Last week I picked up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0″. I’ve always been an Apple guy. I have a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5 and for awhile I had an iPad 4. I sold the iPad 4 before the Air came out and planned to upgrade but ended up getting an Xbox One instead. So I went awhile without a tablet and basically picked up the Galaxy Tab 3 on a whim since it was on sale and within my budget.
So far it hasn’t been too bad and experience, but it hasn’t been amazing either. The Tab 3 isn’t too much cheaper than the first gen iPad Mini, but based on its performance it feels like it shouldn’t be priced over $99. It’s not the worst in the world, but at times it’s pretty bad. There have been times when I hit the home button and have to wait 3 seconds for the home screen to display. I found that for the best performance you have to manually close out of apps, otherwise they continue to run in the background bogging down the system. On Apple devices I’m used to hitting the home button and switching between apps while letting iOS manage everything in the background.
One thing I do like about the Android operating system is widgets. It’s nice to have updating information on the home screen and various pages. Being able to check baseball scores, news headlines and weather by simply looking at the screen is a very nice feature. (Speaking of baseball scores, why is there no ESPN Score Center app on the Play store? There’s only a Brazilian version. Strange).
I also really love the Samsung Book Cover case which I got for $35 at Best Buy on clearance (it’s usually $50). It’s a nice quality case that looks great on the device and feels great when using the tablet or carrying it. I definitely recommend this case!
The only other thing I really have to say is the cameras are not that great on the device. It has a 3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera and neither take great pictures, though the front camera is functional enough for Skype. I’m not that concerned about the rear camera because I don’t often use a tablet camera to take pictures since I always have my phone with me (the iPhone 5’s rear camera is 8MP for reference).
I bought the 8gb model and a 32gb micro SD card. I didn’t realize you couldn’t install any apps on the SD card, so my 8gb device storage is already almost full. It is nice to be able to use the SD card for movies, books and other media files at least. With the iPad I’d often have to delete games and apps when I was traveling to make room for movies (I had the 32gb version but had a lot of large games).
I love gadgets so it’s been nice exploring and learning about my first Android device. I still prefer iOS and Apple hardware, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 isn’t bad. I look forward to learning more about it and experimenting some more as time passes.