A budget Android option for the iPad

Unlike smartphones, tablets are not launched every year. And even when they launch, they’re far, far short. This is because no one buys a new tablet again and again like a smartphone. Unlike smartphones, which are more active devices, tablets can be considered as passive devices. And by passive, I would say that they are more suitable for content use than content creation. The goal of high-end tablets, such as the iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, is to blur the lines between a tablet and a laptop, providing high-end features and functionality compared to their budget counterparts.

With so many people working from home and especially students lecturing online, does access to a budget tablet with a long battery life, a decent display and access to the app’s host fill a void that is too small for smartphones and too big for laptops? Find out.

In the box

In the box, you will find the tablet with a USB-C cable and a power adapter That’s it. There is no protective cover or pen in the box. You will need to purchase a cover separately as an accessory.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a metal back.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: Key Specifications at a Glance

Display: 10.4-inch TFT 2000 x 1200 pixels (WUXGA +)
Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
RAM: 3GB
Built-in storage: 32GB
Expandable storage: up to 1TB
SIM card slot: No (there is a 4G model, it’s Wi-Fi only)
USB-C: Yes
3.5mm Jack: Yes
Thickness: 7 mm
Battery: 7040mAh
OS: Samsung One UI 2.5 on Android 10
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Speaker: 4
Bluetooth: 5

Looking at the tablet running on Snapdragon 662 comes as a bit of a surprise when we see the more capable Exynos 9611 in Samsung’s smartphones. But in the performance section that’s more.

Display and audio performance

Samsung’s flagship tablets such as the S6 (Review) and S5e (Review) have an AMOLED display, while the Tab A7 has a TFT display. It has a 2000 x 1200-pixel resolution, giving it a 224 ppi pixel density. While it’s not the most crisp display in terms of resolution, it’s not bad either. The colors don’t look as vibrant as we’ve seen on Samsung’s AMOLED displays on other tablets, but it’s not as washed and faded as we’ve seen on other budget tablets. To put it bluntly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is priced at Rs 17,999 for the 32GB Wi-Fi variant only. To get entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad 8th Gener you have to spend Rs 29,900. So, while Samsung is aiming for a relatively empty price point with the A7, going for a cheaper tablet means a big compromise on the display and one step above the A7 means spending a little over 10K.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a 10.4-inch display

To judge the display performance of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, we’ve played a lot of content from popular streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney + Hotstar and YouTube and it all looked pretty crisp and amazingly colorful.

The Cyberpunk 2077 trailer shows the Grand Tour car from the neon colored night city and even Young Sheldon’s vibrant color palette, it was a treat to watch. The auto-brightness display has faded a bit for my taste, but you can always bump it manually. The tablet does not support HDR and for the price, that’s fine, especially when you consider that the display can create rich colors.

The display can get really bright. Like the other Samsung devices we have in the past, you can push the brightness just above the maximum settings and it helps to see the content during the day.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7 has a single camera on the back

It is safe to say that if using content is something for which you are getting this device, or even attending an online class, then you should do well with the display. The touch response is also good and the tablet responds to the slightest touch.

In terms of audio performance, it has 4 speakers (2 on each side when placed in landscape mode) and they can hear quite loudly. You can put them on a table loud enough and you can enjoy a movie without the need to connect a Bluetooth speaker. Needless to say, you don’t need to use headphones if you want to watch online classes on this tablet.

Performance

As we mentioned above, the surprising thing is that despite having Samsung’s own Exynos 9611 chip we see the tablet running on Snapdragon 662. While the chipset isn’t the weakest out there, we’ve seen offers from MediaTek that it’s a smartphone in raw performance.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Benchmark Score

Moved to gaming, by default, the graphical quality and frame rate were set higher on COD mobiles, while other settings such as depth of field and ragdol effects were turned off. This, of course, is the automatic selection of the game based on the hardware and we consider it the ideal way to play the game. While it’s not the most beautiful, we’ve found that COD Mobile is definitely playable, smooth and enjoyable. Maximizing settings has hampered performance, though.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 can play good games

