on November 4, 2011
After reading a few theoretical reviews, I thought I would post a very early review based on one whole day of using my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus (which I've updated a couple of times). I've rated it overall 4*, which is 5* for the Tab and 3* for a premium price. There are certainly less expensive tablets, but I think this one really does have class-leading features. It's up to you whether you think the features justify the price or whether you want to wait for the next better-faster-cheaper version.
Not much to say about the design, it's a slab but the build quality is excellent and it feels very solid. I bought this specifically because it's a 7" form factor, and I wanted portable and pocketable which this delivers. I've posted a picture of what's in the box, it's just the tablet, charger and cable [see photo on the product page]. Don't plan on learning much from the "manual", which is a tiny little booklet. One thing I can't say is whether it has Gorilla Glass like the original Tab. I hope so, but Samsung doesn't say much as Amazon shipped before the release date -- heck, Samsung won't even let me register it yet. The screen quality, brightness and resolution is excellent although I did wind up disabling auto brightness as I thought it kept things a little dark. Easily fixed by manually setting the brightness to about 60%. The auto setting was probably to save battery life, which seems excellent. Charged to 100% this morning, and after a day of light usage (web browsing, wifi on all day, an hour of music listening, dozen or so apps loaded, 15 minutes of navigation) I still have 51% remaining after a day of usage. [11/6] I'm still happy with battery life, but I will say watching Netflix looks like it would only last about 4-5 hours.
Honeycomb with this tablet is extremely responsive, and I didn't find Touch Wiz intrusive. Actually everything pretty much just works the way you'd hope. GPS and Google Maps worked great, got sat lock in only a few minutes sitting on the passenger seat of the car. Local driving, but Google Maps cached enough that nav worked great. [11/6] In answer to several comments, the GPS works without wifi. Google Maps caches some local coverage, and there are standalone nav apps that have broader coverage. If traffic updates are important, you won't get them with no wifi.
Tried the camera, it's point-and-shoot cellphone quality but nothing approaching even my Lumix camera let alone a DSLR. [11/12] But apps like Barcode Scanner and Skype make good use of the cameras. The touchscreen is very responsive, and Netflix and Youtube looked great on my home wifi. No problems at all with any of the apps I downloaded, they all ran and looked great. [11/12] The 1.5.14 Pandora update fixes my previous UI complaint, so Pandora now looks as good as it sounds. If you want to pretend to buy this for work with a clear conscience, I also setup the built-in VPN client and was able to load a free RDP application (Pocketcloud) from the Android market to access our Windows servers just fine. [11/12] The Peel Smart Remote folks never answered their email support form (why bother to have it if you don't respond?), but their 1.2.6 update did deliver basic support for my Time Warner/Motorola DVR so I've now had a chance to use the built-in remote. The personalized program guide is nice and I might actually use it. But the remote functions supported are pretty basic so I'll still be using my Logitech Harmony - maybe they'll create an app!
If you're looking for a smaller tablet with all the bells and whistles, I think you'd be happy with this one.
on November 5, 2011
EDIT: Now the product has been tested more in more depth. My initial review still stands. I have edited the review to include more content concerning features. Thanks
First off I would like to state that this product has now been tested for two days. If anything changes my opinion of it I will be glad to update this review.
When getting this package I must admit I was filled with anticipation and some level of worry. This tablet is going to be used for both recreational and business purposes so it had to be capable of doing a large number of things. At first glance I have to say it is a real beauty. It features a slick and stylish design capable of impressing nearly anyone. Mine was charged to approximately 68% when I received it so I was able to turn it on and start right away. It took me approximately 10 minutes to get it started and linked to my google account. Here came my first surprise. Already having an android phone it then proceeded to download my saved contacts and apps that were own my phone. This saved me lots of time and was a big plus.
Briefly I would like to list features of the Tablet and give a quick run down:
Very bright and clear. This screen is impressive to say the least. It comes auto set to change the lighting itself but you can turn that off and set the brightness to whatever level you choose.
