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Customer Review

263 of 276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very compact for the screen size, 9 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi) (Personal Computers)
I'm very pleased with this tablet, having come from a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (last year's range, 7 inch model). That tablet was perfectly fine, but of course the spec has gone up a bit in the intervening time and I wanted a larger screen - there wasn't an 8 inch model in last year's Tab 2 range.

The Galaxy Tabs tend to have solid, mid-market specs which don't necessarily impress the specialist reviewers, but I am finding the screen bright and sharp, with a wide viewing angle and the Tab 3 operates smoothly and quickly enough for me. About the only thing I don't use it for is playing games, simply because I'm not into games, so I can't speak for its performance there, but everything else I've used it for has impressed me. It is of course faster than my Tab 2 7.0 due to the increase in spec (and in fact the Tab 3 8.0 has a higher spec than this year's Tab 3 7.0 too - a faster processor, twice the built-in storage, a higher-resolution main camera with autofocus, higher resolution on the larger screen, and an infra-red emitter for TV etc. remote control). The Tab 3 range has seen some changes to the design, with a style more like the Galaxy S4 phone, including the hard Home button and the capacitive menu and back keys. They also now use a micro USB 2.0 connector with charging facility, replacing the previous wide proprietary connector. The charger is also noticeably smaller.

The Tab 3 8.0 comes with Android 4.2.2 (it seems the Tab 3 7.0 and Tab 3 10.1 are presently still on 4.1.2, having launched earlier, but I expect they'll get updates). A particularly welcome feature on 4.2.2 is the reinstatement of a "lost" feature - you can move your apps onto your external SD card to save device storage, which is great.

The extra screen size is great, giving larger text and icons whilst still looking sharp, and I am impressed by the compactness of the tablet - because of its slim bezels, it is the same width as my old 7 inch Tab 2, so I can still hold it easily with one hand. It is a little bit taller (not much) but considerably slimmer through, and actually lighter than my old Tab 2. This 8 inch model seems the most effectively miniaturised one in the range - the 7 inch Tab 3 is smaller still, but not as much smaller as you'd expect.

I also purchased the Samsung-branded Book Cover for this tablet, in white. I was pleased to find that this has automatic wake and sleep functions, which wasn't mentioned in the item description, nor on the packaging.

Obviously the Galaxy Note 8.0 is the next step up the Samsung range if you want this size screen. It appears to use the same screen, but of course has all the S-Pen stylus functionality, plus a more powerful processor (Exynos 1.6 GHz quad-core versus Exynos 1.5 GHz dual-core), 2 GB of RAM versus 1.5 GB on the Tab 3 8.0 (not 1 GB as currently stated on the item description), and a slightly more powerful battery. The camera spec is the same. The Note 8.0 has Android 4.1.2 at present. It has wider screen bezels than the Tab 3 (which some may find helpful, others might not be bothered) and so is slightly larger and heavier, but isn't currently a lot more expensive than the Tab 3 8.0 because it was introduced a month or two earlier. However, I didn't need the S-Pen and preferred the look and size/weight of the Tab 3 8.0 - plus the current "One, Two, Free" promotion with a free 16 GB memory card in the box and free insurance also helped sweeten the deal a bit.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Oct 2013 23:04:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Oct 2013 23:14:51 BDT
TeaJam52 says:
The best review of the latest Samsung 8 inchers yet. I must have skimmed over this from my first visit and only fully read your review now. Probably because it was in pole position and did not have running comments or discussions. (Funny how the brain works, or mine anyway!)

I have not bought a tablet to date. I need to buy a MiFi dongle first. I am afraid to spend money for 2-3 weeks yet; car trouble.

Currently the Note 8 is £280.00 and the Tab 3 8" is £259.00 so the Note 8 now seems a better deal (from £329.00 ish). I had a (different) small stylus on my previous old phone, so that aspect also appeals.

I have tried and handled them in JLS. I have smallish hands but I could live with either. As you say the Note 8 is wider but easier to grip with two fingers. The Note has quad core and a little more ram, that's true too. The Tab3 8" is more than sufficient for all though; same screen, smaller and newer. The 8gb, lower spec Tab 3 7" is over £100.00 cheaper though.

The Note 8 should presumably get the 4.2.2 upgrade soon for multi - window and having apps on the SD card if true. Thanks for this info! I have a 14 month old Galaxy S2 ! running 4.1.2 now, but I find it too small now and will need reading glasses soon, so a change to a tablet and a simpler phone is on the cards. I can store apps on the SD on 4.1.2, but it is a phone.

