Samsung's "diversify and fill all niches" approach to the mobile market is starting to get on my nerves. Not because I object to having a dozen different choices at every screen size and price, but because I can't keep the hardware details for all these phones and tablets in my head. Nine months after unveiling the Galaxy Tab 3 in 7, 8, and 10-inch varieties, Samsung is back with a "Lite" variant of the smallest model.

Galaxy-Tab3-Lite_01 Galaxy-Tab3-Lite_02

Exactly why Samsung felt the need to add an even lower-end device when the Tab 3 already sells for under $150 isn't clear, especially since there isn't a price or date attached to it yet. In terms of hardware, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is nearly identical to the older model: same 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, same 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (plus SD card), same lackluster 1024x600 7" screen. The Lite edition drops the front-facing camera completely (sorry, Hangouts fans) and downgrades the rear camera to a mere 2.0MP, and the side-mounted IR blaster is gone. The battery is exactly 10% smaller at 3600mAh - for comparison, the Note 3's battery is 3200mAh. The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will run Android 4.2 with Samsung's usual TouchWiz frosting, and it will be offered in standard WiFi and 3G versions.

Galaxy-Tab3-Lite_03 Galaxy-Tab3-Lite_04

If the Tab 3 Lite can get below $100 retail (which should be doable) it might find quite a few buyers. After all, the original Tab 3 7" is one of the best-selling Android tablets out there, if only because of its low price and recognizable brand. Even so, with the primary Tab lineup due for a refresh within the next few months anyway, you've got to wonder why Samsung didn't simply wait and let the "Galaxy Tab 4" push even further towards the low end while the various Notes and Tab Pros occupy higher price points.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • mustbepbs

    And here I thought it couldn't get any worse than the Tab 3.

  • Gerret Walczak

    Samsung is starting to shoot itself in the foot with all of these model variations. Too much.

    • Justin W

      What is this, Tablet number 12 or 13?

      • Jadephyre

        Yup, pretty much.
        I don't like that Google tries to push the cloud in our face so much and omitting the SD-card, but i'll buy a Nexus device over a Samsung one any day, because you know with a Nexus device that there are not a million different versions out there.

      • Nemo

        Try 194.

        • Justin W

          Eh, wouldn't surprise me. A new one gets announced every other week.

  • nvillaco

    I understand Samsung wanting to hit all markets and all price points. But when is too many before you start to water down the brand? It only takes one crappy low budget device to ruin a customer's outlook on Samsung and even android as a whole...

    - "I tried android but it was slow, complicated, and the battery lasted 2 seconds. I'm switching to iOS."
    - "No, that was just cause you bought a crappy Galaxy Lite."

    But by then, a perfectly good potential smart device user was lost to the dark side...

    • VoiceofSky

      absolutely agreed , the few of my friends that switched to iOS from Android only had ONE problem that went wrong with the android phone they were using ..Which was enough for them to think badly of the brand and switch the *ehem* Phone ..just ONE ,smh ..
      It was because they had a crappy low end Android phone that they wanted to do High end things with ,but for obvious reasons,couldn't ...So they had a fit and went to iOS..
      It's sad but true unfortunately..and this Samsung TAB 3 Lite is NOT helping ... It's almost like they are trying to bring Androids rep down slowly ,so that they can bring in Tizen to rise .. lol.. so dumb

      • nvillaco

        Yup.... I know so many people too that entered the smart phone arena with a free upgrade phone (3 year old low end android phone). Obviously, it was slow and then they switch to the latest iPhone. Then they say it's better when they were comparing two drastically differently priced devices.

    • Cesar

      I know a lot of my iPhone using friends have tried Android before and had their experiences ruined by terrible budget hardware. They fail to see that the problem is that they bought a year and a half old phone that runs Gingerbread and instead blame it on Android being inferior.

  • Joshua

    Maybe we should all stop spending so much time worrying about the hardware and instead buy for what we need it to do. Look what they did with the tv area, all the price ranges. Why not do the same thing with tablets? Especially when the galaxy name has started to be more recognizable than Android. All I care about is Android beats Apple, and it seems Samsung is helping with that when it foods the market with a"galaxy" for everyone.

    What are we worrying about hardware for anymore anyway? This 1999? Are we still doing the who is fastest Intel/AMD? Being a retail person I can tell you the only people that care about speed and hardware is us, not customers. They care about price and what it can do. That is why I am selling on features instead of "Haswell," or tablet hardware.

    • guyfromtrinidad

      Joshua if this came with Kit Kat (which runs well on lower spec devices) I wouldn't mind but with it being 4.2, hardware has to come into the discussion. The Galaxy Tab 3 already stutters and has horrible standby life,this is going to be even worse. Their comes a point when price and an acceptable experience must matter and I fear with this lite version consumers are going to be getting the short end of the stick.

    • Christopher Martin

      We worry about hardware because it is the hardware we like. If there are not enough people that like or use something, then it will die. Therefore we must beat the drum for our desired devices/OS/car/whatever, or we may lose it. BTW arguing processors is not the same as arguing that shitty, out of date hardware is damaging to a brand.

    • guyfromtrinidad

      Joshua also this article sums it up nice especially with the fantastic statement

      "Making a sale is one thing. Continuing to impress people after they've bought your device is another."


    • Irinel Loghin

      Trolls, unite against the kind that sells crappy gadgets to your uneducated (in Android :) ) loved ones!

