Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: Pretty, nevertheless underpowered

Samsung’s latest tablet to attain the market is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, a mid-range slate that distills the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 proper all the way down to create a machine that’s nonetheless attention-grabbing whereas moreover being cheap. It tries to steadiness the form and efficiency equation in a way that few completely different tablets at this price stage can, making it a doable finest buy for people who should work as onerous as they play.

Uncover out if this tablet is a match for you throughout 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 May 2021 security patch. The unit was provided by Samsung for this review.

What you may need to know regarding 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 Model”) is true right here. This tablet sits within the midst of Samsung’s tablet roster, between the less-expensive Galaxy Tab A7 and the full-blown Galaxy Tab S7 assortment. It dials once more the attribute itemizing of the Galaxy Tab S7 tablets whereas sustaining fan favorites, such as a result of the design, to attain a decrease value stage. The thought is to produce a whole lot of the Tab S7 experience in a further cheap piece of {{hardware}}.

Samsung’s Tab S7 FE competes most straight with the Apple iPad Air line of tablets. Identical to one of the best ways Apple has its lineup structured, Samsung now has cheap, mid-range, and high-end tablets for varied models of patrons. The Tab S7 FE is for people who want further productiveness capabilities fairly than a straightforward slate for slacking off. Residing proof, in distinction to many tablets, every funds and premium, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE comes with Samsung’s signature S Pen stylus included throughout the area.

See moreover: Your data to the most effective tablets — Breaking down OS, decisions, and further

Samsung is selling 4 variations of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. There’s an entry-level model with merely 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with pricier 6GB/128GB and 6GB/256GB decisions. There’s moreover a 5G mannequin — the mannequin we examined for review — that (inexplicably) ships solely with the lower 4GB/64GB storage functionality. The 5G model helps service from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cell throughout the US and select carriers overseas. The tablet moreover is obtainable in 4 colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Pink, and Mystic Inexperienced. The 5G variant is barely obtainable in Mystic Black. Storage and color decisions fluctuate broadly by nation, so be certain to confirm you’re getting the model you want sooner than you spend your cash.

Mirroring one of the best ways it sells its telephones, Samsung is offering tons of of {{dollars}} off the itemizing price of the Tab S7 FE when ordered by means of its site. On the time of writing, the tablet has been obtainable for pre-order throughout the US for quite a lot of weeks already and the trade-in presents are nonetheless viable. Once you’re nonetheless throughout the pre-order window, we suggest you go direct to Samsung to buy the tablet.

How is the {{hardware}}?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE rear panel with S Pen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In a phrase, impeccable. Samsung is conscious of the way in which to create compelling {{hardware}} and it has completed in order quickly as as soon as extra with the Galaxy Tab S7 FE.

This tablet isn’t for the faint of coronary coronary heart. It adopts the larger sort concern of the Tab S7 Plus, which suggests a 12.4-inch show display screen fairly than the smaller 11-inch show display screen of the standard Tab S7. It’s a platter-like aluminum slab that’s further rectangular than sq. due to the 16:10 aspect ratio of the show display screen. It measures 284.8 x 185 x 6.3mm and weighs in at 608g — making it extraordinarily skinny and lightweight.

Identical to the competing Apple iPad Air, it has flat glass on the doorway and flat metal aspect edges that sort sharp angles. The usual of the provides and assembly is, as anticipated, top-notch. The black color of our 5G check out unit seems refined and shiny, no matter its dimension.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE laying at an angle

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung pretty clearly intends people to utilize the tablet throughout the panorama orientation. With that in ideas, the placement of the controls, ports, and completely different purposeful components is wise. The ability button and amount toggle are positioned subsequent to not less than one one different and have superb profiles, journey, and ideas. I need the flexibility button doubled as a fingerprint reader, however it doesn’t. You’ve acquired a USB-C 3.2 gen 1 port on one aspect, along with a slot for the microSD/SIM card. The central user-facing camera, for video chats and software-based face ID security, is positioned appropriately throughout the bezel above the show display screen (fairly than on the aspect, prefer it’s on the iPad). The reality that there’s no hardware-based biometric security in anyway is a notable omission.

AKG-tuned, Dolby Atmos stereo audio system flank your ears and provide superb sound. The audio system generate clear audio with sturdy range that doesn’t distort at extreme volumes. It’s easy to fill a room with music do it’s a must to need and the Galaxy Tab S7 FE makes for an gratifying piece of {{hardware}} for watching video. Bluetooth codec help may also be sturdy, which good because 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 tablet allow it to connect on to the Samsung-made folio keyboard (purchased individually) with out the need for Bluetooth.

