3,546 of 3,691 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Wi-Fi
So this device just came out this morning, and I hadn't planned on buying it but I was down at my local best buy store and played with it just to see what it was and loved it! Let me say I used to have all apple stuff, apple computer, iphone, ipad, etc. Over the last year my apples have rotted, went bad and needed to be replaced. Instead of paying high dollar for all new apple stuff I went back to a windows PC, an Andorid Galaxy S2 phone, still had the iPad but it was in need of replacement.
So I got to Best Buy they didn't have these out yet but they pulled one out and let me play with it while they set up the are for the demo unit to go. I liked it, very snappy, great screen. The device comes preloaded with ICS on it, it's VERY snappy with zero lag so far.
The screen while not a retina display like the iPad is still clear enough for me. After all I'm not holding this inches from my face. if you do you get a chance to play with 1 of these before you buy go to the movies app on the device and play the life demo to see how clear and crisp the display is.
It quickly synced up with my Google account and I was already able to start downloading apps from the play store within minutes of getting it turned on.
So far this device is excellent. It feels like it's built well, the back is not as fancy as the Galaxy S2 phone however I plan on getting a case for this so the back battery panel to me doesn't matter much.
I'll update this later after I get more time to play with it, so far though for $250 this is a great deal. I also played with the Kindle Fire and the Blackberry playbook both which were available for $199, but I opted to spend the $50 more for the Samsung as I've been impressed with Samsung quality over the years. (Currently my TV's, blu ray players, computer monitor, phone and now tablet are all samsung brand. They make good products in my opinion.)
--UPDATE 8 hours later--
I used the GPS on this earlier and google navigation/maps to get me to the hardware store. Ok I didn't NEED it but I wanted to test it out. I found that you MUST have internet for google maps to give you directions, I had a hotspot in my car so I turned it on and navigation worked perfect. If you don't have wifi you can still use GPS, it does lock on fast however it can't query to get you directions. If you used an offline GPS program like navigon or something that would do the trick, but YES gps is accurate and fast.
I also used the bluetooth on this to stream music from the Tab 2 to my car, quality was excellent.
Apps and stuff, so far every app I have tried is compatible with the exception of one, and I can't remember what that one was so it was one I really didn't use much at all I guess. I have put a few games on to test it, so far so good and still no lag.
Hows the keyboard? It comes with stock ICS keyboard and it works well, if you start typing fast there is a tiny lag between hearing the click of the feedback and seeing the character appear, however all letters make it without any vanishing. I am looking for another keyboard though as spelling isn't built in it appears... I am probably switching to Swiftkey or swype both which appear compatible with the device.
Also, the IR Blaster = awesome! I was going to buy a $100 harmony remote for my entertainment system, well this Galaxy Tab 2 has an IR blaster built right in and the application for it is simple to configure. Less then 3 minutes I had it set to turn my TV on, control my bose sound system and also control my Tivo HD and Blu Ray player. Very slick!
More to come, if you have questions on how this works please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them quickly. Also, if you find this review helpful please make sure to mark it as such!
Morning after, do I regret buying it? Nope, still a fantastic device and I'll tell you a few more things I found out.
1. I use Dropbox on my home computer and put the app on this tablet. I also use a tivo at home and thought about how could I get my shows on my tivo to my computer then to my tablet? Well I use TivoToGo to transfer shows to my computer, then I place them in a drop box folder and they sync automatically to my dropbox account. I then on the tablet have an app (free and paid versions) called "Folder Sync" and I have that set to every hour check my drop box Tivo folder and download any latest tv shows my computer has copied. This means that in the morning when I leave for work my tablet has all my shows from the previous night I didn't get to watch on it so I can for instance watch one or two on my lunch break, without having to have a wifi connection at work!
2. Need to make a phone call? Unfortunately this device doesn't have phone support. However Skype works great with both video calls and audio calls. You can pay for a phone number from skype (it's cheap if you wanted it) and actually treat this like a phone assuming you have wifi wherever you are. I did try google voice app, that will not allow you to make calls and use the tablet as a handset, it instead asks you what phone in your account it should call.
I see a lot of activity on my review, big thanks to everyone that found it helpful and I love the activity. I wanted to provide an update. While I really liked Galaxy Tab 2, I did make the jump a few months back to the Google Nexus 7 and have to say that tablet has taken over as my primary device. The Galaxy Tab 2 and Nexus 7 ARE similar, however I really like the pure google/android experience that the Nexus provides. If you are on the fence, I would recommend going with the Google Nexus over the Galaxy Tab 2 at this point.
1,917 of 2,042 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
I have a Kindle Fire and do enjoy using it (for the most part) -- love the form factor, enjoy the apps that I can get for it and am very pleased with the Kindle eReader app and ability to share books across all our Kindles. But when we were offered an opportunity to check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 a few days early, we jumped at the chance. The Kindle Fire is great at what it does, but its custom Android O/S, non-standard Web browser, limited selection of apps, lack of expandable storage and lack of Bluetooth support leave me cold.
I've experienced multiple issues trying to browse web sites with the Kindle's Silk browser which work fine on the Galaxy Tab 2 and other full-fledged Android devices. Although Flash videos can be played on the Kindle Fire (if you enable Flash in the Silk browser's setting menu, which is OFF by default), Flash-based games on the Web such as Words with Friends and Bejeweled Blitz (both on Facebook) are painfully jittery and sluggish on the Kindle Fire. The native Words with Friends app does work well on the Kindle, for the most part, but not the web browser-based version. But Flash support on mobile devices is spotty at best so this is not the worst flaw in the Kindle. Also, the content management system we use on our web site is able to load pages (articles) on the Fire, but unable to scroll within large text input windows. The same problem does not occur on the Galaxy Tab 2's browser. The Silk browser is able to access many web sites properly, but when it fails, there isn't much you can do since updates to the Silk browser have been few and far between.
