Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: Fairly, however underpowered

Samsung’s newest pill to achieve the market is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, a mid-range slate that distills the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 right down to create a machine that’s nonetheless interesting whereas additionally being inexpensive. It tries to steadiness the shape and performance equation in a method that few different tablets at this worth level can, making it a possible best purchase for individuals who have to work as onerous as they play.

Discover out if this pill is a match for you within the Android Authority Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review.

About this Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: I examined the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (5G) over a interval of 5 days. It was working Android 11 with Samsung One UI 3.1 on the Could 2021 safety patch. The unit was supplied by Samsung for this review.

What you’ll want to know in regards to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (4GB/64GB): $529.99 / £519
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (6GB/128GB): $599.99 / £559
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (6GB/256GB): $679.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE with 5G (4GB/64GB): $669.99 / £589 / €649

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (“Fan Version”) is right here. This pill sits in the midst of Samsung’s pill roster, between the less-expensive Galaxy Tab A7 and the full-blown Galaxy Tab S7 collection. It dials again the characteristic listing of the Galaxy Tab S7 tablets whereas maintaining fan favorites, such because the design, to achieve a lower cost level. The thought is to supply a lot of the Tab S7 expertise in a extra inexpensive piece of {hardware}.

Samsung’s Tab S7 FE competes most straight with the Apple iPad Air line of tablets. Just like the best way Apple has its lineup structured, Samsung now has inexpensive, mid-range, and high-end tablets for various units of patrons. The Tab S7 FE is for individuals who need extra productiveness capabilities quite than a easy slate for slacking off. Living proof, in contrast to many tablets, each funds and premium, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE comes with Samsung’s signature S Pen stylus included within the field.

See additionally: Your information to one of the best tablets — Breaking down OS, choices, and extra

Samsung is promoting 4 variations of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. There’s an entry-level mannequin with simply 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, in addition to pricier 6GB/128GB and 6GB/256GB choices. There’s additionally a 5G model — the model we examined for review — that (inexplicably) ships solely with the decrease 4GB/64GB storage capability. The 5G mannequin helps service from AT&T, T-Cellular, Verizon, and US Mobile within the US and choose carriers abroad. The pill additionally is available in 4 colours: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Pink, and Mystic Inexperienced. The 5G variant is barely obtainable in Mystic Black. Storage and colour choices fluctuate broadly by nation, so make sure to verify you’re getting the mannequin you need earlier than you spend your money.

Mirroring the best way it sells its telephones, Samsung is providing tons of of {dollars} off the listing worth of the Tab S7 FE when ordered by way of its web site. On the time of writing, the pill has been obtainable for pre-order within the US for a number of weeks already and the trade-in offers are nonetheless viable. When you’re nonetheless within the pre-order window, we propose you go direct to Samsung to purchase the pill.

How is the {hardware}?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE rear panel with S Pen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In a phrase, impeccable. Samsung is aware of the way to create compelling {hardware} and it has accomplished so as soon as once more with the Galaxy Tab S7 FE.

This pill isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. It adopts the bigger type issue of the Tab S7 Plus, which suggests a 12.4-inch display screen quite than the smaller 11-inch display screen of the usual Tab S7. It’s a platter-like aluminum slab that’s extra rectangular than sq. because of the 16:10 side ratio of the display screen. It measures 284.8 x 185 x 6.3mm and weighs in at 608g — making it extremely skinny and light-weight.

Just like the competing Apple iPad Air, it has flat glass on the entrance and flat steel facet edges that type sharp angles. The standard of the supplies and meeting is, as anticipated, top-notch. The black colour of our 5G take a look at unit appears refined and glossy, regardless of its dimension.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE laying at an angle

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung fairly clearly intends individuals to make use of the pill within the panorama orientation. With that in thoughts, the location of the controls, ports, and different purposeful parts is sensible. The facility button and quantity toggle are positioned subsequent to at least one one other and have glorious profiles, journey, and suggestions. I want the ability button doubled as a fingerprint reader, nevertheless it doesn’t. You’ve acquired a USB-C 3.2 gen 1 port on one facet, in addition to a slot for the microSD/SIM card. The central user-facing camera, for video chats and software-based face ID safety, is positioned correctly within the bezel above the display screen (quite than on the facet, like it’s on the iPad). The truth that there’s no hardware-based biometric safety in anyway is a notable omission.

