Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 review: Different magic

GSMArena team, 2 April 2012.
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Introduction

Samsung's impressive tablet lineup is already in its second generation, but the one that stands out is surprisingly at the lower end of both the size range and the age bracket. The ultra-thin and incredibly light Super-AMOLED-packing Galaxy Tab 7.7 may as well be the one the iPads should be afraid of.

Most of the tablets on the market are powered by dual-core chipsets, and the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 will have no trouble blending in. Scratch that. Some of its peers may find it hard to keep up. Sure, it will soon be looking at some quad-core slates fast approaching in the rear view mirror, but that time is yet to come. The Exynos SoC with those twin 1.4GHz cores is more than sufficient for a 7-inch device by our books.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 official pictures

What makes the Galaxy Tab 7.7 so special is the screen and the compact form factor. This is the first and only tablet to use a Super AMOLED Plus display and - you don't have to take our word - it looks gorgeous. Equally, if not more importantly, this is the only tablet to feature a 7.7" screen. So, is it Samsung's insistence on finding an empty niche where no one else in their right mind will care to look or is the Galaxy Tab 7.7 really that special?

There's a lot of ground to cover before we can give a definitive answer. But honestly, we can see why people looking for a genuinely compact and portable tablet with premium specs would go with the latter.

Key features

  • 7.7" 16M-color Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • Weighs 340 g only
  • Exynos chipset: Dual-core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor; 1GB of RAM; Mali-400MP GPU
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb with TouchWiz UX UI (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the works)
  • Quad-band GPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G with HSPA connectivity (HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps)
  • Support for voice calls, texts and MMS
  • 16/32/64 GB of built-in memory
  • 3.2 MP autofocus camera, 2048x1536 pixels, LED flash, geotagging
  • 2.0 MP front-facing camera; native video calls
  • 720p HD video recording @ 30 fps with stereo audio recording
  • Stereo speakers
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • HDMI TV-out (adapter required), USB host (adapter required)
  • microSD card slot
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Adobe Flash 11 support
  • GPS with A-GPS support; digital compass
  • 1080p DivX/XviD/MKV video support with subtitles
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor; three-axis Gyroscope sensor
  • Polaris office document editor preinstalled
  • 5100 mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery

Main disadvantages

  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Proprietary 30-pin connector for charging and connectivity
  • No Full HD video recording (might be fixed by the ICS update)
  • No ICS yet (coming up though)
  • Keyboard dock works in portrait mode only
  • Not cheap

Besides being one of the best looking tablets, much of which comes down to the Super AMOLED Plus screen, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 manages to get the rest right too. The Exynos chipset, the rich connectivity, the solid battery backup and the multimedia skills round off an impressive package. The voice call support is a major boost too - the ultra-portable tablet saves you from carrying an extra phone.

In fact, it's the compact size above all else that make the Galaxy Tab 7.7 a worthy option to consider by those who find the iPads and other 10-inchers too much of a hassle to carry around. Of course, the iPad 3 and some of the most recent 10" droid slates have raised the bar too high in terms of screen resolution, but the Galaxy Tab 7.7 isn't so desperately behind in actual pixel density and the AMOLED screen still has an edge outdoors.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 live pictures

There is a lot going on for the Galaxy Tab 7.7. There're some question marks hanging over it too, which we'll try to address. Coming up next is the hardware inspection and that's good news for this here slate. It's highly unlikely to start on the wrong foot as long as we're talking Super AMOLED Plus and brushed aluminum. Shall we?

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