Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 review: Hands-on

The long awaited sequel to the original Galaxy Tab is finally here...

What is a hands on review?
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is finally here, boasting the same 7-inch form factor as the original but with a few tweaks inside. Of course the question will be with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 already here, will people really want something smaller?

To answer that question we've gone hands-on with the Galaxy Tab 2 at Samsung's European Forum...

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: Build

The Galaxy Tab 2 has lost the shiny plastic body of the old model, instead the Tab is now a shiny hunk of brushed aluminium with a design that see's the metal surround slightly encroach on the glass front.

The buttons are sturdy and overall the design shares many characteristics of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy Note, which by all accounts isn't a bad thing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: Features

Most noticeable will of course be the fact that it's running Android Ice Cream Sandwich making it the first Samsung tablet to run the OS out of the box. What that means of course is that you'll get Face Unlock included, while the feature wasn't available on the models we tried out Samsung's own press release confirms that the feature will be included.

Also new to a Samsung tablet is the company's S Suggest which is a recomendation app that will suggest apps from the Android Market that have been optimised screen size of your tablet. It's not yet clear if this is coming to other Galaxy Tab devices or indeed their smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: Screen

The Galaxy Tab 2 has a 1024x600p WSVGA which pumps out suprisingly bright colours and crisp textures with the screen performing well when playing video.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2: Performance

Deciding against going with anything more powerful the Galaxy Tab 2 houses a 1Ghz dual-core processor and while it performs well when undertaking simple tasks there were moments when responsiveness was a little lacking.

That said, early Galaxy Nexus models appeared to be a bit sluggish but then nearer release day issues were ironed out and they became much zippier, so fingers crossed this is the case here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab: Verdict

While the wide range of storage sizes (8, 16 or 32GB) and the premium form factor shout that this will be a high-end tablet, the 3MP snapper on the back and the 1GHz dual-core processor begs to differ resulting in what could potentially be a brilliant mid-range tablet.

The use of Ice Cream Sandwich is a big step and something that will hopefully mark the inclusion of the OS, as standard, on all future Android devices.

Overall the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is shaping up to be a definite rival to the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire, offering a discreet premium tablet that will easily be able to handle media intensive apps. Of course the inclusion of a 3G model will no doubt be a selling point as well.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.