It’s no secret that the tablet market share is dominated by Apple iPads. Year after year Apple improves the overall performance and features on its offerings almost to the point that you shouldn’t even care about the competition. However, iPads do have a challenger in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S series. The premium Android tablet range has its own share of advantages and selling points. For instance, they have an in-box S-Pen availability and gorgeous displays. The Galaxy Tab S7 is no different. I’ve been using it for two weeks, and it’s time to find out how good of a value proposition it is. Here’s our Galaxy Tab S7 review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 specifications
|Galaxy Tab S7|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+|
|RAM||6GB / 8GB|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB
Expandable up to 1TB
|Rear Cameras||13MP primary
45W SuperFast charging
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Design
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 sports a full metal build with brushed metal sides. It feels sturdy in the hand. The weight is distributed well enough to let you hold it in one hand while reading an eBook or browsing through the web. On the front lies an 11-inch display that is housed within slim bezels. Plus, the 8MP front camera now sits on the side bezel instead of the top. The tablet is pleasantly thin at 6.3mm.
The bottom and top sides house dual AKG-tuned speakers each. On one side lie the keyboard connectors while the other side has the volume rockers, fingerprint sensor, and a SIM-card slot. The USB Type-C port is also situated on the bottom. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm audio jack.
Moving to the back, it sports a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP situated on the top-left side. The camera module protrudes a little but it didn’t bother me at all. Blow is a magnetic strip that attaches the S-Pen. The magnets are stronger than before, in my opinion. The build quality is solid and the Mystic Silver colorway looks premium. It is easily one of the most beautiful tablets in the market right now.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Display and Sound
While the Plus variant gets an AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 features an 11-inch LCD. It comes with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, DCI-P3 color range, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The numbers mean nothing if they don’t translate to practical usage. And, I’m happy to report that the display is color-rich, vivid, and bright. The 16:10 aspect ratio makes for a great video consumption experience.
Further, I had no problems with viewing angles. From reading eBooks to watching The Office on Prime Videos, my experience was very enjoyable. Plus, the 11-inch display makes it a decent device to read on. Unlike its elder sibling, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, I’d rather pick this up for my use case that involves a lot of in-hand reading. The 120Hz refresh rate is the icing on the cake as it makes animations buttery smooth, and enhances the overall user experience.
The display gets bright enough when you are at home but if you are someone who likes working on a tablet while sitting at your favorite coffee place, it might be underwhelming for you under direct sunlight. That said, it can get low enough in the dark to help you consume content at night. Plus, Samsung says the Galaxy Tab S7 comes with a Low Blue Light certification. For this, all I can say is I had no eye-straining issue, and media consumption was a delight on this tablet.
The device comes with AKG-tuned quad speakers that support Dolby Atmos. It is loud, and the sound is clear. I had a good experience here as well.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Accessories
The Galaxy Tab S7 comes with an S-Pen in the box. Plus, you can purchase the keyboard, which comes alongside the back cover. I use a Microsoft Surface Pro as my work machine, which has a similar keyboard and pen mechanism so I’m accustomed to this setup. Let’s talk about both the accessories separately.
As mentioned previously, the S-Pen comes right in the box with the Galaxy Tab S7. It sports a new design which makes it more comfortable to use. The low latency coupled with the 120Hz refresh rate makes my Surface Pen look ordinary. As a student, I’ve used the Surface Pen to take notes and mark documents, and the S-Pen makes the whole experience more delightful. I wish I had it in my college life. It’s very close to the pen-to-paper feel.
Plus, Air Actions have been expanded to Smart select, Screen write, and more. What’s amazing about these is you can use them on any screen. While there is a button on the S-Pen, the one feature I missed on this while shifting from my Surface Pen was the presence of erasing with the back feature. I wish I could use the top of the S-Pen to erase my errors. Selecting the eraser tool for it is one extra step, and it breaks the flow.
To enhance the S-Pen experience and help you get more creative, Samsung is providing apps like Clip Studio Paint, Canva, and Noteshelf for free.
The Keyboard costs extra and packs a back cover that doubles as a stand for the tablet. It is better than the one provided on the Tab S6. This time around it features the function keys on the top. The keys are well spaced out with good key travel. In fact, it is so comfortable that I’m typing this review on the keyboard itself.
However, there are small caveats that I want Samsung to address. First of all, there is no backlit. I’ve become so accustomed to it that I feel very uncomfortable working on a keyboard that doesn’t have a backlit. It’s hard to work on this machine in the dark. You have to rely on your muscle memory, which isn’t bad. But if a keyboard costs this much, I expect it to come with backlit.
Secondly, lap-ability is poor. I’ve been working on a machine with a kickstand for 2 years, and it is now that I appreciate the presence of minute design features. For instance, the Surface Pro’s keyboard attaches magnetically to the bottom bezel resulting in better lap-ability. In contrast, the Galaxy Tab S7’s keyboard doesn’t have anything like this. The top portion of the keyboard is left to wobble while it is kept on a surface that isn’t flat, like your lap. It could be frustrating at times.
