Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Review

If you’ve recently started working from home, you may have considered using a 2-in-1 or a tablet to get things done. Samsung’s take on the tablet as laptop is the Galaxy Tab S7 ($649.99). It has flagship-level technology, a fantastic S Pen stylus, and the option to connect to 5G for an additional $200. It’s a well-made Android tablet, but it lacks the functionality of Apple’s $599 iPad Air for both work and play.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Review
6.8
Samsung’s productivity tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 

PROS

  • Exceptional performance
  • S Pen performs admirably.
  • Excellent construction quality

CONS

  • Battery life is average.
  • Fingerprint sensor that is a pain to use
  • Unintuitive software that isn’t well suited to the screen size

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S7 SPECS

Operating SystemAndroid 10
Dimensions10 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches
Weight1.2 lbs
Screen Size11 inches
Screen Resolution2,560 by 1,600 pixels
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Storage Capacity128 GB
Battery Life5 hours 28 minutes

Display and Design

The Galaxy Tab S7 appears to be a larger version of the Galaxy Tab S6. An 11-inch display dominates the front, while the back and chassis are built of aluminum. The Wi-Fi and LTE variants come in black, bronze, or silver, while the 5G model comes in only black. A 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S7+ variant is also available, beginning at $849.

The Tab S7 is light enough to use for hours, measuring 10.0 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighing just over a pound. A SIM card slot, a hybrid power button and fingerprint sensor, and volume rockers are all found on the top. The fingerprint sensor is a nice feature in theory, but it’s a pain to use in landscape mode because it won’t function unless you contort your finger in an unusual way.

A pogo pin connector and magnetic divots keep a keyboard accessory in place on the tablet’s bottom, which looks awkward in comparison to the iPad Air’s sleek aesthetics. On either side of the tablet are two speakers, and on the right is a USB-C charging connector. A small vertical camera module and a magnetic strip for the accompanying S Pen are visible in portrait mode.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Black

The Galaxy Tab S7+ has an 11-inch 2,560-by-1,600-pixel LCD with a variable refresh rate of 120Hz on the front. Color accuracy is excellent, but the display lacks the vibrant hues and inky, deep blacks of the Tab S7Super +’s AMOLED display. It’s bright enough to use outside in direct sunshine without issue.

Surprisingly good sound quality. The quad speakers have a maximum loudness of 92dB and utilize Dolby Atmos and AKG tuning. For a good media streaming experience, they give defined mids and even a little bass. However, there is no headphone jack, and our sealed review device lacked the USB-C headphones that were supposed to come with it.

Hardware

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset powers the Galaxy Tab S7+. 6GB RAM/128GB storage, 8GB RAM/256GB storage, and 8GB RAM/512GB storage are the three RAM/storage options available. With a microSD card, all three allow up to 1TB of additional external storage. The 6GB model was tested.

While the Tab S7 is capable, it is not without limitations. Things start to slow down when you have more than two dozen apps and as many Chrome tabs open. When playing Alto’s Odyssey, we observed some latency and skipped frames.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Black

The benchmarks are comparable to those found on Snapdragon 865-powered phones such as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Tab S7 scored 970 single-core (SC) and 3,277 multi-core (MC) in Geekbench 5, a set of tests that assess raw computational capability. The iPad Pro, by comparison, received 1,113 SC and 4,606 MC on the same tests.

Samsung claims that the tablet’s 8,000mAh battery will last all day, but that was not our experience. The Galaxy Tab S7 lasted just 5 hours and 28 minutes in our battery drain test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness. We discovered that after around six hours of frequent use, we needed to plug it in. With an external adapter, it offers 45W rapid charging, and a 15W charging adapter is supplied in the box.

Cameras

On the back, the Tab S7 has a 13MP primary lens and a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, while the front-facing camera is 8MP.

The Tab S7‘s rear cameras can capture nice images in bright light, making them useful for document scanning and other rapid shots. Video calls are possible using the front-facing camera.

Image quality drops across the board in low light. Significant noise and loss of fine detail can be seen in our test shots. However, with a little light, the selfie cam may still be used for video conferencing.

