The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is the latest 7in Android tablet
Small 7in Android tablets are a good alternative to larger 10in models and the awkwardly-named Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is one of the newest 7in tablets on the market.
Samsung's tablet is nicely built and feels very sturdy, especially when compared with many other budget Android tablets. The Galaxy Tab comes in two attractive colours – silver and white. At 345g the tablet is not too heavy or bulky, and using the plastic border around the screen as a handy grip, we found we could comfortably hold it in one hand. People with smaller hands may still struggle though.
Compared with the Asus Nexus 7, the Tab's screen was a bit of a let-down. The relatively low resolution of 1024x600 pixels means text isn't as sharp as it is on the Nexus' super-crisp 1280x800 screen. Viewing angles and brightness were good though, so watching a movie with a friend wasn't a problem.
The Galaxy Tab's 1GHz dual-core processor did well in our benchmarks. Although the quad-core processors in other Android tablets were, unsurprisingly, faster, the Android interface was still quick and responsive. Battery life when playing videos on a loop with airplane mode enabled was just a shade over seven hours, which is standard for a tablet of this size.
The Galaxy Tab has two cameras, a three-megapixel one on the back and a very low resolution one on the front. The camera on the front was fine for video calls, but the rear-facing camera produced awful washed-out shots, so it's not even good enough for casual snaps.
Samsung has tweaked the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, adding several of its own apps and widgets. Many of them are designed to encourage you to spend money with Samsung.
The Media Hub, Game Hub and Music Hub are all geared towards buying content from Samsung's own movie, app and music stores respectively. S Suggest recommends apps that you may like in the Google Play store, but its interface is very cumbersome.
Samsung has promised a free update to the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean but hasn't yet confirmed a date.
The Galaxy Tab has two major advantages over the Nexus 7. The micro SD memory card slot means you could easily add extra storage. There is also a 3G version available for approximately £100 more so it can be connected to mobile broadband. Both of these features were irritatingly absent from the Nexus 7.
Our review unit came with 8GB of storage. A 16GB model is also available for £20 more, but it's cheaper to simply add more storage using microSD cards.
A couple of months ago the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 would've been the best seven-inch Android tablet on the market. Now it is simply second best. Unless you want 3G or extra storage, the Asus Nexus 7 is better value thanks to its better quality screen, faster performance and up-to-date operating system.
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