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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review

So we had the opportunity of testing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P3100, which was provided by Samsung Electronics Portugal.

Myself, being a owner of an Asus tablet, never had the chance to try out a Samsung tablet before, so I was very excited to see what this little 7 inch tablet was capable of, since the device specifications, 1GHz Dual Core processor and 1GB of RAM, are pretty appealing.

Unboxing

Inside the box we found the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, the travel adapter, an USB cable and the quick start guides.

Take a look at the unboxing video below:

Design and Ergonomics

The Galaxy Tab 7 has nice rounded corners and a smooth surface all around which gives it an enterprise look and feel. The test version we got is white all around and the borders around the device are of a pleasant gray.

Since the back is smooth it may become a nuisance if you aren’t careful while handling the device, you might let it drop more times than you would like to.

On the top there’s a 3.5 millimetre jack for the phones, on the opposite side you will find the speaker and the cable slot that will allow you to connect your device to the pc or charge it.

On the right there’s a volume rock as well as the power/lock button. On the left you will find the micro SD card slot, and on the 3G version, you will also find the micro SIM card slot.

Of course on the front of the device you have the 7-inch screen, which we will talk more about in just a it, the proximity and luminosity sensors and the front VGA camera.

Finally on the back of the device you will find only the 3,15 MP camera.

Display

Once again, the first thing you notice when you take the galaxy tab out of the box is the screen. This is an 7 inch PLS LCD screen, with 170ppi and 600×1024 resolution.

Well, specifications aside, I have nothing bad to say about the screen. The viewing angles are great, you can lay it flat on the table and still be capable of seeing every detail on the screen. The luminosity sensor does its job pretty well reacting accurately and quickly to every change in the environment light. The screen has enough luminosity to allow you to go outside in a sunny day and still be able to see what is displayed.

Performance and Software

When it comes to software, this device is shipped with Android’s 4.0.4 version, and there’s no update available (at the time of writing, here in Portugal), which is definitely a let down for eager Android users.

Now, on to proprietary apps, you will be pleased to know that the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 doesn’t have many of them. Here is a small list and simple description of the proprietary apps that come with the Tab 2:

Game Hub, Readers Hub and Music Hub:

These apps, if you can call them that, allow the common user to check out what games, newspapers, books and music are available in order to download them or buy them according to his wishes.

Samsung Apps:

We’ve talked about this before, this is the equivalent to the Google’s Play Store, but only has apps develop by or approved by Samsung for their devices. What some might think is useless. I liked it, I even found some games that were pretty entertaining and that weren’t available at the Play Store. The same can be said for productivity apps such as the Polaris Office, which can be found in Samsung Apps but not on the Play Store.

This device has a full screen widget (which you will be able to see in the video review) whose single purpose is to track the apps you have installed on your device and suggest other applications that you might like.

Task Manager:

This allows you to see how much memory you’re taking up and clear it, as well as see the open and installed applications. It is useful if you feel your deice is starting to slow down a bit, this way you’re able to find out why.

Widgets Bar:

At the menu on the bottom of the screen, you will find an arrow. If you touch that arrow a widget bar will pop up. This is simply a shortcut for the most commonly used applications like the alarm clock and the calculator. Take a look at the video review to check out this functionality.

ChatOn:

We released a statement from Samsung a while back where we explained what this application was all about and what the new update had brought to the table. Check it out if you want to know more about it.

Memo:

Nothing-new here. This simple app allows you to write memos so that you don’t forget what you need to do.

My Files:

This is a simple file explorer that allows the user to organize and keep track of his files on the device memory as well as on the micro SD card.

S Planner:

This is a plain old calendar, made by Samsung so their customer can keep track of their appointments. Be aware that the S Planner gets its info from the Google calendar.

Video Maker:

This is a very welcome addition to the applications available from Samsung. I really enjoy the idea of capturing a video directly from the device’s camera and being able to edit it right on the spot, for simple modifications, keeping the computer available for more pressing matters.

No more proprietary apps as far as we could tell, of course you have the music and video player but we didn’t thought they deserved much attention since they served they purpose well.

