Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Preview

Introduction and Design

When the very first Samsung Galaxy Tab was released, perhaps not everyone imagined it paving the way for a plethora of other Android tablets made by the Korean company. Yet here we are, almost a year and a half from that day, and the manufacturer's family of tablets is steadily growing, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) being one of the latest slates to join the party.

We spent some time with it at MWC 2012 and walked away with mixed feelings about it as it was not too bad of a device, but nothing impressive either. Now, however, it is time to get a bit more into detail. What we have our hands on today is a prototype Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) unit, so check out our preview to learn more about it.


Although it is constructed entirely out of plastic, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) feels well put together and we are pretty happy with its design. It has a glossy rim around its edges and a matte back that is practically immune to any visible fingerprints. At 344 grams, the tablet is definitely one of the lightest in the 7-inch category, and with a thickness of 10.5 millimeters, it doesn't feel overly thick. Additionally, the device’s weight has been distributed pretty evenly so it is comfortable to use regardless of the position you are holding it in.

On its left side we see slots for microSD and SIM cards protected by plastic covers, and on the right we have the lock key and the 2-button volume rocker, both of which you can feel with your thumb relatively easy. Its top side is occupied by a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. The primary one is located on the bottom, along with Samsung's proprietary 30-pin connector and a pair of speakers, which are sufficiently loud.

Above the tablet's display we find a tiny VGA camera that should satisfy your video chat needs, and next to it we have an earpiece. Yes, unless your carrier forbids it, you will be able to make phone calls using your 4G-capable Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) tablet. Just be prepared to suffer the consequences of doing so for you would look pretty darn silly should you place a call in public.


Just like the very first Galaxy Tab, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) sports a 7-inch (d'oh) display with a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. That translates into a pixel density of 170 ppi, which is nothing spectacular, so don't expect everything on it to look silky smooth like on those high resolution tablet displays. There is one important detail that we have to point out, however, namely that the device's display has been made using Samsung's very own Super PLS LCD technology. As a result, it should be brighter, with better color reproduction, and superior viewing angles as compared to standard LCD displays, at least in theory.

Interface and functionality:

Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you don't need to wait for an update from Honeycomb. Providing the processing power is a dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz backed up by 1GB of RAM, and although the unit that we are previewing is not finalized, performance is fluid almost all of the time.

Samsung's TouchWiz custom interface is present on the device, but it is most likely not in its final form. In addition to the stock Android applications, the manufacturer has included the Gaming, Readers, and Music Hubs, which complement pretty much all of Samsung's current Android devices. Also, the Photo Editor and Video Maker apps may come in handy if you need to quickly do some basic image or video editing.

Something that might prove rather useful is the ability to capture screenshots at the tap of a button and draw notes on the image. You know, kind of like what you would do on a Samsung Galaxy Note. However, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) does not come with a stylus, so you use your finger instead.

Internet Browser and Connectivity:

Since the tablet's stock internet browser supports Adobe Flash out of the box, you should be able to enjoy the web to its fullest. Other features that make surfing the web more convenient include tabbed browsing, tap-to-zoom, and pinch-to-zoom. Text reflow did not work on our prototype unit, but we expect to see it added in the software's final version.

With the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi b/g/n, but a model equipped with a 21Mbps 4G HSPA+ radio is also to be released. For the times when you need to find your way around, the device comes with an A-GPS radio that can connect to Glonass satellites as well for improved localization.


What we have on the tablet's back is a pretty basic 3.2-megapixel camera. It lacks auto-focus and LED flash, so one should not expect much from it. Still, the outdoor shots that we captured on our prototype unit look usable. Same can be said about the 720p test video that we captured. Of course, we will judge the camera's performance after we get our hands on a final unit.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Indoor Sample Video:


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) does not really offer anything extraordinary in terms of hardware, but with a dual-core processor in tow and Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, it should be good enough to satisfy the needs of an average consumer. Besides, the device is quite an improvement over the very first Galaxy Tab model, and when you put it next to the rest of 7-inch offerings that are available on the market today, it is shaping up like a pretty decent tablet.

However, now would be a good time to remind you that Samsung already released the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, which is nearly identical to the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). That begs the question whether having the former device makes sense or not. Fortunately, that leads us to believe that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) will bear a pretty competitive price tag, which might very well make it one of the preferred tablets of this caliber.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Preview:

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