The line of tablets from Samsung resists and evolves. In August 2020, the company revealed the Galaxy Tab S7, one of the few high-performance Android tablets available on the market: the device has a Snapdragon 865 Plus chip and an 11-inch screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate.
Dual rear camera, 8,000 mAh battery, four speaker system and stylus S Pen are among the other features that Samsung offers to say “well, if you want to get away from the iPad, the best option is the Galaxy Tab S7”.
Will be? I used the tablet for three weeks. In the next few moments, I’ll tell you everything I found out about him.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 on video
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The Galaxy Tab S7 was provided by Samsung on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
Design, finish and audio
Probably the Galaxy Tab S7 is the most well-finished model ever launched on the line. Here, Samsung opted to leave the sides with a straight surface – you can even keep the tablet “upright”. The company also replaced the matte silver tone of the previous generation with a “lead” gray that makes the tablet look robust and sober at the same time.
There is a bronze version that I haven’t tested, but it looks just as beautiful. In both cases, the tablet consists of a unique aluminum structure.
The back has a matte texture that, in addition to repelling fingerprints, makes the tablet adhere well to hand contact. Nevertheless, it is good not to neglect: as the device is relatively heavy (500 g), dropping it is not difficult.
Note that there is a black band coming out of the cameras. It is a magnetized area for fixing and reloading the S Pen. The fit is firm, but not enough to prevent the pen from coming off with a bump, so you should not rely too much on this feature.
On the right side, Samsung kept the volume controls and the power button, which also reads fingerprints. On the Galaxy Tab S6, the reader is integrated into the screen.
I think the change is welcome, after all, in Tab S7, the component seems to be more accurate. The problem is that the on / off button was set too high. It would be more practical if he was in the middle of the side.
Still there, we found the chip drawer. You can insert a microSD of up to 1 TB and a SIM Card in it – this version of the tablet is compatible with 4G.
The Galaxy Tab S7 inherits from the Tab S6 (which, in turn, inherits from the Tab S4) four AKG speakers. There is a pair on the bottom side and another on the top. This set is one of the strengths of the device.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing games, watching videos or listening to music. The quartet makes the audio immersive, especially when the Dolby Atmos function is activated – you can even notice a sound direction effect.
It is true that the bass is practically nonexistent, but the mid and high tones are well reproduced. You can even distinguish instruments that we normally only notice with headphones.
I wanted to have that audio quality on smartphones.
Just for the record, the left side has the fittings of the cover with keyboard (sold separately) that allows the use of the Galaxy Tab S7 as a notebook.
11 inches, 2560 × 1600 pixel resolution, DCI-P3 color space and 120 Hz refresh rate. These are very interesting features. Despite this, I will not hide: the screen of the Galaxy Tab S7 left me a little frustrated.
The screen is not bad, far from it. The colors are displayed vividly here, the resolution is perfect for the consumption of the most varied types of content and the frequency of 120 Hz really manages to make the reproduction of certain games or videos more fluid, as it has to be.
Only this is an LTPS LCD panel. The previous model, the Galaxy Tab S6, has a Super AMOLED display, which is superior in the vividness of the colors and, above all, in the brightness – in the Tab S7, you may have some difficulty to see the content of the screen in the open on a clear day .
Once you get used to Super AMOLED it becomes difficult to accept LCD, even when this is a good panel. It looks like a setback. This feeling is just not greater because the Super AMOLED appears on the Galaxy Tab S7 +, a model that features a 12.4-inch screen.
The S Pen that comes with the Galaxy Tab S7 has the size of a conventional pen and is therefore comfortable to use, whether you have large or small hands.
An interesting detail is the button on the side that allows the use of the accessory as a remote control. You can use the S Pen to skip music on Spotify or pause a video on YouTube, for example. Communication is via Bluetooth.
More important than that is the use of the S Pen as a pencil or pen, in fact. My artistic skills are quite limited, but it seemed that the Tab S7 responds very well to touches on the screen made with the accessory. This allowed me to take notes and illustrations easily, almost as if I were using paper.
It is possible to simulate pens or pencils with tips of different thicknesses with the S Pen, as well as to work with different pressure levels: a soft touch with the accessory on the screen generates a fine line; a stronger touch thickens the line.
For those who are not artists, I would not say that the S Pen is indispensable. Anyway, how good Samsung includes the accessory in the packaging of the tablet.
The Tab S7 tested by Tecnoblog brings Android 10 and One UI 2.5 interface. Here, Samsung’s efforts to improve the experience of using the platform on tablets are noticeable.
Visually, the One UI practically does not change in relation to the interface of the brand’s current smartphones, with the obvious exception of the greater spacing between the elements of the interface.
The differences appear in the features that Samsung makes available to the user to take advantage of the S Pen. This is the case with the Samsung Notes application and the Penup illustrations tool. Both respond well to touches with the pen and even simulate the noise of a pencil scratching the paper.
Complementing the S Pen experience are Noteshelf (the most complete note application), Canvas (tool for graphic and design work) and a six-month subscription to Clip Studio Paint (app for illustrations).
