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

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  • den Ben

    Does it still use an RFS file-system? I installed the ‘one click lag fix’ for my Galaxy S and that was a major performance winner!

    • http://Website nano

      Good news! It appears that its hefty 975 USD tag won’t appear to be the norm for everyone. As samsung officially states that all depends on the subsidy you will be using. Samsung Tablet New Updates

  • NitroExpressNY

    Lmao at the iPad

    • http://Website Sjaak

      Obviously you haven’t used an iPad before, you’re just hating. I used both the iPad and Galaxy Tab, but the latter just isn’t as good. No Android device to date can compete with the smoothness and user friendly UI on iOS devices.

      Mind you, I’m not an apple fanboy, I just love all gadgets and I wish Android devices were just as perfect, without the stuttering and app fragmentation. But you just can’t compare Android to iOS. Not yet anyway.

  • Dr.Jeckyl

    No need for another phone and this won’t replace my daily driver. I’ll hold out for a WiFi only option for my tablet purchase. I do like the design and the specs though. Seem about just right.

    • http://Website Alex

      I suggest checking out the upcoming Archos 101 internet tablet that will be running froyo and sold in wifi only version =]

  • http://Website Hans

    A great first gen android tablet. But, doesn’t this have an ARM Cortex A9 processor?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      No it is the same Hummingbird processor as Galaxy S. ARM Cortex-A8

      • http://Website Hans

        Then Engadget made a typo. o_o

  • natula33

    Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad have comparative evaluation results?Samsung’s screen is very well

  • http://Website Bob

    How is the browsing experience? Is it an alternative for browsing with Firefox/Chrome on my desktop? In other words, is it usable for surfing on my couch?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Browsing web pages is pretty good. It is just like any other Android phone but the larger screen makes it easier to pinch zoom and click links.

  • Anthony Domanico

    This is hilarious that it actually fit in someone’s pocket. I didn’t think that would be possible.

  • http://Website Dragonthe

    So the tab doesn’t have the same super – amoled screen as the galaxy S phones?

    I also would love to see a comparison between this and the notion ink adam.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      No Super AMOLED. Samsung stated the TFT-LCD has bettery battery life and that’s why they made the decision.

      • Sined

        I don’t think that’s the reason.
        Samsung already has a hard time keeping up with demands for AMOLED and with the Galaxy S line being as successful as it is, I think logistics point to it being impossible to add the strain of having to manufacture Super AMOLED screen of that size to the already stressed supply chain.

  • http://Website Casey Miller

    OS 2.2 running on a Galaxy S is nice to see. I would really like to know how it compares to the nexus one running 2.2. Does it seem to be a final version of the software?

    • anakin78z

      I would love to see some benchmarks or impressions as well, please.

  • geekster

    I like it. I just don’t want a carrier tied model. I would much rather have a WiFi only model. I just can’t justify purchasing a bigger version of my Vibrant just for a bigger screen. Don’t get me wrong it is very sexy and I would love to have one, but I think I will wait for a WiFi only or some other offering a little later…..(maybe dual-core)

    • Taylor Wimberly

      WiFi only is not going to be an option. Your best bet will be to pay full price at a carrier and then not attach a plan to it. You can still tether it to your phone, so that might be the best option for those who don’t want another 2-year contract.

      • geekster

        That’s a good point Taylor! Thanks for the suggestion.

      • http://Website Miguel

        Except your going to be paying extra for a 3G radio that you don’t need.

  • http://Website Steve

    I agree, I think I will wait for wifi only model (I guess I could get a carrier one without a sim, but still). Also, I have reservations about the screen, both the resolution and whether the such low resolution-pics from the 3.0MP camera (that’s pretty low in today’s market) will look pixelated or stretched… That is like viewing pictures from my G1 on my netbook computer, they always looked kind of grainy and not quite right… I hope either the 3MP is a typo, or the CMOS sensor Samsung chose is a really really good one…
    Lastly, I am a bit concerned now that I have heard that this will receive Gingerbread but not Honeycomb, if this newest device won’t be supported for it, what is in the pipes for my Galaxy S then?

    Other than these misgivings, I actually am excited about this (and potentially future) tablet. I think I like the size, and I love my Galaxy S Captivate, so anything like it is a plus.

  • http://Website Anakin78z

    The press release mentioned video editing. What resolution video does it shoot, and have you looked at the editing app?

    Also, what app does it use for video telephony?

  • http://Website mikemick

    Did anybody notice that the hands in the demo look 3D generated? There are some live shots of actual hands, and some look clearly 3D-generated to me.

  • http://Website carlos

    Specs look good; don’t care much for the GSM/CDMA radio but it can be handy if your phone goes down.

    The real issue is going to be pricing; not having a WiFi only model pretty much makes the device available only thru mobile operators which normally have no interest (therefore no price breaks) in selling devices with no service plan.

