Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) LTE Review

Introduction, Design and Display
This is a short review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), which is available from Verizon Wireless. You can read our full review of the Wi-Fi model here.


A few months ago, Samsung introduced its Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Wi-Fi only tablet, which came in at a reasonable $250. Now Verizon has started selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), but they are packing it with 4G LTE data capability, as well as a faster 1.2 GHz dual-core processor for $350, which makes it the least expensive 4G tablet for the carrier. But with other Wi-Fi only tables coming in at a lower price, such as the Google Nexus 7 for $200, you have to ask yourself if you need 3G/4G data connectivity, as the tablet will cost more and will require a monthly data plan.

Included in the retail package is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) SCH-I705, wall charger with detachable cable, and user guides.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is simplistic and understated with its all-black appearance and plastic construction. Due to its compact size of 7.63” H x 4.82”W x 0.41” D and a weight of 12.2 oz, it is easy to carry around, comfortable to hold, and can even fit in some pants pockets.

On its left side we find a microSD memory card slot and 4G SIM slot protected by a plastic cover, and on the right we have the lock/power key and the volume rocker, both of which you can feel with your thumb relatively easy. Becoming a standard with Samsung’s tablets, we find an IR blaster perched on the right edge as well, which turns the device into an universal remote. Its top side is occupied by a 3.5mm headset jack and microphone. Along the bottom edge are Samsung's proprietary 30-pin connector and a pair of stereo speakers, which are sufficiently loud, while the 3.2MP camera is on the back.


Just like the very first Galaxy Tab, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) sports a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. That translates into a pixel density of 170 ppi, which is nothing spectacular, especially since the Google Nexus 7 has a 1280x800 resolution display with a higher pixel density of 216 ppi. The Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) employs Samsung's very own Super PLS LCD technology, which does give some nice off-axis viewing angles. Overall, it all culminates into one pleasant looking display as it sports natural looking colors, but we still find ourselves having difficulty viewing it in direct sunlight.

Interface and Functionality:

We’re glad to see that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you don't need to wait for an update from Honeycomb. Being a Samsung-made tablet and all, the manufacturer’s TouchWiz custom interface is present on the device, and it doesn’t deviate much from what we’ve seen previously – such as having access to the Mini Apps tray. In addition to the stock Android applications, it also includes Samsung’s AllShare, Media Hub and S Suggest apps, Let’s Golf 3, Monopoly, Polaris Office, and Peel Smart Remote, as well as Netflix and Verizon’s VZ Navigator.

Not surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) comes with that great email experience that we’re fond of. Both the standard E-Mail and Gmail apps function the same, as they utilize a two-panel interface to provide us with easy organization.

Processor and Memory:

One thing that we found interesting is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) that is sold by Verizon comes with a Qualcomm MSM8960 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, instead of the 1.0 GHz dual-core processor that is used on the Wi-Fi only model, though RAM remains at 1GB. This extra processing power is not only present in the benchmark scores, but the device feels plenty quick – though not quite as fast as the Google Nexus 7 with its 1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) LTE4211560858.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Wi-Fi
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.154791272258.9

Also included is 8GB of internal memory, but there is only 4.3GB available to the user. Thankfully, you can install a microSD memory card up to 64GB in size if needed.

Internet and Connectivity:

After manually installing Adobe Flash onto the tablet, we’re able to enjoy the web at its fullest. Other features that make surfing the web more convenient include tabbed browsing, tap-to-zoom, and pinch-to-zoom. All in all, the experience is an acceptable one, since it’s able to maintain a good performance even when heavy Flash content is present. Of course, small text on web pages can look jagged due to the display’s resolution, but zooming in remedies that. Naturally, with Verizon 4G LTE data network, we were able to go some good speeds around the South FL area. Using the app, it showed 12.04 Mbps download and 3.62 Mbps upload during peak daytime hours.


Included with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a mediocre 3.2-megapixel camera. It lacks auto-focus and an LED flash, so one shouldn’t expect much from it. Overall, its quality is flawed by over-exposure and poor auto white balance throughout all shooting scenarios. Moreover, low lighting shots exhibit a lot of noise and bland colors.

Surprisingly, its 720p video recording fares a bit better, as it’s able to maintain a steady shooting speed of 30 frames per second and produces average looking details – though, its audio recording picks up a lot of background noise. In the end, we’d only use the tablet to capture something in the event that nothing else more suitable is present.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Sample Video:

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Just like before, the music player interface is nothing more than a rehash of what we’ve seen with Samsung’s TouchWiz for Honeycomb. No doubt functional at its core, but its presentation is lacking any visual allure. As for its stereo speakers, they’re good enough to deliver some acceptable tones without any hint of crackling.

Considered a natural thing nowadays, especially for any dual-core packing device, the tablet handles playing all our test videos, including ones encoded in DivX at 1920x1080 resolution. Of course, we’re pleased by its smooth playback and good-looking visuals, but we’re not particularly wowed by it, due to the lower resolution display. With the inclusion of the AllShare app, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) can stream stored multimedia content wirelessly to other DLNA compatible devices.


With the built-in 4000 mAh battery on board, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) was able to last us 2-3 days with mixed usage before requiring a charge. But for heavy users, a nightly charge would be required. Just keep in mind it uses a 30-pin cable instead of a standard microUSB cable, so if you charge from multiple locations, you’ll need to purchase extra cables.


Overall, for $350 the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) from Verizon is a good quality tablet that offers the extra ability of using the carrier’s 3G/4G data network, instead of just being limited to Wi-Fi. The tablet has plenty of power under the hood with its 1.2 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor that runs Android ICS and Samsung’s TouchWiz UI without a hitch, but we do wish the display was higher resolution so text and images would look sharper, especially when viewing web pages. It is a good value if you must have the built-in 4G, but if not, we would rather recommend the Nexus 7.

Software on tested device:
Android 4.0.4
Baseband Version: I705VRLG3
Kernel Version: 3.0.8-720512-user
Build Number: IMM76D.I705VRALG3

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Video Review:

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  • Lowest price 4G tablet for Verizon
  • Android 4.0.4 ICS
  • IR Blaster


  • Screen resolution isn’t the best
  • Poor camera quality
  • Uses a proprietary 30-pin charging/data cable

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User Rating:

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