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My review of Jetstream vs Galaxy Tab 10.1
For the purpose of this review, I am comparing the Jetstream, side by side, to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. I promise no iPad comparisons. I tried as best I could to represent both devices.
The Jetstream, without question, is thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Although thicker, the build quality on this device is solid. Where the GT10.1 is light and thin, and has a somewhat plastic feel, the Jetstream by comparison is very well built. It feels somewhat like the EVO View, only in a 10” variety.
This is the difficult part of the review. Both screens are very nice. In fact, I think probably the nicest Honeycomb screens available, besting both the EEE Pad Transformer and the Acer A500 in my opinion. The color representation on the Jetstream is “probably” more accurate, and definitely softer; however the contrast on the GT10.1 definitely provides an image that gives much more “pop” and color than the Jetstream.
Although the Jetstream runs a dual core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon, in a purely subjective (side by side) comparison, I would still give the nod to the Dual core 1.0Ghz of the Tegra 2 on the GT10.1. Screen transitions seem quicker and where I noticed the speed difference most was in the Gallery application. When viewing the same pictures on both devices and swiping between images, it took the Jetstream a second to “redraw” each image. The image initially appears blurry until it draws on the screen completely. On the GT10.1, images appeared instantly in full resolution.
These devices are both 4G LTE devices on their respective carriers, however, not having AT&T LTE in Milwaukee, it was impossible to compare. I will say that downgrading to the HSPA+ on the Jetstream provides a pretty continuous 3.5+ Mbps down in the Milwaukee area, which for most applications, is plenty fast. Still a far cry from the 20Mbps down when running LTE on Verizons Galaxy Tab, however.
Games run smooth on both devices; however, because Tegra apps will not run on the Snapdragon, the Jetstream will not run the handful of games currently available in the Tegra Zone on the GT10.1.
Sense vs. Samsung UI:
This section is purely subjective to the user, however, for me was one of the areas where the Jetstream outshined the GT10.1. The Sense UI implementation on the Jetstream is fantastic. You are still crippled by the restriction of only 5 home screens; however, they can now be reorganized within Sense.
The pure number of Sense Widgets available is enormous. All of the Sense widgets we are used to are present here as well. Clocks, Calendars, Friend stream, Twitter, Weather, mail, etc. are all available for use. Similar to Sense 3.0 on phones, you can also configure 4 applications as quick launch items on the home screen as well as have the current weather always available when unlocking the device (with or without sound).
You can also download other widgets, backgrounds, Scenes, and skins through the HTC club. Sense overall provides quite a bit of customization.
The Jetstream uses a skinned version of the standard Honeycomb browser. Although similar, in my opinion, I like the looks of the Jetstream browser better than the standard implementation found on the Galaxy Tab. One omission on the Jetstream browser that Google+ users will notice is that unlike the GT10.1 honeycomb browser, you cannot view your Google+ stream within the browser. I was notified that if I wanted to do this, I would need to download Chrome. Google+ streams can still be viewed from within the Google+ application.
Netflix is available without side loading on the Jetstream. That aside, the movies tab normally found on the market, as well as the Google videos application are not currently available on the Jetstream. This may be due to the Jetstream running only Honeycomb 3.1, or may also be affected by both the HTC Watch and AT&T Movies applications being installed on the device. The “Movies” application pre-installed on the device is different in that it provides a “rental subscription” type of service where you purchase a specified amount of credits per month to use on movie rentals. For comparison sake, the GT10.1 does include both the Samsung Media Hub as well as the Google Videos application. Verizon also includes a $25 voucher to try the service out.
Each device comes with 32G built in storage. Unlike the GT10.1, however, the Jetstream can be expanded VIA Micro SD to provide up to an extra 32GB of storage. The Jetstream also splits the memory in half and provides 16G for applications and 16G as storage. I personally like the storage setup on the GT10.1 better, allowing the entire 32GB to be used as a whole.
Video & Audio:
Although I am not a big fan of cameras on tablet devices, I have to give a nod to the full 1080P video recording capabilities of the Jetstream. Videos look clean and clear without any loss in quality or jaggies. As with other mobile devices, sound recording is limited to the included microphone, although both devices do an admirable job of pulling audio.
Both devices have great speakers, however, when you plug in a nice pair of headphones, HTC once again adds the SRS audio enhancements to the Jetstream that really makes the audio a cut above the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Jetstream sells through AT&T for $849 off contract and $699 on a 2 year contract with a minimum $35/month data plan for 3 gigabytes of data. Your allotment of data cannot be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices through the Jetstream. Although you save $150 on a 2 year contract, the early termination fee is $325, decreasing by $10 a month. The subsidy of only $150 seems a little extreme to justify a $325 ETF.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 sells through Verizon for $729 off contract and $599 on a 2 year contract. Data plans start at $30 for 2 gigabytes of data, $50 for 5, and $80 for 10. The difference with Verizon is that you can use your included data allowance to use the tablet as a Wi-Fi hotpot device for other devices.
If prices for the hardware were the same at $729 off contract, $599 on contract, I would give the nod to the Jetstream. Although a bit thicker and heavier, I really enjoyed having the Sense UI on the tablet. Even with Verizons 4G LTE service having a much larger installed area, for most applications, AT&Ts HSPA+ service will suffice until their LTE service arrives.