The Samsung Galaxy Tab range of tablets are known for being a cheap and cheerful range of tablets. If the low price weren’t enough to entice you into buying them, Samsung have now upped the ante; you can now buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 which has child specific software to keep them, and your wallet, safe whilst they use your – or their – tablet. This is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Review:
There have been numerous reports in the past (and continuing), of parents getting shocks when they look at their bank statement to find that someone has spent thousands of pounds on the App store or Play Store. After investigations, it’s turned out their child has, unwittingly, spent that money. The child has been drawn in with the lure of buying coins/stars/diamonds etc on a game which they didn’t realise was actually spending real money.
Despite numerous court cases and a lot of press coverage, the respective companies have paid parents back and made it a little harder for people to spend money unknowingly on the store. Some companies have taken a step further and allowed parents to protect their bank balance by keeping the child well away from the app store and requiring passwords for any purchase.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is Samsung’s attempt at entering this market and help to resolve the problem. As well as being the usual Tab 3 you can buy on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids has got special pre-loaded software which you can switch on an off when a child uses the tablet. More on that in the software part of this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids review.
When it comes to the look of the device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is slightly smaller than the previous Tab 2, with a smaller bezel and rounded edges. Coming in only a bright yellow with a bright orange rubber cover, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is safe from simple bumps and falls. As with many other rubber covers, there is full access to the buttons and ports and camera’s.
Inside, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is powered by a 1.2GHz Dual-Core processor, 1GB of RAM, with a 7 Inch WSVGA Screen with a 1024×600 resolution. It comes in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB of storage, has a 3MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front facing camera. The battery is a whopping 4,000mAh battery (more on that in the battery section).
Having already spoken about the silicon molded case, I’ll move on to the other big surprise in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids’s arsenal and that’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids grip cover kit. Allowing the device to be stood up in three ways and protecting the device from falling out with a snug fit in the silicon mold, the Grip Cover Kit is a great addition. Your child will be able to stand it up in all three standard positions, and with the addition of a secured C-Pen on the device, children can use the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids in complete safety without danger of damaging the device.
As ever with new test devices, we ran the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids through a batch of benchmark tests to see how well it copes form a hardware standpoint.
AnTuTu Benchmark Results:
We ran the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids through our favourite AnTuTu 4.0 benchmark test. As you can see, the device managed to perform adequately, but by no means set the world alight. Scoring 10810, it came in just below the Google Nexus 4 by LG.
When putting it through the OpenGL ES 2.0, the device scored just 2009 points. To put that in perspective, the HTC Desire 300 we recently reviewed managed to score 2055 points, although it scored 7697 in the full AnTuTu benchmark test, significantly less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids.
Vellamo Benchmark Result:
For this test, we put the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids through a new benchmark test called Vellamo, which is designed the Qualcomm Innovation Center. It not only test the HTML5 power of the device, but also hardware tests.
In the HTML5 test, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids scored 1436 points, again, just below the Google Nexus 4.
In the hardware test, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids scored 472, several ranks below the Google Nexus 4.
Despite being identical to the standard edition Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 in hardware, it’s the software where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids differs. A simple icon on the main screen (or in the app drawer) will turn the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids into a child friendly tablet. A completely different and simplified UI allows the child to play on their games whilst ensuring that your Google Play account is safe. The kids’ software makes almost a virtual device on the tab, making sure that the gallery, videos, games and apps are separate from that of the adults. As well as keeping the child safe, the “Kids Mode” will keep children entertained with numerous games and educational apps pre-loaded, with many others available from the Play Store.
In the parental controls options of “Kids Mode”, the parent can choose what app children have access to, what gallery they can access as well as how long the device can be used for, with increments of 10 minutes up to 1 hour 20 minutes, or any time between a set time. The parent can also change and edit the PIN to get access to the parental controls, as well as exit the “Kids Mode” and return to the TouchWiz UI.
Other than that, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids runs on Android OS 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids’ 3MP camera is by no means top of the range, but better than that of its predecessor the Tab 2. Kids can take pictures with the “Kids Mode” app as well as parents, and use the front facing camera for video calling. There is, however, no flash, so indoor pictures will be tricky.
As usual, we took a sample picture and video with the device:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids has a 4,000mAh battery. To put that into perspective, that’s bigger than the one that came in the Samsung Galaxy Note II (3.200mAh). Usage of the battery was very good, charging in just under 2 hours and lasting over 2 weeks with little use, but being on 24/7. We charge it when we got it 2 weeks ago and at time of writing it still has 9% left.
Another welcome change from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is that the Tab 3, and therefore the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, has changed from a 16pin connector for data and charging to a Micro USB cable, meaning the device is, once again, more compatible to other phones and devices in not only the Samsung range, but also the Android range.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is a good addition to the range by Samsung. Despite less than stellar hardware, the £160 price tag and great accessories more than makes up for it. The Kids software included makes this a no-brainer if you’re going to have young children using it. If, on the other hand, it will only be for adult use, then just opt for the standard edition Tab 3, or wait for the Tab 4.
The included accessories are excellent, allowing users, and especially children, to use the device in comfortable positions whilst keeping the device safe from knocks and bumps.