Just to recap if you missed the previous posts on my AT&T Samsung Galaxy Tab, my tab is rooted, flashed with Euro Rom, then finally flashed again with Overcome ROM v2.0.0 B2. Why? I now have carrier calling capability and Gingerbread 2.3.3. You say so what? I say, finally one device that does it all on the go. That’s right, just about anything you can think of, the thing does it and does it pretty well. Not without its quirks of course, com’on is anything perfect?
Let’s start off this long conversation by asking a simple question. How do you make a call on this thing? Quite easy really, tap the green Phone icon on the launcher and do yourself a favor, pair a bluetooth headset with the Tab. Trust me, you don’t want to hold the Tab next to your ear to make a phone call.
The default Dialer page gives you the all too familiar numeric keys to dial by number or name, button for video conferencing, and access to favorites. The Logs page has more than a week’s worth of calls and texts (I’m guessing 2wks). The Contacts page displays everyone I know on earth and I mean everyone I know from Facebook and Gmail. Best of all, the contacts stay synchronized. The Groups page while not entirely necessary, deserves a little recognition because it organizes contacts by groups from all online accounts holding my contacts. Lastly, Favorites is redundant since it’s also in the Dialer page.
Overall, Samsung did a great job with the Phone features. I only have a couple of small issues.
1. By Default, one click voice dialing via bluetooth headset is not possible, I had to purchase Cyberon Voice Commander for that.
2. Why does the screen go off in less than 10secs during a call? In my opinion, the screen should stay on unless the power button is pressed. I hate having to push the power button (then phone password) to bring back the Dialer during automated prompts to access numeric keys or when I need to switch app to look up something during a conversation.
Just how portable/practical is the device? My immediate response to that question is definitely portable and practical. Why? while it can’t fit in my front pockets, it fits nicely in my back or jacket pockets. Matter of fact, I believe what makes this device an all-in-one is due largely to its physical dimensions. It seems to strike the perfect balance between portability and usability as a tablet/e-reader. I can read for hours at a time without straining my eyes nor my arm holding it close to my body. Web pages render nicely without the need to scroll from side to side in landscape mode. Input is delightful in landscape or portrait modes thanks to swipe. Battery life is decent for emailing, checking/typing messages, reading, taking notes, listening to music, looking up stuff on the web, navigating via GPS, talking on the phone, and doodling now and then with 10-15% left in a typical 10hr day. I do find the GPS to be a major battery sucker, so having it on the entire time is not advisable. One thing I find annoying are the 4 touch sensitive buttons staying lit whenever the screen is in use. One other thing, no charging on USB. Why Samsung why?
Other than a few things I listed above, I’m really quite happy with the Tab as my primary means to communicate and compute on the go. Overall, a great piece of hardware married by great working and easy to use native Samsung apps such as the email client, calendar, and reading hub to name a few. The Tab after the mods definitely fills the spot as an all-in-one for me. I’m hoping to try Honeycomb someday when available to see what the experience is like on the Tab…until then, this one is a keeper.