Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 7.0 Review (Gaming Performance and Benchmarks)

Posted by B. Johnson
Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 7.0 Review (Gaming Performance and Benchmarks)Hi guys, welcome back to Gametabletz!!

Yesterday, I’ve already shared to you the news about 3 new Android tablets from HP Slate 7 Plus, HP Slate 7 Extreme and HP Slate 8 Pro, made by no other than Hewlett Packard, the company known popularly for its laptop, printer and some other product line.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 7.0 benchmarks and gaming performance

What makes me impressed a lot with all of these HP’s tablets is that, all of them are powered by NVIDIA’s beast mobile processor, Tegra, yet still priced in affordable price range.

As a result, these tablets will run extremely fast and smooth plus have superiority in terms of graphics power than any other tablets out there.

So with that being said, then i have no single doubt that these HP’s tablets will be great gaming tablets for sure.

Today, flashback to the past, i want to bring you back to the old days where tablet market was still not crowded yet and there were only iPad, Kindle Fire and Samsung GALAXY Tab that were up for grabs.

But right now, i only want to focus on Samsung’s homemade tablet first.

Maybe, some other day, old gen iPad and Kindle Fire 1st gen will get their their turns to get showcased on this awesome website :D.

And also, given that the first gen Samsung GALAXY Tab 1 is really old, then i don’t think you will ever find this model again around the market to date.

So, i’ll only bring the second gen of GALAXY Tab 2 to the table. Okay then, without further ado, let me introduce you to Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.

Introduction

Announced in September 2011 and released officially in October 2011, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 was one of the top selling tablets in the global market, alongside iPad and Kindle Fire 1st gen.

This Samsung’s homemade tablet might not have that premium design that iPad had.

However, what makes this tablet attractive to tablet shoppers is the features that come pre-installed on this device.

Unlike Kindle Fire or iPad, Samsung TouchWiz UX on GALAXY Tab 2 has so much to offer to users, like the multi-window apps, widgets on homescreen, cellular connectivity, cellular features to make calls or send text messages, microSD card slot and many more.

That’s the reason why this tablet sold well on the market, although not as impressive as iPad or Kindle Fire.

But that’s still acceptable given that Apple already had a big name in tablet market, while Amazon had its huge online store that could be used to aggressively promote its Kindle Fire tablet.

However, slowly but sure, Samsung gained an impressive sales over its GALAXY Tab 2 and managed to put pressure on both iPad and Kindle Fire.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 may not have some jaw-dropping specs that make tech geeks drool, nor it doesn’t have a premium feel just like iPad.

However, this tablet impressively has some other great things that just cannot be found on Kindle Fire or even iPad, like:
  • the abilities to make phone calls, send text,
  • use multiple apps on the same screen (e.g., video player, music player, calculator, etc),
  • customizable homescreen,
  • use expandable microSD card slot,
  • Bluetooth support,
  • Java emulator,
  • removable battery
  • and some other things.
So all of these goodies will surely make Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 a much more complete package of a great tablet than iPad or Kindle Fire.

And the best thing about this tablet is that, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 is not that expensive to buy, compared to iPad.

So with the price point that is cheaper than iPad, you can get many great things that you just can’t have on the iPad.

Well, that’s a great deal, right?

Okay guys, today, i want to talk about Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.

But bear in mind that i’m not gonna do some in-depth review on this tablet given that i don’t actually own the device by myself.

So in writing this review, i’ll only use some of my knowledge about this tablet that i’ve just gathered from many sources, like articles, user reviews on internet, YouTube videos of this tablet and some more.

Besides, even until today, to be honest with you, i’m still a big fan of this tablet and in fact, i actually have a plan in mind to buy this tablet in the near future once i have the budget for that.

So i’ll try to be honest to you when telling the whole thing about this tablet.

Design

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 Review: Is it a Great Gaming Tablet?If there is one sector that Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 really lacks, then its design is definitely the one. In fact, i do really think that most of old gen GALAXY devices, from Samsung GALAXY S3, GALAXY Tab, etc, all have weird and ugly design.

Somehow, Samsung used this ugly design as the design concept of its entire GALAXY line that time.

So if you’re looking for a premium built tablet that is worth showing off to the public, then Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 is definitely not the one.

On the front side, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 looks kind of ugly and cheap at best, compared to iPad. It has really huge bezels on every side.

I mean, they all look big. Really.

And i also don’t really like the rounded shape on every corner of this tablet.