*App and content space*
The Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 each come with 8 GB of internal storage on board. Some of this is used for O/S and system files which leaves even less available for apps and media content. The Kindle Fire has no expandable storage, as it is designed to work in "The Cloud." In other words, they expect you to store music and movies on an internet-based cloud storage area for access when you want it. The big caveat here is that the Kindle Fire offers only WiFi access (no 4G support) so if you do not happen to have a WiFi hotspot or home network handy (like, for example, on a long distance car trip), your cloud-based content is completely inaccessible. I filled up the Kindle Fire's internal storage within the first six weeks of ownership. If I want to install more apps or add local content now, I'll have to remove some from the device. These apps and content are still available to download later from the cloud, if I wish to do so, but this really isn't convenient. The Galaxy Tab 2 also lacks 4G support (in its current version) but its standard microSDHC slot allows you to expand the on-board storage up to an additional 32 GB, which is plenty of room to move your movies, music and additional content to be stored locally without requiring access to the internet.
When I am taking notes at an event or meeting, there's nothing like a full sized QWERTY keyboard. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, you can connect just about any standard Bluetooth keyboard and happily start typing away at full speed. With the Kindle Fire, since it lacks Bluetooth support, you do not have this option. Also, when you want to listen to music, movies or apps on the Fire without bothering those around you, you'll need to plug in a pair of standard headphones (with the jack awkwardly placed on the bottom of the device instead of the top). With the Galaxy Tab 2, not only is the jack placed more logically at the top, but you can also use Bluetooth 3.0 stereo headphones for high quality sound without the wired tether.
The Kindle Fire lacks an on-board camera while the Galaxy Tab 2 includes both a front and rear-facing camera. Admittedly the camera on the Galaxy Tab can't really compare with a real digital camera (particularly indoors) but having the camera available on the Galaxy does allow you to snap a quick pic when the real camera may have been left at home, or participate in Google+ Hangouts (not an option on the camera-free Kindle).
*Limited App Support*
Amazon's Kindle Fire, like Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet, is not compatible with the Google Play Store app market without rooting the device (not for beginners). To install apps on the Fire, you have to use the proprietary Amazon app market which has a limited selection of apps. There's no access to cool apps like the Logitech Harmony app, or the Samsung or Panasonic remote control Android apps for their TVs and Blu-ray players. The list of Android apps you can't get for the Fire goes on (and on... and on). And speaking of remote apps, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 comes pre-loaded with the Peel app which uses the Galaxy Tab's integrated IR port (another option not available on the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet) to control an entire home theater or multimedia system *without* any additional out of pocket expense. It's there; it works; it's great! Also, if you want access to the Amazon app store from the Galaxy tablet, you can do this by downloading and installing the Amazon apk. I've done this and have been able to access my Amazon-purchased apps on the Galaxy tablet.
Overall, I'd say the Kindle Fire is great for people who like to read Kindle books, who are satisfied with a smaller selection of apps, who like streaming movies and TV shows from Amazon Prime (as I do) and who don't need the extra flexibility of a full-fledged Android tablet. But for those who do want those extras - Bluetooth, cameras, expandable storage, Android O/S 4.0 - the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 provides an excellent upgrade for a minimal amount of additional cash. Highly recommended.
You can read our comprehensive reviews of the Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Nook Tablet on Big Picture Big Sound.
2013 update: This review was written in April, 2012 and is based on a comparison to the first generation Kindle Fire which was the only Kindle fire that was available at that time. The Kindle Fire HD does address *some* of the limitations of the Kindle Fire including adding a front camera, mic and Bluetooth headset support but there's still no access to Google Play Store unless you root the device. Also, there is still no extended storage option (e.g., microSD card) on the Fire or Fire HD as there is on the Samsung tablet.
972 of 1,050 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
This is a brand new product from Samsung that breaks the $250 price barrier. There are a lot of tablets at or below this price but they are mostly very low end devices with slow CPUs, poor screens and built for non-US markets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 makes none of the compromises typical of this price point and provides the same kind of performance you'd expect from the rest of the Samsung Galaxy Tab portfolio. It's fast, slick, has a great screen and even has Android 4.03 (Ice Cream Sandwich). I do like the new operating system and adapted to it in minutes. In addition to front & rear cameras there is bluetooth and even an IR blaster so you can use it as a remote for your TV. It only took a minute to set that up and get a program guide downloaded. All the apps on my Gingerbread phone loaded up to the Tab and run fine on the ICS platform. I can't comment on battery life yet as I plugged it for the initial charge and setup and haven't run on battery yet. As far as WiFi reception goes, it picks up all the same signals at the same strength as my laptop so no problem there.
If you've been waiting for a 7" tablet with Android 4 your wait is over.
UPDATE: Now that I've had it for about 10 days I can report that battery life is very good. After being online for several hours the battery still had more than 70% remaining.
359 of 387 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Wi-Fi
It was my birthday and my family asked me what I wanted. I decided a new toy would be nice.
My needs are minimal as I'm at my desktop much of each day, but occasionally like to read from my Kindle, surf for deals on Amazon, watch a Netflix movie, listen to music and email. I have accomplished these things with my Android phone, but slowly using 3G and a 4" screen.
For a tablet I wanted a 7" screen, camera w/ video capabilities, responsive operating system, expansion capabilities with a microSD card, and a built in GPS, not dependent upon wifi or 3G. I found all of that in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Not the fastest OS (Google Nexus 7 will have the 4.1 Jellybean) or the fastest processor or the very best screen resolution, but 'very good' which translated into a good compromise between features and price for me. Not an iPad... but not meant to be one either.
What I like about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2...
1. GPS navigation worked well and was fast to locate satellites, making it a good choice for the person who likes having a GPS, but rarely uses one except to locate somewhere to eat lunch in the city. (Like me!)
2. Has more features than the Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi - which I also own - and with the free Kindle app still allows me to take my books with me. The viewing experience is the same as both have similar screens in clarity and size.
