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Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-Inch Tablet

August 9th, 2017

I bought a new tablet over the weekend! I also bought a new water bottle, some lightning cables, and some dog repellent to replace the mace I was carrying on walks, but lets focus on the tablet, shall we?

My five year old iPad just keeps running slower and slower because as the apps are being updated to accomodate newer phones and iOS versions the device can’t keep up. It’s unfortunate because there’s nothing actually wrong with my iPad but it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming very frustrating to use. I’ve been waiting nearly a year to upgrade because I decided I wanted an iPad Mini which would be easier to handle and travel with. I was waiting for Apple to release a new version, but then they threw me for a loop when they didn’t release an updated Mini this year. Rumor has it they are phasing out the Mini completely, as are other manufacturers. Apparently that size is not as popular as I assumed.

In any case, once I learned this I almost ordered an Amazon Fire Tablet since for $50 how could you go wrong? I’m glad I did a little research first since it turns out the apps you can install on it are very limited and don’t include the Disney Tsum Tsum game I love. They don’t even have a YouTube app – you have to just use the mobile version of the site in the web browser! Plus after seeing one in action at Target I didn’t care for it. While there I spotted the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 which was on sale for $160. After a little deliberation I decided I’d rather spend $160 on two year old tech than $400 on the equally old iPad Mini, so I went back to Target the following day to buy one. Unfortunately they only stock the white version which I really didn’t want since I was afraid it would yellow over time. I ended up ordering a titanium one from Amazon instead for the same price which I received the following day (Sunday).

While the Android experience isn’t nearly as bad as it was five years ago when we bought an Asus tablet, I’m still not loving it. I don’t understand why developers don’t make iOS and Android versions of the same app identical. The iOS versions are easier and more intuitive so it’s frustrating using the same app on an Android device. I also don’t like how the emojis look on Android, or how the notifications work since you can’t customize them to the same level of detail as you can with iOS. Overall I’m a bit disappointed but not so much that I won’t use the tablet for its orignal intention – surfing, YouTube, and my game – so I can give my poor iPhone a rest as it’s coming up on three years and the battery life is sucking. Speaking of battery life – the new tablet only gets 8 hours before having to recharge which rather sucks.

One of the things that really bugs me, but might just be an issue with the tablet size/resolution in general, is how images render on it. For instance, thumbnails in apps like Reddit and Flixster look absolutely horrible – very low res and almost out of focus, but once you click on it and it opens the main page for the article/movie it looks fine. It’s just odd, but again, I’m not sure if the same thing would happen on an iPad Mini. I suspect not simply because there’s usually iPad specific versions of the apps, whereas with Android they just make one app that is supposed to work on all size screens but in practice really doesn’t function well.

Surprisingly, most of the people who commented on my new purchase are big Samsung fans and hate Apple. That really blows my mind. I do dislike how expensive Apple products are, but I disagree with the naysayers who claim iOS is not as user-friendly as Android. iOS is easier to use and is far superior to Android in functionality. I do not plan on buying another Android device again. Next time I’m in the market for a tablet I will be getting an iPad even if I have to compromise on the size.

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