The Tab S7 FE is a formidable and purposeful machine that impresses all one of the best ways spherical.

Identical to the pricier Tab S7 Plus, the S7 FE has a faithful magnetic patch on the rear for the S Pen stylus. It’s not most likely essentially the most elegant reply I’ve seen, however it does imply you’ll be able to cart the S Pen spherical related to the tablet whereas it charges on the same time. It may nonetheless be jarred free in your bag. The S Pen itself is nearly the scale of a standard pen and is comfortable to hold and use on the show display screen.

In sum, the Tab S7 FE is a formidable and purposeful machine that impresses all one of the best ways spherical.

What’s the LCD present like?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE display with home screen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Identical to the present of the Tab S7 Plus, the Tab S7 FE’s show display screen measures 12.4 inches all through the diagonal, packs in a robust 2,550 x 1,600 pixels, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It’s extraordinarily sharp, offering better than enough choice for learning small textual content material or making edits to photos. The 16:10 aspect ratio is a extra good choice than 16:9, giving the tablet considerably bit further vertical home when utilized in panorama orientation.

Additional learning: The easiest 8 Android tablets for youngsters

Nonetheless, Samsung took two necessary, cost-cutting steps involving the show display screen of the Tab S7 FE. Samsung swapped out the Tab S7 Plus’s AMOLED panel for an LCD show display screen on the Tab S7 FE, which impacts distinction and brightness to a stage. It’s nonetheless a punchy show display screen, however it’s not as dynamic as a Samsung AMOLED will be. The Tab S7 FE moreover loses the Tab S7 assortment’ 120Hz refresh worth. It is in its place locked on the ordinary 60Hz worth. You’ll uncover this most when scrolling via your social feeds, akin to Twitter, or when scanning up and down internet sites. It’s not as straightforward as a result of it is perhaps.

This isn’t to say the present experience of the Tab S7 FE is unhealthy. You’re not going to miss these choices in the event you occur to’ve on no account carried out with the pricier tablet. Most patrons will possible be pleased with the large precise property and extreme choice the Tab S7 FE provides. And in my time with the tablet, I found it was an outstanding companion for media and work alike.

Does the battery ultimate 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 tablet via better than 12 hours of screen-on time. Keep in mind, that’s with the show display screen set to auto-brightness and the 5G radio turned on. You may undoubtedly receive a bit further in the event you occur to tweak the settings. I was very pleased with the S7 FE’s battery life, which merely outlasted the Apple iPad Air’s screen-on time of merely 10 hours. As far as battery life is anxious, the Tab S7 FE is a winner.

As regards to charging the tablet, you get what you pay for, truly. The system ships with a standard 15W charger (not a given for Samsung merchandise), though the tablet helps speedy charging as a lot as 45W. If you happen to want to value the tablet faster you’ll should buy the faster charger your self. It took the included charger 3.5 hours to value the S7 FE from zero to full. That’s a full hour longer than the iPad Air, nevertheless throughout the same time as a result of the Galaxy Tab S7 assortment right.

What’s effectivity like?

Samsung downgraded the processor of the Tab S7 FE when compared with the Tab S7 and S7 Plus — an anticipated switch that helps shave only a few further {{dollars}} from the value of the system. Nevertheless the story isn’t pretty that easy.

With out getting too thick into the weeds, proper right here’s the deal. There are two variants of the S7 FE: the 5G model and the Wi-Fi model. The 5G model will depend on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor (the one we examined) and the Wi-Fi model will depend on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor. The Snapdragon 778G is a rather a lot newer chip with updated Arm cores, a extra moderen GPU, and completely different enhancements compared with the Snapdragon 750G. Based mostly totally on the raw specs and comparability benchmarks with completely different Snapdragon 778G models, we’re assured that the Wi-Fi model, with its newer, larger spec’d processor, will ship larger common effectivity than the 5G model. Nonetheless, we’ve not been able to check out that for ourselves.

Related: Snapdragon SoC data — All of Qualcomm’s smartphone processors outlined

Does it matter? Yep. The Snapdragon 750G of the 5G model typically struggles to tug its weight. Together with the restricted 4GB of RAM, the Tab S7 FE performs correctly at straightforward duties, akin to wanting in a number of Chrome tabs, nevertheless pushing the tab rely to 10 or further truly slows the tablet down. Moreover, multitasking — working two or three apps on the show display screen on the same time — was tedious due to longer loading events and sluggish response to the contact enter. Productiveness apps akin to Google Docs or Microsoft Outlook ran good as soon as they’d been working solo. Some graphics-intense video video games, within the meantime, had been barely jittery.

