With the announcement of the Transformer Prime by Asus, and the news still being updated daily about the fate of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in various regions, another tablet from Samsung has been quietly gathering steam and is set to land on our shores in a very short while… the Galaxy Tab 7.7.
First, here’s our new video showcasing some of the rather cool features and design elements of the 7.7. There’s plenty more details and pics below. Also at the bottom of this articles you will find links to more articles and demonstrations of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 so be sure to take a look.
The 7 inch Android tablet market has been rather hit and miss so far, with the first iteration of the Galaxy Tab being the only real contender and most of the focus on the 10” category, and for good reason – that’s been the mainstay of Apple’s iPad up till now, and manufacturers have been innovative and creative with their offerings in order to stay relevant and have a chance of competing in that space.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 takes a completely different tact, being lighter and slimmer than, well, any Honeycomb-based tablet we’ve seen so far. Compared to the original Tab which relied on a reworked mobile phone OS, it’s a much more mature product and fits snugly between a smartphone and large screen tablet. This may actually be the product to redefine what a small screen tablet is capable of.
Spec-wise, the Galaxy 7.7 is powered by a dual core 1.4GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, and will apparently come in three flavours – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. It has N wireless on board, Bluetooth 3.0 and has a built-in GPS.
Samsung’s new 7 inch Android tablet sports a slightly larger screen, at 7.7 inches, but offers the exact same resolution features as its 10” cousins – 1280 x 800. Combine that with the Super AMOLED Plus screen, and you’ve got gorgeous detailed images and bright, rich colours. Because the pixels are so densely packed together, the screen display is second-glance-worthy. The small amount of video files we had played back smoothly in high definition.
I really haven’t held a tablet as light as this one. It’s only 340 grams, but it’s hard to describe what that means after holding various iOS, Android and Windows tablets – sure, this one is smaller than they are in terms of size, but the experience of holding one is amazing. I once commented in an earlier article how I’ve injured myself by falling asleep and dropping a first gen iPad on my face while reading… you’re in no danger of self-mutilation or embarrassment here.
Did I mention how thin the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is? We’ve seen the Transformer Prime come in at 8.3mm, but the 7.7 takes “slim” to yet another level – it’s a sliver of a tablet at 7.89mm. To pick it up and rotate its dimensions in your hand is quite the chuckle producer – you don’t believe how thin and light it actually is.
This is definitely a one-handed tablet – your fingers do need to spread, but you can also cup your fingers and hold it for a long time without fatigue. The cool metal backing does equalise with your hands temperature after a while, but put it down and the cold feel of stainless steel will once again greet your fingertips.
That’s a great segue into the materials and construction of this latest Samsung Galaxy Tab. Some other 7 inch Android tablet offerings have been rather thick, and felt a little fragile – squeeze the body and creaks have been heard from lesser machines. The engineering on the 7.7 is superb, we could detect no give between the body and screen; they are almost fused together. The metal back provides a stiffness and therefore top-shelf handling experience.
Walking around this tiny pocket rocket and you can see how Samsung have achieved this degree of slimness: like the iPad and its own family of tablets, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 keeps ports down to an absolute minimum. All we have are a headphone jack, a micro SD card slot and Samsung’s proprietary 30-pin connector. Where most tablets try to offer a complete solution with inputs and outputs, particularly to differentiate against the iPad, the 7.7 follows its own path and offers instead adapters that can be fitted to connect various outputs.
Is that going to be an issue for users? Based on the interest in the 10.1, which offers the same limited connectivity, no. It’s actually more sensible for this Galaxy Tab to eschew those I/O burdens as it’s probably closer to a smartphone than a tablet in some respects (the screen is actually a larger clone of the Galaxy S II). The option is there but you have to really feel the need in order to go to the effort of purchasing an adaptor.
Like all other HoneyComb tablets, there is a front and back camera setup, with a 2 megapixel camera on the front and 3 megapixel camera on the back. The back camera has an LED flash and 720p HD video recording capability. I think there is an inverse proportional relationship of the number of shots taken on a tablet to the size of the screen. Because the 7.7 is so light, it’s much easier to be spontaneous and shoot some off-the-cuff pics and video.
