Hill Climb Racing 2 BCA Month Beauty Best Books of the Month Hallo nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited Electronics Gift Guide $69.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags hgg17 Save $30 on a Deep Cleaning Appointment raydonovanfinale raydonovanfinale raydonovanfinale  Three new members of the Echo family All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 All-New Kindle Oasis South Park Shop Now HTL17_gno

Updated Review - July 10, 2015 (ONE YEARS of ownership): So I have found that this tablet CONTINUES to exceed all of my expectations and more! In July 2014, it dated OTA to Kit Kat 4.2.2 (Kernel version date June 17, 2014). Now this tablet is more up to date! As a proud owner of this tablet for TWO YEARS, I will say that it still works like new. No, it does not have Lollipop, but I am happy with the peppy performance of this tablet! So, if you are looking a high quality eight inch tablet, this may very well be the once for you! 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.
review image review image review image review image review image review image review image
5150+ comments| 1,413 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 7, 2013
So it's been three days since I got my Galaxy Tab 3 8" (my brother is a manager at BestBuy so I got it early if you are wondering) and before I start my review, I just want to say that I used to own an iPhone 5 but ditched it for a Galaxy S4 and now I'm ditching my iPad Mini for a Galaxy Tab 3 8". I've literally had enough of Apple products and will not be buying their products any longer. I have become an Android fanboy and literally love all the products that Samsung makes.

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 has the same look and feel as the Galaxy S4 but it's just bigger which I have no problems with. My brand new Galaxy Tab 3 8" makes my iPad Mini look like a joke in everything that I have tested so far, from battery life, web browsing to 3D games etc. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 comes with the latest version of Android which is Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and it is liquid smooth. I haven't experienced a single slow down so far and everything seems to open very quickly. It also has a very fast CPU (Mali 400) that runs at 1.5Ghz and handles 3D games like a champ. I have listed some things below that I love about the Tab 3 8.0.

These are some of the things that I love about the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0:


+Build Quality / Design:

If you are familiar with Samsung's devices and have no problems with their glossy plastic design, then you will love the design of Tab 3 8.0 as well. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 has a nice thin bezel that's thinner than its predecessor and also better looking as well. While my iPad mini was made of aluminum, Samsung continues to use the same glossy plastic with their devices and this isn't a bad thing by any means because my Galaxy S4 is plastic as well and I absolutely love it. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is a bit taller than my iPad Mini but also a bit narrower and both of them are extremely light, around 310g.

+Web Browsing:

The web browsing experience is awesome on the Tab 3 8.0, everything looks sharp and loads quickly. I'm not using the stock browsing app because it lacks many features that I use on a daily basis but instead, I'm using Chrome and Dolphin Browser. I'm also not using the stock Samsung keyboard because it doesn't have the swipe feature that I use quite a lot so I downloaded the official Google keyboard from the Play Store and I love it. I highly recommend you guys try the official Google Keyboard if you want a clean and slick keyboard that's not cluttered with a lot of useless stuff.


The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is the perfect size for me because tablets that are usually 7 inches are too small (I have large hands btw) and tablets that are over 9 inches are sort of big and this makes the Tab 3 8.0 the sweet spot for me. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 has a nice 8 inches screen that makes everything looks sharp with vivid colors when watching HD videos or playing games. The colors and viewing angles are fantastic, I have absolutely no complaints. The screen resolution and ppi is also much higher on the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (1280x800, 189ppi) than the iPad mini (1024x768, 162ppi) so this makes everything look sharper on the Tab 3 8.0. The iPad Mini has an aspect ratio of 4:3 while my Tab 3 8.0 has an aspect ratio of 16:10.

+Android OS:

It ships with the most up to date version of Android, Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) which is the fastest Android version yet. Everything is liquid smooth, from web browsing, watching HD videos, recording videos and playing intensive 3D games. Samsung has added many new features to TouchWiz which is great but I'm not really a fan of TouchWiz. I usually just disable all the things that I don't use to improve the performance of the tablet and the battery life. I just wish Google would force all these manufactures to use stock Android OS instead of coming with pre-installed bloatware and whatnot that slows the tablet down and kills the battery life.


