Samsung very first tablet came out about 2 years ago. Since then, the Korean company has outed half a dozen other tablets with ranging sizes and form factors (from 5.0, 5.3 to 7.7, 8.9 & 10.1 inches). The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is basically a refresh of the very first model. Check out our full review after the jump.
If you’ve owned or tried the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or 8.9, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus looks and feels like their fraternal twin. The hardware configuration and design are almost exactly alike.
At 9.9mm thin and 345 grams, the Tab 7.0 Plus is pretty thin and light. The back panel is made up for glossy, white plastic with a silver accent wrapped around the edges.
One of Samsung’s obvious strategy is to flood the market of Android tablets in all sizes to cater to specific needs and lifestyle of consumers and so far, it is working. Yes, size does matter — whether you want a larger one for better screen real estate or you want something smaller for portability.
The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus sits in the middle — right in between the Galaxy S WiFi at 5 inches and the Galaxy Tab 8.9. So what ou get is a thin and light Android tablet that’s still jacket-pocket friendly.
The 7-inch display is pretty usable, has a nice bright screen and good contrast although the resolution isn’t as packed as what we’ve all wanted (1024Ã—600 pixels). It’s also no match against the sun so you have to deal with glare in the outdoors.
Like the first Galaxy Tab, the Tab 7.0 Plus also comes with cellular features — that means you are able to make phone calls and send/receive SMS with the native apps. The 3G SIM card slot is found on the left side of the tablet along with the microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Of course, to avoid looking silly when holding the tablet up against your ears when taking calls, it is best to use a hands-free earphones or a Bluetooth headset to do so. There’s also that AirDroid App you can download and use to wirelessly use/manage your device over WiFi.
The Tab 7.0 Plus comes with Android 3.2 Honeycomb polished with Samsung TouchWiz UI for tablets. The UI experience is pretty solid, smooth and fluid as expected of the Galaxy Tab series.
From the 5 home screens, you can add widgets, shortcuts, apps and organize them to your liking. You can also set Live Wallpapers for the background but that might just drain the tablet’s battery much faster.
And since this is an Android tablet, it goes without saying that you have access to hundreds of thousands of apps in the Android Market. Some are built for smartphones and a few are made specifically for tablets but you can use any of them as you please.
What the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus have that no other Samsung tablet (and very few other Android tablets) has is the built-in IR Blaster (found at the middle of the right corner).
The only other Honeycomb tablet I’ve seen that has this same feature is the Sony Tablet S but that one has not yet been launched in the Philippines.
With the right app, you can use the tablet as a remote control for a number of appliances and devices at home. I was able to download Peel SmartRemote and use it to control my 3-year old Samsung TV at home.
It also supports several other devices like Blu-ray players, stereos and streaming media players like the Roku and the Apple TV. This universal remote feature will really come handy when you have multiple devices at home and and always misplace the remote control.
The hardware configuration on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is spot on. In some respects, I feel it’s even a bit better if you compare it to its older siblings, the Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1.
The bigger Galaxy Tabs were actually using an NVidia chipset so they’re generally good in the gaming department. The Tab 7.0 Plus, on the other hand, uses a 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos chip.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus GT-P6200 specs:
7-inch PLS display @ 1024×600 pixels
1.2GHz Exynos 4210 dual-core processor
16GB and 32GB internal storage
microSD card up to 64GB
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
3MP rear camera w/ 720p video recording
2MP front-facing camera
GPS w/ aGPS support
4000mAh Li-Ion battery
Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb
The Tab 7.0 Plus is only available in 16GB and 32GB of internal storage but you can expand it using a microSD card with capacities of up to 64GB (sold separately).
The tablet is also capable of speeds up to 21Mbps over mobile internet on an HSPA+ network (same as the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy note).
As such, you get really good experience with gaming and video playback. Web browsing is also smooth and the 1024-pixel resolution in the landscape mode is perfect for most websites. It’s in the portrait mode (at 600 pixels) where it gets a little cramped.
The two speakers at the bottom end of the tablet is usable but not really that loud enough. I’d suggest using a headphone hooked to the 3.5mm audio jack at the top corner when listening to music or watching movies.
The 3MP camera and LED flash at the back is decent and usable but not that great so I did not bother taking sample shots for here. The photos seems to be grainy and has a lot of noise when used in low-light conditions. It’s got autofocus and can be controlled when you tap the screen for refocusing. It’s capable of recording 720p HD videos though so that’s a plus point in that department.
Battery life is also quite good. I managed to squeeze in around 7 hours of movie playback on a single full charge. That’s at full volume and 50% screen brightness. I reckon it can do better when the settings are dialed down a bit.
Take note though that battery life will heavily depend on case use, the apps running in the background and the idle settings (WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, etc).
The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus surely offered a better experience and performance over its predecessor. It also provided an alternative form factor to those looking at the Tab 8.9 and 10.1 and felt they’re still a bit bulky to carry around. The 7.0 Plus gives that good balance between portability and performance in a very affordable price point.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has been available in stores since December 2011 and has a suggested retail price of Php23,990.