Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Review: Solid But Unspectacular

Till just lately, Samsung was once the one main corporate releasing Android Tabs regularly. Then again, the shape issue has had a renaissance in 2021, with new units from Xiaomi, Nokia, Lenovo and Realme.

It places Samsung’s place because the de facto Android Tabs maker underneath risk, particularly in case you are already wincing on the costs of its flagship slates. The Tab S7 FE is pitched as an reasonably priced choice to the high-end Tab S7 and S7+, however makes some vital compromises to succeed in its mid-range worth level.

Design & construct

  • Top rate design
  • Elementary S Pen incorporated
  • Twin stereo audio system

Samsung’s high-end Tabs normally galvanize in relation to design, and it is the similar right here. The Tab S7 FE combines the standard glass entrance with an aluminium again, making it more straightforward to carry and extra proof against fingerprint smudges than glass-backed units.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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This stripped-back, minimalist aesthetic is one thing I truly like, and it offers the appearance of a tool that’s considerably costlier. If truth be told, I had a difficult time telling it except for the flagship Tab S7+ on first impressions. One of the crucial solely genuine giveaways is the rear digicam module, which homes one lens quite than two. Extra on how that plays later.

Underneath it, the magnetic charging strip for the S Pen may be long past. That’s for the reason that stylus incorporated within the field is a passive model, which means it doesn’t wish to hang a price for fundamental makes use of. It could possibly nonetheless be hooked up there or at the facets of the software, however susceptible magnets imply it’s now not value it. When you’re making plans on getting common use out of the S Pen, I’d counsel getting a case with stylus garage.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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There’s truly now not a lot else to record at the again of the software, in particular at the black type I examined. The silver model may be somewhat muted, however inexperienced and purple choices lend a hand the S7 FE stand out a little extra if that’s one thing you’d desire.

Then again, you can spend a lot more time having a look on the 12.4in display, surrounded by way of a narrow bezel which supplies it an 84.6% screen-to-body ratio – that is similar to the Tab S7+. Even the use of the software with each arms can really feel bulky from time to time, particularly when the S7 FE weighs in at 608g.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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There’s nonetheless area for a 5Mp front-facing digicam with face liberate reinforce, a downgrad in comparison to the common S7 and S7+.

Any other space that’s been scaled again is audio, with a couple of stereo audio system versus the quad setup at the flagship Tabs . Track loses a few of its bass and definition consequently, however speech is in large part unaffected. Audio stays one of the crucial S7 FE’s strengths, serving to to ship a extra immersive enjoy.

Speaker grilles are positioned on the most sensible and backside of the units, ready the place they’re now not obstructed in panorama mode. The one different characteristic of word here’s a USB-C port for charging. As is the case on Samsung’s different high-end Tabs , there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack.

You’ll to find connectors for docking the S7 FE right into a keyboard quilt on one aspect of the software, however I did not have any such at hand for this evaluate. The common quantity rocker and tool button are at the different, even supposing an extended press of the latter nonetheless annoyingly triggers Bixby by way of default. This can also be replaced to show chronic choices in Settings, however nonetheless feels needless.

The 5G type I examined additionally has a SIM tray which doubles as a microSD card tray on inexpensive Wi-Fi-only fashions.

Show

  • 12.4in LCD panel
  • Most effective 60Hz refresh price

Let’s discuss the principle tournament. I discussed previous that the S7 FE’s show was once the similar measurement because the S7+, however that’s the place the similarities finish. The 12.4in panel right here has a moderately decrease answer (1600×2560 versus 1752×2800), nevertheless it’s additionally LCD as an alternative of OLED and tops out at 60Hz. Refresh price is arguably the most important loss right here – I truly overlooked the fluid, responsive 120Hz panel on Samsung’s flagship slate. The S7 FE feels gradual by way of comparability, and shortly results in a much less stress-free enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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It could really feel like a suitable compromise, however Xiaomi’s Pad 5 is evidence that it doesn’t wish to be unique to top rate {hardware}. The use of LCD is much less of a blow, however manner you fail to spot the deeper blacks and progressed distinction of an OLED display.