The rear camera on the Tab 3 8.0 is 5MP (2592x1944 pixels) and the front camera is 1.3MP. It can only take 720p videos which is more than acceptable for me but it would have been better if it had an 8MP camera and took 1080p videos. My iPad mini was able to take 1080p videos @30fps and I just wish I had that option with the Tab 3 8.0. There's nothing wrong with 720p and 5MP camera because it takes great pictures and videos and this is not really a deal breaker for me.


The battery on the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is 4450 mAh which is more than enough to last a full day (brightness turned down a bit) with a single charge if you watch YouTube videos, web browsing, picture taking or even watch HD movies for that matter. I can get through the day with a single charge and still have 10% left at the end of the day. My brightness is currently set at 40% and it's perfectly visible both indoors and outdoors. The battery life is one of the most important aspects when deciding which tablet to buy for me because I travel a lot and I need a tablet that can last the entire day.


With the option of an external sdcard, the Tab 3 8.0 supports an sdcard of up to 64GB. If you are someone who wants that amount of space on their tablet than you have that option with the Tab 3 8.0. I can store as many pictures, music, games and HD videos as I want and it will never come close to being full. I am the type of person who stores large collections of pictures, music, videos, and movies and the Tab 3 8.0 lets me do all of that easily. I also play 3D games that require a minimum of 2-3GB of space and this tablet is perfect for that. It comes with 16GB of storage (11.2GB usable) which is plenty for taking a ton of pictures/videos, installing large 3D games and whatnot. It also comes with 1.5GB of ram which is three times as more as my iPad Mini (512MB). I hated the lag that I would get when running out of ram on my iPad mini but now I don't have that problem with my new Tab 3 8.0.


The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 comes with ARM Mali-400 which is a dual core CPU that runs at 1.5Ghz and it has no problems handling everything you throw at it, from 3D games to HD videos. The tablet comes with a ton of bloatware as always and I always try to disable most of it because it can really waste precious battery life and slow down the tablet. I rarely ever use all the features that Samsung provides so I just disable it. The Mali-400 has no problems playing games such GTA Vice City on the highest settings and that says a lot about the performance of the CPU. Multi-tasking is fantastic on the Tab 3 8.0 because it has a ton of ram and a fast CPU to handle all your apps running in the background if you need to.


-Not 1080p display:

I just wish Samsung would have upgraded the display to 1080p since that's the standard nowadays but oh well, I'm perfectly fine with what I have. That's the only negative that I can think of but it's not a deal breaker for me because it won't make a huge difference to the eyes even if it had a 1080p screen.


Overall, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is the perfect tablet for people who want a mid-range device with amazing specs that's not too small and not too big but somewhere in between. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 fills the sweet spot for me and the fact that it lasts a full day with the brightness turned day a bit is great for me. I can get all of my work done when traveling without having to constantly charge the device. It also comes with a fast CPU, Mali-400 that runs at 1.5Ghz and has a ton of ram, 1.5GB. I was a little disappointed that it didn't come with a 1080p screen but it's not the end of the world because it still delivers an amazing web browsing experience, watching HD videos, battery life and playing 3D games. The iPad Mini is $349.99 while the Tab 3 8.0 is only $299.00 and it's still faster and better overall. I highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 to anyone who want the best mid-range tablet on the market!

I hope this was helpful and I will update my review once I do more tests. If you guys have a question about the tablet then just leave a comment and I will respond.
4545 comments| 745 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 20, 2014
I received this in December. I bought it mainly for reading because I was running out of space to keep books. I have not had a single problem with it. I can watch videos, read, check my email, browse. I don't regret the purchase.


About a month ago I tried charging the tab but there was no indication that power was reaching the device. I changed the charger a couple times and tried changing the charging source from the electrical outlet on the wall to the PC via a USB cord. I restarted it, this did not work either. I tried 'googling' the problem and after two or three words google had auto-completed the problem.....I wasn't the only one having the same issue with a Samsung device. I saw and tried several fixes. The one that eventually worked was re-setting the device - which annoyed me because I had to wait for all the apps to be re-installed. This I had to make sure was done while I had a wifi connection in order for me to access my offline apps when I am not able to receive a wifi connection.

After thinking that the problem was solved, it happened a week later. I did the same re-set and it worked, again. After a little over another week, it happened again, except this time the re-set didn't work. I found another fix online that recommended holding down the power+volume buttons at the said simultaneously. I have had to do that about 3 times since the first fix stop responding. Holding down the buttons have been working so far. But sometimes I think the speed at which it is charged moves a bit slow.

