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Updated Review-July 3 2014 - Now has Kit Kat Update - Just The Right Size!,
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This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8-Inch, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
Updated Review - July 3, 2014 (ONE YEAR of ownership): So I have found that this tablet CONTINUES to exceed all of my expectations and more! Today, it updated OTA to Kit Kat 4.2.2 (Kernel version date June 17, 2014). Now this tablet is up to date! It may take a few weeks for you to receive this as Samsung just started rolling out the Kit Kat update very recently. So, if you are looking a high quality eight inch tablet, this may very well be the once for you! For me I found that this tablet has that WOW Factor. So below, I am listing the many Pros I personally have found while using this tablet:
+ Overall Speed And Performance and Android OS:
With the fast 1.5 GHz processor, I have found this to be a very fast tablet and for me, all has been running so smoothly on this tablet. Love that this tablet has 16GB Internal memory.
The Android OS (as of July 3, 2014) has 4.2.2 Kit Kat and inside it has Samsung TouchWiz overlay which is beautiful and user friendly. In fact, if you have used a Samsung Galaxy device as S2, S3, S4 or other Galaxy type, you will love the OS and the Samsung Touch Wiz interface on this. Perhaps you have never used Android OS or even a Samsung device? No worries, as this tablet is easy to learn in my opinion.
+ About the new Kit Kat Update (Coming soon to Tab 3 8.0 Tablets): Some of you may be want this update automatically, some of you may not, so if you have NOT decided about upgrading then you are going to need to STOP the tablet or phone from AUTO UPGRADING for you! It will try to auto update to the new OS as soon as it rolls out from the factory, your provider etc.... That is unless you decide to stop this and do the upgrade when you are ready MANUALLY. (Ask me more about this in the comments if you need to do so)...
+ SCREEN SIZE IS JUST RIGHT SIZE - VERY CLEAR/SHARP SCREEN FOR READING eBooks or VIEWING WEBPAGES. (Screen in my opinion is large and has superb clarity/clearness for reading eBooks and webpages as the print is so readable as I find it VERY CLEAR/VIVID. This is a great in-between size tablet to use. And I found that the screen was large enough to read webpages easily or watch videos. The screen has a PPI (pixels per inch) of 189, which renders a crisp and clear screen. **There is a new selection under Settings and Display, under Font, an option to Increase legibility of fonts. I check marked this and noticed that the fonts/letters on the screen, internet and more are very crystal clear. Also, there is in Settings/Display - Screen Mode, with choices of Dynamic, Standard and Movie. And I selected Dynamic and found that the colors are super vivid and very colorful.
+ EXTERNAL SLOT FOR MICRO SD CARD - It is said that you can add a 64gb SD card for personal files. In my case, I have a 32GB SD card and still have plenty of room after my songs, files and photos are added. (A 64 GB card has different formatting and I have not used this size, just the 32GB) About SD Cards: Keep in mind where External SD cards are concerned: They are JUST for your personal files: music, videos, photos, and other files. When you install apps from the Playstore or other sources, they store either in INTERNAL SD Card area or the main internal area. This is the law of the land where Android is concerned and ALL newer Android devices (including Samsung) work this way where storing your downloaded apps are concerned.
+ WiFi Connecting/Speed of WiFi - Setting up WiFi and keeping a great signal and long distance WiFi strong signal is one superb feature on this tablet. So I compared the signal strength with the Tab 3 vs my regular Android phone. The Tab 3 had about 35% stronger signal then the phone. I believe it is because there is a very strong WiFi receiver in this tablet. At home or on the road, I am able to connect to many free WiFi hotspots very easily with great signal strength.
****Do you need to know how to get on the internet when you are out of a WiFi range? Ask me about this as I have written an article on how to do this using a MiFi type of service from different service providers (please ask in the comment section for more info).
+ Internet/Watching Online Flash Videos: After I installed Adobe Archived Flash I can watch internet (flash) videos directly.Because this is archived flash it does take a little longer to load flash videos. If you need instructions on how to do this, please ask in the comments and I will answer this or any questions.
*Viewing of webpages in browsers on this tablet: Reading/viewing a webpage is OUTSTANDING using this tablet as the fonts, pictures and videos are very crisp and clear as well as the colors are very vivid.