3. The 3.0MP rear facing camera takes good pictures and video. Not the best I've seen, but certainly as good or better than my LG Optimus Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile).
4. The weight is substantial - you know you're holding it - and the build quality is excellent! Buttons (rockers) feel solid and are easy to find.
5.Touchscreen swipes are smooth and transitions move quickly.
6. Wi-fi is easily found and connected.
7. Screen is bright and clear. Adjustments to brightness easily made in 'Settings'.
8. Watching Netflix and Amazon On Demand movies was lag-free and enjoyable. I was a worried about it not being as clear as I would like, but due to the 7" screen size, there was no problem at all. I've seen the iPad display and while it's not that tight, it's very good.
9. Good battery life. If you put it on 'Airplane mode' in settings, you'll get even more life out of your juice!
10. Came with lots of apps installed: Netflix, Gmail, Google, and more, as well as useful widgets for weather and calendar.
11. Charging went quickly and easily with the adapter that allows for USB or AC charging.
12. Web browsing was quick n' easy, as was emailing with this tablet.
13. This tablet has Bluetooth! I have a bluetooth headset that I pair with it: LG Tone - HBS-700 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Retail Packaging - Black/Orange which also works with my LG Optimus phone. I can use it to do Google Talk calls - long distance for free via Gmail's interface. The tablet has a built in microphone on the front and you can use regular headphones for Google Talk, or you can use the one on your Bluetooth.
What I wish was a bit better...
1. I would love it if Samsung was to offer an OS update to 4.1 Jellybean to make this thing fly! 4.0 Android Ice Cream OS is quick and when I received this tablet I immediately went to 'About' and clicked 'Update' - receiving the 4.04 update for Ice Cream. The update requires a reboot of your system and you may lose data, so good to do it right out of the box. Made a nice improvement in the tablet's speed after the update!
2. Again, the Nexus 7 will have a faster processor, faster OS and better display 1280x800 pixels, but the 1.2 forward facing camera n' no expansion slot were big issues for me. The Samsung doesn't have those 'fast' components and yes, I wish it did, but then I remember the price point.
3. Not much documentation came with it. Undoubtedly it's either on the device or online, but sometimes you just want to read a good book or have it handy for reference.
4. Internal memory gets eaten up quickly by apps, but multitasking isn't this tablet's strong suit - or my expectation.
5. No HDMI or USB ports, but it does have Bluetooth and can act as a remote control with included app via infrared.
6. GPS - yes, I put it in the 'like' area too, but truthfully it's more of a slow toy on this tablet than a GPS replacement.
I am pleased with 2 accessories I bought for this tablet: MoKo(TM) 360 Degree Rotating Detachable Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 7-inch Tablet, Black (with Vertical and Horizontal Multi-angle Stand) which fits this tablet perfectly - allowing for access to all the ports and protecting it while also allowing horizontal or vertical viewing, and [Ultimate Clear] Ringbo Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 New Release Tablet 7" Screen Protector Cover Film with Warranty which while tricky to apply, also fits perfectly.
I also bought a SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Memory Card (Bulk Package) for it, which inserted easily and was recognized as 28GB of useable space by the tablet. *FYI... it's not uncommon for any storage to be recognized as less than the stated size after installation.
Charging the device out of the box and then updating it immediately made using it the best it could be upon first use. I will be installing an app to do basic clean-up of the memory cache and an antivirus. There are several free options for both.
Being my first tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 doesn't have big shoes to fill in my life like if I was an iPad user. I don't think anyone with an iPad would find this tablet interesting at all!
For those who want portability, with more functionality than the Kindle Fire and a tablet with good speed and expansion, as well as a camera and video taking capabilities - this is a very good choice at an affordable price.
If you want to install the Amazon Appstore on your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2... you have to go to www.amazon.com/appstoreapp and download the app. Your tablet may say 'no' and block it. If so, go into 'Settings', 'Security' and under 'Device Administration' make sure the box for 'Unknown Sources' is check marked. The tablet will caution you that this makes your private info vulnerable, but in reality all it does is open up other another Appstore (other than Samsung's which is installed on the device) for you.
Once you do this you should be able to download and install the Amazon Appstore and use it. That works well for me as I have several apps already that I use on my Android phone and Kindle Fire, which can also be used on this tablet.
I'd suggest adding some of these apps I found useful and/or fun picked up at the Amazon Appstore. Most, if not all, are free.
Remember that every day Amazon offers a new app for free. They are paid apps that for 1 day only, Amazon offers for free download. Sometimes, they are apps valued at $10 the day before, so it's definitely worth checking frequently!
Here's a not so short list of 25 of my favorite apps for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2:
1. Temple Run - fun game at the top of the iTunes app charts.
2. App 2 SD Pro - to make sure you get the most out of your microSD space.
3. Angry Birds Free - nice time waster!
4. Fruit Ninja Free - another fun time waster.
5. TextPlus Free Texting + Group Text - get a free texting phone number and text via wifi.
6. AVG Free - antivirus for your tablet.
7. MyFitnessPal - diet and exercise tracker.
8.Cozi Family Organizer - works really well and your whole family can use it.
9. E!Online - fun to keep up with entertainment news.
10.EasyPrint - print from your tablet to wifi enabled printers.
12. ESPN ScoreCenter
13.Gemini App Manager - easy, fast way to make sure apps are not soaking up memory.
14. HootSuite - love it for Tweets.
15. Old Time Radio Player - just fun to listen to the Lone Ranger!
17.Official Ebay Android App
18. PicShop - edit photos.
19. Scanner Radio - listen to EMT and Police scanner traffic.
20. SwiftKey 3 - makes texting and typing much faster with intuitive type by swype.
21. TuneIn Radio - what it says...
22. Star Chart -check out constellations.
23. iHeartRadio - like Pandora (also available), create custom radio stations.
