Until very recently, most tablets’ photographic capabilities have fallen somewhere between rudimentary and non-existent – just look at the iPad 2's paltry 0.7MP camera for proof. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v is looking to buck this trend with a 8-megapixel AF camera boasting inbuilt flash and Full HD recording. A front-mounted 2-megapixel camera is also included for video chat.
The Samsing Galaxy Tab 10.1v comes with an 8.0MP camera.
Using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v as a camera isn’t as awkward or cumbersome as you’d expect. In fact, we quite like the way it handles, with the 10in display providing an excellent view of subjects and surrounding scenery.
The photo capture button is located to the right of the screen within easy reach of the thumb. Other popular functions, such as colour filters, white balance, scene modes and an 8x digital zoom are just a quick fingertap away.
Against all odds, it actually feels intuitive. We used the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v to take a bunch of photos in public, and not once did we feel self-consciousness or silly. That said, it's not the sort of product you can just whip out of your pocket to take a quick happy-snap with. Subsequently, we suspect this feature may be neglected by most users.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1v's camera interface is surprisingly intuitive.
In terms of image quality, the Galaxy Tab 10.1v's camera is a bit of a mixed bag. Red eye marred a lot of our indoor shots, especially in auto mode, and the flash occassionally failed to sync with the camera's shutter. We even had the camera lock up completely on a few occassions, but again, this could be due to pre-production quirks. If the camera is especially important to you, our advice is to try before you buy.
The Galaxy Tab 10.v's camera does not come with any inbuilt editing options, although there are plenty of free apps available in the Android Marketplace.
Photos taken with the Galaxy Tab 10.1v occassionally suffer from red eye.
We were significantly more impressed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v's video performance. In High Quality mode, the Full HD camera did a great job at capturing crisp, vibrant video. Our footage looked superb during playback on the Tab, with no noticeable ghosting during panning shots. Naturally, the camera performs better in bright, outdoor environments, but we managed to get some great shots under moderate artificial lighting.
Manual options are predictably limited, although the inclusion of a timelapse tool is a nice bonus: it's perfect for capturing bustling city streets or the sinking sun. That said, the lack of a tripod socket means you may have trouble keeping the tablet steady when using this mode.
Movie Studio app for Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v's battery life is pretty respectable. Samsung quotes the battery life as 10 hours in 3G mode, and around 7 hours of video playback, which seemed to fall in line with our testing. We got around two days of off-and-on use, during which we surfed the Web, took and edited photos, shot video and checked emails. According to reports we've seen, the iPad 2 offers similar longevity.
Unlike with notebooks, the Samsung 6860mAh battery cannot be easily replaced or removed: you're basically stuck with it for the duration of your tablet's life.
Availability, pricing and conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v will be available exclusively through Vodafone from mid-April, for an RRP of $729. Alternatively, it can be bundled as part of a Vodafone plan for a $259 upfront payment, plus $39 per month over 12 months (includes 1.5GB of data per month).
If you're in the market for a tablet device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v should definitely be on your shortlist. Its user-friendly interface, bouyed by Android's latest OS, makes it a joy to use in most situations. If the idea of 8-megapixel photos and Full HD recording appeals to you, it eats the iPad 2 for breakfast.