Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 review: Take two

GSMArena team, 2 July 2012.
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Design and build quality

The resemblance between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is uncanny. Both have a very minimalistic design, with rounded corners and smoothly beveled back.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is built around a 7.0" PLS LCD screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, the same as in the 7.0 Plus. While the screen is among the smallest and lowest-resolution in the Samsung tablet lineup (original Galaxy Note aside), and is far from stellar, it sets the standard for 7" tablets right now.

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From left to right, side-by-side shots of the Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 7.7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has no hardware controls at the front. As has been the case since Honeycomb, the tablet doesn't require any for the user to get around the interface.

All you get at the front is the camera, some sensors and an earpiece. Yes, you can put the tablet up to your ear and use it as a phone, but using a wired or wireless headset might feel and look more sane. The earpiece is naturally missing in the Wi-Fi version of the slate.

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The earpiece, camera and sensors located above the display

At the top we find the 3.5mm audio jack and the secondary microphone used for stereo audio in camcorder mode. The other one is at the bottom and you are warned upon launch of the camcorder app against covering the microphones.

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From top to bottom, the tops of the Note, Tab 7.7 and Tab 2 7.0 • Close-up of the 3.5mm audio jack

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 uses a proprietary 30-pin connector for charging and connectivity, which is located at the bottom of the tablet, in between the two speakers. You have to be careful not to place your palms over the speakers when you hold the tablet horizontally. The primary microphone is also located at the bottom.

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The bottom has the speakers, the primary mic and the connectivity port

Single, multi-function ports like the 30-pin connector on the Tab 2 7.0 mean you'll need a proprietary cable for both hooking up the tablet to a computer and even charging it. Hooking it up to your computer's USB port does not charge the device, but it does provide a minimal amount of juice so your battery level at least doesn't drop further. The lack of USB charging is a common trait among tablets, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

The sides of the slate accommodate lots of stuff. On the left you'll find the SIM compartment and microSD slot, both sealed with plastic lids. Logically, the there is no SIM slot on the Wi-Fi only version.

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The SIM and microSD slots on the left • the side of the Wi-Fi only version

The right side features the Power/Lock button and the thin volume rocker.

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The volume rocker and power/lock key on the right

The back of the Tab 2 is where the primary 3MP camera rests. The plastic on the back is textured to be smooth yet resistant to fingerprints, and is pleasing to the touch. This time around the camera comes alone, as there's no LED flash like in the Tab 7.0 Plus.

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The back of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is powered by a 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery. As is the case with most tablets, the back panel is not meant to removed, so changing the battery is not an option.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 can easily be held in one hand and will slip into a coat pocket or a purse. The curved back doesn't help with the thickness perception, but makes it easier on your hands when holding the tablet.

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The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 held in-hand

Up next is our examination of Android 4.0 ICS - the software behind the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

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