quite affordable. For instance, Nook HD+, Nook HD, Fire HD 8.9, Kindle Fire HD, and Nexus 7 all have sub $270 price tag. They are all 2012 models and new models will be out soon.

On the other side, there is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 which belongs in the same family of the ten inch version which costs $400 and seven inches version which costs $200. The feature set is quite impressive – it comes with bright and sharp screen, good performance, comfortable and light design, and Samsung multi window feature which lets you select 2 apps for running on screen concurrently. There is also user friendly remote control and TV guide component with microSD card for more memory.

When we first saw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, we thought it was a great tablet but the price was a bit high. For $30 more, there was iPad Mini having best app system ever.

Also, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 costs $100 less than Note 8. The Galaxy 3 tablet would have been highly recommendable if it was priced at $270. At a price of $300, it is just decent.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Review

Design

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is a slim-trim tablet and it is different from other popular tablets in the market like Galaxy Note 8 and iPad Mini. It fit quite comfortably in our big hands and smaller hands too won’t have any problem. It is narrower and thinner version of Note 8 and doesn’t have any S Pen Stylus with it. The overall girth and bezel width has noticeable cleaving. Samsung tablet is a bit heavier than iPad Mini but the design is narrower and it feels more comfortable to hold in the hand.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is made of plastic body but with well-placed physical features and rounded and smooth corners, this tablet doesn’t feel too cheap in the hand. Navigation array from Note line is included here and bottom bezel has back button, menu button, and home button. These features were found on all tablets of post Honeycomb era. There is no array on Tab 3 screen and hence the games and app get more room for stretching their legs. Games like Real Racing 3 now use more screen room just like other Android tablets.

We have always liked physical home buttons below the tablet. Unlike Apple iPad Mini, the Home button here is a bit raised but you won’t press it accidentally. Back button serves the standard function and menu button give you quick access for options such as creating folder, settings, and search.

You can access the recent apps by just long pressing home button. There won’t be any accidental presses for back and menu buttons as they are aligned well. On right side of device, there is sleep/power button, mic pinhole, IR Blaster, and volume rocker button. Bottom edge has dual speakers which surround microUSB charge port. Left side has microSD card slot on top and headphones jack. Top bezel has 1.3 megapixels camera and ambient light sensor. The plastic, smooth, and golden brown back has five megapixels camera. There is white back option available as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Price

Software

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes has Android 4.2.2 aka Jelly Bean OS inside and there is Samsung TouchWiz UI skin as well. Some might complain about the toy like look of the interface but there are some useful features added as well. most useful feature, according to us, was short cut tray which is easily accessible and lets you switch off the features such as GPS, Reading Mode, Wi-Fi, Screen Mirroring, Multi Window, and Smart Stay by just swiping down from top screen and tapping the feature on/off.

There is Samsung multiwindow feature for running 2 apps at the same time. There are good compatible apps like Chrome, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These windows can be resized according to personal preferences and while doing this, we would recommend you to use a stylus instead of finger as it is more precise.

For software, there is Smart Stay which automatically puts the tablet is sleep mode if the front camera detects that you aren’t watching the display. This feature was there on 10.1 inches Galaxy Tab 3 as well but it did not function as well on my review model.

There is also Group Play for sharing files with other Samsung gadgets owners through WiFi. The files can also be altered in real time. You can choose from music, docs, pics, and select different multiplayer games. We really liked this concept; it is cool and can be of great use in meetings. However, apart from that, it doesn’t have much practicality for everyday user. Once you join any group, you can connect to Internet till you disconnect from this group.

Another good app is Watch On which is Samsung universal video/remote hub and it integrates the streaming video content and cable TV and OTA. It has the standard social sharing options and is very accurate and effective guide.

Hardware

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes with quad core 1.5GHz Exynos Dual (4212) processor and one-and-half gigabytes of RAM. There is also 802.11 a/b/g/n (5GHz and 2.4GHz), GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and digital compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes with eight inches screen and has a display resolution of 1,280×800 pixels. it converts to 189 ppi as compared to iPad Mini’s 163 ppi. There some difference in clarity especially in fonts. On Note 8, the fonts looked jaggy and unpolished. However, on iPad Mini, they were much beter. Samsung has PLS or Plane Line Switching panel on this tablet. There are 3 presets- Movie, Dynamic, and Standard. You can also adjust the screen contrast according to your preferences.

In our tests, the display of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3responded quite well. page turn were smooth at sixty fps. We just had one problem – there was one second long yet noticeable delay after we pressed home button. The tablet looked like it froze for one second.

There is Mali T 400 MP4 GPU inside the tablet and it is capable but unimpressive. In our tests, Riptide GP was playable. Still, it didn’t have the 60 fps smoothness which we have found on other higher end tablets. Standard 2D games like Angry Birds played quite well courtesy of high ppi of the screen and big colour palette.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes with 1.3 megapixels front facing camera and it is good only for video chatting as the quality isn’t good. We saw that colours looked washed out and there as lot of snow on screen as well. On the other hand, the five megapixels rear facing camera is quite good and can shoot excellent quality pictures. It looks like aperture of the camera is set a bit high as it struggles in capturing lot of light.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Camera

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is priced at $300 which is a bit expensive considering other tablets in the market. It should have been priced close to $270 just like rival devices. However, the feature set is quite good and hence some might feel that the high price is justified.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes with good software features and the design too is attractive. The performance is decent and there isn’t much to complaint about the tablet. There isn’t anything mind blowing on this tablet but still it is easy to recommend. We just feel it would have been better if the price was a bit low.

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