Regardless of those two drawbacks, the show nonetheless doesn’t really feel like a weak point. It gives an excellent point of element and shiny colors, making for an immersive viewing enjoy. Staring at YouTube or Netflix is an actual spotlight, even on movies which might be capped at 1080p.

It additionally hit a most brightness of 411 nits in trying out, making use in direct daylight an actual chance. Until you’re at once evaluating it to Samsung’s flagship Tabs , you’ll almost definitely be glad with what the S7 FE has to supply.

Specifications and function

  • Snapdragon 750G on 5G fashions
  • Extra tough Snapdragon 778G on Wi-Fi solely
  • Solid efficiency does not prolong to gaming

At the Tab S7 FE, opting for a type with 5G reinforce is ready excess of simply cell connectivity; it additionally manner the software makes use of an absolutely other chipset.

On 5G fashions, that is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G, whilst Wi-Fi-only configurations use the moderately extra tough Snapdragon 778G – that’s in spite of each having a 5G modem integrated. It additionally manner the built-in GPUs are other, with 5G units the use of the Adreno 619 whilst Wi-Fi fashions step as much as an Adreno 642L.

This determination has probably been keen on worth in thoughts, given the extra prices of including 5G reinforce. I will solely remark at the mid-spec 5G type reviewed, which pairs it with 6GB of RAM.

Usually, efficiency from the Tab S7 FE is bought. You’ll be able to be expecting a clean and responsive enjoy whilst surfing the internet, scrolling social media and streaming movies. Multitasking additionally works neatly, with the massive show entering its personal. There are occasional stutters and hesitations, however not anything too vital.

Sadly, that doesn’t reasonably prolong to cellular gaming. Loading up a not easy name comparable to Name of Responsibility: Mobile and Asphalt 9 is okay, however leaping into an internet sport usually manner a lot of lag and a few enter prolong. I additionally discovered FIFA Mobile to stutter reasonably so much, making it extra irritating than a laugh. Informal video games comparable to 8 Ball Pool are neatly inside succeed in, nevertheless it’s value having a look in different places for those who’re desirous about cellular gaming.

This mediocre efficiency is mirrored within the benchmarks underneath, the place the Tab S7 FE trails most of the absolute best Tabs you’ll purchase – together with some extra reasonably priced units:

Inner garage is much less of a priority, in spite of the entry-level type being restricted to 64GB. This can also be upgraded to 128GB (the type I examined) or 256GB, however all can also be expanded by way of the microSD card slot.

Instrument

  • One UI 3.1 over Android 11
  • One UI 4 (Android 12) replace anticipated quickly
  • Nonetheless does not really feel optimised for Tabs

The Tab S7 FE runs Samsung’s One UI pores and skin over Android 11. It’s model 3.1 right here, even supposing an replace to the brand new One UI 4 is anticipated quickly – that brings a lot of Android 12’s new options with it.

The device enjoy out of the field will likely be extraordinarily acquainted to someone who has used a contemporary Samsung phone, and that’s now not a just right factor. More than a few parts of the UI – comparable to icons, the notification coloration and Settings menu – simply really feel like they’ve been enlarged to suit the larger display. That extends to third-party apps together with Twitter and Instagram, making for a irritating person enjoy.

One notable exception is multitasking, the place the use of two apps in split-screen mode feels surely intuitive. It is also nice to have the Google Uncover feed to be had by way of a proper swipe from the house display, even supposing it’s essentially the most obvious instance of device that’s been designed for a phone.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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Then again, there’s genuine hope for transferring ahead within the type of Android 12L. Google says the Android 12 spin-off has been particularly created with big-screen units comparable to Tabs in thoughts. Including a two-column notification coloration, devoted taskbar and progressed letterboxing (smaller black bars round content material) would all make a large distinction.

Till Android 12L arrives one day in 2022, device is likely one of the Tab S7 FE’s main shortcomings.

