Samsung Galaxy Tab Will Be on Every Major Carrier (There's a Wi-Fi Version Too)

Samsung's Galaxy Tab—which still sounds more like a horrendous soft drink with a movie tie-in than an Android tablet—is coming to every major carrier this year. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

It's "arriving in time for holiday shopping," according to Samsung. What they're not talking about is price: How much the Tab is going to cost, and how much it'll cost after the carriers knock off a couple hundred bucks in exchange for tying yourself to them for two years.

They're calling it a "premium" device though, so expect slightly 'spensive, even if you go with the Wi-Fi only version. Dear God, let the Sprint version have 4G (Update: Nope. Boooo.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab Will Be on Every Major Carrier (There's a Wi-Fi Version Too)

This is what Samsung's Media Hub looks like on the Tab. Media Hub is like their version of iTunes, but for video—you can rent or buy movies and TV shows, and share them with up to 5 other Media Hub devices (right now, other Galaxy devices).

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Okay, some fresh impressions. It's more like a tall, skinny Kindle than it is a small iPad. (It's like half an iPad, and weighs half as much too.) It's widescreen, with a relatively pixel-dense screen versus the iPad, since it's cramming about the same amount of pixels into a tighter space. So, as a straight reading device in terms of the screen, size and portability, it's probably going to be a better experience. (Thank you Kindle app.)

The size works well enough for the Tab insofar as it's scaling up Android 2.2 and that the relatively small jump from, say, a 4.3-inch phone to a 7-inch tablet means everything pretty much works without having to use a whole new UI. So, a lot of Android looks the same, just bigger. And it works, usually—in Gmail, in the Android Market, in the home screen, the Kindle app. (However, the Weather Channel app refused to scale up, so it looked like an iPhone app running on the iPad, with a black border around it.)

The UI itself, Samsung's enhancements work better here than I think they do on a phone—like the iPhone-like app screen, with pages of apps, versus the standard Android infinite scroll. The Media Hub looks pretty crappy and third-rate, on the other hand. It's pretty quick too, about as fast compared to fast Android phones as the iPad was relative to the iPhone. Android 2.2 is a lot of the reason why—I think Android 2.1 could've got painful, quick.

It's definitely got the potential to be something, if nothing else.