Moving towards daily performance, such as checking mail, browsing the internet, watching videos, etc. The tablet performed impressively without any stuttering. The only irresistible experience is typing. Each character had a little more real estate in landscape mode to give users a comfortable typing experience. If you are someone who will type a lot, investing in keyboard accessories would be a wise decision. If you want to type a mail or a small document or some note, then you are right. But if you want to type for a long time, this keyboard is compressed.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 UI

The tablet runs on Android 10 and overlays Samsung’s One UI 2.5. Although Samsung’s One UI has evolved a lot to perform one-handed operations and to streamline the general flow of UI on Samsung smartphones, it’s still a two-handed task on tablets. Since there is no fingerprint sensor, you need to unlock a PIN or pattern. There is also Face Unlock using the front camera which worked 9 out of 10 times. From multitasking to populating the home screen with your favorite apps and even navigating to settings, it’s a lot like what you’ll find on a Samsung smartphone, making Samsung users feel at home on this device.

The camera

If you are thinking of using it as your primary shooter, the performance of the camera is inadequate. It works well for video calls, but for photos, your smartphone will still be a good choice. It can click on relatively decent photos in good illumination, save details and make the photos look beautiful. At night, however, the shutter speed seems to slow down, the tablet takes its own sweet time to focus, and the pictures are very noisy. Below are some camera samples resized for the web

Samsung Galaxy tab A7 can click decent pictures in good illuminated condition

Above: A well-illustrated photo sample from the rear camera (resized for the web)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Low Light Camera Performance

Above: Low light photo sample from rear camera (Resize for web)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7 Camera Sample

Above: A well-illustrated photo sample from the rear camera (resized for the web)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 camera performance in low light

Above: Samples of low light images from the rear camera (resized for the web)



Above: Samples of low light images from the rear camera (resized for the web)

Construction and design

When you look at the Galaxy Tab A7, slim, elegant and well-designed things come to mind first. We have the gray variant here but it is also available in Silver and Gold. Starting from the back of the tablet, it has a smooth metallic finish that looks premium but may not be the most ergonomic. I have seen the tablet slip out of my hand a bit on multiple occasions and the lack of a cover to hold it on the table was very much felt. The back of the device is as premium as the iPad.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a USB-C port for charging and data transfer

The 10.4-inch form factor is a tried and tested one so as far as ergonomics is concerned, you will feel just right at home. When playing games or watching videos, the device is comfortable to use.

Moving to port placement, (holding the tablet in portrait mode) you have the power button and volume rocker to your right. The tray for the microSD card slot is on the left. Above and below, you have a quad-speaker setup. Below, you also have a USB-C port and an endangered headphone jack There is also a camera on the back of the tablet. At the front, the camera is not in the usual position. Rather, it is placed on the side bezel in the center when placed in portrait mode. When placed in landscape mode for video calling, it creates an ideal location for the front camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a power button and volume rocker on one side.

Overall, the build of the tablet is good and premium. Typing in landscape mode is a bit tedious, since the tablet is thin and invests in no case to project it to an angle. The size is good enough for playing games and watching videos.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a 7040mAh battery – which is compatible with what we saw in the Galaxy Tab S5e. At our battery benchmark with full brightness, the tablet died in less than 8 hours, which is actually quite good. Especially when you compare it to its predecessors. In real-world use, it can last for many days. Playback from streaming services based on streaming services dropped by about 14 percent in one hour. Local playback using VLC has dropped by about 16 percent per hour. Keep the brightness higher than automation, and you have a device that can easily use up to 10 hours of content. Battery life will vary depending on usage and in some productivity situations it may drain quickly.

Samsung Galaxy tab A7 battery benchmark

Should You Buy Samsung Galaxy Tab A7?

The cheapest iPad will cost you Rs 10,000 more than the Tab A7 and there are also cheaper options that can be considered, for the Tab A7 at around Rs 18,000, we have a device that targets those who want a device. Material cost. Of course, you can add a Bluetooth keyboard if you want and type school and college assignments into it. However, if late night netflixing, attending online classes and playing some games are what you are looking for then you can definitely consider it. It comes with a bright display, good battery life and great audio output. If you’re a productivity user, this tablet isn’t for you because heavy editing apps and multitasking devices can stumble. Camera performance is good for video calls, but poor when clicking on photos. Needless to say, you’ll use your phone instead to click on family photos.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has a front camera for making video calls

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