AKG-tuned, Dolby Atmos stereo audio system flank your ears and supply glorious sound. The audio system generate clear audio with strong vary that doesn’t distort at excessive volumes. It’s straightforward to fill a room with music do you have to want and the Galaxy Tab S7 FE makes for an gratifying piece of {hardware} for watching video. Bluetooth codec assist can also be strong, which good as a result of there’s no headphone jack — it’s wired USB-C or wi-fi headphones solely.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE buttonsSamsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE S Pen slot

Pogo pins on the underside fringe of the pill enable it to attach on to the Samsung-made folio keyboard (bought individually) with out the necessity for Bluetooth.

The Tab S7 FE is a formidable and purposeful machine that impresses all the best way round.

Just like the pricier Tab S7 Plus, the S7 FE has a devoted magnetic patch on the rear for the S Pen stylus. It’s not probably the most elegant answer I’ve seen, nevertheless it does mean you can cart the S Pen round connected to the pill whereas it fees on the similar time. It could nonetheless be jarred free in your bag. The S Pen itself is almost the dimensions of a normal pen and is snug to carry and use on the display screen.

In sum, the Tab S7 FE is a formidable and purposeful machine that impresses all the best way round.

What’s the LCD show like?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE display with home screen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Just like the show of the Tab S7 Plus, the Tab S7 FE’s display screen measures 12.4 inches throughout the diagonal, packs in a powerful 2,550 x 1,600 pixels, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It’s extremely sharp, providing greater than sufficient decision for studying small textual content or making edits to pictures. The 16:10 side ratio is a more sensible choice than 16:9, giving the pill somewhat bit extra vertical house when utilized in panorama orientation.

Extra studying: The very best 8 Android tablets for teenagers

Nonetheless, Samsung took two important, cost-cutting steps involving the display screen of the Tab S7 FE. Samsung swapped out the Tab S7 Plus’s AMOLED panel for an LCD display screen on the Tab S7 FE, which impacts distinction and brightness to a level. It’s nonetheless a punchy display screen, nevertheless it’s not as dynamic as a Samsung AMOLED can be. The Tab S7 FE additionally loses the Tab S7 collection’ 120Hz refresh price. It’s as an alternative locked at the usual 60Hz price. You’ll discover this most when scrolling by means of your social feeds, akin to Twitter, or when scanning up and down web sites. It’s not as easy because it might be.

This isn’t to say the show expertise of the Tab S7 FE is unhealthy. You’re not going to overlook these options if you happen to’ve by no means performed with the pricier pill. Most patrons will likely be proud of the huge actual property and excessive decision the Tab S7 FE supplies. And in my time with the pill, I discovered it was a superb companion for media and work alike.

Does the battery final all day?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI Battery lifeSamsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI Battery settings

Heck yeah, it does. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE packs a ten,090mAh battery and it pushes the pill by means of greater than 12 hours of screen-on time. Bear in mind, that’s with the display screen set to auto-brightness and the 5G radio turned on. You might definitely obtain a bit extra if you happen to tweak the settings. I used to be very happy with the S7 FE’s battery life, which simply outlasted the Apple iPad Air’s screen-on time of simply 10 hours. So far as battery life is worried, the Tab S7 FE is a winner.

With regards to charging the pill, you get what you pay for, actually. The system ships with a normal 15W charger (not a given for Samsung merchandise), although the pill helps speedy charging as much as 45W. If you wish to cost the pill quicker you’ll have to purchase the quicker charger your self. It took the included charger 3.5 hours to cost the S7 FE from zero to full. That’s a full hour longer than the iPad Air, however across the similar time because the Galaxy Tab S7 collection correct.