Benchmark assessments truly showcased the constraints of the processor. Notably, the 1,107 Wild Life check out score on 3DMark trailed 83% of models throughout the database. The Tab S7 FE tanked in our homegrown Velocity Verify G benchmark too, scoring a lowly two minutes and 48 seconds — concerning the similar as Google’s funds Pixel 4a cellphone.

If you happen to’re specializing in a single issue or app at a time the S7 FE does merely good.

If you happen to’re specializing in a single issue at a time the S7 FE does merely good. If you happen to start to boost the number of tabs, duties, or apps, nonetheless, the now year-old processor truly begins to point its age. The 5G model of this tablet isn’t nearly as quick as a result of the Snapdragon 865 Plus-powered Tab S7 or Tab S7 Plus. And it could properly’t preserve a candle to the effectivity of the Apple iPad Air with its custom-made A14 Bionic silicon, which merely smokes it.

As for the 5G service, the Tab S7 FE handles sub-6GHz mid-band spectrum. Which means it actually works exceedingly correctly on T-Mobile’s service throughout the US, which banks on the mid-band airwaves. I observed good 5G wanting speeds when out and about. The Tab S7 FE would not help the quicker mmWave style of 5G, which is what AT&T and Verizon rely upon for his or her quickest service. 5G help all through the UK and the rest of the EU will fluctuate.

Closing, the Tab S7 FE 5G model is restricted to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5, which prevents it from accessing the most effective Wi-Fi and most safe Bluetooth obtainable. We would have most popular to see in any case Wi-Fi 6 on board, if not Wi-Fi 6E, for future-proofing. However, in a single different baffling flip, the Wi-Fi model of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE does help Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. That’s solely a multitude, Samsung.

Is the software program 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 excessive. This means the important software program program experience is concerning the similar because it’s on the overwhelming majority of Samsung’s telephones. I like this period of One UI, though some may qualify it as heavy-handed. There’s a great deal of room to customize your experience and there’s not an extreme quantity of bloatware. Samsung says the Tab S7 FE will receive the similar three system-level updates and 4 years of security updates as its telephones, which might be very welcome.

The app experience on Android tablets isn’t on a regular basis the most effective. Not enough builders take the time to manage their apps for the larger, wider exhibits of tablets, and it reveals. Some apps will default to a portrait-only orientation even when using the tablet in panorama mode, whereas others might have weird or unfilled areas when compelled to render sideways. It’s uneven at best. In spite of everything, that’s endemic of all Android tablets and by no means merely the Tab S7 FE.

Additional learning: One UI — Each little factor you may need to discover out about Samsung’s Android pores and 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 particular person interface pores and pores and skin overhauls the tablet’s dwelling show display screen to look further like a Chrome machine’s desktop. It’s enough at what it does and is straightforward to launch due to a faithful button on Samsung’s keyboard accent. It’s rather a lot less complicated to run quite a lot of apps on the same time in Dex mode, as apps behave further like they do on a PC in moveable dwelling home windows. Dex mode does take only a few seconds to open and shut, nonetheless, which can get earlier after a while.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE One UI S Pen tools

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Naturally, the S Pen stylus interacts with all of the issues on the show display screen. There are moreover some devoted S Pen apps, akin to Samsung Notes, Penup, Noteshelf, and Canva. These all work correctly, though the Notes app might be essentially the most extremely efficient. The Air Command function prompts mechanically everytime you convey the stylus near the present and from there it’s a breeze to faucet into any of the S Pen-optimized apps. It’s solely a shame the system’s effectivity points preserve once more the final usability of the S Pen, as any intensive image enhancing or multitasking will shortly gradual the tablet down.

The remaining?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE keyboard closeup

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Cameras: Samsung downgraded the cameras between the Tab S7 assortment and the Tab S7 FE, which isn’t all that beautiful. You’ll get usable outcomes from the rear 8MP camera in good lighting and noisy photos in poor lighting. The user-facing 5MP shooter is arguably further needed because of it pulls double duty for video calls as correctly. Video prime quality surpassed what’s obtainable from my rising older MacBook, nevertheless it is nonetheless restricted by means of dynamic range and color. The cameras get the job completed in a pinch nevertheless don’t anticipate them to interchange your smartphone.
  • Keyboard Cowl: I imagine it’s needed to keep up a tablet’s show display screen protected and an amazing keyboard case truly ups the productiveness clout of a tablet. For the worth, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Keyboard Cowl ($169) isn’t unhealthy. The keys are correctly spaced and have sturdy ideas. I love that there’s a amount row and a function key row containing devoted shortcuts to show display screen brightness, amount, Dex, and further. There’s no touchpad, nonetheless, which is usually a disappointment to some. It’s moreover solely able to face at a single, unadjustable angle. On a further constructive discover, the Keyboard Cowl has a faithful, protected spot for the S Pen which might be very helpful.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE specs

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

Value and rivals

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Ecommerce

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

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

All the stage of Samsung’s Fan Model fashions is to boost the value equation of their dearer siblings; start with a full mannequin of 1 factor customary, swap out only a few specs and/or choices, and supply it at a decrease value whereas sustaining the requirements intact. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE largely succeeds, though I imagine it loses considerably one factor alongside one of the best ways — significantly the 5G model.

