Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 + Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 +: is it worth your purchase?
- Impressive screen quality
- Stellar performance
- Great sound and great S-Pen
- Android ecosystem
- Uncomfortable charging of the digital pen
The Galaxy Tab S range is one of the most complete and successful in the Android market, for which only its price will hold you back. If you can afford this figure, there will be no match for it, competing with the iPad Pros.
Retail price (RRP)
From $ 849.99
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 + Review
Samsung has been manufacturing tablets for years , as much as Apple with its iPad, so it is nothing new if we say that the Korean company has become one of the most serious alternatives to the iPad, with models of very high performance and great finishes.
The pinnacle of all the models are concentrated, as happens with their smartphone models , in the Galaxy Tab S range, now with the newly arrived Galaxy Tab S7 +. It is the most ambitious with a magnificent design and premium features that we will see below.
Design and build
The Tab S7 + oozes premium quality from the moment you take it out of the box. It has a magnificent premium design , according to the family to which it belongs, with a combination of glass on its front and back, the usual one on the other hand in modern tablets .
You will find more careful materials that allow a better grip, ease when holding it with one hand, and in short, a very well thought out format with a 16:10 aspect ratio to consume content that is comfortable to hold.
The minimalist design of the S7 + is punctuated by a rather remarkable rear camera module, which houses a 13 MP main lens and a 5 MP ultra wide angle lens. It stands out quite a bit from the back, but is not noticeable except when resting it on a table.
The visible magnetic stripe is where the S-Pen stylus is located to receive a charge and stay attached to the tablet . The stylus can also stick to both sides of the device, but the magnets are weak and will loosen under any pressure.
The tablet’s slim bezels haven’t changed from the Tab S6 series, but a larger screen increases the screen-to-body ratio to 84.6%. This is not comparable to what is in mobiles, but it is won over previous generations.
In many recent reviews, we’ve complained about the frustrating unreliability of the in-display fingerprint scanner, but the optical sensor on the Tab S7 + is a pleasant surprise.
The detection is fast with a wide surface to be able to respond to the fact of placing the finger more or less centered. It doesn’t measure up to the efficiency of a physical sensor, but let’s just say that it offers a lot in return.
Rear-mounted fingerprint scanners are often placed awkwardly on the back of tablets, so the only real alternative would be to embed them in the power button, iPad Air-style.
It is not the only biometric option to unlock the device, as the 8 MP selfie camera also supports face unlock. I was very impressed with the quality of this sensor, which makes it perfect for video calling situations too.
On the side of the device you will find the typical smart connectors designed to be attached to the keyboard cover, but we have not been able to test how it works.
However, one of the more frustrating design changes comes on the opposite side, with what appears to be a power button that launches Bixby’s virtual assistant after a long press.
A shorter click will still lock the device, but normal power options are available in the quick settings menu. We had thought that the days when Samsung forced to use Bixby are behind us, but it seems that not, at least on tablets .
The other quite remarkable aspect is the quad stereo speakers. They produce the best sound we’ve ever heard on a mobile device, producing deep tones that are generally reserved for dedicated and professional teams.
Obviously, this makes the Tab S7 + special when it comes to consuming content, especially considering streaming services like Netflix, which comes pre-installed to register your account and get to work.
Samsung has produced some of the best displays for years, and really, they’ve done their best with the Tab S7 +. The 12.4-inch 1752 x 2800 resolution Super AMOLED display is a feast for the eyes, offering rich, dynamic colors and stunning detail.
4K screens have not yet taken off in tablets, but I doubt that they provide great news in devices with this compact form factor, where the quality is difficult to improve and appreciable by the human eye.
The big update from last year’s Tab S6 is the switch to a 120Hz refresh rate, aligning with that of Apple’s latest iPad Pros. Everything feels a little smoother and more elegant, and its effects are better appreciated.
You will notice a difference in scrolling applications, such as the handling of Facebook or Twitter, while it could give a crucial advantage when playing and running games on this screen.
You can switch between this and normal 60Hz via ‘Settings’, but I really enjoyed leaving it at the highest refresh rate during my testing time and it will be difficult for you to roll back to lower values.
Hardware and performance
Performance is another area in which the Tab S7 + excels. The tablet comes with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865+ chipset , which is paired with an eight-core GPU and 8GB of RAM in the model we tested.
The device behaves fast and swift in everything you throw at it, including browsing the web, watching videos, and using social media. That was extended to multitasking, with the Tab S7’s big screen coming into the picture.
However, my experience with the device did not necessarily align with benchmark performance, which put the Tab S7 + below many of its rivals in the GFX Bench graphics benchmarks.
While these scores can be useful for certain comparative purposes, it is also not a good idea to be blinded by them as in most situations the new Tab S7 + performs well enough.
There are two key accessories that have the potential to transform the way you use the Tab S7 +: the S-Pen and the keyboard cover. Since we haven’t been able to test the latter, we’ll focus on the stylus.
It is much thicker than what you can find in Samsung Note phones, so it is not possible to store it inside the device. Aside from the charging / docking area on the back of the device, this feels like a big step not to lose it or leave it anywhere.
