For those intents and purposes, eight inches is definitely the new sweet location for tablets. We've so far seen several hits using this type of form factor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. perhaps foremost and this includes. It makes sense, after all; 10.1 inches could be unwieldy for travelers, and 7 inches scrimps a lttle bit on-screen property. Samsung's leveraged this trend to add another 8-incher to the lineup: the $300 Galaxy Tab 3 8.. With 16GB of built in storage, a dual-core processor and WiFi -- but not LTE -- support, it's hardly revolutionary besides those novel dimensions. Still, we've found plenty to love with Galaxy Tabs in the past, so is this an additional strong contender? Meet us beyond the break to learn.
The Tab 3 8. may not have the name recognition of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, but exactly what it does have in its favor is really a svelte, lightweight design. At 10.9 ounces (309.1g), it's comfortable to hold one-handed, as well as just .29 inch (7.36mm) thick, it makes the .31-inch Note 8. look (and feel) positively bloated. Basically we appreciate that Samsung shrunk the bezels about this model, it does make it hard to grip the slate up top without touching the display; you'll would like to retain the tablet towards the bottom to prevent unintentional input. Incidentally, you'll also want to avoid gripping the tablet at the top therefore you won't hit the amount rocker on the upper-right edge.
Slimness aside, the Tab 3 8. also feels more premium compared to Note as well as the very last-gen Tab 2 line, as a result of those skinny bezels as well as a brown-black hue done up in the dimpled pattern. While we're not huge fans with this color -- our very own Joseph Volpe refers to this as shade "scab brown" -- it's not quite as reflective as Samsung's usual white and black options, meaning the tablet's plastic build might be a more pleasing to consider. (Should you really prefer a more standard color choice, you can pick the white version.) This textured finish likewise helps mask the fingerprints which will inevitably grease up the tablet's backing, though you'll still wish to wipe along the tablet regularly. Another sweet touch: the bronzy faux-chrome trim lining the tablet, which adds a little more flare compared to the standard silver trim (which you'll still see about the white Tab 3 8.). This flourish carries onto the Tab's backside, where 5-megapixel rear camera is surrounded by a similar material.
We've nearly covered each of the surprises on the Tab 3 8.: port placement is par for the course, as is the Samsung branding sitting both atop the touchscreen and in the midst of the device's non-removable back cover. About the front in the device, you'll locate a 1.3-megapixel camera up top, whilst the physical home button sits underneath the display, flanked by capacitive keys for settings and back. A microSD slot sits on the left side of the slate, whilst the power button and volume rocker line the correct side. The correct edge is likewise the place to find an IR blaster, which lets you employ the tab being a remote device to your TV. Samsung's been pushing this feature on several tablets, for example the new Tab 3 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 7. Plus from almost two years ago. As usual, the headphone jack sits on top edge, even though the micro-USB port sits at the base along with two mini speaker grilles.
Samsung used a 1,280 x 800 (WXGA) TFT LCD panel for that Tab 3 8., which resolution provides an amazing viewing experience. Images and text are perfectly crisp, and colours look reasonably vibrant also. In addition to that, viewing angles are nice wide, though you'll possess a harder time while using tablet in sunlight; the panel is definitely glare-prone.The 10.1-inch version of your Tab 3 also packs a WXGA resolution, which suggests 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. delivers a few standout features together with the standard suite of Samsung apps. These include Peel Smart Remote, which utilizes the tablet's IR blaster to control your TV, and also the recently introduced Smart Stay for detecting if you look outside the screen and pausing and resuming your videos accordingly. Notably, Smart Stay is definitely the only "Smart" feature so it will be onto this tab -- the majority of these special features live exclusively in the GS 4, at the very least for now.
In most cases, Samsung leaves the app-collecting to you, only loading the Tab 3 8. with a handful of pre-selected programs. Such as Dropbox, Flipboard and TripAdvisor together with the expected parade of Samsung programs (ChatON, Game Hub, Group Play, S Voice, S Planner, WatchON -- you already know the drill).
As the Tab's older sibling, the Tab 3 10.1, packs a 3.2-megapixel rear camera, we receive a 5MP shooter to experience with here. Many individuals will appreciate the straightforward camera UI, that offers a straightforward settings menu in the right-hand side from the screen. The camera app gives you several modes for snapping pics: the self-explanatory Auto, Beauty Face, Night, Panorama, Sports and Sound & Shot. Our sample shots deliver accurate, or else entirely vibrant, colors, though images often look a bit fuzzy. You'll desire to avoid shadier, darker environments, as we didn't have much luck in those conditions. Overall, the shooter will do in a pinch, but you're much better with a standalone point-and-shoot (just like you didn't know that already).
You may also 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 happens to be adequate for selfies (in the event you must) and video chats. We look somewhat washed-out in our sample shots, but that's to be expected.
With a 1.5GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 4 processor and 1.5GB of RAM, the Tab 3 8. is not any match for slates running higher-end silicon. Whenever we first powered about the tablet, the system was really a mess of hiccups including force closes and lots of seconds' delay in reaction. We weren't exactly thrilled at the possibilities of while using slate after those initial few minutes, but luckily the going got smoother immediately after. That's not to say you won't encounter the occasional stuttering or freezing; when we found using the Tab 3 10.1, everyday performance is frustratingly inconsistent. The camera app seems especially at risk of upsetting the tab; it force-closed on us a minimum of five times during our week of testing.
On our battery test -- which involves playing a nearby video on loop with WiFi on and brightness set to 50 % -- this Tab's 4,450mAh power pack lasted seven hours and 19 minutes. That's on 01dexhpky together with the Galaxy Note 8., the new Nexus 7 and the HP Slate 7, though several 7-inchers like the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 along with the Hisense Sero 7 Pro last several hours longer. Needless to say, you can anticipate more longevity with additional moderate use; we easily got by way of a full day with occasional emailing and lightweight gaming, for example.
When you can take home the Galaxy Note 8. having its superior performance and S Pen just for $100 more, the Tab 3 8. is a bit of a tough sell. Yes, the latter does offer a thinner design and runs Android 4.2 rather than the Note's Android 4.1, but those advantages only tip the scale a lot. In order to stay within Samsung's galaxy, we'd say you're happier going for the Tab 3 8. in comparison to the pricier Tab 3 10.1, as the smaller size will make it a more compelling travel companion along with the difference in performance is negligible.
Away from Samsung's ecosystem, there is a few other available choices at the same time. The newest Nexus 7, retailing for $229 or higher, has wireless charging plus a brilliant 1080p display in the favor -- not to mention a really reasonable price. And if you're wed towards the 8-inch form factor (and ready to accept another OS), the 7.9-inch iPad mini's impressive battery and accessibility App Store could possibly be top reasons to spend $329-plus. The bottom line is that both of these alternatives are far more memorable than Samsung's latest 8-incher, and we're coming over to expect standout features on tablets in exchange for our dough.