updated 09:15 am EDT, Wed October 20, 2010
Verizon confirms Samsung Galaxy Tab for Nov. 11
Verizon today became the first American carrier to commit to a release date to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Its version of the 16GB Android 2.2 slate should reach stores on November 11 and will cost $600 without a contract. The company also plans to spread its iPad 3G plans and will charge the same $20 per month for 1GB of data, ranging up to $50 for 5GB.
Apart from using EVDO for 3G, the Verizon edition comes with some of the provider's regular apps, including V Cast Music, VZ Navigator and a Verizon-backed edition of Blockbuster On Demand for movie rentals. Owners will have the choice of two stores through either the official Android Market or V Cast Apps, which makes its debut on a shipping device with the Galaxy Tab. Amazon's Kindle app and Slacker Radio will come preloaded.
All versions of the tablet have a seven-inch, 1024x600 display, a rear three-megapixel camera and a front VGA camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi and GPS. It runs on Samsung's 1GHz Hummingbird processor and comes with only a lightly customized version of Android with Flash 10.1 installed.
The launch of the Galaxy Tab will come exactly two weeks after the iPad + MiFi combo goes on sale at Verizon and will be a litmus test of Steve Jobs' criticisms of rival tablets. Many of his criticisms are reflected in Samsung's device, since it's not only a seven-inch design but uses a mostly unoptimized Android 2.2 and costs $600 -- just $30 short of the larger 3G iPad. The cost is somewhat validated by the cameras but otherwise is dangerously close to its Apple rival despite a smaller screen and shorter battery life.
We've already tested the Galaxy Tab in a hands-on and found that it was good, but not as well optimized as Apple's design.