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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 range is aiming to challenge the iPad Pro, the current king tablet. Both the Tab S7 Plus and the smaller Tab S7 are being reviewed here.

Both tablets are excellent in their own ways, but the Tab S7 Plus’ 12.4-inch OLED panel will be a better choice than the Tab S7 Plus’ LED panel. It has a resolution of 2800×1752 pixels on the Tab S7 Plus, and a refresh rate 120Hz. This tablet is absolutely amazing.

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Prices and availability

Design

Display

Camera, specs and performance

Software

Battery life

Do I need to buy the Tab S7 Plus

Do I need to buy the Tab S7

It has a 16/10 aspect ratio which makes it taller and wider than an iPad. The tablet is also lighter and thinner than the iPad Pro12.9. Both tablets feel and look premium.

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Samsung hasn’t cut corners on other specifications. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus is the fastest processor available for Android platforms, and the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus & Tab S7 are powered with it.

Samsung bundles the S Pen stylus and slate together, so it won’t cost you extra. The S Pen stylus is responsive to the Galaxy Tab S6, and snaps magnetically onto your tablet. It charges wirelessly.

Android tablets have a lot of problems with apps. Android developers are not as interested in optimising apps for tablet interfaces as they are for iOS. Android tablet apps are often redesigned for a larger screen and look more like an extended version of the original phone app.

The software isn’t as robust as the iPad’s, but there are many things to love about the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Samsung isn’t just aiming to be the best Android tablet, but it is also vying for the iPad Pro 2020 title and the best Android tablet crown.

It’s possible that the Samsung Galaxy Tabs8 could be available at some point. There are many rumors about the new tablet range possibly launching in 2022.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7/ Tab S7 Plus Price and Release Date

Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus models are available in the US, UK, and Australia.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus starts at $849.99/PS799/AU$1,549 for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variants. This is quite reasonable considering the other flagship tablets it competes with.

This is a Wi-Fi-only variant. You can also purchase a 5G-ready tablet. The 4G version is available in some markets, but it’s not available for purchase in the US.

In some markets, there’s an 8GB RAM version with 256GB storage.

The base Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 model includes 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Prices start at $649.99 / PS619 / AU$1,149

You can buy the tablet in the UK as a WiFi-only variant, but you won’t be able to purchase it in the USA.

The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is priced at AED 3,599 in the UAE by Samsung. This includes a 256GB model with 8GB RAM and no LTE. Samsung will include a free Book Cover with every pre-order. The Galaxy Tab S7’s pricing is AED 2,699 for Wi-Fi only and AED 2,999 LTE versions with 128GB storage.

Galaxy Tab S7 Plus (L) vs iPad Pro (R) (Image credit: Future)

Design

The iPad Pro is the most popular premium tablet design. It has a large screen, flat sides, and thin bezels. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Series has all that and more. It’s also lighter and thinner than the 12.9 inch iPad.

It weighs in at 575g for Tab S7 Plus, and 498g Tab S7. However, you will still need to hold it with both hands. It is also extremely thin, measuring just 5.7mm. This makes it one of the thinnest tablets we have ever used.

The tablet is thin and light, but it doesn’t feel cheap. The tablet feels solid and has no flex. We also like the brushed metal sides which remind us a little of the Galaxy Note4.

(Image credit: Future)

The tablet’s rear side is magnetized by fingerprints. We noticed smudges on our Mystic Black color very quickly. Two additional colors are available: Mystic Silver or Mystic Bronze.

Galaxy Tab S7 / S7 Plus specs

Weight: 498g / 575g

Dimensions : 253.8×165.3×6.3 / 285x185x5.7mm

Display Size: 11 in / 12.4 in

Display type LTPS-IPS LCD / SuperAMOLED

Resolution: 2560 x 1600 / 2800 x 1752

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

Chipset – Snapdragon 865 Plus

RAM: 6GB / 8GB

Storage: 128GB / 256GB

OS: Android 10

Rear camera 13MP + 5MP

Front camera 8MP

Battery: 8000mAh / 10,090mAh

The tablet’s rear side has a glass strip that acts as a magnet for the S-Pen. Strangely, the S Pen charges only when the tip is pointed in the direction of the camera. We were wary of losing our stylus because it was behind the slate, and not strong enough.

Samsung’s cover design is clever and we’ll discuss it shortly.

This glass strip has a small bump around it that houses the camera modules. This means that the tablet won’t lie flat on a table.

Only one USB 3.2 Type C port is available on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Series. It can charge your device or connect to the internet using data. The slate does not have a headphone jack. It is important to verify that your USB-C headphones work with the slate. We tried one headset and it was not recognized by the tablet.

There are many docks and dongles that can increase the port’s functionality, but we think two ports is better than one. This is something we would have loved to see if Samsung was serious about making this a productivity machine.

The bottom has a smart connector that the Samsung Keyboard cover magnetically attaches to. You get volume and power buttons, as well as a SIM slot.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’s screen would be the defining feature of a tablet. It boasts a stunning 12.4-inch SuperAMOLED screen with a resolution of 2800×1752. It also supports a fast 120Hz refresh rate, making it easy to use.

The Tab S7 features a LTPS IPS LCD LCD screen with a resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels and the same refresh rate at 120Hz.

The only difference between OLED screens on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, and other IPS-based tablets like the iPad Pro and the Huawei MatePad is that IPS screens seem duller after having used OLED.

The screen’s 16:10 aspect ratio is a good compromise between entertainment and productivity. The majority of streaming content has a 16 to9 aspect ratio. This means that you will lose less screen space when watching Netflix and YouTube than an iPad with a 4:3 ratio.

However, vertical space is not as important for email, web browsing, or apps.