24. Antivirus Free or Avast! - keep safe while surfing.
25. NBC Nightly News - in case you missed it!
Still really enjoying this tablet, and finding more reasons to recommend it every day. For the speediness of it, size and features, it's really a great buy!
Disappointing... the Galaxy is dead. Started not holding a charge, then wouldn't turn on, and finally wouldn't charge at all. My use with this tablet has been about once a week for about an hour. Not exactly hard on it, so I'm a bit bummed. I did run an update prior to this happening so I'm not sure if it's a bad update or the hardware. Either way, dead in the water and will be contacting Samsung for warranty repair or replacement.
The 'end' to my Tab story is that I took it back to Costco (where it was purchased as a gift with a 2 year warranty) and they told me they'd replace it, but had none in stock and to come back a week later. I did that (after a call confirmed they had them in stock) and drove 30 miles only to find they were out of stock. I asked how long it would take to repair it, and that was 'unknown' via the Costco repair system. I asked for, and received a refund on the purchase price (went back on the person's credit card who purchased the gift...).
I liked the Tab, but since have purchased a Apple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 3rd Generation which I love. I purchased directly through Apple refurbs, and it came with a 1 year warranty - for under $400. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's also better.
If you're looking for a budget Android tablet, this is still a good choice though, and if Costco had them in stock when I had returned to exchange, I'd probably still have it.
173 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
Having owned this tab for almost a year now I thought I would offer an update. Basically, I still think the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a fantastic tablet. At current price of $179 it is an amazing value. Sure, you can get generics for $100 less, but they wind up being a bit of a crap shoot. I have tried a couple. I always wind up frustrated because things just don't seem to work they way they should, and it is often difficult or impossible to get firmware/software updates Then when you do the update process can be complex and scary. Samsung has been very good about updates. We even got Jelly Bean a month or so ago. The update process is dead simple. You get a notification an update is available then it is delivered wirelessly whenever you are ready. Other than making sure you have a good battery charge before starting, you don't have to do anything special to update.
I do not use any of the Samsung apps like Music Hub, etc. It would be nice to be able to uninstall them to free up the space, but that is a minor quibble.
Another minor quibble is the proprietary dock connector. I would prefer a standard micro USB port like my Galaxy Note phone. Oh, well, at least there are relatively inexpensive adapters to allow the use of USB devices.
One caveat, the Tab 2 7.0 does NOT have HDMI video out capability (or any other video out that I can tell). Period. There is an HDMI adapter for some of the other Galaxy Tabs, but it does not work with the Tab 2 7.0. I do not really care about this, but if you do, just be aware. If anyone learns differently and verifies it with personal experience, PLEASE let me know.
OK, I have put off posting a review because I thought all of the 5-Star reviews had already raved about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 sufficiently. But I have been seeing too many low ratings that I consider unjustified so here it is. This is such a great tablet I will simply try to counter some of the major cons that keep coming up. As background, I have owned or extensively used an iPad, 4 Android tablets, and 4 Android phones. I do not at all claim to be an expert with Android; I am still a bit puzzled by many things. But I have used enough Android devices, from 1.6 to 4.0 to have a bit of familiarity with the OS and devices that run it.
As I mentioned, I do own an iPad, though my wife has stolen it from me. I bought the iPad strictly to make sure she would be able to use it easily anyway. But its loss meant I HAD to get the Android tablet I wanted to begin with, right? Thank goodness because I am NOT an Apple fan. Even I, an admitted Apple NON-fan has to admit that Apple devices work and work well. Even to me, the iPad is the gold standard for tablets.
Battery life - this tablet has GREAT battery life, but you do have to practice reasonable power practices. I charged mine overnight one night, unplugged it in the morning, used it, admittedly very lightly, and after 4 days battery still showed 75%. I purposely used the tablet very lightly during this time since I was concerned with standby time. Read Michael S' comment regarding power saving steps here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3EL7PM4TA0S2R/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R3EL7PM4TA0S2R
Wifi - Many have reported wifi issues. I don't think this tablet has a wifi problem. In fact, it has the best wifi performance of any Android tablet I have tried, consistently showing at least one "bar" more than any other. If you have wifi issues try powering your router off and on or unplug then re-plug. I have ATT Uverse, and I have to do this EVERY time I try to connect a new device. Every new device gets "Obtaining IP address from..." or "Connected"/"Disconnected". Even when I had cable and was able to use my own router I had to do this occasionally. The Galaxy Tab 2 7 has wifi performance equal to or better than any of the numerous devices I have used.
Move apps to SD - No, as far as I have been able to determine you may not be able to move apps to sd even with App2SD or other such app. But the device seems to have a TON of system space for apps - far more than normal users require. Older versions of Android set aside System Storage for apps that might be 256, 512, or, if you were lucky, 1024MB. On the Galaxy Tab 2 apps seem to be installed in general storage. Apps space appears in the Total Space. Right now, for instance, my Total Space area says apps are taking 533MB and shows 3.86GB available. So how much apps space do you need? If you are super-gamer and need a bazillion GB of apps space, then no, this device might not be for you. So go spend $400-500 on something else. If you are a mere mortal, like me, I am pretty sure you will be EXTREMELY happy with this device.
Oh, yeah, the Tab 2 has only 8GB of internal storage. I have never cared about internal storage because I immediately stick a 32GB micro SD card in and make sure photos, music, and videos get stored there. This tablet will accept a USB OTG adapter so you can store unlimited extra videos on flash drives. Speaking of OTG adapters, you can get less expensive ones, but this one is really neat:
I bought one, and I can attest that it does work with flash drives. I just got it and I imagine it will do fine with a USB keyboard. It has THREE USB ports plus slots for SD and other memory cards. Sorry, haven't tried those yet, either. It also has a power input jack for supplemental power, but I don't seem to have a plug that fits. I will do more testing and post a review for that product soon. I also have this one
and I can attest that it works, too.
