Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
With Google abandoning tablet development and cancelling its future tablet releases, any Android device maker will have to rely on their wits to create suitable workarounds and tools for the operating system to reimagine a coherent, seamless tablet for work and play. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, which is the amalgamation of Android 10 on a tablet with Samsung’s iterative software for productivity and personal use.
In essence, Samsung opted to hard-sell the Galaxy Tab S7+ productivity features. Beneath this 5G-ready tablet is one of the latest flagship-tier processors, a massive five-figure 10,090mAh battery capacity, plus a stunning 120Hz Super AMOLED display paired with four AKG-tuned speakers. The display isn’t just for looks, as it also has an in-display fingerprint sensor. The included S Pen got a huge latency reduction to 9ms for better response times. Multi-Active Window now supports three apps, instead of just two. Samsung Dex now works wirelessly with a Samsung smart TV.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ still makes for an excellent companion and an excellent Android tablet.
The Tab S7+ is undoubtedly premium even at first glance with a metallic finish on the rear, wrapped in an aluminium rim, and a uniform bezel around the display. It’s an industrial look with a modern stylisation that feels a lot more professional and sleek than Samsung tablets of old, which had rounded edges and curves. What we liked most was how Samsung took the effort to make Tab S7+’s antenna lines pleasant yet generous. At 5.7mm in thickness, it’s just as slim as the previous Tab S6. The Tab S7+has considerable heft at 575g, thanks to the larger 12.4-inch display, which is a first for Samsung’s tablet lineup. It’s still lighter than the 12.9inch iPad Pro (2020) by about 68g.
The display feels sharp and smooth despite its sub-300 PPI pixel density, largely due to the 120Hz refresh rate that makes for fluid scrolling and viewing. Tab S7+’s colour temperature is not overly saturated, and it was equally proficient in playing dark, gritty shows off Netflix or 1,440p @ 60 FPS music videos off YouTube.
Multi-Active Window on the Tab S7+ supports up to three apps in a variety of orientations. It’s great for folks who are online shopping during a Zoom meeting with your email inbox open for any emergencies, among other scenarios. Getting Multi-Active Window to work on the Tab S7+, however, is not an intuitive affair, due to the lack of built-in tutorials. It’s also only supported on select apps. Apps that do support Multi-Active Window aren’t always optimised for the feature as well. Multi-Active Window is also limited to a two-by-one configuration. You can’t have three apps vertically displayed at the same time - one of them will definitely take up half the screen, while the other two will share a quarter each.
The Tab S7+ is undoubtedly premium even at first glance.
The Tab S7+’s screen unlocking options are mostly unchanged since the Tab S6. The under-display fingerprint sensor is at the bottom half of the display, similar to where most in-display fingerprint sensors are usually found on smartphones. The Tab S7+ (or any tablet) is too wide for thumb-unlocking to be practical - I opted to use face recognition as the primary mode of unlocking instead.
The only gripe we have with S Pen is their design choice in its magnetic placement. The S Pen’s magnetic rest sits a little awkwardly below the rear camera, which compromises secure S Pen storage and offers other handling constraints. One false move and off your S Pen goes rolling to somewhere else.
Having aired our concern for safe stylus storage, this brings us to an important accessory that’s sold separately the Book Cover casing. Samsung made minor changes to the Tab S7+’s Book Cover keyboard by introducing a row of function keys (F1 to F12) and making the trackpad slightly wider than the preceding version. It’s closer to a TKL keyboard experience than before. If productivity is your main concern, the Book Cover with Keyboard is a priority purchase for the Tab S7+. The case helps to prop the device up for viewing, so it’s far more comfortable for both entertainment and work. Also, the Book Cover comes with space to accommodate the S Pen, so you’d no longer have to worry about the S Pen dangling precariously off of the rear.
The only gripe we have with S Pen is their design choice in its magnetic placement.
On the Tab S7+ is an 8MP front camera located on the longer side of the device’s bezel. Samsung’s reasoning for moving the front camera from the typical top bezel to the side is simple: better orientation for conference calls. It, however, is pointless if you don’t have a Book Cover to prop your device upright during a video call, which reiterates how important it is to shell out on one to maximise productivity. On the rear is a dual-camera setup, with a 13MP main and 5MP ultra-wide angle shooter, accompanied by a LED flash module.
While the benchmark scores are nowhere similar to iPads, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ has a marked improvement over its predecessor. We attribute this to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset. As a whole, the Tab S7+ is excellent for browsing, gaming, and running multiple apps with minimal lag and load times.
Samsung made minor changes to the Tab S7+’s Book Cover keyboard by introducing a row of function keys (F1 to F12) and making the trackpad slightly wider than the preceding version.
Tab S7+ packs a whopping 10,090mAh battery capacity, larger than its regular Tab S7 (8,000mAh) and the preceding Tab S6 (7,040mAh). Relatively speaking, 9.5 hours of uptime via our testing is a good score for the Tab S7+, as it’s the longest lasting tablet among the few we have tried. In the box with the Tab S7+ is a 15W travel adapter. If you wish to take advantage of the tablet’s 45W fast-charging capabilities, you’ll have to purchase its 45W charger separately.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is, without a doubt, a worthy flagship-tier Android tablet. The display is sexy, the audio quality is great, the note-taking functionalities are fluid, and everything works smoothly if you use it, vanilla style. There’s no question in owning the Tab S7+ if you already have a habit of using tablets for entertainment and light productivity.
If productivity is your main concern, the Book Cover with Keyboard is a priority purchase for the Tab S7+.
As a hardcore productivity tool, the Tab S7+ (and Android tablets in general) do not meet the mark. If you’re looking at running full, Windows-based apps and programmes with no compromise to software functionality and compatibility, any Android tablet isn’t quite the right purchase. Its productivity features are also somewhat hobbled by Samsung’s implementation.
Another point of contention is the street price of the Galaxy Tab S7+ models. While we see why Samsung has pegged its price at this level, its proposition and usability within its ecosystem (or the lack thereof) is different from Apple’s products and how they work together.
If the Android ecosystem is the main reason why you’re looking at a Galaxy Tab S, consider instead the regular Galaxy Tab S7 (Wi-Fi version) that starts at $998. With that said, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ still makes for an excellent companion and an excellent Android tablet.
Multi-Active Window is limited to a two-by-one configuration. You can’t have three apps vertically displayed at the same time.
THE CHEAPER TAB S7 IS MORE THAN SUFFICIENT. GO FOR THE TAB S7+ IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED EVERY BELL AND WHISTLE.
AT A GLANCE
PROCESSOR Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
DISPLAY 12.4-inch, 2,800 x 1,752 pixels resolution, Super AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
BATTERY 10,090mAh, 45W Super Fast Charging
STORAGE 256GB internal, microSD up to 1TB