The tablet has very narrow bezels. Samsung improved its protection against accidental taps, but it is not perfect. If you don’t want app windows to resize or fly off the screen, make sure that the S Pen touches it before your palm.

An in-screen fingerprint sensor is a feature of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Although it’s slower than some smartphones’ fingerprint sensors, it works well enough. The Tab S7’s fingerprint reader is located in the power button. It unlocks the Tab S7 as fast as you need it to.

Accessories

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Series can be bought as a standalone tablet. However, it is ten times more productive when combined with accessories. The S Pen comes in the box, which is much better than spending the extra money to buy an Apple Pencil.

You can attach the S Pen magnetically to the back of your Galaxy Tab S7, just like the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro. Samsung has made the S Pen more responsive and added air gestures on the Tab S7 Plus that are similar to those on the new Galaxy Note 20.

You can also buy the Book Cover or the Book Cover Keyboard to go with your Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Magnetically attached to the Tab’s back, the Book Cover adds a kickstand to allow you to stand your tablet up. This is useful for watching movies. Keep in mind that the tablet’s weight will increase if you add these accessories.

You can flip the Book Cover to see the stylus. The Book Cover is a great option to protect your S Pen from being lost.

The Book Cover Keyboard attaches to the Smart Connector and provides you with a trackpad and keyboard. This allows you to use your slate in the same way as the Microsoft Surface Pro7. The tablet can be jiggled a little when you have the keyboard on your lap. It’s still usable but not as strong as the Surface.

Although the keys are well-placed and have good throw, they are not backlit so it can be difficult to type in dark environments. The full set of keys is included, along with the numeric and function keys that can be used to navigate Android and change volume or brightness levels.

It is also decently sized, slightly larger than the trackpad on the iPad Pro Keyboard Case. It felt a little jumpy, however, like other Windows laptops. It can be used to perform the same functions as Android’s navigation gestures. If you prefer pressing instead of tapping, the right-side of the trackpad acts like a right click when you press.

Camera, specs and performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus is the fastest Android processor available. It’s the basis of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Series. This processor is supported by either 6GB or8GB RAM depending on the variant.

This tablet has the best Android experience we have ever seen, thanks to its 120Hz display. You have two storage options: 128GB or 256GB. If that isn’t enough, you can expand this with a microSD card of up to 1TB.

Apps are quick to launch and can be easily switched between them without delay. Multiple apps were running on both tablets, and the experience was just as smooth as if there were a similar set of apps on an iPad.

Geekbench 5 was run on the Tab S7 Plus. It registered a single core score (936) and a multicore score (2,846). Although it’s not as fast than the iPad, you would be hard-pressed to notice any difference in general usage. The scores for the Tab S7 were 973 and 3 227, respectively.

The tablet has four speakers that sound great and are ideal for playing games or watching movies. The Tab S7 is still the best iPad, as multiple iPad models have louder and richer speakers.

The Galaxy Tab S7 comes with a SIM card slot. Some Tab S7 Plus models are 5G compatible. This Tab S7 Plus version will allow you to enjoy faster download and upload speeds if you live in or work in an area with 5G coverage.

Even if your area is not yet covered by 5G, carriers all over the globe are still rolling out the next-generation network. This means that you will be able to benefit from them when they arrive in your area.

An 8MP front-facing camera is also available that sits on top of the tablet when it’s in landscape mode. This is a better option for video calls, as your eyes are more aligned to where the camera is than if it’s off to the side.

Both tablets feature a dual-camera setup at the back. The main 13MP camera is joined by an ultra-wide 5MP camera. People take great photos with tablets, and these cameras will be of benefit to them.

Samsung’s S20 series includes many camera modes, including Live Focus (for portraits), Night, Pro Video and Single Take. This mode creates short videos and multiple images from them with different aspect ratios, which is ideal for sharing on social media.

Camera samples

Software

The software for Android tablets can be very boring. Google supports many screen sizes and aspect ratios, but most developers are focused on creating portrait apps for Android phones.

This is a problem for the iPad to an extent but Apple has managed to get much more support for tablet applications than Google. It’s not limited to small teams of developers who don’t necessarily possess the resources – even Adobe hasn’t made their apps available for Android tablets.

Some apps, like Microsoft Teams or Spotify, do not work on Android tablets. They are just a stretched version.

There are apps that are optimized for Android tablets, so it’s not all doom & gloom. Google tries to make its apps compatible with Android tablets. However, Samsung offers a solution called DeX for those that do not work.

Your Galaxy Tab S7 in DeX mode will replace your normal Android home screen with one that looks more like the Windows desktop. This allows Android apps to run in windowed modes instead of the full screen.

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Multitasking is easier when you have multiple apps open in different windows. This is something that the iPad cannot do. DeX is not compatible with all apps. This can cause you to go back to square 1.

iPad Pro (L) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus (R) (Image credit: Future)

Battery life

Samsung has fitted the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’s 10.090mAh battery, which is more powerful than the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. This is quite impressive considering that the Tab S7 Plus has a smaller and thinner body than the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Although the Galaxy Tab S7 has a smaller battery at 8000mAh, it still packs enough power to provide decent battery life.

We found the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’s battery to be very strong in our tests. The battery life for daily use is between good and decent. The Cover Keyboard was attached to the tablet for most of our testing, which we believe has reduced the battery life significantly.

We were getting over ten hours of active usage on a full battery and three days standby without the keyboard cover. The keyboard cover allowed for eight hours of active use and two days standby.

Similar usage was seen on the Galaxy Tab S7. Our video loop test took just shy of eight hours using the Book Cover. For everyday browsing, Netflix watching, and sketching with S Pen, you can easily expect to get eight to ten hours before your battery runs out.

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