Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus was announced on September 2011 before released to the market 2 months later. Which mean, it is already 6 or 7 months by the time this post published. Yet, I still feel excited about this tab.
But why wait for 6 months? I personally feel the initial RRP (recommended retail price) at RM1799 is quite overpriced. So when Samsung slashed the RRP to RM1399 last month, I wait no more and get this a unit for my family. This unit bought from Celcom for RM1008, with 12 months contract and monthly commitment RM88. Minus the monthly rebated Rm25 (paid Rm300 upfront), additional rebate RM10, and minus the Rm3 for autobilling, the monthly commitment is not that high after all.
Considering countless review on Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus readily available on the net, so I thought it just need little introduction. Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is the successor to the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, the first 7 inch Android tablet from Samsung. Samsung has polished this 2nd generation tablet on almost every angle, making it not only one gorgeous tablet, but very powerful as well. We’ll come to that on later paragraph ok?
I’ve read through many review, watch the youtube video, before I decide this is the table we’re looking for, on top of iPad 1 that I bought 2 years ago. That’s common things considering that you’ll have to fork more than 1K here to own decent gadget here in Malaysia. The first impression is very important to influence your purchase. So yeah, I’m impressed with this stunningly beautiful gadget.
When I first hold Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, I can feel the thickness and lightweight. Yes, it is very thin, measured only 9.9mm (for comparison, Galaxy S2 is at 8.5mm). It grip well in my palm, and I feel comfortable holding it in one hand for very long time. My wife share the same feeling when we try it on the Celcom’s Bluecube store. There are only 2 color available, black and white. We prefer black color, but out of excitement, we only realized we’re given white color only when we reach home.
Samsung Galaxy tabs 7 Plus comes with clean and minimalist design. There are power button and volume rocker on the right side, headphone jack at the top. Samsung properity connector occupied the bottom part, and sim card slot and micro sd slot at the left side. There is no HDMI or USB port, unlike some tablet already in the market.
To us, the only caveat is, unlike US version, the version sold in Asia Pacific region doesn’t come with IR sensor. I found this little bit disappointing initially because we plan to make it universal remote control for all electrical appliance in our house.
Galaxy Tab 7 plus screen is equally gorgeous as it’s physical dimension. The screen use PLS-LCD (Plane-to-Line-Switching) technology which not only have high resolution, but also better viewing angles and according to an article that I read before, it is 10% brighter image than the iPad’s IPS-LCD. So, in layman terms, the screen is brighter, the image is clear, the colour is vivid and the list goes on..
Now I mention before that Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is better in every angle compared to the original Galaxy Tab. That’s pretty true except the screen resolution which still set to 600 x 1024 pixels, 7.0 inches (~170 ppi pixel density) and primary camera which still at 3.15Megapixel. The rest such as CPU (bumped from single core to dual core 1.2GHz), RAM (bumped from 512MB to 1GB), and the Android version (bumped from Froyo 2.2 to Honeycomb (3.2) has seen pretty impressive upgrade. Extensive comparison can always be viewed at GSMArena.
Let’s move on to the OS that power this tablet, which is Android 3.2. My first Android phone is HTC Magic, which run on Android 1.6, which I upgrade to Android 2.3 using Cynogemod ROM. There are major improvement on the Android OS, which I very much appreciate it and loving it.
According to certain post like this one, the newer Galaxy Tab line including Galaxy Tab 7 Plus will receive an upgrade to Android 4.0 aka ICS, but no estimated date provided when that’s going to happens. So live with it for time being. As usual, the Android tablet/smartphone sold by Samsung comes with the customized version of Android called TouchWiz.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of customized Androd including TouchWiz (i prefer stock Android), but I don’t bother to root it, and install the customized ROM or even the stock Android. There are also Samsung Store with over 40K application as alternative to Google Play Store. The thing I like most about Samsung tablet is, it comes with Polaroid Office by default. So opening/editing any office documents is a breeze, without hassle to install or purchase other office application. If you’re heavy social media users, you may find it is very useful as it combined major social media, email and messaging in one place.
But Android is very customize-able OS, so it didn’t take long for us to change the default launcher with GO Launcher.GO Launcher with GO Store offers whole lot of customization to satisfy your needs and craving of beautiful interface. There are tonnes of themes you can choose from, be it free or paid version. For time being, I prefer moderate customization and the free themes are more than enough.
With 3.5 megapixel camera, it does not produce stunning photos, but the quality is still there. After using this tablet for about a month, the most frustrated part is inability to capture moving object propertly. The auto focus in my opinion is working pretty slow to capture the moment. The LED flash is helpful to capture night shot, but the lighting is inadequate to provide decent quality photos. The video audio playback is also pretty good. It able to play 1080p movies perfectly. One thing I found useful especially if you have young kids is, the lock function to lock the screen when you play the movie. This will prevent the movie from stopped or the control panel being displayed on the screen when the screen is touched.
1 plus point that original Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 7 Plus has is the call function. It is little bit bulky to be called phone but the call quality is equally good. It little bit awkward initially to answer or make a call on the 7 inch tablet, which obviously not the same manner as phone, but over the time, we’re pretty okey with that. The speaker and microphone is well placed, so there is no problem on the quality of the call. The only thing to do is to ignore the staring look from passerby, you’ll be okey.
As conclusion, I can’t really find any weakness on this beautiful and multi funstion. It is very affordable, compared to Galaxy Note which is RM500 more expensive. It is portable,value for money and gorgeous. For moderate use, the battery can last for a day or more, and only require recharging during the night.
There are many so thing you can do with this tablet. First and foremost is it’s dual function as tablet and phone. With Waze, I can turn this phone to be GPS instantly. And it works very well. I can use it as education tool, entertainment tool for kids and my self, and others. Good buy indeed!