Review Update Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite Tablet

Daniel Schuster (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/28/2014

Redundant successor? Samsung launched an entry-level tablet on the market that did not really convince us in several fields with its Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. Now, 7 months later, we have our hands on the Lite version - is it a sensible diet or simply nip/tuck madness?

For the original German review, see here.

Samsung apparently feels the urge to launch new models on the market at least once a year. We often question just how much sense that makes. This is presently expressed in the South Korean manufacturer's latest "accomplishment" - the Galaxy Tab 3.0 Lite. The tag "Lite" suggests that the precursor has been put on a radical diet. However, those who have read the review of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 will know that there was not much room for cutbacks. Thus, we were all the more curious about what we could expect in the test period.

The Tab 3 7.0 Lite is also available in black.
The Tab 3 7.0 Lite is also available in black.

It seems reasonable to assume that some improvements have been made in dimensions. However, this is not the case, and sooner the opposite. The Tab 3 7.0 (188 x 111.1 x 9.9 mm) is slim in contrast to the Lite version's 193.4 x 116.4 x 9.7 mm. There is solely a minimal difference of 0.2 mm in thickness. That is so negligibly small that it is barely noticed in routine use. The same is true for the weight: Our review sample has gained 10 grams compared with last year's model.

So we ask ourselves where the "Lite" approaches are hidden. We soon realize that Samsung has managed to lessen the material quality even more. The Tab 3 7.0 Lite has absolutely nothing in common with the high-quality plastic of, for example, the Galaxy Note 3. The feel comes too short. The brushed aluminum look of the casing's edge has also fallen victim of the cutbacks. The device is nevertheless solid and rigid.

Connectivity

Nothing has been modified here, and all ports are roughly in the same place.

Software

We noticed a progress in the Android software version. The Tab 3 7.0 Lite is now powered by Android 4.2. Of course, Samsung overlays the Android interface with its launcher TouchWiz, and it is not stingy with bloatware.

The GPS reception is throughout stable and accurate.
The GPS reception is throughout stable and accurate.

Communication & GPS 

The Wi-Fi module unfortunately does not use the dual-band mode, and it only transmits using the 802.11 b/g/n standard. The quality is nevertheless sufficient, and we did not notice any interruptions. Bluetooth version 4.0 is also installed, but there is no option of a Lite model with WWAN module.

The GPS module exhibits a fairly high accuracy, even when compared with the Garmin Edge 500 reference device. We have seen much worse GPS modules in the past.

Garmin Edge 500 total
Garmin Edge 500 total
Garmin Edge 500 bridge
Garmin Edge 500 bridge
Garmin Edge 500 woods
Garmin Edge 500 woods
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite bridge
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite bridge
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite total
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite total
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite woods
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite woods


Cameras & Multimedia

The term "Lite" finds use in the full sense of the meaning in this section. The manufacturer does not install the two weak camera modules used in the precursor. It takes a different approach, and completely omits the front-facing camera and reduces the megapixel count of the primary camera from 3 to 2 MP.

We would not dream of prettying up the results. Samsung has reduced the picture quality a notch here. This is seen in the lower sharpening and too dark pictures.

Indoor pictures are fairly usable.
Indoor pictures are fairly usable.
The camera unit cannot be used reasonably in poor light.
The camera unit cannot be used reasonably in poor light.


Accessories & Warranty

The included accessories are limited to a modular power supply and printed manuals. The review sample follows its precursor in terms of both accessories and warranty (24-month warranty period).

Input Devices & Controls

The capacitive touchscreen responds to inputs made by up to five fingers at the same time. The inputs are implemented accurately and quickly most of the time. We did not ascertain any differences in the accuracy of the older and newer model. Fortunately, Samsung restrained from omitting the physical home button. We still deem a separate navigation bar a big advantage over other devices because the space on the screen is not "lost."

The virtual keyboard leaves enough room on the screen...
The virtual keyboard leaves enough room on the screen...
...in portrait mode. It is a bit tighter when rotated by 90 degrees.
...in portrait mode. It is a bit tighter when rotated by 90 degrees.

