Still, the newer looking glossy and smooth finish on the sides does distinguish it from its predecessor. Anyways, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is built around a 7 inch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. The screen is also among the smallest and lowest-resolution tablets made by Samsung themselves, but it does a pretty good job in various sensitive locations (Sunlight for instance), thanks to its brightness, which can be adjusted via the pull-up task and notification bar provided by the ‘Ice-Cream Sandwich’ operating system.
The speakers for the device live on the bottom of the tab. They are pretty loud and are placed on either corners of the tab. Again it was found to be disturbed by our hands when playing games in panorama mode. Alongside that, there is a proprietary 30-pin charger/connectivity port. On the top is where you get the 3.5 mm jack for your head-phones. There are microphones placed on both top and bottom of the tablet.
The Tab 2 7.0 is powered by a ‘TI OMAP 4430’ chipset with a dual-core 1GHz processor. You also get 1GB of RAM and a ‘PowerVR SGX540’ GPU. The specs surely look interesting, but keep in mind the 'Tab 7.0 Plus' released last year has more clock speed than the new Tab 2.
The change in speed may not be revealing at first, but over time you’ll realise that swiping screens, playing games and opening apps takes a lot more time than the 7.0 plus. You’ll get used to it though, and it won’t be very noticeable then.
Anyways, the tablet we have here rocks ‘Android 4.0.3, Ice Cream Sandwich’ with the custom TouchWiz UX UI. It looks stunning, and as we all know, is bloody functional and fun to live with. Not to mention all those applications you can download.
The Tab 2 also comes with an optional 8/16/32 GB of internal storage. Our tester came with 8 GB. It did seem small upon adding heavy 3D games, but as any other Samsung, you can expand the storage up to 32 GB. Sounds good? After all an 8 GB SD card comes at around Omani Riyals 3 (US $ 8).
Sadly though, you cannot expect the camera to be much of a clicker. We found it to be below par compared to many other tablets of this range. Of-course, a good, steady hand combined with superior lighting may give you a good snap. But otherwise, don’t expect anything. The camera on the Tab 2 7.0 measures at 3.2 megapixel and has an overall resolution of 2048 x 1536. As we mentioned above, there is no flash. So dim-light photos are a no go.
Here are a few un-edited photos shot using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0’s 3.2 MP camera…
Here is a sample video shot using the primary 3.2 megapixel camera at 720p (source: youtube, user: paulding0210)...
You can sort your images by album or just according to the date, location or tag. You can also choose between displaying images, videos or both. You do get the sorting options on the left corner, while the right one has the shortcuts to the camera, and some extra settings.
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 supports DivX/XviD/MKV files out of the box. Samsung even claims high-res videos are handled trouble-free - the tablet played almost everything we tried, including 1080p videos. However, we did have a problem when the videos froze while fast-forwarding. Subtitles are also supported and there is rich encoding support.
Nowadays, when people buy tablets, they look for functionality and user-friendliness. But another important factor that judges tablet sales are the applications that can be loaded onto it. So just as expected, the Android market (Play Store) comes into its own. There is absolutely no shortage of apps, and everything from games to video editors is available for download. But do make sure that the files you are about to download are suited for the tablet (TRAINZ Simulator did not work on our tester).
Overall, this thing does contain a lot of features which have been picked up straight from S Plus or SII counterparts; like the Application manger which kills apps with the push of a button or even the wonderful stand-by widgets, messengers, games, etc. so you can walk in freely into this tablet if you have had any experience with another Samsung device.
But again, there still is a lot more into this tablet that no other mobile-phone can provide. For example you can read books directly from Kindle, or even use the deadly-accurate GPS receiver to find your way through difficult spots. We assure you that you will gain the tablet experience with the Tab 2 7.0, that no other tablet at this price range can provide.
So our ultimate question. Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 cheap and cheerful?
-Well, we were disappointed with the tabs response to mid- and high- end games, otherwise we would have agreed hands down that this tablet was awesome. It would also be appropriate if it got a faster processor and GPU. But don’t forget, you only paid Omani Riyal 120 (US $ 311).