I decided to ditch my Smartphone for the weekend and use the Tab instead
Remember how when the iPad was announced, hundreds of skeptics branded it as an ‘oversized iPhone’? Well, the same goes for the Galaxy Tab – it looks more like an oversized Galaxy S phone, but unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab can actually make and receive phone calls- and it works with a regular sized SIM card. The Tab supports MMS, GPS, 3G, and even video calling as would any regular phone. Now, having played around the with Galaxy Tab for a few days, I decided to run the acid test and ditch my regular phone in favor of the Tab.
I do realize that this has its drawbacks- for one thing, no idiot in their right mind would hold a 7” device up to their ear to make a phone call. In fact, when I told people that the Galaxy Tab could be used as a phone, they instantly held it up to their ear and started laughing. I can easily see the humor in this – why talk about your device having phone capabilities when you know that people already envision a phone as something you can hold up and use.
You need to use a compatible Bluetooth headset or a wired one in order to comfortably make a phone call. If no headset is connected to the Tab, then it defaults to using its in-built speaker to broadcast your conversation to the entire world. While the speaker works well for conference calling, I highly recommend using a headset if you’re going to use the Tab for making phone calls.
The Tab did pair up easily with my Nokia CW-15 Bluetooth car kit, and showed all my contacts without a glitch, which was great. It supports Voice Dialing, but the problem with it is that you still need to tap the screen to confirm the number you want to dial, so it’s not truly hands-free say when you’re driving and need to make an urgent call.
Honestly, the Galaxy Tab is just a pain to carry around as a phone. At the press event, one of the Samsung staff casually mentioned that “You can put it in your pocket” and encouraged me to try and fit the Galaxy Tab into my already ludicrously skinny jeans. Even the video for the Galaxy Tab shows people sliding it effortlessly into their back pockets or their suits. Are these people serious? Are you really going to be walking around with a honking 7 inch device sticking out of your pocket?
Don’t make the assumption that the Tab will replace your phone – it’s probably the most uncomfortable thing to lug around. When I had to nip out for groceries, I couldn’t leave the Tab in car in case I missed a phone call. And I couldn’t put it into the shopping basket in case I put something on top of it. I stupidly weren’t wearing pants that were big enough to hold the Tab, so in the end I had to just tuck the thing under my arm just so I could have two free hands. With a cell phone, you slide it into your pocket and you forget about it. With the Galaxy Tab, you’re always mindful that you’re carrying this great piece of tech, but you don’t have any place to put it.