Display

Apart from the screen size of 7-inches, and the low resolution of 1024x600 pixels, the precursor and successor do not have much in common. The Tab 3 7.0's average screen brightness of 426.6 cd/m² is much higher than the 269.2 cd/m² of our review sample. The same problem is seen in the illumination that is on an unsatisfactory level of only just 80%. The sole improvement is found in the black level of 0.62 cd/m². However, that is not low enough to achieve a better contrast than the precursor (548:1).

267
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 301 cd/m²
Average: 269.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Center on Battery: 301 cd/m²
Black: 0.62 cd/m²
Contrast: 485:1

The Tab 3 7.0's bluish cast was reproached multiple times. The Lite version also struggles with this issue, but not to the same extent. The shifts in color temperature are noticed most adversely because the IST rate continuously deviates from the target rate with increasing brightness.

Color Management
Color Management
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

Middling brightness and middling contrast rarely lead to a good outcome in this section. The Tab 3 7.0's result was not awe-inspiring, and it looks even worse for the successor. It should be used mainly indoors.

Another victim of the cutbacks is the screen's underlying technology. The viewing angle stability cannot be called good. Both the contrast and color reproduction are affected with the slightest change in viewing angle.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Outdoors
Outdoors

Performance

The PXA986 from Marvell still operates inside. This dual-core clocks with a frequency of 1.2 GHz per core, and uses a working memory of 1 GB. Since there is no nominal difference to the precursor, the benchmark scores should be similar. Of course, we checked this anyway.

There is barely a noticeable difference between the Tab 3 7.0 and the present model in either the synthetic or browser-based benchmarks. Nevertheless, it becomes obvious that neither model stands a chance against the competition. Buying this device should be carefully considered at this point should performance be decisive for purchase.

3DMark (2013) - 1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
1342 Points ∼1%
Google Nexus 7 2013
7245 Points ∼6% +440%
Apple iPad mini Retina
10197 Points ∼8% +660%
Palit Galapad 7
1694 Points ∼1% +26%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1572 Points ∼1% +17%
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
1005 Points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
1064 Points ∼9% +6%
Google Nexus 7 2013
2531 Points ∼20% +152%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
3670 Points ∼30% +265%
Palit Galapad 7
1402 Points ∼11% +40%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1309 Points ∼11% +30%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
1986 Points ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
1488 Points ∼27% -25%
Google Nexus 7 2013
3636 Points ∼66% +83%
Apple iPad mini Retina
2134 Points ∼39% +7%
Palit Galapad 7
2112 Points ∼38% +6%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
2181 Points ∼40% +10%
Browsermark
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
1840 points ∼26%
Google Nexus 7 2013
2380 points ∼33% +29%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
2611 points ∼36% +42%
Apple iPad mini Retina
3541 points ∼49% +92%
Palit Galapad 7
1878 points ∼26% +2%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1864 points ∼26% +1%
Octane V1 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
1480 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
1338 Points ∼6% -10%
Google Nexus 7 2013
2283 Points ∼11% +54%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
3839 Points ∼18% +159%
Apple iPad mini Retina
5139 Points ∼24% +247%
Palit Galapad 7
1571 Points ∼7% +6%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1484 Points ∼7% 0%
Peacekeeper
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
489 Points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
458 Points ∼7% -6%
Google Nexus 7 2013
611 Points ∼10% +25%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
975 Points ∼16% +99%
Apple iPad mini Retina
1724 Points ∼28% +253%
Palit Galapad 7
496 Points ∼8% +1%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
523 Points ∼8% +7%
Legend
      Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite Marvell PXA986, Vivante GC1000+ Dual-Core, 8 GB SSD
      Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch Marvell PXA986, Vivante GC1000+ Dual-Core, 8 GB SSD
      Google Nexus 7 2013 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
      Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB SSD
      Apple iPad mini Retina Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash
      Palit Galapad 7 NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 8 GB SSD
      Asus Memo Pad HD 7 Mediatek MT8125, PowerVR SGX544,

