In today’s Android tablet market, many manufacturers are learning from the success of the Kindle Fire and moving towards a more affordable pricing model. The majority of Android tablet failures have come from over pricing for essentially a device no one really needs. In order to entice a customer to purchase an in-between device such as a tablet, they need to be affordable — and at the very least, cheaper than a laptop (which undoubtedly blow tablets out of the water in terms of hardware and software). They’re portable content consumption machines, but in order for that content to get consumed, they need to get in the hands of the consumers. So how do you do that? Ask Amazon.
Up next, I’m going to take a look at Samsung’s latest answer to a budget friendly Android tablet that not only comes in at just above $200, but is also running the latest version of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a 7-inch WiFi only Android 4.0 tablet that retails for $249.99. Not only is it affordable, but it also features:
- A 1GHz Dual-Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 7-inch 1024×600 (WSVGA) TFT Display
- 8GB Internal Memory
- micro SD card slot supports up to 32GB
- 3 MP Rear Camera
- VGA Front Facing Camera
- 4,000mAh Battery
- Bluetooth 3.0
- IR Blaster
- GPS receiver
- And more!
Looks like a great deal doesn’t it? But what about the Google Nexus Tablet expected to hit the market soon? Well, I’m here to give you my impression of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi and hopefully help you decide whether or not it’s worth it to pick up — or if you should hold out for that Google Nexus.
I was excited to open up the box for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi and couldn’t wait to play with my first Android 4.0 tablet. I was aware it had TouchWiz on top of Android 4.0 and couldn’t way to see what kind of disaster that was, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it played a minor role in the UI and really didn’t take away from the Android 4.0 experience. The device itself was smooth and had that 7-inch form factor many users desire. I was able to semi-comfortably hold it in one hand (I have small hands) and found it just a tad heavier than I expected.
When the device booted, it was obvious it was a Samsung device. It was riddled with Samsung bloatware along with a slew of preloaded apps I had absolutely no need for. The tab itself only comes with 8GB of internal storage but I came prepared with a 16GB micro-SD card which I quickly inserted.
My first order of business was to get rid of all the crap Samsung had decided I wanted, but in reality I don’t. Unfortunately you can’t uninstall the majority of the junk but thanks to Android 4.0, I was able to disable them. The only drawback to that is they still take up space on the tiny 8GB internal storage capacity.
Naturally, my next step was to free up some of that space by moving over my apps to the 16GB micro-SD card I had installed. Wait a tick… where’s the option to move to SD? Did I do something wrong, am I missing it? Nope! Turns out you can’t move apps to SD on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi!? So what do I do with this 16GB micro-SD card now that I can’t move my apps to it?
How about photos? Nope, use Google+ for that.
How about music? Nope, use Google Music for that.
How about videos? Nope, use Netflix, SlingPlayer, and XFINITY TV for that.
Then what good is the damn expandable memory!? Exactly…
Back in the box, get out of my house! Essentially that’s how I felt but I decided to continue on because not everyone cares about the same things as I do.
Other than the camera (which takes worse pictures than my kids spy watch), the tablet functioned quite nicely. It’s smooth, responsive and the battery life is great. Watching video was a treat and my kids quickly stole it to watch the Avengers cartoon for hours upon hours. The sound that comes out of the two tiny speakers at the bottom is absolutely incredible. This little 7-inch device sounded like a mini movie theater. It functions well in other areas as well. The built-in browser was quick and intuitive. Playing games was as good as playing a game on a tablet could be (meaning FPS game controls were terrible). Then there was my favorite feature: the Smart Remote.
The Smart Remote app allowed me to connect my tablet to my TV and cable box. After following the instructions, I soon had a cable guide ten times better than my cable provider, complete with eye-candy and recommendations, along with a fully functional remote control. You bet your bottom dollar I was changing the channels on my entire family (until my wife gave me the look). By far my favorite feature (I guess I’m easily amused).
So let’s wrap this thing up, shall we?
Product: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi
Pros: An affordable Android 4.0 device with amazing built in speakers, an IR blaster, and enough battery to keep you going all night long.
Cons: Proprietary cable, 8GB internal storage with no ability to move apps to SD, and a camera rivaled by a fisher price toy.
Verdict: I can not, will not, recommend anyone pick this tablet up. For me, not being able to move my apps to the external SD slot that comes with the tablet is ridiculous. End of story. Save your money and wait for the Google Nexus tablet to come out. It will most likely cost you the same, have better hardware, come with Vanilla Android, and either have enough storage for your apps or the ability to move them to SD. You were so close Samsung. If you would have only let me move my apps to SD, this thing would have had a new home.
For a hands on look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi, check out my semi-lengthy video below.