Third, the keyboard sits flush against the screen when closed. This results in inconvenience when trying to open the keyboard. The magnets are strong, which is a good thing, and whenever I tried to open the keyboard, I messed with the flap on the back cover that holds the S-Pen.
As for the trackpad, it is of decent size, and easy to use. I wasn’t cramped while using it. Overall, Samsung has worked on its keyboard but there is still room for improvement.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Software
The Galaxy Tab S7 ships with Samsung’s OneUI 2.5 built on top of Android 10. The new features like Music Share and Quick Share are all present here. The company has also overhauled its Notes app to help you with productivity. I found myself doodling, but it will help students to take notes.
Moreover, Samsung has introduced one of those OneNote features that was introduced by Microsoft a few years ago. The sync up voice recording feature, which also records the audio while you take notes so when you replay it you’ll know what was being said when you wrote it.
There is a new PC-like folder management. Moreover, the Multi-Active Window feature that was first seen on the Galaxy Fold last year is also making its way to the Galaxy Tab S7. You can use it to open three apps on one screen. I loved working on two screens simultaneously on the 11-inch display. Further, there is Edge-screen functionality as well. With the new features, Samsung is focusing on multitasking and we appreciate it.
However, you can’t use two windows of the same browser simultaneously. It bugs me the most. I can’t work without that particular feature. Further, while working, there is a thick bar on top. For instance, on Chrome, the tabs bar is present below the close button bar, which wastes the screen space. I guess these are more of Android’s problems than that of Samsung’s, but the South Korean giant can definitely work on it.
Then there’s the Second Screen feature that only works with select Samsung laptops. I hope Samsung brings support to more laptops. One more thing, while in dark mode, the bottom navigation bar remains white for some reason. It breaks the dark look while you are browsing or reading on apps like Kindle or Medium.
Samsung’s DeX platform has been improving since past couple of years, and it is finally at a point that makes work easier on an Android Galaxy tablet. It provides a PC-like environment for the Galaxy Tab S7. It is either automatically toggled when you attach the keyboard or you can enable it from the notification menu. The tablet also supports wireless DeX that theoretically lets you transfer your screen to a bigger Samsung smart TV’s display.
Coming back to DeX on Galaxy Tab S7, it has been improved and more refined. You now get a newly designed taskbar, support for screen zoom, and more. It works very well with the Keyboard Book Cover and its multi-finger gesture-enabled trackpad. Again, a thick bar at the top decreases the work area.
Overall, DeX definitely helps me use this tab as a secondary device and get work done on the move.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC, paired with Adreno 650 GPU. The base model comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. However, it is also available in 8GB + 256GB configuration.
Let me tell you right off the bat, this is a powerhouse. It is capable, of doing whatever you throw at it. The RAM management isn’t aggressive, and the apps stay in the background. It handles multitasking smoothly, and I experienced no lags whatsoever. The 120Hz refresh rate combined with the latest chipset translates to the best performance you can get on an Android tablet, in my opinion.
Gaming was fun too. I played Asphalt 9 and didn’t face any frame drops or lags. The Adreno 650 GPU handles gaming smoothly. I didn’t face any heating issues either. I loved working on it as my secondary machine, and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the workflow too.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Battery
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 packs an 8,000mAh battery that supports 45Wfast charging. However, Samsung doesn’t bundle the 45W fast charger in the box. Unfortunately, the tab comes with a 15W charger.
I have had a no-complaint battery experience with this device. I charged it in the morning, and then worked on it as a secondary PC (office work for like 2 hours), read on Kindle and Medium, browsed on Chrome, watched YouTube, and binged The Office at night. It got all done with 15% battery still available. You can expect it to last an entire workday easily.
Galaxy Tab S7 review: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 has turned out to be my favorite Android tablet. I didn’t expect it to, but the 11-inch display size turned out perfect for my needs. If you want an Android tablet for reading, browsing, media consumption, and occasional office work, go get it! The Galaxy Tab S7 is a champ. However, if your priority is to get a secondary device primarily for office work I’d suggest you look at the iPad.
Galaxy Tab S7 Price
In India, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Wi-Fi only variant with 128GB storage is priced at Rs 55,999 and will be available at Reliance Retail and Samsung Shop. The Galaxy Tab S7 4G model with 128GB storage is priced at Rs 63,999. The company is offering Rs 5,000 cashback on Galaxy Tab S7 and Rs 6000 cashback on Galaxy Tab S7+ with HDFC credit card.
In the US, the Galaxy Tab S7 5G costs $849.99. It starts at $35.41 a month for 24 months on Verizon Device Payment. It will be available at Verizon starting September 18.
|+ Premium build||– 45W fast charger isn’t bundled in-box|
|+ Excellent performance|
|+ Beautiful display|
|+ Good battery life|
|+ In-box S-Pen|