A step backward in performance can be seen in the form of the installed flash storage. The Lite version achieves a poor to very poor score. Only the Palit Galapad 7 stands out with even worse data rates in two of four benchmarks.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
32.48 MB/s ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
38.08 MB/s ∼23% +17%
Google Nexus 7 2013
59.73 MB/s ∼36% +84%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
133.56 MB/s ∼80% +311%
Palit Galapad 7
28.85 MB/s ∼17% -11%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
48.25 MB/s ∼29% +49%
Sequential Write 256KB
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
5.31 MB/s ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
14.9 MB/s ∼26% +181%
Google Nexus 7 2013
13.97 MB/s ∼24% +163%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
22.1 MB/s ∼38% +316%
Palit Galapad 7
5.77 MB/s ∼10% +9%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
11.76 MB/s ∼20% +121%
Random Read 4KB
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
7.87 MB/s ∼38%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
10.56 MB/s ∼50% +34%
Google Nexus 7 2013
11.99 MB/s ∼57% +52%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
16.52 MB/s ∼79% +110%
Palit Galapad 7
8.32 MB/s ∼40% +6%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
12.07 MB/s ∼58% +53%
Random Write 4KB
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
0.33 MB/s ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
0.99 MB/s ∼34% +200%
Google Nexus 7 2013
0.82 MB/s ∼28% +148%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
1.33 MB/s ∼46% +303%
Palit Galapad 7
0.17 MB/s ∼6% -48%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
0.71 MB/s ∼24% +115%

Games & Videos

Like in the numerous benchmarks, our nerves were again put to the test because many games are too demanding for the GPU, and lead to crashes. Iron Man 3 and Modern Combat 4 first started after several attempts. Though the system's weak performance was noticed, the games mostly ran smoothly.

Playing Full HD videos is not a matter of course for entry-level tablets. Fortunately, the Tab 3.0 7.0 Lite can deal with this challenge. We did not notice any artifacts or other loading delays.

Games first started after...
Games first started after...
...several attempts.
...several attempts.

Emissions

Temperature

We finally have some good news: Samsung has managed to reduce the review sample's average temperature. It only surpasses 30 °C slightly during load. We measured these temperatures on the precursor in idle. We ascertained rates between 26.7 °C and 27.1 °C when the SoC was idling. We measured a maximum of 44.9 °C on the power supply.

Max. Load
 33.6 °C27.5 °C25.3 °C 
 40.0 °C28.9 °C25.7 °C 
 39.8 °C34.4 °C26.2 °C 
Maximum: 40.0 °C
Average: 31.3 °C
25.5 °C27.3 °C30.6 °C
26.0 °C28.0 °C37.0 °C
25.5 °C31.2 °C38.4 °C
Maximum: 38.4 °C
Average: 29.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.9 °C | Room Temperature 21.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The mono speaker is on the back of this model. Consequently, the sound is clearly falsified when the tablet is placed on an even surface. The speaker struggles with distortions and a tinny sound. Although it is sufficient for short music "enjoyment," the option of connecting external speakers should be considered.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is mostly on par with that of the Tab 3 7.0. Although the present review sample consumes a bit more power when idling (0.8 to 2.6 watts), the precursor consumed as much as 5.9 to 6.2 watts during load. This difference is mainly due to the brighter screen.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 0.8 / 2.5 / 2.6 Watt
Load 4 / 4.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery runtimes of both devices barely differ. The most significant difference that leads to the present device's better runtime is its darker screen. This is particularly noticed in the virtually identical results of both the idle and Wi-Fi scenarios. The screens are set to maximum brightness in full load - and thus the difference.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 40min
WiFi Surfing
5h 30min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 50min

Verdict

The Tab 3 7.0 Lite does not give a convincing performance.
The Tab 3 7.0 Lite does not give a convincing performance.

Samsung does not simply revamp the Galaxy 3 7.0 Lite. The good trait of the Tab 3 7.0 precursor, the bright screen, has been rationalized and replaced with an inferior hardware part. Just as striking is the material's lower quality. Samsung, as an advocate of plastic casings, is quite able to achieve a better feel. The performance of both devices barely differs, which is not surprising because the same SoC from Marvell with a clock rate of 1.2 GHz is installed.

We cannot give the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite a purchase recommendation. We devalue the tablet via the "Impression" rating due to its middling overall impression. The manufacturer's RRP is currently 159 Euros (~$218); the precursor is already available for approximately 130 Euros (~$178). Thus, buyers who want a 7-inch entry-level tablet from Samsung should opt for the Tab 3 7.0. We would also recommend being noncommittal because there are "plenty more fish in the sea": The precursor of the Nexus 7 2013 or the Memo Pad HD 7 from Asus would be good alternatives.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is now available on Adorama for $179
Review sample courtesy of ...

