You might have heard of the Tab 2 series coming earlier this year. The series include a 7.0 inch model, P3100 and P5100, 10.1 inch model. It was launched in India this summer in May and yes, it is the first Samsung tablet to run on Android 4.0 aka Ice-Cream Sandwich right out of the box. This tablet packs in a 7-inch (1024×600) PLS TFT LCD display and is powered by 1GHz dual-core processor. It also supports 3G and voice calling.
Samsung dropped us a review unit and we have got the device reviewed and here are the details.
The tablet was packed in small white box in which the device perfectly fits. Besides this, the box includes the 30-pin dock charger, in-ear headset and the user manual. The USB data cable is with the charger itself.
The tablet is powered by a TI OMAP 4430 chipset which has a 1GHz dual-core processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Plus, it works on 1 GB of RAM which makes multitasking smooth enough though only 687 MB is available for the user. The device is available in 8/16/32 GB storage with an external microSD card support upto 64GB. The device runs by a 4000mAH battery which lasts for a day with normal usage.
The tablet has a PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 600 x 1024 pixels (~170ppi) which is quite bright even in the daytime. It has a 3.15MP primary camera with Geo tagging, smile detection and video recording upto 720p@30fps. It also has a secondary VGA camera for video calls. Apart from this, it has support for bluetooth (v3.0), WiFi a/b/g/n with hotspot facility, DLNA, USB on-the-go, A-GPS and sensors including Accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass.
The first thing which comes to notice when we hold the device is how it perfectly fits in a single hand. It weighs 344 g measures 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5 mm which is pretty good as compared to other 7.0 inch tablets (Remember Amazon Kindle Fire? :p). The display is prone to scratches and will require intensive care.
Starting with the there is a ear-piece, proximity sensor and the secondary camera at the front above the LCD display.
Then we have a 3.5mm audio jack and a secondary microphone on the top
and the power button and the volume rocker on the left.
There is a sim slot which supports the usual sim card and microSD card slot on the right.
At the bottom, we have the microphone within the speakers on the sides and the 30-pin charger/usb connector in between. The disappointing part is when the tablet is connected to the USB, it doesn’t charge. We have to connect it to the external power supply.
We have 3.15MP camera at the back.
As mentioned earlier, this is the first tablet from Samsung to run Android v4.0.3 aka Ice-Cream Sandwich right out of the box. So it includes all the features of the updated operating system.
The Samsung TouchWiz UI has the same homescreen as the honeycomb version with the same Google search at the top, App drawer on top right, system bar placed at the bottom and the widgets. There are back, home, recent and screen shot on-screen buttons on the system bar as there are no physical buttons. We can pull up the notification bar from the bottom right corner.
The OS have the embedded Samsung’s Apps like the Reader’s hub, Game hub etc. Adding to this, there are some Google apps as well like Gmail, Talk, Google+, Maps and Search. The usual utility apps are also included like Calendar, Calculator, Mail client, My file, Polaris Office and World Clock. You can anytime download more apps from Google Play Store and the Samsung Apps Store.
Calling and Messaging
It is a big advantage for this tablet that it supports mobile services. Usually the tablets only support mobile data but this tablet supports proper calling and messaging. Everything is same as an normal android smart phone. Earpiece on the front-top and and microphones on top and bottom, same messaging features, Google contact sync etc.
Music and Video Playback
The default music and video player also got enhancements from the upgraded operating system. It now supports some more media types like FLV, WMV, MKV with full 1080p playback and we can also share the files to other DLNA capable devices as well. It automatically bookmarks the place where you stop watching the videos and resumes from that point when you return. In the music player you can also view the lyrics if available and can adjust the playback speed as well.
The 3.15MP camera takes decent shots in daylight but isn’t good for indoors. There are 3 different shooting modes (Single/Smile detection/Panorama) and timer from 2, 3 & 10 sec time intervals with several scene modes. The 720p HD video recording can too have some noise in low light. The video has the same options as that with the image.
There is an app called the photo editor through which you can make changes to your image like rotate, crop, brightness, and few more effects. Video maker is an app that is also included in the bundle which creates a video or of images and add cinematic effects.
Here are few camera shots and a video sample.
Sample video here
7-inch size doesn’t look good for tablets but this device is pretty impressive for its price. It supports calling and messaging adding to the mobile data services. The 4000mAh battery can last for a day on normal usage with music, videos, browsing with 3G. With the launch of nexus 7 this might look expensive but in India where there is no sign of it’s arrival, one could keep this in listing. But the disappointing part, is that it doesn’t support USB charging so we have carry the power adapter along.