It looks way to rounded in my opinion, making the tablet look chubby and less elegant at the glance.

This really contradicts with other competing Android products like Sony or Nokia devices that, despite using the same polycarbonate plastic, their devices feel really solid and sturdy in hands, like Sony Xperia devices or Nokia Lumia. And they don’t feel and look cheap from naked eyes.

So i think this is Samsung’s fault for not giving the best treatment on the design on its GALAXY devices.

Thank God these day, Samsung has already addressed this issue and improved the design and material on its latest devices, say, Samsung GALAXY Note 3 or GALAXY S4, despite using the same plastic material.

However, even though the front side of Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 looks chubby and less elegant, thanks to its huge side bezels, it’s the other way around with the back side of this device.

If you look at the back cover of this tablet, it does have nice design and material.

What i like best from its back side is its satin finish, making it fell really solid and sturdy in hands.

All around the side of this tablet, you’ll find some of the important elements like 3.5mm headphone jack, secondary microphone, volume buttons, power button, IR blaster (as the remote to control your electronic devices like TV, DVD, entertainment system, etc), dual-speakers, proprietary port from Samsung port and microSD card slot for up to 32GB.

So yeah, that’s it about the design of this tablet.

I’m really glad that Samsung has put some great work on the back cover of this tablet.

It looks pretty elegant and feels great in hands. And that really matters for this tablet.

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  • 7.0-inch PLS LCD Capacitive touch screen, 600x1024 pixels (-170 pixel density)
  • TouchWiz UX UI
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz CPU
  • Mali-400 MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal 8/16GB
  • microSD card slot up to 64GB
  • HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11, dual band
  • Bluetooth
  • Infrared
  • 3.15MP rear-facing with autofocus
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Android OS v3.2 Honeycomb, upgradeable to v4.1 Jelly Bean
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP
  • 4000mAh battery
As mentioned, what makes me really impressed with this tablet is, despite having an ugly design, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 proved can still be a great challenger for iPad.

It may not have that premium design ala iPad, but the whole thing about this tablet (i.e., like its features, UI) really makes Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 more interesting to buy than even iPad.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 comes with pretty good specs (which are the industry standards in 2011), like:
  • a 7-inch 600x1024 display with pixel density of -170,
  • a dual-core Samsung’s Exynos processor,
  • Mali-400 GPU,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 3.15MP camera on the back,
  • VGA front-facing camera,
  • microSD card slot for up to 64GB,
  • 4000mAH power battery
  • and some other important elements like Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity to make calls or send text messages, IR blaster, PLS or Plane-to-line-Switching technology on the screen, GPS, Java emulator, Infrared, Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack and more.
So with all of these goodies, you can literally do anything on this tablet, like making a phone call (although i doubt you want to do this in public because it will make you look like a dork, just kidding :D), browsing internet, listening to music, watching movies, playing some pretty heavy graphics intense games, taking photos, and pretty much anything that you can do with your normal smartphone.

This can be totally different if you opt to buy iPad given that iPad doesn’t allow many great things that are allowed on Samsung’s tablet, like making phone calls, sharing files with Bluetooth, controlling TV or entertainment system.

So with the price point that is cheaper than iPad, you can get a more reliable tablet that can do more than the iPad.

Well, that’s something, right?.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 may not look really fancy in public eyes, but who cares if you can get way more features that just can’t be found on iPad.

Screen

Besides features, screen is definitely the one that is worth bragging on this tablet.

It may only have a 600x1024 display, but damn, this is already enough dude for an affordable tablet like this. In fact, this screen is still the current industry standards for mid-end tablet.

Take Tegra Note for example. This NVIDIA’s tablet just got launched a few months ago priced for only $199 and it comes with pretty good specs that are on par with Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.

And Tegra Note is actually still using the similar quality 1280x800 pixel screen just like Samsung Tab 2.

So in comparison, Samsung’s tablet was released in 2011 with 600x1024 pixel screen, while Tegre Note is released this year in 2013 with the 720p display (1280x700 pixels, which is a bit higher than Samsung’s tablet).

So it’s really amazing to see 2011’s tablet like GALAXY Tab 2 already had the similar quality screen like today’s mid-end tablet, meaning that this tablet is still acceptable in the current tablet market.

Besides, the last gen Samsung GALAXY Tab 3, which is released this year, also still uses the same exact 600x1024 pixel screen just like the predecessors. So Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 is still worth buying tablet on the market right now.

