TOI Review : Samsung Galaxy Tab 620
NEW DELHI: There are a number of Galaxy Tabs in the market at the moment. And in a few months, there are likely to be more. The original Galaxy Tab, the 7-inch device that launched last year, can still be found if you search in earnest. Then, there is Galaxy Tab 750 with 10.1-inch screen, Galaxy Tab 730 with 8.9-inch screen and Galaxy Tab 680 with 7.7-inch SuperAMOLED screen.
The list is completed by Galaxy Tab 620, which we are reviewing today. Samsung says consumers need so many different Tabs to choose from "because no one size fits all", a subtle dig at the fruity company that sells just one tablet - iPad.
The classic argument on quality vs quantity aside, today we are going to find out what Tab 620 - called Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus in international market - packs in its slender and sleek body. Read on to know if this is the tablet for you.
Smaller than iPad Ok, this goes without saying. With a screen size of 7 inches, Tab 620 is definitely lot smaller and lighter than iPad or iPad2. This is good as well as bad. Good because the compact frame and a weight of 345 grams makes Tab 620 easier to use on the go or for longer durations. It's more portable. More handy to use. Bad because the smaller screen has disadvantages if you want to browse for longer durations or watch videos on it.
It typical Samsung fashion, Tab 620 is built using lots of glossy plastic. But the design is good. Rounded edges, sides that gracefully slope and a thin aluminum frame around the screen, give Tab 620 a premium finish. The back cover can't be removed, something that is common to almost all tablets nowadays. Slots to load SIM and MicroSD are on the left of the tablet while power button and volume rocker are on the right.
Overall, Tab 620 looks like a smaller replica of Tab 750. However, in terms of core hardware, it is somewhat better than its bigger sibling. Unlike the 1Ghz Tegra 2 processor in Tab 750, Tab 620 has a 1.2Ghz Exynos processor, which in our opinion is better. There is 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage with support for up to 32GB micro SD card.
The 7-inch PLS (plane-to-line switching panel) is decent. The resolution of 1024 x 600 is adequate. Viewing angles are good but brightness is somewhat lacking. Though in day-today usage it hardly makes any difference.
The primary camera has a 3 mega-pixel sensor while the front camera supports a resolution of 2 mega pixels.
Tab 620 is powered by Honeycomb (Android 3.2). The user interface and performance is largely smooth. Largely because sometimes there is a perceptible lag in animations, most likely due to Samsung's TouchWiz interface that sits atop the Honeycomb.
Despite their popularity, tablets continue to be special-purpose devices. They are not yet as functional as a laptop or desktop. Though there are certain things - like casual web browsing - that tablets do better.
When it comes to Tab 620, it has two big advantages over the competitors, including iPad 2. One is web browsing.
The browser bundled with Honeycomb is very good, complete with a functional multi-tab browsing. The second advantage is the tablet's stellar media playback capability. The Exynos processor used in Tab 620 has very good media playback support. Result: Tab 620 will likely play anything you throw at it. In our tests full HD (1080P) videos were no trouble. Similarly, the device handled AVI, MKV, MP4 and several other formats with ease.
Unlike iPad and Blackberry Playbook, Tab 620 can utilize SIM card for making calls. Of course, users are not going to hold the tablet to their cheeks and shout into it. But if you are comfortable using a Bluetooth headset, making and receiving calls is possible with Tab 620.
Honeycomb, flawed as it is, does offer a compelling suit of Google apps. Navigation, which relies on Google Maps, will appeal immensely to commuters. Gmail app is fantastic and if it matters to you, could be the single biggest reason for preferring Tab 620 over non-Android tablets.
Battery life is also good. Tab 620 comes with a battery rated for 4000 mAh. In daily life, this translated to nearly 13 hours when the tablet was used for moderate browsing, emails, social networking on Twitter and Facebook and playing some videos.
Apps! Apps! Apps! Or the lack of them. Honeycomb debuted last year as tablet-only version of Android. But despite a fair number of Honeycomb devices in the market, not many tablet-specific Android apps have arrived.
This is the biggest problem with Tab 620. Samsung has tried to alleviate the issue by bundling a fair number of customizable widget and apps but that is not enough to address the problem.
As we said earlier, tablets are not general-purpose computing devices. This means that unless apps are not available, their utility is limited. This is one area why iPad has been so successful and why iPad can do so much more than a device like Tab 620 or Playbook.
Worth its price?
Should you choose Tab 620 over competitors? The answer depends on why you want to buy a tablet. With a price of Rs 26,499, Tab 620 is a very good device. In fact, it is the best 7-inch tablet you can buy in the market. But you should consider it only if you know what you want to do with it.
Tab 620 is a good tablet for accessing Gmail, reading ebooks, watching videos, browsing on the go and jotting down notes. In sum, it's a solid gadget. But it's not the tablet if you want to play games on it. Similarly, it's not a tablet that is going to amaze and surprise you by introducing you to some beautifully designed apps, the way iPad can do.