Aside from being bright it is also very responsive to touch. For this part of the test I went to my father. My father has larger fingers and usually has problems with small buttons or touch screens. He was impressed at how easy he could type and not make mistakes on the device.
This is a noteworthy camera. I was able to take a few decent shots with it and saw no real problems.
Edit: Tested out the video chat feature and had no problems it is a reasonably clear image.
No problems at all. It linked to my phone and I was even able to tether internet to the tablet.
Now first I was concerned GPS applications for download. However after a few times using it I have decided I rather like it. Here are three reasons why!
1) I bought a tablet not a GPS!
2) There are various different apps available on the market that seem to enable offline gps support.
3) You can start the Navigation while connected to WiFi and it will load all the information for a route and then it works perfectly. I even managed to get it to reprogram the route by turning the wrong way once. All in all it is just an added feature that is fun to use and can be useful if you pre program it at home.
Samsung has made a nice skin that overlays the natural Android design. I found it both user friendly and rather fun to play with. It took nothing away from the tablet, but added a few features that made it worthwhile!
Naturally I tried out a few games such as Angry Birds and others. This tablet played them with no problem and they looked even better than ever with a clear crisp image.
MEDIA CENTER -
I took the time to watch tv (Netflix) and listen to music (Pandora). Both were clear and crisp in sound quality making the tablet good to use standalone. However Samsung also provides Ear buds if you do not want the entire room to hear what you are watching!
Edit: Having first tested the remote on an old model tv I was unable to provide a clear picture of the features. Now I have fully tested this features and I am impressed. The Peel remote control offers an easy to use interface to change the channel, volume, or access menu. Simply WONDERFUL.
BATTERY LIFE -
Honestly I cannot say much about the battery life of the product. I charged it once and have used it off and on all day with little battery drainage.
Edit: Test and can now state that it held a charge for over a day with constant off and on usage. It only showed a serious drop in life after watching roughly 45 minutes of netflix on full brightness.
All in all the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.0 plus is an ideal tablet for anyone wanting to jump into the tablet market. I would gladly make this purchase all over again.
on November 18, 2011
First of all I have to say that I am in general really satisfied with this product. Size and weight are perfect. The 1.2 Ghz dual core Exynos processor is great and in general the tab is fast. It is sometimes a bit choppy when exiting applications and if you return to the homescreens: Widgets are sometimes empty and refresh for a second but nothing to bother. I guess Honeycomb 3.2 is not optimized for the Tab 7 plus yet and Samsung has to polish the drivers a bit.
The biggest problem I ran into so far are occasionally random reboots or random shut downs (Screen of death). I haven't manipulated the OS or installed problematic applications. At XDA forum I saw that several people had problems with random shutdowns so I guess it is a software problem and I hope that Samsung is aware of it and will fix it soon. I had two Tab 7 Plus and both had these problems. I had to return the first one because of some screen defects. The second is fine except for the mentioned problem. I can't wait to see ICS on this beast.
Update regarding the random shut downs: I find my second tablet once per day shut off. I have to do a reboot (pressing on/off button and the volume rocker) to turn it on again and it doesn't shut off because of an empty battery; I checked that already. I will send this Tab back again. I just haven't decided yet if I will return it for a refund or if I try another exchange. 400 Dollars are too much for a buggy device.
I decided to return my second Tab too. The random shut downs are bugging me and so far no fix. No statement from Samsung regarding this problem yet. If Samsung will fix this problem I will buy this tablet again, except there will be better ones out.
on November 28, 2011
I've been using 10" tablets and 3.5"-4.5" smartphones for the last 18 months. That included iOS and Android OS spread over 6 different devices. But what I was looking for was a compromise between the large, heavy tablets and tiny phones. So I spent the last couple months debating the offerings in the 7" market.
B&N Nook is rootable and has a good rep in the geek community, but out of the box it lacks too many features (1GB usable storage for non-B&N content and lacking B&N content).
Kindle Fire almost seduced me, but I canceled my pre-order when I considered the specs. No camera for video chatting, only 8GB storage memory, a funky flipboard-like interface and a limited app store. It's good for beginners and budget conscience, but woefully underpowered for a 10" veteran tablet user.
