Samsung has never failed to advance the number of its smartphone models, and have added more model names to its smartphone product portfolio, and now, we have the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 in our labs for review. Check out the video review below:
Design and Specifications
The Tab 3 8.0 gets a new design from Samsung in the Tab family, it introduces an 8 inch panel which is only available in last year’sGalaxy Note 8.0. The Tab 3 8.0 also has a slimmer profile at 7.3mm and weighs 330 grams. At first look, you’ll definitely notice that it’s textured design of the casing is very similar to the Galaxy Mega 6.3, the hyperglaze coating on the back is still Samsung’s signature material and you will find the camera lens placed on the left side of the device this time.
The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (SM-T315) has the following hardware under it’s hood:
Samsung Exynos Dual 4212 1.5GHz
16GB Built-in storage
8″ SC-LCD at 1280×800 (WXGA) Resolution
5 Megapixel AF Main Camera
1.3 Megapixel Front Facing Camera
World LTE/HSPA/GSM bands
Android Jelly Bean and TouchWiz
Any new Android devices running on the not-so-latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is nothing new as of now, the Tab 3 8.0 is preloaded with the latest version of TouchWiz dominating most parts of the operating system. TouchWiz looks the same as ever,Samsung has not bothered to recreate a tablet skin for it’s Tab family, and has used back the skin that has been installed on most recent Galaxy devices. Despite of this, it is good for existing Samsung smartphone users as they can easily adapt to the interface once they first power on the device. Additionally, system apps such as Phone, Messaging, Music Player has not changed much from the Tab 2.
TouchWiz on the Tab 3 8.0 has left out a few features found on recent Galaxy devices, premium features such as Air View, Air Gestures, Smart Pause, Eye Scrolling and S-Health have been left out, we aren’t surprised with these left outs as those are meant for flagship devices. Considering TouchWiz is much more lighter this time, we don’t get the snappy experience like any Exynos powered device, and we’re left frustrated at times when switching applications and transitions just feel like a single core device. Furthermore, navigating the user interface requires a bit of a gesture effort, Google’s Project Butter seems to be gone here.
The Tab 3 8.0 has got a camera upgrade from previous Tab series from 3 Megapixel to a better 5 Megapixel sensor, we definitely welcome the resolution bump and we are satisfied with the image quality for a tablet. Unfortunately, if you want to take pictures in the dark, there’s no LED flash on the back.
The camera app has also been updated to the latest version found on recent Galaxy devices, however shooting modes are limited to 6 shooting modes – Auto, Beauty Face, Sound and Shot, Panaroma, Sports and Night.
The problem of the camera is the placement of the sensor on the back, instead of placing at the middle, Samsung chooses to place the camera on the top-left side of the device, which your fingers will block the camera’s lens if you were to use your left hand to press the shutter button. Check out the sample shots of the camera down below:
A Great Multimedia Consumption Device
Samsung has marketed the Tab 3 series as a fantastic multimedia consumption tablet, the Tab 3 8.0 is no doubt, a great multimedia consumption companion due to its portable size and Dolby surround stereo speakers.
The display of the Tab 3 8.0 shows very vivid colors and you just don’t find the resolution an issue even though it’s an outdated WXGA resolution, viewing angles are also good and there is no problem looking at the display under direct sunlight. Watching videos on the screen is great and you will definitely fall in love with it’s stereo speakers, it is definitely no HTC BoomSound quality, but the sound is definitely sufficient to let you enjoy a table movie watching experience. Also, Dolby surround is not available in other applications.
Music playback on the Tab 3 8.0 will give you a similar experience to recent Galaxy devices, you have the familiar SoundAlive equalizer and Adapt Sound to tune the best earphone listening experience. Trust us, we love the audio quality.
Performance, Call Quality and Battery Life
As we mentioned earlier, TouchWiz seriously slows down the whole Android experience most of the time, we hope Samsungcould issue a software update to resolve this issue in the near future. In terms of benchmarks, the Tab 3 8.0 scores 4771 points and 14577 points in Quadrant and Antutu respectively. Gaming performance on the Tab 3 8.0 is surprisingly good with smooth frame rates, we tested games such as Minion Rush, Pacific Rim and Asphalt 7.
Call quality on the Tab 3 8.0 is fine, callers will sometimes feedback that our voice sounded softer, which is expected due to the distance of the microphone when we held the tablet up to our ears. Also, you won’t want to hold the tablet up for phone calls most of the time as it looks ridiculous.
Battery life on the Tab 3 8.0 is decent for a mid range Android tablet, we tried using it as a phone and on LTE, the tablet lasted about a day and a half before needing a charge. If you use it as a tablet with WiFi switched on most of the time, you get to have around 3 days of usage.
We just feel neutral towards the Tab 3 8.0, not to say that this device isn’t good, but Samsung should’ve started to improve it’stablet experience by introducing a few more features, but not just simply releasing a successor just because it should. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a Android tablet with LTE connectivity and with good portability, we recommend the Tab 3 8.0as it brings well balanced features out of the box. The Tab 3 8.0 LTE version is readily available at a RRP of RM1499, while the WiFi only version costs RM1099, which is positioned against the iPad mini. Here’s a summary of what we love and dislike.
+ Good screen size, suitable for multimedia consumption
+ World LTE/HSPA/GSM bands
+ Stereo speakers output good audio quality
+ Good camera with great functionality
+ Good gaming performance
– No palm rejection on screen
– Performance is not ‘Exynos’ quality
– No NFC
– No LED flash for camera
We rate the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 at 3.5 out of 5 stars.