Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 review: Middle of everywhere

Middle of everywhere

GSMArena team, 3 July 2013.

Great gallery

The gallery on the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 can be sorted into albums, all photos and videos, time, location, etc. Just like in the phonebook, you can choose what kind of content should be displayed - photos and videos from the phone, Dropbox, Facebook or Picasa.

You can pinch to zoom in the gallery and thus manage the size of the thumbnails.

Upon choosing an album (for instance Camera) you're taken into that album's stack of photos but a swipe to the right will list all albums. In this mode you can browse images in a dual-screen mode and easily select files from multiple folders.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
Gallery • the list of albums • changing thumbnail size

Upon a press and hold on a picture, the gallery gives you the option to select multiple images, which you can then mass delete, share, copy or move.

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is great for viewing photos - the screen is as big as most photo frames and the lower resolution doesn't really show. The great viewing angles do, however.

When viewing a single photo, you'll find several sharing shortcuts and a delete button above the photo, while below is a line of small thumbnails of all other photos in the album. You can tap those small thumbnails to move to other images or you can just swipe to the side.

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Viewing image • Sharing options

You can easily retouch photos right in the Gallery itself. The photo editor gives you options like crop, rotate, color and effects. You can also make a memo on top of the picture.

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Editing a photo

The Gallery also supports highly customizable slideshows with several effects to choose from, customizable music and speed. You can also highlight specific images to be included in the slideshow.

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Highly customizable slideshow

Contextual tags display labels with the location, as well as id the people in the photo and show the date (if there's a GPS tag and you've taught the Tab 3 8.0 about what your friends look like). Then there's the print option, so you can print out photos without going through a computer first (but you'll need a Samsung printer).

TouchWiz music player goes after Walkman

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 uses an updated version of the TouchWiz music player. Equalizer presets (including a custom one) are available along with the sound-enhancing SoundAlive technology, which features 7.1 channel virtualization. Samsung uses SoundAlive in some of their MP3 and Android-powered media players.

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SoundAlive options • custom equalizer with extended settings

Adapt Sound is available too - an audio calibration tool that tries to combine the most comfortable highs and lows for the best audio in calls and music. This way the phone can map the capacity of your specific headset and fine-tune its output for optimal sonic experience.

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Adapt Sound

Music is sorted into various categories (Albums, Songs, Playlists, Artists, Genres, Folders, Composers, Years, Music Square, Nearby devices), but the most interesting one is called Music square - it's quite similar to the SensMe feature of Sony Ericsson phones. It automatically rates a song as exciting or calm, passionate or joyful and plots those songs on a square (hence the name).

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Music square creates automatic playlists based on your mood

From here, you can highlight an area of the square and the phone will automatically build a playlist of songs that matches your selection - and therefore your mood.

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The music player has benefited greatly from the TouchWiz UI

You can swipe the album art left and right to move between songs. You can also put the phone face down to mute the sound or place your palm over the screen to pause playback.

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 player is DLNA-enabled, so you're not limited to tracks on your handset - songs on devices connected to your Wi-Fi network are as easy to get to as locally stored songs.

Impressive video player

Samsung is well known with its great video players and the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is no exception. The video players offers several view modes - grid, list, folders and nearby devices (which accesses DLNA devices).

The grid view is our favorite as the visible video thumbnails (all eight of them) are actually playing the videos instead of being static images. They play at a reduced framerate and generating those previews takes a couple of minutes the first time around, but it's still an awesome preview.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
The video player's thumbnails are animated

The video player lets you choose between three crop modes for how the video fits the screen. Dolby Mobile is available in the video player to enhance your audio experience.

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The video player has a simple interface but is quite capable

Another cool feature is the chapter preview - it detects chapters in the video and shows a rectangular grid, with live thumbnails (just like the grid view above).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
The chapter preview

The video player had absolutely no trouble with any of the files we threw at it - starting with .WMV, through .AVI (DivX and XviD) and .MP4 to .MKV (H.264). Resolution wasn't a problem either - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 played FullHD files. Large files worked seamlessly.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 also made a good impression when it offered a list of subtitles and let us pick. It scans for all subtitles, so the file doesn't have to have the same name as the video file. It can also play embedded subtitles within MKV files.

The video player on the Tab 3 8.0 supports Pop up play - it moves the video in a small floating window and you can use other apps on the phone while still watching the video. You can use pinch zoom to adjust the size of the video.

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The pop up play can be resized

Loudspeaker performance

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 earned a Good mark in our loudspeaker test, which means that you should have no problem hearing your notification in noisier environments.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Apple iPhone 566.8 66.167.7Below Average
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.066.7 64.874.1Average
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.071.7 66.675.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note II 70.0 66.680.5Good
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.171.7 73.275.7Very Good
Motorola RAZR XT91074.766.682.1Very Good
HTC Desire76.675.784.6Excellent

Excellent audio output

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 matches the audio output of the Note 8.0 more premium sibling, delivering excellent scores all over the field when connected to an active external amplifier. Unfortunately it also fails to address the average volume levels issue.

With headphones plugged in, the output is still impressively clean. The stereo crosstalk does go up, but the rest of the readings are barely affected, adding up to a very solid overall performance. Sadly, volume levels remain about the same.

Check out the table and see for yourself.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0+0.03, -0.05-91.490.70.00820.015-91.0
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (headphones attached)+0.05, -0.03-91.491.40.0100.048-78.5
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0+0.02, -0.05-85.285.20.00890.0019-83.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (headphones attached)+0.12, -0.03-83.683.60.00900.092-69.6
Apple iPad mini+0.08, -0.09-82.882.80.00190.017-80.8
Apple iPad mini (headphones attached)+0.18, -0.02-82.882.90.00360.115-80.7
Google Nexus 7+0.03, -0.11-69.870.50.0240.069-72.1
Google Nexus 7 (headphones attached)+1.39, -0.28-86.467.90.0110.723-52.9
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1+0.03, -0.04-90.290.20.00830.0017-91.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.04-88.688.60.00720.085-73.6

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 frequency response
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Higgy

Still use mine great phone and tablet had it since 2014 still haven't replaced the battery

  • Tebza

How do I insert sim into my Samsung tab 3 SM-T310

  • wafiy

How much the price for this tablet in malaysia?