    My primary interest is access multiple email accounts, web browsing and VoIP/SIP connectivity over WiFi; the new iPod Touch is too small and the iPad is too big.

    7in seems about the right size if the price is in the $400 range.

    • http://Website Ivo

      The device will probably sell for 400-500$ without a plan. And that’s how I will buy my tablet. I will just use my SIM from my phone.
      not sure what price breaks you would expect. They still make money from selling only the device

  • http://Whereareyourvideos?Ican'tstanditanylonger.... James Harris

    If you will email them to me I will post them for you…


  • http://Website Andrew

    I’ll be waiting for a tablet with stock Android before purchasing one. Samsung’s UI is fugly.

  • http://Website raheel

    ummm, its interesting to see people holding this up to their ear when it actuality u cant use the galaxy tab like that because it doesn’t have an earpiece… the only way it can be used to make and receive phone calls is via the loudspeaker….
    read the specs carefully!! Especially the person in the picture!!

  • http://Website paul

    Is it an over-sized phone, or a mini tablet? Either way, I’ll pass. As a phone, you’re going to look like an idiot talking into it. And if your going for a tablet, why not get a bigger screen?

    • anakin78z

      Portability. It’s very easy to hold in one hand, and is also very light.

  • http://NoGPS? Kevin

    Would have made a great map on or offline with Oruxmaps.

  • http://Website InTheMiddle

    looks sweet. but i wish they had put the SAMOLED, and a slightly bigger screen. it won’t fit in my pocket anyways, so i’d rather have it bigger than that. and i’m a bit concerned of how much of my favorite apps on my iPhone have made it to android market so i can download them again and enjoy the bigger screeen rather than play with them on the pathetic size of my iPhone’s screen.
    so, i am yet to decide whether to get an android phone and an iPad, or get the android tab and upgrade to iPhone 4.
    decisions, decisions.

    • http://Website ian

      go android

  • http://Website Prototype V

    I would so love to bust out this behemoth and use it as a phone! If anything just for kicks. Lol can you imagine the looks on peoples faces?

  • http://Website Big G

    @ Prototype
    - Heck ya, imagine wearing cargo shorts in a crowded place, you hear a ring, you pull this thing out of your pockets and answering it. That would be so hilarious,

    Kidding aside though, I wish they still had the Super AMOLED screen, or if ever just have bigger screen option akin to iPad size, also I don’t care much for the Samsung UI much, Stock Android is better. That dual cameras should be a nice addition.

    I could use this as a backup phone in case mine runs out of juice or what not or for idiotic aesthetic mood swings if I get them. =)

  • http://Website Paul Roddick

    I doubt you’ll see a wifi only version for a while (if ever) due to the restrictions Google are placing on “approved” devices. Devices that want to be “approved” (and get access to Marketplace, etc) must support “constant connection” as mentioned by Samsung.

  • http://Website Neil

    A small point, but can anyone confirm if the battery is user-swappable?

    Personally I’d be looking to buy this network-free and replace my Hero with it for my phone (in conjunction with a Bluetooth headset). I’m keen in particular about what for me would be a more practical size than the iPad, whilst still being fairly generous with screen estate.

  • http://Website William Furr

    I’d love to get something like this, but it really needs to be wifi only and have support for multiple users. I really hope that comes to Android with Gingerbread or Honeycomb. I want to share one with my friends in my house, like a coffee-table computer, but manually signing in and out of accounts with a browser is a real pain. It would be great to have a grid of user icons to pick from, and then you can enter a password or a “swipe code” to unlock that specific user.

    Seems like it would be easy enough to have separate app data partitions for each user and swap them out on login.

  • http://Website heiress

    too small for a tablet.

  • http://Website Carlos

    I do not understand the insistence on WiFi only? Why have less features? Having a gsm radio can be useful when the power in your primary phone runs out or when traveling and there is not WiFi available.

  • http://Website rcprater9

    Dude, I thought that was Jobs for a moment. Black Turtle Neck & Jeans…… That was way to iOtherPhone for comfort! :)

  • http://Website fufnk

    They used standard s tft lcd displays just because production of super amoled display si to slow and they could not provide enought amoled display for massive production of galaxy tabs, and that is the only reason why they didn’t use amoled displays… therefor even without super amoled displays this devices are superior!

  • http://Website Drew78

    I want one. Can’t wait to get one or one like them.

  • JILL

    ANYONE know how to repair the Samsung galaxy p1000 digitizer and screen?
    i got it from here and dont’ know how to install it by myself:


  • http://Website Sam

    Hi! Am planning to get one as a gift to myself :o) but first want to know if the Galaxy has a user replaceable battery.


  • http://Website saran

    Yours content is good, i ve gone through some other website that give more information about samsung galaxy tab,