Telstra The new iPad 3 vs Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G LTE | Speed, Performance and Features Reviewed | Full Specs Compared
In any general case, when you release a certain product to a wide market, the product needs to comply the standards adhered by all those market segments. In terms of the product, this is not a difficult task since when you tear down a device to the atomic level; it tends to work in any given market. But unfortunately, the network connectivity offers us a completely different scenario. To be precise, there have always been mobile devices that get locked when they are out of the border defined by their product. What essentially happens is that these mobile devices can’t support the prevailing network and thus goes in to a lock down state. Looking at the current worldwide market, this can be seen in terms of data connectivity only because GSM connectivity seems to be harmonized and regulated throughout the world by now. Especially when you consider 4G LTE connectivity, there’s a lot of variation going on with it and thus making it difficult for you to zero in on a product without knowing its respective connectivity parameters.
That’s what we are going to offer you today since Telstra has launched the new iPad (iPad 3), and it is bound to have a 4G version, it’s fair to expect 4G LTE connectivity on your new iPad 3 right? Well with Telstra, that’s not the case. Apple’s new iPad doesn’t support the exiting 4G LTE band offered by Telstra which may be a huge disappointment to many of the iPad fans out there. On the other hand, Samsung offers a more versatile solution that supports the Telstra 4G LTE frequency band enabling you to enjoy the maximum benefits of your 4G tablet. Thus, we’ll compare these two tablets and come in to a conclusion on what offers you the best service at the given connectivity options in Australia.
Apple iPad 3 (The new iPad)
There have been many speculations about Apple’s new iPad because it had such a pull from customer’s end. In fact, the Giant is trying to revolutionize the market again. Many of those features in the new iPad seem to add up to a consistent and revolutionary device that is going to blow your mind. As rumored, Apple iPad 3 comes with a 9.7 inches HD IPS retina display that features a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at a pixel density of 264ppi. This is a huge barrier that Apple has broken, and they have introduced 1 million more pixels to the generic 1920 x 1080 pixels display which used to be the best resolution a mobile device provides. The total number of pixel adds up to 3.1 million, which is actually a monster resolution that hasn’t been matched by any tablet currently available in the market. Apple guarantees that iPad 3 has 44% more color saturation compared to previous models, and they have shown us some amazing photos and texts which looked wonderful on the big screen. They even cracked a joke about the difficulty of displaying the screens from iPad 3 because it has more resolution than the backdrop they were using at the auditorium.
That’s not all about it, the new iPad has a dual core Apple A5X processor at an unknown clock rate with quad core GPU. Apple claims A5X to offer four-times the performance of a Tegra 3; however, it has to be tested to confirm their statement but, needless to say, that this processor will make everything work smooth and seamlessly. It has three variations for internal storage, which is enough to stuff all of your favorite TV shows. The new iPad runs on Apple iOS 5.1, which seems like a great operating system with a very intuitive user interface.
There is a physical home button available at the bottom of the device, as usual. The next big feature Apple introduces is iSight camera, which is 5MP with autofocus and auto-exposure using a backside illuminated sensor. It has an IR filter built into it which is really great. The camera can also capture 1080p HD videos, and they have smart video stabilization software integrated with the camera which is a good move. This slate also supports the best digital assistant in the world, Siri, which was supported by iPhone 4S only.
Though the new iPad 3 boasts of 4G LTE connectivity apart from EV-DO, HSDPA, HSPA+21Mbps, DC-HSDPA+42Mbps, it does not support Telstra’s 4G LTE network, which is in 1800MHz band. Currently 4G LTE is supported only on AT&T network (700/2100MHz) and Verizon network (700MHz) in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada. LTE supports speed up to 73Mbps and during the launch, the demo was on AT&T’s LTE network, and the device loaded everything super-fast and handled the load very well. Apple claims the new iPad is the device that supports most number of bands ever, but they didn’t say what bands exactly. However, for Telstra, it has Dual Channel HSPA+ connectivity. Telstra claims that due to dual channel connectivity, their download speeds are up to twice as fast as speeds available on other Australian 3G networks, and it assures typical download speeds of 1.1Mbps – 20Mbps. The new iPad also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for continuous connectivity, which was expected by default. Fortunately, you can let your new iPad share your internet connection with your friends by making it a wi-fi hotspot.