So I opted for the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. For an extra $200 (over the Kindle Fire), I get two cameras, double the internal memory, a microSD card to add more video content, a working GPS for the car, and a fancy smart remote.
The build quality feels secure. Not "plasticky" but not unnecessarily heavy either (i.e. no hard chrome backing of the iPad or Asus Transformer). The toughest part of this tablet is the screen. I've used it a week without any case or screen protector and it has not so much as a scratch.
So far I'm content with my purchase. Touchwiz seems to work better on my Galaxy SII phone, but it's not horrible. Honeycomb's most annoying feature to me is the always-on menu at the bottom. Adding the screen capture button just guarantees you take lots of unwanted pics. Ice Cream Sandwidth should do away with this problem, as least while watching video.
One thing I really appreciate about the 7.0 Tab is how well it retains a charge while in sleep mode. It is comparable to my iPad, able to live off the charger all day and only burn the power I need for use. And that's with GPS on. I wish my Transformer and Galaxy SII did as well.
This is a device perfect for someone wants the tablet experience without having to invest in a massive purse or backpack. it does all the Kidnle and Nook do, but with full fledged Android Honeycomb features.
on January 12, 2012
I've had my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus for a couple of days now, adding apps and tweaking settings and such. I must say, that this is a really nifty tablet. The screen size is right where I want it; big enough to comfortably view websites and small enough to carry around the house and on the go.
The tablet is very responsive and the interface navigation and customization via the settings is excellent. The pre-installed software (aka BloatWare) is actually more than half useful and easy to remove from sight, residing in the app section where you never have to see them, but available to use or put back if you change your mind.
The screen display is very nice and I suppose if you were to do a side by side comparison with other tablets, you would find that a few of them have better screens that only then would be noticeable, but know this, the screen in the Tab+ easily meets my expectations for a quality display.
The camera (front 2 megapixel and rear 3 megapixel) and the video option are simply adequate. Good for Social Media and such, but certainly not a replacement for a good digital camera or smart phone. Does have a flash which is nice.
One feature that tilted me toward this tablet was the microSD slot. Being able add and swap out as needed 32gb is pretty sweet.
I have two 32gb cards; one with all my music and documents and one that I dedicate for movies and photos. When shopping for any tablet, if you can, try to get one with this feature. You won't regret it.
You hear a lot of gas about the Android Marketplace vs. the Apple App Store. I honestly don't care which store has the most apps. What I care about is do they have the apps that I actually use on a daily basis.
I would suggest you go to the Android Marketplace via your browser and have a look. It had versions of all the apps that I wanted. Though since I don't game on my tablet, I can't vouch for that aspect.
Right now, my apps are a mix of pre-installed and thru the Android Marketplace (both paid and free):
Amazon Kindle - a few minutes on Amazon and I had it ready for downloading books.
Video Player - I may change this out for something else. Still undecided.
YouTube - it's there, just in case. You never know when Rebecca Black is going to release a new video.
Camera - simple to use, adequate for my needs. Though I do wish they would have increased the quality.
Polaris Office - mobile version of MicrosoftOffice? You can create documents, spreadsheets and slides.
Contacts - using the pre-installed; though I imagine that there are fancier ones on the Marketplace.
Calendar - same thing, meets my needs, but power users will want to head on over to the Marketplace.
Maps - ala google; very handy to have.
Of special note:
Social Hub - this Samsung App is pretty cool. It's a one stop app for my Facebook and Twitter feeds plus gmail. Two thumbs up.
Peel Smart Remote - another feature I was very interested in. Pretty darn easy to set up. Got my HD TV, Audio System and TIVO box dialed in and ready to go in a matter of minutes. Beautiful interface too. But all said and done, a resounding "Meh". If you are familiar with the look of NetFlix this is kinda how they did the navigation interface. My deal is that I just want to cut to the chase. My TIVO records all the shows I'm interested in and I use my universal remote to channel surf when I feel the need. Peel just doesn't quite fit the way I watch T.V. Others may disagree. Again, really slick interface, just a wrong navigation convention for me.
