What is the Samsung Galaxy Tab?
The Galaxy Tab is a range of handheld tablet computers made by Samsung. They’re available in various sizes and with different specifications, but all models run the Android mobile operating system. Just like the iPad, Galaxy Tab tablets are available with built-in mobile broadband support so you can get online using a SIM card without any extra hardware.
Android vs Apple iOS - which is better?
Perhaps the most crucial difference between the Galaxy Tab and iPad is the operating system. The iPad uses Apple’s iOS software, while Samsung Galaxy tablets run the Android operating system. But which is right for you?
Apple iPad - iOS
- Excellent app compatibility
- Wide range of tablet-specific apps
- Very user friendly, and will be familiar if you’ve ever used an iPhone or iPad
- Only available on Apple hardware
- OS is more restrictive than Android
- Lacks extensive customisation options
Samsung Galaxy Tab - Android
- Vast and varied app store
- Highly customisable, tailor the look and feel to suit you
- Fewer restrictions on the types of apps you install
- Wide variety of hardware and OS versions can impact app compatibility
- Limited number of tablet-specific apps
- Android is more prone to viruses and other security issues
Should I get a Samsung Galaxy Tab or an Apple iPad?
If you just want a tablet and aren’t beholden to a particular operating system or app store, the Galaxy Tab range can be excellent value for money. They are often cheaper than Apple’s premium priced hardware, and you’re still getting a high quality gadget with good specifications.
If you want an iPad because you’ve used iOS before and have invested in Apple Music or App Store software, then buy an iPad!
How do I compare the different Samsung Galaxy Tab models?
The Galaxy Tab range has been going for a few years and there’s now a vast choice of models carrying the name. But how do you know which one to go for?
The most obvious difference between the Galaxy Tab range is the screen size. The smallest models at present are 7-inches, and they go right up to 10.1-inches. This is typically indicated by the model name itself - such as Galaxy Tab 7.0 or Galaxy Tab 10.1.
It’s personal preference as to whether you go for a 7 or 8 inch model or the larger 10-inch versions. The bigger Tabs are better suited to getting the most from high-def movies, web browsing and games while at home, but if you’re going to be using it on the move then a 7-inch model could be more appropriate.
Processor, memory and storage
When you compare Galaxy Tab models remember to consider the processing power and memory available. Older models may be enticing as they’re cheaper, but a tablet with a good amount of horsepower to hand will give a better experience, and this is particularly important if you’re planning on using it for HD video, gaming or as a replacement for a laptop.
Communication and connectivity
All the Galaxy Tab offers listed in our comparison table above are for the mobile data enabled versions, which means they include mobile broadband support built in and do not require a dongle. Wireless networking and Bluetooth are also standard features for any modern tablet, and many Galaxy Tab models also include USB ports and microSD memory slots.
What should I look out for when comparing Samsung Galaxy Tab deals?
Here are some key points to keep in mind when comparing Galaxy Tab offers and selecting your mobile broadband deal...
Check your network coverage
This is absolutely vital - you must ensure you can get at least a 3G signal in the area(s) you plan on using a data-enabled Galaxy Tab, or indeed any other mobile broadband device. Ideally you want 4G in order to get the best speed.
To check this simply click the network logos below to see their UK coverage maps:
Upfront cost and monthly contract fee
Buying a tablet on a contract means you will often get the opportunity to purchase it below the full retail price, but you are signing on for a commitment and that may be as much as 24 months. Contract tablet deals do offer more data usage for less money than pay as you go (PAYG) and mean you don’t have to pay huge lump sums initially, but you may want to consider the total cost of the device over the full life of the contract including the monthly fee.
This is very important when considering any mobile broadband package. The cheap monthly contracts may appeal but the data allowance could be so small you’ll end up going over your limit very quickly. We have a comprehensive guide to data usage which should help you decide how much you need, but as a general rule web browsing and email use very little (so you can get away with the cheapest contracts or PAYG top-ups) while media streaming and file downloads will quickly eat up a big chunk of data.
Galaxy Tab on PAYG
We sometimes list pay as you go Galaxy Tab offers. These do not generally offer any real benefits in terms of the cost of the tablet, but when bought like this you are getting a PAYG SIM in the bundle so it’s ready to get online right away. PAYG is best for infrequent or light use. Top it up when required but stick to Wi-Fi whenever possible to save money.