Wi-Fi Only Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and New 10.1 Hands-on; Pricing and Configuration Information Revealed [Video Soon]


Just as everyone expected, Samsung went ahead and announced new models of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The first an 8.9 inch model with the same great Tegra 2 processor that powers most Android 3.0 tablets, but they’re including HSPA+ (21mbps) radios and will implement an HD resolution display (1280×800). Other specs to round the hardware out are a 2 megapixel webcam, a 5 megapixel back camera with flash capable of HD video recording and more.

Samsung’s big thing with this introduction was its thinness and weight. The 8.9 inch version of the Tab is just 470g light and 8.6mm thin, making it not only the lightest tablet in the game, but also the thinnest. (Only its 10.1 inch big brother can compare.)

Another big talking point was the software Samsung’s included on top of Android 3.0. They’re calling it TouchWiz 4.0, of course, but it’s not as bad as you might imagine. It’s a user experience more than it is a user interface as they’ve only included own-built applications and widgets that you remove and add as you wish.

Social Hub is also included and while it’s still not the most robust social networking experience that can be had, it’s cool for new users who’d rather have all that stuff in one central location. Honeycomb itself is nearly untouched so users shouldn’t have to worry too much about upgrades.

Another cool feature was the “Mini Apps Tray”. Regardless of where you’re at in the OS, swiping your finger up at the bottom of the screen brings up a list of Samsung-made mini apps that can be used without leaving the app you’re in. You can do things like use the phone, send messages, check the weather, write memos and more. The app is easily closable by pressing the X button in the upper right corner. I can see this being a very good utility if Samsung opens it up to developers.

Samsung also introduced a new 10.1 inch model that has the same 4G radios inside and the same WXGA display. This one looks a bit different from the version we saw at Mobile World Congress – it’s a lot thinner at 8.6mm and a lot more light at 596g. It doesn’t have the same grippy back of the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, something I actually liked. The design still looks nice, though. The software is identical to that in the aforementioned 8.9 inch Tab. Samsung will be introducing tablet versions of a Books Hub, Music Hub and Movie Hub but they didn’t have the applications available for demo at their booth.

Samsung has already announced pricing and availability, something they don’t often do. There are a couple of different configurations you can get for each model. There is a 16GB version of the 8.9 inch that’ll cost $469.99 while the 32GB version will be $569.99. Samsung only gave a general “early this summer” window for that. The 10.1-inch is unsurprisingly a bit pricier coming in at $499.99 and $599.99 for the 16GB and 32GB versions, respectively. It will be available June 8th.

I have to admit: I was a bit skeptical when I heard Samsung would be customizing the device. What they’ve done is pretty lightweight though, and it works well enough for me to tolerate it. I can remove most of the elements if I don’t like them with the only exception being the mini apps tray. (That doesn’t really get in the way, though, and I see myself using that feature quite often.)

The original rumors were true, but not really. Samsung never said they wanted to change the Galaxy Tab they’d already introduced, but never said anything about a new version of the 10.1 inch version. It does make me wonder what the point is, though: we all know the original model will evaporate and supply will be “limited” at retail. We’ll have hands-on video up for you guys soon enough.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I like the 8.9….good size, good prices…..but a bit late…..

  2. Stock or gtfo

  3. To bad it won’t be ready til June. I am ready now, may have to pull the plug on something else by then???

  4. @Keller – Agreed, Samsung will not get my business until they stop messing with that perfectly good operating system. The only user experience I want, is the one Google provides. I have come to trust their judgment, and feel like I their OS layout compliments my normal thought process. Also, Where the fuck is the HDMI out (Micro or not it is a must have) this is just an excuse to make you buy a dock or adapter.

  5. I was thinking about buying it but…
    If its going to have Tegra 2 they can just go to hell.
    That shit is just bad.
    What happened to the Exynos chip? :P

  6. Add a another voice to the “Stock Android or no buy” crew. I just don’t care about the “enhancements” they make to Android and the slower updates to the OS when 3.1, 3.2, etc come out is stupid. Other than that these tablets look amazing.

  7. @4.mtcisme
    How do you know TouchWiz 4.0 is bad? Have you tried it?
    The only ways these companies can differentiate from each other is their own custom UI. The reason they make custom UI’s is to make the user experience easier or for style. I think what they should do is put whatever custom UI they want but give us the option of using the company’s UI or a vanilla android experience. It’s a win-win for geeks and casual.

  8. More choices for me, and I like that. I don’t want Vanilla Android. I want all kinds of flavors.

  9. “http://phandroid.com/2011/03/07/samsung-talk-of-galaxy-tab-10-1-overhaul-was-untrue-tablet-will-ship-as-scheduled/” I guess that was not true.