Android Marketplace Apps (paid and free)
Dolphin Browser HD - EXTREMELY happy with this browser for the internet. Very speedy, great interface and easy to use. You really need to consider this one.
Pulse - Wow. I was able to take all the info websites that I normally visit one at a time and put them all into this newsfeed aggregator. I can get my daily fix of news and information in half the time. You can also separate your feeds into different tabbed sections; News, lifestyle, fun stuff, etc.
AutoDesk SketchBook - Great way to sketch out concepts and ideas. Kudos on the interface and ease of use.
Skype - Video chat and all of that.
RadioScanner - who doesn't want to know what local law enforcement is doing? This app is an absolute 10-34.
UNO - a time-waster's dream of card gaming heaven.
iHeartRadio - internet radio of ClearChannel stations.
SpeedTest - gives you a fair idea of how fast your wifi connection is to your tablet.
Of special note:
mSecure - way to secure all your logins and passwords into one handy location. You only have to remember one password to get in and from there jump to the various websites that have login screens. The cool thing is that they have Android, Windows, Apple and iPhone versions that can synch with each other via WiFi.
This was a big step for me since I have been in the Apple environment pretty much exclusively. I kinda feel like Logan's Run; escaping the Apple BubbleDome to see what the real World is actually like. Thanks to WiFi, my iMac, iPhone and now my new tablet are best of friends and play well in my own little networked playground.
on November 15, 2011
I have purchased and used the following tablets for myself, my woman and our kids:
* Nook Color - 2x (Favorite for the kids)
* Acer Iconia A100 7 - Returned after 2 days; horrible battery life just reading books: 3 1/2 hours max.
* HTC Flyer WiFi - *awesome* tablet. For $300, it's a compelling choice. Well worth it over the Nook Color/Amazon Fire.
* Archos 80 G9 - Returned after 2 days. Bulky, horrible screen design flaw, bad battery life (~4 hrs) and keyboard was so laggy it was unusable.
I say all this because I *know* 7" tablets. And my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is my favorite, hands down. You can't go wrong with this device and its only real competitor in the 7" space is the HTC Flyer, which isn't nearly as fast, and runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) vs the Galaxy's 3.2 (Honeycomb).
EDITED: Corrected HTC Flyer's android version number from 2.2 to 2.3.
on November 7, 2011
Got this Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus two days after it launched from Amazon. Just to start, I own a Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S1)phone and I have tried my friend's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 a couple of times. Those are the only items I can compare on (I know they're not comparable to other tablets similar with the Tab Plus 7.0) but these are just a basis in case you own those devices.
I am just basing this on what it looked like since I am a little bit lazy to research on the exact resolution of each screen. The screen on the Tab 7 Plus is somewhat similar in looks with the 10.1 but falls short when you're used to using a Super AMOLED screen (in my case, my Galaxy1 phone) I see the big difference every time I switch between the tab and my phone. SAMOLED screen is sharper and has very high contrast. But if you haven't owned a device with an amoled screen, you would give this tab's screen 5 stars because it's really good compared to other tablet screens i've seen in Bestbuy.
Very spot on! (at least compared to my Captivate phone which had some issues before I installed a custom firmware on it) I have not tried navigation yet which I know should be the ultimate test on a gps but I walked about a mile with it and seems great to me. "GPS status" app from market locks up 12-14 satellites with SNR constant to about 40. But again, I haven't tried yet on how it deals with driving. I will have to give you an update on that..
**UPDATE: 11/18. I tried driving for an hour upstate and back using Google Navigation (phone data is tethered to the tab plus, took about 5MB of map data in 2 hours). It's very accurate and responsive. It did not have any problems at all. :)
Dual core SoC Exynos 1.2Ghz.. Very fast! Smooth scrolling and very fluid. One of the reasons why I didn't get the tab 10.1 is for some reason, its scrolling are not that smooth even if I try other launchers. But this tab plus 7.0 really makes the 10.1 look bad when it comes to simply scrolling. Launching apps is very fast as well. I haven't encountered any hiccup within an app. I have yet to try playing graphic intensive games. Will update again..
