September 5, 2011

My Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review

Some notes on the Galaxy Tab after six weeks of use

This is a followup on my former blog post on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.


The Galaxy Tab hardware appears reasonable. I am not looking into some particular hardware specs and won't compare it to the Apple iPad. The hardware feels solid and comparable with the Apple iPad. The tablet is fast and responsive. The display is ok. The CPU performance is "fast enough" however I noticed a significant slower booting time after enabling encryption (however running with encryption enabled does not have a noticeable impact on the overall user experience). From time to time I encounter a loss of WIFI connectivity at my home (with two strong WIFI signals) - the device switched to 3G and sometimes it is not possible to switch back to WIFI without rebooting the device.


Lots of things under Android Honeycomb are unpolished and fragile. Key applications like the Android Market do crash frequently compared to core applications provided by Google (Maps, Mail) running very solid.

Many applications differ use different usability concepts- especially applications that are obviously designed for a phone are hard to use on a tablet.

The task manager is pretty much unusable. It only lists the last seven applications used...I am often running more than seven applications and it seems impossible to get back to applications launched earlier.

The default desktop launcher of Honeycomb is laughable...not sure which moron designed this application..It is neither looking nice nor is it usable...comparing it with iOS feels like using Windows 95 vs. MacOS. I installed GO Launcher which provides some relief here but the desktop still feels  clumsy. Being able to customize my desktop with widgets etc. is a win.

The usability of the Android Market sucks: it often returns results that are either completely unrelated to my query or refer to applications in a different language (other than German or English)

Compared to iOS I really like the behavior of the "Back" button. E.g. the email reader can open an external application to display a PDF file..using the "Back" button I can get back from the PDF reader into the context of my email reader (which is not possible with iOS).

Music- and video players are of mixed quality - some provide a nice feature set but look ugly (perhaps only optimized for phone displays). Syncing of comparison to the simplicity of syncing my iPhone with iTunes (love it or not)).


  • Why do I have to enter my PIN three times during the bootphase? One time for the decryption of the boot partition is ok and one time for unlocking the SIM but the third time? (two times needed on my iPhone).
  • Occasional loss of WIFI connectivity (see above)


The Galaxy Tab (and possibly other Android 3 backed devices) is a tinker device. The "It just works" karma does not apply to devices. It is nice having a device providing flexibility and openness (compared to iOS) but the overall user experience remains mixed. The iPad is superior over the Galaxy Tab. Not that I am switching now to the iPad (since I can deal with the annoyances of the Galaxy Tab and Android). but I think that I would not recommend an Android based tablet to my mother