Sep 02 AT 4:00 AM Taylor Wimberly 48 Comments

Hands-on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet

Today at IFA in Berlin, Samsung Electronics announced the Galaxy Tab which is the company’s first 7-inch Galaxy S Android tablet. The device is scheduled to launch in Europe around mid September, but it’s also headed to the U.S. in the coming months.

Specs of the Galaxy Tab are nearly identical to the Galaxy S smartphones, with the main differences being the display, camera, and battery capacity. The Tab features a 7-inch TFT-LCD display with WSVGA resolution (1024 x 600), 3 MP rear-facing camera paired with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery.

The international version of the Galaxy Tab supports GSM and HSPA networks, but we expect it be customized to work with any U.S. carrier. A CDMA version has already been spied and rumors suggest it could be headed to Verizon. No U.S. versions were announced, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Sprint push a 4G WiMAX model or T-Mobile offer one with HSPA+ support.

We got a brief moment to play around with the international version of the Galaxy Tab and I can easily say it’s the best Android Tablet I have seen yet. The Galaxy Tab offers all the performance we have come to expect from the Galaxy S lineup with the addition of a larger display, which makes this a great device for watching movies, playing games, and reading e-books.

The Galaxy Tab will clearly be marketed as a tablet, but it also includes a microphone so it could be used as a phone. You might look silly holding it up to your face (see my pic below), but it also supports Bluetooth 3.0 so you could pair a wireless headset to the device and make calls while it sits in your pocket.

There have been tons of rumors floating around about other Android tablets, but Samsung is the first to deliver one that is actually certified by Google. This means users can find all the Google apps they know and love, including the Android Market.

One area of concern I have is that Samsung is running Android 2.2 with a non-standard display resolution of 1024 x 600. Samsung told us that most Android applications from the Market should still work, but we need more time to perform additional testing to see how downloaded apps perform.

Developers have been slow to adapt their apps for smaller screens like the QVGA display of the Motorola Charm, and it might be awhile before they take full advantage of the larger display resolution found on the Galaxy Tab.

I also worry that Samsung could quickly be leap-frogged by the competition if we start seeing dual-core tablets running Android 3.0 in Q4. Samsung should be first to market, but it might be a tough sell if consumers know a better device could land around the same time frame. For example, several manufacturers are expected to show off Tegra 2 tablets during the same IFA show.

Overall I think the Galaxy Tab is an excellent Android tablet, but I don’t see it doing anything my current Android phone can’t already do. I would honestly like to have an Android tablet with a 7-10 inch display, but I have no desire for a 2nd device tied to carrier contract. It would be nice if Samsung offered a WiFi-only model of the Galaxy Tab, but their press release really focused on a device with a “constant connection” and it doesn’t sound like one is in the cards right now.

Check out our quick hands-on video below (that was recorded with an Epic 4G) and let us know what you think. Is the Galaxy Tab a device you can’t wait to purchase or would you rather wait and see what comes next? Would you prefer to purchase a subsidized version attached to a 2-year carrier contract or does a WiFi-only model sound more up your alley?

Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab the Android tablet you have been waiting for?

We should get some extended time with the Galaxy Tab later today, so be on the lookout for more coverage. If you have any burning questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to get them answered.

Highlights of the Galaxy Tab include:

  • 7-inch TFT-LCD, WSVGA (1024 x 600)
  • 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU (ARM Cortex-A8)
  • Android 2.2 with TouchWiz UI
  • 3 MP rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, 512 MB RAM
  • Size: 190.09 x 120.45 x 11.98, 380g
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh (7 hour movie playback)
  • 30 pin connector for charging and accessories (like a dock with HDMI)
  • Gyroscope sensor, geo-magnetic sensor, accelerometer, light sensor, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0

Update: Youtube hates me and decided not to process my hands-on video. I will attempt to upload it again and see what happens. If all else fails I still have my real camera and will be recording some more videos with the Tab.

galaxy-tab-1 galaxy-tab-2 galaxy-tab-3 galaxy-tab-4 galaxy-tab-5 galaxy-tab-6 galaxy-tab-7 galaxy-tab-8 galaxy-tab-9 galaxy-tab-10

Show Press Release

Samsung GALAXY Tab Opens a New Chapter in Mobile Industry

A New Smart Media Device, surpasses mobile boundries, allowing you to enjoy more possibilities on the go.

Berlin, Germany, September 2nd, 2010 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in mobile technology, today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY Tab (Model: GT-P1000). Powered by Android Operating System 2.2, the Samsung GALAXY Tab is the first of the company’s tablet devices, representing a new category of mobile products for Samsung.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab brings together all of Samsung’s leading innovations to provide users with more capabilities while on the move. Consumers are able to experience PC-like web-browsing and enjoy all forms of multimedia content on the perfectly sized 7-inch display, wherever they go. Moreover, users can continuously communicate via e-mail, voice, and video call, SMS/MMS or social network with the optimized user interface.

“Samsung recognizes the tremendous growth potential in this newly created market and we believe that the Samsung GALAXY Tab brings a unique and open proposition to market. There is a new and emerging consumer demand that Samsung can satisfy since mobile is in our DNA. This demand continues to grow and develop as users tap its limitless potential,” said JK Shin, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “The Samsung GALAXY Tab has been designed to enable consumers to maximize their online experience wherever that may be. The Samsung GALAXY Tab is pushing the market in new directions and Samsung believes this is only the beginning of its innovations as pioneers in smart media devices.”

A new concept of mobility for media

As a new category of device, the Samsung GALAXY Tab brings a wealth of experiences. Its striking 7″ TFT-LCD display delivers exciting mobile experience for watching films, viewing pictures, e-reading or sharing documents. In design, its light (380 g) build provides perfect portability, with its svelte dimensions making it easy to grip and use. Supporting the latest Adobe Flash Player 10.1, the Samsung GALAXY Tab fully supports swift, seamless viewing of every single page of the web.

The ‘Readers Hub,’ Samsung’s unique e-reading application, provides easy access to a vast digital library – from classical literature to the latest bestsellers and reference materials. At the same time, Samsung unveils ‘Media Hub,’ a gateway to a world of films and videos, and ‘Music Hub,’ an application giving access to a wide range of music tunes.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab has made rich communication truly mobile; it presents a level of converged technology that moves beyond mobile or PC to an entirely new category. Users have new powers to consume, create and communicate from wherever they are.

Powerful, always-on communication

With 3G HSPA connectivity, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0, the Samsung GALAXY Tab enhances users’ mobile communication on a whole new level. Video conferencing and push email on the large 7-inch display make communication more smooth and efficient. For voice telephony, the Samsung GALAXY Tab turns out to be a perfect speakerphone on the desk, or a mobile phone on the move via Bluetooth headset.

Powered by a Cortex A8 1 GHz application processor, the Samsung GALAXY Tab is designed to deliver high performance whenever and wherever you are. At the same time, HD video contents are supported by a wide range of multimedia formats (DivX, XviD, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and more), which maximizes the joy of entertainment.

While the front-facing camera allows face-to-face video telephony over 3G, the rear-facing camera captuers still images and video that you can edit, upload and share, all without any hassle. As online content explodes, the Samsung GALAXY Tab is the best portable solution for every lifestyle that needs a constant connection.

The Samsung GALAXY Tabwill be launched in Europe in mid September, and in other markets including Koera, the US and Asia in coming months.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week