Samsung is in no mood to invest much time and effort in its Galaxy Tab range of tablets. With the Note family getting the premium treatment, the new generation of Tabs would suffice with a mild facelift and a software upgrade.
That's especially true at the bottom of the range, where the seven-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is getting ready to take over from its predecessor with the new S4 styling and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. That's right, only the smallest tablet in the lineup didn't get the latest OS version available. This may be partly due to the new Marvell chipset used.
Anyway, we'll try to squeeze a couple of benchmarks in this preview to see whether the Marvell silicon is actually an upgrade or otherwise. Other than that, Samsung clearly decided to put an emphasis on the exterior, keeping most of the internals unchanged.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has the same screen resolution as its predecessor, WSVGA (600 x 1024), which is the lowest available on a tablet. OK, we don't think WVGA tablets should count. The rear camera is a 3.15MP unit and the front camera resolution is up from VGA to 1.3MP.
These are by no means exceptional specs but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is clearly a tablet for the budget-conscious users. Support for voice calls is what sets it apart from the hordes of Android seven-inchers, most of which are obviously better-equipped at or around the same price point.
With almost no meaningful additions to the hardware, the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 will find it hard to convince Galaxy Tab 2 owners to consider upgrading. At least one thing it does right though - the newer model is obviously more compact and lightweight than the predecessor. The quality build and comfortable handling also help the Galaxy Tab start off on the right foot in the budget tablet range.
Hardware is, as usual, our next stop in this quick preview. You're welcome to follow us on the next page and get a better feel of Samsung's latest compact tablet.