Samsung Throws Galaxy Tab 3 Into Mini Tablet Mix
It won't be heading to the U.S. anytime soon, but Samsung now has another entry in the 7-inch tablet computer sweepstakes with the Galaxy Tab 3. Like other so-called "phablets," the Tab 3 has calling capabilities, but not much more in the way of tech specifications than its Tab 2 predecessor. That could mean an aggressive price point to take on the low end of the market.
Samsung on Monday announced the Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch mini tablet. The device will come with 8 or 16 MB of internal storage and up to 64 MB of expandable memory.
A WiFi-only version of the Galaxy Tab 3 will be available worldwide in May, and a 3G version will be launched in June. Product availability will vary by market in a gradual rollout.
"This announcement is for the global version of the Galaxy Tab 3," Samsung representative Makenzie Blythe told TechNewsWorld. "There have been no announcements for U.S. availability for the Galaxy Tab 3."
The Tab 3's Specs
The Galaxy Tab 3 will have a 7-inch 1024 x 600 thin-film transistor (TFT) screen with 169 pixel per inch resolution. It will have a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and run Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean.
The device will have a 3 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front camera. It will offer 1080p full HD video playback at 30 fps.
The Galaxy Tab 3 will come preloaded with Samsung Hub, Samsung Kies, the Samsung ChatON mobile communication service, and various Google Mobile services including Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Now.
It will support Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi. The WiFi version will be equipped with an accelerometer, a geomagnetic sensor and a light sensor, while the 3G version will have all these as well as a proximity sensor. Both will support A-GPS + Glonass.
The Galaxy Tab 3 will have a microSD slot that can handle up to a 64 GB card.
Pricing has not been announced.
Reactions to the Tab 3
The Galaxy Tab 3's specs have drawn fire from some observers. In general, they point out that it differs very little from the Tab 2 apart from being more compact.
The Tab 3 is a little smaller, has a 1.2 GHz processor instead of the Tab 2's 1 GHz processor and has a slightly narrower bezel. It is 40 gm lighter than the Tab 2, will support twice as much expandable memory via its microSD card slot, and will run on Android 4.1 instead of 4.0. Both the Tab 3 and the Tab 2, however, have essentially the same preloaded apps, and both come in WiFi and 3G versions.
"The main value proposition for the Galaxy Tab 3 is that it's lighter and slimmer," Julien Blin, a directing analyst at Infonetics, told TechNewsWorld. "If Samsung prices this tablet close to the Nexus 7's US$199, that will be its key selling point."
The Galaxy Tab 3 "is not boring as it will have the latest version of Android and will come with Google Now, which was one of the key selling points for the Nexus 7 because it brings the user experience to a new level," Blin said.
Calling capabilities on a tablet "has been done in Europe for a while, where many tablets offer [this feature]," he noted. This feature "could become quite handy for people who own multiple devices because if you add call forwarding capabilities, people can call you on your smartphone first then the call could go to your tablet."
Samsung's Possible Direction
It's possible that Samsung might be targeting the lower end of the market with the Galaxy Tab 3. "Given that many OEMs are moving to the low end of the tablet market, and given the success of the Nexus 7, a quad-core tablet that sells for $199, you should expect Samsung to price the Galaxy Tab 3 aggressively," Blin said.
Samsung will likely become more aggressive in the tablet space this year as it's "one of the few tablet makers who can actually compete with Apple, Amazon and Google/Asus's Nexus 7," he noted. "They can leverage their strong brand, effective marketing campaigns, and strong hardware ecosystem."
Samsung will also get better in terms of its services ecosystem, Blin added, which "will help strengthen and improve the stickiness of its tablet offering."