We noticed a glitch when we used GTalk, which we then went on to notice in some other cases. When you try to write on the Samsung Keyboard with the device in portrait mode, the dictionary takes over and makes writing almost impossible. We would finish writing a whole sentence and it wouldn’t appear on the screen for at least 5/10 seconds. We believe this happens because the dictionary is still trying to process what we wrote in order to replace it for the words he thinks are right. This also happens when you try to write in landscape mode, but with less waiting time. We also tried to turn the replacing feature of the dictionary of but it only improved a bit.

I find this particularly annoying since I usually write the review of a device on the device itself in order to get acquainted to it. Of course in this case this was impossible.

We ran some benchmark testers on the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in order to see how it would behave. The usual suspects were AnTuTu, NenaMark 2 and Quadrant Standard. You can take a look at the results below:

We’ve also tried a few games on it, as you’ll be able to see in the video review. They all ran well enough, though I’m sorry I didn’t test Dead Trigger or NFS MW on it to see how the device would handle them. But well, I’ll do that on it’s big brother.

Connectivity and Battery Life

I haven’t got much to say about connectivity other than I couldn’t stay connected to my home network for more than 5 minutes straight, which annoyed the hell out of me. So in order to perform the following SpeedTests I had to take the device to work with me.

Although I’ve heard this issue will be solve by an update, there’s still no update to be found, and only Samsung devices seem to have this problem with the equipments of this specific network provider.

Once you got it to stick to a network, the signal was great and I was able to watch videos from YouTube without any problem whatsoever. Pages loaded quickly whether in Chrome or in the stock browser and images were displayed quickly enough.

Now on to what really impressed me about this device: Battery Life.

As said before I took he device to work and so, I was able to test its battery to the fullest. After fully charging the device, I started playing YouTube HD videos at 9AM and only stopped at 7PM. After that I played for a full hour. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 spent all night with the Wi-Fi on. The next day I saw two series episodes on it (HD) and started playing music at around 11 AM, it finally gave out around 7PM that day.

So, as you can see, this guy put up a really good fight, as far as I’m concerned. Definitely wish my Asus was this good a fighter. The only thing I didn’t like was the charging time, it took way longer than normal to fully charge.

Camera

The camera interface is like every other we encountered so far, so nothing to say about that, you will be able to see it in action in the video review.

The photos taken by the primary camera are as good as you would expect out a 3.15MP camera without LED flash. The front camera also did as good as one would expect for a VGA camera. I took a few shots as you can see and they’re not bad at all. The primary camera is also able to record at 720p@30fps, which you will be able to see in the video samples I took below.

Indoor Sample Video:

Outdoor Sample Video:

As you’ll see the indoor sample has much less quality than the outside sample, but that is to be expected in cameras all around, so no surprise here as well.

Video Review

Image Gallery

Conclusion

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a good device all around, with the 1GHz Dual Core and 1GB of RAM pulling the weight and making sure every request from the user is satisfied as quickly as possible.

I really liked how much use time I got out of this device and how little the proprietary apps leaving more space available for the user to install the apps they want.

What I didn’t like about this device is the lack of updates. Even my old TF300T has Android 4.1.1, for months now. One would think that with glitches like the keyboard and the Wi-Fi connection Samsung would already have launched a fix that would make their customers happy. But nothing is out yet and this device has been on the market for almost a year now and the users still have no choice but to deal with these flaws, at least here in Portugal.

The wifi 16GB version has a 226€ price tab at the moment, however the 3G 16GB version we tested is at 322€.

I believe it all comes down to what the user wants. If you want a Wi-Fi tablet with a 7 inch screen and don’t mind about a back camera,  would advise you to go for the nexus 7, which has a 32GB Wi-Fi version at 249€. If you want a 3G tablet and still don’t care about the back camera, go for the 3G Nexus 7 32GB version with a price tag of 299€. If it is imperative that your device has a back camera, you also have the BQ Curie at 169€ with Jelly Bean. So has you can see if it weren’t for the high price tag on this device, it could definitely be a contender to consider, but as it is, you have loads of options to consider.

Overall it is a good device, would be better with a lower price tag.

Review by: Sofia @ AndroidEmotions

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