Samsung Galaxy Tab review

The first major Android tablet release arrives to challenge the iPad

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samsung galaxy tab

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is powered by the Cortex A8 1Ghz processor which, in terms of sheer oomph, is a comparative match for the 1Ghz A4 processor found in the iPad and iPhone 4.

As such, we were expecting the Galaxy Tab to be at least as responsive, slick and speedy as the iPad. However, in many instances this just wasn't the case. More on that a little later.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab was orignally rumoured to have an AMOLED screen which would have been fantastic and undeniably iPad-beating.


However, the 7-inch display we have here is just a fairly standard TFT LCD. It's bright and colourful enough, and the WSVGA screen resolution (1024x600) is only slightly lower than that of the 9.7-inch iPad (so that's 260ppi versus 132ppi) which means that the display on the Galaxy Tab is a lot sharper.


The Tab comes with two built-in cameras: one 3MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and also a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video conferencing. This is an area that Samsung beats Apple by default – the iPad has no cameras at all and so for anyone who considers rear and front-facing cameras to be essential features, the Galaxy Tab is already a front-runner.



Unlike the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is not available in non-3G guise. This is intended to be an on-the-go device - an essential bag-stored companion for those long journeys – which means 3G connectivity is central to its functionality.

Alongside this 3G connectivity sits 802.11n Wi-Fi which means streaming videos and the like when you're connected to a wireless network should be easy, and you've also got Bluetooth 3.0 in there as well for transferring files and streaming to external devices like headphones and speakers.


Despite the lack of a Wi-Fi only version, the Galaxy Tab does come in two different flavours according to how much storage space you think you're going to need. There's a 16GB version and also a 32GB version - it's the 16GB unit which costs £529.99, and we haven't got a price yet for the 32GB version.


The microSD slot can add up to another 32GB of additional storage so technically you'd be able to match the iPad's 64GB version if you really needed to.

There's 512MB of RAM, too, which is the de facto amount for these kind of portable devices at the moment.

Operating system

And of course, the rest of the features on the Galaxy Tab come courtesy of the inclusion of Android 2.2, or 'Froyo'. It's the most up-to-date version of Android currently available which means no software features get left on the table.

Check out our in-depth look at Android 2.2 for a closer look at specific software features.


Reviews Editor

James (Twitter, ) oversees the reviews we publish on the site and also edits the TV, AV, Gaming, Car Tech and Gadgets channels. He's been in the field for 13 years, and travels all over the world to attend tech shows, product launches and cult gatherings. James' opinions have been inflicted on audiences of BBC TV, Radio 5 Live, The Guardian, local radio and various magazines and he's a grizzled veteran of most tech shows but will never again to return to CeBIT (no means no).