The Tab 4 7″ is clearly an entry-level tablet in use. The hardware is not fast, the screen is not special and the housing does not feel very luxurious. On the other hand, there is a good battery life and an expandable memory. We find those negatives for a budget tablet still manageable, but then the price must also be appropriate. However, the Tab 4 7 “costs around 190 euros and we simply do not think it is worth it. Its predecessor, the Tab 3 7″ is a good 40 euros cheaper and for an extra 60 euros you can buy a Nexus 7, with more memory, a much nicer screen and much faster hardware. The Tab 4 7” must therefore drop in price considerably before it will be an interesting buy.
- Good battery life
- extendable memory
- Relatively expensive
The very first tablet that Samsung ever released was the Galaxy Tab: a 7″ tablet with Android. That was in 2010. Since then, Samsung has released a huge amount of tablets, in all kinds of different sizes, but there has always been room for a 7 ” model in the range and we have now arrived at the fourth generation. Where the first model was still the topper for Samsung, the Tab 7 is now the entry-level model. In this review we look at the latest version, the Galaxy Tab 4 7″, which is available for around 200 euros.
Housing and appearance
Due to its small 7″ screen, the Tab 7 is a compact tablet that you can easily hold with one hand. The tablet is white, with the only accent being a silver-colored border around the screen. Although the Tab 7 is an entry-level model, it feels he’s not cheap.
The back of the Tab 4 7″ has a little bit of texture, which gives the plastic used just a little more grip. The housing is otherwise unremarkable; the power and volume buttons are on the right side and the micro USB input On the left is a micro SD card reader.
As we are used to from Samsung, three buttons are located below the screen: a physical home button, with a capacitive multitasking button on the left and the capacitive back button on the right. The advantage of buttons below the screen is that the entire screen surface can be used at all times, but it has the disadvantage that the buttons do not rotate when you tilt the tablet.
The first Tab tablet from four years ago had a screen resolution of 1024×600 pixels; the screen of this fourth generation has a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. In terms of sharpness, not much has changed. Text does not look razor sharp on the Tab 4 7″ and the difference with 7″ tablets that have a full HD resolution can be seen with the naked eye. After a while of use, however, you get used to it and we understand that with a budget model you have to save on these things.
Most Samsung phones and tablets can be recognized by the bright colors that the screen displays, but the Tab 4 7″ falls by the wayside in that area. The screen lacks saturation, so colors don’t look that impressive. In addition, the precision is The color reproduction isn’t anything to write home about either, with green leaning slightly towards yellow, for example, so don’t expect photos and videos to pop off the screen as much as Samsung’s more expensive tablets.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with the brightness and contrast. The screen can reach a maximum brightness of 442cd/m², which makes it reasonably easy to read outdoors. In addition, the contrast ratio of 994:1 is fine for a tablet in this class and we also have nothing to complain about the viewing angles.
Hardware, performance and battery life
The Tab 7 models have never been characterized by fast hardware and the latest model is no exception. This time Samsung has opted for the Marvell PXA1088-soc, consisting of four Cortex A7 cores and a GPU from the relatively unknown Vivante. Furthermore, one and a half gigabytes of lpddr2 working memory is built in and the storage capacity is 8GB. All that means that the Tab 7 is not a high flyer; app launches are noticeably slower than many other tablets, animations stutter frequently, and the overall interface just doesn’t feel fluid. With a real budget tablet we might not have taken it seriously, but for almost two hundred euros we had expected a bit more.
This also partly applies to running games. Game developers are smart enough to recognize slow hardware and adjust the graphics settings accordingly, but even with those lowered settings, not all games ran smoothly on the Tab 7. Fast 3D games in particular, such as the racing game Asphalt 8, are therefore not that tasty play as on a faster device.
Fortunately, the 4000mAh battery does what we expect from it. The Tab 7 manages to last a long time on a single battery charge, especially when running apps and web browsing. In our browsing test, for example, it lasted eight and a half hours, longer than an iPad mini Retina. It does relatively less well when watching video, but watching two or three films in a row is still no problem.
In terms of wireless, the Tab 4 7″ has support for the usual standards: GPS for location determination, Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to all kinds of accessories and WiFi connections with up to 802.11n speeds.
The Tab 4 7″ runs Android 4.4.2 with Samsung’s own TouchWiz interface on top, which adjusts the colors, icons, backgrounds and layout of various menus. On the small 7″ screen, the interface looks quite busy. The settings menu in particular is tight, so that text is regularly truncated.
It seems to be the same version of the software as we know from more expensive Samsung tablets and that could well explain the somewhat slow performance. With those more expensive devices, we regularly encounter hitches, presumably due to the heavy software, and the simple hardware of the Tab 4 7 “of course has even more difficulty with that.
In addition to its own versions of, among other things, the music player, gallery, browser and agenda, Samsung also supplies some extra applications, such as an Office Suite and the Galaxy Appstore. Via the latter, users can download even more apps and take advantage of offers.
The Tab 4 7″ is clearly an entry-level tablet in use. The hardware is not fast, the screen is not special and the housing does not look luxurious. On the other hand, it has a good battery life and expandable memory. We find those negatives for a budget tablet still manageable, but then the price must also be appropriate. However, the Tab 4 7″ costs around one hundred and ninety euros and we simply do not think it is worth it. Its predecessor, the Tab 3 7″ is over forty euros cheaper, and the difference with the Memo Pad HD 7 is almost sixty euros. For an extra sixty euros you can buy a Nexus 7 , with more memory, a much nicer screen and much faster hardware.
At the moment we would not recommend the Tab 4 7″. If the price has dropped a bit in a few months, to say less than one hundred and fifty euros, then it may be a nice option for people with a limited budget and limited requirements .