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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 versus Tab 3: The most disappointing upgrade everSamsung has just announced the successor to its successful 7-inch voice-calling tablet. At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 looks quite disappointing. We take a closer look to see if Tab 3 justifies an upgrade.
Yesterday, Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 3 globally but there is no concrete release date or price of the product. Samsung is expected to roll out the Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Tab 3 in May and the 3G + Wi-Fi version in June.
We thought that the upgrade from the Galaxy Tab 2 to the Tab 3 would be significant, which is to say that we were hoping the device would have a better display, bigger battery, better hardware under the hood and some of the shenanigans we have seen on the Note II and the S4. Speaking of the Note II and the S4, they were incremental updates when compared to their predecessors with bigger displays, better hardware under the hood, so on and so forth.
The Tab 3, however, feels like it is the same device with the number 3 in place of 2 in the name of the product. Why do we say that? Well let’s take a look at the specifications of the devices compared to its predecessor along with the Nexus 7 and the Asus FonePad thrown into the mix.ModelSamsung Galaxy Tab 2Samsung Galaxy Tab 3Asus Nexus 7Asus FonePadWeight345 grams302 grams340 grams340 gramsThickness10.5mm9.9mm10.5mm10.4mmDisplay Size7-inch7-inch7-inch7-inchDisplay TypePLS LCDTFTLED-backlit IPS LCDIPS LCDDisplay Resolution (pixels)1024x6001024x6001280x8001280x800OSAndroid 4.1 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.2 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1 Jelly BeanUITouchWiz UX UITouchWiz UX UIStock AndroidSkinnedBuilt-in Storage8/16/32 GB8/16GB16/32 GB8GBExpandable storageUp to 32GB via a microSD cardUp to 64GB via a microSD cardNAUp to 32GB via a microSD cardBluetoothv3.0v3.0Yesv3.0Rear Camera3.15MP3MPNA3.15MPFront CameraVGA1.3MP1.2MP1.2MPChipsetTI OMAP 4430NANvidia Tegra 3Intel Atom Z2420CPUDual-core 1 GHzDual-core 1.2GHzQuad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9Single-core 1.2 GHz with Hyper-ThreadingRAM1GB1GB1GB1GBGPUPowerVR SGX540NAULP GeForcePowerVR SGX540Battery4000mAh4000mAh4325mAh4270mAhPriceRs. 15,999 for the 3G version and Rs. 10,499 for the Wi-Fi only versionPrice not yet announced (Tablet is available in 3G and Wi-Fi only version)Rs. 15,999 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version, Rs. 18,999 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only version, and Rs. 21,999 for the 32GB 3G+Wi-Fi versionRs. 15,999 (3G+WiFi version)
Let’s get the good stuff out of the way. The Tab 3 is a whopping 43 grams lighter than the Tab 2, which unless you are an anorexic model, or suffering from malnutrition, shouldn’t make much of a difference. It is also 0.6mm thinner, which again doesn’t make a difference on paper at least. It’s nice to see the device get slimmer and lighter but we hoped that those wouldn’t be almost the only differences between the two devices.
The Tab 2 has expandable storage up to 32GB where as the Tab 3 takes that up to 64GB. The Tab 2 has a 1GHz dual-core processor where as the Tab 3 has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. This is where the disappointment starts. What happened to the quad-core processor? You know, the one we liked from the Galaxy S III? And why is the display resolution the same? What’s wrong with having 1280x800 pixel resolution display? We have seen 7-inch budget Android tablets like the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G tablet show off a 1280x800 pixel resolution. The rest of the specifications of the tablet are the same.
The OS of the Tab 3 is Android 4.1 and we hope it will be upgradeable to 4.2. We also think that Samsung may bring a bunch of its features such as S-Voice, Smart Stay, Smart Pause and more to the tablet. But then again, these features aren’t groundbreaking enough to compel you to upgrade to the Tab 3 from the Tab 2. Even the cameras on both the Galaxy Tab 2 and the Galaxy Tab 3 are the same.
If a SIM card slot and the ability to make calls isn’t one of your primary requirements, the market is flooded with a bunch of tablets that you can consider under the Rs. 15k price point. If 3G calling is something you are looking for, there are quite a few devices available but from local brands. Asus also recently launched the FonePad in India. On paper, the display looks better than the Tab 2 and the Tab 3. It is powered by the Intel Atom Z2420 chipset, which is one we have seen on the Xolo X500 and found it to be quite impressive.
If you are in the market to pick up a 3G-capable 7-inch tablet with the ability to make calls, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is still your best bet. The Asus FonePad is also an option users can consider. The 3G-variant of the Nexus 7 costs a fair bit more, at Rs. 21,999, so it cannot really be recommended unless your budget extends that far. As of now, we don’t see any reason to recommend the Tab 3. We would, however, like to review the tablet and put it through its paces before we hand out our final judgement.
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