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Black

Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G versions of the tablet are available. It comes with Wi-Fi 6 capability by default, but the LTE model costs $100 more and works with all US carriers (plus the price of cellular service). The 5G variant costs $200 more than the standard model.

On a gigabit fiber internet connection, we tested the Tab S7 and saw excellent average speeds of 682Mbps down and 50Mbps up.

Accessories for the S Pen

The S Pen that Samsung includes is small yet powerful. It has a gentler tip than the Apple Pencil, and writing with it feels more natural. The stylus has a button that allows you to do gestures that control various tablet operations, however it isn’t especially intuitive.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Black

You’ll need an accessory like Samsung’s $199 Book Cover Keyboard if you want to use the Galaxy Tab S7 as a full-fledged laptop replacement. Unfortunately, palm rejection on the track pad is rarely effective, and key travel is limited, so you’ll want to look for a better third-party option.

Software

The Galaxy Tab S7 comes preloaded with Android 10 with Samsung’s One UI 2.5, which mostly enhances the Android experience. Samsung’s Notes app syncs handwriting with recorded voice, and many of its productivity apps now interface with Office 365 via Wireless DeX. On the Tab S7, you can now answer calls and respond to texts from your Samsung smartphone.

You’re right if you think this sounds like Apple’s environment, only One UI isn’t nearly as intuitive, and its user support is lacking. Simply sign in with your Apple ID, and all of your devices will sync. If you’re stuck, Apple’s website or customer care channels are both excellent resources.

Things are significantly more irritating with Samsung. If you log in to the Tab S7 using your Samsung ID, you may be able to restore the tablet from a backup. However, if you’re running an older version of Android or One UI, there’s a significant possibility it won’t function. You’ll probably need to download a few more apps from the Galaxy Store and fiddle with settings if you want the Tab S7 to work with other Samsung devices.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Black

The other issue stems from Android’s inherent restrictions. Whatever progress Samsung achieves with One UI, Android will always be primarily a smartphone operating system. When working with numerous windows or opening an app that doesn’t render properly on the Tab S7‘s display, this becomes painfully visible.

Samsung claims that the Tab S7 would be supported by three generations of Android, but there’s a catch. The first is that it comes with Android 10, which is already outdated, so you’ll only get two truly new upgrades after you upgrade to Android 11. If you buy the tablet via a carrier, the upgrade procedure will likely take a few extra months because carriers often make their own adjustments to the OS before sending out updates.

Comparison Table

Tab S7Tab S7+Tab S6 LiteTab A7
S-Pen included
Display Size11.0″12.4″10.4″10.4″
Display Resolution2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) TFT2800 x 1752 (WQXGA+)2000 x 1200 (WUXGA+)2000 x 1200 (WUXGA+)
AudioQuad + AKG + Dolby AtmosQuad + AKG + Dolby AtmosDual + AKG + Dolby AtmosQuad + Dolby Atmos
Weight1.1 lb.1.28lb1.02 lbs.1.05lbs.
ProcessorOcta Core (3.09+2.4+1.8GHz)Octa Core (3.09+2.4+1.8GHz)Octa Core(4×2.3GHz + 4×1.7GHz)Exynos 9611
Internal Memory6/8GB(RAM) + 128/256/512GB6/8GB(RAM) + 128/256/512GB4GB(RAM) + 64/128GB3GB(RAM) + 32/64GB
External MemorymicroSD up to 1TBmicroSD up to 1TBmicroSD up to 1TBmicroSD up to 1TB
Keyboard Supported

Conclusions

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 boasts a great display, powerful speakers, a quick processor, and 5G connectivity as an option. However, Samsung is marketing this as a work tablet, and it simply isn’t up to the task like the iPad Air. The iPad Air has a longer battery life, a better keyboard accessory, better multitasking capabilities, and better user support for $50 less. If you want a larger screen, the iPad Pro range is a good option, but the iPad Air is hard to beat for the price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Review
6.8
Samsung’s productivity tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 

PROS

  • Exceptional performance
  • S Pen performs admirably.
  • Excellent construction quality

CONS

  • Battery life is average.
  • Fingerprint sensor that is a pain to use
  • Unintuitive software that isn’t well suited to the screen size

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