Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S is practically the last remaining premium Android tablet lineup on the market now that the iPad has completely dominated the industry while Windows 10 (see Surface Pro 7) and Chrome OS (see Pixelbook Slate) tablets offer users additional choices.
Regardless of the uphill battle Samsung faces, the company has continued to churn out solid options with last year’s Galaxy Tab S6 earning high marks from our reviewer, who called it “Samsung’s best tablet yet.”
- Can't wait for the Galaxy Tab S7? Here are the best tablets in 2020.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Rumors, release date, price and what we want
- The best tablet deals and sales in May 2020
Each year there is some expectation that Samsung will cede the market to Apple. However, the rumor mill has already been active for several months, churning out speculation about the Galaxy Tab S7, and Samsung appears to be shaking things up this year to take on the iPad Pro more directly.
Let’s take a look at everything we’ve heard about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 so far along with some of the things we would like to see Samsung bring to the tablet this year.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 price and availability
We don’t yet have any specific rumors regarding the pricing of the Galaxy Tab S7. While the Galaxy Tab S6 enjoyed a $150 price advantage over the iPad Pro, with its starting price at $649 for the Wi-Fi only model, the rumored specs for the Tab S7 suggest that the price could be going up this year.
Samsung must stay below the market-leading iPad Pro, so it seems most likely that it will be a $50 to $100 price bump, mirroring what we saw with the price hike from the Samsung Galaxy S10 to the Samsung Galaxy S20. We’ll be looking out for any additional rumors on pricing.
Rumors also suggest that there will be two screen sizes for the Galaxy Tab S7, which is going to drive the average retail price for the tablet up regardless.
As for availability, if Samsung is able to maintain its regular release schedule, we expect to see the Tab S7 announced alongside the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2 in early August. This would line up with the announcements for the Tab S6 and the Tab S4, which were made on July 31, 2019, and August 1, 2018, respectively.
Further support for this timing has come from the recent accidental posting of a product page for the Galaxy Tab S7 on a Samsung Germany support page, so the wait should almost be over.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 design and features
Samsung hasn’t been rocking the boat with the Tab S design recently, with the Tab S6 only offering slight refinements to the Tab S4 design, like the recessed magnetic charging indent for the S Pen.
It may not be the most innovative look, but the Galaxy Tab S line already features a premium aluminum design with some fantastic new color options introduced last year. That matches up favorably with the iPad Pro, and with the internal improvements and increased screen sizes we are expecting along with potential camera upgrades, it would make sense for Samsung to save money by sticking with the same basic hardware design again this year.
The renders below created from dimensions and specifications obtained by often reliable leaker @Onleaks support this idea with minimal changes save for moving the front-facing camera to a more logical landscape orientation rather than portrait.
Two standout features for the Tab S7 this year over the iPad Pro should be the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. A certification with the Wi-Fi alliance suggests that the future-proof new wireless specs will definitely be found in the cellular version of the 12.4-inch Tab S7, which may be called the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus.
Support for the inclusion of 5G as an option in both models came from sources for Gizmodo that indicated that the smaller tablet would include distinct WiFi, 4G, and 5G options for various markets, while the larger option would feature only WiFi and a 5G option (which naturally would also support 4G).
While we haven’t seen any leaked accessories yet, it's another area we could see Samsung approach this year. With Apple setting a new threshold on both features and cost for a tablet keyboard with its Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, it’s possible that Samsung looks to up its game from last year’s solid, but pricey, BookCover Keyboard.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 specs
As previously mentioned, screen size is one of the rumored spec bumps coming this year. The standard model should go to 11 inches from the 10.5-inch screen of the Tab S6 and a larger model would be introduced for the first time at 12.4 inches, which will naturally draw more iPad Pro comparisons.
Samsung will likely stick with the same Super AMOLED technology that it has used in the Tab S6. It’s one of the most vibrant screens on the market, particularly when in its “vivid mode.” According to frequent Samsung leaker @UniverseIce the most significant upgrade to the screen tech for both Galaxy Tab S7 models will be a 120Hz refresh rate. This leads to a much smoother experience when navigating the tablet and in apps that support it and it is an area where Samsung has been a step behind since Apple's introduction of ProMotion back in 2017.
The Tab S line has traditionally used the same chipset as the flagship Samsung smartphones for that year, and there is no reason to expect any different this year. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is the top of the line smartphone chipset this year and should also be powering the Tab S7. This is also one of the primary reasons that we expect to see a price bump as the smartphone world saw price hikes in flagship models due to the higher price of the Snapdragon 865.
We expect to see the Galaxy Tab S7 move to at least 8GB of RAM, with the larger model perhaps going higher as we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra this year, which topped out at 16GB of RAM.
The battery life for the Galaxy Tab S7 should be competitive with rumors placing its battery as somewhere between 7,500 mAh up to possibly 10,000 mAh for the Galaxy Tab S7+. This is roughly on par with the equivalent iPad Pro models, which deliver about 10 hours of battery life.
The charging, on the other hand, has the potential to be a real downfall for the Galaxy Tab S7, according to information uncovered by SamMobile, it will only support 15W charging, which is extremely outdated and underpowered when you look at the 45W charging support found in Samsung own Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone.
The S Pen will certainly still be a part of the Galaxy Tab S7 package, and it is reportedly due for an upgrade this year in the Galaxy Note 20 as well as the Galaxy Tab S7 variants. Unfortunately, the exact nature of these updates is still unknown, some of the most recent additions including Air Actions were seen as a bit gimmicky, but with increased pressure from Apple's Pencil there is ample motivation for Samsung to keep trying to innovate with its stylus.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: What we want
Limited price increase: With the larger screen sizes and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, there is little question that the price of the Tab S7 is going to go up, but we really hope Samsung manages to rein in the pricing unlike what we saw on the smartphone side this year. Given the iPad Pro’s dominance in the tablet market, there is reason to hope that Samsung will try to keep winning the pricing war.
Higher storage limits: While Samsung’s base offering of 128GB of storage on the Tab S6 is a reasonable starting point, the company should at least offer some higher-end options for a device that is as capable as the Tab S line has become. Ideally, the base model would move to 256GB with a 512GB and 1TB version, but that is likely overreaching.
Brighter display: While it outperformed the average tablet in its category, the Tab S6 fell below even the iPad Air as well as its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab S4, when it came to brightness. We’d like to see Samsung boost this a bit to stay competitive.
Improved keyboard case: The increased screen size of the tablet itself should help to alleviate some of the cramped feeling of the keyboard attachment for the Galaxy Tab S7, but the other feature that needs to be addressed is how it attaches to the tablet, as the sticky back on the previous model simply didn’t cut it.
DeX improvements: With Chromebooks like the budget Lenovo Chromebook Duet horning in on the Android tablet with the more productive Chrome OS onboard, Samsung needs to continue to up its game with DeX to drive the productivity side of the Tab S7 along with its superior creative/media consumption abilities.