- Convincing and robust features
- Above-average battery life
- Pleasant and quick performance
- Low display resolution
- Poor speakers
- Poor camera performance
Quick TakeThe Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 and 8.0 are a pair of nearly identical Android tablets that offer good performance for their prices, and are especially appropriate for brand-conscious people who trust Samsung.
A highlight of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab 4 series is an attractive price-to-performance ratio, and this is especially true of the 7- and 8-inch models.
Irrespective of screen size, they both come with a screen resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels, and use a quad-core 1.2GHz processor to run the latest Android OS version 4.4.2 KitKat, with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI layered on top. They’re equipped with front- and rear-facing cameras. The 7-inch model has a 4000 mAh battery, while the 8-inch model has room for a slightly bigger one: 4450 mAh. Both devices are available as Wi-Fi-only or with 4G LTE.
As the specs for these tablets are nearly identical, TabletPCReview is reviewing them together.
Build and Design
Highly solid and convincing hardware are what differentiate these devices from the never-ending array of similarly-sized Android tablets, despite the fact that the majority of the body is plastic. The front is carved out of glass, of course, but it’s not covered in Gorilla Glass. In spite of this, the display offers a very smooth feeling under the fingertips, without the unpleasant friction as is often felt with tablets without the famous protective screen layer.
The upper part of the tablet has a very slim chromed border, while the edges and the back are crafted out of a single piece of plastic, mimicking leather, which proved to be a successful design detail on many other Samsung devices. Unlike their predecessors though, the Galaxy Tab 4 series models don’t have fake stitches along the back’s edges, giving the feeling of a more modern tablet.
The 7-inch model is 7.3 x 4.3 x 0.4 in. (187 x 108 x 9 mm), while the 8-inch one is 8.3 x 4.9 x 0.3 in (210 x 124 x 8 mm). Logically, the smaller tablet is lighter, weighing 9.7 oz (276 g), while the bigger weighs 11.3 oz. (320 grams ).
A single inch of difference in the screen’s diagonal is hardly evident as they lay in the user’s hand – both sizes are actually more natural and pleasant to use than the 10.1-inch version, given that the the 7- and 8-inch ones are lighter and they can be used with just one hand – if the user has a slightly bigger palm.
The 1280 x 800 screen resolution deserves the most complaints when it comes to any size Galaxy Tab 4. Still, as the diagonal is smaller on the 7- and 8-inch versions the pixel density is higher, and such a low resolution is not as obvious as is the case with the 10.1-inch one, but is still visible with the naked eye on these models (especially the 8-inch version). To be specific, pixel density on the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is 189 ppi, which is below average for a contemporary, mid-range 8-inch tablet. It comes in at a more bearable 216 ppi on the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0.
Fortunately, poor sharpness is the only real minus which can be linked with these two devices. Color imaging is natural and precise, they are more than vivid and vibrant for a mid-range tablet. The same goes for the contrast, which does not offer the purest white tones and the darkest black, but they are whiter and blacker than those featured on the 10.1-inch version. Additionally, they offer an even greater range in everyday work. The viewing angle on Galaxy Tabs 4 7.0 and 8.0 is very wide, Brightness doesn’t have to be increased in order to use the tablets in direct sunlight.
Buttons and Ports
The front side of these devices includes a Samsung logo and the front-facing camera, just above the display, while the Power key, which serves as the Home button, and two capacitive keys – Tasks and Back – are situated under the display. This is quite an unusual solution for Android devices, as Google prefers all control keys be a part of the on-screen user interface, but Samsung should only be praised for this step. The keys on the display’s edge make the border useful, they can be accessed easily, and do not waste valuable screen space.
The lower edge comes with a microUSB hub and a microphone, while the upper edge includes an audio jack. The left edge holds microSD slots and – in case the user selects the LTE supported model – microSIM cards, while an additional Power key is located on the right edge, as well as the volume rocker.
The back includes the rear-facing camera as well as the speakers.
Unlike the 10-inch model, the 7-inch and 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 do not have stereo speakers on the left and right screen edge, but have one speaker system with two perforations located on the back of the device. This means they offers somewhat poorer acoustic performance, which is exacerbated by its impractical location, given that the user can easily cover up the speaker with their palm while holding the tablet.
We’re just getting started — Page 2 covers the performance of these two Samsung tablets.