Samsung Galaxy Tab - Galactic Adventure!


User Experience & Entertainment

User Experience

If you're a person who uses an iPad pretty regularly (like ourselves), it may seem to be quite an adventure switching to a smaller, lighter tablet that's running on a different mobile platform. That said, we adapted quite easily thanks to Samsung's custom Android UI that was last seen on the Samsung Galaxy S. While it does look and feel a little like Apple's iOS, it adds a very polished feel to the tablet which we really liked. Also, since the Tab comes with the Swype enabled keyboard, it does help with your typing. Note however, that because of the screen size, it's not as easy to swipe your way through the keyboard, and you're probably better off tapping each letter out the conventional way.

Somehow, this looks extremely familiar. We've seen it before somewhere... the Samsung Galaxy S, yes?

The notification bar gets tweaked with a few goodies that makes using the Tab so much easier.

 

Since the Samsung Galaxy Tab packs in the latest Android 2.2 (Froyo) version and has Android Market built-in, it means getting apps is pretty easy. Factor in Samsung's own App Store, apps that SingTel has already included (since the Tab is exclusive to Singtel for now) and the Readers Hub app, this means you're pretty much covered where apps variety and availability are concerned.

A widget to quickly access the Task Manager is located right under the Google Search bar for easier access to closing your unused apps.

Samsung's very own App store, though we could only find two apps available at the moment.

The only problem here however, lies with that some Android apps aren't quite optimized to scale up to the resolution of the Galaxy Tab, which at 1024 x 600 pixels is much higher than the 800 x 480 pixels that some phones have. This leads to scaling issues as you can see from the picture below. Some apps however, like the Android version of Angry Birds, scale perfectly, leaving us hope for app developers to update their apps to fit the Galaxy Tab's resolution.

Not scaling properly means you get weird stuff in your background!

Angry Birds for Android however scales properly with no issues.


Entertainment

Given the inclusion of a Readers Hub for news, eBooks and magazine browsing and SingTel's mobileTV services, entertainment with your Galaxy Tab shouldn't be an issue, but how about watching videos and movies on your tablet device?

The Samsung Readers Hub where you can read, buy and download news, eBooks and magazines.

Like for example, our very own HWM Singapore! Now you can savor the goodness of HWM digitally too.

Since the Galaxy Tab uses a wide screen 16:9 aspect ratio panel, watching videos with the tablet in the horizontal orientation feels comfortable and natural. When held in portrait mode though, you may notice that the screen feels slightly longer than expected, but on a 7-inch device, it still feels handy and usable. If this were a 10-inch tablet or larger, you'll find this aspect ratio looking way too elongated for comfort.

Watching videos on this device feels just right!

9.0
The Good
Small compact form factor
Decent battery life
The Bad
Expensive without contract
Bad camera