+ Reading/Creating/Editing Word, Excel, Text Files and much more on this tablet: This comes with a OK app for reading Office documents, however, I prefer Kingsoft Office which is a free app from Playstore. It is the best I have ever tried and I am very picky about so called Office programs. It is very compatible with MS Office as it reads, edits and creates Office files and reads PDF files, and it has more features of any other Android Office program that I tried. This app is a MUST have for tablet owners in my opinion.
+ Home Videos - The stock video player is OK and plays MOST home videos, however, may I suggest QQ Player, this is a free App from Playstore and it plays every home video I tried). Also MX Video Player is very good, however, I prefer QQ Player.
+ Music Player/Sound Quality - Stock player has clear sound through the outside "speakers" are really OK. Better with good quality headphones or a BlueTooth Speaker. To sync easily with Windows Media Player may I suggest the Playstore app free called WinAmp for the tablet as it is very highly rated and the sound is SUPERB!
+ Battery Life- Excellent, so far, however, this is what I have found: When I am on WiFi, I go to the websites I need and then as soon as I am done (reasonable time), I exit the browser (or YouTube, etc) and TURN OFF WiFi. However, I run my brightness at 100%. So this seems to keep the battery going longer. *In addition, I have found that my battery life is improved over the Tab 2 7.0 and the Tab 2 10.1.
+ Kindle App - I installed the Kindle App and synced my Kindle books. Began to read a new book and was very impressed with how exceptional the book rendered using this Tab 3 8.0. Very impressed as the text was very crisp and clear.
+ Camera - The 5MP rear camera on this Tab 3 8.0 has improved over the Tab 2 line. There is no flash on the camera, yet there are several helpful modes to enhance your shots. For me, I use Auto mode. And I tried the camera and video and was happily surprised in the quality - it is pretty good. However, I will continue to use my regular camera for serious picture taking and videos.
+ OTG USB Compatible - You can add an optional OTG (On the Go Micro USB adapter cable to the Micro port for copying files to your flash drive and from your flash drive to the Tab 3). I already had one from my Note I and it works great on the Tab. You can also plug in a mouse, I tried it and it worked. *Note that portable external hard drives and portable DVD/CD drives will not work using OTG in the Tab 3 as I discovered when I tried to read my hard disks via OTG in the Tab 3. However, it is still good to know that you can easily plug in your flash drive and copy files to the Tab 3 and from Tab 3 to PC--what a time-saver.
+ Bluetooth Speed and Performance - The Bluetooth paired quickly with several devices as well as Bluetooth keyboards, Bluetooth Stereo Headsets, Bluetooth speakers (all I tried) and copied files at a great rate of speed. SUPERB and FAST Bluetooth.
+ Screenshots: There is no ICON for screenshots, however, to take a quick screenshot, hold down home button and power button (at the same time), and then it will take a beautiful screenshot. You can find your screenshot in MyFiles, Internal Storage, Pictures, and Screenshots. I use this sometimes for a map on the internet it saves time and this way it is SAVED for later viewing when I am offline.
+ MICRO USB PORT - No more having to use the old type of (non standard) USB charger/cable that the Tab 2 line had. However, this tablet requires a 2 AMP USB Charger to charge the tablet so it will not charge on a standard 1 AMP (phone charger) as I tried and only the 2 AMP one will work. This tablet uses the same Micro 2 AMP type of chargers that the Galaxy Note 8 uses.
CON (Just ONE however, NOT the fault of Samsung):
- Just one con/concern: New Adobe Flash is not supported, however, I found that archived flash gets the online videos to play and they even play in the stock browser. So I downloaded the older archived flash which gives me the ability to view many internet videos. If you need instructions, just ask me in the comments and I will answer.
* Bottom line/My Suggestions to You: Would I buy this WiFi only model over again? Yes because this Tab 3 8.0 is lightweight, easy to hold in ONE HAND, and it just as easy to hold as the Tab 3 7 inch, yet has so much more screen real-estate than the Tab 3 7 inch and clarity etc, for just 90 dollars more, this is a MUCH BETTER BUY! And I have found because the screen is so crisp and clear, it reads internet pages CLEARER, Videos are larger and much clearer to see etc. And the 8 inch is so easy to pop into a briefcase, bag or purse etc than say a large 10 inch is...if you travel and want to go light, may I suggest this Tab 3 8.0 to you!
