Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 preview: First look

GSMArena team, 14 June 2011.
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3.15 megapixel stills and 720p video

Strangely enough, the camera interface is the only part of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 software package that was customized by Samsung. Given that the 3.15 megapixel snapper capable of doing 720p videos is hardly a key selling point of the device, we wonder if the effort wouldn't have been better invested elsewhere, but maybe it was an easy enough task.

Nonetheless, the two cameras are mostly there to provide the functionality needed for video-chatting and some augmented reality apps or games and the possibility to snap a label or two as a memory aid comes as a welcome bonus.

The camera interface is an oversized version of what you find on the Galaxy S II with the available settings on the left and the shutter key and the video/stills switch on the right.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
The still camera interface

Here go a few samples to show you the image quality of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 camera. Have in mind that those were captured with a pre-release unit and the final unit will likely produce better snaps.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 camera samples

The camcorder interface is not much different really. There are less options available here but the layout is basically the same.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Going in camcorder mode

And here goes a 720p video sample from the slate that we uploaded to YouTube. Once again you should remember that it's way too early to judge the image quality.

First impressions

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is certainly in the running for the best Android tablet of the year. Slim and sleek, it has a screen that is hard to match in quality by anything of comparable size and this tablet also has plenty of power under the hood.

Our personal preference still lies with its smaller 8.9” brother and its more complete TouchWiz experience, but the update is coming to the Tab 10.1 too and we are sure not everyone shares our thoughts about the size. And we can easily see why – being able to enjoy the excellent picture quality on an extra 1.2 inches could be worth sacrificing some portability for a lot of people.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 3G
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

And there seems to be plenty of room in the 10.1” league for the largest Galaxy Tab to develop its potential. The XOOM is notably heavier and thicker and is yet unable to use its trump cards (the microSD slot and LTE support) due to unfinished software support, while the Eee Pad Transformer is in such limited supply that it is not making as much of an impact as we thought it would.

Motorola XOOM MZ604
Motorola XOOM

Yet even if the Galaxy Tab 10.1 did win the Android finals, it probably won’t be good enough for its manufacturer. You see, Samsung likes to think big and that’s why they probably won’t consider the slate a success unless it manages to challenge the iPad throne and steal some of its thunder.

Unfortunately, we cannot say how those two will really compare before we get a final unit of the Galaxy Tab and put Android 3.1 Honeycomb through its paces. The potential is all there, but we have to see it realized before we can wholeheartedly pass our judgment on this Android tablet compared to its iOS alternative.

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