After complete domination of the tab arena by Apple, Samsung decided to launch its contender in style. With the banner of first major Android tablet, it tugs around a huge responsibility. Stark comparison with iPad, however, will be unfair as Samsung Galaxy Tab, even in its first appearance, is quite different in dimensions. It’s 7 inch screen is dwarfed by iPad’s 9.7 inch length; even in width it is marginally smaller. Made entirely of plastic, it weighs significantly less than aluminum adorned iPad.With a sleek finish, the Galaxy Tab looks ready to take on iPad’s luxurious charm.
Samsung Galaxy Tab runs on Android 2.2 and the general features that are available on phones are retained. For instance, there are five home screens, waiting to be populated with apps and you can click on an app icon in the menu and drop it on the home screen. However, even Google’s director of mobile products Hugo Barra conceded that the OS has not been optimized for tablets. As a result, there have been glitches and flaws in the running. So, the apps you fish out of Android market tend to appear blurry and lack the sharpness they display in smaller display screens of smartphones. It is not a deal breaker by any means, but iPad, with its very own section in Apple App Store enables download of more compatible apps.
For a lot of purposes, using a Samsung Galaxy Tab is almost hassle free. The keyboard is more splayed and comfortable to use because of the obvious increase of dimension from average smart phones. There is an auto-correct feature that more often than not keys in the right word even if your fingers hit off-target. The keys, when pressed, give a small vibration which is somewhat helpful while typing with speed. However, the 7 inches still is smaller than iPad’s 9.7, and perhaps typing fast is the only aspect where one might feel the Apple product is a tad ahead in the race. Flash support is an important feature that separates Samsung Galaxy Tab from iPad. Those who felt constrained by Apple’s blatant refusal to support Flash feel liberated by Galaxy Tab’s easy cohesion with Flash that allows users to easily watch any video content from the in-built browser.
The camera is a bit of a downer for Galaxy Tab. The first hindrance to taking good snaps is its size: being too large, it is awkward to properly hold up and focus, and because it is too thin, in comparison to average digital cameras, one is always wary of dropping the 12 mm device. The images look washed out and the camera struggles with both light and dark shots. Even shots where there is moderate contrast and balance of colors, the camera doesn’t justify the original view.
The multimedia experience is quite good with the Tab supporting a number of audio and video formats. However, being an Android device, it is limited by its Google support.
Although Samsung Galaxy tab had announced its arrival as a threat to Apple’s iPad, there are still some areas in which it must be enhanced to give a serious blow to its competitor. Perhaps a better compatibility with the Android OS is more desirable now than ever.