Also, since I am somewhat of a techie person, I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have. Just ask in the comment section and I will answer promptly.
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Showing 1-10 of 939 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 9, 2013 9:33:11 PM PDT
Laura E. Uptegrove says:
Hi! Thanks for your review. So I am fighting the battle of trying to figure out which tablet to get. Im really fighting between the Tab 3 8.0 and Tab 3 10.1 (as well as the Note versions). What are your opinions of those? Thank you so much!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2013 10:19:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 9, 2013 10:34:53 PM PDT
Re: Which Size Tablet (Tab 3) Is Best For You - My Suggestions
This is a lot of info with checklist to decide, so you may want to print this.
Tablets usually come in these 3 sizes: 7 inch, 8 inch and 10.1 inch. How can one decide which size is best for their needs? Since I am the proud owner of all three sizes of tablets, I will give you a checklist for each. If at least three of the checklist by the tablet describes your need, then that size is the one for you.
Tablet 10.1 Checklist:
__ You plan on watching lots of videos or movies.
__ You want to have almost a laptop replacement (a tablet to carry around instead of a laptop).
__ You want to read eBooks such as Kindle books, or PDF files (with ease of reading)
__ You plan to carry the 10.1 tablet in your backpack or large bag.
__ You want a larger 10.1 screen so you can easily view webpages and internet etc.
__ You plan on purchasing a cover/stand or Bluetooth keyboard cover for ease of viewing and / or typing.
* If you answered YES to THREE or more of the above, then you should consider purchasing a 10.1 tablet.
Tablet 8.0 Checklist:
__ You plan on watching SOME videos or movies and reading some eBooks.
__ You want a somewhat smaller and lighter weight tablet than the heavier 10.1.
__ You don't want a screen so small as a 7 inch (which is more like a big phone these days)...So an 8 inch will be better!
__ You want an "in between" screen, one not too small, yet not too large
__ You want a smaller and lighter weight tablet that is very easy to place into a purse or small briefcase.*The seven inch and eight inch ones are much easier to put into a purse or smaller briefcase or tote bag.
__ You want a tablet that is not the most expensive, middle of the road (eight inch tablets are much less expensive than the ten inch ones are).
**If you answered YES to THREE or more, than the EIGHT is the one for you.
Tablet 7.0 Checklist:
__ You do not watch many videos and sometimes read eBooks.
__ You want a smaller and lighter weight tablet, much smaller than the 10.1.
__ You want a tablet that will easily fit into most purses or into a small briefcase.
__ You want a tablet that is much less expensive than the 10.1 tablet.
__ You want a tablet that looks more like a big phone, or a backup tablet.
**If you can answer YES to THREE or more, than the SEVEN is the one for you.
Keep in mind that the SEVEN is the smallest of the three sizes and also that in my opinion, if you need a very quality one, and do not want such a large one as the 10.1, then may I suggest the EIGHT. The specs are exceptional on this and for the money it is a great buy.
Here is my link to the pictures I took of all three so you can get an idea of the size of each.
Regarding the Note 8.0 - This is a superb tablet and if you are the type that is in to handwritten note taking you may want to consider this tablet. It has more memory than the Tab 3. Spec wise for the Note 8 and the Tab 3 8 they are kind of close. However memory wise the Note 8 has 2GB Ram, while the Tab 3 8 has 1.5GB Ram. PPI Screen Resoultion is the same for Note and for Tab 3.
Keep in mind that the Note 8 is a top of the line tablet, while the Tab 3 is a combo mid range/high end tablet. The Note 8 comes with WiFi only and 3G models. For more info here are all the specs on the Note 8 WiFi only:
The reason that I chose the Tab 3 over the Note 8 is that I don't use the handwriting S Pen things. I wanted a newer device and since I have owned Tab 2 10.1 and Tab 2 7.0, I wanted to go with Tab 3 8.0 as I wanted this size of tablet. And I love the EIGHT! The seven is too small. Most tablets I believe will be going to 8.0, 8.9 and of course 10.1.
Here are the specs on the Tab 3 Eight (it is for 3G but the basic specs are the same:
More questions? Just ask anytime.