The problem is that not everything depends on Samsung: if on the one hand applications like Microsoft Word and Amazon Kindle take full advantage of the screen space of a tablet, the same does not happen with many other apps. Twitter is a good example: everything is stretched there.
Samsung’s features include the DeX mode, which turns the One UI into a laptop interface: the mode allows windows to overlap or be positioned side by side. Just connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the device and the experience will be really interesting.
Only it is good not to expect miracles. Android was not prepared to work that way, so you will find that many applications cannot be resized and that switching between them is impaired if many are open.
In general, DeX is useful and performs well, despite these problems. But this tool does not replace a real notebook.
There are two at the rear, the main with 13 megapixels, the secondary with 5 megapixels and ultrawide lens. Cameras on tablets still cause some strangeness, especially when one of them is wide angle. But it makes sense: if you are at a barbecue with friends (preferably when crowds are safe), it makes it easier for everyone to get out in the photo.
Don’t crave impressive results, however. The wide-angle sensor is simple, so it generates photos in less detail than images from the main camera. On the other hand, the noise control is well done and the records tend to have a vivid color, but they do not imbalance the saturation.
You can say almost the same as the main camera, with the difference that it does a little better in definition and registers colors with a slightly colder tone.
The front camera is there, with its 8 megapixels. You can take interesting selfies with her: in the foreground, the image is sharp and the coloring is realistic. The background may lose detail, however.
But this is a camera that most users will use for video calls. That’s probably why Samsung changed the component’s position: on the Galaxy Tab S6, the front camera is at the top; on Tab S7, the camera was positioned on the right side to facilitate videoconferencing when the tablet is horizontal.
Performance and battery
The tablet has a Snapdragon 865 Plus chip and 8 GB of RAM, in addition to 256 GB of storage space. With such hardware, Samsung would have done something very wrong for the performance to be poor. It is not even close.
The opening of applications is fast, the response time too. Switching between them is only hampered by DeX mode, and yet only when many apps are open. Games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Breakneck they ran without blinking, even with maximum graphics.
The battery, with its 8,000 mAh battery, did not impress me. In testing, I ran a three-hour video on Netflix with maximum screen brightness, I played Asphalt 9: Legends and Breakneck for 20 minutes each, I listened to Spotify via speakers for an hour, used a browser and social media for an hour, and made a 10-minute call (yes, it’s bizarre to make a call on a tablet).
These activities were done over the course of a day and started with the battery at 100%. At around 22:00, the component still had 55% charge. It’s not a bad number, but this is more or less the average that the S6 Tab records, with the difference that this last tablet comes with a smaller battery, of 7,040 mAh.
There is one more detail: the Tab S7 supports 45 W fast charging, but it comes with a 15 W charger. With it, the recharge time from 2% to 100% was two and a half hours.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: is it worth it?
It is visible that Samsung strove to make the Galaxy Tab S7 more interesting than its predecessor. The finish is more sophisticated, the performance is satisfactory even in heavy applications, the cameras are acceptable for a tablet, the battery has good autonomy (despite having evolved little compared to the previous generation), the speakers are of excellent quality and the S Pen is comfortable to use.
The screen is also noteworthy. I can’t hide that I was disappointed with the switch to LCD. I think the Tab S7 should also have Super AMOLED, not just the Tab S7 +. On the other hand, I recognize that this is a very convincing LCD.
The problem is that the Android ecosystem is still not very favorable to tablets. Most apps for the operating system are not optimized to take advantage of large screens. With DeX and the offering of apps like Noteshelf and Canvas, Samsung is trying to make up for this shortcoming, but the company can only do so to a certain extent.
Here’s the effect: for most users, the Tab S7 will only be really useful for consuming video, games and reading. Only paying R $ 6,599 for this does not pay. Yes, this is the official price of the tablet in Brazil.
If it is to pay so dearly, it may be better to leave soon for an iPad, which has an application ecosystem more optimized for tablets.
In the summary of the opera, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is only worthwhile for those who, for some reason, insist on Android tablet. The model stumbles on the cost-benefit factor, but it is undoubtedly one of the best tablets based on the platform.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Exquisite external finish
- High performance hardware
- Nice speakers
- Battery with good autonomy
- The S Pen is a great complement
- LCD is good, but AMOLED would be better
- The Android ecosystem is still limited on tablets
- Screen: LPTS 11-inch LCD, 2560 × 1600 pixels, 120 Hz refresh rate
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus with GPU Adreno 650
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 256 GB expandable with microSD up to 1 TB
- Dual rear camera: 13 megapixel, f / 2.0 + 5 megapixel wide angle, f / 2.2
- Frontal camera: 8 megapixel, f / 2.0
- Drums: 8,000 mAh with 45 W fast charging support
- Operational system: Android 10 with One UI 2.5 interface and DeX mode
- Connectivity: USB-C (3.2 Gen 1), LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0
- Sensors: accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, luminosity, fingerprint on the side
- Others: four AKG speakers, Dolby Atmos support, S Pen
- Dimensions and weight: 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3 mm; 500 g