Oh, it is not yet available on Amazon, but Samsung makes a Book Cover that is the perfect case for the Tab 2. Just Google Galaxy Tab 2 Case and you will find it. It adds almost no bulk. I can still put the Tab in my pocket. It is a little pricey right now from reputable sources, but if you decide to go with one of the less expensive places make sure they actually have it. If you dig, many will say deliver something like 6/23. Just be careful. Another note on this case - it "opens" to the right in portrait orientation but that is so it will open to the top in landscape. It folds all the way back for one-hand use, and the edges have tacky rubber strips so you can use as a stand at the angle of your choice. It is very secure as a stand. Will not slide at all. CAUTION: The Book Cover that Amazon has right now is for the original Tab 7. The back of the Book Cover case snaps on so the fit has to be perfect. I don't think the Book Cover for the original Tab will fit the Tab 2. I got mine from OD.
This is, hands down, the best basic Android device I have tried. It is definitely the 7" tablet I have been waiting for. Everything works, and works without spending hours researching how to get some feature to work.
189 of 208 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
I have had the original Galaxy Tab 7 for about a year. It love it. 7" is the perfect size to bring along to read a book or watch a movie. It is large enough to be able to pull up web pages (even in "full Site" mode) and actually read them. I have used that old work horse every day that I've owned it.
So Why did I upgrade to this version when I love the original so much? 2 reasons. This one has Android Version 4.0 (I need this for a camera remote control app - DSLR Controller) and I liked the idea of a built in remote control for my AV system.
So the verdict? -- I love it. It is sleeker than the original. A beautiful bright and vibrant screen. Good Battery life (so far). and very peppy thanks to it's dual core.
Things I love:
Price:----- Way to go Samsung. Very affordable for what you get.
Size:------ This thing is perfect for book reading, watching movies on a plane, and just carrying round without it feeling too big.
Screen:---- Like I said, this think looks greet for media like movies and pictures.
Build:------ This thing is solid. I have been very impressed with Samsung lately
Remote:---- I LOVE the remote on this thing. I quickly set up with me home theater system (TV, Cable Box, Receiver, DVD, etc) The built in app stepped me through the process. and now I can tweak to my heart's content. This is better than my Harmony remote, because I can make updates right from the device without having to hook up to the computer. It also give a live schedule of what is on with single touch access. Better than the guide button on the cable box. Did I mention I love this app??
Android:--- Version 4.0 - Great tablet OS. Like it much better than iOS. I love apple product, but never bought into the apple ecosystem, so I prefer Android.
Kies:------ A cool way to wirelessly transfer data, pics, files, etc. between your Tab and a computer just using a browser. Very Slick, you will like it.
Things I like:
Camera:---- The shooter on this is OK. Plenty of pixels and shoots well in good light. it is OK but not great. Not an issue for me since I never used the camera on my old Tab. There is also not a built in flash. OK with me at this price point.
Things I don't like:
Proprietary cable:-- OK, I had to think hard of something I don't like about this. I prefer when micro USB is used for everything from Charging to Data transfer. However, I have a couple cables from my original tab, so again, not a deal breaker for me.
I will update when I've had more time to try this thing out, but so far, I am impressed.
If you do not have a 7" tab, and are looking to get one - buy this. you will not be disappointed!
134 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
I was a heartbeat away from buying a B&N tablet until I saw that this tablet was about to be released. I have to say, the wait was worth it.
My main use for this tablet is for multimedia on the go. This tablet can do all of that and more for a low price and it can do so much more than the B&N tablet without rooting it. Within a few hours, I had downloaded enough apps from Google Play to customize this tablet to my liking.
First of all, my comics on the 7 inch screen are bright, vibrant and very easy to read (see uploaded image in product picture gallery). The Perfect Viewer app works very well with this tablet. Now all my comics are available on the go.
Netflix comes pre-installed with this device. After a quick update, I was signed in to my account and watching shows and movies. Sadly, Huluplus and HBOgo are not supported on this device, but that's the apps' fault, not the tablet. It probably won't be long before they will support the Galaxy Tab.
The Peel smart remote works on my tv just fine. I can control the tv, though it doesn't support my cable box, just yet. Again, it's a fault with the app, not the tablet. The app was nice enough to automatically give me the option to send an error email to the developers.
Sites like mangafox look great on this screen and the ability to zoom in and out on frames with a quick gesture is great.
The Kindle app comes pre-installed on this device. I also loaded the Nook app. I was able to download all my ebooks from that account. The page turns are much faster than my old Nook ebook reader and the words read very well.
Once I installed flash player, I was able to watch videos on websites both on the stock internet browser and on Dolphin Browser.
I cannot be more happy with this device.
114 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
We have the latest Apple's iPad 3 at home but one thing I needed for my personal use was for email and having something that's more compact to carry around. As much as 10" tablets are nice, they are still hefty and aren't the easiest thing to type on especially on non-Android system (lack of aftermarket keyboard option for example). I've also added some in-depth review towards the bottom.
- Lightweight slim tablet
- Excellent speed with dual core 1GHz processor to run latest application with no problem
- Excellent device to watch HD videos on YouTube and Netflix
- Smooth screen transition and snappy response
- Great browsing and gaming experience
- Flash is enabled
- Good battery life overall
- Bluetooth enabled
- Subpar pixel density including color saturation
- Some bloatware loaded by Samsung you can't uninstall
- Slim but very slippery to hold
- Proprietary data/charging plug like the iPad
What this Tablet Has:
- Latest Ice Cream Sandwich (aka ICS) operating system
- 3.5" audio jack
- Power button and volume up/down button
- SD card slot
- Infrared port
- Proprietary plug for charging and data sharing
- Front and rear camera
- Internal GPS
- Comes with A/C wall charger
- 8GB internal storage, option to add up to 32GB with SD memory card
What this Tablet Doesn't Have:
- HDMI, Firewire, or USB port of any kind
- Removable battery
Design Impression (4/5):
The design is slim and lightweight like many 7" tablets. It's slim enough it'll slip into your back pocket but of course with some bulk due to its width/length which is a given. Everything is flush in design except the power button and the volume button located on the sides while I found pressing those buttons by accident often. It doesn't seem to stick out much but wish Samsung had made them a bit more flush with the case. The back side isn't perfectly smooth but not enough to give you any sort of grip. Holding it, I can feel it slipping sometimes. I have large hands (XL for gloves) and even then the back side alone felt slippery which I'm going to buy silicone case for it soon. Overall, it's simple and lightweight design if you prefer something compact. Much easier to carry around than a 10" tablet; this will sure fit your backpack, purse or any small compartment without an issue.
