I’m going to preface this review with this: I’m one of those screen time parents.
My child is three. He has never had a tablet, doesn’t have his own apps on my phone, and, unless he’s sick, gets only a certain amount of television every day. I had never planned to get him a tablet, so I was a little nervous when Samsung contacted me to review their LEGO Ninjago Kids Galaxy tablet. What if I couldn’t pry it out of his hands? What if I didn’t like the stuff that was on it? What if he started in an app I was cool with but then ended up online, watching the insane stuff over at YouTube Kids?
I need not have worried. We’ve been using the Kids Galaxy for a month, and it’s been a great introductory tablet for him, and a good backup tablet for me.
But first things first.
What even is the LEGO Ninjago Kids Galaxy tablet?
I am so glad you asked.
The Samsung Kids Galaxy Tablet 7.0″ is a tablet branded with characters and content from The LEGO Ninjago Movie. It comes with a flexible Ninjago-themed bumper case, and three months of free unlimited access to Samsung’s library of games, books, shows, and movies, Samsung Kids. That content is for kids aged 3-8. You can find more information here, and I’ll also put the specs at the bottom of this review.
So, how is it?
What my preschooler loves about it
My kid thinks this tablet is pretty great, and a whole lot of that has to do with the fact that the Samsung Kids content is from creators he already knows.
For example, we are Sandra Boynton fans from way back. Boynton is pretty careful about what she licenses her hippos and chickens and pigs to, so we were both was pretty thrilled to see a bunch of her interactive e-books on the tablet, and that’s where my kid has spent a lot of his time. He reads along with it, and is able to interact with almost every drawing on every page—chickens spin, cows dance, turkeys wear hats—he has a lot of fun playing with them.
He also especially likes the Dr. Seuss books, and Peanuts books (which are narrated by Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown as a kid) which allow him to build a Peanut-ized avatar of himself that then appears in the book.
I even found him practicing French words one time when he decided to play with a language app. I walked into the room and he looked up, grinned and said “la vache.” I had to check the app to figure out he was saying “cow.” (This only happened once, but it impressed his Francophile grandfather enough that my dad offered to pay for our Samsung Kids subscription after our trial expires.)
The only complaint I have with the tablet is that, despite his small fingers, he doesn’t yet possess the fine motor skills to really play along with some of the apps. He gets frustrated with the Peanuts apps, for example. (As do I, because I’ve got fine motor skills but big fingers, so neither of us navigates The Great Pumpkin very well.) And that’s a pity, because he likes The Great Pumpkin. I can’t figure out if it’s the size of the screen or just the app itself that’s the problem there.
The outside of the tablet, which has a thick, flexible rubber bumper case in Green Ninja-green, and seven removable LEGO Ninjago characters, has been fun for him, too. He likes to take the ninjas off the case and play with them. Which suits me me fine, because sometimes Mom needs to use the tablet, too.
What I love about it
As a parent, I love that, once we click into the Samsung Kids app, my child cannot get out of it. Not that he wants to at this point, but there’s no risk of him stumbling out of Samsung Kids and into a browser. When you set up your children’s accounts, you also set up a PIN and you’ve got to enter that to get back out of the app. Those parental controls also tell you how much time your kiddo’s been online, and allow you to set a time limit, either for the entire app or for a particular kind of app: books, games, or movies, for example. So that appealed to the screen-time mom in me.
As you’d expect, there’s a lot of LEGO content on this tablet, both Ninjago and otherwise. I can’t get my kid out of his favorite apps long enough to play any of them yet, but I may or may not have turned off the parental time limits one night so I could play a lot of LEGO DC Mighty Minis.
Lastly, I love that green LEGO Ninjago bumper case as much as my kid does. You know why? Because the Galaxy is a serviceable little tablet, and when I take the green case off, my kiddo doesn’t know it’s the one he plays with. You know, like how no one knows Lloyd is a secret ninja.
I’ve been an Apple woman since the ’90s. Recently, though, I’ve been getting annoyed with Apple products, and the Galaxy was a nice way for me to test-drive a Samsung tablet. I was surprised by how much I liked it. As a freelance writer, I use a ton of Google’s apps for business, so it’s great to have Drive loaded right onto a tablet, for example. I don’t think it will replace my iPad—it’s too small, for one thing, and as far as I can tell, the camera only faces the rear of the tablet, which would make video conferencing difficult—but once my kid tires of or outgrows this tablet, I am definitely planning to use it as a backup tablet for work.
The LEGO Ninjago Kids Galaxy tablet is a solid little tablet. It’s a great tablet for small children who need limits placed on screen time, and for families who want to make sure their little kids are consuming decent edutainment. Also, if your child loves LEGO Ninjago and needs/wants a tablet, this is a perfect gift.
It also doesn’t break the bank at $149.99, and it comes loaded with $99 worth of content, which is a good deal.
Let’s talk about specs
- Galaxy Kids Tablet 7.0″
- Display: 1024×600
- ProcessorQuad-Core (1.3GHz)
- Product Weight: 0.68 lbs
- Camera: Resolution Rear: 2MP, Zoom: 2X, Video Recording Resolution: VGA | @24fps, Video Streaming, Video Player, Audio Streaming, Music Player
- OS: Android 4.4, KitKat
- Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, Expandable Memory up to 32GB (microSD card sold separately)
- Battery: Li-lon 3,600mAh
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Audio: Earjack 3.5mm Stereo, Speakers, Microphone
- Sensors: Accelerometer