Posted on Jul 9, 2013 10:35:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 9, 2013 10:44:59 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Which case did you decide on? Is it the one with the single vertical line? Which color did you go with for your white tablet. I also have the S4 and tab 2 7", I have otterbox cases on both, but it doesn't look like they are coming out with one for the tab 3 line, at least that's what they are saying at the moment. I was thinking of picking up the brown tablet, but don't know if I'd like the color, just worried the white tablet may show dirt to easily. Thanks
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2013 10:51:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2013 7:44:51 AM PDT
Re: Cases for the Tab 3 8.0
When I ordered my Tab 3 8.0, I ordered two MoKo cases/stands. One is black and the other is dark pink. Both came fullfilled by Amazon and arrived with the Tab 3 8.0.
Here is the link to the MoKo in black at just 4.98:
MoKo Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Case - Slim-Fit Multi-angle Folio Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 inch SM-T3100 / SM-T3110 Android Tablet, BLACK (with Smart Auto Wake / Sleep Feature. WILL NOT Fit Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0)
Here is the link for my MoKo in dark pink:
MoKo Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Case - Slim Folding Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Inch SM-T3100 / SM-T3110 Android Tablet, MAGENTA (with Smart Auto Wake / Sleep Feature. WILL NOT Fit Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0)
The pink one was 9 dollars, however it went up to 19.99.
Here is the same one in black for 99 cents:
MoKo Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Case - Slim Folding Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Inch SM-T3100 / SM-T3110 Android Tablet, MAGENTA (with Smart Auto Wake / Sleep Feature. WILL NOT Fit Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0)
Also, I searched on Amazon for more covers/stands for the Tab 3 8.0 and some will not be available until the end of this month.
However, the links here are available now.
One more thing regarding color of tablet - I own a Tab 2 7.0 in white and it never shows dirt and shows less fingerprints on the bezel than my Tab 2 10.1 (which is black). Both tablets have always been inside a MoKo cover/stand and look brand new many months after I purchased them. In my opinion, the white looks cleaner and only the screen shows fingerprints, not the bezel. This is why I chose white for my new Tab 3 8.0. But the Gold-brown is a nice neutral color and a black MoKo cover would look great on either the brown or the white and the black cover will not show dirt or stains.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2013 1:22:24 AM PDT
Okay, I give up. (I searched, but didn't find a quick answer.) How does the MoKo case put the tablet to sleep when the case is closed? Secret Hall Effect sensor in the tablet? (Magnet in the case?)
Posted on Jul 10, 2013 6:41:37 AM PDT
Hi Daisy S...
nice review on the new "8"..
Just got a "8" note last month, LOVE IT !!
Havin issue with flash..
would like to review your instructions on downloading
older archived flash to see if it helps...
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2013 7:43:49 AM PDT
Re: Archived Adobe Flash Instructions.
Although there is only archived Adobe Flash, it will still work on tablets with Android 4.0 and higher IF you follow my instructions to the letter. Also, I watch on Maxthon Browser Amazon Videos in full screen, most online videos that require Flash. (And I will give you a few APPS that work even if you don't install flash later in this tutorial). Keep in mind that the videos will play but will take a little longer to open, but I find they play fine in Maxthon or even in the stock browser on the Tablet or Tab 2.
DETAILED STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO INSTALL ARCHIVED ADOBE FLASH PLAYER ON THE TABLET - (Good idea to print these instructions):
However, BEFORE you go on to the step by step you will need to go to the Playstore and install Maxthon Browser onto your device as this browser will allow you to watch EVEN AMAZON VIDEOS OK. I could not get any Dolphin Browser and several other browsers to perform nearly as well as Maxthon browser does as it does a great job with every internet video/movie that I have tried on my Tab 2 (10.1 and 7.0). Please follow each of these steps in exact order to make sure that you FINISH THE INSTALL so that it will appear into your Downloaded Applications (1st on list Adobe Flash).
1) Please watch this video on YouTube so you can "see" how to setup Archived Adobe Flash:
2) Before going to the link for archived flash, open your device Settings, then tap Security and make sure that you CHECKMARK this: Unknown sources. This way you can install apps and other programs you want DIRECTLY from the internet browser directly on the tablet.
3) Now you can install flash directly from your browser onto the tablet. (And install it directly into your Maxthon Browser).
