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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Camera, Video and Battery Life

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers two cameras - a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel user-facing sensor for video calling and taking pictures of you pouting. With autofocus and an LED flash onboard, the main camera is capable of harvesting reasonably-quality shots - far better than you'd get from the awful iPad 2 cameras. The 3.2-megapixel snapper can create photos up to 2048x1536 pixels, and 720p video.

Galaxy Tab 10.1

However, like most low-end smartphone camera shots, the main lens can’t capture huge amounts of detail and colour reproduction is lacking - with photos looking slightly washed-out. On our test shoot we were blessed with fantastic shooting weather, but you can still see these deficiencies in action. The sky isn't as vivid a blue as the real thing, and zooming-in on these shots shows they don't offer enough detail to print out at a decent size.

In trickier, less well-lit conditions, the Galaxy Tab 10.1's camera's pictures become grainy and soft. The autofocus also starts having real trouble honing-in on objects. Turn the flash on and this will improve - as it's a tiny lamp rather than a real Xenon flash it helps out with focusing significantly too - but its throw is fairly short. Do you really want to use a tablet like a (really not) compact camera though? Answers in the comments below.

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1 2

Flash test

Something that tablets definitely should be good at is video playing. And yet so few are. The Eee Pad Transformer and iPad 2 can't play very many video codecs out of the box - but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sure can.

It can play MKV files, Xvids or DivX videos, and handles HD content with ease. It did however fail to play our high bit-rate 1080p MKVs, plus a couple of other MKV files. Although not perfect, its video skills surpass all the other big-name Android Honeycomb tablets currently available. We have a hunch Archos's G8 101 may beat it on codec support in the months to come, but its screen is not a patch on the Tab 10.1's.

Battery life is impressive too. In our video test, where we disabled Wi-Fi and set the brightness to auto in a fairly well-lit room, it lasted for 8 hours 49 minutes playing a standard def file. Using a 7000mAh rechargeable battery, it has a slightly higher capacity than the 6520mAh Acer Iconia A500 and 6500mAh Motorola Xoom. The iPad 2 trumps it here though.Galaxy Tab 10.1 5

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 beats all other 10in Android Honeycomb tablets in respect to form factor. It's slimmer and lighter than them all, without sacrificing battery life or power. It doesn't cost any more either. At £399 for the 16GB, non-3G version the Tab is on-par with the pricing structure of rivals like the Motorola Xoom and Asus Eee Pad Transformer. However, it doesn't offer everything. Connectivity is relatively poor - lacking HDMI out, DLNA, expandable memory and a non-proprietary USB connection. It helps the Tab 10.1 stay beautiful, but is a compromise some tablet fans will find hard to live with.


Slimmer and lighter than an iPad 2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 proves that Android tablets don't have to be iOS's ugly sisters. It tops off a svelte design with a brilliant screen, decent battery and comfortable-to-hold back. Aside from limited connectivity, its faults are wider Android problems rather than things to level at Samsung and its design team.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

simon jackson

August 3, 2011, 3:43 pm

Part of me is really tempted by this tab, but another, stingier part of me wants to wait for kal el. I already have a tegra 2 phone, so spending money on another tegra 2 device (albeit a slightly faster one) feels a bit like buying the same thing twice...


August 3, 2011, 4:52 pm

Thanks for the review!

It seems really good for the most part, but the connectivity issues (no HDMI output???) and non-expandable memory put me off... 13gb free space sounds a lot, but I would fill that in no time.

I think I will wait another year before jumping into the tablet market, by which time it might start maturing; as I am waiting for a suitable one that I can use for business and personal use e.g. having a stylus like the HTC Flyer (but built into the chasis) with more programs using it - for business meetings. As well as tons more memory to hold my [business & personal] dropbox contents which are around 70gb plus putting on some movies, tv shows, music, etc.

As my camera will need replacing before long I would also like to see one with a better quality camera.


August 3, 2011, 5:07 pm

There would be a lot more memory left in the 32GB edition of course, but that's a healthy wedge extra.


August 3, 2011, 5:52 pm

Perfect timing for the review, as I'm currently 1/2 way through my move to a tablet at home.
I'm currently using a 2009 macbook but am switching certain duties (email storage, music & photo & video storage, iPod syncing) to a eBay sourced Dell Zino HD run headless in the spare room.
Based on this review, I'll still be picking up a Transformer with keyboard this weekend for day to day use and putting the macbook up on eBay. Say what you like about Apple, but the resale value is excellent :-)


August 5, 2011, 9:02 pm

i definately prefer the aspect ratio on this,something i hope ipad 3 gets.

shame you couldn't put ios on this or i'de get one.


