- Comfortable,light and attractive design
- Beautiful and bright display
- Smooth performance
- Long battery life
For Samsung it would appear easy to create so many device sizes that there’s got to be one you’re fond of, but here with the Galaxy Tab 3 generation of devices, it becomes so thick in the industry that the company redefines what it means to cannibalize one’s own sales.
There are three new Galaxy Tabs this year: a 7-inch, an 8-inch, and a 10.1-inch. The most promising of the bunch is the $300 Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. Here is complete review of Samsung Tab 3 8.0.
The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 looks like a large Galaxy S4—you get the same all-plastic construction, glazed finish, and faux-metal accents around a strikingly similar silhouette.
The design language is the same as the note 8.0, down to the physical buttons under the screen, but the Tab 3 is narrower and lighter than the Note because Samsung didn’t have to make room for a S Pen. The Tab 3′s edges curve up slightly for a comfortable fit in the palm. The flat, chrome band that circles the edge doesn’t mess up that comfort and it makes it easy to find and press the power button and volume toggle on the side.
With this generation, Samsung finally dropped its proprietary connectors in favor of a Micro USB port for connection and charging. It’s MHL-enabled, which makes it able to provide output to an HDTV and it should also connect just fine to USB peripherals like keyboards and mice. The Gold Brown color option is much better looking even if it does show smudges more readily.
Hardware and Performance
Tab 3 comes with Samsung’s dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor, Mali 400 GPU, and 1.5GB RAM. Storage capacity includes 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 64GB more via microSD card slot). Wireless radios include b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. No NFC on board.
This combination scored 4,861 on the Quadrant benchmark, which stays above the Kobo Arc (3,000) and the Nexus 7 (3,500). The Tab 3 is smooth and speedy when opening apps, swiping around in the interface, and playing games like Temple Run 2 on high graphics quality.
In our battery test, The 4450mAh battery which loops a video with screen brightness set to maximum and Wi-Fi switched on, the Tab 3 8.0 lasted 6 hours, 48 minutes.
Display and Speakers
The Tab 3′s 1280 x 800 pixel resolution is crisp enough to make reading comfortable and watching video is enjoyable on the bright display thanks to its vivid colors and deep blacks. It’s display is sharper than the iPad mini’s. Wide viewing angles makes best viewing experience at different angles and playing games that utilize the accelerometer won’t get ruined by occluded views and distorted colors.
The two speakers fitted on the bottom edge sound loud enough to be heard over medium to loud background noise. Speaker audio quality is average for a tablet – tinny though not completely unpleasant. Output via headphones and Bluetooth is good enough.
The Tab 3 8.0 runs the latest Android 4.2.2 “Jelly Bean”, which already gives it a leg up on most tablets that are still stuck on 4.1.2. It comes with TouchWiz layer on top You get the usual bevy of pre-loaded apps and Samsung tie-ins. These include ChatOn, Samsung’s chat service; Samsung’s app, game, and music stores; Group Play and Samsung Link for sharing between Samsung devices; S Planner, S Translator, and S Voice; and various other apps and services.
The toggles in the Notification drawer for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Reading Mode, Multi-Window, and more make it easy to access and enable/disable commonly used wireless radios and features.
The great pen support of the Note is missing, but there are still a number of useful modifications to Android itself. You get Samsung features like Smart Stay that keeps the screen on when you’re looking at it and Voice Commands for easily pausing videos or snoozing alarms. Even the excellent Multi Window multitasking support is here, letting you run two apps side by side in split screen mode. Not every app is supported, but there’s a good selection of Samsung apps and Google apps like Chrome and Gmail that make this a pretty useful feature.
Rich widgets make all that Home screen space more useful by providing rich information at a glance. A few of our favorite pre-loaded apps from the Galaxy S4 family also make an appearance here: GroupPlay, S Voice, S Translator, Story Album, etc.
Multi Window multitasking support lets you run two apps side by side in split screen mode. Not every app is supported, but there’s a good selection of Samsung apps and Google apps like Chrome and Gmail that make this a pretty useful feature.
Samsung’s on-screen keyboard deserves some attention for how robust it is. It incorporates functionality developed by SwiftKey for word prediction and Swype-like trace-to-type for faster input. Best of all, the handwriting keyboard is available even though the Tab 3 doesn’t come with an S Pen. Using a capacitive stylus, the handwriting recognition engine works almost as well as on the Galaxy Notes.
This device comes with a 5 megapixel camera on its back with no flash while its front-facing camera is 1.3 megapixels, which is good enough for video chat. The rear 5-megapixel camera is a little above the average tablet camera and gets a significant boost from a good camera app.
The back-facing camera takes photos and video that are good enough for social networking and general small-scale sharing. Images looked flat and devoid of finer detail, regardless of lighting conditions. Exposure is a problem for stills and video, as the Tab 3 8.0 tends to overexpose scenes. Video maxes out at 720p and looks pretty mediocre even in good lighting, and pretty bad in low light scenarios.
Samsung has done a good job with multimedia support and features for its Galaxy tablets. For video, the Tab 3 8.0 supports MP4, H.264, DivX, Xvid, and WMV files at up to 1080p resolution. For audio you get MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG, WAV, and WMA support. You can also mirror your screen using DLNA with supported HDTVs or use an MHL adapter to connect the Tab 3 8.0 with an HDMI cable.
Tab 3 8.0 benefits from the same universal remote control features found on the Note 8.0. You can use the pre-loaded WatchON app from Samsung or Peel Smart Remote app to browse local TV listings and control a variety of home entertainment devices, from HDTVs to set top boxes. Both apps worked in my tests, but neither can schedule recordings for DVR boxes.
The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is yet another strong tablet from Samsung and a great alternative to the Galaxy Note 8.0 if you don’t need the pen capabilities. At $300 the Tab 3 is less expensive than the iPad Mini and $100 more than most 7-inch slates. The extra screen size is worth the premium, and the combination of long battery life and great design round out what we think is one of the best 8-inch tablets available. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 holds its own as a solid addition to the Samsung family of Galaxy S 4-era smart devices. Here the company brings an extremely thin and finely constructed mid-sized tablet that’ll serve its users well into the future.