The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is the affordable version of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 slate and this model was announced back in January this year. It has arrived on our testing table not so long ago and below you can check out its full review. This device hit the stores in February and it’s priced at $159.99 in USA.
This is a 7 inch affordable slate, that measures 9.7 mm in thickness and weighs 310 grams. It features a back with a leather imitation texture and provides good grip. It’s also easy to hold with one hand for e-reading purposes. The device has big bezels and adopts the typical smaller Samsung tablet design.
It seems like a pretty resilient device, the type that would survive a random drop and it’s also taller and wider compared to the original Tab 3 7.0. This model is also slightly thinner, which is good. Below the display you can find the physical Home button, as well as the Menu and Back capacitive buttons. The side buttons, meaning the volume and On/Off ones are quite hard to find, since they don’t come out of the case enough to be comfy to use.
On the left side we’ve got a microSD card slot and up at the top there’s the USB port and audio jack. This model is what I would call comfortable enough, but the design is not impressive. Moving on to the hardware, we get a TFT LCD 7 inch screen with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, 170 ppi density and 16 million colors shown.
The CPU inside this model is a dual core Cortex A9 clocked at 1.2 GHz, a Marvell PXA986, accompanied by a Vivante GC1000 GPU. The microSD card slot offers up to 32 GB in extra storage, while the regular internal storage is 8 GB. There’s 1 GB of RAM on board, WiFi, WiFi direct available too and Bluetooth 4.0. The back cam is a 2 MP unit and other specs include an accelerometer and gyroscope.
Finally, we get a Li-Ion 3600 mAh battery, that was a bit of a pleasant surprise, offering us 7 hours and 51 minutes of video playback time, with WiFi on and brightness at 50%. This even beats the Nexus 7 2013 and its 7 hours of playback. Too bad for the battery charging, that takes 4 hours and 40 minutes, which is a huge amount. We’ve also got a bunch of power saving options, showcase in the video review, in the Settings area, where you can limit the CPU usage and screen usage.
Moving on to the audio, the speaker at the back provides a clear sound, reasonably high volume, but also weak bass. The Samsung music app is perfect for its task, offering an EQ filled with custom options, functions like Smart Volume and it even comes with DLNA support. Overall, the speaker is OK, especially for this price. As far as the display is concerned, that’s probably the tablet’s weakest point. This 7 inch TFT offers bleached out colors, very weak view angles and low brightness.
Our lux meter showed us 265 lux units, but I felt we were actually getting even less than that. The pixels are of the RGB Stripe kind and in real life you feel the need for more brightness. Overall, this is a weak display and a sacrifice for the sake of a lower price. At least the video player comes with a Pop up Play feature and in the Settings area we’ve got a feature that increases legibility, which is useful if you actually want to read on this display.
Now on the camera side of things, we’ve got a 2 megapixel shooter here, with autofocus, face detection and VGA video recording at 24 FPS. The pics have a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. The camera UI is simple we get a ton of features for such a low res camera, like panorama, timer, effects, exposure, white balance, scene modes, contextual filenames (with GPS included). The quality if the pics is still weak, but at least you can mess around with some random pics with effects.
This model can get pretty hot when playing games, reaching as high as 45 degrees Celsius after 15 minutes of Riptide GP2. We didn’t forget about the web browser, that has a reasonable speed and offers pretty snappy pinch to zoom and scroll. On the benchmark side of things, we scored 3408 points in Quadrant, 11.474 points in AnTuTu, 48.8 FPS in NenaMark 2 and 1502 in Vellamo. Finally, we got 2576 in 3DMark and 1471 in BrowserMark 2.0. The scores may not be impressive, but they beat the majority of the scores of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, apart for the NenaMark 2.0 one and Quadrant one, but they’re not very far.
This model doesn’t stand out through the benchmarks, but it’s also lag free, I mean as lag free as a TouchWiz device can be, if you get my drift… The good news is that it runs new games like Riptidge GP2, Asphalt 8 and Smash Cops Heat, so at least the gaming is covered. The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite runs Android 4.2.2 and features a Multi Window mode borrowed straight from the last generation of Note devices. It works like a charm and does wonders to your productivity.
The list of bundled apps here include the usual Samsung Apps store, S Planner, a calendar on sterois and S Voice, which is a wannabe Siri, but much worse. We’ve got Memo to take notes, Google Maps works reasonably fast, there’s Flipboard here and Polaris for productivity. And now for the Pros and cons of this model!
Here are the Pros:
lots of camera options
good multitasking (multi window)
thin and light
runs new games
And the Cons:
charging takes too long
I would have liked a front cam not back one
buttons don’t have good feedback
East European slates with similar prices offer better features
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite gets an 8 for design, a 7.7 for hardware and an 8.5 out of 10 for OS and UI. The final grade is 8.06 out of 10, but we drop some points because of the price that’s rivalled by brands like Evolio and Allview from Romania with good models for similar prices. That’s why the real final grade is 7.75 out of 10. I simply can’t get past that weak screen… You can buy this tablet on Amazon here.