It's such a shame that I have to downgrade my 5 star rating because I really like the look, feel and operation of the device. But a faulty charging issue is way past annoying to say the least..it's poor. I gave it 2 stars because 3 stars means 'it's OK' and it's not.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 12, 2014
I hate this tablet. I used it 10 times and the entire thing just completely died on me. I tried taking the cover off in attempt to preform a hard-reboot, which did nothing. I called Samsung because my tablet was still under warranty and was told removing the back cancelled out my warranty. I was told the repair would be around 99 dollars, just barely under what the tablet is worth. I read quite a few reviews online of people having the same problem. I am very disappointed in this tablet. It was a huge waste of money and the customer service was ridiculous. Do yourself a favor and pass this one up.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 29, 2017
This is a nice tablet and especially for under $120. Updated the software to Android 4.4.2 and I am good to go.
1.) Seems plenty fast.
2.) Nice build quality
3.) More than enough instructions I guess. I only read a couple of the instructions and just used it. That's how technology should work but I imagine if there is an issue I can look it up.
1.) Case is (very) slippery so putting it into a case that is less slippery might be a good idea so it does not "escape".
2.) Battery was discharged when it arrived and did not seem to get charged off the "smart USB" on my computer but charging it with the supplied charger worked like a champ.
3.) Depending on how you use it, you may think it discharges too fast. The charging port on my computer barely maintains the battery charge (and loses a little bit) when gaming.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2014
I also have a full sized tablet, but I usually just use that around the house, it isn't the easiest thing to carry around. This device has a big enough screen, and is smaller, so it fits my needs when I am on the go. (Yes, I am a spoiled techno-wienie, and I love it!) and since my smart phone is also an Android device, I can easily share apps and data between them. You get a very decent amount of use out of a single charge. Samsung has a great reputation in the electronics industry and this tablet is part of that.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 1, 2016
Great Price for this little tablet ( Paid $109 at the time) Heres some product info followed by some of the pro’s and con’s and con’s me and my husband found. I purchased 2 of these tablets. I bought 1 for myself and about a month later bought one for my husband.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite comes with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, contains a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, and has a 7-inch display with 1024x600 resolution. It measures 4.58 by 7.61 by 0.38 inches (H x W x D) and weighs 0.7 pounds.

Some Pros
-It has a Slim Design with Long Battery Life
The lightweight Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is easy to take with you. It offers up to eight hours of battery life per charge, so you can enjoy browsing and gaming for longer.
-Vivid Display for Movies, Games, and Reading
With a bright 7-inch display, this tablet is great for watching movies, reading, and playing games. It's powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor for reliable performance.
-You Can Access More Than One Million Apps at Google Play Store
The Google Play Store gives you access to more than one million apps and games. Download your favorites or discover new movies, shows, music, books, and games.
Expandable Memory to Store Photos, Music, and Videos
Offering 8GB of onboard memory, the tablet also includes a microSD card slot that allows you to add up to 32GB of additional storage.
Rear Camera for Photos
A 2-megapixel rear-facing camera allows you to take photos and upload them instantly to your favorite social network.
It can run some new generation games, but not all
It runs multiple apps fairly well
The screen is bright and vivid
Battery life is very good
Dual core processor 1.2 ghz
Design is beautiful, feels wonderfully comfortable when holding it.
Runs smoothly most of the time.
Runs emulators like a champ, can run most ROMs extremely well.
The multi window feature works great
Fits in coat pocket or very big pants pocket snugly
Good work tablet,
I love it, works great for kids as well, as I have since gotten a new one.

I am not as not tech savy as my husband whose carrer happens to be in the tech industry so here are the Cons according to him:
Lags badly at times especially in some newer games
Screen swiping is a little edgy
Cannot run high demanding 3D games
Speaker placement is bad
Camera isnt that bad (not that it matters) but its not that great either
Hard to manage in the dark, buttons on the tablet don't have lights
1gb of ram, only about 800 usable, so my It husband tells me
8gb of memory space, only about 6 usable, again my hubby tells me

Overall this is a great tablet to use if you need work tablet. Don't expect it to replace your laptop though, for it does not have a physical keyboard, however I did buy a bluetooth one to accompany it
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 18, 2014
I have two of these toys, One white and the gold brown, I gave this one to my Dad and he loves it and I love mine, Here is the rundown:

