Customer Review

360 of 368 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I swapped my Google Nexus 7 for this . . . ., 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi) (Personal Computers)
After a fair bit of research I bought the Nexus 7 (2013) as my first tablet very recently. I chose it on the basis of the hardware specs, good screen and generally favourable reviews. I though about an iPad (for all of 3 seconds) but didn't consider them good value and was not keen to get locked into the apple ecosystem, ditto the new Kindle Fire hdx which is a lot of machine for the money but doesn't give you access to the Play Store (without a bit of jiggery rootery pokery anyway) so you are limited there. For the record I'm not a Samsung or Android fanboy - the last thing I bought with Galaxy on it was made of chocolate and my phone is a Nokia running Windows which I love. Anyway, I bought the Nex and whilst fairly happy with it, I did have issues and when a gadget mad friend of mine bought this Galaxy into work, I was promptly won over. The seven incher went quietly but quickly back courtesy of Amazon's exemplary customer service.

Here's why :

1] Size matters ! The extra inch and slightly wider format of the GT add up to a considerable enlargement in screen real estate. Watching iPlayer for example on the Nexus was akin to looking through a letter box for my forty-something eyes. Like the much vaunted Nexus screen however the GT display is warm, detailed and vibrant and I am very impressed with it. The wider format complete with white surround and square silver edge make the Samsung a much more handsome beast than the rather dull and anonymous Nexus and it still fits comfortably in my jeans back pocket (in it's case) too. I strongly recommend visiting Currys or PC World if you can to check them side by side if you are undecided.

2] Buttons ! The other main issue I had with the Nexus was the handling. With no "hard" buttons, the home (and other) touch screen buttons disappear when watching movies etc and move with screen rotation. This meant an extra touch to bring them back and their presence on screen ate further into the narrow display. With the GT's three physical (two of them soft) buttons always there, things are much simpler and quicker. With a flat edge compared to the Nexus curved, the power and volume buttons are also much easier to locate and use - particularly when in a case.

3] More room ! A micro SD slot adds extra storage cheaply and easily. At the time of writing a 16Gb card comes free with this giving you a handy 32Gb from day one.

4] Guff ! A lot has been said about the customisation of Android by Samsung however I have found the manufacturers overlay and apps both welcome and useful. For example, the Samsung browser I find to be quicker than Google Chrome and the array of settings to play with are much broader and easier to adjust. The Android (mine came with Jelly Bean 4.2.2, not 4.1 as specified) not only looks prettier but is way more beginner friendly in many ways and the help function is very "helpful" too. With the Nexus you are given the nuts and bolts Android - no more and no less. This looks pretty spartan to me although this may suit the geeks. Importantly you still have full access to the Google Play store with the Tab.

5] Dosh ! When I purchased this (November 2013), it was the same price as a Nexus 7 but for a bigger screen and 32Gb storage although the price does change so it's wise to shop around.

6] And... it comes with a smart white charger (with detachable mini-USB lead) but no manual as seems to be de rigeur these days.

7] To be fair...and prove I am unbiased, it is only fair to mention the fact that the Nexus has a quad core (opposed to dual core) CPU, 0.5Gb more RAM and a newer version of Android (and updates to that will probably be quicker direct from Google). On paper the hardware is more powerful however in my world I have noticed no performance difference - right now I am listening to streamed music on Spotify (now free) whilst reading the excellent pre-installed Flipboard magazine without an issue. I also tried listening to one album on music player, downloading another from amazon and simultaneously playing the ubiquitous Candy Crush with no issues - more than happy with that.

I have recently teamed my Tab with the excellent Manna UltraSlim Case which keeps it well protected and looking fabulous. Connectivity via Bluetooth is excellent - it works seamlessly with my Sony 2.1 Channel HT-CT260 Virtual Surround Sound Bar and my car audio (Ford) too. A StrongVolt POP360 Hands Free Bluetooth Speaker is a must for watching footie in the bath and a Samsung MHL 2.0 HDMI HD TV Adapter is needed for connecting to non-smart TVs via the HDMI port. It also works well with the excellent Google Chromecast which is a more elegant way of streaming selected apps such as iPlayer, YouTube, Netflix and BT Sports etc

This is an amazing piece of kit that I'm discovering new things about every day and by far the best tech item I've bought this year.

** UPDATE 01/07/2014 - The Kitat 4.4.2 update finally arrived and has now been successfully installed **
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Dec 2013 22:40:13 GMT
Great review Pete...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2013 07:14:54 GMT
Much appreciated. Thanks Jason :o)

Posted on 28 Dec 2013 12:37:59 GMT
Saajan Bains says:
great review but did you notice any performance decrease when switching from the nexus to the tab as I've heard that the tab has a weaker dual core processor instead of the quad core. I'm also thinking about getting this tablet because the 7 inch nexus feels a bit small especially when browsing the web and an ipad mini does not seem appealing to me as the screen resolution is low.
Thanks
Saajan

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2013 00:52:17 GMT
Hi Sajan, thanks for reading my review. If you look in point 7, I have noticed no difference in performance. That said, I use(d) both tablets for general browsing, iPlayer, Spotify and the occasional lightweight game etc nothing too hardcore, but this is probably typical for most tablet users.
The larger screen (and real buttons) makes it easier and therefore faster to use and I am very pleased with the Tab and have no regrets about the swap. Loving Swype keyboard too :o)

Posted on 25 Jan 2014 19:46:45 GMT
I am really glad that you posted your excellent review. I recently purchased a new nexus 7, then found that I could not access bbciplayer,nor was there the facility to listen via headphones. Just in the process of returning item to Amazon as unsuitable. I was undecided about ipad mini, and a computer expert recommended the galaxy tab 3.

Posted on 6 Feb 2014 17:41:03 GMT
bluefish2303 says:
Thanks for the review Pete and linking to my deal on HotUKDeals. Regards bluefish2303.

Posted on 23 Mar 2014 18:20:27 GMT
D. Norman says:
SAMSUNG TAB 8 Probably the most useful review. As it is given by an ex Nexus user. Valid points you have made, the size for holding, the multi tasking capability, and the soft buttons on the galaxy. No noticeably different in performance from the Nexus. To be honest, I have looked at both Nexus and Galaxy tab 8 and find the Tab a better presented tab. Good point to about the difference in screen size from the Nexus. That makes sense, hadnt thought of that, and still the Tab apparantly, is still a good option for transporting and using. Thankyou

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2014 18:24:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 May 2014 18:25:39 BDT
Kev Partner says:
"Silver surfer" I'm not sure why you couldn't access iPlayer - unless it was just after a new version of Android was released. It works fine on my Nexus 7, as does listening using headphones. Just pointing this out in case anyone else thinks these things don't work on a Nexus 7.

Posted on 9 Jun 2014 16:25:21 BDT
Lenny says:
How did you manage to get the 4.2.2 android? I thought 4.1 was installed.Can you specify that as I too want one of those. In fact researching at this moment.

Excellent review. I hope to emulate your findings.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 16:59:19 BDT
Hi Lenny, it came with 4.2.2 installed when I ordered it from Amazon. The product description is a bit out of date.
Thanks for the compliments
Peter
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