I would also welcome your and other tablet users' comments on using tablets out of house. I mean how do you use wifi. In London the availability of free Cloud WiFi is diminishing and seems to be hijacked by BT wifi signals demanding exorbitant fees and ripping off tourists. So some users will have some free BT usage on some networks, or frequent expensive establishments with great wifi. Elsewise some can tether to their phones data, or my only current option is to buy a mifi dongle for my home pcs 3g+ data supply (10gb allowance). I think I can also tether to my Talkmobile phone but would have to pay for more data.

Sorry if I seem to have hijacked your review with this subject. I just can't stop writing.

A very useful review and info on the Tab3 8". Thanks, Tony.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 13:23:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Oct 2013 13:25:35 BDT
Thanks for the kind words - glad to be of help! For my own hand size, the Tab 3 8.0 is ideal, since anything wider would be an uncomfortable stretch, so I didn't even try out a Note 8.0 (and very shallow of me, I know, but I prefer the aesthetics of the Tab 3 8.0!). Since I graduated from last year's Tab 2 7.0 and have seen what a nice difference to performance the 1.5 GHz (versus 1.0 GHz) dual core processor makes, along with 1.5 GB of RAM versus 1 GB, I am sure that the Note 8.0's 1.6 GHz quad core CPU and 2 GB of RAM will make it fairly fly along. What with that and the all the impressive stylus-related functionality, not to mention the fact that its price has dropped more through having been around a little longer, I am sure the Note 8.0 is a real bargain - and the only choice in this sector if you want the stylus and associated programs. However, I didn't need them and am still happy with my choice. I'd imagine that the Note 8.0 already has multiscreen functionality with the previous version of Android (my Galaxy S3 is on 4.1.2 and does). I'm interested in your comment about storing apps on the SD card of your S2 with 4.1.2, because I haven't been able to do that on my S3 with this version or the previous releases I had on it. I could store files on the card, but only the Tab 3 8.0 allows me to move apps to the memory card and still carry on running them as normal.

I'm afraid I can't give much feedback on wifi use of the Tab 3 8.0, since though I use it on wifi, it's purely at home - I use my Galaxy S3 when out and about, but only on buses and so forth.

It's true that the Tab 3 7.0 is a lot cheaper than the 8 inch version, but there is a lot of specification difference. The 7 inch is of course even smaller, lighter and so on than the 8 inch (so it's impressively smaller than the previous year's Tab 2 7.0) but it's wise to be aware of the lower specification, which is not only in the obvious areas of CPU speed, amount of RAM and screen resolution, but also in less-obvious areas - for example, the Tab 3 7.0 has a lower-resolution main camera without AF (which limits its ability to use barcode scanning programs if my previous Tab 2 7.0 is anything to go by), no IR emitter, and is intentionally NOT compatible with OTG USB cables (even Samsung's own) and thus the accessories you could use with them, which the Tab 3 8.0 is.

Of course, the Tabs are intentionally of a lower specification than the Notes and indeed than the Galaxy S-series phones, even at their best, but I find the Tab 3 8.0 to be very nice for my (possibly fairly undemanding) but still "picky" needs!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2013 22:14:21 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Oct 2013 01:46:22 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2013 22:31:34 GMT
Thank you so much for the review and subsequent comments, how refreshing to read something subjective and informative and a real help when deciding which one to purchase. I have an old, reliable Archos 101 G9 and was looking to upgrade and after much research and the help of excellent reviews like this, I've just bought the Tab 3 8" and the wife has had the 10.1 - I need the more portable version than she does and the 8" seemed a good balance between portability and specification. I like the iPad variants but refuse to spend the extra £100 + on something that really is no better than these Android systems - I also like the additional freedom you get with Android (so many App providers) and the real winner for me is the SD card - in effect for this price you get a 32GB system and for just a few pounds more could have an 80GB system which on top of that can still connect to a USB stick via a £2 micro USB adapter.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2013 02:01:21 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 12 Dec 2013 01:21:55 GMT]

Posted on 29 Dec 2013 11:15:01 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 29 Dec 2013 11:21:13 GMT]

Posted on 29 Dec 2013 11:18:10 GMT
spec on the tab 3 8.0 says android 4.1 not 4.2.2 witch one is it ??

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2013 11:22:55 GMT
Well, I got mine in late August (definitely brand new) and it came with 4.2.2 (build dated Tuesday 4 June 2013). I know the 7 inch version of the Tab 3 comes (or came) with 4.1, as does (or did?) the Note 8.0, presumably because they were launched before the Tab 3 8.0. Don't know if they've had an update released yet. The different-looking, somewhat more spartan weather widget on the home screen is something that came in with 4.2.2 on the Samsungs.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2013 12:13:30 GMT
Ancient says:
Product details also says first available Jan 2012 this would also seem to be incorrect. Black mark Amazon||

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2013 10:30:29 GMT
Tab 3 8.0 arrived has 4.2.2 system made june 2013
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