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  • Page 1Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review | Ubergizmo

    29-05-2012 09:41:20

    7 Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 ReviewBy Eliane Fiolet on 12/12/2011 13: 04 PDT

    I am a big fan of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the best alternative to the iPad 2 , and I am even happier

    with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 , as it offers similar hardware and performance in a more compact body ,

    which is great for people who are on-the-go and want to travel light .

    Usually I carry a purse that is too small to fit the Tab 8 .9, but for women who carry medium size purses, the

    smaller version of the Galaxy Tab tablet should be perfect.

    Just like the Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a slow charging time (17% in one hour), compared to the Xoom

    or the most recent Sony Tablet S which charges at almost 70% in only one hour! The iPad 2 charging time is

    quite long as well. We suppose that thicker tablets allow for faster charging batteries.

    The addition of the Samsung TouchWiz user interface on top of Android 3.1 improves the user experience and

    offers a more attractive look and feel. (Editors note: We did not review the TouchWiz for the galaxy Tab 10.1

    because it was not available prior to the introduction to market, at the time of publication .)

    Some people would argue that at $469 .99, one would expect noble materials for the chassis such as uni-body

    aluminum, personally, I am fine with the plastic body, it surely helps to provide the light weight .

    Last but not least we still regret the lack of a standard USB port and HDMI out connectivity , which is offered by

    the Xoom, the Toshiba Thrive and the Archos G9 .

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  • Page 2Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review | Ubergizmo

    29-05-2012 09:41:20

    Last but not least we still regret the lack of a standard USB port and HDMI out connectivity , which is offered by

    the Xoom, the Toshiba Thrive and the Archos G9 .


    Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 GHz dual-core processor

    OS: Android 3 .1 software (Honeycomb)

    Samsung UI: Samsung TouchWiz UX, Samsung mini App tray, Social Hub, Music Hub, Readers Hub

    Display: 8.9 WXGA 1280800 , capacitive touch screen, pinch to zoom, TFT (PLS)

    Connectivity: 3.5 mm jack, WiFi a /b/g/n Bluetooth 2 .1 + EDR (WiFi only)

    Camera: backside 3 MP camera AF with LED flash frontside 2 MP camera (webcam)

    Video: 720p HD video capture 1080p full HD video playback @ 30 fps -

    Flash support: Adobe Flash Player 10.2 in web browser

    Memory: 16 / 32 GB built-in, 1GB DDR2 RAM

    Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Ambient Light sensor

    Battery: 6800mAh

    Weight: 447g g 1 lbs

    Size: 230.9 mm x 157 .8 mm x 8 .6mm

    Thinness comparison: Xoom: 12.9 mm iPad 2 : 8.8 mm Galaxy Tab 10.1: 8 .6 mm


    We always have a hard time ensuring objectivity in our reviews, since different people use electronic devices in

    drastically different ways depending on their needs and lifestyle . By telling you how I use a tablet, it will be

    easier for you to decide which aspects of this review will be useful for you to help make up your mind. I have

    used the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8 .9 for a few days as an additional device to my desktop computer, my

    MacBook Pro (running Windows), my Macbook Air (running Windows) and my Smartphone. Since I have

    bought the Macbook Air, I do not use a tablet for meetings as much any more, it has become more of an

    entertainment device from which I watch movies in my bed or in the plane , read news and books, play with

    apps (ie Angry Birds, Music Sreaming apps ), Skype/chat with friends, check Facebook updates, play music on a

    mini Bluetooth speaker.

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 features the super thin and elegant design that we all know from the 10.1, and I

    wish the Korean manufacturer had removed the ugly big number (CE0168) printed in the back or at least made

    it more subtly engraved.

    External design (very good)

    Plug-in content

    As I wrote in the introduction, users would have probably liked better an uni -body aluminum chassis, but I am

    fine with the anthracite color plastic encasing, the build look solid as well. Personally I like the smaller form

  • Page 3Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review | Ubergizmo

    29-05-2012 09:41:20

    As I wrote in the introduction, users would have probably liked better an uni -body aluminum chassis, but I am

    fine with the anthracite color plastic encasing, the build look solid as well. Personally I like the smaller form

    factor because it fits better in smaller bags or purses when on-the-go.

