Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

Though the core elements of this tablet are fine, there is no compelling reason to choose this tablet over the many others in this fast-growing category.


6.8
CNET Rating
7.5
User Rating

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Design

Do you remember the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 from earlier this year? Or perhaps you're familiar with the original Galaxy Tab 10.1? If so, then you've seen the Tab 2 7.0 before. Covered in a gun-metal grey plastic chassis, and with a wide black bezel surrounding its 7-inch touchscreen, the Tab 2 looks just like many of its predecessors. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it isn't an eye-catching design by any stretch of the imagination. The back of the tablet lacks any sort of grip, too, unlike Google's Nexus 7.

Although Samsung has an excellent reputation for its display technology, it chooses not to use its best panels in the Tab 2. Rather than the same excellent screen we saw on the Tab 7.7, Samsung goes for a PLS LCD panel instead, obviously in an attempt to keep the price low. The screen is serviceable, but not outstanding. It's 1024x600-pixel resolution is a touch low, equating to roughly 170 pixels per inch. In comparison, the Nexus 7 has a 216 pixels-per-inch resolution on a screen of the same size.

As it is with most tablets, the unit is sealed and the battery is not user accessible. It is pretty easy to spot where the battery lives beneath the chassis, though, as it tends to heat up considerably during use. We wouldn't say that it became uncomfortably hot to hold, but it does make your hands sweaty.

User experience and performance

With a range of tablets in its arsenal, Samsung seems to weigh up price and performance, delivering only what you pay for. The Tab 2.0 is the company's cheapest tablet, and, as such, it is among its weakest performers. Powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor, the Tab 2.0 held its own in web-based performance benchmarks, but fell way short of the competition in 3D rendering tests.

Synthetic tests aside, the overall performance of the Tab 2.0 wasn't too bad in everyday use. Most of the heavy-duty games we downloaded and tested ran smoothly enough to be played without frustration. Our biggest performance complaint probably pertains to Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and to some of the resource-hogging widgets that are preloaded on the tablet. Out of the box, there are widgets on display featuring various Samsung software services, and the frame rate when switching between home pages is disappointing. If you remove these widgets, though, the user experience is much smoother. There are other bothersome pauses in the UI; bringing up the keyboard is often slow, and loading databases like Contacts can take a moment.

Battery life could also be much better than it is; it's another victim of Samsung's cost cutting, no doubt. The Tab 2.0 endured just over five hours of continuous 720p video playback, and about four and a half hours of web browsing. For most people, this will sound like enough, but in comparison to the competition these numbers are low. The Nexus 7 managed 10 hours of playing the same video file in a loop, and we'd expect another hour of web browsing at least from a device of this size.

Connectivity and features

Samsung sells the Tab 2.0 in a number of different SKUs in Australia, with options for either Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 3G, and 8GB or 32GB storage options. The 3G models offer quad-band HSPA+ networking, so they will easily connect to any of the Australian 3G networks, with download speeds of up to a theoretical maximum of 21Mbps. The Tab 2.0 can also make phone calls, if this is important to you.

All the units come with a microSD card slot, so, regardless of whether you pick an 8GB or 32GB model to begin with, you can expand this at any time in the future.

Also of note, the Tab 2.0 features dual-band Wi-Fi with support for 802.11 a/b/g/n networks. We haven't structured a formal test around the Wi-Fi in this tablet, but we have observed that it has been performing well during our testing period.

Overall

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is ultimately a forgettable entry in the ever-growing chronicle of Samsung Android-powered products. The core elements of this tablet are fine; the screen works, its connectivity is good and the Android platform offers quite a bit of functionality. But there is no reason to choose this tablet over the many others in market. Samsung's TouchWiz UI takes more from the user experience than it gives back, its hardware offers only passable performance and battery life is below par.

If you want a 7-inch tablet, grab a Nexus 7. It offers the same basic package, but is better, with the latest version of Android, a nicer screen and a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Nexus doesn't have a 3G option (at the time of writing), but if you learn how to use the Wi-Fi hotspot on your smartphone, then this shouldn't be a difficult obstacle to overcome.



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mariajones1990 posted a comment   
Australia

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is now only $175 at http://amzn.to/17ViELE. This is great value for a quality device.

gtan00
5
Rating
 

"The price is probably the best thing"

gtan00 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Very cheap, long battery life

The Bad:Tap accuracy and screen brightness auto adjustment

The price of this tab is really enticing. The battery life is good, however I had problem with tapping accuracy. Closing a browser, tapping a link or opening a new browser tab is often a struggle. The screen brightness auto adjustment doesn't work very well either, most of the time I just adjust it manually. I'd say this is good for kids / non-expert users.