The first thing you’ll notice is how natural it feels to hold it, as much as any ballpoint or fountain pen. That makes writing or drawing on the Tab S7 + much more natural and intuitive, rejecting the supports of the palm of your hand.
We are not digital artists who are professionally dedicated to it, but there is a significant generation jump. The impressive level of precision it offers also means that it works well for touching more precise areas, like a small button on a web page.
The keyboard cover includes a small trackpad, but it’s easy to see how the two could work well together. It is a way to get more out of your tablet if you decide to use it at specific moments as a real laptop for writing.
The Tab S7 + comes with Samsung’s One UI 2.5 over Android 10. An update to One UI 3.0 is expected soon, and it will likely bring Android 11 as well.
The software experience will be familiar to anyone who has used a Samsung phone in recent years. One UI is a real departure from the so-called ‘standard’ Android you’ll find on Pixel devices, but it has its own hallmark and it’s downright good.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is more intuitive than Google’s operating system in some areas. For most of the user interface, Samsung keeps the buttons and controls you’ll need easily accessible in the lower half of the screen, reserving the other half for display only.
It’s less of a problem on a two-handed device, as is the case, but it still feels more natural to not have to keep reaching for the top of the screen. I also prefer the quick settings, which allows you to quickly make changes without having to dive into the app, and I think Samsung Gallery is a useful alternative to Google Photos.
It was to be expected that the button associated with Bixby had been left behind, as in the brand’s mobiles, but unfortunately it remains here. Samsung Daily is the company’s answer to the Google Discover feed, which can be accessed by swiping right from the home screen.
Unfortunately, with such a limited selection of apps, I rarely found it to be of much use, and soon disabled it. Nor can one escape the fact that Android remains, above all, an operating system designed for mobile phones.
As such, it still feels far from optimized for a screen of this size. That’s most noticeable in third-party apps like Twitter and Facebook, where many elements don’t take advantage of the Tab S7 +’s spectacular display.
It’s a much better story when it comes to gaming, as the Tab S7 + feels like it’s really made to play even the most advanced games on the Google Play Store. In addition to the stellar performance above, titles like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile really do well.
Cameras and battery life
Although very few people consider using the cameras of a 12.4-inch tablet to take pictures on a regular basis anymore, it is good to know that there is solid camera technology there in case you need it.
The Tab S7 + features the same 13 MP main and 8 MP ultra-wide sensors as last year’s Tab S6 series. They are generally fine for occasional document scanning, but I wouldn’t recommend them for anything more advanced.
One area that is perhaps more important this year is the front camera. The 8 MP of the Tab S7 + is impressive, offering accurate colors and a good level of detail for video calls.
It also handles exposure well, an area selfie cameras tend to struggle with. If video calling is important to you, the Tab S7 + is a great option.
Considering the size and resolution of the screen, it is reassuring to know that the tablet has a large 10,090 mAh battery. That’s a significant improvement over the 7040 mAh cell in the Tab S6 5G and more so now that the display frequency is higher.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 + is a premium tablet and as such, it has a price that can be high compared to others, but with the condition that you must be clear that it is one of the best on the market.
The usual price of the Galaxy Tab S7 + is € 899 but during these pre-Christmas dates, you may find it as now at € 799, with significant discounts. This price is for the Wi-Fi model with 128GB of storage, while the version with 5G happens to cost € 999.
Please note that for cellular connectivity you will need an additional data contract. Regardless of the variation in price, this is one of the most expensive tablets you can buy.
The obvious competition comes in the form of Apple’s latest iPad Pro, but Microsoft’s new iPad Air or Surface Pro 7 are compelling alternatives too. Check our ranking of the best tablets you can buy this year .
As it seems obvious, the S-Pen digital pen is included with the device, a real advantage over other options such as Apple iPads with which the accessory comes separately and has a considerable cost.
Considering the full potential of these devices, the Tab S7 + becomes interesting, especially these days when you can find it with interesting offers.
The Tab S7 + is Samsung’s most successful tablet to date. It gets the basics of display, performance, and design right right, while there are exciting adornments in the form of great stereo speakers and a robust fingerprint scanner.
You also get a good set of cameras and an impressive S-Pen in the box, but the software isn’t enough to get the most out of it. Many apps on the Google Play Store are simply not optimized for tablets.
Prioritizing the navigation buttons of a user interface at the bottom of the screen works well, but it still seems like the tablet version was a bit of an afterthought.
This won’t be a deal breaker for most people, but when you see how polished iPadOS is on the iPad Air and iPad Pro, it makes the Tab S7 + great hardware that needs software to catch up. .
- 12.9-inch Super AMOLED display
- 1752 x 2800 resolution at 266 dpi with 120 Hz frequency
- A12Z Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture and M12 coprocessor
- 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB storage (expandable up to 1TB)
- Dual rear cameras:
- Main 13 MP and f / 2.0)
- Ultra Wide 5 MP and f / 2.2)
- 8 MP and f / 2.0 front camera
- Quad stereo speakers
- Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
- 10,090 mAh battery
- 45W wired fast charging
- Dimensions 285 x 185 x 5.7mm
- Weight of 575 grams