Comment this article:

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite. Review sample courtesy of:
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite. Review sample courtesy of:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is now available on Adorama for $179

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
7.0 inch 16:10, 1024x600 pixel, capacitive, TFT, WSVGA, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB , 5.13 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: micro-SD slot, Sensors: brightness sensor, motion sensor,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.7 x 116.4 x 193.4
:: Weight
0.31 kg Power Supply: 0.049 kg
:: Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 3600 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 9 h
:: Price
159 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: 2 MP, Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, 24 Months Warranty

 

The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite is the newest model from Samsung.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite is the newest model from Samsung.
The precursor already had to accept criticism. Unfortunately...
The precursor already had to accept criticism. Unfortunately...
...the newer model has a poorer screen, and a lower...
...the newer model has a poorer screen, and a lower...
...material quality. Fortunately...
...material quality. Fortunately...
...the operating system has been updated.
...the operating system has been updated.
The storage of 8 GB is tight, but it can...
The storage of 8 GB is tight, but it can...
...be expanded via micro-SD. The battery runtimes are very similar with...
...be expanded via micro-SD. The battery runtimes are very similar with...
...those of the precursor. The SoCs also have a lot in common.
...those of the precursor. The SoCs also have a lot in common.
Many tasks can be managed well with 1.2 GHz per core and 1 GB of working memory.
Many tasks can be managed well with 1.2 GHz per core and 1 GB of working memory.
The Tab 3 7.0 gives a sobering presentation. The tablet has to struggle with too many...
The Tab 3 7.0 gives a sobering presentation. The tablet has to struggle with too many...
...weaknesses. Besides that, the precursor costs less.
...weaknesses. Besides that, the precursor costs less.

Similar Devices

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Devices with the same GPU

» Review HP Slate 10 HD 3500eg Tablet
PXA986, 10.0", 0.63 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» Review Lenovo S5000-F Tablet
SGX544, Mediatek MT8125

Links

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

$19.99 E LV Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0 (2014) Case Deluxe Hard Soft Dual Layer Design and High Impact Resistant Bumper Full-body Protective Hybrid Armor Defender Case Combo Convertible Built in Stand with 1 Black Stylus - Black (Not For Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Inch Tablet)

Hotsaleuk 360 Rotating Leather Case Cover Stand for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite T110 Bonus :+ Screen Protector + Stylus Pen + Cleaning Cloth +Post card (PINK)
» 5.99 GBP (lowest price)
5.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Hotsaleuk 360 Rotating Leather Case Cover Stand for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite T110 Bonus :+ Screen Protector + Stylus Pen + Cleaning Cloth +Post card (BLUE)
» 5.99 GBP (lowest price)
5.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Hotsaleuk 360 Rotating Leather Case Cover Stand for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite T110 Bonus :+ Screen Protector + Stylus Pen + Cleaning Cloth +Post card (WHITE)
» 5.99 GBP (lowest price)
5.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Hotsaleuk 360 Rotating Leather Case Cover Stand for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite T110 Bonus :+ Screen Protector + Stylus Pen + Cleaning Cloth +Post card (PURPLE)
» 5.99 GBP (lowest price)
5.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

The displayed prices can be up to one day old.

Pro

+Battery runtime
+Temperature
 

Cons

-Screen resolution
-Price
-Outdoor suitability
-Viewing angle stability
-Illumination
-Camera's picture quality

Shortcut

What we like

Well, this is difficult. Normally there is always one positive aspect, but it is not easy to find in this review sample.

What we'd like to see

We know what "Lite" means, but we can't and don't want to understand why Samsung makes so many compromises just to launch a new model on the market.

What surprises us

We are in fact surprised - but not in a positive sense. This tablet is likely the most questionable end device that Samsung has produced in the past few years.

The competition

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0

Google Nexus 7 (former model)

Asus Memo Pad HD 7

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite
02/17/2014 v3
Daniel Schuster

Chassis
72%
Keyboard
60%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
40%
Weight
100%
Battery
93%
Display
71%
Games Performance
25%
Application Performance
45%
Temperature
84%
Noise
100%
Add Points
25%
Average
67%
78%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Update Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite Tablet
Author: Daniel Schuster, 2014-02-28 (Update: 2014-02-28)