It’s become common for brands to release multiple devices at the same time that are remarkably similar but different enough to warrant different prices. Usually with a “Plus” moniker as a way of differentiating between the two. In the summer of 2020, it was Samsung’s turn with the introduction of the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus.
The two tablets offer many of the same features. They run the same Android software, with the same Samsung features on top; they both ship with the S Pen; the camera setup is identical; and the refresh rate, which determines how smooth scrolling and video playback are, is the same across both.
Yet, the Plus is positioned as the flagship model. A larger, more powerful tablet said to be worthy of replacing a laptop, and one that warrants adding almost £200 to the starting price.
In our Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review, we take a look at how well the tablet handles everything from streaming to playing games, remote working and letting our toddler get their hands on it. We give its S Pen stylus a test run, and we look at whether this tablet could actually replace your laptop or PC. You can also take a look at our Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 review, and for another Samsung device that comes with the S Pen, there’s our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.
- What is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus?
- How much is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus – Plus?
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus features
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus screen and sound quality
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus design
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus set-up
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus battery and performance
- Our verdict
- Where to buy
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review: summary
There’s no denying the Galaxy Tab S7 is a hugely capable and impressive device and performs fantastically well as both a large-screen tablet and an alternate to a computer. We loved the AMOLED display and the hugely powerful flagship Snapdragon processor. But with these high specs come high prices, and they’re likely to deter lots of casual users. However, for those who are willing to pay for such high-powered tech, the Galaxy Tab S7 is exceptional.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is available at Samsung for £799.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the larger, more powerful, more expensive sibling of the Galaxy Tab S7. Released during the same event, in August 2020, the Tab S7 Plus has a 12.4inch display (up from the Tab S7’s 11inch screen) and sits at the very top end of Samsung’s tablet price range.
It’s powered by Android 10, with a Samsung skin, and can be bought with Wi-Fi only or with Wi-Fi+5G. You can then choose between 128GB or 256GB built-in storage (both expandable to 1TB via microSD), 6GB or 8GB or RAM, and whether you want it in navy, black, bronze or silver.
The Wi-Fi-only, 128GB model is the cheapest of the lot at £799. This price then goes up to £1,000 for the 128GB, 5G version. Be mindful of the fact that if you buy a cellular version of the Tab S7 Plus, you’ll need to pay extra for a mobile contract. Samsung does sell a 256GB, 5G tablet, but at the time of writing, it’s listed as “currently unavailable” on Samsung’s own, as well as its partner sites.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus additionally ships with the brand’s S Pen Stylus by default.
What does Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus do?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is designed to be a tablet for all seasons – an entertainment hub, a powerhouse for remote working, and a design tool for creatives. Plus much more.
- Google Play Store gives full access to the full Android app catalogue
- This includes Netflix, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, SkyGo and Disney+ for streaming, all Google Drive apps, Microsoft apps including OneNote, Excel and Word, plus millions of games, browsers, and the full range of design, notebook and sketch pad apps for use with the S Pen,
- You can control the Tab S7 Plus with your hands, voice (via Bixby), S Pen, and gestures (via the S Pen)
- 4K video recording – but not 4K playback
- Split View allows you to run two apps side-by-side
- AKG tuned quad speakers come with Dolby Atmos technology
- Compatible with the Samsung Keyboard Cover keyboard (£219, sold separately)
- Available in black, bronze, navy and silver
There are a number of ways you can switch up your Galaxy Tab S7 Plus configuration, depending on what specifications best suit your needs. This includes four colours, two storage sizes, two RAM options, and whether you want Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi plus 5G.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus price, when bought directly from Samsung, is as follows:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 128GB + 6GB RAM: £799 (Wi-Fi only)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 128GB + 6GB RAM: £999 (Wi-Fi + 5G)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 256GB + 8GB RAM: £869 (Wi-Fi only)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 256GB + 8GB RAM: (Wi-Fi + 5G) – This is currently unavailable in the UK, and we have contacted Samsung to find out more
You can also buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus from the following places:
Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus good value for money?
There’s no denying you get a lot of bang for your buck with the Samsung Tab S7 Plus. It ticks a lot of boxes as a standalone, large-screen tablet as well as a viable laptop alternative.
The problem is its price aims it high; more towards power users than casual tablet fans. The only real way you’ll get value for money with the Tab S7 Plus is if you use it for everything from working to designing to entertaining and browsing.