What’s efficiency like?

Samsung downgraded the processor of the Tab S7 FE when in comparison with the Tab S7 and S7 Plus — an anticipated transfer that helps shave just a few extra {dollars} from the price of the system. However the story isn’t fairly that straightforward.

With out getting too thick into the weeds, right here’s the deal. There are two variants of the S7 FE: the 5G mannequin and the Wi-Fi mannequin. The 5G mannequin depends on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor (the one we examined) and the Wi-Fi mannequin depends on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor. The Snapdragon 778G is a a lot newer chip with up to date Arm cores, a more moderen GPU, and different enhancements in comparison with the Snapdragon 750G. Based mostly on the uncooked specs and comparability benchmarks with different Snapdragon 778G units, we’re assured that the Wi-Fi mannequin, with its newer, higher spec’d processor, will ship higher general efficiency than the 5G mannequin. Nonetheless, we’ve not been in a position to take a look at that for ourselves.

Associated: Snapdragon SoC information — All of Qualcomm’s smartphone processors defined

Does it matter? Yep. The Snapdragon 750G of the 5G mannequin generally struggles to drag its weight. Along with the restricted 4GB of RAM, the Tab S7 FE performs properly at easy duties, akin to looking in a few Chrome tabs, however pushing the tab rely to 10 or extra actually slows the pill down. Furthermore, multitasking — working two or three apps on the display screen on the similar time — was tedious because of longer loading occasions and sluggish response to the touch enter. Productiveness apps akin to Google Docs or Microsoft Outlook ran nice once they had been working solo. Some graphics-intense video games, in the meantime, had been barely jittery.

Benchmark assessments actually showcased the constraints of the processor. Particularly, the 1,107 Wild Life take a look at rating on 3DMark trailed 83% of units within the database. The Tab S7 FE tanked in our homegrown Velocity Check G benchmark too, scoring a lowly two minutes and 48 seconds — about the identical as Google’s funds Pixel 4a cellphone.

If you’re specializing in one factor or app at a time the S7 FE does simply nice.

If you’re specializing in one factor at a time the S7 FE does simply nice. If you begin to enhance the variety of tabs, duties, or apps, nonetheless, the now year-old processor actually begins to indicate its age. The 5G mannequin of this pill isn’t almost as fast because the Snapdragon 865 Plus-powered Tab S7 or Tab S7 Plus. And it may well’t maintain a candle to the efficiency of the Apple iPad Air with its customized A14 Bionic silicon, which simply smokes it.

As for the 5G service, the Tab S7 FE handles sub-6GHz mid-band spectrum. Meaning it really works exceedingly properly on T-Cellular’s service within the US, which banks on the mid-band airwaves. I noticed good 5G looking speeds when out and about. The Tab S7 FE doesn’t assist the faster mmWave taste of 5G, which is what AT&T and Verizon depend on for his or her quickest service. 5G assist throughout the UK and the remainder of the EU will fluctuate.

Final, the Tab S7 FE 5G mannequin is restricted to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5, which prevents it from accessing one of the best Wi-Fi and most secure Bluetooth obtainable. We might have preferred to see at the least Wi-Fi 6 on board, if not Wi-Fi 6E, for future-proofing. But, in one other baffling flip, the Wi-Fi mannequin of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE does assist Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. That is only a mess, Samsung.

Is the software program any good?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI home screen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Galaxy Tab S7 FE runs Android 11 with One UI 3.1 on high. This implies the essential software program expertise is about the identical as it’s on the overwhelming majority of Samsung’s telephones. I like this era of One UI, although some would possibly qualify it as heavy-handed. There’s loads of room to customise your expertise and there’s not an excessive amount of bloatware. Samsung says the Tab S7 FE will obtain the identical three system-level updates and 4 years of safety updates as its telephones, which could be very welcome.

