Over the past few years, Samsung has upped its tablet game with the Galaxy Tab range of devices. And now the company is benefiting from it. With the Covid-19 giving rise to work from home, and study from home, and do stuff from home, and so on and so forth, the company has started to see the demand for its tablets gradually improve.
To cash in on this, Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite — a more affordable variant of the Galaxy Tab S6 — and now, the company has also launched the more powerful, Galaxy Tab S7 series in India. Populated by two devices, the Tab S7 and the Tab S7+, the series offers a flagship tablet experience to users and is in many ways Android’s answer to the dominance of iPad over the tablet segment of the market.
India Today Tech has had the more powerful, Galaxy Tab S7+ with us for a few days now. Read on to know what we think about it in our review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ review: Design and display
Samsung has been creating slick tablets for a while now, and the Galaxy Tab S7+ looks very much like what we’ve seen in the past from the company. As a device, it looks like a slab of glass and metal and quite premium.
Forming the base of the design of the Tab S7+ is brushed aluminium which is used for the unibody design of the device. Unlike the previous version, the Galaxy Tab S6+, the latest tablet features no curves at the back. In fact, the back of the device focuses on minimalism, with only a small portion being taken by Samsung and AKG branding. There’s also the vertically aligned dual-lens camera set-up which adds to the looks of the tablet.
On the front, we have a display that’s got all the Samsung goodness, with a 120Hz panel that is capable of churning out 2800×1752-pixels at a given time. The panel type is AMOLED which affords the tablet good colour accuracy and range and coupled with its 266ppi, text as well as videos and images appear crisp and clear on the Galaxy Tab S7+. The panel also houses an in-display scanner for added security. We found this scanner to be quite accurate during our time with the device, with the scanner also being very responsive to touch.
The panel here is also quite expansive as it is 12.4-inches in size, which is bigger than what we had on last year’s Tab S6+, making this an even better option for watching movies and playing games on. The only drawback with the tablet is that it features some amount of bezels — about a few mm thick — on each side. However, as we found during our time with the device, they do little to take you away from the experience of using the Tab S7+ as a multimedia consumption device.
Apart from this, the front of the device also houses a selfie camera which is centrally located when the Tab S7+ is being used in landscape mode. The tablet’s enclosure also houses a power button and volume rocker on the right of the device, with four AKG-tuned loudspeakers, also found on the upper and bottom end of the body of the Tab S7+.
Overall, the Tab S7+ looks and feels like a truly premium device the moment you lay hands on it, and this experience is only enhanced when you power up the crisp AMOLED display that brings all the bells and whistles, including support for high refresh rate and resolution, for a tablet of this size.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ review: Performance, S-Pen, and battery
There are two worthy upgrades here. One, Samsung has upgraded the Tab S7+ display to a 120Hz panel. And two, the tablet comes with the most powerful processor available to Android devices at the moment.
The Tab S7+ comes powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC which has eight cores — 1x 3.09 GHz Kryo 585 Prime Cortex-A77, 3x 2.42 GHz Kryo 585 Gold Cortex-A55 and 4x 1.8 GHz Kryo 585 Silver. The GPU here is the Adreno 650 clocked at 645MHz. This has been paired to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which affords the device an ample amount of RAM and storage.
With the hardware on-board, there’s really very little the tablet cannot do. From multitasking to running heavy-duty games, the Tab S7+ can handle any and everything you throw at it. And the powerful performance of the Snapdragon 865+ SoC coupled with the fact that the device brings a huge display capable of refreshing at 120Hz means gaming on the device is an actual treat.
We played a mix of titles on the Tab S7+ and throughout our experience was consistent. There weren’t any lags or stutters, with games such as Call of Duty: Mobile running flawlessly at high settings and high frame rates. Further, what helps enhance the gaming experience of the device are the four Dolby Atmos supporting AKG-tuned speakers on the Tab S7+.
But away from gaming, and into the realm of productivity, the Tab S7+ does fairly well. The device’s display is big enough for not just viewing Excel sheets, but also writing and editing full-fledged articles on it. For the latter, the Tab S7+ Keyboard cover sold separately comes in quite handy. The keyboard provides tactile feedback on every key, and there also is decent key travel between buttons to ensure there aren’t unwanted typos. However, it is important to note that the keyboard cover costs over and above the price of the tablet.
The Tab S7+ comes running Samsung’s One UI 2.5 which is based on Android 10. The software also brings a number of interesting features which makes the Tab S7+ also good to use while in the Tablet view. This is definitely an upgrade over the Tab S6+ which despite being very good in the DeX Mode, wasn’t as much of a joy to use in the normal tablet mode.
Talking about the DeX Mode, even this has been improved with the Tab S7+. It works exclusively in landscape mode and provides users with a Windows-like desktop experience. There is a Notifications Centre, and a taskbar at the bottom, which houses all currently opened apps. Interestingly, this time around while moving from the Tablet view to the DeX Mode — and vice versa — opened apps do not close, and the transition feels more natural than what we had seen in previous versions of the Tab series devices.
In the DeX Mode, the Tab S7+ also supports some third party keyboard mouse which works over Bluetooth. However, we did not get the chance to try a set during our time with the tablet.
The S-Pen has also been given a major revamp with the Tab S7+, with the latest one looking and feeling more like a real pen. The one with our device came with a matte finish and a single button. Samsung has also improved how it feels during work, as the new S-Pen comes with low latency of 9ms while using most of the apps on the device.
While it was always fun to play around with the S-Pen, the new Air Actions and expanded feature set of the S-Pen ensure that using the stylus for creating notes, drawing AR doodles and even making designs on the device is more enjoyable an experience than ever before. Apart from this, Samsung has also introduced some cool new software features, including Screen Write, Screen Translate, Live message, and PENUP with the new software that enhances the experience of using the stylus on the Tab S7+.
And all of this is backed by a massive battery which is one of the biggest that Samsung has put on a tablet to date. Beneath its sleek surface, the Galaxy Tab S7+ hides a massive 10,090 mAh battery which also supports 45W fast charging. While the tablet doesn’t ship with a charger of this rating, we had a spare 25W adapter lying around with us, which helped us charge the Tab S7+ in about 3 hours. Although not great, it’s still not bad considering the tablet usually lasts us a good day and a half on moderate-heavy use.
Samsung Tab S7+ review: Should you buy it?
Maybe yes. But it is important to highlight the maybe part here. As a tablet, the Tab S7+ is a device with superb hardware. However, it is still an Android tablet. And as far as Android software for tablets is concerned, it is a mess. Google currently lacks a cohesive strategy around Android tablets, and that limits their appeal compared to something like an iPad for which not only Apple has a proper ecosystem in place but also a focussed iPadOS.
Now, this might not have mattered if the Tab S7+ was cheap. But it is not. At Rs 79,999 it goes up against the iPad Pro as well as the recently launched iPad Air. And the iPad is clearly a better option for users compared to an Android tablet. Not only iPads have faster processors even the A12Z Bionic is significantly faster than the Snapdragon 865 Plus — they also have better tuned and more cohesive apps, particularly professional apps, and they come with the promise of better software support.
In other words, despite being a tablet with superb hardware, the Samsung Tab S7+ loses because the iPad Pro and Air are phenomenally good at the moment and Android for tablets is stagnant.
However, if your need is something where you MUST have an Android tablet, the Tab S7+ is a fine choice. It won’t disappoint you.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ review
- Gorgeous display
- Fast processor
- Big battery