• Operating System: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU
  • Frequency: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800MHz, WCDMA 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100MHz, 4G LTE
  • Screen: 8.0-inch (1280x800) TFT LCD
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio, DLNA
  • Others: 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera
  • Dimensions: 123.8 x 209.8 x 7.4mm
  • Weight: 319g
  • Pros:
  • 4G LTE Support
  • Super slim
  • microSD Support
  • 4450mAh battery
  • Cons:
  • Plasticky build
  • Mediocre camera
  • Price

More Than Just Average

After first making its debut at IFA three years ago, we now have the third generation of GALAXY Tabs. The GALAXY Tab devices are now considered midrange offerings as Samsung have expanded their GALAXY Note series to the tablet form factors and those are their premium devices. But that doesn’t mean the GALAXY Tabs have been handed the short-end of the stick as the 8.0-inch GALAXY Tab 3 proves that it can still impress.

Similar to most of the devices they have launched this year, the 8-inch GALAXY Tab 3 looks just like any other Samsung device to date. This means it still retains that same glossy hyper-glaze look, which we still aren’t really big fans of. But if you can look pass the plasticky exterior, the GALAXY Tab 3 8.0 is thin, lightweight and yet feels solid. You’ll also find the standard buttons and ports, an extra IR blaster and also a microSIM slot if you opt for the 4G LTE variant. Yes, you read that right; this tablet actually supports 4G LTE networks.

Despite being a midrange tablet, this device actually comes with some very impressive internals that include a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It ran smoothly most of the time but it did start stuttering especially when we were multi-tasking. With the hardware it packs, the tablet is also able to handle some of the more demanding games although on games like Dead Trigger, it was just a bit laggy.

Speaking of games and multimedia, the GALAXY Tab 3 8.0 is quite a good choice for those who love watching movies and gaming as its display is and vivid and it sports down firing stereo speakers that are loud and clear. However, the speakers are also quite tinny and distortion is very obvious on higher volumes. The tablet does come with a 5-megapixel rear camera but it isn’t something to write home about. Images produced had nice colours but at the same time they were grainy and details were muted.

CHIP CONCLUDE: For a midrange device, the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8.0 is actually not too bad. But then again, it does have a much higher price tag compared to other midrange tablets in the market. But if you really want an 8-inch tablet that supports 4G LTE for faster browsing, then this will be your only choice, for now.

(previously published in issue October 2013)

Samsung GALAXY