What makes Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 great is its PLS or Plane-to-line-Switching technology on the screen.

With this PLS technology, it allows users to set the brightness of the screen even at the brighter level, without sacrificing the battery life of this tablet.

So even if you set this tablet’s screen at brighter level, it will not drain the battery life to the low, allowing users to enjoy the tablet at the fullest without the need to recharge the tablet during the day.

And that’s a great achievement by Samsung. So i give them the credits.

Anyway, with that 600x1024 pixel quality screen, everything that you throw on this tablet, from HD games, HD movies or any other HD contents, will all look sharp and clear in your eyes.

It may not look really sharp as the screen of this year’s Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX that already adopt 1080p display, but having a 600x1024 pixel screen on a 7-inch tablet is already great enough to make you fully satisfied.

Besides, there is the PLS technology going on inside this tablet, making sure that you, as the owner, can enjoy this tablet at its fullest screen quality in long long hours of usage.

User Interface

Samsung GALAXY devices have been really popular for its TouchWiz UX interface.

So it’s really different with the other Android builds on some devices like Sony Xperia, HTC or Asus devices.

Some people really like TouchWiz UI thanks to its richness of features, while some other hate it because it makes the tablet run laggy thanks to the bloatware and custom skins that inundate the memory of this tablet.

However, the good thing is, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 comes with a dual-core processor plus 1GB of RAM, not to mention Mali-400 GPU, which is a powerful GPU in its class.

So all the bloatwares and custom skins that come pre-installed on this software, will not really give such a huge impact to the whole experience of this tablet.

It still runs pretty smooth and fast.

As a matter of fact, i think the performance of Samsung GALAXY Tab 2, even with the same but more improved TouchWiz UX, is much faster than on the predecessor, Samsung GALAXY Tab 1, which i know is really laggy and buggy, especially when using many live widgets on the homescreen.

And this is weird because Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 and GALAXY 7 Plus (first gen GALAXY Tab) actually use the same exact spec sheet on them, like a dual-core CPU, Mali-400 GPU and 1GB of RAM.

So i’m really glad that Samsung has already addressed that issue perfectly on this Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.

It now runs much faster and smoother than predecessor, even with many widgets floating on the homescreen.

I believe this has something to do with the tweaks that Samsung made on its TouchWiz software and hardware.

Features

Besides the smoothness that you’re gonna get on this tablet, the other thing about Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 that really stands out than other tablet, even the iPad, it the features that come pre-loaded on the software.

As many of you know, on Samsung GALAXY Tab 2, you can do things like watching movies or using calculator in small window that you can float on top of the screen.

So with this feature, you’re able to multitask apps at the same time on the same screen.

It’s kind of similar when you open the multiple windows or software on Windows laptop.

For example, if you’re currently using the browser to surf the web, you can also open other apps like video player or calculator in small-sized window (that can be enlarged) that you can float on top of the web browser.

So you can browse and also watch movies at the same time on the same screen, without switching the windows through the multitask window mode.

Well, this certainly is really a great feature. In fact, i’ve seen many iPad users really want this feature so bad on their iPads, but just can’t have it because iOS doesn’t allow that.

So that’s the one thing about Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 that makes it superior than the iPad.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 also comes with IR blaster, Java emulator, Bluetooth, infrared, cellular connectivity and Wi-Fi.

So you can do lots of things with this device, like using it as remote to control your TV, playing Java applications, sharing files with other devices easily with Bluetooth and Infrared, making calls, sending text messages and browsing internet with either 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Performance

When it comes to performance, then Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 is still considered as pretty damn good in its class, although in the price range between $199 to $229, you can grab a much better tablet with more powerful specs than Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.

For example, like Google Nexus 7 with its more powerful quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320 GPU or Kindle Fire 7 HDX with its Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, or even Tegra Note with its Tegra 4, 1GB of RAM and 72-core GPU.

However, it’s worth noting that in that price range around $199 to $230, you’ll only get the Wi-Fi only model of either Google Nexus 7, Tegra Note or Kindle Fire 7 HDX.

Meanwhile, with the price range around $200 to $230, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 will provide you with much better features and elements like 3G cellular connectivity and microSD card slot up to 64GB, 2 things that just can’t be found on Google and Amazon’s tablets.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 equips itself with a dual-core Exynos CPU, Mali-400 GPU and 1GB of RAM.

With all of these goodies, it’s great to hear that this tablet runs pretty smoothly in daily use.

