Monday, 27 February 2012

MWC 2012: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) and 7.0 - been there, seen that.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, among the big launches, Samsung has dropped the ball on their ‘next-gen’ Galaxy Tab 2 series, but it’s not what we hoped it would be. The new tablets will come in two sizes - a 7.0-inch and a 10.1-inch and will be launched in the UK first, next month, followed by the rest of the world. The Galaxy Tab 2 series, as it turns out, is a rebadged version of their existing Tab 10.1 (or Tab 750) and the Tab 7.0 Plus (or Tab 620) with some minor changes thrown in.

Let’s start with the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1). Comparing it with the existing Tab 10.1, the new model is actually a little bit thicker and heavier, than its predecessor. There’s a slight change in the design, too, as the stereo speakers are more prominently placed facing the front, rather than the sides. While the screen resolution and type have remained the same, the Tab 2 (10.1) does get expandable memory support this time. It also has (we think!) voice call options now, although Samsung doesn't mention that explicitly. The 3MP camera can now record in 1080p, although I wouldn’t hold my breath too much on the quality of the recorded video. Along with GPS, the new tablet also supports GLONASS positioning system. Of course, it will be running Android 4.0, along with TouchWiz UX UI running on top, so you may not be able to see much of a difference between the old and new one. Samsung haven’t revealed too much info on the type of SoC powering the tablet, except that it’s a 1GHz dual-core chipset. Rest of the specifications remain exactly the same. Here are some of the main features:

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung TouchWiz UI
10.1-inch PLS LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 800
1GHz Dual-Core Processor
3 Megapixel auto-focus rear camera with full HD 1080p video recording capabilities at 30fps
VGA front facing camera for video calling
16/32GB Internal memory
MicroSD Card support up to 32GB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
3.5mm audio jack
A-GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth v3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct

Coming to the Tab 2 (7.0), Samsung let this one slip out about a week ago and not much has changed, since then. Physically, it’s going to be exactly the same as the current Tab 7.0 Plus and even internally, for most parts. The only addition here is the 1080p video recording support and GLONASS navigation support. This brings us to the question as to why Samsung bothered to release this in the first place? And more importantly, what happens to the existing 10.1 and 7.0 Plus? This brings us to the question - will they be getting ICS, after all? Samsung can’t drop the price any further, since it will clash with their other products and they won’t be able to make any profit, so the only option is to kill the existing product line and replace it with the Tab 2 series. Let’s wait and see how Samsung manage to untangle this web, which they’ve spun around themselves.

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