The app expertise on Android tablets isn’t all the time one of the best. Not sufficient builders take the time to regulate their apps for the bigger, wider shows of tablets, and it reveals. Some apps will default to a portrait-only orientation even when utilizing the pill in panorama mode, whereas others may have bizarre or unfilled areas when compelled to render sideways. It’s uneven at greatest. After all, that is endemic of all Android tablets and never simply the Tab S7 FE.

Extra studying: One UI — Every little thing you’ll want to find out about Samsung’s Android pores and skin

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI DeX Home ScreenSamsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI DeX with open apps

For the productivity-minded, Samsung Dex is on board. This person interface pores and skin overhauls the pill’s dwelling display screen to look extra like a Chrome machine’s desktop. It’s adequate at what it does and is simple to launch because of a devoted button on Samsung’s keyboard accent. It’s a lot simpler to run a number of apps on the similar time in Dex mode, as apps behave extra like they do on a PC in moveable home windows. Dex mode does take just a few seconds to open and shut, nonetheless, which will get previous after some time.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI S Pen tools

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Naturally, the S Pen stylus interacts with all the things on the display screen. There are additionally some devoted S Pen apps, akin to Samsung Notes, Penup, Noteshelf, and Canva. These all work properly, although the Notes app is probably the most highly effective. The Air Command operate activates mechanically whenever you convey the stylus close to the show and from there it’s a breeze to faucet into any of the S Pen-optimized apps. It’s only a disgrace the system’s efficiency issues maintain again the general usability of the S Pen, as any intensive picture enhancing or multitasking will shortly gradual the pill down.

The rest?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE keyboard closeup

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Cameras: Samsung downgraded the cameras between the Tab S7 collection and the Tab S7 FE, which isn’t all that stunning. You’ll get usable outcomes from the rear 8MP camera in good lighting and noisy pictures in poor lighting. The user-facing 5MP shooter is arguably extra necessary as a result of it pulls double responsibility for video calls as properly. Video high quality surpassed what’s obtainable from my growing older MacBook, however it’s nonetheless restricted by way of dynamic vary and colour. The cameras get the job accomplished in a pinch however don’t anticipate them to interchange your smartphone.
  • Keyboard Cowl: I believe it’s necessary to maintain a pill’s display screen protected and a great keyboard case actually ups the productiveness clout of a pill. For the value, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Keyboard Cowl ($169) isn’t unhealthy. The keys are properly spaced and have strong suggestions. I admire that there’s a quantity row and a operate key row containing devoted shortcuts to display screen brightness, quantity, Dex, and extra. There’s no touchpad, nonetheless, which can be a disappointment to some. It’s additionally solely in a position to stand at a single, unadjustable angle. On a extra constructive notice, the Keyboard Cowl has a devoted, protected spot for the S Pen which could be very useful.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
Show 12.4-inch TFT LCD
2,560 × 1,600 (WQXGA)
Processor 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
Wi-Fi: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
Reminiscence/Storage 4GB/64GB
6GB/128GB, 256GB
MicroSD supported to 1TB
Battery 10,090mAh
45Wh quick charging supported
Cameras Rear: 8MP, AF
Entrance: 5MP
Video: 1080p @ 30fps
Connectivity 5G/LTE
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5
Sort C USB 3.2 Gen1 (DP Output)
Dimensions 284.8 x 185.0 x 6.3mm
Weight 608g
Colours Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Inexperienced, Mystic Pink

Worth and competitors

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Ecommerce

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a barely stripped down model of the pricer Galaxy Tab S7. It incorporates a 12.4-inch display screen, a Qualcomm processor, and ships with a S Pen within the field.

The entire level of Samsung’s Fan Version fashions is to enhance the worth equation of their dearer siblings; begin with a full model of one thing standard, swap out just a few specs and/or options, and provide it at a lower cost whereas maintaining the necessities intact. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE largely succeeds, although I believe it loses somewhat one thing alongside the best way — particularly the 5G mannequin.

