If Samsung has clearly focused on the exploration of the middle, high or very high-end tablets with the Galaxy Tab Pro series, Tab 4, Pro Note, Tab S, the brand does not forget the small purses with a light model of Galaxy Tab 3, called Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0.
As the name suggests, this tablet has a 7-inch screen (TN technology) with a definition of 1024 x 600 px, a dual-core mobile chip PXA986 from Marvell clocked at 1.2 GHz and accompanied by a memory 1 GB, and 8 GB of storage. Wi-Fi b / g / n, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 provide wireless connectivity, while the back is adorned with a photo-video sensor of 2 MPX (no front sensor).
The operating system that drives the whole is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but Samsung adds its usual TouchWiz interface.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0 tablet is marketed, in white or black, at a price of € 119.99.
The style of the Galaxy Tab 3 is resumed in a rough way on this Tab 3 Lite. The smooth white plastic and the thickness contained are exchanged for a rough finish, but not unpleasant and especially compactness less. The edges are wider and the micro-USB port goes to the upper edge rather than the lower one (in portrait mode).
The one-handed grip remains well made. The grip is safe and the weight of 341 grams can not feel too much discomfort even after long minutes of use.
The two speakers of the lower edge (still portrait mode) of the classic Tab 3 are replaced by a single small output on the back near the photo-video sensor. Clear in portrait mode, it is lightly covered by the hand in landscape mode and the reverberation effect of the sound on the palm is not extraordinary.
The tablet does not heat, even when it is running at full speed.
With a TN panel to animate the screen of this Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, Samsung does not, in theory, a very glorious way in terms of display. And that’s something verified in practice. If the contrast of approximately 750: 1 and the maximum brightness of 361 cd / m² seem correct, the viewing angles are short, too short. In landscape mode, if you lean the tablet, it turns quickly black on one side or white and almost negative on the other.
In portrait mode, standing well in front of the tablet, to avoid this disappointment of the angles, gives birth to a flicker of the most unpleasant slab. Result, the tablet is sometimes recalcitrant, question readability, indoors and rarely becomes usable outdoors.
The rendering of colors is anything but faithful. The colors are saturated (average delta E at 12.2) and the image is ostensibly blue, with a color temperature of 15199 Kelvins.
Between its definition too fair and poor rendering, this screen is clearly not up to the competition and, most importantly, most models of just 25 to 35 € more offer IPS tiles with wide angles of vision and balanced rendering.
INTERFACE AND NAVIGATION
With Samsung comes TouchWiz, it’s mandatory. The Korean interface covers the whole of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and brings some additional applications and features, such as a video player with a wider compatibility than the original one, the S Voice connected voice assistant, the Polaris Office 5 editor / document reader, a note-taking application or a management of shortcuts (vertical pane that is displayed by sliding your finger up and down) much more relevant than the basic Android.
The Google tools are also in the game, with Hangouts, YouTube, the store Play Store (Samsung Apps is there too), Drive, Gmail … In good entry-level product, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite does not offer the advanced features that can be found on Samsung’s most advanced slates. We think of the functions related to the user’s view (video playback, sleep, etc.), multitasking with 2 or more apps simultaneously on the screen or the content aggregator Magazine UX.
Despite its limited chip in terms of power – pure tests like Antutu BenchMark, Sunspider or Vellamo place it far behind most platforms in the market – the tablet reacts quite satisfactorily. Apart from some slight slowdowns, especially when many applications are open, the device is very responsive. It must be admitted, however, that between the poor definition of the screen and the reduced functionality of the product, good responsiveness was a minimum.
Web browsing offers a correct experience. The speed is satisfactory, even if we are far from having here the widest web consultation tool on the market. Loading, scrolling in pages, zoom tabs, whatever the browser used, everything happens with relative fluidity, but it is the quality of the screen that completely hurts the whole. Viewing angles and definition are a real problem. Pity.
As above, the rendering of the screen spoils the video experience. If the built-in player is quite comprehensive in terms of file compatibility, the experience for the eye is not extraordinary. From definition to viewing angles, this tablet does not combine the benefits to enjoy a movie or a series.
Side video games, let’s move the couplet now rehashed the very bad screen to focus on the gaming capabilities of the machine. The pair formed by the chip Marvell PXA986 and its iGPU Vivance GC1000, accompanied by 1 GB of RAM, is not willing to burst the retina with licked graphics. On the other hand, we note a satisfactory behavior in almost all the tested games, even on heavyweights like Real Racing 3 or Dead Trigger 2 . The reason is quite simple: 3D games are very often very ugly, with a graphic quality very below average, but it is the sine qua non condition to indulge in the joys of the whole of the offer of the Play store.
Finally, the sound is still well made. The built-in speaker on the back of this tablet’s case, right next to the photo / video sensor, is not very powerful, but delivers a correct tonal balance with nice sounds without too much stridence. The headphone jack offers good or very good results with a high output level (about 430 mVrms) to power most helmets, even power hungry models.
Its distortion is almost insignificant (rate with more than two “0” after the decimal point max.) And its response curve is very linear with just a slight attenuation in the high frequencies.
With a battery of 3600 mAh, a weak screen definition and a weak chip, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite should in theory offer a convincing autonomy, if not explosive. This is more or less the case, since it has a battery life of just over 8:15 video playback, while it expires after 7:50 on average on a mixed use (email, game, Web. ..). Charging is rather fast, since a complete cycle takes about 2 hours.
What to expect from a photo sensor 2 Mpx on such a product? Absolutely nothing, finally. The shots are dull, lacking in definition, sharpness, sharpness … everything.
If the recording of a snapshot is fast, the access to the gallery is slow and sluggish. The camera interface has many settings, but why bother with a tool that can not even be used as a last resort? The absence of sensor at the front prevents any interest for this product as a tablet for video chat.