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Customer Review

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent form factor, and good improvement from previous model, February 22, 2014
By 
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Garnet Red Tablet Bundle (7-Inch, 8 GB) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
This is my review of non Red version, but it is the same. Red version is even better for those who like the color!

There are too many tablets these days, right?! Samsung's third generation of Galaxy Tab series is highly anticipated and for this price point phenomenal. I have been using Galaxy Tab 2 and I will compare and contrast here. I played around with review units of all sizes and I have since returned them. My reviews are unbiased and neutral! First, if you have not had any tablets before, Get THIS! Yes, Get this 7". It is ideal for plane trips, long journeys. I had used a 7" Tablet on a long journey to listen to songs and read epub books (Aldiko) and it was a very pleasant experience. 7" form factor is lightweight, compact and great. If you are a bit experienced and can afford it, I highly recommend the 8". In my opinion 8" is the maximum value for the money and features and hence I gave 8" a 5 star. I gave 7" a 4 star (but no means undermining it). I gave the 10" also a 4 star because of some strange spec `limitations'.

Samsung has introduced 7", 8" and 10.1" of the Tab 3 series. They are entering all form factors. As I know they have something in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10" lines. Woo.. All of the 7, 8, 10" Galaxy Tabs come in white and golden brown color. My preference is white color. Looks pretty!

Let's start off with salient points of all of the Galaxy Tab 3 series. I will later compare with the previous Tab 2 model.

7-inch tablet: 1024 x 600, Marvell dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB built-in storage (ROM), a microSD card slot (up to 64 GB), Camera: 3MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and weighs 10.58 oz. (300 grams). Android 4.1.2

8-inch model: 1280 x 800, Exynos 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB ram, 16GB of built-in storage (ROM), a microSD slot (up to 64 GB), Camera: 5MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and weighs 10.9 oz. (309 grams) Android 4.2

10.1-inch model: 1280 x 800, Intel Atom 1.6GHz Z2560 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a 16GB built-in storage (ROM), a microSD slot (up to 64 GB), Camera: 3.2MP rear-facing, 1.3MP front-facing and weighs 17.99 oz. (510 grams). Android 4.2

I am not going into other details like accelerometer etc. as they are all standard these days, Audio support - AAC, AMR, MP3, OGG, WMA/ASF, 3GA/M4A, FLAC, WAV; MP3/MP4/Music Tones; Music Player; Ringtones, Polyphonic. Video support: AVI/DIVX, WMV/ASF, FLV, MKV, MP4/3GP, WEBM; Video Player; Video Streaming. Software is current of release date, and it is expected could be upgraded as next version Android 5 Key Lime Pie. (Currently targeted for Oct 2013). Key Lime Pie's one of the main touting points is compatibility to avoid fragmentation, so I can foresee, all of these models being able to upgrade if Google keeps their promise.

The 7" has a physical home button so are others in the series. Also has capacitive Back and Menu buttons. Camera is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for skype, and a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera. It is also equipped with an IR blaster so it will work as a universal remote on both your TV and cable box. Camera is only so and so, and I will not rely on it to produce outstanding photos. Weighs only 300 gm. 64 GB SD card is awesome! With prices plummeting for 64 GB cards, it is a great boon. Put all your music, books, photos on the SD card and you have a powerful computer in hand always! I personally use the 64 GB microSD card on my mobile devices. Get this mobileUltra (SanDisk 64GB Mobile Ultra MicroSDXC Class 6 Memory Card with SD Adapter - Retail Packaging.

Galaxy Tab 2 is 345 grams, so Tab 3 is lighter by 45 grams. Processors are similar 1.2 GHz dual core in Tab 3 Vs 1 GHz dual core in Tab 2. Resolutions are same with Tab 2 1024 x 600 pixels (~170 ppi pixel density). Tab 3 supports up to 64 GB whereas Tab2 is 32 GB. Not a big deal unless you have tons of video/photo/ebooks/music you want to carry with you all the time. I use a mixture of on device storage + Google Music + box for my data needs. Battery is also same between Tab 2 and Tab 3 7" versions - Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery.

Both have Bluetooth 3.0. I cannot confirm still if Tab 3 7" supports OTG. I know for sure Tab 3 8" supports as I tested it. USB Host is one of the most undernoticed features of Androids and is in my opinion one of the best features compared to iPad lines. What this means you get a USB Host cable also otherwise called OTG (On the Go) cables and plug in your USB thumb drive or other USB devices and the device recognizes it. I have used it with Alfa AWUS036H for a wireless project with Android PCAP Capture from reputable Kismet wireless. Another much ignored feature is the TV-out (via MHL A/V link). Unfortunately the 7" does not support it whereas 8in and 10.1 in supports it. You can connect Galaxy devices to a TV to make it truly a fantastic computer if the device supports MHL. Throw in a Bluetooth keyboard and it is awesome. Leo Laporte's TwIT TV which is Internet based show has one full episode in Know How on covering this topic. GPS was spot on and I tried multiple GPS apps. It was bright outdoors (had to crank the brightness all the way up). I personally use Navigon from Garmin and have downloaded several apps.