The new iPad is 9.4mm thick and has a weight of 1.44-1.46lbs, which is rather comforting, though it is slightly thicker and heftier than iPad 2. It promises a battery life of 10 hours on normal usage and 9 hours on 3G/4G usage, which is another game changer for the new iPad. The new iPad is available in either Black or White, and the 16GB variant is offered at A$539, which is rather low. The 3G version of the same storage capacity is offered at A$679, which is still a good deal. There are two other variants, 32GB and 64GB which comes at A$649 / A$759 and A$789 / A$899 respectively with Wi-Fi only and with 3G/4G (only DC-HSPA+ in Australia). The preorders has already started, and the slate will be released to the market on the 16th of March 2012.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G LTE
Samsung is trying to test the usability of tablets with different screen sizes to come up with the best. But they are doing it with making competition with their own and setting up. Anyhow, the 8.9 inch addition seems to be quite refreshing considering the fact that it has the same specs as its predecessor Galaxy Tab 10.1. Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a slightly scaled down version of its 10.1 counterpart. It almost feels the same and comes with the same smooth curved edges that Samsung gives to their tablets. It has a pleasing metallic grey back that we can cling on comfortably. We expected it to come with the amazing Super AMOLED screen that Samsung normally ports their devices with, but we have to suffice with a PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of 8.9 inches which can do a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels in 170ppi pixel density. While we have no complains about neither the resolution nor the crispness of the images and the viewing angles, Super AMOLED would certainly have been an eye candy for this beauty.
Galaxy Tab 8.9 has the same 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor which is better than its predecessor Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s built on top of Qualcomm chipset and comes with 1GB RAM to optimize the performance. The Android v3.2 Honeycomb does a good job in binding them together, but we’d have preferred if Samsung would promise an upgrade to ICS. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 also gives rise to some storage restriction since it only comes with 16GB with no option to expand the storage via a microSD card. The 3.2MP back camera is acceptable but we would expect more from Samsung for this beauty. It has autofocus and LED flash along with Geo tagging backed up by A-GPS. The fact that it can capture 720p HD videos @ 30 frames per second is a relief though. Samsung hasn’t forgotten the video calls as well since they have included a 2MP front facing camera bundled with Bluetooth v3.0 and A2DP.
Since the Galaxy Tab 8.9 comes in different flavors of connectivity such as Wi-Fi, 3G or even LTE version, it’s not fair to normalize and describe about them generically. Instead, since the counterpart we’re comparing features LTE, We will take the LTE version for comparison of network connectivity. It has no problem whatsoever in being connected to the LTE network. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot which, as we mentioned before, is great. It comes with an accelerometer sensor, Gyro sensor and a compass besides the usual aspects, and features a micro HDMI port, as well. Samsung has included a lighter battery of 6100mAh but surprisingly, it can stay up to 11 hours, which is awesome.
A Brief Comparison between Telstra The new iPad and Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G LTE
• Apple The new iPad is powered by 1GHz cortex A9 dual core processor and PowerVR SGX543MP4 quad core GPU along with 1GB of RAM on top of Apple A5X chipset while Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has 1.5GHz cortex A9 dual core processor on top of Qualcomm chipset and 1GB of RAM.
• The new iPad runs on Apple iOS 5.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 runs on Android OS v3.2 Honeycomb.
• The new iPad has 9.7 inches LED backlit IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen featuring a monster resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at a pixel density of 264ppi while Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has 8.9 inches PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 170ppi.
• The new iPad has 5MP camera with autofocus that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 fps while Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has 3.15MP camera with autofocus and LED flash that can capture 720p videos @ 30 fps.
• The new iPad is larger, heavier and thicker (241.2 x 185.7mm / 9.4mm / 662g) than Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (230.9 x 157.8mm / 8.6mm / 455g).
This conclusion is more or less biased since we are talking about a specific market segment here. But for Australians, this may serve as an objective comparison. As you can see with the specs, in terms of raw performance, both of these slates are neck to neck. Apple hasn’t improved their processor at all compared to the predecessor but they have included a quad core GPU, which promises to deliver 4 times more demanding graphics. On the other hand, Galaxy Tab 8.9 does have a better processor, but it would lag behind compared to the GPU of the iPad 3. The display panel in The new iPad is definitely the best among these two slates and gives a clear edge to iPad. What would make you have second thoughts about this slate is whether you really want 4G LTE connectivity. If that’s the case, you may have to go for Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 until Telstra supports another band for 4G or Apple adds Telstra’s band in to their spectrum. Otherwise, Apple’s The new iPad can be a perfect companion given both of these products are offered at nearly the same price from Telstra.