The Samsung Galaxy Tab went on sale today, making it the first Android-powered tablet (sorry Dell Streak, you’re a smartphone) to go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad .
Which? took a stroll down London’s Oxford Street to buy one (or two) and see if there was any buzz surrounding the launch.
The hunt begins
We figured the best place to start our quest for Samsung’s first tablet would be an official Samsung-branded store.
No luck. The sales assistant told us that they are getting some in stock, but not today, and he wouldn’t be drawn on pricing. Ho hum.
But just as we thought we’d be in for another Windows Phone 7-style debacle, we bumped into these two Galaxy Tab promoters handing out flyers. ‘Carphone Warehouse’ they told us. ‘Go and ye shall find’ (ok, they didn’t speak like that but you get the idea).
There’s about five Carphone Warehouses on Oxford St and it turned out only one of them was actually selling the Galaxy Tab. When we found the right one, more promoters were on hand to greet us and demo the device. Success!
However, there wasn’t much of a ‘launch atmosphere’ in-store. It was all fairly low-key and the presence of the Which? technology camera team was attracting more attention from customers than the tablets themselves, a far cry from Apple’s iPad launch earlier in the year.
But where’s the 32GB?
No matter, we were just glad to find the device in-stock. We opted for the contract-free deal, along with an O2 1GB Starter dongle (1GB of data and unlimited access to wi-fi hotspots for £29.99), costing £544.98 in total.
We also picked up an official Samsung Galaxy Tab keyboard dock at a pricey £79.99, though we haven’t had a chance to open it yet. Here’s a pic of our bounty (yep that’s two Galaxy Tabs – one needs to be sent to the lab for testing).
Carphone Warehouse’s sales assistant told us that we were the first to buy one of Samsung’s devices, but we’ve just received a press release from Samsung claiming that a certain ‘Stephen’ from Malden beat us to it at 8:08 am. Hmmm.
Interestingly there was no sign of the 32GB version of the Galaxy Tab. There’s also scant evidence of it online.
Carphone Warehouse Galaxy Tab prices
Here’s a breakdown of The Carphone Warehouse’s prices and tariffs for the 16GB Galaxy Tab.
- PAYG no monthly contract: £529.99
- TalkMobile 30 day contract, 1GB data allowance: £499 + £10 per month
- TalkMobile 18 month contract, 1GB data allowance: £479 + £10 per month
- TalkMobile 24 month contract, 1GB data allowance, 100 voice minutes, 500 texts: £399 + £10 per month
- 3 24 month contract, 1GB data allowance, 100 texts: £349.99 + £17.50 per month
- 3 24 month contract, 1GB data allowance, 150 texts: £349.99 + 22.50 per month
Vodafone has just announced that it’s also stocking the Galaxy Tab today. As well as the three tariffs below, the operator is offering an interesting deal for low mobile broadband users, charging £3 per month and then £2 per every 500MB of data you use, with the device itself costing £499 upfront.
- Voadafone 30-day contract, 1GB data allowance: £499 + £10 per month.
- Voadafone 30-day contract, 3GB data allowance: £499 + £15 per month.
- Voadafone 30-day contract, 5GB data allowance: £499 + £25 per month.
Check back later today for a video of our Galaxy Tab odyssey, including a head-to-head comparison of the Galaxy Tab and iPad. In the meantime take a look at our extensive first look videos of the Galaxy Tab, as well as our specs comparison.
Do you plan on buying a Samsung Galaxy Tab before Christmas? Or are you yet to be convinced? Let us know in the comments below.