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4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review – Verizon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that just landed on Verizon beat the Motorola XOOM to market as the world’s first 4G LTE tablet.  It also managed to sneak in at cheaper price points, a lighter weight, skinnier build and with varying storage sizes and colors.  At first glance, it’s pretty obvious that this would be the tablet to jump on over the majority of the other offerings, for many of the reasons I just listed.  The thing we really need to look at here though, is whether or not this tablet is worth the 2-year contract that you will be asked to sign in order to avoid paying an outrageous full retail price.    

The Good:

  • Weight: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is extremely light, which makes it the most portable of all the Android tablets in my opinion. Sure, other Honeycomb tablets aren’t going to kill you, but if you hold a Motorola XOOM up for a couple minutes, your arms might start getting stiff. With the Galaxy Tab 10.1, I feel like I could sit in my office, and use the Galaxy Tab as a steering wheel while playing a driving game for a half hour. No problem. Weighing in at only 1.25 lbs, you’ll have no problem running around with it all day.
  • Specs: This is almost a given. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is rocking a NVIDIA 1GHz Tegra2 dual-core processor. Switching back and forth through apps is a breeze, and you won’t find your Tab trying to catch up with itself too much. And of course, it handles games with no troubles. The screen itself is arguably one of the best on the market. Even when compared to the i*ad2.
  • Gaming: Android has a little ways to go in the gaming category – when compared to Apple’s huge list of games that run on the i*ad, Android could use some help. The games that we do have though, are very well developed, and look great on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The biggest advantage is the beautiful display, bringing all any game’s colors to a whole other level. Vivid reds, and vibrant dark colors. There is no doubt that this tab was made with gaming in mind. If you’re looking for a good game to test this out, check out N.O.V.A. 2, Zombieville, and especially Age of Zombies. They all look really good, and have zero lag. Smooth gameplay all the way.

  • Flash:  What good is an Android tablet without Flash support? Web browsing is indeed made much more full with Flash support. But then again, it is also a drawback when sites with pop-ups come barging in all over your browser. For the most part, I disable ads, since that is the majority of Flash on the web. There is nothing like strolling through South Park Studios, and watching a few episodes on your Tab though. Hopefully, Flash will become less of lag-beast in the near future.
  • Battery Life:  Hello battery life! I turned on the tablet last Friday (the 19th), and I have not had to plug it in even once. I have been gaming, trolling the web, watching HD YouTube videos, and streaming plenty of TV episodes. After all of that, I am still at a pleasant 25%. Sure the battery might be huge, but it’s still the thinnest tablet out there, and it lasts for almost a week. You can’t beat that. The Galaxy Tab has an advertised battery time of 12 hours, well I would put my money on that NOT being false advertising.

  • Build:  Lots of folks don’t really care for a lightweight “plasticy” feel, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a wonderful feel in my hands.  I’m not saying it will withstand a drop from a 10ft. ladder, but you are not going to be snapping it in your hands like some people may believe.
  • 4G/3G Coverage:  With Verizon pumping more and more into their 4G network, this tablet will have 4G coverage in most major cities. 3G will more than likely be a common sight on your screen if you do much traveling. Not having to hook up to Wi-Fi everywhere you go is a huge plus. But be ready to pay handsomely for this feature. Verizon’s tiered data might just be a killer.

The Not-so-Good:

  • Still Camera Shots: The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is rocking a 3MP camera, so let’s just say I won’t be taking this tab into the field for photos. Basically, useless if you’re looking for good stills. Blurry, and light enhancement is awful.

  • Ports: Unlike its Honeycomb counterparts, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 only has one port:  a 30 pin wanna-be, which for some would be fine, but you can’t take your phone charger and charge your tablet without the use of an accessory. Could be worse, but we were at least hoping for a micro USB as well.
  • Software: If you have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi only version, then you’re probably running the newest software build for the tablet, known as TouchWiz UX. The 4G version has not been graced with this update yet, and there isn’t word yet on a date for a possible update. Stock Honeycomb isn’t bad, but I would agree with some who would call it “boring”. I think TouchWiz is a definite step up from stock Honeycomb in this case.
  • Lacks Netflix/Hulu: We’re still waiting for Netflix and Hulu to get their acts together when it comes to compatibility with Android devices. The wait continues….

