Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

Samsung has unveiled an update to its first foray into the world of Android tablets; the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The new 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 ups the ante in just about every way over the original and includes all the technical treats Samsung has gleamed from its tablet efforts to date.

But just how much better is the new Galaxy Tab 2? How does it compare over the original? Is it worth the extra pennies, or is making a saving and grabbing a super cheap second hand Galaxy Tab 1 still a decent enough idea?

Form Factor

Winner: SamTab 2
193 x 122 x 10mm, 344g

Loser: SamTab
91 x 120 x 12mm, 380g


In order for us to be happy about a tablet it needs to be absurdly thin. Anything approaching even a DVD case and it’s sad faces all round. The original Galaxy Tab was pretty pocketable, but has been long surpassed by the current generation of tablets. Weight is the main victory here, where the original tablet is 36g heavier than the Galaxy Tab 2. The tablet is also 2mm thinner, which while you might never notice unless you stared extra hard, is a nice bit of size boastery all the same.

Display

Winner: SamTab 2
7-inch, 1024 x 600, PLS TFT

Loser: SamTab
7-inch, 1024 x 600


On the face of it this category comes off as a bit of a tie, resolution matching up between both. Thing is, screen technology has moved on quite a bit since the original Galaxy Tab. Samsung has been at the forefront of AMOLED displays for a while and the screen in the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is stunning. Presumably out of cost saving, we get a TFT in the Galaxy Tab 2, but it is a mighty sweet TFT at that.

Engine Room

Winner: SamTab 2
1GHz dual-core

Loser: SamTab
Samsung Hummingbird


Easy win here for the Galaxy Tab 2. Add another core and you got more speed. Simple as. The original Galaxy Tab was also rather wimpy on the Android front, as it was in the pre Honeycomb days. This meant it was an inherently sluggish device compared to the new ICS-powered Galaxy Tab 2.

Software

WINNER: SamTab 2
Android 4.0 (Honeycomb) + TouchWiz

Loser: SamTab
Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) + TouchWiz


As we mentioned above, having Ice Cream Sandwich on a tablet makes a hefty difference. Gingerbread on the bigger screen just didn’t quite feel right, whereas ICS is a much more logical beast. It gives the tablet more breathing room to take advantage of the extra screen real estate and also allows for clever things like Samsung’s Hub widget, which pulls all your social feeds together snappily. Easy win here for the Galaxy Tab 2.

Imaging

Winner: SamTab 2
VGA front facing, 3MP rear facing

Loser: SamTab 
3MP fixed focus rear facing facing, 1.3 megapixel front facing


Rarely do you think of a tablet as a top-end photographic device. The likes of the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy SII have set the standards for portables pretty high but tablets haven’t really reaped the benefits yet. The first gen Samsung Galaxy Tab had a 3 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3 on the front. The new boasts a VGA res snapper on the front but is capable of full HD recording at 30fps, which is a nice jump over the original.

Storage

Tie: SamTab
16/32GB + SD

Tie: SamTab 2
8/16/32GB + microSD


Same amounts of storage here so we have a tie. If however you are not a fan of keeping things locally on hardware, then the cheaper 8GB Galaxy Tab 2 might be enough to sway you, especially given the hardware boost you get above the original. Then again the cost of a 32GB first gen Galaxy Tab is likely less than the entry level of the new ones.

Price

Winner: SamTab
Around £200

Loser: SamTab 2
TBC


We don’t have a definite price yet for the Galaxy Tab 2 unfortunately. The original can be picked up for next to nothing on the likes of eBay and Gumtree, making it one of the best and most affordable Android tablets. The 3G version can also be grabbed very cheaply, but you will need to subscribe to a monthly data plan. If Samsung is going for Kindle Fire levels of pricing with the Galaxy Tab 2, then that is a mighty persuasive offer. This is highly unlikely however but until we see a final cost, we just can’t be sure.

Battery

Tie: SamTab 2
4,000mAh

Tie: SamTab
4,000mAh


Level pegging here on the battery front. Expect the increased number of cores in the Galaxy Tab 2 to put a bit more of a strain on the battery. 4,000mAh however is more than enough, in both cases, to get a decent enough amount of usage from your tablet.

Connectivity

Winner: SamTab
Wi/3G/BT3.0/HDMI/DLNA

Loser: SamTab 2
Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 Host, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct


The original Samsung Galaxy Tab actually claims the title here, partly because of the inclusion of DLNA. Don’t forget that at launch, it was Samsung’s only Android tablet, hence things like HDMI are included. The less flagship approach with the Galaxy Tab 2 does away with some of the original’s connectivity features. There is however Wi-Fi direct if you should fancy it.

Conclusion

No surprises really that the Galaxy Tab 2 claims the throne here. But what we also gleaned from this comparison is that the original is still quite a fighter. The lack of ICS is a bit of an issue, but ultimately the reduced cost still makes it worth thinking about. If however you want the latest and greatest, at a less than premium price (which we presume the Tab 2 will be), then this could be the tablet for you.

What do you think to the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2? Let us know in the comments below...