  10. Love the 8.9″ form factor but does the Samsung’s lack of HDMI port mean there’s no way to view the display on a large screen TV?

  11. Your new ads suck, they take over the whole page.

  12. @Dan Totally agree. I would love to have the option to use the skin or not. I like Touchwiz 4.0, no I haven’t used it, but I think it looks nice.

    I am definitely going to get the 8.9 model. I was holding out on getting the 10.1 inch because I really loved the portability of the 7 inch. I’ll can’t wait to have the 8.9 inch now!! Its are thinner than the iPad, really fast, and has Honeycomb!

  13. susido: 30 pin connector have hdmi output

  14. Keller i love u death because u, just as i hate these couple of evo clowns that troll here. Anyhow, this is mostly a stock experience, it just has a few added samsung widgets and apps. So overall shoukd be identical to the xoom and every other honecomb tab.

  15. Now, HTC, your turn!

  16. I am pretty sure they have a customer! Its light, skinny, amazing, and, did I say amazing? Lol

  17. Are you guys even reading the article? TouchWiz 4.0 isn’t a user interface. It’s basically extra apps and widgets that you can use only if you want to. Honeycomb itself is practically untouched. The new TouchWiz is basically bloatware you don’t even have to use. Now calm down.

  18. @Dan It’s not that TouchWiz is good or bad; it’s that any custom UI slows down and eliminate any OS updates!!

  19. @Dan It’s not that TouchWiz is good or bad; it’s that any custom UI slows down or eliminate any OS updates!!

  20. @Dan – Motoblur, Sense, touchwiz…. They have all been terrible. All i need to know is what is already public information… touchwiz 4.0 will include that terrible shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen…. put that thing next to on-screen navigation buttons, and a barely there screen bezel… You can see how many times you might inadvertently touch the wrong thing.
    @mino & susido: Sure the 30 pin connector will allow for some type of video out via an adaptor/dongle/dock, but why are they going the apple route? TO MAKE MONEY! I want all of my connectors built in, it makes more sense in terms of portability (AKA the only reason the tablets have a purpose anyways) Until DLNA is everywhere… I demand at least 1-HDMI(prefferably not a micro) and 1-USB (micro is fine)

  21. Output to your hd tv is all about DLNA going forward. If you’re like me and your hd tv doesn’t support DLNA then I’m sure they’ll have a cable at some point for micro usb to hdmi. Would’ve been nice to have had an hdmi output but I’m sure they want to sell more TV’s that have DLNA.

  22. @slbailey1 – That is another very good point! I don’t want to wait for Samsung’s terrible software team, to push out updates once they finally get around to slapping that crap in the code.

    It might be all just widgets and bloat ware until you get down to that “app tray” no thanks… there is an app button in the top right hand corner… also, I can create shortcuts and put them anywhere I fucking want to.

  23. By the way what’s up with all the crude language on this forum? It shows a lack of intelligence when I see it unnecessarily used.

  24. Tegra is what concerns me here, just as it does with the Xoom. The benchmarks have been less than favorable when it comes to video and graphics with the Tegra chips so far. I’m hoping it’s merely a firmware or driver issue that can/will be resolved relatively quickly.

  25. So am I understanding correctly, there will be wifi only models in both form factors?

  26. dewko – No one cares about your opinion. Them being unnecessary is YOUR opinion. It shows a lack of intelligence when people don’t mind these tricks Samsung/Apple plays to make you buy extra components for functionality that should have already been there… or so that they may simply add it onto the next model and call it an upgrade.

    Cussing is a very large part of everyday vernacular here in year 2011…. Please switch to your reading glasses for this part, old man…. PEOPLE FUCKING CUSS ON THE FUCKING INTERNET! Have a problem with it? Don’t read the fucking comments! Oh, and all of you that let you kids play games on the internet, then bitch about language… YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT! DON”T LET YOUR KIDS PLAY GAMES ON THE NET WITH STRANGERS!

  27. I like what I see. This is the first tablet that I think will compete with the ipad2. It’s thinner and lighter than the ipad2 which was something that was highlighted about the ipad2. Well, Samsung just beat it!! And as for OS, Honeycomb is holding it’s own in terms of performance, smoothness and overall user experience. Hopefully TW4.0 doesn’t interfere with it. I’m open to the idea of a manufacturer enhancing Honeycomb but that is a slippery slope. As for the Tegra2 chip, don’t count it out just because the ipad2 beat the Xoom. Alot can affect that. Hopefully the Tab will be more optimized since it’s now in it’s second generation just like the ipad is. Also, love the 8.9 inch option. Apple doesn’t have that option, sorry Apple fanboys looks like Jobs has failed you again! LOL!! I say this out of jest because we all know that if Apple had an 8.9 inch model and Android didn’t then Android would suck because of that. LOL!! Here’s the difference, we get Options while Apple gives you one optioin and ONLY one option in hardware.