Universal Remote? (Peel SmartRemote App):
This is one of the reason why I got this tablet. There are limited tablets out there who has a built-in IR port for controlling Home theater systems. The app is pretty good but I don't think this can replace a Logitech Harmony remote right away since this software is pretty new. Their database for devices is somewhat limited for me. I own an old Samsung 46 inch LCD which the app can control. It can also control my Time Warner cable box and my Denon AVR 1911 receiver (ON/OFF/VOLUME/INPUT SOURCES only. doesn't support all buttons. I love the way Peel displays all the TV shows that are currently. You won't need to browse through the guide on your tv anymore. You can display based on genre (drama, comedy, action, sports etc) and you can even personalize your channels from there. Bottomline, the app is currently good on replacing you TV/Cable remote but is still limited in supporting other remotes. As for streaming players, it only has support for Apple TV and Roku for now. I submitted a request to Peel to support WDTV Live device, let's see how it turns out. By the way, search youtube for "Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Universal Remote". Someone did an early post on what the universal remote app looks like.
**UPDATE 1/17/2012: I ended up buying a Logitech Harmony 650 for only $49 (sold by Amazon and it's an excellent remote for the price!) because I gave up on the Peel app because the app development is very slow. At the very least, they do reply when you ask for support but I don't think this Smart Remote app is priority to them.
I get around the max 15Mbps limit on my Speed test app on this comparing to 5Mbps on my Captivate phone connected to 2.4GHz band. I tried the 5Ghz band and had same result for the Tab plus. I guess I have to try another app that would display more accurate results. My point is that it is fast. Browsing is very fast and very smooth. I watch HD trailers on the Movie Fone app and youtube without any hiccup.
**UPDATE: 1/17/2012 - Speed definitely varies and has different factors like ISP, router, wifi chipset, CPU specs, OS etc. But I recently noticed that the wifi of this tab has the same performance as my desktop on quadcore proc, 12GB ram, dualband wifi, windows 7 64bit specs. Goes up to 30Mbps (Time Warner turbo boost)on my 15Mbps connection.
Pretty good. 3MP back and 2MP front is enough to take decent pictures and videos. Did Skype a couple of times and they say my video quality on both cams is good. Oh and audio quality is superb and LOUD considering its size!
Size and Weight:
This is pretty much a perfect balance between a phone and a laptop for me. Fits in your pocket and it's big enough to browse and watch movies. It has a very premium feel. Build quality is awesome.
So far so good. I've only had this for two days, charged a couple of times for a few minutes to an hour but I've only had it charged to 100% once. And battery performance is great!
**UPDATE: 1/17/2012 - Battery has been superb for me lasts about 7-8 hours of almost nonstop use (surfing the web, youtube, music, skyping, streaming videos and downloading files. Battery drain is very little on standby so I won't worry if I don't use it for a couple of days.
This is a great buy and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking great looks, performance and portability. For you guys who are used to having super AMOLED screens, you might want to wait for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 version but it will definitely come at a higher price. But I don't think it will be worth it if its price goes $100 higher than the Tab 7.0 Plus. I think I would prefer a 7 inch screen which is just right for one hand. We'll see when the 7.7 gets released.
**UPDATE: 1/17/2012- Now that the price for this tab is only $350, I'd forget about the tab 7.7. I am 100% contented with this after almost 3 months of use. I've been using this without any problems at all and it always gives me the best performance regardless of how many apps i throw at it. Definitely worth every penny!
on January 7, 2012
I was shopping the internet for 5 weeks comparing and reading reviews and analyzing prices until I was sick of researching. I had targeted the Coby Kyros as more in line with my budget, but fortune smiled on me and I got the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus new-in-box on Craigslist the day after Christmas for $260 (at the time they were $399 on Amazon). Right after I bought it, the price plummeted $50 on Amazon to it's current $349-ish. Had I the money and the chance to do it all over again, I would buy the Samsung every time. If I had $349 to blow, I would buy one right now for my wife, who keeps looking at my tab with open jealousy.
