Find yourself a mobile phone deal and get a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with TigerMobiles.com. Sleek design and a nice build quality sum up this 7 inch tablet and the addition of a MicroSD card slot makes adding on storage for files, films and pictures simple.
How successful was the Tab 2 series? With mixed reception globally, the South Korean giant tentatively released three new tablets under the Tab 3.0 banner and we got the 7 inch Tab 3 to play with. Our only question at the moment is, can the Tab 3 match up to the Apple Mini 2, let alone outdo it?
Good battery, lightweight and form factor is user-friendly.
Poor camera, low resolution of display, leggy performance and slippery back.
The Tab 3 now sports Samsung’s higher end smartphone design. This basically means that your first impression of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch is of a blown up Samsung Galaxy SIII or the Grand. However, with the larger 7 inch display and grey trims around the corner, it manages to stay decent, if not overtly exciting. Unfortunately, it continues to sport that slippery plastic on the back seen with all of Samsung’s phones and tablets. Thankfully, this means the tablet is lighter but it still weighs 304 grams and is 9.9mm thick – definitely not the thinnest.
Coming to the buttons and ports, the front screen has three buttons beneath the display with the middle button being hardcoded for home and two capacitive buttons on each side for option and back. The front has a 1.3 MP camera for self portraits and video chats, a simple speaker and proximity/light sensor. Bottom side of the tablet carry the Micro-USB port, stereo speakers, while the top has the 3.5mm jack – in short it is exactly like the SIII.
Volume and power buttons too mimic positions on the SIII with the left side having two slots – one for a SIM card another for a microSD card. Rear panel sports the primary camera without a flash and that’s about it as far as design is concerned. To wrap things up, it is an over exaggerated Galaxy SIII.
The 7 inch screen sports TFT display at a max resolution of just 1024 by 600 pixels with a poor density of 169ppi. This is far lower than competing brands in the 7 inch market. Even the Nexus 7 has a higher resolution! Carrying on, it fails to impress with color reproduction as colors are washed out and contrast isn’t great. The screen reflects ambient light and hampers sunlight visibility. Worse still, viewing angles aren’t great. So quite naturally, anything played on the screen appears less sharp. However, reading magazines and e-books is good as text has clean lines.
Touch sensitivity is pretty decent and you won’t face any issues here but one serious complication is the auto-brightness that at times forgets to check the ambient light and adjust brightness leaving you in total darkness!
Things don’t get any better for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch as the rear facing cam is just a 3 MP no-flash unit with just average picture quality. Do not expect anything out of this camera. Plus the hardware button doesn’t do anything for the camera. In short, it’s the worst camera in the 7 inch tablet segment.
The camera app though has plenty of shooting modes such as panorama, single shot, buddy shot and photo effects – not that this helps improve camera quality.
Running on the stock 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Android straight out of the box using the TouchWiz UI it is depressing to see that Samsung could not integrate the 4.3 Jelly Bean into this brand new tablet. Odd because it seems the 310 and 311 models of the Tab 3 will have the new version of Android pre-installed. Moreover, because of the TouchWiz UI you really cannot see any changes hardcoded into the Android interface but like always Galaxy experience is awesome so no complaints here. Expect a traditional high quality Android experience with the Tab 3 7 Inch. A word of caution, the 7 Inch Tab 3 does not come with extra pre-loaded apps, it is a highly limited basic offering and you have to install them from Google Play store.
Hardware wise, the Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch draws power from a dual core 1.2GHz processor and uses a 1GB RAM onboard with just 8GB internal storage. It does have a 64GB expansion slot via microSD card but that’s about it. You may feel that the hardware is a bit outdated but astonishingly, it manages to chug along just fine. Day-to-day activities are smooth and frequent lags are absent as seen otherwise with Samsung Galaxy smart phones of a similar hardware profile.
Typing seems a tad bit difficult on the Tab 3 as you have to rely on both hands to avoid mistakes however the keyboard isn’t cramped and you just need time to get used to the different typing style. Web pages load quickly enough and YouTube streaming is seamless.
The Tab 3 7 inch comes with 4000mAh which is adequate for multi-tasking and daily usage. Not particularly great, it does offer 5 hours playback at 720p and on full charge can give a good 9 hours standby with push notifications active. At most you get 16 to 18 hours with normal usage and this is with the Wi-Fi turned on so the battery power is definitely the talking point of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 Inch.
If it were just about the form factor of the new Tab, we would have given it a perfect 5 star but that isn’t all there is to a tablet and hence, overall the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7 inch falls short of all its competitors in the mini tablet segment. Not at all convincing in performance, features, camera or screen quality, the only good thing going for the Tab 3 7 Inch is that it is way cheaper than competing brands.
|Dimensions||7.4 inches x 4.37 inches x 0.39 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||7 inches|
|Resolution (X)||600 px|
|Resolution (Y)||1024 px|
|Launch OS version||4.1|
|Clock speed||1.2 GHz|
|RAM size||1 GB|
|Internal size||8 GB, 16 GB|
|External storage support||microSD|
|Max external size||64 GB|
|Wi-Fi support||802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a|
|802.11n frequencies||5GHz, 2.4GHz|
|Front camera||1.3 megapixels|
|Rear camera||3 megapixels|
|Data connections||Micro USB|
|Sensors||Ambient Light, Compass / Magnetometer, Accelerometer|
|Battery capacity||4000 mAh|
The Galaxy Tab 3 is a reasonable tablet but sadly it is almost the same device as the original Galaxy Tab –no innovation, no high resolution display, no extended features. We rate the Nexus 7 much higher.
So any plus points? The Galaxy Tab 3 is very strongly built. It is lightly designed and durable but that doesn’t compromises the integrity of structural sturdiness. The user interface is clean and user-friendly. There is nothing complicated with regards to software and OS. Galaxy 3 is a good tab for an average user. It has all the elementary features and it has a MicroSD slot for space expansion.
Negatives? The device is expensive and it has nothing new. The screen resolution isn’t up there with the likes of the iPad Mini or Nexus 7. The overall performance is largely unremarkable and it’s fair to say this is just an overpriced device that brings nothing new to the table. Free gift? Yes. Outright purchase? No.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.