(Image credit: Future)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is expected to be released by the end of 2020, giving Samsung another shot at toppling Apple’s reign as the most popular tablet manufacturer with its iPad Pro devices.
Succeeding the Galaxy Tab S6 from 2019, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 will be Samsung’s top-end tablet for 2020, sitting above the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and any Galaxy Tab A devices launched over the year. We’ve heard it could come with a Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, too, though it’s not clear how different this could be.
It’s worth pointing out that some rumors suggest the tablet will be called the Galaxy Tab S20 instead, which would bring the slate in line with the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone nomenclature, but this is contested, and we haven’t heard it for a while.
Apple’s premium slates, most recently the iPad Pro 2020, are typically considered the best tablets available right now, and give the tech giant a solid reign at the top end of the tablet market. But the Galaxy Tab S7 could give Samsung another shot at gaining the lead.
We’ve heard a few leaks regarding the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 now, which we’ve listed below, but we still don’t know much about what could be coming. In the meantime, we’ve also come up with a wish-list of features we’d like to see in the new device.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung’s new premium tablet
- When is it out? Near the end of 2020, likely August
- How much will it cost? Likely at least $649 / £619 / AU$1,099
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 price and release date
There hasn’t even been a hint of a release date yet, and with the coronavirus pandemic affecting production lines around the world, the products could be available to buy some time after the launch event. This is rumored to be the case with the iPhone 12 among other phones, and the Galaxy Tab is meant to come before that.
In terms of price, we haven’t heard anything so far, but we can make guesses. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 cost $649 / £619 / AU$1,099 and $729 / £689 / AU$1,299 for its lowest storage option, in WiFi-only and with LTE connectivity, respectively. The Tab S7 almost certainly won’t be any cheaper than that.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is slated to have 5G connectivity, as well as a bigger display to the Tab S6, and that’s just the rumors we’ve heard about – it seems the newer slate could have plenty of new features which bump up the price quite a bit, so we’d expect to see it retail for much more than the Tab S6.
News, rumors and leaks
One of the biggest Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 leaks so far (literally) is that the slate could be bigger than the Tab S6, and will also come in multiple sizes. Apparently, you’ll be able to pick up the tablet in 11 or 12.4-inch sizes, curiously similar to the 11 or 12.9 inches of recent iPad Pro generations.
It also seems the 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S7 is being referred to internally as the Tab S7 Plus, although it’s not clear if this will be a distinct device like the Galaxy S20 is to the S20 Plus, or just different in terms of size.
This Tab S7 Plus name has been noticed in Bluetooth certification documents, though, suggesting it could be the retail name for the tablet.
Another big leak suggested the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 will be 5G-compatible, if you buy a certain variant, giving you next-gen connectivity with top speeds and reliability, which will certainly be useful to certain types of user.
That leak also says the tablet will come with the S Pen stylus, which we would’ve expected given precedent with Samsung’s tablets, but it’s still good to hear.
A final leak that we’ve seen suggests the Galaxy Tab S7 will have a battery that’s around 10% larger than the Galaxy Tab S6. We hope that means the battery should last longer than on previous models too.
What we want to see
Before more Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 leaks and rumors roll in, we’ve come up with a brief wish-list; this is what we want to see in the new premium Android tablet.
1. Better tablet software
One of the main reasons that Apple’s slates trump Android devices in the tablet realm is operating systems: most people find iPadOS, created intentionally for iPads, easier to use on a larger screen than Android, which is designed more for smartphones.
iPadOS has smoother navigation, certain side-panel tools, and an easier-to-use user interface, and its MacOS sidecar feature is useful for some too users. In comparison, Android makes a tablet feel like a large smartphone.
If Google were to create an Android branch that worked well on tablets, finally iPads would have real competition, both from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and other such devices.
2. A 120Hz screen
Many flagship smartphones in 2020, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S20 range, have 120Hz screens. That refers to the refresh rate, so the screen updates 120 times per second, instead of 60 times in your ‘standard’ phone or tablet.
Screens with 120Hz refresh rate feel smoother to use, whether you’re scrolling through social media or playing certain compatible games, and if you’re using your tablet to view loads of documents or emails you’ll certainly notice the difference.
Technically iPad Pro tablets have this feature, as the ‘ProMotion’ tech automatically tweaks the refresh rate to fit the content you’re looking at, but there’s no way of manually setting it as there is on smartphones. Therefore if the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 were to have a 120Hz screen it’d be a step ahead of the iPads.
3. A headphone jack
Imagine you’re using your standard tablet while it’s charging, or you’re plugged in to an external monitor or hard drive – and whoops, you can’t plug wired headphones in, because devices that have dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack require you to rely on the lone USB-C port, just like everything else you need to plug in.
Sure, you could resort to wireless headphones, but this isn’t always an option. This can be a pain if your wireless headphones are paired to your smartphone, as switching devices can be a hassle, and often isn’t worth the effort.
Lots of professionals or casual users may want multiple inputs plugged into their tablet at once, whether that’s an external hard drive and wired headphones if you’re editing video or a charger and wired headphones if you’re chilling alone or on a long journey.
If there was a 3.5mm headphone jack, like tablets of old and certain budget options, you’d get that versatility of use that certain other top-end tablets don’t offer.
4. Improved front-facing camera
Like in smartphones, newer versions of tablets tend to have better rear cameras, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 boasting two, but there are lots of reasons you’ll want decent front-facing cameras.
Firstly, if you’re on a video call (and have decent internet) it’s nice to have a high-res camera to stream your face better. Also some people who need to film themselves, if you’ve got a job in media or other video-making, will enjoy a front-facing camera that lets them capture themselves in a decent resolution.
We’d like to see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 come with a better front-facing camera, perhaps with a 12MP resolution or even higher, so you can take pictures and videos that compete with smartphones.
5. A lot of internal storage
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 only came with 128GB or 256GB storage, and while there was a card slot too, we’d argue this isn’t necessarily enough for certain types of users, like video editors or publishers, who can often have many hundreds of GB of files just for a single project.
Sometimes taking an external storage solution with you everywhere isn’t viable, especially ones that require external power or are large, and cards can only hold so much data at once.
Since the iPad Pro models have 1TB options, it’d be nice to see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 match that so it’s more viable for productivity, or even for there to be a 512GB version, for people who want to do work and also have movies, music or games downloaded to relax with.