At first it wasn't pretty because of some annoying problems (mine was a T-mobile stamped device), but I cleared that up with the update. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you immediately install the Kies program from the Samsung website on to your desktop/laptop and connect it to the Samsung. The updates made things MUCH better for me and I had the thing 5 days before I did that- notably the annoying AP mobile app that came with it that wouldn't uninstall or move off the home screen until the update. I have some 4 gigs of ebooks and 10 gigs of audio library, so I immediately got a 16gb MicroSD card for it, giving me a total of 32 gb on the tab. Now I wish I had spent the extra to get the 32gb SD card, because I could easily fill that up with TV and movies.
I've watched 10 hours of video, listened to that in audio and have all sorts of games and apps that have run without a glitch. I LOVE this thing and wonder why I didn't get a tab sooner. Some apps won't work right because of the new version of the Honeycomb OS, but that's the app's issue and not the tab's. My boss, who has an expensive iPad2, looks at my tab with envy and admiration and talks about trading his iPad for one of these. I had thought of buying a 10-inch tab, but I'm so glad I got this 7". It is perfect size and not too bulky like the 10s.
on November 6, 2011
Beautiful screen, quick response, fast internet and GPS.
The tablet is comfortable to hold and the buttons are easily accessed and depressed (see Xoom). It really feels comfortable in the hand.
Proprietary port for power and computer connection, no USB port of any kind.
The build is *solid*, no glossy plastic. Built to last.
Battery life seem good. Going strong after 4.5 hours and somewhat more than 50% of the battery remaining.
Great viewing angles color and decent black levels. Not AMOLED but the Plus is quite enjoyable from any angle.
I don't know why tablet manufacturers don't make a power adapter with a replaceable electrical prong AND have the prong fold down (like the old Apple power adapter). Samsung's: replaceable yes, fold down no.
One serious flaw: the volume jumps up and down when listening to quiet music files. The volume is set at five clicks above mute. I've used various Android players, different headphones and restored the tablet. The *same* files play great on the Galaxy player 5.0. Please fix the problem quickly Samsung!
UPDATE: The volume problem does not occur through the built in speakers, just through the headphone jack. Have called Samsung and reported the problem.
UPDATE2: Second sample exhibited the same, exact problem. .ogg, .m4a, .flac makes no difference. No replaygain, no EQ. Low level volume with these players (or production run) is defective.
on November 11, 2011
I am not a techie so I won't go into technical details on my review. This is the first tablet that I have, or at least the first one that I am keeping. First purchase was an Impression tablet that I returned the day after I received it - it was garbage and I didn't want to spend time trying to make it work. Was hesitant to purchase this Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus as there were no actual reviews at that time. But because the Samsung Galaxy 7.0 had many positive reviews, I thought that the 7.0 Plus couldn't fall far from the other one. Received it the other day and I really love it. It was ready right out of the box. Touchscreen is very responsive, screen resolution is very clear although I can see what other reviewers say that the switch in screen orientation is not instant -- probably almost a second delayed. Not so big of a deal for me. Picture clarity is not totally bad but could be better but I don't plan to use this tablet much for taking pictures and videos. I purchased it for the sole purpose of playing games, checking news, weather, maybe my e-mails, do some virtual window shopping . . . just things to keep me occupied if stuck with some time doing nothing. The only thing is that because of the location of the power button, I tend to accidentally press on it when I pick it up (not everytime but from time to time). Also, it has slipped off my hand twice already (quite slim for my hand or it's just probably me) so I am hoping to find a pocketbook-like case so I have a better grip on it. This tablet probably have way more features than I need, or would ever discover (for now, at least), but I wanted to get one that I would keep for years ahead. Like I said, I am not a techie so I don't necessarily get excited with every new gadget that comes out. I just want one that I like and that works for what I need and the Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus is exactly the one that does that for me.