Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB)

Don't write off the Galaxy Tab 7.7 because of its smaller screen size. With an AMOLED display and a zippy 1.4GHz processor, the Tab 7.7 is among the best Android tablets around.


7.5
CNET Rating
9.0
User Rating

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If you ask us, the 7-inch tablet has not received its due. Often unfavourably compared with the standard 10-inch models, 7-inchers are seen as the cheaper, lesser alternative. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a great example of why good things come in small(er) packages.

Design

Like a prop from the movie Honey, I shrunk the kids, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is exactly as you'd expect it to be — just like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, only smaller. And this is a good thing; smaller means lighter among other things, with the Tab 7.7 weighing in at 340g, or just over half the weight of the Tab 10.1 and the iPad 2. It's also easier to interact with a smaller screen, with the keyboard being more compact and options and icon being closer together.

From the width of the black bezel around the screen to the stainless steel finish on the underside, the 7.7 is instantly recognisable as part of the Galaxy Tab family. The big differences shine through when you power up the unit. Though it's unlikely you'll see the effects of the faster 1.4GHz processor straight away, there is simply no denying the improvement the AMOLED screen technology makes to using a device in this category.

Samsung uses Super AMOLED tech in creating this panel, and it looks gorgeous, with deep blacks and rich colours. In fact, some keen eyes may even say the display looks a touch oversaturated. There is also the same number of pixels in this 7.7-inch display as most other companies use for larger 10-inch screens, giving the Tab 7.7 more pixels per inch and a sharper appearance as a result.

There aren't too many slots or switches around the edge of the Tab 7.7. As with the Tab 10.1, this newer model uses a proprietary port for charging and USB connectivity, and offers owners the option to add more connections, like TV-out, with the use of adapters purchased separately. This is a different approach from most other Android tablet makers, who include micro-USB ports, SD card readers and HDMI-out for connecting to TVs. The Tab 7.7 does have a microSD card slot, however, so you can expand its internal memory.

Compared to

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 BlackBerry PlayBook Acer A100 Samsung Galaxy Tab 7
7.7-inch 800 x 1280 7-inch 600 x 1024 7-inch 600 x 1024 7-inch 600 x 1024
Super AMOLED LCD LCD LCD
Dual-core 1.4GHz Dual-core 1GHz Dual-core 1GHz 1GHz
Proprietary port, microSD Micro USB, micro HDMI microSD, micro HDMI, micro USB Proprietary port

User experience and performance

If you're holding out for a tablet running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, you will have to wait a little longer. The Tab 7.7 ships with Android Honeycomb (3.2), though Samsung has committed to upgrading these units in the near future. As such, the user experience is identical to the Tab 10.1, with the Samsung TouchWiz user interface (UI) subtly adding enhancements to standard Honeycomb UI, but not enough to make it feel much different to other Android tablets available today.

It does run a little smoother than most tablets, with thanks to its zippier dual-core 1.4GHz processor. Scrolling animations and transitions don't stutter the way they do on devices using Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor, and hopefully this will improve further with the Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Importantly, the web browsing is still the standout feature here. The Tab 7.7 rips through the BrowserMark benchmark we run on new devices, and is very capable when handling complex web elements on pages. We'd still recommend you switch Flash content to "on-demand" in the browser settings for blazing-fast page loads.

BrowserMark benchmark

  • 96288
    Asus Transformer Prime
  • 90748
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
  • 87665
    Apple iPad 2
  • 84330
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

The Tab's 5100mAh battery is also impressive when you consider the original Galaxy Tab 7 had only a 4000mAh capacity pack. This larger battery has more work to do, with the larger AMOLED screen to power, but it still manages to last for a considerable length of time. With a 720p video looping on the Tab, the battery held up for between nine and 10 hours, and standby battery use is superb. This is supported by the fact that our review unit is Wi-Fi only (a 3G connection would drain the battery much faster), but it is a great result nonetheless.

Camera

Samsung includes a somewhat tokenistic 3-megapixel camera on the rear of the 7.7, and though its large-sized lens looks like it means business, the photos taken by this camera are strictly for Facebook only. Even in playback on the Tab's fantastic display, the graininess of the image is clearly visible.

App support

Although Samsung has no control over this one area, it is worth pointing out that the smaller 7.7-inch display still struggles with the majority of apps on the Android Market, as these apps were originally designed for smaller smartphone screens. Even major apps like Facebook display unusually, with tiny text crammed into the corners of the screen, rather than making use of the entire display.

Thankfully, there is a screen zoom option for apps that require it. This will stretch each screen of the app out to a pixellated mess, but at least the buttons are easier to press accurately.

If you're looking for apps to install on a new Android tablet, check out our favourite Android tablet apps here.

Overall

We haven't really fallen in love with Android tablets to date; some have been good, but none have really blown us away. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is a stand out with its excellent AMOLED display and its punchy performance, but we can't overlook the absence of important connectivity features, like HDMI and micro USB. If these features seem meaningless to you, feel free to add an extra mark to the score above — we would have had the Tab include these options. Also, don't write off this tablet just because its screen is smaller; it only makes the tablet lighter in your hands and easier to type on.



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Yawood
9
Rating
 

"Fantastic screen and tablet size."

Yawood posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Screen. Battery life. Size. Weight. Speed.

The Bad:Nothing really.