If you’re looking to use it as a replacement for your laptop, it’s more than worth the £800 starting price. Yet, if you’re looking for just a decent tablet to watch shows on or are more of a casual sketcher than a full-on illustrator, you’d be better off buying the Samsung Tab S7. Or even something cheaper.
The differences in screen size, display quality, power and battery life are noticeable between the Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus, but not enough to warrant the extra money, in our view.
With both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus, Samsung has thrown almost the full weight of its display technology prowess behind it. We thought the display on the Tab S7 couldn’t be beaten until we saw the display on the Plus model. It’s the best screen we’ve ever seen on a mobile device, without a doubt.
The tablet takes the power and performance of its smaller Tab S7 sibling and turns it up a notch, and we’re borderline obsessed with how great the S Pen is.
The Tab S7 Plus runs Android 10 with a lightweight Samsung skin over the top. This means you get access to the full catalogue of Android apps, games, films, TV shows and books via Google’s Play Store.
Like Tab S7, the Tab S7 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor, which proved to be lightning-fast on the model we trialled.
Even though the Tab S7 Plus is available with two storage options – 128GB and 256GB – they can both be expanded to 1TB via microSD. The only real difference with the 256GB model is that it runs on 8GB RAM rather than 6GB. If you’re planning to be a power user, this could prove useful, but unless you’re going all out with apps, graphic designing, high-end gaming or similar, this extra boost will barely be noticeable. 6GB RAM with the Snapdragon 865 is more than enough power to get most tasks done with ease.
The fingerprint scanner is located under the display and can be used on its own, alongside facial recognition and/or a PIN for maximum security. The fingerprint scanner on the Tab S7 was a little temperamental if we didn’t place our finger in exactly the right position, it was located on the power button, but we never had a problem with the scanner on the Tab S7 Plus.
Elsewhere, you can use the Tab S7 Plus to control any Bluetooth devices compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings platform. Use it hands-free with Samsung’s built-in voice assistant, Bixby, or via the S Pen – the pièce de résistance of Samsung’s flagship tablet range.
Aside from being great for making handwritten notes, sketching and designing, the S Pen can also be used to unlock your tablet with the press of a button on its side. It will translate text simply by hovering it over a word, and you can control on-screen pages and scrolling using gestures, and much more. Our toddler is a huge fan of this pen – much more than the Apple Pencil, for instance – and despite the fact the Tab S7 Plus is not aimed at kids, this proved an unexpected added bonus.
Our one small complaint is that the S Pen we trialled for this review was the rose gold one, and it looks, and feels, cheaper than the black model we tried with the Tab S7.
As with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, the screen on the Tab S7 Plus really needs to be seen to be believed. It’s stunning and, as we said before, it’s the best display we’ve ever seen on a mobile device.
Aside from the difference in size, compared to the Tab S7, the Tab S7 Plus replaces the LCD panel on its cheaper sibling for a super AMOLED one. The OLED in AMOLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. This is a display technology in which each pixel can self-illuminate. The result is bright, highly accurate colours and deep blacks without any light bleeding through. The AM in AMOLED stands for Active Matrix and refers to an extra layer of transistors that give greater control of the pixels and their colours. It’s all quite technical, so all you need to remember is that the display is absolutely superb.
The bezel is thinner than we would expect for such a large display – larger tablets typically need more space upon which to grip the device – and this both maximises the Tab S7 Plus’ screen size and elevates its elegance.
It has a resolution of 1752 x 2800 pixels in a 16:10 aspect ratio. This isn’t quite a UHD/4K display, but it does offer HDR+, meaning Full HD content absolutely shines on this display.
There are a couple of smaller downsides. The 16:10 aspect ratio, while great for viewing content on Netflix and YouTube, can lead to apps not always being displayed properly.
A small yet significant complaint we made when reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 was its lack of a Tap to Wake feature. This is missing on the Tab S7 Plus, too. Tap to Wake is a feature seen on Apple and other rival devices in which you simply touch the screen to bring it to life and access the on-screen security controls. To wake the Tab S7 Plus screen, you have to press the power button or enable it as an option in the S Pen. The latter means that when you tap the button on the side of the pen, the screen “wakes up”.
The Tab S7 Plus copies the speaker layout of the Tab S7, and there are four speakers – two on each side – to create impressive stereo sound. Particularly for a tablet. We did notice that the sound did get a tad distorted on the highest volume, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever really listen to music cranked right up via this tablet. Plus, the distortion is minimal.