Ice Cream Sandwich aka ICS is the latest operating system. What this means is slick but simplified interface that run smooth. I do like the ICS a lot compared to Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb I've used in the past (see the alphabetic naming pattern Google uses?). ICS does tend to require more processing power but this tablet does so very well with this dual core. Geeky talk but basically it has more horse power under its hood. Screen transition is smooth, can add multiple screens while you can also drag icons together to put them in a folder.
By default it doesn't actually come with the popular Swype. I did already purchase SlideIT keyboard with my phone so I've downloaded and enabled it since (if you've purchased apps from Play store, you can re-download them with your Google account no problem). In landscape mode, believe it or not, thumb typing is 'okay' and is a bit wide to type even for my large hands. Portrait mode you can type pretty quickly. Of course with the Swype like typing it could be done much faster. I like Android's way of being able to install aftermarket keyboard. This is where I found the iPad 3 to be bulky and cumbersome to type on as much as their keyboard is generally intuitive and easy to type.
8GB is okay but with system and other application already taking space, that 8GB can be filled very quickly if you start to load pictures and videos. Of course with this capability to add up to 32GB SD memory it's not a bad thing either. Nowadays SD memory card is low in price and can store quite a bit (you may not need it the memory if you're only browsing, playing videos and adding just apps).
Dual core, 1GHz processors which gives this tablet a great processing power. Sure, it's not quad-core but it's hard to slow this tablet down. The only time I noticed any sort of lag is playing game and try to open another application right after. But the lag wasn't enough to disappoint. It's not snappy like the iPad 3 but for $250? One fast tablet that won't disappoint.
The screen resolution is something to be desired. If you're using a tablet for the first time you obviously won't notice a difference. But if you already have a device like the iPad or device with better screen resolution that pack in more pixels, you'll notice right away it's an okay display. The color saturation also seems to be lacking and could use some help with the contrast. The icons also doesn't use the whole screen; probably for the reason being so people can hold the tablet which will end up putting their thumbs on part of the screen. That could all be corrected downloading apps like "Go Launcher" which will give you a customized interface with all sorts of skins and wallpapers that are free also. Again, for a $250 tablet it's not a bad screen either.
Loud. It'll even give you a warning when you max out the volume about a hearing damage. Though the speakers are located only on one side, you can hear the audio perfectly fine with TV playing in the background. It maybe a plus if you like to use tablet and other device as a music player. No audio distortion when playing music and movies.
I tested HD videos with Netflix, YouTube and few other application to see the HD quality. Excellent pictures and smooth transition. No ghosting effect or lag in any sort of way watching the latest video including action flicks. More details on the application itself will be in the detailed reviews below.
I'm not going into any details here but don't expect a superb quality photos and videos. Cheaper phones and tablet do not come with a great lens and a sensor. But to play around with it and take general pictures, it'll do just fine. But don't try to take family portrait and expect a great photo. Won't happen!
This tablet seem to connect to any router very quickly open or secured. Once the credentials are entered and remembered, the tablet will connect in seconds which is refreshing. It seems to pick up more Wifi signals compared to my phone which may have to do with the size of the device. No dropped connections so far. One minor issue reconnecting but turning on/off the Wifi solved the issue quickly and hasn't happened since.
Battery Life (4/5):
Not bad at all. I tested and played a game for few hours and only drained to 60%. This is with battery save mode on and screen brightness at about 70%. Be sure to let the battery drain completely first and charge it in full. From about 3% to 100% charge took about 3.5 hours using the A/C wall charger that came with the device. Some people say that's slow but considering something as big as iPad 3, it's pretty fast.
*** Apps ***
I'll breakdown some of the apps that come with the Galaxy Tab 2.0 7" tablet and their overall impression. I feel this is where the tablet shines and even with a mediocore screen, it does give a better impression overall.
Slick little interface on this tablet with subscribed and featured videos that scroll sideways with a 3D look. Very responsive and what I personally like is that clicking on the video doesn't make it full screen automatically like the iPad. Maybe some people will prefer this but I like seeing the small screen along with any other featured videos. HD movies and clips play without a problem. Combined with an excellent audio, you can play it anywhere.
This Wifi version has GPS. If you have the ability to tether to your phone, it's a big plus as you can run the tablet as a GPS navigation device. For some reason, the 'street view' picture quality is horrible on this device. Not sure if they did this on purpose but the only time I find that the pictures seem like it was taken with a 1-mega pixel camera. But the interface and browsing in the map is smooth and responsive.
If you use Google calendar it will notify any tasks/appointments scheduled and while giving you an excellent interface. You can add it as a widget also so that's a plus if you often use your phone to schedule meetings, etc.
Another great Google product with slick interface. Split into two screens with inbox/folders and the right pane for reading and replying.
Amazing HD quality and also connects to the server VERY fast on Wifi network. Even skipping through the videos it'll resume playing within 2-3 seconds which I found to be a great speed like playing on a regular computer. One negative here though; scrolling through the homepage of multiple video screen lags a bit with this device. Not a big deal but a minor annoyance.