  • Fingerprints:  Just like any other tablet, this is fingerprint magnet. Sort of a given when you own one of these. Wiping them off isn’t a huge deal, but it does become quite the hassle if you’re working outside and having to deal with smudges on the screen becoming extremely annoying.
  • Price: One of the many gripes people have with tablets are price. Yes, they’re expensive – sort of comes with the territory of having the newest and best technology. Sooner or later, just like we’re seeing with the XOOM, prices will see a slight dip once they become aged a bit. Unfortunately, new tech is not like good wine. They do not get better with age.  The Tab 10.1 weighs in at $529 and $629 on 2-year contract.  You can pick up WiFi-only versions of tablets for more than $100 cheaper than that.

Unboxing:

YouTube Preview Image

Benchmarks:

 

Gallery:

The Verdict:

The Android tablet world continues to grow, and if this piece of hardware is any indication to the future, then I have hope. I have been fortunate enough to play with almost all the tablets that are available these days, and I would be lying to myself if I didn’t say the 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 isn’t my favorite. The combination of 4G speed, beautiful display, light weight, and processor power, this tablet could easily bring anybody into the next generation of tablets.

Not everyone is going to want to throw down the hundreds of dollars that these tablets go for, but if you have been in the market, then the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 would not be a bad road to go down. While we still wait for the Moto XOOM to become 4G capable, the Galaxy Tab is the only tablet in the field that currently supports those speeds, and you definitely aren’t going to find an i*ad that’s 4G capable for a little while.

As Kellex has stated before, tablets are still a “luxury” item, and should be treated as such in the eyes of consumers. Does anyone actually need a tablet that has 4G capabilities? Why not just have a phone with 4G, and then tether it to your 4G to a tablet?  So the moral of the story is – great tablet, with ultra lightweight feel, built for portability and has an excellent display quality.  Are you prepared for it to be with you for 2 years though?

Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE Specs | Other Galaxy Tab 10.1 Coverage

  • http://twitter.com/MNROOFS Stuart Louden

    If I don’t need it for e-mail, I don’t play games, I have no desire to watch movies on this little screen. What would the value of this tablet have for me?

  • Damon Aldora

    I do have to admit, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is pretty expensive, but as an owner of one, I say it is worth it. I bought one that uses Verizon’s LTE network and it is pretty impressive! I can download a full song in about 25 seconds where I live. LTE is also great for streaming. A good example is I use the DISH Remote Access app. It lets me stream live TV and recorded shows from my Sling Adapter-connected receiver to my tablet anywhere I have service.I have more than enough battery to last all day too. Since working for DISH and using the app on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, I have become very familiar with both, and I think if you’re going to get a Tab, make sure it has LTE or some data plan! It is a fantastic tablet though!

  • D Folsom

    Darn thing freezes up when (after 3 weeks to finally get correct cables, adapter etc.) I use HDMI connecticity to HD TV. Verizon won’t or can’t support it. Samsung says it was supposed to be preloaded with AllShare softwar.. nope! And… I cannot buy it on Market or download it anywhere.  The issue seems to be the 4g LTE version of this samsung 10.1 device. I don’t know if it’s firmware, or software…

    has anyone solved this yet

  • Granted

    Jumping on to a second contract, a tiered data one at that, to me is retarded. I’m getting a tablet soon, but it will in no way be anything besides a Wifi only tablet.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/429zubp

  • http://twitter.com/tittlemanscrest Stephen Parker

    As Dr.Steve Brule would say…
    “That’s uh’spensive!” 

    • Granted

      After he rubs his dungus.

  • http://twitter.com/tittlemanscrest Stephen Parker

    Holy balls. 
    That’s extremely expensive. 

  • Jon Garrett

    Netflix works fine on my 10.1 so I dont know why you guys are having trouble with it on your device.

  • Anonymous

    I have the wifi version of this and imo the best thing about it is the battery life. I don’t know how that translates but seriously this thing blows everything else away in battery life.

  • http://duvirub.myftp.biz/crazy-meds-lexapro.html Crazyman1986

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  • Anonymous

    That battery life is uber. Nice to know.

  • Anonymous

    Is it as light and pretty, no…but I still think the xoom has more to offer. Better front camera, USB, SD card slot. Everything else is a wash, IMO.