    Display (very good)

    Top left Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Bottom Left Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 - Top Middle Sony Tablet S - BottomMiddle iPad 2 - Right Asus Transformer Prime

    The Galaxy Tab 8 .9 has the same screen resolution (1280800) as its larger sibling the 10.1-inch, thus

    providing a higher pixel density, and consequently, a sharper image.

    You may know that I am a huge fan of the AMOLED displays featured in the Samsung high-end smartphones,

    because they offer super saturated colors that make reality look better.

    It s not a secret that IPS and AMOLED display technologies are currently fighting for the image quality

    supremacy on the high-end . Each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. As it is always the case

    with AMOLED, the contrast is extraordinary, with black levels that LCD displays simply cant reach. On the other

    hand, IPS LCDs tend to have a better color reproduction (out of the box) and consume less energy when

    displaying bright images. All in all, they are both excellent choices, but theres no point debating this further as

    there are no 8 .9 or 10.1 AMOLED tablets anyway.

    Although the Galaxy Tab tablets displays are not AMOLED (except for the 7 .7) , they tend to provide brighter

    and more saturated colors for a similar image quality when compared to the iPad and the Asus Transformer

    Prime (both offering IPS displays ) a feature that I highly appreciate. See the comparison of several tablets

    displays in the picture, note that the iPad 2 has the lowest resolution (1024768), all the others deliver

    1280800 .

  • Page 4Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review | Ubergizmo

    29-05-2012 09:41:20

    Left : iPad 2 - Right: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

    In direct sunlight, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 8 .9 are similar to the iPad 2, they have a

    comparable level of reflection , to our knowledge, those tablets deliver the least reflective displays and their view

    angles are also similar. (see picture above).

    Virtual Keyboards Samsung, Android, Swype and Swiftkey (very good)

    Left : Samsung Keyboard - Right: Android Keyboard

    The Samsung Galaxy 8.9-inch offers the default Android keyboard, the Samsung one and

    Swype, all are well designed and comfortable to use. I am not sure why Samsung designed its own custom

    keyboard, the responsiveness is similar to the Android keyboard, previously it was a little buggy when used in

    the browser, and now it looks to work fine with the updated software .

  • Page 5Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Review | Ubergizmo

    29-05-2012 09:41:20

    Left: Swype - Right: Swiftkey (you need to get it on the Android Market )

    Swype comes pre-loaded in the Samsung Tablets , you may all be familiar with this innovative keyboard that

    allows users to literally swipe from one key to the next, the word recognition is very accurate and thus, offer

    faster typing especially for smartphones.

    However, the app cannot handle more than one language at the same time unlike Swiftkey (manage 3

    languages simultaneously), a virtual keyboard that can be downloaded for as a free 30 days trial from the

    Android Market (a premium version can be purchased as well).

    Audio (good)


    The speakers audio quality is good for a tablet , it is comparable in sound power and quality to the Galaxy Tab

    10.1. In the 8 .9 version , they are located at the bottom of the body . On the Galaxy 10.1 , speakers are located

    on the side, and the sound can be blocked by the hands when holding the tablet.

    I have compared the Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 with the iPad 2, the Xoom and the Playbook with the same

    song . All tablets offer a comparable audio quality, the iPad 2 being slightly better with a deeper sound texture,

    the Samsung sounding more acute and slightly metallic.

    The Playbook provides the most powerful sound volume with a good audio quality, which is surprising given its

    smaller size .


    With headphones, the audio quality is really good, much better than with the built -in speakers .

    The Sony Tablet S speakers have a less powerful sound volume than the Tab 10.1 and Tab 8.9s ones ,

    however , the Sony audio quality is slightly better than Samsungs with headphones. I could not notice any

    differences with the other tablets.

    Performance and hardware (very good)

    Perceived Performance (very good)

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