Fast processor
Beautiful bright screen with great colors
Battery lasts the whole day
Speaker is louder than my Ipad
my fav Android software on there
Beautiful chocolate back and front and copper bezel, I mean wow it looks amazing. will stand out
quick response time on the touchscreen
can take a 64gb sd card so memory is not an issue and since its Android that extra space is not just for pics and vids but actual applications.
plenty of personalizing options

Careful its slippery and can break easy on drop get a case
It does not have a ton of RAM so sometimes the multi tasking could have a bit of slowdown
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 26, 2014
It seems like there are at least a million choices in tablet computers nowadays, so it's becoming very difficult to figure out which are the best values. First off, you have to figure out what features and functions you want the tablet to have, then prioritize your list. AFAIK, all tablets can play music and video clips, and they all have WiFi so that you can browse the Internet and do email, and there are more apps than you can even comprehend. All tablets can serve as e-book readers, although some are optimized for this function, like the Kindle. There are even several choices in operating systems: various flavors of Android OS, Apple's IOS, Windows Mobile, and probably others. I am most familiar with Android v2 (Gingerbread), having owned a 4" Samsung Galaxy MP3 player for several years, that came with this OS (I still have it and it still works fine, but the screen is too small for comfortable ebook reading, which is why I decided to upgrade to a tablet). I am happy enough with Android, and the available apps on Google Play Store, do I decided to narrow my shopping list to Android tablets.

I looked at all of the available devices on Amazon, which range in price from $100 to $600, and screen size from 7" to 10". The very cheapest ones turned out to be no-name Chinese knockoffs of questionable quality and stability, with lots of problems reported by owners, so I eliminated those from consideration. Likewise, I decided to limit my budget to $350, so that cut off the big 10" models with ultra-high-resolution screens. I also noticed that the 10" models were double the weight of the 7" and 8" models, and I wanted something that would be comfortable to hold for extended periods of reading.

Next, I started researching models for which user-replaceable batteries are available, a feature that's important to me, as I hate dumping electronic gadgets in the trash just because the battery is worn out and can't be easily replaced. This search quickly narrowed the choices down: I found only a couple of manufacturers for which replacement batteries are available. One of these is Samsung, and the others were all brands that I had already eliminated from consideration for other reasons. I was disappointed to not find a battery replacement for the ASUS MeMo Pad seies; these were high on my list, due to having a much higher screen resolution at the same price point as most other brands, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

After extended research, I finally had narrowed the choices down to one of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 models, and based on weight, size, memory, and price, the 8" model for $269 looked like it was the best value for me. I purchased the tablet and a MoKo case [http://www.amazon.com/MoKo-Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-Case/dp/B00CSMYBFS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1395853862&sr=8-5&keywords=samsung+galaxy+tab+3+8%22+case], and so far after a couple of months I am very happy with the purchase.

This tablet has Android v4.2 Jelly Bean as the operating system, which is similar to the older v2 Gingerbread on my MP3 player, except for one major - and extremely annoying - difference: Mass Storage Mode has been removed, and I have not found ANY way to re-enable it or add it back in as an app. Mass Storage Mode allows you to plug the Android device into your desktop or laptop PC with a USB cable, and easily transfer files back and forth between the PC and the device's internal or MicroSD card storage in Windows Explorer. Mass Storage Mode basically turns your device into an "SD Card Reader", just like you might use to download images from your digital camera's SD card. You can use various file management tools, like WinMerge, in Mass Storage Mode to compare (synchronize) files on the PC's hard disk to files on the Android device.

Well, when I first plugged this tablet into my desktop machine, which runs XP-32/SP3, the only access I could get was "digital camera mode", which limits you to downloading JPEG photos, and only from the DCIM folder on the tablet. After many hours of research on the Internet, and downloading several supposed "fixes" for the problem (most of which did not work, including Samsung KIES, surprisingly), I finally found the following solution, that enables the MTP Protocol on Windows XP: 1. Install Windows Media Player Version 11. 2. Install Microsoft User Mode Driver Framework for XP. These two packages finally got MTP mode working on my PC, so I could see the files and folders on the tablet, but MTP is basically crippled from the get-go. You can not use file management tools like WinMerge with it, so it's not really a substitute for Mass Storage Mode. All of the above problems I experienced are supposedly taken care of in Windows 7 and 8 with built-in MTP drivers, but I have no PC running either of those OS's to test this tablet on. And MTP is still a lousy downgrade from Mass Storage Mode.

