Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)

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A 7" Android Tablet- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) - 600 x 1024 pixels, 7.0 inches (~170 ppi pixel density)

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a 7 inch tablet with a dual core processor, Android 4.0 software, and as of early 2012, a price of just $250. That puts it in competition with the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire.

The GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) has a 7-inch TFT display on the Tab 2 7.0 offers users 600 x 1024 pixels of resolution. The display has Samsung's Plane-to-Line-Switching (PLS) technology, which allows for better power efficiency, yet from a brighter panel.

The volume and power keys are on the upper right edge of the tablet, and a 3.5mm headphone jack can be found up top. The 3.5mm jack also supports a line-in function.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 measures 193mm x 122mm x 10.4mm (7.6in x 4.8in x .41in), thinner than Amazon's Kindle Fire. It weighs 345g (12.2oz). I

It has a dual-core 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM.

A 3MP fixed focus camera on the back takes care of the photo and video tasks, and a VGA front-facing cam for video chat.

As of 2012 the Galaxy Tab 2 comes with Android OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Review

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The Ice Cream Sandwich interface is similar to Honeycomb. The lock screen shows the time and date and the status bar at the bottom remains visible. You can observe network status and notifications from here. To unlock the tablet just tap and drag.

As of August 2013, Samsung pushed an update to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Android 4.2.2 brings a number of small but useful changes, such as a dedicated notifications panel in the status bar, lockscreen widgets, multiple user accounts, and better accessibility options. Samsung seems to be pushing updates for the Galaxy Tab in a prompt fashion.

There are five home screen panes. The user may not modify the number of panes. The top left corner has shortcuts to Google search, and the top right corner has the app drawer.

The status buttons at the bottom contain the usual Back, Home and Task manager soft buttons, but Samsung added an always visible screenshot key. When tapped, it automatically launches an app that allows the user to draw some notes on the screen shot image.

The notification area is also at the bottom.

The Galaxy Tab is loaded with TouchWiz, a front-end touch interface developed by Samsung which will likely confuse many Android users. More on TouchWiz below.

Criticisms

Two huge criticisms are entirely the fault of Samsung, the first being that Samsung does not offer a USB driver for Windows XP users that want to connect the tablet to a PC in USB Mass Storage mode. This is the oldest and most basic way to copy files to and from an Android device. Samsung expects Windows users to either install their fat bloatware known as Kies. The second huge criticism is with Samsung's proprietary connection interface at the bottom of the tablet needed for charging or USB connectivity. Samsung is notoriously bad about using non standard port types. Then Samsung doesn't offer an HDMI adapter cable for this model for users wanting to project a video image to a television.

Other criticisms include the over abundance of side buttons make it difficult to hold the tablet without accidentally changing the volume or launching some app. This is a common problem with many Android devices loaded with an annoying side buttons. The tablet is also very slick, making it slippery and easy to drop. Owners should purchase a gel case to provide additional grip and protection. TouchWiz can also be considered a hindrance for users expecting the typical Android UI.

Commendations

On a positive front, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is loaded with memory and storage. It is also very easy to "root," unlocking the full potential of the device. Samsung devices tend to hold a higher resale value as compared to some of the lower end value tablets. Even in early 2014 this table still commands a premium price of around $200 used on eBay. The tablet is a good value when purchased new for all of the features it offers, while remaining valuable throughout its life.

Apps

Apps is android lingo for applications that run on android. Android Apps are typically designed around the phone models with a carrier connection, however, most are relevant to tablets, and with the rise of tablet popularity there are now Android Apps built specific for the tablet.

Security

Android Google Account and Privacy Concerns

As of March 2012 Google's new privacy policy amounts to "no privacy."

Discussions:

One compromise (as in rather than avoiding google altogether) without having google track everything you do, is to create a dummy gmail account. Use an alias and all anonymous info with nothing that identifies you personally and only use your google dummy alias account for the purpose of giving your android a google username and password for the Google Play App Store.

Family of Models

There are six known models of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Some models have a 7" screen and some have a larger 10.1" screen. The models are as follows:

  • Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 GT-P3100 (3G + WiFi)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 GT-P3110 (WiFi)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 GT-P3113 (WiFi U.S.)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 GT-P5100 (3G + WiFi)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 GT-P5110 (WiFi)
  • Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 GT-P51113 (WiFi U.S.)'

These are considered part of the Galaxy Tab series, beginning with the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0.

TouchWiz

TouchWiz is a UI (User Interface) front end for Samsung Android devices. TouchWiz is featured on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 as well as other models. It is sometimes wrongly called an Operating System, which it is not. It resides on top of the Android OS on Samsung phones and tablets.

TouchWiz "Nature" (the name of the TouchWiz version) was released for the Galaxy S4 and on the Galaxy Note 3. The Lite version of 3.0 was the "plain" edition of the original 3.0. The first device with TouchWiz 3.0 Lite is Samsung Galaxy Proclaim. The original version of TouchWiz was first introduced by the Samsung Galaxy S. The Second Version of TouchWiz was preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) comes preloaded with TouchWiz 3.0 while the Plus model comes with TouchWiz 4.0, Upgradable to TouchWiz Nature UX. To see what version of TouchWiz your Samsung Android device is running do the following:

  • From the Home Screen goto the Context menu
  • Choose Settings, then Applications Manager
  • Select the tab labeled "ALL"
  • Under "TouchWiz Home" the version is displayed below the title.