Apple still very much holds the design crown when it comes to phones and tablets, in our view, but the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet range is up there with the best. The Tab S7 Plus is the epitome of luxury from its sleek aluminium back, buttons that sit almost flush with the edge of the tablet, the large, bright display and thin casing. Only the camera module on the rear, which protrudes slightly, detracts from the overall elegant and streamlined design.
Despite its large size, the tablet is thin, and its components are well-balanced. This makes it comfortable to hold with two hands. However, one hand will start to ache after a while. The Tab S7 Plus adds a 10,090mAh battery, up from the 7,040mAh seen on the Tab S7, yet the larger model doesn’t feel noticeably larger beyond the increase in dimensions. It is heavier, by around 100g, but in reality, this barely registers and (if anything) just adds to its luxurious feel.
When it comes to ports, the Samsung Tab S7 Plus has a USB-C connector, a magnetic pin connector used to charge the Laptop Cover keyboard, and a smooth magnetic strip along the back. This strip is used to keep your S Pen in place and doubles up as a pen charger. The only thing missing is a headphone jack.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus offers the same, easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorial as its cheaper, smaller sibling. If you need to return to a previous menu or exit, it’s straightforward and clear how to do so at every stage.
Instead of having Samsung apps thrust upon you, as has been the case with previous Samsung devices we’ve tested, the set-up process on the Tab S7 Plus is more customisable. It lets you select which of its apps and services you want – including whether you want to enable Bixby or not – at the touch of a button. It even puts your browser choice and security settings front and centre. For some, this may be overwhelming, but Samsung helps guide you through to make it as simple as possible.
That’s not to say you don’t get any Samsung apps pre-installed, but it’s limited to those which Samsung clearly deems the most useful – Samsung Notes, the Galaxy Store (an alternative to the Play Store), Tips, and Devices. Because the Tab S7 Plus runs on Android, you do get Google’s suite of apps pre-installed. These can be easily removed if you don’t want or need them.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is an absolute powerhouse, thanks to the flagship Snapdragon processor and up to 8GB RAM. Not once did the Tab S7 Plus fail to do what we needed it to. When playing games or watching Full HD content, the graphics and scenes rendered brilliantly. Apps opened with minimal lag, and there was never a delay when switching between apps. The issues we had with Side View crashing on the Tab S7 were never a problem on the Tab S7 Plus.
Samsung claims the battery life on the Tab S7 will last 15 hours. We managed to push it to just shy of this – 14 hours 45 minutes – in our looping video test, which involves playing an HD video on repeat with the brightness set to 70% and aeroplane mode enabled. On standby, it lasted well into the fifth day. For more everyday tasks – making video calls, browsing the web, playing SimCity, catching up on Netflix and listening to podcasts – we got just over a day and a half. All are improvements on the Tab S7 and, given the Tab S7 Plus’ impressive display, are surprising.
If budget wasn’t an issue, we’d buy the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus in a heartbeat. It is almost flawless, and once you’ve seen how great the display is, it makes it harder to switch to any tablet that doesn’t offer such richness, vibrancy and accuracy. What’s more, Samsung hasn’t rested on its laurels with this display. The entire package is powerful, well designed, intuitive, and a joy to use.
However, budget is – and will be – an issue for a vast majority. And this puts the Tab S7 Plus and all of its wonders out of the reach of most of us. If you can’t quite stretch to the Tab S7 Plus, the Tab S7 is a more than worthy alternative for £619.
You can also save a few quid by not feeling obliged to buy the more expensive versions of the Tab S7 Plus.
We recommend opting for the Wi-Fi only model and hot-spotting off your phone as and when you need to. We also don’t think the 256GB model is worth paying extra for. If you’re a heavy Google user or any cloud-based services for that matter, you’ll have plenty of online storage to cover the shortfall with the cheaper, 128GB version. Plus, a 128GB microSD card costs around £19.99, giving you the storage of the larger tablet for less. You can then put the money you’ve saved on storage towards buying the £219 Keyboard Cover.
Give scores out of 5 for:
- Features: 5/5
- Screen and sound quality: 5/5
- Design: 5/5
- Set-up: 5/5
- Battery life and performance: 5/5
The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is available from the following retailers online. Further down, you’ll find the best offers out there.