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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 review
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 has a 7.7-inch Super AMOLED plus display with WXGA resolution (1280 x 800). Measuring at 196.7 x 133 x 7.89mm and weighs 335g. Also feature 1.4GHz dual-core processor and running on Android version 3.2 with TouchWiz UX skinning.
Review On : Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

bytz@thestar.com.my

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a headturner with more firepower than its predecessors, and also doubles as a full-fledged phone.

When seven inches is not enough
SAMSUNG is one busy Tablet PC manufacturer. In the short span of slightly more than a year since it churned out its first model, the 7in GT-P1000, the ­company has been flooding the market with more Tablet variants than you can shake a stick at.

Among them are the Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1 - and you guessed it, their names reflect their screen sizes. Some even consider the Galaxy Note smartphone, with its big 5.3in display and stylus-supported capability, more of a Tablet than a smartphone, but we digress.

Recently, the company did the unexpected by launching two 7in models simultaneously. The Tab 7.7, which has a 7.7in display (duh) and the Tab 7 Plus which is said to be the successor to the original P1000 model.

Samsung was kind enough to provide us with the Tab 7.7 to mess around with and, boy oh boy, did it make a strong (and positive!) first impression on us.

Well-made
The Feature of the Tab 7.7 that earned its first brownie point is its looks. While the original Tab had a thick, plastic paperback-like ­casing, the Tab 7.7 is sleek and sexy thanks to its slim brushed metal body with matching grey plastic strips ­adorning the top and bottom back portions - these are for better ­signal reception by the way.

At only 7.89mm thin, the device is even slimmer than a pencil, and it's lightweight too, tipping the scales at only 340g.

You can easily slip it into your cargo pants, or for the ladies, lug it around in their handbags. It is also comfortable to hold and use while walking or lying down.

A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top edge, while the opposite side is home to twin speakers along with the proprietary charge/data connector.

Unlike its siblings, there is no microUSB port to be found.

Along the side edges are the power/lock button, volume rocker as well as SIM and microSD slots.

Next brownie point
The Tab 7.7 boasts a Super AMOLED Plus screen, which seriously delivers brilliant ­colours with a wider ­colour gamut, contrast ratio, sharpness and response time that makes viewing text clearer and sharper.

Bear in mind that despite its slightly wider screen size than the ­original Tab, the ­resolution is still kept at 800 x 1,280-pixels.

The Tablet is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor along with 1GB of RAM and a Mali-400MP graphics engine.

In our time with it, the Tab 7.7 ran pretty smoothly and ­seamlessly - quick to launch apps and respond to all ­manner of taps and swipes. Lags did occur especially when ­changing the orientation or ­swiping to other pages but not as much as in previous models. No big deal here though.

Inside, you will find all the ­current ­standard Tablet ­features, ­including WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, an ­accelerometer, digital compass and ­gyroscope, and ­ambient light ­sensors. It is interesting to note that apart from GPS, the Tablet supports GLONASS.

It stands for "Globalnaya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema" which is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.

The system both complements and provides an alternative to the United States' GPS and is currently the only alternative navigational ­system in operation with global ­coverage and of the same precision.

Power up
The Tab 7.7 runs the Android Honeycomb 3.2 operating ­system with the proprietary TouchWiz UX user interface layer on top.

The OS includes some ­general bug fixes and ­Performance ­improvements such as ­optimisation for smaller Tablet sizes, which means 7in Tablets like the Tab 7.7 should now be able to run Honeycomb without any ­compatibility issues.

It also has a new app-­zooming option for ­programs not optimised for the Tablet form.

The TouchWiz UX offers a ­customisable home screen ­experience, so content can be instantly accessed from the home screen including e-mails, image ­galleries, favourite websites and social ­network feeds.

The Tablet also has no problems handling full HD 1080p video playback.

Various video codecs are supported including MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV and DivX.

One advantage that Android has over the popular iOS is Flash ­support. Yes, no blank squares will appear where video or ­animated content would normally be ­displayed when you visit websites embedded with Flash content on the Tab 7.7.

Hello there
While most other 3G + WiFi Tablets in the market only allow users to surf the Internet and do VoIP calls, the Tab 7.7 actually ships with a complete phone app that effectively turns it into a full-fledged phone.

Yes, the Tab 7.7 has a built-in ­earpiece (next to the front ­Camera) and microphone (below, in line with the proprietary port and speakers) for that.

Heck, it even comes with a proximity ­sensor that turns off the screen when your face is pressed against it ­during calls.

However, be prepared to be greeted with some confused stares and probably a few laughs due to the comical nature of speaking with an overgrown slate attached to your face.

In any case, the ­experience was not really that great. Even in the quietest ­surroundings, voice ­clarity tended to be ­muffled and sounded ­distant according to feedback from the receiver on the other end.

So it is better to turn on the ­speakerphone function, or for a ­clearer and more private call you can hook up a headset or a Bluetooth ­equivalent. Users can also make video calls and send SMS or MMS on the Tab 7.7, just like with any ­smartphone.

Poor shooter
If there is one area where the Tab 7.7 is certainly lacking, it has to be in the camera department. The device only has a 3-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel ­front-facing one.

We weren't very pleased with the still image results. Despite shooting in bright ­sunlight, the colour and sharpness of the ­photos weren't particularly ­satisfying. However the macro shots fared slightly better as we could see more details in each image.

As for 720p video recording, all we can say that it is only good for casual video ­recording.

The Tab 7.7 comes with a ­bigger 5100mAh ­battery pack, which allows it to ­operate for more than 10 hours of occasional web ­browsing, checking e-mail, ­updating social ­networking feeds and ­watching one or two movies.

Wrap up
To sum it up, the Tab 7.7 is a ­stunner that offers speedy ­performance with a ­brilliant ­display screen and long ­battery life.

There's not much to complain about apart from the rather poor still image ­quality which stopped us from giving the Tablet full marks.

The Tab 7.7 is a tad pricey when you ­consider that it only has 16GB storage space and a smaller screen size.

Still, if you are looking for ­something smaller and easier to lug around, you would do well to give the Tab 7.7 a look.

Pros: Sleek and slim; highly ­portable; smooth operation; ­exceptional display.
Cons: Camera could be better; a tad pricey.

GALAXY TAB 7.7
Samsung Android Tablet
Operating System: Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
Processor: 1.4GHz dual-core processor
Network: HSPA+, GSM 850/900/1900/2100, EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
Camera: 3-megapixel with LED flash (back), 2-megapixel (front)
Display: 7.7in WXGA (1,280 x 800-pixels) Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen
Memory: 16GB Internal memory, 1GB RAM
Expansion: microSD slot (up to 32GB)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, WiFi
Features: A-GPS & GLONASS, 720p HD video recording, 1080p full HD playback, gyroscope, accelerometer
Battery: 5,100mAh lithium-on
Size: (W x H x D) 133 x 7.89 x 196.7mm
Weight: 340g
Rating: 4 stars
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Editor's rating:
Good


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