Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 from CTIA 2011 [Update]

Samsung 8.9 Tab 8.6mm thin at CTIA 2011 Orlando
Samsung 8.9 Tab 8.6mm thin at CTIA 2011 Orlando

We’re live from CTIA 2011 in muggy Orlando and you just know we had to get our hands on the latest hardware. Samsung just announced the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and we took the tweener tablet for a spin.

As the name suggests, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 features an 8.9-inch display. It’s essentially the same device as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that we saw introduced last month at Mobile World Congress but with a smaller screen (Update: Sorry if I wasn’t clear before, the Tab 10.1 has been redesigned since MWC to be thinner and lighter and the camera was downgraded). You’re still getting the dual-core processor, 1280 x 800 resolution, 8 3-megapixel rear camera, front-facing camera, WiFi, GPS, 3G support and it will probably land with some form of 4G in the United States.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is aiming for a niche audience, as those who want real portability may opt for the 7-inch version and those home tablet users may as well get the larger-screen version because the price difference will be negligible. Still, you can hold this one in one hand relatively comfortably. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 you see below is actually a prototype version, as the final version will be thinner and even lighter (Update: We swapped out the prototype shots for pics of what should be near-final).

Just as interesting, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (and the rest of the line) will run Android 3.0 with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX. This is the first time we’ve seen Honeycomb with a custom skin and don’t worry pure Android fans, this skin doesn’t monkey too much with the tablet-optimized version of Android.

The TouchWiz UI for Android adds some live tiles to the home page and the notification bar in the bottom right corner now has toggles for things like GPS and WiFi. You can also swipe up from the bottom to reveal a tray of apps which are customizable. Like the Motorola Xoom, you can get quick access to your apps and customize your homescreen by hitting the icons on the top right.

Check out our photos and video of the latest Samsung tablet.

  • Anonymous

    Has there been any discussion of pricing yet? How much is the new galaxy tab going to cost?

    • Anonymous

      $469 16GB 8.9 ”
      $569 32 GB 8.9″

      $499 16GB 10.1″
      $599 32GB 10.1″

      10.1″ launching June 8th
      8.9″ launching “summer time”

  • Anonymous

    You’re wrong about the cameras. They downgraded them when they did the hardware redesign. Oh, and you’re also wrong about it being the same as the 10.1 you saw at MWC, since the 10.1 has changed since then.

    Are you guys even at CTIA?

    • Anonymous

      yep. Wrong on the cameras, will update. I meant the internals are essentially the same as the 10.1

  • Mat

    Why would they downgrade the cam to 3MP ? that’s garbage !!! When they realised they weren’t going to be able to match the level of quality that Apple puts out they decided hey let’s take a good cam out and put a shitty one in … so they are equaly shitty as the iPad2 ??? makes no sence. I’m really hoping to get in the tablet segment this summer and I’m really looking for someone to impress with an Android Tablet and so far I’m dissapointed. Most are struggling to match iPad2 prices and now they are taking out anything that is better almost like they are saying well at least we are matching it or almost. They know exactly what they are up against now and have time to fix it and yet they do this … I’m confused.

    • Jon Garrett

      Hey Mat you dummy

      they downgraded the Camera from 8mp to 3mp because they wanted a thinner device. as for matching the “quality” that apple puts out, I take pleasure in informing you that SAMSUNG makes the parts for apple, about 60% of idevices you moron.

      • Mat

        Hey Jon you smarty

        No need to come out insulting people altho I’m sure it makes you feel real good about yourself.

        I was simply stating that they should strive to out do the iPad 2 not just match it. I’m sure they can put a better cam without sacraficing too much thickness. The quality I was refering too was the build quality and industrial design that Apple is known and always praised for. Samsung even admited to trailling in that regards after seing the iPad2. I know Samsung provides many parts to Apple but it doesn’t mean they can put it all together like Apple does. I’m no Apple Fanboy neither am I an Android Fanboy, I’m just a fan of companies giving consumers the best product possible at the best price possible and I feel like Samsung has just defaulted to matching Apple instead of outdoing them. Right now Pricepoint is the big factor when it comes to tablets.

  • Enoel69

    Does HTC or Tmo still have an event today at CTIA. I was really and still looking fwd to the outing of the Pyramid or Doubleshot…or that will come some other time. Hope the events this week by Att n Tmo doesn’t have anyth to do with it…hmmm not a happy camper

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