Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Tab E (SM-T561)
Just when I thought my excitement would end with Black Friday, it continued pushing forward. I logged into the MyBroadband Forums, checked who the winners are for the week… then boom! My username was listed for the tablet! I was so excited… and a few weeks back, I had plans of buying a tablet… those plans got cancelled. Now that I have the tablet, I might as well spill my tea on this tablet.
Judging from the specifications on GSMArena, you can easily tell that this is a low-cost / entry-level tablet. Price can go for anything between R2700 -R4700. The tablet has 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of Storage (about 5GB usable for your files), a 1280 x 800 TFT Screen, 3G and WiFi. This tablet comes with a quad core 1.3GHz processor. The one thing that annoys me about this tablet is that it runs on Android KitKat (4.4.4). I do not understand how it is 2016, and this tablet runs on an ancient Android operating System. I expected Android Lollipop (5.0 / 5.1) at the very least. I asked Samsung South Africa about this, and this was their response:
@koeks525 we do not have a release date at this point. We will share it on this page once confirmed. ^;sm
— Samsung Smart Care (@SamsungCareSA) December 12, 2016
I really hope this means they are working on a Lollipop / Marshmallow Update, and will release soon. But then again, we all know how slow Samsung is at pushing out updates for their devices, or how they choose not to update their devices. While I am happy this tablet has 3G support, could Samsung have not added LTE to the mix? This tablet was launched in 2015 – most mobile devices now days come with LTE… this technology isn’t limited to high-end devices.
I have seen many low-cost tablets, and they usually don’t have a great design. This tablet is a little different. It does not look cheap. The back cover has a nice texture to it, which makes handling the tablet a little enjoyable. The two touch buttons are placed neatly at the bottom of the tablet. I will probably need to add a screen protector – the tablet display gets smudged very easily. The power and volume controls are easy to access. The SIM card and memory card slots are easy to open and use. I bought my Axxess Data SIM Card and it was easy to plug it into the tablet.
Screen and Camera
The screen is very basic. If you love chilling outside with your phone or tablet, you will struggle using this tablet outdoors. It is very hard to see what is happening on the tablet screen when outdoors – even on maximum brightness, it is hard to see what is happening on the tablet screen. The colors feel dull, playing games on this tablet isn’t as captivating as playing them on my mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 3).
As far as the camera is concerned, don’t expect outstanding pictures from this tablet. The tablet takes okay pictures. It has a 5MP camera, and a secondary 2MP camera. Don’t expect fantastic selfies from this tablet – be grateful there is a beauty filter to make pictures look a little better. Picture quality from the main camera is okay… its not bad. If my Note 3, or G4 Beat ran out of power, I wouldn’t mind using this tablet to capture great moments from a holiday or something.
Sound and Battery Life
The tablet comes with a 5000mAh battery. The battery drains quickly from doing things like streaming video’s from YouTube, or playing a game to pass time. If your intentions are to browse the web, send a few e-mails, make a post or two on social media platforms, you should be fine. One weird thing I noticed about this tablet is that it doesn’t seem to charge when it is connected to computer; it will only charge via USB if the tablet is switched off. Really weird.
Sound isn’t too fancy – it is pretty standard. You can watch your YouTube video’s and play music comfortably. If you want a better listening experience, better carry some good headphones. I have not tested voice-calling on this tablet (making / receiving calls on a tablet is a little awkward for me).
I would not buy this tablet with my own money – only because it was launched in 2015, and it runs on an ancient Android operating System (KitKat). I would understand if this tablet was launched in 2013 / 2014. A quick google search suggests Samsung does not have plans of updating this device. If this tablet had Lollipop, or Marshmallow, it would have made an excellent entry-level tablet, that I would be willing to buy. The camera is okay, the screen is okay (except outdoors – that’s when the struggle starts). Sound isn’t the best, but it is okay. I am a little disappointed by storage only being 8GB… I believe in 2016, most phones / tablets should come with at least 16GB of storage.
For the value of this tablet, I am pretty sure you can get a more up-to-date tablet from another brand.