So, other than the unexpected lack of Mass Storage Mode in Android Jelly Bean, what else do I have to say about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8"? Overall, I like it! So far, I have two primary uses for it: 1. As an ebook reader, and 2. as a GPS navigator in my car. I have also used it as an alarm clock, as an MP3 player, as an Internet browser and email tool, as a game platform for playing chess, Angry Birds, and Freecell Solitaire, as a remote controller with a Canon 6D camera, and as a night-sky Astronomy tool with the SkEYE App (this app is really cool, if you live somewhere where it's dark enough to really see the night sky).

1. As an ebook reader: the 1280x800 screen is adequate. Obviously, it won't be quite as sharp as the 1920x1200 screen on the ASUS MeMo Pad tablet, but it's not bad. The color rendition for looking at photos or videos is okay, if not brilliant, and the widely adjustable screen brightness can handle almost any environment except full outdoor sunlight. There's no way to make the screen contrast high enough to use this tablet as an e-reader outdoors in full sunlight. In any less challenging conditions, the screen is good. I use the built-in Adobe Reader with my PDF format ebooks, and re-flow the text. The tablet can also read TXT ebooks with the built-in Polaris Office app.

2. As a GPS Navigator, this 8" tablet can give some serious competition to a Garmin Nuvi. It is GLONASS enabled, which gives it better capability to maintain position lock in urban areas where you might be surrounded by high buildings, or in deep canyons (think Utah, Arizona, or any mountainous region). I use the MapFactor Navigator app with free Open Street Maps, and it works well (some stability problems, and occasionally obviously wrong turn directions, but this is a problem with the software and the map, and is not the Tablet's fault). There are several other car navigation and GPS apps on Google Play, I just happen to like this one because the process of downloading and installing bulk map updates is easy and automatic. The big 8" screen on the Samsung Tablet makes it VERY nice as a car navigator, compared to the much smaller screen on most cell phones, Nuvi, and TomTom type devices.

Battery life for non-processor intensive tasks, like looking at still photos or reading ebooks, seems to be at least 8 hours. High-power apps like playing videos, or any app that needs the GPS chipset or the WiFi or Blue Tooth radios, will run the battery down much faster. Browsing the Internet - which means using WiFi, obviously - will use up the battery in about 3~4 hours, same for using any GPS app, so be sure to turn off the WiFi, Blue Tooth, and GPS when not actually needed. The included charger will pump up an almost dead battery to 100% in about 4 hours, and a 50% battery in less than 2 hours, assuming the device is powered off. When actively running as a GPS Navigator, the power draw appears to be as much as 2 amps, maybe even a little more, as my ANKER USB 12 volt, 1.5 amp car charger can't quite keep up, and the tablet battery very slowly goes down, rather than charging back up, until I shut down the GPS app.

Speakers: As a music player, the built in speakers on this tablet are better than the ones on my old Samsung MP3 player, but not nearly as good as the speakers on some IPad tablets. You get what you pay for, and to be able to sell this talet for only $269, Samsung obviously had to save costs somewhere, and the barely-adequate speakers are one of the cost-savers, I guess. If you really want to listen to music or watch videos, you will have to plug in an external speaker or headphones. The speakers are good enough, and actually quite clear, for the voice prompting of a GPS Navigation app, or whatever sound you set up for the Alarm clock app, they're just not quite good enough for real music listening.

Controls: The power on/off button on my copy of the tablet is actually hard to work. I usually have to press it with the edge of a coin, or something else hard and small. Maybe this is a deliberate design, so that it's not easy to power the device on or off with an accidental button press when you didn't intend to? The volume control and the "home" button are both easy and don't require excessive force.

Built-in apps and widgets: There are a bunch of these, only a few of which I think I will ever use. The Polaris Office, Adobe Reader, Alarm Clock, Memo Pad, Email, Google Play Store, Music Player, SPlanner (a calendar app), and the Camera app are all ones I've used. For a general purpose Internet browser, I installed Firefox, and for a calculator, I installed Droid48, an HP-48 Emulator. I also installed The Hacker's Keyboard, which is VERY nice, and gives you most of the functionality of a the QWERTY keyboard that you use with your regular computer, including arrow keys, and a Delete key in addition to the Backspace key. The only downside of this keyboard is that it's a little larger than the default Samsung keyboard, so it takes up more screen space, leaving you less to see what you are typing.