LiamD2 Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Samsung Galaxy Tab 2"

LiamD2 posted a review   

The Good:great battery life, good android OS, google play store

The Bad:not yet upgradable to android 4.1 jelly bean.

I love my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. I own the 7-inch version which I got for my birthday. I love this tablet as it has outstanding performance and great battery life. I take it to school so I need something I can rely on all day, every day. I rarely need to charge it up as the battery can last a couple of days before I have to charge it. A small improvement I would like to see with this device is Android 4.1 Jelly bean being released as a software update. (I think Samsung is planning on releasing Android 4.2.2 for Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 in January 2014.) I think Samsung should release the update this year because Android 5.0 will be out in 2014. I only have the 8GB model but I find that is enough storage space to keep all of my apps and games. I find it easy to download all of my apps/games using the google play store.

arthng
7
Rating
 

"For novice users not IT professionals"

arthng posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Quality and value

The Bad:No ethernet support for IT professionals

If you are an IT professional you will probably won't be interested in this tablet as if you ever want to connect it to a USB to LAN adapter it will not work. I did some research and it appears they have excluded the code from Android that supports ethernet. Otherwise this tablet is great and fairly good value.

sarah101
10
Rating
 

"I really think every one should get a samsung galaxy tab2"

sarah101 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:it has much more functions and features

The Bad:i reall y dont dislike this prouduct and hopefully everyone else doesnt either

well today i bought a new samsung galaxy tab 2,16gb and built in wifi.Just by looking at all the features, its quite amazing then an ipad.Comparing a samsun ggalaxy tab to an ipad,i think the tablet would be much bette because the samsung tablet has so much amazng features and functions.The samsung galaxy tab also has front camera lens,light sensor,speakers,rear camera lens,GPS antenna,microphone,memory card slot and much more, but unfortunatly the ipad only has a home buttom, off button and volum button, so thats my opinion about a sunsung galaxy and a ipad.hope you enjoyed. :)

 

bestestimes posted a comment   
Australia

The one my mum has was bought in aussie store and doesn't have an IR blaster like the over seas ones. why is this?

 

jakethesnake posted a comment   
Australia

Is it possible to add a usb broardband stick to the Wi-Fi model to give it mobile data ?

 

fortherecord posted a comment   
Australia

This tablet is a hit in the US market. It offers more than Nexus 7 with a memory expansion slot and TouchWiz is sweet. Jellybean looks more like a phone OS on Nexus 7 than a tablet OS. As with most US tablets Amazon included their are never any upgradeable memory slots.

Try looking at Best Buys

 

Will1505 posted a comment   

Just a heads up, this device is started to get jelly bean seeded to it in the UK

 

jazzhunt posted a comment   
Australia

Yes, but can it make phone calls? The single best thing about the original 7inch (p1000) is that it's a perfectly adequate phone. Sure you have to use a blue-tooth device or a wired headset but big deal. One of only two tablets (as far as I know) that is an actual phone - meaning you only have to carry one device. I know the original won't support honeycomb or ice-cream sandwich but I still value it's unbeatable utility.

 

Joseph Hanlon posted a reply   
Australia

The image shows a phone icon, so I'm guessing that it can. Though apparently this is a decision that Samsung leaves up to its telco partners. My guess is that if one of the Aussie telcos picks it up, its unlikely they'd block the calling functionality.

 

ElioF posted a reply   

I believe that the overseas model has phone feature. I got mine from Indonesia and it has it. I tried looking in Aussie stores and I could only find the wifi model (not even 3g data version).

 

Djet2003 posted a reply   
Australia

I have a Galaxy Tab 7" first device, Yes it does make phone calls. I am with Amaysim $39.90 unlimited calls/text

 

GeorgeH2 posted a reply   
Australia

I beg your pardon, sir, but I just upgraded my original Galaxy Tab to Ice Cream Sandwich. And it was an official Samsung release, not a root




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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

  • mariajones1990

    mariajones1990

    "The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is now only $175 at http://amzn.to/17ViELE. This is great value for a quality device."

  • gtan00

    gtan00

    Rating5

    "The price of this tab is really enticing. The battery life is good, however I had problem with tapping accuracy. Closing a browser, tapping a link or opening a new browser tab is often a struggle. ..."

  • LiamD2

    LiamD2

    Rating8

    "I love my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. I own the 7-inch version which I got for my birthday. I love this tablet as it has outstanding performance and great battery life. I take it to school so I need some..."

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