Default browser like many browser on Android is very basic. Some people may like it, some people may not. But of course you can run Dolphin, Opera Mini, etc all free from the Play Market. Everyone has their different taste when it comes to browsers so test them out to your liking.
*** Some In-Depth Tech Review ***
This is where it gets a bit nerdy but reserved for those expecting more in-depth review. As we all know, the Android vs. iOS debate as well as what this $250 tablet offers. I've used the iPad 3 for the last few months and I can honestly say this Galaxy tablet does well for it's price and in some ways if you're on a budget it also won't disappoint.
By default you have this 1/2" empty screen on both sides with the stock ICS. So I ended up downloading the "Go Launcher" which I've used on my phone forever. Same as "ADW" launcher (costs money for this one) it allows you to customize the interface including icons and wallpapers. You can cram say seven columns and rows of icons on the tablet without a problem. I haven't read anything about a custom ROM but hopefully there is one out there already if not sooner. I have CM7.0 on my phone overlocked by 160MHz or so and love how much it saves on storage let alone not having all sorts of bloatware you cannot uninstall by default.
The screen, I've tried adjusting the contrast with another app but as a photographer I can see some people getting very picky. Color saturation, strong black and white isn't all too impressive with this device. iPad 3 blows this tablet out of water when it comes pixel density but for its price that's a given for either tablets.
Yes, if you have already downloaded and purchased from another device using your Google account, all contents can be re-downloaded including paid apps. This is one thing I love about the Android system. Hopefully that will not change! Everything syncs seemlessly including Gmail, YouTube and any other associated accounts.
I needed the GPS function to use with my car as I drive a lot. Running Google Maps but often times Waze to know any accidents, traffic, etc (as Google stopped doing live traffic awhile ago). I'm also a radar/laser detector enthusiast (run Escort Redline) so having another counter measure device is also a plus. Tethered to my phone, I can run Waze and Google Maps just fine and gives a better view while driving. It's really all I use it for while driving and one of the reasons why I snagged this $250 tablet. If I want to pull over and find places to eat, take my daughter to a new park, etc it's another great way to do so on this device. If you can tether to another live connection, it's a great tablet unlike spending $100+ on a Garmin (as much as I used to love Garmin). Very accurate GPS for the most part with the Wifi and GPS enabled at the same time.
Turn on the 'battery saver' mode on. Noticed a huge difference in saving battery. Before it felt like the unit was discharging within 5-6 hours. Now I feel pretty confident it can go up to the manufacturer's claim; at leat around 9-10 hours with a light use. Charging isn't bad at all. iPad 3 takes forever to charge on the other hand BUT the thing lasts all day playing games and videos. I haven't compared the specs but assuming it has a bigger battery and ways to save energy. I haven't ran JuiceDefender on this device yet even though I've purchased the Ultimate edition awhile back. Should be just as good though.
Not sure why Samsung opted for the 16-pin connector but looks almost identical to that of iPad but it's not. Maybe because the mini-USB tends to lose connection and isn't as solid in design when plugged in? Not sure but then again aftermarket cables are cheap nowadays on Amazon or other sites so not a big deal IMO. The plug does seem to snap-in really well and is better than charging the iPad where it can be somewhat wobbly at times.
There's so much more to list but if you have any question feel free to leave a comment! Overall I'm happy with the purchase. It'll make a great gift as well.
490 of 562 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
I've been hunting down a 7" tablet since I saw the specs for the ASUS MeMo 370T and was happy to see this Samsung unit beat Google to the punch.
Overall the tablet has a great form factor and is a pleasure to hold for hours on end. Obviously anyone expecting an iPad experience out of a 7" Android device will be disappointed. Luckily I've been looking for a tablet to augment my iPad.
I bought this tablet primarily to use around the house for reading RSS feeds, doing light web-surfing and to check e-mail and my task manager (Springpad).
For the most part it does these tasks well though I have noticed some issues with scrolling through lists of news articles and longer web pages. It's just a little glitchy and not as smooth as the Nook Tablet I tried earlier this year.
My main concern is battery life. I have never seen a device suck down the juice quick as quickly as this one does. It seems to use 3-5% per hour rendering the idea of multi-day stand-by moot. What I've noticed is the wi-fi indicator says there's traffic almost constantly.
As a test I stared at the launcher (no widgets installed) for a minute and during that time wi-fi was almost constantly in use. I'm sure this has something to do with the poor stand-by performance but for the life of me I can't figure out WHAT would using wi-fi that much in the background. When I check network statistics I see the ever helpful "System" uses the most bandwidth.
While using the tablet I am perfectly happy with battery performance. I was pleasantly surprised the other night to have only dropped to 63% after 4 hours of pretty continuous use. The following morning I was down to 44% and by the end of that 9 hour work day the tablet was dead. This seems very odd to me and is likely the fault of the Android OS moreso than Samsung.
The other issue I've had is that tapping alignment seems a bit off. About 35% of the time I think I'm tapping on one icon or selection and a different item is selected. This reminds me of the old Palm days where one could re-calibrate the digitizer if it started getting out of sync.
At present I'm not sure if I'll be keeping this tablet or returning it and waiting for the Google Tablet this summer. The issues I'm experiencing may be SW related so I'll be keeping this unit for a few weeks to see if Samsung updates to resolve the issues I've seen.
I'd have given the device four stars but the stand-by battery issue really bothers me. I didn't see it on the Nook Tablet and am at a loss in trying to track down what system process could be eating so much battery.
66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
Ok, the title of my review might be a little extreme but I stick by it. Anyone considering a Nook or Kindle should give this tablet a long, hard look. For an entry level, low cost tablet it has a lot of features the purpose built readers leave out. Not the least of which is this tablet is not tied to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. With this tablet you can get content from anywhere you want. Also, the Samsung has a GPS, front and rear cameras and a memory card slot. I believe the Nook has a memory slot too but the Kindle does not. The Samsung also has an IR blaster for controlling your home theater.