    Great job Samsung! I see ALOT of great tablets coming.

  28. “with the same great Tegra 2 processor that powers most Android 3.0 tablets, but they’re including HSPA+ (21mbps) radios and will implement an HD resolution display (1280×800)”
    What good is this display if it’s incapable of playing 1080 p video at a reasonable fps? Tegra 2 GO AWAY! You already embarrassed us when the A5 chip smoked you in performance. And to think this isn’t a problem with Nvidia’s innovation but rather their cheapness. Shameful. The A5 chip was 66% more costly to produce when compared to the Tegra 2. Yet, the Xoom costs more than the iPad2. I thought the Xoom was supposed to have the “best hardware”? If it did, I would have bought one for the price of $800. I live and die by Android, but it’s important to admit when a product fails. Honeycomb is amazing, but Nivida can get the h*ll out of town.
    At least you know what’s up.

  29. If they can add the UE items and still allow Android to get updates asap from Google then that’s a big plus for Samsung.

    However, proprietary ports just don’t cut it. These devices are capable of being a PC so they really need USB/MHL with host control and hdmi.

  30. “Cussing is a very large part of everyday vernacular here in year 2011”

    Yeah, like this guy

  31. Since it doesn’t seem to be getting through: TouchWiz 4.0 is just a collection of apps and widgets that you can use if you want to. Honeycomb itself is completely untouched.

    And proprietary ports actually aren’t that bad. Sure, a separate HDMI out would definitely be better, but take a look at the Motorola Xoom: it uses Micro USB, but it’s not powerful enough to charge the device, so you have to carry a separate charger. It’s also only used to transfer data to and fro. At least with a proprietary connector, you only need one cable for charging and data transfer, and it’s one less port.

  32. trust me guys, i hate ui’s as much as anybody here. but it you look at the actual skin, it looks very beautiful.
    bgr.com has a view of it. im liking it. ALOT.

  33. Lighter, thinner, faster processor, 4x better camera, better outputs, bigger and higher resolution screen, and at a similar price as the iPad 2 or any other tablet on the market. Uh hells yeah, I’m getting the 10.1 Galaxy Tab on release day.

  34. I’ll be camping out to get one.

  35. @Presto117 What is the Mini App Tray? That looks like a modification of the OS.

  36. @Presto117

    You’re wasting your time. Anyone that commented about how they won’t buy it with TouchWiz on it did not read the article.

  37. Can I get the 1st version that was in the video promo. I understand it will be thicker, but it is still light enough and will be easier to hold onto. Doing this should allow them to get it out before the end of this month; should. By June, all of the manufacturers will be promoting their quad core tabs…blah blah; just get the 10.1 out quicker than June silly Sammy.

  38. I believe it was the gpu from the ipad that beat the xoom. Obviously people here don’t know how to read or don’t fully understand what samsung did here with there so called touch wiz…and if you really don’t like it that much I’m sure you xda will root the device so that we can get rid of the bloat ware

  39. it´s not proprietary port it´s new standart for docks, many tablets have it

  40. I love the price!! Want to see what htc got and I am gonna make my mind

  41. Who says ‘sense’ is shit. I’ve been using it for over a year on my desire and find it the bees knees. Tried launcher pro etc.. and they’re not a patch on sense UI. With the email integration (never used gmail) messaging and bookmark widgets and the simply amazing contacts /facebook /email integration, my phone would feel naked without it. Keep your shitty vanilla droids and stick ’em up yer arse. Oh and 2.3, well, what about it. I’ve got 2.2 I can put apps on the sd, what more do you need? All the geeks sat waiting for the next update to find it makes little difference, and then sat waiting ffor 2.4 or whatever. Sheesh

  42. If you prefer stock android over Sense then you’re probably the kind of person who would root the phone anyway just because you can.

  43. June is only 2 months away. Everyone flipping out about how far away it is needs to learn some patience. I’ll definitely get one of these for $499 instead of $800 for the Xoom, which btw hasn’t even announced a US launch for their WiFi model have they? I watched the video on Apple Insider and there was no mention yet on what processors are going in these. There was even mention of using something that is more in line with the A5 chip. TouchWiz 4.0 didn’t look too shabby to me. It’s definitely not a deal breaker.


  44. @ari-free

    It’s not a phone…

  45. @Generalblight
    One of my biggest pet peeves about froyo was it’s inability to update apps on your SD card. Gingerbread solved that.

  46. “Since it doesn’t seem to be getting through: TouchWiz 4.0 is just a collection of apps and widgets that you can use if you want to. Honeycomb itself is completely untouched.”

