Once I had configured the device with my Google account, I downloaded Speed Test from the Google Play store and ran the benchmark. Wow. I have never been so amazed in my life in such a short amount of time, but the speeds of Telstra's 4G just blew me away. I had results of 35Mbps downstream and 11Mbps upstream. Considering that the fastest ADSL broadband in Australia is 24Mbit, this is quite the achievement. Samsung have definitely given the Tab 8.9 a look up and down and decided that 3G just wasn't enough and that they felt the need, the need for speed.
But, 4G has its strong points and with strong points, come the low points. 4G isn't available everywhere, it's only available in and around the major cities of Australia. I live in South Australia, so my initial testing was completed smack-bang in the middle of the CBD. When I was around 170km away from the CBD on my weekend away, my speeds were still actually quite good when the Tab 8.9's 4G reverted back to 3G. I was getting a download speed of 11Mbit and upload speed of a little over 1Mbit. This is actually quite surprising, but mainly a testament to Telstra's superior network. Considering my home ADSL Internet connection is only 8Mbit, it's even more impressive.
Power use on the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G actually surprised me, I didn't expect that the battery life on this tablet would be all that good, but it really is. I have only charged the Tab 8.9 a handful of times in the near-two weeks of using it and when I was away for the weekend, I had it sitting on the table as a 3G Wi-Fi hotspot where multiple other devices accessed it. I had two smartphones and iPod touch and my notebook all accessing the Tab 8.9's 3G connection and I only had to charge it twice, at the end of each day.
This means that it took a heavy hit of usage for most of the day with multiple devices accessing its Internet connection and only complained of running out of juice after 12 hours or more of use. This is beyond impressive and definitely worth making a point of.
My thoughts after two weeks of using the device are that it is definitely a device worthy of you taking a look at it. In this iDevice-heavy world, other manufacturers seem to miss out on consumer's time, but Samsung have made a great all-round device here. The weight is amazing and makes it a joy to carry around, the screen is crisp and its 8.9-inch size is perfect for portrait or landscape use. The battery life, as I said above, is a huge selling point of the Tab 8.9. If you're in a 4G coverage zone and use it with 4G connectivity, you're going to get a huge smile on your face with its Internet speed, that's a fact.
As for benchmarks, we've decided to use Quadrant Professional Edition, as it test each section of the device itself and scores it against other similar devices. This gives us five tests, CPU, Memory, I/O, 2D graphics and finally, 3D graphics. It really sums up the performance of a smart device, with comparisons to others.
As you can see, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G really smashes the benchmark, only losing out to the quad-core power of HTC's One X smartphone and ASUS' Transformer Prime TF201. It easily beats Samsung's other Galaxy tablet, the Tab 10.1, the company's Nexus and Nexus S, too. You can see the large gap in CPU performance of the One X and TF201 is thanks to their quad-core CPUs, over double the CPU score of the dual-core-powered Tab 8.9 4G.