August 7, 2011, 2:45 pm

I'd have to say I was disappointed, having played with a Galaxy Tab 10.1 yesterday.

The principal disappointment was the responsiveness of the screen. Try tilting the screen from horizontal to vertical and you'll see what I mean.

The uncertainty of response (which you mention when describing the halting scrolling action) rather tends to keep it out of the iPad league, I fear.


August 9, 2011, 5:23 am

Got this the other day after falling for all the hype and reviews.

The touchscreen has a major bug which hasn't been mentioned here at all. After a couple of hours playing and getting to grips with the tab, I started to notice a very irritating problem – at times the touch screen will become completely unresponsive, usually for 5-10 seconds.

Google Maps foe example will freeze completely for 5-10 seconds and then force close.

Infuriating to use and a complete waste of money IMO. Shoddy hardware/software disguised as a high end device. Save your money.


August 9, 2011, 8:10 pm

I cant believe this product is getting so many positive reviews! I have had mine fro about a week now and I have had many problems with it. Screenfreeze, touchbug, problems with charging, etc etc, the list is endless and I dont think it's an isolated problem as I have seen quite a lot of people saying the same sort of thing....
anyone else??


August 19, 2011, 1:47 pm

I didn't read the reviews as my Galaxy was a unexpected gift. However now that I have it I am disappointed and wish my friends had read the reviews. I thought maybe the screen sticking/freezing was just my unit, however seems to be a factory/design problem. Is there a chance of a Samsung recall?


August 19, 2011, 10:42 pm

touchbug issue is still continuing for me. uploaded video here:


absoultely sick of this now. samsung should get off their backsides and fix the bugs. people like me have paid £400-500 for this piece of kit which doesnt work. complete nigthmare atm.


August 24, 2011, 5:02 pm

I've also got the infamous 'oil slick' issue on my GT 10.1


Have seen many many people complaining of this on youtube and forums.

Anyone from TR care to respond?


August 24, 2011, 5:36 pm

Have you brought it up with Samsung/the retailer? We didn't see this effect on our review model, but it's not something we'd expect in a £400 product.

danny pontin

August 30, 2011, 9:09 pm

ive been getting an 'oil slick' underneath my screen and am getting very dissapointed with my purchase. this seems to be a common problem with this particular tab and i dont understand how its been allowed to go on sale with the issues mentioned above!

Kitty Price

September 2, 2011, 10:30 pm

Did anyone return their Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to a design fault…the "oil slick" / "Newton Rings"?
As mine was a gift and have since travelled leaving the friends with the receipt.
Can I take it to any dealer and they will recognize the universal problem?
The email I received last week as not been followed up by Samsung:

Thank you for contacting Samsung Electronics.
We understand that there is a oil slick underneath the tab and the tab is not exposed to any extreme weather.
We are sorry, to hear that the tab is having the issue
Please check if the issue is persisting on all applications. If you are able to view the oil slick even if the tab is
turned off the tab requires a service.
If you are not able to view the oil slick when the tab is turned off, please perform a hard ware reset.

Posted on forums:
Samsung Philippines have admitted that there is an issue due to media pressure

What do we do now?


September 4, 2011, 4:00 am


Samsung have finally admitted there is a fault with the 10.1 with the oil slick aka 'newton rings'


but dont get too excited, they just tell you to'call customer service'.


Kitty Price

September 13, 2011, 10:46 pm

I guess Samsung must be inadated with this problem hence my email answered, but never followed up. So I rang and finally moved a step closer to solving this "Oilslick" problem
All I have to do is simply take the unit into a retailer near me and they will send it off for inspection. Customer servce did reconize the problem as "Newton Rings" (after a few line transfers)
Great...I thought however, I wish I could feel a sense of relief but it seems all I have to look forward to is waiting for weeks of repairs and replacements and no closer to using a gift that I was so happy about receiving.
I just wish Samsung could have prevented this.


January 6, 2012, 5:18 am

If these faults are as bad as people say then trusted review should remove or at least revise their praise for this device. It is websites like this that many use to get an idea of a products quality and reliablility. If the tablet is so flawed, why are they not doing something about it?

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