Samsung has been a tenacious presence in the premium tablet market. Despite Apple’s domination of a shrinking sector, the Korean giant continues to knock on the door with its pricey flagship Android offerings.
Its latest model is the Galaxy Tab S7+, which comes out all guns blazing with the fastest processor found in an Android tablet (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus), a substantial 10,090mAh battery that offers up to 14 hours of video playback, and an improved S Pen. So, are we looking at the ultimate Android tablet and a genuine rival to the Apple iPad Pro?
In the UK, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage and costs £799 for the wi-fi variant or £999 for one that supports 5G.
The US gets 6GB RAM and 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options for the wi-fi model – priced $850, $930 and $1030 respectively – while the cellular variant comes in 128GB only and costs $1050.
In Australia, the 6GB RAM wi-fi model costs $1149 with 128GB storage or $1349 for 256GB. Simply add AU$200 to those prices for cellular (4G) versions. Whichever storage capacity you choose, it can be expanded by up to 1TB with a microSD card.
Despite its impressive top-line specifications, the Tab S7+’s crowning jewel is undeniably its screen. The 12.4in Super AMOLED display is among the finest we’ve seen on a handheld slab, with its 16:10 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate and 266 pixel-per-inch density (resolution is 2800 x 1752) combining to produce a smooth, vibrant and ultimately compelling display.
The OLED panel’s inherent qualities give the Tab S7+ the upper hand over LCD tablet displays where black depth is concerned – even the sheer blackness of the bars that frame content is easy to appreciate. It isn’t the cleanest display we’ve seen – the Apple iPad’s whites are brighter – but the naturally toned colour palette is grounded and punchy. The latter plays into the hands of HDR (and HDR10+) support – the colourful palette of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video looks really impressive.
There are a few picture settings worth noting here too; we prefer ‘vivid’ over ‘natural’, and we also favour the cooler colour balance in the custom settings.
Its 16:10 aspect ratio, rather than the more usual 4:3, means that most content more or less fills the screen – great for TV and movie watching – and the S7+’s narrow, uniform bezels and deep-black bars only add to the viewing experience.
The Tab S7+’s four Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers are arranged with one in each corner, meaning you can achieve stereo sound in either landscape or portrait mode.
They are capable of surprisingly decent volume, are clear and rich enough to avoid sounding tinny or lacklustre during scenes with more bass, and throw out a broad sound that far extends the screen. One could argue they draw you into a picture more than they need to for a screen of this size.
There is no headphone jack, so if you want a personal listening experience, you will have to do that through Bluetooth headphones or a wired USB-C pair (or a standard 3.5mm-jack and a USB-C adaptor dongle).
Samsung has improved the S Pen, which can now be magnetically attached to a strip on the rear panel of the Tab S7+. When the pen tip is facing towards the camera lens it charges automatically. It’s a neat integration, although we find the pen is easily knocked off when you’re holding the tablet. It’s generally accurate and a joy to use, while the air gestures, which can be selected in settings, offer some clever shortcuts.
Screen 12.4in AMOLED
Camera 13MP + 5MP / 8MP
Dimensions (hwd) 28.5 x 18.5 x 0.6cm
There still isn’t the same range of desktop-style apps in Android as for iPadOS, but Samsung’s Dex feature turns the tablet into a more computer-like experience courtesy of a desktop-friendly, landscape-orientated interface. This is recommended if you’re multitasking, and a must if you’re using the Tab S7+ with a mouse and keyboard, such as Samsung’s Keyboard Book Cover. It introduces a taskbar and lets you open multiple windows at once – and the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor accommodates that easily. New for the Tab S7+, too, is the ability to wirelessly connect the tablet to a Screen Mirroring-compatible display.
Should you wish to use the Tab S7+’s camera, its rear array is a 13MP/5MP pairing capable of perfectly clear and richly colourful photos, with much of the software available on Galaxy phones – including Panorama, Night, Live Focus and the Single Take mode introduced on the S20, which captures multiple shots from one take. There’s also 4K 30fps recording capability, while the 8MP front snapper is more than fine for video calls, too.
The S7+’s chassis comprises a single piece of solid aluminium (in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Silver and Mystic Black finish options) with rounded corners and straight-edged sides – giving it a premium feel. Its size makes holding it a two-handed affair, although its modest weight (575g) and surprising thinness (5.7mm) makes it one of the most svelte tablets we’ve held. An in-screen fingerprint sensor, as well as the S Pen functions, means you rarely have to reach around to the sides of the tablet.
As a tablet, the Galaxy Tab S7+ delivers on pretty much all fronts: its gorgeous, super-responsive screen and quad speakers are great for watching videos, and its advanced processor, pleasing battery life and useful S Pen all help make Samsung’s flagship tablet a pleasure to live with.
Android doesn’t yet have the sophisticated type of apps required to make the Tab S7+ an ideal replacement for a computer or laptop. However, if you aren’t after a single device for work and play, this is a recommendable, albeit pricey, device for the latter.
- Picture 5
- Sound 4
- Features 4
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Read our Apple iPad Pro 12.9in review