    • axel

      Except the Xoom’s sd card slot isn’t supported by its own software.

  • RW-1

    I’d like a tab with a “smack your head and keep on going” heft.  :)

  • Trey Commander

    I have Netflix working fine on my Galaxy tab 10.1 WiFi.  I ported the apk file off my Incredible and it worked immediately.

  • eazy

    Were did u get the wallpaper for the lockscreen

    • Derek Ross

      The lockscreen shown in the pics is 100% stock and default.

  • Richard Bermudez

    I don’t understand the reviewer’s comment about whether the tab is “worth the 2 year commitment in order to avoid paying the outrageous full retail price.”  As far as I can tell, you get absolutely no discount for signing up for a 2 year contract for one of these bad boys.  In fact, I think you’re actually paying more since these can be bought on amazon for $499 and $599 respectively.  (16gb and 32gb versions).  So someone please clarify what the reviewer is talking about. 

    • Derek Ross

      They are $30 more than their Wifi.  But you’ve also got to think that the 4G radio costs something.  For instance best buy cells the 3G/4G Xoom for $800.

    • http://twitter.com/piinkhibiscus bethinabox

      Full retail for the 16GB 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is $699.99. With 2 year contract, you get it for $529.99 ($170 savings). That’s the benefit. You can pay full retail for it and not sign the 2 year contract, then do the data on a month-to-month, but a) save money upfront, and b) if you sign the contract, you get a larger coverage footprint. Month-to-month is like Verizon prepaid phones–no roaming agreements. OR buy the wifi-only model, pay $100 for the 4G LTE MiFi and connect 5 devices ;)

  • Anonymous

    CAN’T WAIT TILL THEY PORT WEBOS TO THIS THING

    • Derek Ross

      I own both this tablet and an HP TouchPad.  I’m not sure if this is sarcasm or not but I have no idea why’d you port webOS to it.  webOS is a solid OS but it has very little support behind it…where as I’m nearly 100% positive Android will continue to grow and be around in a number of years.

  • Anonymous

    What wallpaper is that

    • Derek Ross

      If you are referring to the blue top, orange bottom wallpaper…it is stock on the device.

      • http://www.thehumangrowthhormone.com/genf20-plus-review/ GenF20 Plus

        It is default wallpaper which comes in already.

  • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Chris Gustafson

    How long was the screen on?

    • Derek Ross

      I have no idea how they are reporting it lasting that long.  I get a full day with moderate usage on 4G, I unplug around 7am and it generally needs to be reconnected by around 8-9 or so PM at night.  That’s using it for basic gTalk, email, and light web browsing through the day and a little gaming.  Take out the gaming and it would last another couple hours.

    • Derek Ross

      I have no idea how they are reporting it lasting that long.  I get a full day with moderate usage on 4G, I unplug around 7am and it generally needs to be reconnected by around 8-9 or so PM at night.  That’s using it for basic gTalk, email, and light web browsing through the day and a little gaming.  Take out the gaming and it would last another couple hours.

  • Derek Ross

    I’ve had the same white Samsung 4G 32GB Galaxy Tab for about 3 weeks or so.  Here are my impressions:

    Obvious Pro’s:Super thin AND light, makes it easy to hold while using.Screen is very bright and clear, able to be read in sunlight with or without sunglasses.

    Pro’s:Multitasking support in the Honeycomb 3.1 OS is
    AMAZING. It puts the multitasking support in Gingerbread to shame. At
    any given time you can swap to another past application (and I’m talking
    over a dozen, seemingly infinite) and pick up right where you left off
    with no lag or issues whatsoever.Notifications. Again the notification system on this Honeycomb OS
    is amazing. No delay, pops up in the bottom right like an Outlook or IM
    client would on your PC. Everytime. Have the ability to close/ignore
    or open each individual item but it is not intrusive at all.Tablet apps that exist are great. It helps having so much more
    screen real estate to see more things at once. For instance when in
    gmail, you can see both the inbox and message at the same time. For me,
    this makes getting through and responding to emails, along with inbox
    cleanup a breeze…where as I always felt it was a chore to perform many
    types of actions like this on my OG Droid.Tablet games are awesome. I’ve especially enjoyed perhaps the most
    simple game, Solitaire. The only thing that doesn’t do all that well is
    games that use the motion/axis sensor to control the game, and that’s
    just due to the large size of the device and not the sensor itself. I’m
    not really into action-type games on mobile devices so this isn’t a big
    deal to me.Fast. I really haven’t had any slowdowns. It’s taken everything I’ve thrown at it without blinking.Google Music beta rocks on this thing, and also has searching
    ability to find artists, albums, or songs fast. This allows me to carry
    my entire music library without taking up any space on the client
    device. Verizon 4G. So far the best coverage I’ve had is 2/4 4G bars (I
    live on the northern outskirts of Phoenix) but even still I manage an
    impressive 14 mbps down/4 up. For a mobile connection this thing is
    sweet, I’m sure with full bars it’d be pretty easy to get upwards of 20
    mbps or so.