My only other Android device is my nearly 2 year old Motorola Droid X phone and this tablet makes my phone feel very inadequate in almost every way. The tablets screen is bright, crisp and clear and it is very responsive with little to no lag. I believe that this screen has a higher pixel density than many of the 10" tablets as it is nearly the same resolution as the larger tablets in a smaller screen. I was holding out for a high res 10" tablet but decided to jump on this one because I was tired of waiting. I am not disappointed. It will be interesting to see if I end up preferring the 7" tablet after I use it a while. It is very light, small and portable and the screen real estate is really quite usable.
I just got my tablet last night and setup my home theater easily. I am disappointed with the interface of the supplied remote app though and will look around for a better version. But at least the tablet provides the ability to do it. To be fair though, I did not spend a lot of time with it so it may be better than I think.
The Kindle reader app is very nice as the text is sharp and it turns pages very quickly. I think anyone coming from an e-ink based reader will enjoy using this tablet as a reader as well. My wife has the e-ink Kindle and has often wanted a back lit reader instead of using a book light. This screen will not be as readable outdoors though but I think most of my and my wife's reading is indoors so there is always a trade off.
I have not tried other media yet other than Pandora radio. You do get a little hiccup in the audio if you are surfing data intensive apps like Google Maps while you are streaming music. This may be the result of my pitiful DSL connection at home though. Will have to try it on a faster broadband connection sometime to see.
Google Maps looks great on this device. Fortunately this tablet has a GPS chip so location based services/mapping are possible. It is a great size for mapping and once I get a 4G phone with WiFi ability, I will try it out as a navigation device. Hopefully Samsung will come out with a car dock for this tablet. Google Streetview is very nice on this tablet as well.
The Gmail app is extremely nice on this tablet. Even in portrait mode you get the folder list down the left side and your email in the currently selected folder displayed on the right. On my phone, you only get one folder at a time.
I use Google Reader as my RSS app and it is very fast on the tablet compared to my phone. I go cross-eyed staring at my phone for very long but I can tell from my limited use of the reader on the tablet that the tablet will be great. The reader is really one of my most used apps and a big reason I wanted a tablet.
What can I say, Facebook is much nicer on a tablet than on the phone.
Real Estate Apps:
I am currently in the market to buy a house so I have the Realtor.com and Zillow apps. Both are much nicer on the tablet than on the phone. The photos on the Realtor app are much larger than what Zillow provides though which is odd. Photos on the phone are ok, but are hard to tell much about. With the tablet, the photos are much more usable.
I may come back and add more to this review as I use the tablet more but in my 1 evening with it so far I can tell that I am going to love this tablet.
I got a chance to play with the tablet some more and have a few more observations to add.
YouTube looks great on this tablet. It will seamlessly flip from portrait to landscape without stopping the video. I personally think the YouTube app has a much better UI than the internet webpage.
The speakers are on the bottom of the tablet when the tablet is in portrait position. You have to watch that you don't rest it on your lap when listening to something using the speakers. If you turn it to landscape position, you have to watch that you don't cover the lower speaker with your hand. I found that if you hold the tablet with your fingers and cup the corner with the speaker it actually helps project the sound to you. I don't know where else they could put speakers as almost anywhere they are you will have to watch you don't cover them when you hold them so I won't complain about it.
What can I say, Angry Birds is awesome on a tablet. Words With Friends is nice as well. I haven't tried other games yet but expect them to look much better than they do on a phone.
7" vs. 10" tablet:
I don't know what to think about the size yet. I was trying to hold out for a high res 10" tablet that Samsung is rumored to be working on but got tired of waiting. I am really enjoying the light, small form factor of this 7" tablet though. So now I am not sure if I will want a 10" tablet or not. My brother has an iPad and that thing is a brick compared to this tablet.
I am a little worried about the people complaining about WiFi issues. So far mine has been working fine. It is indicating the same signal strength that my phone and laptop show. Maybe the problem is hit and miss but I hope if there is a real problem it is something a software/firmware update can resolve. But so far I have no complaints.
I charged the tablet overnight and took it off the charger in the morning. I didn't use the tablet until I got home about 11 hours later. It was at 98% charge so it only drained 2% in 11 hours of no use. I used it for nearly 3 hours and it dropped to 66%. So 3 hours was about 1/3 of the battery life. That should translate to about 9 hours of battery life. I could turn the GPS off since it isn't needed most of the time, I also saw a tip about having it turn the WiFi off when in sleep mode and I have manually set the screen brightness to around 25% which is plenty bright indoors. Overall, I think it is going to have pretty decent battery life. I should get about 3 good evenings or a full day on a charge.
I have lived with the tablet for a couple weeks now and have a few more observations.
I got to compare it with my brother's iPad 2 this weekend and the screen on the Samsung is much, much sharper than the iPad. In fact, my dad's Nook was much sharper than the iPad with the Samsung being sharper than the Nook. The difference was amazing.
I was completely happy with the browsing speed of the Samsung until I compared it to the iPad. The iPad was much, much faster. Not sure why, but it is very noticeable. I installed the beta version of Google Chrome and it appears to be better than the built in browser but still not as fast as the iPad. But like I said, I was happy until I found out there was better.
I have observed the connection problem some people are reporting. If you hold the bottom left corner, the reception does drop down. As soon as you left off, it goes up 1 bar. But I also found out that my router was not operating at full strength. I had the old standby Linksys WRT54G but recently upgraded to an ASUS RT16N. As soon as I did, I noticed my cell phone and laptop were not showing nearly as strong reception as before. I am running Tomato on the router and discovered that you can turn up the signal strength. By default, Tomato is dialed back. My nearest neighbor is a quarter mile away so I dialed up to full strength. That upped my reception by 1 bar when covered and uncovered. So now I have better signal strength, even when I cover the antenna. I am not worried as I don't lose connection and it is showing a similar signal strength as my phone and laptop.
Overall, I love this tablet.