    Not true. Just by looking through the screen of my N1 the clock is different, the back button is different, and there are bubbles at the top of the screen. Yay.

  47. While the changes jmax just posted are tiny and not important. It does appear to be changes if my eyes do not decieve me.. what other changes did they make and how much slower will updates get to me if I go with this over the Xoom?

    I think most people forget, the biggest part about hating the UI’s are not the UI’s themselves.. its that we want updates in a timly manner (the day before Google releases preferably) and we don’t want manufacturers to have that perticular excuse to hide behind. While I think almost all of the phone UIS are lame, I do like Sense.. should be set up like Markey style home’s though and not non-removable though.

  48. @jmax. I’ve just updated 2 apps on my sdcard? My tracks and a live wallpaper? I wasn’t dissing updates, although it may have sounded that way, updates carry the os forward but the way people on here hanker over them, you would think it was a matter of life and death. The cricket of my post was that I was getting a bit tired of people dissing UI’s when in truth they can be very useful. For instance and comment above states that he/she found motoblur, sense and touchwiz ‘horrible ‘ Personally I find it difficult to believe that he’s used all 3 UI’s to a sufficient degree where he can make that statement because I just don’t see it. Although of course I can only speak for sense

  49. ^For ‘Cricket ‘ read ‘crux ‘ (that’s SwiftKey for ya)

  50. Few errors :
    1) Rear cameras are both 3mp not 5
    2) no one said Tegra, not a single time and while the prototypes were both equipped with nvidia’s SOC it’s very likely Sammy’s strategy will be just like the SGS II

  51. For people have been asking for HDMI port.
    The new Galaxy Tabs and Galaxy S II use HML port, it is a MicroUSB shaped with USB 3.0 and HDMI capability.

    Do I have to buy a new cable?
    Sure, if the phone has MicroUSB and HDMI also you have to buy 2 cables…

    I don´t know, but the TouchWiz 3.0 in my Galaxy and the 4.0 coming for Gingerbread look good, for me much better than raw android and much better tha iOS.

  52. Not interested in a carrier based tab. Wifi only please.

  53. 3) it is TouchWiz 4.0 but they’re going to call it UX, at least this tablet edition….

  54. 8.9 is a nice size. I had a fiddle with an LG Optimus tab the other day. If I were not flat broke, I would be in.

  55. I like the price points a lot. Hopefully it will make Motorola drop their price or release a 16 gig model, But if not I will be picking up a 8.9 or 10 inch Tab. Even though I am not a Samsung fan at all. I can bite the bullet this time and pray I am not let down with updates.

  56. I know what you guys are saying, but seriously… you’ve got to give Sammy some props. I mean, they said they were not happy with the build of their 10.1 inch tablet compared to the iPad2’s, and barely a few months later… boom! They’ve updated the design and pushed out a new model. If nothing else, you have to admit they’ve got balls.

  57. I’m very disappointed by this…i wanted that grippy back they had in the europe version…that was why i was gonna wait for this over the xoom…lets be honest, the fps for screen animations/transitions sucks in all android except on the nexus s. all of this makes me just want to wait til this summer when the quad core tabs are announced. so SOMEBODY PLEASE (hopefully htc) get your shit together and use vanilla android with something better than tegra!

  58. i just dont understand why people get so angry about this stuff…its technology,if you dont like it,dont buy it,its not worth crying over

  59. Its about time someone made an android tablet that can compete with the iPad 2 on specs and price.

  60. These tablets sound good but I wouldn’t hold your breathe waiting for one. It’s taken Samsung 6 months after they said it would be shipping to start selling a Wi-Fi tablet without a carrier subsidy. Until they start selling a decent product without requiring you to go to a carrier, these tablets will continue to lose to the I-whatever is out there. Selling through a carrier is so 90s. Most likely, the big carriers will stipulate that they are the sole source for sales and Samsung will have to hold back the Wi-Fi only (read: un-subsidized) reasonably priced product for a time.

  61. I really like the Galaxy Tab 8.9. It is very portable, has a big screen, has almost the same stuff as the 10.1 Tab, I think this one is a winner. I just hope that it doesn’t take too long for summer to get here because I really want this tab. As soon as I do get one, the first app that I am going to get will be the DISH Remote Access app. This app lets me take my TV anywhere with me. As long as I have a 3G or wifi connection, I can stream live TV and recorded shows when and where I want from my 922 SlingLoaded receiver. I am a customer and employee of DISH Network, so I have been using the app and the receiver for a long time and it is awesome! I think it will be awesome on the Galaxy Tab. Especially if they put 4G on the Tab, then I will be able to stream super fast! I am so excited for the Galaxy Tab 8.9!

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