    Slight Con’s:Lack of dedicated ports (USB, microSD, mini
    HDMI) built within the device. Adapters are available for USB and HDMI
    but are somewhat costly. This is only a slight con as I don’t
    personally have a use for these functions.Rear of device is somewhat slick. To carry it bare while walking
    about (not using the device) is quite awkward. I’ve just ordered a
    sleeve (should be waiting at home for me) to help remedy this, and to
    also allow me to throw it in my Oakley backpack and not worry about it.Lack of tablet-specific apps. Most apps scale pretty nicely to the
    10.1″ tablet screen (1280×800) but the tablet specific apps and games
    are both more useful and prettier. Tablet app market seems to improve
    everyday.Power Cable – First it’s a negative because it’s not the industry
    standard micro USB, instead opting for a Samsung proprietary 30 pin
    cable similar to an iPod connection. This means none of my existing
    charging equipment will work with it. And the second problem is that
    the cord they provide with the charger is like seriously 20″ long.
    Completely ridiculous. I guess they think people want to charge these
    things on the ground right next to their outlet, because that sounds
    like a good idea. Longer replacement cables are not sold by the OEM, and aftermarket ones are somewhat rare.

    Con’sRelatively high price ($630 +tax), only eclipsed by
    Apple iPad products, and prices on these tablets will plummet over the
    next year or so.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      Thanks for the input! :)

  • Christopher Heuer

    This surprised me: “I think TouchWiz is a definite step up from stock Honeycomb in this case.”

  • Anonymous

    I really like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and I have considered getting the WiFi only version several times since launch. But there are two reasons why I just can’t bring myself to get it:

    1)  Android tablets are new and still in the infant stage.  I kind of want to hold out for a true beast of a tablet.  Something with 4 cores, lots of RAM, and large storage capacity.

    2)  No USB port.  What’s the deal?  Just when devices were starting to get better at using a common port for data and charging, across many devices.  The Galaxy Tab uses a stupid port.

    OK, one more:

    3)  I have 5 kids and I’m sure I’d never get a chance to use it as they’d have it in their hands all the time.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BK7AYEK45HCLZC6LQZXDOFNFYU Scott

      At least there is an add-on adapter for the USB port.  I’ll take an ultra thin device with an add-on adapter for the USB functionality any day over a thicker/heavier device with it built in.  Maybe that’s just me.

    • Jon Garrett

      1. Android tablets are not as infantile as you might think. the first 2 weeks (day after launch) I had mine., I was disappointed with the app selection in the Market place. However the trick is to NOT look for “tablet optimized apps”  just look for apps cause they run well on tablets and and run in full screen even though they are not “optimized for tablets”

      2 No USB was a big deal for me too and a big let down when they decided to remove it. but I overlook this because I can live without it and I expect to always upgrade my tablet the same way I always upgrade my phone.

      3. kids., I know what you mean. my 8yr old practically owns my iPhone 4….I just get to borrow it from time to time. lol.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, those prices are WITH a contract!

  • http://www.kevinkuramura.com KevK

    Is the picture of the limited edition Tab there to show the photo quality? I thought for a second the LTE Tab had the awesome design on the back, but clearly you guys just aren’t done showing off the fact that you have one :(

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      It was the only thing sitting next to me. Sorry :(

  • Maansova

    First

    • Anonymous

      For posting that your account should be banned you douche.

      • John

        hah.