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Breaking: Galaxy Tab 7.7 4G LTE Hitting Verizon on March 1st for $499, Finally

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 equipped with 4G LTE is finally touching down at Verizon starting in just two days. It’s been a long time coming, but starting March 1, you’ll be able to pick up the premium tablet for $499.

What do you get for $499? Well, first there’s the much lauded 7.7″ Super AMOLED Plus screen with 1280×800 resolution, then you’ve got a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 3.2MP rear camera (2MP front), and 16GB of storage, all contained inside of a sleek 7.8mm thick casing. This version of the Galaxy Tab also has that wonderful 4G LTE functionality that has proven time and again to be the speediest mobile data network in the ‘states.

The only show stopper? Verizon and Samsung indicate that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will still be shipping with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Given that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) were all just recently announced with Android 4.0 Honeycomb on board this is somewhat of a disappointment. Given the bad track record of updates for Android products — if I was in the market for a new tablet I might just wait until an official date for the release of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 before making a purchase decision.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 was announced all the way back at IFA in September 2011. Since then, we’ve been watching carefully to see when the Tab 7.7 would make it stateside. The very last we had heard about the Galaxy Tab 7.7 release date was during CES 2012 in January when Verizon and Samsung said that the device would be arriving “in the coming weeks”. Wow, it’s been a long time coming! The $499 price point meshes well with our prediction from the other week, and unfortunately, so does the lack of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 4G Officially Coming to US “In the Coming Weeks”

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is officially going to land on U.S. shores with a 4G LTE variant that will be carried by Verizon. It’s great to finally have this confirmation straight from Samsung/Verizon as it’s been a whopping 5 months since the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was announced during IFA in September 2011.

Since that original announcement, we’ve heard conflicting reports about Samsung’s plans for release in the US. At the end of September 2011, the Galaxy Tab was spotted rolling through the FCC, cementing our belief that it would eventually see a US release, however, months went by after the FCC discovery with no announcement from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy Note, which was announced at the same time, also had a relatively lengthy history of ambiguous US release plans. Recently, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note would be hitting the US carried by AT&T.

Samsung and Verizon made the announcement that the 4G LTE equipped variant of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would arrive in the US during CES. The announcement says that this will happen “in the coming weeks”, so we expect to hear more soon. Unfortunately, no Galaxy Tab 7.7 release date or price accompanied the announcement.

The Tab 7.7 is currently the most premium 7″ tablet on the market with a 1280×800 AMOLED screen, a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, and now, 4G LTE connectivity. At 340 grams and 7.9 mm thick, it’s also one of the lightest and thinnest. The only thing it’s really missing is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, though Samsung says they’ll update the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to ICS eventually. Currently the device runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb out of the box, and it doesn’t sound like it’ll see the ICS upgrade prior to its Verizon US debut. Thanks to these premium features, you can expect to pay a premium price when the Tab 7.7 launches on Verion. Given their current tablet lineup and pricing, I’d expect the 16GB version of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to be priced between $500 and $600.

It’s interesting to note that Samsung has decided to launch the Galaxy Tab 7.7  on Verizon and the Galaxy Note on AT&T. I’m not sure if there’s a strategy to that move (it could just be to keep the carriers complacent with exclusives), or if it was just the roll of the dice. No word on this point if either device will go cross-carrier, but I suppose time will tell.

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