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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon and WiFi models available.
Manufacturer: Samsung
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What's hot: Latest OS, decent display and all the Android tablet trimmings at a budget price.

What's not: Small internal storage, decent but not very fast speed.


Reviewed May 7, 2012 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Think there are a lot of Android tablets to choose from? Heck, just deciding between Samsung's many Galaxy Tab tablets is enough to drive the average shopper bonkers. Among Samsung's 3 current 7 inch Android tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 stands out as the most affordable. It sells for $249 for the 8 gig model, and it competes directly with the Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. While the Kindle and Nook are absolutely awesome if your primary use for a tablet is the consumption of those companies' media (particularly the Kindle since you get books, Amazon Prime videos and their large app store), the Samsung is a great 7 inch starter tablet for those who want Android to be all that it can.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch

This is a full Android 4.0.3 Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablet with access to the Google Play Store for apps, and it has dual cameras and a GPS with GLONASS. It looks much like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus that came out last November, but it loses the faux brushed metal back in favor of smooth gray plastic. It's light at 0.76 lbs. and slim with comfortably curved sides. Controls and ports are easy to use and the tablet has a microSD card slot to expand storage (you'll need it with only 4.6 gigs of available internal storage).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch

Like the $399 Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, the tablet has a 1024 x 600 PLS display with good brightness and plenty of color saturation. It's not a step up from the original Galaxy Tab's display, unlike the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with its 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED display. The display has good contrast for eBook reading and viewing angles are good (certainly much better than the budget oriented Acer Iconia Tab A100). The accelerometer on our tablet is overzealous and changes orientation with the slightest twist of the wrist. Annoying.

Performance and Horsepower

What do you lose for the budget price? The tablet runs on a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP CPU that's slower than more expensive tablets clocked at 1.2 to 1.4GHz and as noted, internal storage is spare. The tablet feels responsive in use, but Adobe Flash Player controls can be a little balky and some demanding 3D games hiccup and pause for a second every once in a while. It uses PowerVR SGX 540 graphics.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch

The tablet handles 1080p MPEG4 high profile video playback well. The display isn't quite 720p, but 1080p is useful if you pick up Samsung's accessory HDMI adapter. The small speakers on the bottom (when held in portrait mode) have decent volume though they're not wildly full.


  Quadrant AnTuTu Sunspider
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 2705 4841 2288
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 3545 7050 2003
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus 3536 6074 1738
Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2 2822 5555 1807


Deals and Shopping:



Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Video Review


Samsung TouchWiz is here as a UI enhancer for Android ICS. It unfortunately masks some of Google's user interface enhancements, but it does provide continuity for existing Samsung users who are accustomed to TouchWiz. Samsung includes their usual screen shot button next to the standard Android navigation buttons for back, home and multitasking, and several widgets that we like (weather, news and music control). Samsung's army of content consumption apps is here: Media Hub (movie rental and purchase), Music Hub (music purchase) and Reader's Hub (a home for Press Display's newspaper reader, Zinio magazines and Kobo eBooks). Samsung is clearly trying to offer content options to compete with iTunes and Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch

Additional apps include S Planner (a very nice calendar on steroids), Memo, My Files (file manager), Photo Editor, Video Maker, World clock and Samsung custom music and video players. Polaris Office for tablets is on board as your MS Office compatible suite and it supports cloud storage services and syncing. Netflix is pre-installed and looks good on the PLS display and you get the full suite of Android standard applications. Adobe Flash Player is just a free download away.

IR Blaster and AV Remote

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has an IR blaster and it comes with the Peel AV remote and TV listing application. This worked fine with our TV, cable box and receiver and it was easy to set up controls over IR. Peel is more TV listing-centric rather than being a full-featured omni remote for all manner of AV gear. It shows featured shows for genres you select and avoids the dull but incredibly useful TV listings grid.


Want to video chat? The Samsung's front camera has you covered. It worked fine with Google Talk video chat and Skype in our tests. The rear 3MP camera obviously won't take breathtaking shots, but for a low resolution tablet camera, it does a good job with color saturation and sharpness. The rear camera can take photos and capture 720p video (1280 x 720).

Battery Life

Samsung goes with their usual 4,000 mAh Lithium Ion battery here, and the tablet averaged 7 hours of use in a mix of standard endeavors: music playback with the screen off, web browsing, streaming a few YouTube videos, email, social networking and reading eBooks. Like most tablets, the battery is sealed inside. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 uses the same Samsung charger as all other Samsung tablets and has the same dock/charge/data transfer port. It mounts as an MTP or camera over USB. We found we had to choose the camera mounting option to connect to Mac OS X.


If you've been looking for a good quality, name brand tablet that won't break the bank, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is an excellent choice. It's a full Android tablet running ICS with all the trimmings that ereader tablets lack like dual cameras, a GPS and access to the Google Play Store for apps. If you want a general purpose tablet that can do it all, and don't crave the fastest CPUs, lots of internal storage and a 720p display, the Samsung is for you. If your main interest is reading books or consuming Amazon services, then look to the Kindle Fire and Nook. If you're seriously into 3D games and want the best performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus and Motorola XYBoard 8.2 are worth a look.

Price: $249 (8 gigs, only capacity currently available)




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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch

The original Samsung Galaxy Tab on top of the Tab 2 7.0.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch


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Display: 7" capacitive PLS display. Resolution: 1024 x 600, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer, has an ambient light sensor.

Battery: 4,000 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable.

Performance: 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual core CPU. 1 gig RAM and 8 gigs storage.

Size: 7.6 x 4.8 x 0.41 inches. Weight: 0.76 pounds.

Cellular: N/A.

Camera: 1MP front and 3MP rear camera.

Audio: Built in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

Software: Android OS 4.0.3 with Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Standard suite of Google Android applications including web browser, email, gmail, YouTube, Maps, Navigation, Gtalk, Search and the Android Market. Samsung applications including Media Hub, Music Hub, Reader's Hub (Press Display, Zinio and Kobo), image editor, video editor, S Planner, Memo, custom music and video players. Polaris Office for tablets is included.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


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