  • Ali

    Or you could just buy a 2012 Nexus 7...

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      The lack of an SD card is the primary barrier to that for me. One of the main things I use my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 for is watching movies on airplanes. I know Google really wants people to be using the cloud all the time but that's not practical everywhere.

  • Cuvis

    Why would you drop the front camera and keep the rear one? It seems to me the front one would be far more useful on a tablet.

    • Matthew Skalecki

      I was just about to write the exact same comment just as yours loaded.

      I suppose that Samsung (perhaps rightly) assumes that anyone looking to video chat will be looking for a better device.

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Agree 100%, I have literally never used (other than screwing around) the rear camera on my tablet but I do use the front one for hangouts and such.

  • Simon Belmont

    They got rid of the FFC but left the rear one? That seems ass backwards to me because I'd rather have a camera for video calls than a crappy 2MP shooter for terrible snapshots.

    I'm tired of Samsung releasing eleventy billion different tablets a year. It's too much.

    • tintin.92

      They took their tablet-to-phone analogy a little too far. This is the exact opposite of what the Nexus 7 implemented.

  • MeanDroid

    Great news, the more diversity on offer in the market, the better. Why complaining about it??? No one is forcing you to buy it at the gun point! Don't like Samsung ? Dont buy Samsung. Simple as that.
    Different specs suit different people.
    Not every body buys a tablet just to chat on hangouts or Facebook.
    And the more products on the market and the better deals available for the consumer.
    We all are individuals and I for once don't like to buy the same device as every one else. Example: like the (iPhone drone brainwashed sheep).
    Expensive products are nice but not every body can afford them, but the opportunity to own a functional product for a affordable price? Now that is a deal.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Why do I have a feeling that sometimes Samsung makes new devices just to make another device with no actual reason behind it?

    • Jadephyre

      Because you're more on the money than you think ;)

  • Nate

    It's not the same CPU. The leaked benchmark shows that the Tab 3 Lite has a Marvell CPU and not the Samsung Exynos chip found in the Tab 3.


    • http://james1o1o.blogspot.com/ James1o1o

      The Tab 3 7-inch has a Marvell CPU.

  • Aravind J Nampoothiry

    This is like the old Samsung Galaxy Y advertisement, which had the picture of a great 3d game,and after some fools bought that crap thinking it as a high end android phone,it turned out to be a wallpaper of a car :D

  • JoeyKhache

    As if the tab 3 wasn't already a piece of crap, had to bring out a lite. Hah.

  • ihatehipsternerds

    Where do people get this idea that people will get confused if there is different sizes of tablets or phones. Sometimes i think people who visit these site really think too much of themselves.

    Go to a supermarket and see how many different types of bread from the same bakery or how many types of cooking oil, crisp, drinks,but no customer comes out of the supermarket without bread they want because they were confused of which bread to choose from.

    I feel sorry for the next top android OEM because the nerds will start hating on it the same way they hate Samsung now. Even stock android is not safe because with nerds if anything becomes popular they will start hating on it.

    Also you have to give it to apple and their fans they used the divide and conquer tactic very well. Now the android community is fighting against each other instead fighting together against iOS. Apple and MS even started a patent troll company to destroy not just Samsung but the whole of android

    • Irinel Loghin

      Because its kinda pointless to kill your own product with another inferior product. I am a Samsung fan, had the S1,S1+ (bet you never heard of it), S2,S2+ and the s3... But this seems retarded.
      Comparing gadgets with bread, butter and potatoes is also retarded.
      Nuff said.

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    Don't really have a problem with it other than the boneheaded decision to lose the front camera while keeping the useless rear one.

    I had been planning on getting a Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 to replace my Galaxy Tab 2. I think between the Galaxy Tab Pro and this one that they aren't even planning on releasing a Galaxy Tab 4 at all.

  • Trysta

    I suspect that samsung is doing this not to fill yet another market niche but so that they can sell basically the same tablet but with a higher profit margin. I wouldn't be surprised if samsung discontinued the regular Tab 3 7.0 since only desperate bargain seekers are looking for that tablet (probably on-sale) anyway.

  • Mark Washington

    I wonder what they are trying to do .....

  • supremekizzle

    Here's to yet another device that Samsung won't update. Don't know why they're so popular as they expect you to buy a new device if you want a new version of android. Hate Samsung. The note 10.1 is just barely sufficient for school. Wish the Asus Duet had a wacom digitizer...

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Them being popular has no relation to android updates.

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    So Glad I dumped my Piece of Crap Galaxy Tab 2 for a Nexus 7, will never go back.

  • Natassia Tavares

    Honestly, I think they just went out of new phones to create.
    Cuz really, there's no point to create a lower device.

  • Andrew

    Most of you are complete morons, with more money then brains. Just because you get the latest $700 devices anytime they get released does NOT make the Tab 3 Lite crap. 4.2.2 is better then Android 4.4,4 because I can still move apps to my SD.... I own the Tab 3 Lite 7.0 with 4.2.2 and I own a Galaxy S4 Mini with 4.4.4.

    My tablet keeps up with my phone in almost every way, no lag and no waiting periods. If your device is slow it's because of preloaded apps, poor internet connection, and battery charge or Reboot abuse, as well as apps YOU installed.

    Fact is EVERY device is slow by default, root the newest top of the line hig-end Android and I guarantee the performance will double.

    Stop talking trash about stuff you know NOTHING about. Losers