The Galaxy Tab has been out for a little while now but i’ve only just had a chance to take a good look at one. With the iPad2 now on the shelves it also seemed like a good time to give it’s only serious rival a test drive (and I’m glad I did).
Samsung’s device runs the Android mobile operating system and anyone with an Android phone will have no trouble with the Galaxy’s interface. Everything can be tweaked to your specification, much more so than the iPad. Consequently it feels more like an extension of your personality finely customised to the way you use it.
The Galaxy Tab is slightly smaller than an iPad with a 7inch (600 x 1024 pixels) screen apposed to a 9.7 inch (1024 x 768 pixels on the iPad. But size isn’t everything (so I’m told), and the user interface is excellent even If you are new to the operating system.
Using it to send emails is a doodle, browsing the web is great too, Flash is supported so things look like they should online. After a bit of practise squeezing and pinching becomes second nature, enabling you to read webpages much easier than using a normal sized mobile which with my big fingers I find a struggle sometimes.
Making calls and sending text messages is also great, very nice buttons and scrollers make finding contacts quick and easy. Because of it’s size you may feel slightly self-conscious using it in public. Syncing with other social accounts ( Gmail / facebook and Twitter) is effortless and while the screen resolution is not quite up to the iPads, it’s not noticeably worse.
The camera is reasonable and with apps like Picplz and Retro Camera you can add some cool filters to your pics like you can with iPhone Instragam App, sharing the pics is very easy too, usually 1 or 2 clicks and it’s done.
Although the Android marketplace isn’t quite the Aladdin’s Cave Apple’s App store is, there is LOTS to explore. Most of Google’s free apps are excellent, although they are still maybe half a dozen ‘must have’ apps short. I don’t know what they are, but I do know they will come, and the majority of new app are being built to run on all mobile platforms.
One of the things I noticed about the Galaxy is just how much time is spent with it glued to your hands. At a loose end for more than a couple of minutes, and you’ll find the Galaxy tab magnetically drawn towards you.
Apple seem to be treading water slightly at the moment, the iPad 2 is excellent, but is it dramatically different than the original? If there is a momentum in the Mobile and Tab market at the moment it is with Android and the Galaxy Tab is leading the charge.
If I had to choose between an iPad and a Galaxy Tab it would be really difficult. The 16GB Galaxy tab is £100 less than a comparable 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G so price wise it has the edge.
For someone who loves using Apple products everyday it’s a reluctant admission but I’d get the Galaxy Tab and live happily ever after, although the best option might be to wait a month or two.