Want to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab? Here’s what you need to know

Want to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab? Here’s what you need to know

Yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was announced on two more carriers, AT&T and US Cellular, making it available on 5 different providers here in the United States. Besides the first two, the Tab is also now avaliable on Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. While that’s exciting news, it can also be a little intimidating, especially if you’re buying it for someone else.

A couple of the questions that might be popping up in your head:”What’s the difference between the 5?” “Which carrier should I get it on?” “US Cellular? What on earth is that?”

Sound about right?

Let’s get to the bottom of that to make your decision a little bit easier.

First things first. Just because these devices look the same, doesn’t mean they are. There are actually some major differences between them and let’s start with the cameras that each have on board.

The T-Mobile and AT&T versions of the Tab have a rear 3 megapixel camera that includes auto-focus and flash. The other three? They only include auto-focus. So if you or the person you’re buying for enjoy taking photos in the dark or dimly illuminated rooms, you might want to spring for the AT&T or T-Mobile versions.

That’s not all either.

Take a look at the memory specs for each:

  • AT&T: 512MB (ROM) + 512MB (RAM) + 128MB (One D-RAM) + 2GB (User Memory) + 16GB (Internal Memory) + Up to 32GB with optional microSD card (External Memory)
  • Sprint: 512MB(ROM) + 512MB(RAM) + 128MB(One D-RAM) + 2GB (User Memory) + 16GB microSD card preinstalled (supports up to 32GB microSD card)
  • T-Mobile: 512MB(ROM) + 512MB(RAM) + 128MB(One D-RAM) + 16GB (Internal User Memory) + (supports up to 32GB microSD)
  • U.S. Cellular: 512MB(ROM) + 512MB(RAM) + 128MB(One D-RAM) + 2GB (User Memory) + 16GB microSD card preinstalled (supports up to 32GB microSD card)
  • Verizon: 512MB(ROM) + 592MB(RAM) + 128MB(One D-RAM) + 2GB (User Memory) + 16GB microSD card preinstalled (supports up to 32GB microSD card)

See any differences?

They’re subtle, aren’t they.

The AT&T and T-Mobile versions have 16GB of internal memory while the Sprint, US Cellular and Verizon versions all come with a pre-installed microSD card and 2GB of user memory.  Another difference is that the Verizon version has more RAM checking in with 592MB while the rest sit at 512MB.

While all of these are differences to keep in mind, the major differences come with the data plans and the pricing. So, let’s rundown how much each Galaxy Tab costs and how much it will cost after you make the purchase.

AT&T:

  • Contract: No
  • Off-Contract Price: $649.99
  • Data Plans: Option #1: $14.99/mo for 250MB, Option #2: $25/mo for 2GB

Sprint:

  • Contract: Yes (2 year commitment) and No
  • On-Contract Price: $399.99
  • Off-Contract Price: $599.99
  • Data Plans: Option #1: $29.99/mo for 2GB, Option #2: $59.99/mo for 5GB

T-Mobile

  • Contract: Yes (2 year commitment) and No
  • On-Contract Price: $399.99
  • Off-Contract Price: $599.99
  • Data Plans: Option #1: $24.99/mo for 200MB, Option #2: $39.99/mo for 5GB

Verizon:

  • Contract: Yes (2 year commitment) and No
  • On-Contract Price: $399.99
  • Off-Contract Price: $599.99
  • Data Plans: Option #1: $20 for 1GB and $10 per additional GB used

U.S. Cellular:

  • Contract: Yes (2 year commitment) and No
  • On-Contract Price: $399.99
  • Off-Contract Price: $599.99
  • Data Plans: Option #1: $14.99 for 200MB/mo, Option #2: $54.99/mo for 5GB

What’s this mean?

So now that you’ve digested all of that, let’s go over the differences and what they mean.

If you’re a data intensive user, you probably want to grab the T-Mobile version.  $39.99 for 5GB is the best deal for the most data. If you know that you’re not going to be using a lot of data but want to keep your options open in case you get addicted, then you might want to opt for the Verizon version which allows you to pay for more data.

For the lightest user, you’ll want to the cheapest and you have two choices. If U.S. Cellular is supported where you are (you can check out if that’s the case here), that’s probably the way to go. You’ll get the off-contract price with a cheap $14.99/mo data plan. If you aren’t covered by U.S. Cellular, your next best bet is AT&T but remember, they don’t offer the Galaxy Tab on contract meaning you’ll have to fork over $650 just to get the $14.99/mo plan.

Sprint, like Verizon, is also for middle of the road users but it doesn’t have the same flexibility as Verizon’s plan so keep that in mind.

So, digest all of that and keep it in mind before you head out to the store or throw a Galaxy Tab into your online cart. It would be a shame to purchase a device for yourself or somebody else and not know what you’re getting into.

Also, keep an eye out for our review of the Galaxy Tab coming up later this week.

Update: Just wanted to throw a quick update at those who are interested in tethering their Galaxy Tab. AT&T’s version does not support it, Verizon’s comes included. Sprint charges $30 a month and U.S. Cellular allows it free of charge on the 5GB plan.

Read next: Try This: ThankThank Notes. Making it easy to send hand-written thank you notes

Shh. Here's some distraction

Comments