As i mentioned earlier, i believe that Samsung has done a great job in optimizing the software and hardware with its tweaks here and there, which ensures that this tablet will run smoothly even when multitasking apps at the same time.

The performance of this tablet is really different with the predecessor, Samsung GALAXY Tab 1, where this older gen model runs really laggy and buggy especially when using many live widgets or wallpaper on the homescreen.

Whereas, Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 and Samsung GALAXY Tab 1 uses the same exact hardware specs, like 1GB of RAM, dual-core CPU and Mali-400, which are also the same ones found on the last gen Samsung GALAXY Tab 3.

The good news is, you don’t need to face that issue anymore on this Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 because Samsung has improved the TouchWiz software and hardware on this tablet so it can deliver a fast and smooth performance to the users.

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Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 may only have a dual-core Exynos processor, Mali-400 GPU and 1GB of RAM, but i believe with this type of specs, you’ll still be able to play some heavy games like Dead Trigger 2, GTA Vice City or Modern Combat 4, although not in full graphics.

But still, it’s great right to be able to play those games smoothly on this tablet.

Besides, if you want to get a perfect gaming tablet at low cost, i suggest you to pick either Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Kindle Fire 7 HDX or Tegra Note 7.

It’s no doubt that these 3 tablets are more than capable to run any high-performance graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas, Dead Trigger, GT Racing 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, etc in full graphics with no lag whatsoever.

However, you must also remember that these 3 tablets don’t have 3G cellular connectivity support, meaning that you can't use your SIM card to connect to internet or make phone calls just like on Samsung GALAXY Tab 2.



Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung GALAXY Tab 2, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

Camera might be one of the biggest disappointment found on this tablet.

The photos taken by its 3.15MP rear-facing camera are not something to write home about.

However, it’s still great move by Samsung to include this feature to the tablet. It may not take some decent shots just like the 5MP camera on Tegra Note, but at least, it gets the job done.

Besides, this camera might come in handy if you forgot to bring your digital camera or smartphone at your disposal, making sure that you won’t miss any precious moment in your life.

User Opinions

If you ask my opinion about this tablet, then i must say that Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 is still a pretty good tablet to buy.

Its hardware may not be the today's standard.

However, the fact that this tablet offers something that other tablets at the same price range don’t, like 3G cellular connectivity, microSD card slot and multi-window apps, then i would recommend this tablet to you if you like having a 3G-enabled tablet with microSD card and rich features on its software.

However, if you happen to be a hardcore tablet gamer, then i strongly ask you to find other alternatives around the market.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 currently can be bought for around $200 to $250.

And this already has 3G cellular connectivity on it, allowing you to make calls, send text messages or browse internet.

In comparison, you can also pick up either Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Kindle Fire HDX or Tegra Note 7.

These tablets are really powerful when it comes to performance, especially gaming performance.

You can get Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire 7 HDX at around $229 (but i heard the price has been cut to $199 for this holiday season), while at much cheaper $199, you can get Tegra Note 7 instead.

Tegra Note 7 comes with a 7-inch 720p display, Tegra 4, 72-core GeForce GPU and 1 GB of RAM.

With all of these hardware specs, you can play any graphics demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, GTA San Andreas, GT Racing 2 and many more, in buttery smooth performance and in full graphics setting.

Besides great for gaming, Tegra Note also comes with its official stylus that its touch response can outperform the touch response of S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note 8, plus you’ll get the dedicated hole for the stylus on the back, not to mention microSD card slot and many more.

Its 5MP camera is also far better than the 3.15MP camera on Samsung GALAXY Tab 2, even Google Nexus 7.

So with this $199 tablet, you can take decent shots and edit them on the app called “Camera Awesome” (which is still exclusive for iOS and Tegra Note only).

Meanwhile, Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire 7 HDX can also be 2 great alternatives for Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 only if you love playing games on tablet.

As mentioned above, these 2 tablets come with some powerful specs on them.

So you can throw any kind of games, from simple games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, to more sophisticated high-performance games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, etc, in smooth performance and in full graphics setting.

Conclusion

So it’s up to you now.

Are you willing to hand over around $200 to 240 to get Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 that has some pretty good specs on it, like a 600x1024 pixel display, a dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, Mali-400 GPU, microSD card slot for up to 64GB, 3G cellular connectivity, great features, great software, a mediocre 3.15MP camera, IR blaster as remote control?

Or you want to switch your target to either Tegra Note 7, Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire 7 HDX, that are really powerful for gaming?

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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