Size, weight, and Form Factor: The Samsung 8" weighs in at around 0.8 lb, about half the weight of the 10" ASUS MemoPad and Samsung tablets. It is too large to fit in a shirt pocket, but might fit in the side or back pockets of some blue jeans. It should easily fit in most any purse, fanny pack, backpack, briefcase, or coat pocket.

Screen touch: The screen feels nice and smooth, like gorilla glass (I'm not sure if it actually is gorilla glass or not), The usual swiping, tapping and pinching motions all work as you would expect - with bare fingers, but not wearing gloves or mittens - and the screen is easy to clean with a damp cloth.

Cameras: The 5mp rear camera is okay, for if you ever really need to take a snapshot and don't have a real camera available, but there is no flash so it only works in daylight, or brightly lit indoor areas. The lens can focus on subjects as close as a 3", so it's got some macro capability, and there is a 4x zoom function. I am not sure if this is an Optical or Digital zoom. Unfortunately, this camera app appears to be hard-coded to use a very heavy level of JPEG compression, and I have not been able to find a setting to change it. The files average 560kB, whereas 5 megapixel photos with "light" JPEG compression should be around 4 mB. This heavy level of compression means that photos with large areas of clear color, like sky, will show a lot of JPEG compression artifacts. The front facing 1 mp camera is very low quality.

SUMMARY: A nice general purpose Android tablet computer with a medium-size screen. A good choice for someone who wants maximum functionality, but doesn't want the extra weight, higher price, and larger physical size of a 10" model.

UPDATE JULY 29, 2014: If your Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 came with Android v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), I recommend that you stay on this version and do NOT accept the automatic update to Android v 4.4.2 (KitKat) that Samsung is pushing out. KITKAT WILL CAUSE YOU MANY PROBLEMS, especially with Apps that store data on the external SD card. Google made a significant change in KitKat that imposes a new layer of permissions on how Apps are allowed to access storage. For me, the worst effect was that as soon as I rebooted after installing KitKat, all of my GPS and Navigation apps stopped working, as they all store their maps off-line on the external SD card. I had to uninstall three apps, than download and re-install them, then download and re-install several gigabytes of map tiles. A MAJOR irritation that left me with no functional Navigation software for several days. As far as I can tell, KitKat offers no noticeable improvements in the tablet's user interface, so from the User's point of view, it offers no benefit and will actually cause problems for you. Stay away - once you install Kit Kat, EVERYTHING on your external SD card is at risk: music, videos, documents, game stats, maps, etc. It's not that KitKat will actually erase these files, but the extra layer of "permissions" that it imposes on the external SD card will effectively render these files invisible to the apps they are associated with; to fix the problem, you will probably have to re-install the app from scratch, and may have to re-load it's data files from backup to reconstitute the association. Maybe not with music and photos, but that's what I had to do to get my Navigation apps working again.

UPDATE August 5, 2014. After months of frustration at not having Mass Storage Mode, I finally couldn't stand the thought of doing any more file transfers with MTP, and decided to Root the tablet and try out a Custom ROM that promised to give me Mass Storage Mode. The first step, gaining Root access, was relatively simple: I had to install ROM Manager, SuperSU, TWRP Recovery, and a Root exploit I downloaded from the XDA Developers website. WARNING: The Root Exploit and TWRP packages have to be versions compiled specifically for your exact model device! Attempting to install any other version could "brick" your device. So far, so good. After a little stumbling around and a couple of false starts, the installs were done, TWRP, SuperSU, and ROM Manager were running, and the Root Checker app said I had full Root access. So the next step was to download CyanogenMod. Uh,Oh! This Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (model SM-T310) Tablet isn't directly supported by the "official" CyanogenMod! But I found a link to "unofficial" builds of CyanogenMod, done by volunteers for less popular devices. After a couple of hours of searching, I had located 4 different Custom ROM's that claimed to be for the Samsung SM-T310 8" tablet. Also, at this point, I made a TWRP Full backup of the device. And I will be eternally grateful that I did, because NONE of the four Custom ROMS that I had downloaded would boot the tablet: all four caused unbreakable boot loops. After spending an entire weekend in ever increasing desperation, figuring that I had "bricked" my $279 tablet, I managed to revert the tablet back to the previous (stock Samsung) operating system from TWRP Restore. Of course I lost all the apps and had to re-install them, but my personal data was all safe on the external SD card so I didn't lose any of that. Lessons learned: (1) Tablet computers have a lot of proprietary hardware in them unique to each brand - you MUST be sure that the Custom ROM you are installing was created and tested by Android-savvy techs, who actually know what they are doing, specifically for your model. (2) If your device isn't officially supported by CyanogenMod, it might be for a very good reason: that the Gurus at CyanogenMod simply could not find or create a Kernal that would work with your hardware. (3) Boot Loops are VERY common in tablets, especially Sumsung models, and I was very fortunate to have been able to recover from mine - many owners have irreparably bricked Samsung tablets while trying out Custom ROM's and Recovery programs, and had to junk them. (4) After going through all of the above, I STILL don't have Mass Storage mode, and might never get it unless someone comes up with a build of CyanogenMod specifically for my tablet.

