Samsung Galaxy Tab - Bit of a Gimmick

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I don't normally purchase cutting edge technology on their day of release, but this time around the Galaxy Tab caught my attention. Over the last few days I followed internet reviews, opinions and videos of the release of this thing and after a while I convinced myself that I needed to buy one. I definitely needed a Froyo based device of some sorts as I've been using a 1.5 device for a long time as my main phone and that was the only piece of hardware I had for development. For development a decent handset is essential as of course you need to check your work on the real thing every now and again and the latest release emulators can be painfully slow especially in debug mode, so I went to the Carphone Warehouse yesterday on the day of release and purchased one for 499 GBP.

Probably the most expensive gadget I will ever buy, but the best price I could find - A 1GB data only 1-month rolling contract with TalkTalk (and a free month) that I can cancel any time - which I probably will in the next few days. This for 499GBP.

After 24 hours with this thing now I'm a bit surprised at the large number of positive reviews this device has received... Its main flaw is that it doesn't really fill in a space that needs to be filled! It's an oversize mobile phone that simply can't replace your laptop or netbook for any real purpose.

I use Gmail and Google Reader a lot for example, and I was thinking this would be a great device just to read my mail and browse my feeds. Replying to email with the on-screen keyboard is annoying and the mobile gmail client is no where near as good as what you'd receive on your laptop browser. The same with Google Reader. So many features that aren't available that you just end up using your laptop/netbook.

I also thought this thing would be great for Skype. No it's not. Again down to the actual Skype application for Android because it doesn't seem to support video calling at the moment and again there are far too many features that are missing from what you could be installing on your PC. Again, another reason to ditch the tablet and pick up your laptop instead.

Of course this thing won't replace your mobile phone either because it is far too big to carry around in your pocket. I was thinking of taking it to the gym this morning and to try a particular excercise / rep application and maybe to listen to some podcasts, but really having this thing AND my mobile is just silly. It works as a mobile of course and supports Bluetooth etc. but it's far too big to bring up to your ear as a mobile phone.

At a price of usually 530 GBP it is incredibly expensive for a bit of a gimmick really. I guarantee that more often than not it won't allow you to do what you want as well as your current laptop and mobile phone. You'll also look like a bit of an idiot if someone phones you on it.

And another little criticism before I go! I have a spot in the house from which I use my laptop quite often and I usually get 2 bars on my Windows 7 status bar icon. The Tab can't find my access point from the same spot! I didn't notice any review as yet which also commented on the quality of the wifi but in my opinion it's definitely not as good as my laptop wifi interface.

Sorry, but I'm not a convinced with this one. A bad impulse purchase!


Anonymous said...

If this didn't serve your purposes thats fine, but calling it a gimmick? Really? You could apply that same statement to the iPad but that sells like hotcakes. The Galaxy may be a little expensive but as tablets specs and features go, its the top dog right now.

Artem Russakovskii said...

It's not all about what the specs are, Anonymous. It's what the gadget can do for you - whether you think it justifies the money spent or not. A gimmick in this case is basically what you would call a device that you wouldn't really want to use, and that's exactly what the poster is saying. I'm not sure Android is fully ready for the tablet yet either - maybe with Honeycomb and some time with developers acclimating to it and releasing apps targeted at it, it would be.

Ace said...

i agree with OP. the advantage the iPad has is its size. I hate Jobs but he's right. a 7" tablet is DOA. Regardless of whether or not it has good specs, the screen size is a dealbreaker for a lot of people. the tablet has such a niche purpose as it is, once you take away a decent size screen...its pointless. Archos have been around for years and have gone no where. iPad doubled their size and equalled their specs and BAM. Hotcakes.

Anonymous said...

Umm dude? It has been out for a few days. It is the first of its kind. As you said you dont like buying things when they first come out...this would be a legitimate reason why. There are NO apps that are for it yet. All the apps out are for well mobile phones as you said its like a large mobile phone..thats why. Why dont you wait 6 months then try again. This is the first real Android tab.

Allen said...

Thanks for the insightful blog post. I've been an iPhone guy from June '07 - January '10, and then I became tired of the so-called walled garden and went Android. My first purchase was the Nexus One which I thoroughly enjoyed. I went to the Samsung Vibrant (galaxy S) in August and besides the GPS issue, the hardware has been great. I hate that they promised to update to Froyo in Sept., then Oct., and now the end of Nov. I feel like if I buy the Galaxy Tab (which does look like a sexy piece of hardware), I'd be screwed with the OS updates. I am interested in a pad, be it iPad or Android for reading, email, and on-the-go blogging. The 7" screen does seem a bit small for all of these uses but the resolution is almost the same as iPad. At least in the UK (unlike the US), the Tab can be used as a phone. Our moronic carriers disabled that feature.

wayne said...

Hi Eurig,

the main problem with Android as a tablet as there is no word at all from Google that they are going to support tablets on the UI level. Thats one thing apple did BEFORE they realised the iPad was to update coco to support the new screen size.