Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G Android tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G review: Australia's first 4G tablet is handy, but no world beater
- 4G connectivity
- Excellent size and weight
- Good build quality
- 4G coverage currently limited
- Sluggish performance
- Too expensive
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G is Australia's first 4G tablet, offering impressive data speeds and a size and weight that we think is near perfect. However, Telstra's currently limited 4G coverage, a high price tag and some niggling software issues mean you should probably give the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G a miss, at least for now.
Price$ 720.00 (AUD)
4G has only just taken off in Australia but Samsung was quick out of the blocks with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G, which earns the title of Australia's first 4G tablet. 4G speeds are very impressive but the currently limited 4G coverage, a high price tag and some other niggling issues mean you should probably give the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G a miss. For now.
I want 4G and I want it now
The key feature of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G is obviously 4G connectivity (duh!). Like the 4G USB modem and the HTC Velocity 4G Android smartphone before it, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G runs on Telstra's new 4G network. It is best described as an LTE enablement of the company's Next G network. It runs on the LTE 1800MHz spectrum band but "switches across" to the Next G network when 4G coverage is not available.
As with any 4G device it's important to understand two things. First of all, 4G coverage is currently pretty limited. Telstra's 4G network is available in all eight capital cities (5km from GPO) and their respective airports in Australia, along with around 80 regional and metropolitan centres (3km from city centre). Unless you're using the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G regularly in one of these coverage zones, the benefit of 4G connectivity will be minimal.
Secondly, the speeds you manage to achieve on the 4G network will depend on a number of factors including congestion, location and time. Given Telstra's 4G network is still in its infancy, however, congestion is currently minimal and that means extremely fast data speeds. To give you an idea, we managed to achieve download speeds of up to 38 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of almost 15Mbps on the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G. While speed did tend to fluctuate our Galaxy Tab regularly achieved speeds of well over 10Mbps when in a 4G zone.
When you're not in a 4G network zone the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G will simply fall back to Telstra's regular Next G network. Like HTC's Velocity 4G smartphone the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G has dual channel HSPA+ connectivity, meaning 3G data speeds are likely to be faster than many phones and tablets currently on the market. Officially, Telstra quotes typical download speeds ranging from 1.1-20Mbps in a 3G zone, though as usual we found real world figures a solid 10Mbps on occasions.
As you can see, Telstra's 4G coverage in Sydney is fairly limited right now. The dark blue shade denotes an area where you will get 4G data speeds.
Next page: Design, display, software and more
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Western Digital My Cloud Home review: Take back the cloud
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCM204 Developers - Federal GovernmentACT
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java Developer - BrisbaneNSW
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD
- FTTechnical Services AdministratorVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Data -Other
- TPSecurity ArchitectACT
- FTSolution ArchitectOther
- CCJava LeadNSW
- FTPortfolio & Governance Senior AnalystVIC
- FTSolution Designer/ Architect | 6mth ContractOther
- FTICT Procurement ManagerOther
- FTJD Edwards Principle/ Functional ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior MySQL Database Administrator - SydneySA
- FTDisaster Recovery Technical Business AnalystOther
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectVIC
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerVIC
- FTRigger TechniciansOther
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics CRM DevelopersACT
- CCProperty Project Manager - Office ExpansionNSW
- CCHP Service Management Engineer/adminVIC
- FTField ConsultantOther
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- FTSystems Engineer - Identity & AutomationQLD
- FTResident EngineerOther