Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 - Lucky Seven

Launch SRP: S$898

Performance and Conclusion

Benchmark Performance

What lies beneath the Galaxy Tab 7.7? There’s quite a lot, and we’ll touch on its processor first. Unlike the first Samsung Galaxy tablet that uses an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, Samsung’s latest addition to its arsenal is powered by their very own Exynos chipset. Two cores, running at a clock speed of 1.4GHz will be the main driver for the Galaxy Tab 7.7’s overall processes, with 1GB of RAM to manage multiple apps in the background.

With a treasure trove of benchmark apps available on the Android market, we chose to go with Quadrant to see how the Galaxy Tab 7.7. fared against similar tablets. This narrows down the selection to tablets with similar form factors and hardware, such as the Huawei MediaPad, Sony Tablet P and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.

How the Tablets Stack up
Device Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Sony Tablet P Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Huawei MediaPad
CPU Exynos dual-core 1.4GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz Exynos dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 dual-core 1.2GHz
GPU Mali-400MP ULP GeForce Mali-400MP Adreno 220
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB RAM
OS Google Android 3.2 Google Android 3.2 Google Android 3.2 Google Android 3.2

The recent Galaxy Tabs have shown a significantly high Quadrant score, trouncing both the Tablet P and MediaPad using the Tegra 2 and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets respectively. But do numbers tell the full story?

Unfortunately, the synthetic benchmarks did not reflect the real world experience. As high as the scores are, the Galaxy Tab 7.7’s actual performance is below average. We could go on and on about the sluggish menu transition, and the time taken for its apps to load, not to mention the occasional forced closing of apps. Though if you do get the app running, we can’t complain about the smooth performance of graphics intensive apps such as Dungeon Defenders. Clearly, there's room for improvement in the overall user experience department.

 

Multimedia Performance

When it comes to multimedia performance, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has one distinct advantage - its Super AMOLED display. AMOLED screens have typically performed well in terms of screen clarity, brightness and rich colors. True to our expectations, the AMOLED display made everything so much more readable. Brightness is definitely not an issue, and we had to bring it down to the bare minimum when we’re indoors. And we didn’t have any trouble reading the tablet under strong sunlight either. 

Given its 7.7-inch screen size and a display resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels, the screen comes off pretty sharp with a high pixel density of approximately 196ppi. True to that, high resolution images looked very detailed on the the 7.7-inch screen, not to mention the accurate and rich color reproduction on it.

What about its imaging performance? The Tab 7.7 is equipped with a 3.2MP camera sensor on its rear and we gave it a go in our standard indoor photo test subjects. Overall imaging performance didn't turn out great, but we have to give the camera due credit for keeping the noise levels low. While it is somewhat lacking in color richness and sharpness in the finer areas, the overall imaging quality is still decent for a camera on a tablet.

 

Battery Performance

Consider the following facts - the Galaxy Tab 7.7 uses AMOLED technology, touted to have better power consumption than traditional LCD displays. It comes in a more manageable 7.7-inch screen size, and battery mileage generally correlates to the display size and its screen resolution. In general, the higher it is, the more power it draws.

With that in mind, we ran the Galaxy Tab 7.7 with an intensive battery test, which involves a video resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels being looped on the unit. The test is performed under specific parameters, such as:

  • Screen brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
     
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

Test Tablets Compared
Specifications/Device Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Sony Tablet P Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Huawei MediaPad
Processor
  • Dual-core 1.4GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
Display Size
  • 7.7-inch
  • 5.5-inch x 2
  • 7.0-inch
  • 7.0-inch
Display Type
  • Super AMOLED
  • LED-backlit IPS TFT-LCD
  • PLS LCD
  • IPS LCD
Display Resolution
  • 1,280 x 800 pixels
  • 1,024 x 480 pixels 
  • 1,024 x 600 pixels
  • 1,280 x 800 pixels 
Dimensions
  • 196.7 x 133 x 7.9mm
  • 180 x 158 x 14mm
  • 193.7 x 122.4 x 9.9mm
  • 190 x 124 x 10.5mm
Weight
  • 340g
  • 372g
  • 345g
  • 390g

Comparing the results against those obtained earlier on from similar tablets, it’s apparent that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has performed pretty well in its battery mileage. Couple that with a thin and lightweight design, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 also took the top spot in the portability index, which measures the battery mileage against the overall weight and volume of the tablet.

Outside of the intensive test, we’ve been running the Galaxy Tab 7.7 through a normal pace, to gauge how much a general user can get out of it. Running a series of movies, gaming and also some music on it, we were not too surprised that it stretched on for a day and a half. And that’s also counting the number of messages we’ve sent, either through SMS or WhatsApp, and a few calls. Yes, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 also comes with cellular features with an accompanying SIM card.

 

Conclusion

If you give us two words to describe the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, we would have to say: thin and light. There’s no doubt that if you need a tablet for easy reading, the Samsung tablet does that job perfectly well. And this is complemented by the high detail levels and rich colors form the Super AMOLED display and its screen resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. More importantly, you won’t have to charge the Galaxy Tab 7.7 often, given its high battery mileage.

Yet, it would be careless of us to not remind you of the shortcomings of this Samsung tablet. For one, the 30-pin proprietary USB connector can be a nuisance, for the fact that you’ll have to use a different cable other than the usual microUSB cable that's often used for many mobile devices to charge and connect to your desktop or notebook. The benchmarks might have reported strong numbers, but it is the user experience that really matters. And that is definitely lacking, with the sluggish experience we got out of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at times.

In essence, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is more suited for those who want a tablet that is easy to handle and not too much of a burden - provided that you can put up with its sluggish nature at times. Despite its long battery mileage, if you’re looking for a heavy duty tablet that excels on all accounts, it might be better to move along and look for an alternative. In fact, there are plenty of options, which you can look for in our tablet buying guide.

7.5
Design
8
Features
7.5
User-Friendliness
7.5
Performance
7.5
Value
8
The Good
Extremely light and thin profile
Rich colors from Super AMOLED display
Long battery life
The Bad
Sluggish interface
30-pin proprietary USB connector
Poor placement of stereo speakers