One Year with the Galaxy Tab 7, What Next? Huawei Mediapad?

Posted on 14 October 2011 By Steve Chippy Paine


One year ago I was lucky enough to be one of the first people in the world to get a retail version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7. The unboxing video has been one of the most viewed videos I’ve ever done. A quarter of a million views was largely due to early excitement but even today, the video regularly gets 300-500 views per day. The Galaxy Tab 7 was a success not just for me though because sales figures and charts tell the same story. It proves beyond any doubt that there is a market in the 7” space.

The fact that the follow-up Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 was launched at IFA (video, article here) and that the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is also on its way proves it too which is good for me and for many ultra-mobile fans because it means we have an upgrade choice; and it’s about time to start thinking about those choices.

The Galaxy Tab 7 is still my most used daily device (yes, more than my phone) but next to newer Android Honeycomb / Tegra devices it’s feeling slow and clumsy. I want my browser to sync. I want my widgets to be resizeable and I want better processing power. Honeycomb 3.2 is mature enough to recommend now and from this point on I won’t be recommending the Galaxy Tab as a new choice unless you find a great deal somewhere and just want to use it in a casual fashion.

Upgrade Time!

(There’s an active discussion happening on Google Plus right now too.)

It’s fun looking for upgrades and when I tested the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at IFA this year, I was almost sure it would be my next device. That was until the Apple patent issues had it taken off the table, literally. Since then though we’ve seen the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus which solves 2 out of the 3 problems I have with the Galaxy Tab.

The CPU is improved to a dual-core 1.2Ghz part and the OS will be Honeycomb 3.2. The third issue, that I don’t believe it does solve, is the screen. I’m happy with 1024×600 but I’m not happy with the outdoor or even bright daylight use. The glass seems milky and it limits the ease of use in many situations when I’m out and about.

In Europe we’re expecting the 7 Plus with 3G and 32GB for €499 at the end of this month. Definitely something to think about! There are other options though.

The Acer Iconia Tab A101 is available in Europe today for around 400 Euro. The specs  and price look great but personally, I have two issues. I have the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and I’ve learnt that Acer may not have the best Android OS team. Early firmware for the A500 wasn’t good at all and it makes me hold back from going further with Acer Android tablets. The second issue is the screen on the A100/101. It isn’t an IPS screen which means in portrait mode it has un-equal viewing angles. See this video for a demo and an an explanation.

There’s the Archos 80 (G9) although I find that a little big for my use (I need to be able to slip the tablet into a back pocket to free up two hands)

I’ve had the HTC Flyer too and while it’s at a better price now, it’s still an Android 2.x device. Having said that, it’s supposed to be updated to Honeycomb eventually. The screen is better than the Galaxy Tab, build quality and battery life are top quality but do I want to pay 500 Euros for a device that I already had once, and then sold? Even though the price has improved, the 3G, 32GB version is still a rather expensive 550 Euros.

There’s one more device that I’m looking at though and it’s rising to the top of my list very quickly. The specs are right, the price is right and, as a blogger there’s nothing better than getting a device on the day it launches. The Huawei MediaPad with 8GB and 3G, dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm CPU, a 1280×800 IPS display and Honeycomb 3.2 is going to be available in about 2 weeks for 399 Euros. That’s a deal worth taking a closer look at.   Given that someone needs to give this baby a damn good test, it makes sense for me to test it out so I’ve decided to go ahead and buy the Mediapad as soon as it’s available later this month. Unless I hear some bad news between now and then you can expect some decent reports from me, here on Carrypad.

The Mediapad is in the database.

15 Responses to “One Year with the Galaxy Tab 7, What Next? Huawei Mediapad?”

  1. tino says:

    I also have a Galaxy Tab 7, which I flashed to the overcome ROM.

    I don’t think I will get a Samsung 7.7

    The 7″ can barely fit into my front and back Jeans pocket, I doubt the 7.7 can do it.

    Ideally Apple should make a 6.5″ iPad I will get it for a minute. But as long as Apple is so stubborn, and refuse to aknowledge the traditional “UMPC crowd”, i will not buy any iDevice thats too big or too small for me. I will entertian the option of Lenovo A1 too since it has a real SD slot, which is very useful to DSLR shooters.

    • TheWheat says:

      7″ is nice but it also depends on the bezel and overall device width. The Galaxy Tab seems to be one of the wider devices. I first played with the Huawei S7 which I found comfortable to hold in one hand, which isn’t the case with the Galaxy Tab. Check the device database or GSM Arena to see dimensions values

  2. tino says:

    Oh BTW Chippy, how come you don’t do podcast anymore?

  3. azeman says:

    Hi chippy,

    i never got warm with 7″ because for me it was too big to carry around everywhere. Tried the Tab7 but is was also too slow and the screen too bad as you write too.

    I think I will go the Galaxy Note Route, because with 5.3″ it will fit in every pocket while still very usable for the web on the go. And with 2500mAh battery it should go through the day.
    It will be the successor to my HTC HD2 (with Android) on it.

    I carry an iPhone 3GS as my second device with me. It will stay because with IOS5 most of the goods of this year come to this device, too. No new iPhone this year because of the small 3,5″ display. Hopefully next gen will be with 4″ Display.

    I played with the Huawei at IFA, and the device felt really good in hand and in use it was responsive. So I will be there on your live session if I have time on that day. :-)

  4. Wesley says:

    For sure the Huawei Mediapad looks like it is a very impressive device.

    I would go with the Galaxy Tab 7.7 though because of the Super Amoled screen and more impressive Exynos processor. The 7.7 also has a 5100mAh battery compared to the Mediapad’s 4100mAh. I’m glad that they both have 1280 x 800 screens and aluminium construction. The best solution would be a shootout between the two of them. Maybe too much to ask?

    You also forgot to mention the Viewsonic Viewpad 7X,though it is probably on par with the Acer A101, the main difference being the SPB Shell 3D UI.

  5. Chad says:

    I’m glad to hear that your going to be giving the media pad a spin.

    I’ve been using the Acer iconia a100 for the past month or so and have been loving it I just wish it had built in 3g.

    Oh Well I look forward to your coverage as always

  6. turn.self.off says:

    “only” a year?!

  7. Lipby says:

    don’t forget about the upcoming 7″ Toshiba Thrive, it too is packing a 1280×800 screen. The only real downside I see is the Tegra 2.

    1024×600 is a no go for me, way to narrow in portrait. 1280×800 is perfect (16:10). Even 4:3 is way to square.

  8. oryoki says:

    In USA, the Huawei 7 inch, 1280×800, dual core, Honeycomb tablet will appear first as the T-Mobile Springboard
    http://www.phonearena.com/phones/T-Mobile-SpringBoard_id6490

  9. dean says:

    i’m loven the galaxy player 5.0. small enough to carry and big enough to matter!

  10. bleekmin says:

    Chip,
    Arnt you worried about getting future updates from such an unknown company?

    • Chippy says:

      I can’t really say that Samsungs updates were that good. Many still don’t have the f/w upgrade. The key is to see how good itvis out of the box. If there are major issues that *could* be solved by firmware I’ll have to consider upgrades carefuly.

  11. kubecz3k says:

    Do MediaPad have phone capability like samsung 7.0 plus?

  12. LouLou says:

    Sooo what’s the answer Chippy – what should I go for???