Samsung Galaxy Tab review

The first major Android tablet release arrives to challenge the iPad

Samsung Galaxy Tab
Can the Galaxy Tab carry the torch for Android tablets everywhere?

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galaxy tab

The Galaxy Tab is compatible with lots of different file formats for both audio and video. As a device running normal Android 2.2, it's limited to which codecs and support Google has added to the OS.

You've got all your standard must-haves in there, including DivX, Xvid, MPEG4, WMV and H.264. Audio compatibility extends to MP3, WAV, eAAC+, AC3 and FLAC files.

There's no direct support for MKV files, but some of our files worked while others didn't.


The Galaxy Tab has its own YouTube app where you can search and view the latest vids from the main site. The only quality setting here is 'HQ' though which means it only goes up to 480p.

The app doesn't want you to watch proper HD video and browsers will always try to take you away from the 720p versions of videos even if you use the direct URL.


But even so, 480p vids look pretty good and they stream and play flawlessly. Motion is handled competently and the screen is ideally suited to viewing web video clips.


Music playing comes again courtesy of standard Android app. The file support is excellent, and the quality of the audio is pretty decent too. We tested with 320kbps MP3 files and were happy with the output.

wolf parade

Battery issues

Samsung claims that a single charge will withstand seven hours of continuous video-watching. We think that sounds rather optimistic. To us, the battery seems to run down a lot quicker than that and as we mentioned earlier, the device also gets very warm.

BBC iPlayer

One thing that didn't work as expected was BBC iPlayer. In some browsers, we were told that our 'phone' does not support iPlayer yet and that new devices will be supported in future.


The main browser did get iPlayer working, but videos are not optimised for this kind of device and so the it's a bit tricky to get videos playing well. If you click 'play video fullscreen' the video is unwatchable, jumping around all over the place. However, if you click the normal 'play' button and then press the fullscreen button once the video is playing, it loads a lower res version which runs more smoothly.


It's a fiddly experience, and an official BBC iPlayer app is badly needed. There is currently one unofficial one out there which does work - but it's fairly basic.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.