Cameras & battery existence

  • Unmarried 8Mp rear digicam, 5Mp front-facing
  • Nice battery existence
  • 45W charging reinforce, however solely 15W out of the field

You almost certainly aren’t purchasing a Tab for its cameras. But if Tab pictures is essential to you, it’s value having a look in different places. The Tab S7 FE has a unmarried 8Mp rear lens, ditching the 13Mp huge and 5Mp ultrawide from the Tab S7 and S7+.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review
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Stills from the software are predictably mediocre. You’ll be able to get usable stills in just right lights stipulations, nevertheless it frequently struggles with publicity and color accuracy. The 5Mp front-facing sensor takes respectable selfies, however you almost certainly received’t be importing them to Instagram anytime quickly.

At the video aspect, the S7 FE is proscribed to 1080p pictures at 30fps. You fail to spot the choice for 4K, however that received’t be a large loss for the general public.

Battery existence is altogether extra essential, and it’s a space the place the Tab excels. The combo of a ten,090mAh battery and no more power-hungry LCD show manner the S7 FE can run and run. Until you’re repeatedly pushing the software to its limits, two days of utilization is definitely inside succeed in.

That’s mirrored in PCMark’s Paintings 3.0 battery check, designed to simulate real-world utilization. With brightness set to 200 nits, I recorded an excellent 12 hours and 55 mins – that is a lot better than you’ll to find on maximum Tabs.

The S7 FE helps 45W rapid stressed out charging, however you’ll wish to purchase a separate adapter. The use of the 15W one within the field intended 16% price in half-hour. Consequently, you’ll be ready a number of hours for a complete price.

Worth and price for cash

As you could be expecting, there’s a lot of variation in relation to Tab S7 FE pricing.

Wi-Fi solely fashions these days get started at US4529.99 for 64GB of at Amazon, when you’ll pay a minimum of £519 / US$669.99 for 5G reinforce. US pricing stays the similar as at release, however this displays some helpful UK reductions at the £519 (Wi-Fi) and £589 (5G) beginning costs.

The highest-spec type comprises 5G reinforce and 128GB of garage – it’s going to value you £559 for those who move direct however isn’t to be had in the USA. Then again, there are these days some nice offers to be had by way of third-party outlets.

It’s those varieties of offers that the Tab S7 FE must grow to be aggressive. Its RRP is simply too with regards to the awesome iPad Air (2020) and common Tab S7, however it is more straightforward to counsel at those extra reasonably priced costs. Festival amongst Tab is heating up, although – it is not with regards to Apple and Samsung this present day.

Verdict

The Tab S7 FE is a predictably wary unencumber from Samsung. It keeps the appear and feel of the flagship Tab S7 and S7+, however makes huge compromises in different spaces.

Losing the show to a 60Hz LCD panel manner the display is beautiful just right, quite than one of the crucial absolute best you’ll to find in any Tab . A chipset downgrade results in sub-par efficiency whilst gaming, in spite of maximum different duties being high quality. It’s additionally heavier, with weaker cameras and two fewer audio system.

In my view, those adjustments don’t make an excessive amount of of a distinction to the enjoy. But mixed, it’s tough to not really feel such as you’re getting short-changed. Very good battery existence is the important thing exception to this and it’s great to have an S Pen incorporated within the field, nevertheless it’s no surprise Samsung is losing the associated fee simply months after it introduced.

If you’ll to find a perfect deal at the Tab S7 FE, it’s nonetheless value choosing up for content material intake and different fundamental duties. Differently, you’ll to find higher worth for cash in different places.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G (5G fashions), Snapdragon 778G (Wi-Fi fashions)
  • Adreno 619 GPU (5G), Adreno 642L (Wi-Fi)
  • 4/6/8GB RAM
    64GB/128GB/256GB garage (expandable as much as 1TB)
  • 12.4in LCD show (1600×2560), 60Hz
  • 8Mp rear digicam
  • 5Mp front-facing digicam
    Twin stereo audio system
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
    10,090 mAh battery
  • 45W rapid stressed out charging
  • 284.8 x 185 x 6.3 mm
  • 608g

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