A Quick Look at Samsung's Galaxy Tab Shows It's a Lot Better Than I Expected

Illustration for article titled A Quick Look at Samsungs Galaxy Tab Shows Its a Lot Better Than I Expected

A limited look at the Galaxy Tab showed me all I needed to see: this thing is great. I'm no fan of Samsung phones, and worried it would feel cheap, with TouchWiz an albatross around Android's neck. I was wrong.

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It's well made, and doesn't seem as plasticky as the Galaxy S range of phones—or indeed, most Samsung phones. Just like with the iPad, the bezel around the display is possibly too large for its own good, but the touch-sensitive buttons (menu, home, back and search) almost don't have a purpose with that large 7-inch display.

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While I don't want to harp on too much about the iPad, it's the elephant in the room when discussing tablets. Android is so well suited for a device such as a tablet, and while I have my grievances about Samsung's TouchWiz UI, it's not as cumbersome as it feels on a smartphone.

The touchscreen (a capacitive TFT-LCD WSVGA display, with 1024 x 600 pixels) could be improved upon. While it's bright, and rendered colors beautifully, it could be more receptive. Several times I had to poke a finger at an app to open it. Otherwise, it's fast enough for a tablet of its size—largely thanks to the Cortex A8 1.0GHz, which zooms along in some of their Galaxy S phones.

Like I said, my hands-on session with the Tab wasn't nearly long enough to do it justice (the Tab tables were more crowded and sought-after than an iPad display table in an Apple store, but don't read too much into that), so if you're wanting more first-look opinion on it, check out SlashGear, ElectricPig, Engadget or AndroidAndMe for more.

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DISCUSSION

The one thing that worries me about this is what the networks over here will do with it.

T-Mobile and AT&T basically gimped the Galaxy S, while Sprint improved upon it (and I'm not entirely sure where Verizon falls).

I am very interested in this thing not only because of the size, but also the front-facing camera, and the ability to make both video and audio calls (thanks to Bluetooth and speaker-phone). If I lose any of that when this hits the states, I'll be much less likely to nab one.

However, if I do get all the features of the European counterpart, I'd be happy to pick up one for me and one for the wife.

That said, I am very curious about Samsung's upgrade plans to Android 3. If I hear "there are no upgrade plans", then again, I'll rethink my plans to get one.