UPDATE: July 16, 2015. The Tablet has continued to function perfectly. I use it several hours every week, mostly as an e-book reader, car navigation device, and for general note-taking and listening to music. The battery is holding up well, and I expect to get at least a couple more years of service out of it. I also found a work-around (actually a Registry setting) that over-rides the stupid block that Google put on Android v4.4.2 that restricts you from directly editing files on the external SD card. The URL for this fix is at: [http://trendblog.net/fix-kitkat-sd-card-write-restriction/]. NOTE: You have to have Root access to your tablet to make this Registry change.

Also, after nearly a year of waiting to see if an official build of CyanogenMod would come out for this tablet, it appears that there will be none. I have been anxiously awaiting this, as CyanogenMod does away with the "bloatware" that is bundled on the tablet when you buy it, and which you can't delete. I tried one of the "unofficial" CyanogenMod builds and at first it put the tablet into an infinite boot-loop, nearly bricking it. I then tried it again, making sure that a full factory reset and Dalvik Cache Delete had been done, and it worked. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that CyanogenMod includes Mass Storage Mode, and it does not.

UPDATE: November 20, 2015. I think the battery is starting to wear out and lose charge capacity. It still powers the tablet for several hours when just reading an E-book, but if the WiFi and/or GPS services are switched on, the battery will drop from 100% to 30% in less than two hours, which indicates that the battery has lost maybe half it's charge capacity from when it was new. Other than that, everything else is still working well. At one point I was thinking of replacing the battery, but Samsung has a couple of newer 8" tablets with WXGA screens (2560 x 1600 pixels) that only cost $320 and have much better performance thanks to a quad-core processor, and that have "official" builds of CyanogenMod available.

UPDATE: July 9, 2016. The battery is definitely losing charge capacity, and I am starting to notice an occasional flicker on the screen, that I can't figure out what is causing it. If I was going to keep this tablet, I would be looking to replace the battery by the end of the year. However, I have decided to replace this tablet with a larger one, and have ordered a Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which has a dual quad-core processor, and double the screen resolution of this tablet. Of course, I will be paying much more for the Tab S, $470, but after 2+ years of ownership of the Tab 3 8.0, I really want a larger screen. That said, if you can get by with an 8" screen, this is a nice tablet for $200 less than the 10.5" Tab S. I have been running CyanogenMod on this tablet for about three months, and love it! It boots up fast, has a very clean UI that provides for a lot of customization, is automatically "rooted" (no need to root the tablet separately), and gets rid of all the useless bloatware that Samsung and Google put on.
11 comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 6, 2014
I actually sold my Kindle HDX 7inch and replaced it with this. The other device wanted to be too many things and couldn't really do any successfully. An iPad Mini was just way more money than I wanted to part with. The device had good reviews so I thought I would give it a try. It arrived quickly, set up was a breeze and it does everything I want and need in a tablet. It also runs powerful e-reader apps for Kindle, Nook, Bookstrand and others.

Worth every penny and if you're even considering getting a new tablet give this one a serious look. Go to a brick and mortar and hold it in your hands. Such power in a small package, even in a safety case it pops right into my handbag and I've always got my books and any other apps I need everywhere I go!
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Please enter a question.
See all 1000+ answered questions

Need customer service? Click here