Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 lineup

Galaxy Tab 3 10.1

On July 7, the next generation of Samsung’s venerable Galaxy Tab line will go on sale. The Galaxy Tab 7.0, Galaxy Tab 8.0, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 are the company’s mid-level tablets featuring low prices and decent specs. We got a chance to play around with them ahead of launch, and so far these Android tablets look pretty slick.

All three tablets share the same overall design language as the Galaxy Note 8.0. There are no front-facing speakers like the last generation, even on the 10.1-inch model. And though they all run Android Jelly Bean, each has a physical home buttons flanked by capacitive Back and Menu buttons. That’s the same setup you’ll find on the current Galaxy S phones, so it looks like Samsung is going for a universal design concept. There’s nothing wrong with this – a hardware button is very useful, especially when Android goes wonky – we’re just not sure how useful it will be on the Tab 3 10.1 since it’s in the middle of one of the long sides. On the Tab 3 7.0 and 8.0 most will be able to reach it comfortably with their thumbs.

Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

The smallest Tab 3, the 7-inch one, actually looks a little too small in comparison with the 8-inch version. 7 inches is the established “small” size for Android tablets, so it shouldn’t seem odd for it to be in this group. However, the 8-inch one is just bigger enough to offer more screen real estate without feeling too big in the hand.

There are other reasons to pick the 8-incher over the 7.0. The larger Tab 3 gets Android 4.2 instead of 4.1, 1280 x 800 resolution, twice as much (16GB) internal storage, and 1.5GB of RAM. The Tab 3 8.0 will also ship with some of the software found on the Galaxy S4, like on-board translation and multi-window support. What we like best about the Tab 3 8.0 is how holdable it is. It’s narrower than the Galaxy Note 8.0 because it doesn’t need extra room for the S-Pen. But in every other way, including lightness, comfortable curves, and screen brightness, it feels the same.

Galaxy Tab 3 8.0

All three Tab 3s will come in white and a golden brown color that’s very pretty.

In our short hands-on time with the devices we experienced smooth performance when opening apps and swiping around the interface. All of the Tab 3s have dual-core processors inside, so they’ll work just fine with the majority of Android apps. The Tab 3 8.0 has the most RAM, 1.5GB and probably the best screen size to resolution ratio. The Tab 3 10.1 has the same 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The pixel density difference is apparent when looking at them side by side. Overall, it’s not a problem for the Tab 3 10.1, it just makes the 8.0 look like the best value of the bunch.

Having played with all three, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 comes out as the star. It’s light and compact and very portable plus speedy and good-looking. The $300 price puts it above most 7-inch tablets and below the iPad Mini. The $200 Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 isn’t shabby, though. It will likely hold up well against others in this category, including the Nexus 7. The Tab 3 10.1 has a lot of competition in the 9 – 10-inch market, and the $400 asking price might not be enough to get it to stand out. We’re looking forward to getting all of these in soon and putting them through a more thorough review. If you can’t wait, all three are up for pre-order now and will go on sale on July 7.

Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.
Mobile

Google is adding Pixel 3 eSIM support for carriers around the world

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Mobile

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Deals

Sign up for Verizon Fios Triple Play and get a free Amazon Echo, Prime for a year

Verizon is now offering its Fios Gigabit Connection Custom TV and Phone service with Amazon Prime tossed in. While valid, you can sign up for the company’s Triple Play package, which includes all three Fios services, for $80 per month.
Deals

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.