The larger Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, on which the Tab S7 FE depends, has a starting price of $850. The Tab S7 FE enjoys a rather a lot lower base price of $530 (Wi-Fi solely). Primarily crucial variations between the two tablets are the show display screen, which has similarities dimension nevertheless 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 completely different nips and tucks all via to lower that $850 price tag, nevertheless they aren’t as crucial to the final experience.

One issue that made the Tab S7 Plus such a compelling system was its top-notch effectivity. The older mid-range processor that’s throughout the 5G Tab S7 FE we examined would not ship the similar experience. You’re doable going to be larger off in the event you occur to disregard the 5G Tab S7 FE and bounce to the $599 Wi-Fi model, which moreover comes with further RAM and storage, upgraded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a further modern processor.

It’s possible you’ll doable be larger off ignoring the 5G model and going with the cheaper Wi-Fi model.

This brings us to the Tab S7 FE’s first important competitor, the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S7 ($649). Positive, it is smaller, however it packs all the effectivity of the Tab S7 Plus ($849) in a compact bundle that’s merely $50 better than the Tab S7 FE. When you’ll be able to’t sacrifice raw vitality and don’t ideas stepping the show display screen dimension down, the Galaxy Tab S7 is an efficient place to start.

If, nonetheless, massive Android tablets are your jam, you might have one other selection throughout the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 ($679). This massive tablet runs on a Snapdragon 870 processor and has further RAM and storage as commonplace.

Then there’s crucial title throughout the sport: Apple, and the iPad Air (2020). It has the similar approximate starting price ($599), though it is restricted in dimension to easily 10.9 inches. The iPad Air handily beats the Tab S7 FE in effectivity and software program program help. The Air’s Apple-designed processor is top-notch and should take care of even most likely essentially the most intense apps with out slowing down. Moreover, Apple has glad further builders to create iPad-specific variations of their apps. This improves the day-to-day experience of using the iPad. Nevertheless, you acknowledge, iPadOS. Apple’s platform isn’t for everyone and there’s one factor to be talked about for sticking with Android if that’s what your cellphone runs.

Related: The easiest Android tablets | The easiest low value tablets

If the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is an extreme quantity of tablet for you and likewise you don’t need the large show display screen or the productiveness devices, chances are high you may be larger off with a simpler slate, such as a result of the Galaxy Tab A7 ($229).

Closing, we’d be remiss if we didn’t stage out that you could possibly presumably snag a Microsoft Ground Go 2 ($599), which is a laptop/tablet hybrid working Dwelling home windows with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and each an Intel Pentium or Core processor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: The choice

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Chrome with AA

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

With the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, Samsung is trying to have its cake and eat it too. This tablet banks on the raw enchantment of the refined {{hardware}} and massive show display screen to advertise the idea of productiveness. On the same time, Samsung decrease considerably too deeply when trimming once more the specs, which hurts the Tab S7 FE the place it points most: effectivity.

Samsung’s mid-range tablet is a fantastic metal and glass slab that covers most of its bases correctly. The chassis and present are superb, the software program program and included S Pen are extremely efficient, and the battery life is near the most effective throughout the enterprise. The audio system pack a punch and the Tab S7 FE is sweet for catching a movie on Netflix.

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

However, the 5G model we examined fell a bit transient in only a few areas, akin to sluggish apps which impacted multitasking, and mediocre cameras. The effectivity of the Snapdragon 750G, significantly, is disappointing and will decelerate over time. Additional importantly, some competing tablets merely current further bang for the buck — significantly the iPad Air (2020) and Samsung’s private Galaxy Tab S7.

Once you’ve acquired your coronary coronary heart set on the Galaxy Tab S7 FE’s greater show display screen dimension, it’s clear most patrons will possible be best served by the Wi-Fi mannequin which ensures larger effectivity and future-proofed connectivity (in the event you occur to don’t need 5G) at a inexpensive price. For our money, the $599 Wi-Fi model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage might be essentially the most economical and good selection.

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