Every now and then Samsung will make a lower end tablet with a nicely inexpensive price to stay in competition with other companies out there, and the Galaxy Tab A is definitely inexpensive. The last 8.0″ tablet Samsung had was the Galaxy Tab 4 that released last year in June, so it’s time to jump start the 8″ screen size market again. Anyhow, let’s get started with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 review.
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 8.0″ TFT touchscreen XGA 1024 x 768 resolution (160 ppi)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad core Processor @ 1.2GHz
- 16GB internal storage
- 2GB RAM
- MicroSD card support up to 128GB
- 5MP rear facing camera
- 2MP front facing camera
- 4,200mAh battery
- Bluetooth 4.1
- WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz + 5GHz
- LTE (T-Mobile; Band 2, 3, 4, 7, and 12)
What’s In The Box
- Galaxy Tab A
- Power brick
- USB cable
- Manual and quick guide
In my opinion Samsung doesn’t really change the design on their tablets which isn’t a big deal, but looking at something new is a delight, so the Galaxy Tab A isn’t the prettiest tablet out there, but it’s definitely not the worst looking tablet.
Starting off with the front of the device, you’ll notice the 8 inch screen. Not too hard to miss. Above the screen is Samsung’s logo smack dab in the center per usual. To the right of the logo is the proximity sensor and the front facing camera. Working our way to the bottom of the tablet, the home button is where it normally is surrounded by the back and recent apps button. The left side and the top of the tablet are clear of anything, while the right side is home to the power/standy button, volume rocker, microSD card slot, and sim card slot. Sim card slot will only be there if you have purchased the device through T-Mobile. Turn the device over and you’ll see the rear facing camera, Samsung’s logo again and two push-able dots where you can connect a Samsung case to it. The bottom of the device has the micro USB port, 3.5mm jack, and a speaker grill.
The Tab A doesn’t have the best resolution (1024 x 768; 160ppi), but when turning the brightness up to max, the colors look a lot better than having the brightness on auto or half way. When watching videos on the device they came in at 720p. Low for today’s standards, but watching a video on this device versus my OnePlus One running the same video at 720p, I didn’t notice much of a difference in color or quality.
Out of the box, the device is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, but does not have any new updates for Android 5.1 as of yet. It is running Samsung’s latest skin of TouchWiz, so there’s also that. No theme changer though like the S6 and S6 edge have. Would it have been nice? Yes, as I enjoy themes. Microsoft’s applications are pre-installed such as OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, Skype, and Word.
The speaker grill was placed on the left hand side on the bottom of the device. Where it was placed works really well if you’re holding the device in landscape as your hand doesn’t seem to cover the speaker at all. Quality of the sound was ok. Max volume sounded muffled when set on a table even though the speaker isn’t on the back. No matter what way I faced the speaker, it sounded the same. Holding the tablet and cuffing the speaker with your hand did bring out the sound more and the quality was much better.
A Snapdragon 410 SoC clocking at 1.2GHz is on the inside. It’s not the highest of processors out there, but makes due when combined with 2GB of RAM, the device can be pretty speedy. It was able to hand multiple applications when changing them through the recent apps.
Cameras on tablets aren’t all that great nor do they tend to have high megapixel count, but we take them as is. The rear facing camera has a 5MP resolution that isn’t the best when it came to natural light or low light photos. Sometimes there was too much noise or the quality was sub-par. As for the front facing camera, it’s 2MP and also pretty sub-par. If you don’t mind taking a selfie with your tablet, be my guest, but try and stick with your phone you use everyday.
Battery life on the Galaxy Tab A was pretty good for only having a 4,200mAh battery size. After leaving the tablet on and alone for a week, only 10% battery was used up. Yes it was left alone and not touched, but not many of my other devices do that when left alone and not used.
Inexpensive tablets are what most people look for nowadays, so the price of $229.99USD means you aren’t going to break the bank for a tablet. Samsung as well as T-Mobile are selling this device, so you will have the option of going through Samsung and getting the WiFi only model or purchasing the LTE model through T-Mobile and paying $319USD (full retail) or $13.33USD for the next 24 months. Either way you go, you’re paying less for a tablet than you would elsewhere *cough* Apple.
If you’re in the market for a new tablet or just getting your first tablet and don’t mind a low-end to mid-range one, then definitely go with this. Sure, it may have its pros and cons, but what electronic device doesn’t? If you’re not planning on using the product to take pictures or playing loud music in a room full of people, this would be a good start. Would it be my first choice? No, but it’ll be my second.
*We reviewed a retail unit of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A purchased by the reviewer
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