The bigger Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, on which the Tab S7 FE relies, has a beginning worth of $850. The Tab S7 FE enjoys a a lot decrease base worth of $530 (Wi-Fi solely). Essentially the most important variations between the 2 tablets are the display screen, which is similar dimension however switches from AMOLED to LCD, and the processor, which drops from a Snapdragon 865 Plus to a Snapdragon 750G or Snapdragon 778G for the 5G and Wi-Fi fashions, respectively. Samsung made different nips and tucks all through to decrease that $850 price ticket, however they aren’t as very important to the general expertise.

One factor that made the Tab S7 Plus such a compelling system was its top-notch efficiency. The older mid-range processor that’s within the 5G Tab S7 FE we examined doesn’t ship the identical expertise. You’re possible going to be higher off if you happen to ignore the 5G Tab S7 FE and bounce to the $599 Wi-Fi mannequin, which additionally comes with extra RAM and storage, upgraded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a extra fashionable processor.

You may possible be higher off ignoring the 5G mannequin and going with the cheaper Wi-Fi mannequin.

This brings us to the Tab S7 FE’s first main competitor, the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S7 ($649). Sure, it’s smaller, nevertheless it packs all of the efficiency of the Tab S7 Plus ($849) in a compact bundle that’s simply $50 greater than the Tab S7 FE. When you can’t sacrifice uncooked energy and don’t thoughts stepping the display screen dimension down, the Galaxy Tab S7 is an effective place to begin.

If, nonetheless, large Android tablets are your jam, you may have another choice within the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 ($679). This large pill runs on a Snapdragon 870 processor and has extra RAM and storage as commonplace.

Then there’s the most important title within the sport: Apple, and the iPad Air (2020). It has the identical approximate beginning worth ($599), although it’s restricted in dimension to simply 10.9 inches. The iPad Air handily beats the Tab S7 FE in efficiency and software program assist. The Air’s Apple-designed processor is top-notch and may deal with even probably the most intense apps with out slowing down. Furthermore, Apple has satisfied extra builders to create iPad-specific variations of their apps. This improves the day-to-day expertise of utilizing the iPad. However, you recognize, iPadOS. Apple’s platform isn’t for everybody and there’s one thing to be mentioned for sticking with Android if that’s what your cellphone runs.

Associated: The very best Android tablets | The very best low cost tablets

If the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is an excessive amount of pill for you and also you don’t want the massive display screen or the productiveness instruments, chances are you’ll be higher off with a less complicated slate, such because the Galaxy Tab A7 ($229).

Final, we’d be remiss if we didn’t level out that you could possibly snag a Microsoft Floor Go 2 ($599), which is a laptop/pill hybrid working Home windows with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and both an Intel Pentium or Core processor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: The decision

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Chrome with AA

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

With the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, Samsung is attempting to have its cake and eat it too. This pill banks on the uncooked enchantment of the refined {hardware} and enormous display screen to promote the concept of productiveness. On the similar time, Samsung minimize somewhat too deeply when trimming again the specs, which hurts the Tab S7 FE the place it issues most: efficiency.

Samsung’s mid-range pill is a beautiful steel and glass slab that covers most of its bases properly. The chassis and show are glorious, the software program and included S Pen are highly effective, and the battery life is close to one of the best within the enterprise. The audio system pack a punch and the Tab S7 FE is nice for catching a film on Netflix.

With the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, Samsung is attempting to have its cake and eat it too.

But, the 5G mannequin we examined fell a bit brief in just a few areas, akin to sluggish apps which impacted multitasking, and mediocre cameras. The efficiency of the Snapdragon 750G, particularly, is disappointing and should decelerate over time. Extra importantly, some competing tablets merely present extra bang for the buck — particularly the iPad Air (2020) and Samsung’s personal Galaxy Tab S7.

When you’ve acquired your coronary heart set on the Galaxy Tab S7 FE’s bigger display screen dimension, it’s clear most patrons will likely be greatest served by the Wi-Fi model which guarantees higher efficiency and future-proofed connectivity (if you happen to don’t want 5G) at a less expensive worth. For our cash, the $599 Wi-Fi mannequin with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is probably the most economical and good choice.

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