Criticism of TouchWiz

Samsung's TouchWiz launcher has received seemingly high disapproval from Android users. Some of this is due to the packing of additional software apps "bloatware" that comes with TouchWiz and cannot be removed without root. Other criticism comes from the fact that it has a different control interface when compared to standard Android, making it difficult to use by some used to the standard Android layout. TouchWiz also causes delays in Android OS updates to Samsung device users because Samsung needs time to update TouchWiz after each new Android OS is released.

Root

The most compelling reason to root the Samsung Galazy Tab 2 might just be to get rid of TouchWiz. Add that to the reasons Why Root My Android offers. Considers both the risks and advantages to rooting your Android device prior to trying it.

You can root the 7 inch Galaxy Tab 2. Rooting the tablet allows you to access files and settings that are otherwise protected. As of 2014 we have created a special subject on HowTo Root the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Install ClockworkMod Recovery and flash a zip file to gain root access.

This link (from 2012) has a step by step: http://rootzwiki.com/topic/25228-rooting-gt-p3113-step-by-step/ (see talk section here too)

After you have rooted the tablet, try out Titanium Backup and Root Explorer.

Support

Problems Connecting to WiFi Having Hidden SSID

Possible scenarios include: try and connect to a wifi network which has a hidden SSID when the same network previously had a broadcasted SSID, or a network having always had a hidden SSID after having manually entered connection settings.

Working resolution: Android OS 4.0, if the SSID in wifi list is from previously having SSID visible, simple delete the entry by choosing "forget" and manually enter wifi settings. So when you click on the connection, even though it says it is out of range, it will open a screen with the options "forget" and "cancel." Just be patient, give it a few minutes to connect.

Access Windows File Share Via Wireless

ES File Explorer is available in Google Play.

In the LAN tab, you can connect to your computer's folders and copy files to/from it.

USB Data Transfer / USB Mass Storage (unresolved)

When the tablet (Android Ice Cream Sandwich) is connect to a PC (Windows XP SP3) user is presented with 2 options on the tablet. Look on the tablet menu, at the bottom well below "Settings" (not within a submenu of settings, but below the settings click point on the primary android menu) it will say "Connected as a media devices, Touch for other USB options." Choices are Media device (MTP) or Camera (PTP) mode.

Media device (MTP) fails to install the driver in Windows XP every time. PTP results in a successful connection, however, user can only transfer from the tablet to the PC and the transfer rate is slow.

According to some web sources traditional USB connectivity is gone on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Samsung, a decision made by the folks at Google (dumb move Google developers.)

According to the source How to enable USB mass storage on Android 4.0 ICS Samsung Galaxy S2?.

  1. Bring up Settings.
  2. Click More… (under Wireless and network).
  3. Then select USB utilities ~ Set USB cable connection mode.
  4. Select Connect storage to PC then.
  5. Connect USB cable from phone to PC.
  6. Select Turn on USB storage.

The problem is that the process is valid for the Samsung Galaxy S2, not the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. The S2 being a phone while the Tab 2 being a WiFi only tablet. On the tablet, there is no option related to USB or USB Utilities.

In Settings, scroll all the way down to "Developer Options," select and check "USB debugging." This causes an additional thing to happen in Windows XP. Windows will now prompt for a driver for SAMSUNG Android ADB Interface and install from the web. However, even after that, Windows will produce an error and there is still no USB Mass Storage connectivity.

Samsung Support claims that a driver that they will eventually release will resolve this issue.

Note: Kies has not been installed on the PC, and should not be necessary for basic USB Mass Storage functionality. The Android phone in question has not been root'd.

Remove the Screenshot Button (unresolved)

Besides the typical Back, Home, and Task Manager status buttons Samsung added a Screen Shot button. It is always visible and users have expressed a general annoyance with it as it is easy to accidentally activate.

reference: Galaxy Tab Forums, Disable Screen Shot Button.

At this time it may only be possible to remove it after the tablet has been root'd.

New Files on SD Card Not Visible (resolved)

User copies several files onto MicroSD card from the PC, and once inserted back into the Android, those files are not visible, including newly created folders.

Resolved:

You're looking in the wrong place.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 actually has two SDCard mounts, one for a built-in internal SDCard which is different than the device memory on a typical Android phone, and the second is the removable SDCard.

  • /mnt/extSdCard --- On the Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet this is the removable SD card.

You were probably looking in /sdcard or /mnt/sdcard (same thing) and couldn't find your files, but were confused by the striking similarity of some of the contents of what is here and what you seen when your SD card was in the PC!!! With a typical Android phone you would have been looking in the right place.

A solid understanding of the Android File System, which is Linux based, will help to prevent confusion.

Another note, there has been discussion among Android developers on the difficulty of dealing with internal versus external storage, and a hostility towards the option of external storage. However, since Linux allows for the mounting of external storage (the entire point to /mnt) it is unlikely that any root'd android device would be unable to mount external storage no matter what the Android developers try to do in new operating system releases.

 

 

 

Keywords: Android Tablet PC Samsung Galaxy Tab Two 2