updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon October 25, 2010
Samsung Galaxy Tab gets Sprint release date
Sprint today lined itself up as the second US carrier with an official ship date for the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Its model will ship on November 14 and, unlike the Verizon edition, will be carrier subsidized; it will cost $400 with two years of data. The carrier told Electronista after the news that it would sell the Galaxy Tab for the same off-contract $600.
Along with the lower up-front price, Sprint is also venturing into tiered data plans. A $60 monthly plan will give the same 5GB of data as it does for 3G modems and routers, but a $30 plan will provide 2GB for those who only occasionally need the remote connection. Both include unlimited MMS and SMS messaging but no voice.
The Sprint version shares the same EVDO-based 3G as the Verizon model along with the core specs common to the model we tested on launch, including its seven-inch 1024x600 touchscreen, a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor and both back three-megapixel and front 1.3-megapixel cameras. Android 2.2 is only lightly customized by Samsung apart from its Media and Reading Hubs, but Sprint bundles in ThinkFree Office for document editing and its TeleNav-based Sprint Navigation subscription GPS for when Google Maps Navigation isn't enough. A 16GB microSDHC card is included in the box for media storage.
The Sprint attitude to the Galaxy Tab is a gamble for both itself and Samsung, who are counting on a superficially lower up-front price but also the assumption that customers are willing to pay for 3G every month. Apple has been willing to charge $630 for a 3G iPad but has managed to get prepaid AT&T data, letting users pay one month at a time and either drop or resume service at any point. Verizon has tried to sit in between for both its Galaxy Tab and prepaid deals with no prepaid data but contract-free pricing that gives users almost as much flexibility as with AT&T.