Finally, believe me, don't get mired in the spec game. 7" is equally capable as a 8in for `most' day to day apps. If you are reading books, browsing, listening to music, looking at photos 7" is more than enough. Samsung is creating markets for all form factors and I would consider this as an exploratory stage. Just like Ford or Toyota has cars in different shapes, sizes and price range, so are the tablet vendors now. Remember the laptop wars, 10", 12" 13", 15, 17 and even some 19" if I remember right few years ago. We used to debate endlessly which laptop sizes are better, which has better speakers and so on. The time has come to fight it out for tablets!

I tried following apps and they just worked awesome. A tablet is only as good as the apps you have and how productive it makes you. It's almost like the camera/lens analogy in the DSLR space. What good it is to have a great DSLR body if you have no good lens? Same with Tablet body and apps you have.
WolframAlpha (I can go on for hours praising this. This is a truly genius app powered by hundreds of supercomputers in the background. Wolfram is a computational genius). Well worth the $3 price.

Withings HealthMate. (another remarkable app great UI/UX). I am getting the Pulse device as soon as it hit stores. I have been using Fitbit and just itching to get the Pulse as I like the intergrated weight/track runs in one app)
Aldiko Book Reader Premium (absolutely love it)
Amazon Mobile
Android Status
Android Central app (great and must have for Android users)
Androidify
Angry Birds (Space/Seasons)
Asphalt 7
Amazon App Store
Battery Monitor Widget Pro (a great app)
BeyondPod (excellent for podcasts, I haven't used Pocketcast, some friends say it is very good too)
Box
Car Maintenance Reminder Pro
Chrome
CloudShark Upload
CNET TV
Despicable Me Game! And weather widget (cute for kids)
Dictionary M-W Premium
Dragonvale
NAVIGON (from Garmin - offline maps)
Google Navigation/Earth/Maps using a portable MiFi box
Google Currents (nice way to read News)
Google Keep/Keboard/Drive/Search/Books/Voice/Hangouts
Draw Something
Ebay
Linkedin
Google Music (Awesome, I have now upto 10,000 songs halfway through Google's 20K Limit)
Tapatalk HD (awesome forum browsing app)
OverDrive Media Console: Library eBooks & Audiobooks
Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good)
Subsonic Music Streamer
Terminal Emulator (still need to use vi, yes this is it)
TweetCaster Pro for Android
ASIN:B007R6PKBY Twit.Tv
Skype
Sphero (Awesome bluetooth ball game)
RealCalc Plus (Awesome calculator app)
Tweetcaster Pro (again awesomeness)
Plenty of Widgets

Ask questions, the reviews cannot do full justice. I will be glad to answer any questions and usually answer within 24 hours to any query.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2014 8:58:26 PM PDT
ochoa says:
Hello, this tablet can you introduce a sim card??

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2014 10:44:08 PM PDT
rpv says:
no, not this model

Posted on Mar 30, 2014 9:36:47 PM PDT
luvs2bmom says:
This model does not have a flash reader capability so it is really limited because of this correct? Also, can you tell me how to speed this thing up on the net, it is just so incredibly slow and cld you elaborate on the Wlfram Alpha app? I wld love to love our Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch...got instead of the Nexus 7 because we REALLY wanted a front camera on it! My oldest uses this and my youngest has a $100 generic and the generic is so much faster on the net and seems to have less limitations, even concerning space? Let me know if there are any things we can do to make this a tab we love, our needs arent great just expected more from Samsung!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2014 10:02:15 PM PDT
rpv says:
Android does not support flash these days, they used to. so is iOS. speed really depends on internet speed cable/dsl etc. Go to speedtest.net from a PC and tablet check the speed.

Looks like your internet speed is good, so i am not sure why speed is less for you. Can you do a factory Reset and try. Settings/Backup and Restore -->Factory Reset - erase SD also. Obviously take backup before you do this!

maybe some runaway process. another way to look is use Android Status app and look at running processes.

Posted on Apr 2, 2014 9:35:35 PM PDT
M.Davis says:
Can I get an HDMI cord hooked to the mini USB port and hook to my tv. I thought this was supposed to do it wireless to a Samsung TV, which I don't have, but someday will get the Samsung DVD player to turn my tv into a smart tv. Then I "hope" this tablet will connect wireless to the Samsung DVD

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2014 6:40:42 AM PDT
rpv says:
I have not tried what you say. I am not sure if the bandwidth will be enough for a microUSB to HDMI to keep up.

If you have google TV you can connect wirelessly through youtube app to any TV

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 12:16:29 PM PDT
Can you use the Fitbit Dongle with this tablet?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2014 12:43:27 PM PDT
rpv says:
it can sync up through bluetooth

Posted on Jun 21, 2014 7:19:37 PM PDT
Thank you for your thoroughness, I have a good and bad Samsung. Actually 2 out of 3 of awesome. One just doesn't work and I was in need of purchasing another one. It looks like, Samsung will be a good buy for me.

Per your suggestion, preferably the 8" vs. the 7"; but I will need to the check the price. It is for a 10 y.o. and I am loving the cover.

Wish me Luck or let me know if you have better overall prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2014 7:23:20 PM PDT
Totally curious, what tablet did you purchase that performed so much better?
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