4) To install archived flash, go to this link in your tablet's browser:
5) Go to close to the bottom of the page and you will see this:
Flash Player for Android 4.0 archives
6) Next, choose this archived player for your tablet:
Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (126.96.36.199)
This link will bring you directly to the install page and then it ask you do you want to INSTALL press INSTALL. Then it will install the archive Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (188.8.131.52) on your tablet.
**Make sure that you press INSTALL and SEE it installing so that you will know that it installed OK. You can see the progress of the install in the Notifications Area (bottom right) of the tablet.
How will you know if it is installed? Go to SETTINGS, APPLICATIONS/DOWNLOADS - Adobe Flash should be at the top of the list if you installed it correctly.
7) Next go to a webpage that has videos that play in flash and they should play (may take several seconds to load) but they play great. I have watched many types videos using Maxthon Browser (yes, even Amazon Instant Videos, which are harder to watch, will work using this Maxthon browser). However, I do not use the native browser, Boat, Firefore, Dolphin, Opera or Chrome. (Just to let you know, I tested nearly every browser from the Playstore, and uninstalled all but Maxthon)! Also, I have Jelly Bean 4.1.1. Keep in mind that with the Adobe Archived Flash, videos play OK, but some are slow to load...Why are they slow to load? Because this is an older Flash, but good news, it is the "newest" archived flash and the best archived flash; I update all the time to get the best new/old one!
**The newest Archived Adobe Flash works for playing music samples, playing Amazon videos and for me every FLASH video or others I tried. ****Note that because it is archived flash not the brand new flash, it SHOULD work on most sites and even for watching movies in full screen, BUT it will be kind of slow to load (slower than say your PC). Just have patience and be glad that it works for Android Tablets and Android Phones (with 4.0 and up) if you install the Archived Adobe Flash.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2013 7:51:28 AM PDT
Re: MoKo covers.
I tested this on my Tab 3 8.0 and when I closed the magnetic cover, the tablet turned the screen off automatically.
Then when I opened the cover to use the tablet, it automatically brought me to the lock screen and the tablet woke up without me haveing to press anything.
The newer types of tablet covers in this design are claiming they put the tablet to sleep when it is closed and wake it up when the cover is opened. That is the magnetic ones like this cover.
With my other MoKo clip cover for this tablet, it does not do this. When I close the cover, it does not automatically to sleep nor does it "wake up" automatically by going to the lock screen.
Actually, it would seem that the magnetic part on the MoKo Slim Fit Cover (in pink I gave the link to) turns the screen off automatically upon closure and automatically turns the screen on when the cover is opened. So, in a sense this is similar to "putting to sleep" and "waking up".
Let me say that I like this feature, much more convenient than having to press the home button or on/off button.
Posted on Jul 10, 2013 4:36:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2013 4:54:32 PM PDT
The Observer says:
Great review, Daisy, thanks. A couple of questions:
1. Did you/can you install and use Skype? This is one of the main reasons I want/need a tablet.
2. Does the tablet work with older BlueTooth devices? I have an older Microsoft bluetooth keyboard that I love and am hoping I can use it with the Galaxy Tab 3.
3. Can you stream Netflix to the device? If yes, do movies run smoothly over WiFi?
4. How responsive is the screen to gestures? I have an LG phone running android and the touch screen sucks. I've never been able to tell if it's LG's fault or Android's. As far is touch screens go, how does it compare to Apple's iPad? That's the gold standard.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2013 5:32:31 PM PDT
1) Skype - I have not tried Skype, however, I know someone that has used Skype on the Tab 2 10.1 and it does GREAT. There is an app in the Playstore for SKYPE and it is free. Also, you will need to FIRST get SKYPE on your computer (set up account and then get the Playstore app for this for the Tab 3). Check out this link and watch the video:
2) You will need an OTG (On the Go) adapter cable to plug in some Bluetooth or flash drives etc to the Tab. (I use the OTG Adapter that I used with my Galaxy Note). I was able to Bluetooth OK with older phones with no problems. Can't say all will, but it does a good job on that.
3) You will need a Netflix account then get the app from Playstore, you must be on WiFi to watch. Here is the app link:
4) This Tab is very responsive to gestures and the screen is very responsive. Since 4.1.1 update to Android, this problem has been solved. All devices I use with 4.1.1 or higher better response!
5) The Tab 3 8.0, is very clear and I saw an iPad mini and to me, the Tab 3 8.0 has the clearer screen.