For those intents and purposes, eight inches is the new sweet destination for tablets. We’ve to date seen a few hits with this particular form factor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. perhaps foremost and this includes. It makes sense, in fact; 10.1 inches can be unwieldy for travelers, and 7 inches scrimps a bit on-screen real estate property. Samsung’s leveraged this trend to include another 8-incher to the lineup: the $300 Galaxy Tab 3 8.. With 16GB of built in storage, a dual-core processor and WiFi — however, not LTE — support, it’s hardly revolutionary apart from those novel dimensions. Still, we’ve found plenty to love with Galaxy Tabs in past times, so is that this yet another strong contender? Meet us beyond the break to discover.
The Tab 3 8. may not have the name recognition of Galaxy Tab 3, but just what it does have within its favor can be a svelte, lightweight design. At 10.9 ounces (309.1g), it’s comfortable to carry one-handed, as well as just .29 inch (7.36mm) thick, it can make the .31-inch Note 8. look (and feel) positively bloated. Basically we appreciate that Samsung shrunk the bezels with this model, it can do help it become hard to grip the slate up top without touching the display; you’ll would like to retain the tablet at the end to avoid unintentional input. Incidentally, you’ll want to avoid gripping the tablet towards the top which means you won’t hit the quantity rocker around the upper-right edge.
Slimness aside, the Tab 3 8. also feels more premium than the Note as well as the very last-gen Tab 2 line, due to those skinny bezels and a brown-black hue done up inside a dimpled pattern. While we’re not huge fans on this color — our personal Joseph Volpe refers to this as shade “scab brown” — it’s less reflective as Samsung’s usual white and black options, meaning the tablet’s plastic build is a touch more pleasing to consider. (In the event you prefer a more standard color choice, you could opt for the white version.) This textured finish will also help mask the fingerprints that will inevitably grease the tablet’s backing, though you’ll still desire to wipe across the tablet regularly. Another sweet touch: the bronzy faux-chrome trim lining the tablet, which adds much more flare compared to standard silver trim (which you’ll still see on the white Tab 3 8.). This flourish carries onto the Tab’s backside, where 5-megapixel rear camera is in the middle of exactly the same material.
We’ve just about covered each of the surprises about the Tab 3 8.: port placement is par for your course, as they are the Samsung branding sitting both atop the touchscreen and in the midst of the device’s non-removable back cover. About the front of the device, you’ll get a 1.3-megapixel camera up top, even though the physical home button sits underneath the display, flanked by capacitive keys for settings and back. A microSD slot sits in the left edge of the slate, as the power button and volume rocker line the best side. The best edge is additionally house to an IR blaster, which lets you employ the tab being a remote device for your personal TV. Samsung’s been pushing this feature on several tablets, including the new Tab 3 10.1 and also the Galaxy Tab 7. Plus from almost 2 years ago. As always, the headphone jack sits on top edge, whilst the micro-USB port sits on the bottom together with two mini speaker grilles.
Samsung used a 1,280 x 800 (WXGA) TFT LCD panel for the Tab 3 8., which resolution results in a fabulous viewing experience. Images and text are perfectly crisp, and colours look reasonably vibrant at the same time. Additionally, viewing angles are nice wide, though you’ll have a harder time making use of the tablet in sunlight; the panel is without a doubt glare-prone.The 10.1-inch version from the Tab 3 also packs a WXGA resolution, meaning the Tab 3 8.0’s panel includes a higher pixel density (148 pixels per inch versus 189).
Running Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), the Galaxy Tab 3 8. supplies a few standout features in addition to the standard suite of Samsung apps. These include Peel Smart Remote, which utilizes the tablet’s IR blaster to control your TV, as well as the recently introduced Smart Stay for detecting once you look away from the screen and pausing and resuming your videos accordingly. Notably, Smart Stay will be the only “Smart” feature to really make it onto this tab — many of these special features live exclusively in the GS 4, at the very least for the time being.
Typically, Samsung leaves the app-collecting for your needs, only loading in the Tab 3 8. with a number of pre-selected programs. Such as Dropbox, Flipboard and TripAdvisor along with the expected parade of Samsung programs (ChatON, Game Hub, Group Play, S Voice, S Planner, WatchON — you understand the drill).
As the Tab’s older sibling, the Tab 3 10.1, packs a 3.2-megapixel rear camera, we get a 5MP shooter to play with here. Many individuals will appreciate the simple camera UI, that provides a straightforward settings menu on the right-hand side from the screen. Your camera app will give you several modes for snapping pics: the self-explanatory Auto, Beauty Face, Night, Panorama, Sports and Sound & Shot. Our sample shots deliver accurate, otherwise entirely vibrant, colors, though images usually look a little fuzzy. You’ll would like to avoid shadier, darker environments, since we didn’t have much luck in those conditions. Overall, the shooter will do inside a pinch, but you’re a lot better off with a standalone point-and-shoot (like you didn’t recognize that already).
You can even shoot video in 720p, but don’t expect extremely fluid movement. Our sample clip looks quite jerky, and autofocus didn’t do a great job at making objects look crisp. On the upside, audio came through loud and clear, with limited background interference. Finally, there’s a 1.3MP front camera, which is adequate for selfies (if you must) and video chats. We look a little washed-outside in our sample shots, but that’s being expected.
Using a 1.5GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 4 processor and 1.5GB of RAM, the Tab 3 8. is no match for slates running higher-end silicon. When we first powered about the tablet, the device was actually a mess of hiccups such as force closes and lots of seconds’ delay responding. We weren’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of utilizing the slate after those initial few minutes, but luckily the going got smoother right after. That’s not saying you won’t encounter the occasional stuttering or freezing; since we found using the Tab 3 10.1, everyday performance is frustratingly inconsistent. Your camera app seems especially at risk of upsetting the tab; it force-closed on us no less than 5 times during our few days of testing.
On our battery test — that requires playing the local video on loop with WiFi on and brightness set to 50 percent — this Tab’s 4,450mAh power pack lasted seven hours and 19 minutes. That’s on 01dexhpky with the Galaxy Note 8., the newest Nexus 7 along with the HP Slate 7, though a few 7-inchers such as the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 along with the Hisense Sero 7 Pro last several hours longer. Of course, you could expect more longevity with increased moderate use; we easily got using a full day with occasional emailing and light gaming, as an illustration.
When you are able take home the Galaxy Note 8. featuring its superior performance and S Pen only for $100 more, the Tab 3 8. is somewhat of a tough sell. Yes, the latter does give you a thinner design and runs Android 4.2 instead of the Note’s Android 4.1, but those advantages only tip the scale a whole lot. If you wish to stay within Samsung’s galaxy, we’d say you’re better off choosing the Tab 3 8. compared to the pricier Tab 3 10.1, as its smaller size causes it to be a much more compelling travel companion along with the difference in performance is negligible.
Outside of Samsung’s ecosystem, you do have a few other options at the same time. The newest Nexus 7, retailing for $229 and up, has wireless charging and a brilliant 1080p display in their favor — in addition to a really reasonable price. And if you’re wed to the 8-inch form factor (and available to another OS), the 7.9-inch iPad mini’s impressive battery life and accessibility App Store could possibly be top reasons to pay out $329-plus. The end result is that both of these alternatives are significantly more memorable than Samsung’s latest 8-incher, and we’re coming to expect standout features on tablets in exchange for our dough.