This is my first tablet and I did not want anything as big as an iPad or 10.1 inch screen. I also wanted something with some expansion and connectivity so I didn't want an iPad. I got the 32Gb model and added a 32Gb micro SD card. I will be taking it on an overseas trip and wanted to load it with some movies so that my wife and I can watch a movie if we can only get foreign language TV in a hotel. It plays MP4 movies extremely well - the AMOLED screen is crystal clear. I only got the Wi Fi model as I will not use 3G overseas but most of the hotels and airports will have Wi Fi available anyway. I am very impressed with its size, it's a great screen to use without being big and heavy. I have downloaded an app called MapDroid which allowed me to download maps from each part of the world to which we are travelling. That means that I can use the built in GPS without needing any Google connection or 3G connection to be able to navigate. I know that Google now allows you to download maps but as far as I know it is limited to maps within a 100 mile (km?) radius of a point - not as good as being able to download the maps for an entire European country. All-in-all, I'm very happy with my first tablet.

Eyerish
9
Rating
 

"It is about the perfect size between a bulky tablet and a tiny screen phone"

Eyerish posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Just about everything, the screen is sharp and clear and it doubles as a phone. It will fit in a large pocket if necessary

The Bad:Lack of released accessories such as covers

I purchased my first tablet and after much research I settled on the Tab 7.7 (I also have a Samsung S2 and the performance of that gave me some confidence in other Samsung products). I purchased this in Singapore so I have a 3G version that connects to the Aussie networks without any problems. This alows me to have email and internet on the go and still make a phone call. The size is actually quite good and I don't feel the need to go for a larger screen - the Super AMOLED Plus helps make the smaller screen feel bigger than it is. Bigger isn't always better in the case of Tablets.

While it is big for a phone it will fit into a large pocket if you are keen but it also fits into a back pack or hand bag without taking up much room. I do use it as a primary phone and while it looks a bit **** holding up this large phone to the ear the call quality is quite good.

The home screen is easy to customise with your favourite apps and it scrolls through very smoothly.

Battery life is pretty good - certainly compared to the S2 or Note. WIth email running continuously and checking Facebook or reading the news or browsing in general for up to a couple of hours a day I get about 2 days before needing to recharge (live wallpapers are turned off as they maybe pretty they also hog battery life).

The bad? This list is pretty short. I have had it shut down without reason but this has only happened once. There is a lack of accessories for it but this is probably only a matter of time before more are introduced. It is big as a phone if you are concerned about how you look while making a call but the speaker phone or accessory earbud/mic would rectify that.

The Google maps is good and I have used the 7.7 as a GPS navigator to get to unfamiliar destinations and since the screen is larger than the average GPS it is easy to read while on the move.

As for the camera. I didn't buy it for its ability to take photos - I have an SLR and a decent pocket camera to do that and let's be honest the tablets are not trying to replace other quality cameras and are more for fun that someone taking serious photos. Basically to me the camera wasn't a consideration although someone else may see it as a priority.

Overall I'm very happy with this Tablet/phone. It is easy to read the screen yet is not too bulky or cumbersome. It is reasonably intuitive to use and although the apps store is not as big as Apple's there is more than enough useful apps to choose from (who needs 10,000 useless fart sound apps anyway?). I put my money down and I'm happy with what I have got.

 

dakaca posted a reply   
Australia

Thanks for your review. Am heading to Singapore soon. Can you tell me where abouts there you purchased the Samsung tablet from. Thanks Tracey

Monoclonal26
9
Rating
 

"Visually Spectacular. Brilliant performance all in a nice package."

Monoclonal26 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Perfect Size, Awesome Visually, GreatPerformance, Great Battery Life.

The Bad:Nothing Really - maybe The Lack Accessories. That "Lack of Love" of tis device by Samusng.

This is an awesome device. Not only performance wise, but it is Visually brilliant. The build quality is great andnot only looks but feels A-Grade. People often compain about the lack of connections, but it can all be down through the 30-pin port. which not only allows fo the need of 1 cable, it helps keep the device thin. Don't pay big dollars for the OEM cables, jump on ebay and pick up the likes of USB connectivity for $2.
16Gb memory is perfectly fine, as officially it can take an SDcard up to 32gb, but unofficially 64gb works. Great for hotswapping through your movie colelction on those trips. Size wise this machine is perfect. Goldielocks as I have seen before. Perfect for travel and perfect for functionality. A great battery too!
I will never give a 10/10 for anything, but this pushes those limits. Great Job Samsung.

 

Djet2003 posted a comment   
Australia

Well Samsung has already written off there early devices like the Galaxy S 1




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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Wi-Fi, 16GB)

  • Yawood

    Yawood

    Rating9

    "This is my first tablet and I did not want anything as big as an iPad or 10.1 inch screen. I also wanted something with some expansion and connectivity so I didn't want an iPad. I got the 32Gb mode..."

  • Eyerish

    Eyerish

    Rating9

    "I purchased my first tablet and after much research I settled on the Tab 7.7 (I also have a Samsung S2 and the performance of that gave me some confidence in other Samsung products). I purchased th..."

  • Monoclonal26

    Monoclonal26

    Rating9

    "This is an awesome device. Not only performance wise, but it is Visually brilliant. The build quality is great andnot only looks but feels A-Grade. People often compain about the lack of connection..."

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