There is one black dot on the Galaxy Tab 7.7, but its existence helps give it a gold star for functionality. The black dot (not figuratively speaking, an ACTUAL black dot) on the side of the 7.7 is an infra-red transmitter. There is a program pre-installed on the 7.7 called Peel, and it actually converts the 7.7 into a universal remote control. If you’ve ever found remote controls to be clunky or not really that helpful, Peel may change your view on that.
Setting it up is a breeze, and so is the actually use, just point at the device you’ve programmed in and it’s as if you’re using the original remote. But this functionality is a stunner, because you can browsing, reading or playing a casual game, use Honeycomb’s built-in multitasking to switch to Peel, change the channel/volume/input, and switch back to your previous activity, and the 7.7 never leaves your hands.
Software-wise, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 uses the same Touch Wiz overlay that their smartphones use, making the transition for Galaxy phone users a no-brainer. There is improved software such as video editing, image editing and even image management, letting you sort by a range of different criteria such as size, location (if geotagging can be found) or date/time.
The Galaxy also retains the “Hub” areas of the smartphone, and apparently the Music Hub will be available soon as well, but only for music, not for videos. I tried the Social Hub out and I liked its aggregation of my different social feeds in one easy to view panel. Being Honeycomb, this is a live widget that updates on screen so you can snack on bite-sized pieces of your connected world.
The 7 inch Android tablet market is not as big as the 10 inch segment, by any means. It looks like Samsung has managed to carve itself a little niche with a product that doesn’t rely on third party programs to succeed, and adds little quirky features like remote control and revamped image/video apps into its sleek shell to give users a true out-of-the-box experience.
As always, I’ll leave it to you, our readers to make the call on whether this really is the best 7 inch Android tablet to date. Are you looking for a 7 inch tablet, or are you waiting for the 10.1 to be released? Are either of them on your shopping list for consideration?
Give us your thoughts and questions and we’ll respond – look forward to seeing you in the comments area!
For those of you who have yet to see and read the other articles on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 can do so here:
To see the Galaxy Tab 7.7 perform as an ebook reader CLICK HERE. For a Q & A segment in which we compared the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to the iPad 2 CLICK HERE, and for the segment where we take a look at the Galaxy Tab 7.7 while multitasking just CLICK HERE.
I’m guessing this is even thinner than the asus eee pad transformer prime? Really looks sleek. Nice one samsung
Hi Jolz, Yep it’s thinner again! It doesn’t really compare to the Prime, being a smaller screen and no keyboard, but as a take-with-you-anywhere device, this one hits the spot.
Just had to mention how impossible it is to browse this site using an Acer a100. Thefloating share link is ALWAYS covering half the text of the article. Very frustrating and particularly ironic on a site that is about 7 inch tablets. I could not read the article, nor most of this reply I am writing half blind.
Thanks for the feedback, and we’re working on a mobile site that should roll out early in the new year.
Hey, so glad you are posting on the 7.7, haven’t seen much news since IFA. Just wanted to say that I can’t click some of the pictures, “Not Found” error (video playback one, for example) and the ones that do work don’t show a larger version. Is this normal or are there larger versions of the images above? Thanks!
Image links have been updated, however we don’t have larger images loaded up.
Thanks again for the note, much appreciated.
Thanks, it’s a pretty exciting product and there hasn’t been much info so we’re glad to share what we can.
With regard to the pics, we’ll have a look at what’s causing these to not be found and get back to you. Thanks for the heads up!
Hi Ritchie. Great article. This kiwi wants to know if Samsung has indicated any kind of release date. Hoping to pick one up at Changi airport in Singapore in Feb…..
Thanks Lindsay! I’d say Feb would be a pretty sure bet – we’re hoping for stock in Oz before Xmas. Nothing confirmed, but we’re sure a few crossed fingers and toes will help!
Thanks! – Sure glad they put that MicroSD slot on it. That was the only thing that put me off their other tabs…. cheers!
No mention of 3G – will there be 3G / Sim card slot?
No 3G slot in the unit we had – I think I have seen variants overseas with 3G built-in.
Hi Ritchie! Nice video. Does it have an earpiece, meaning, you can hold it against your ear while making a phonecall?
Thanks, appreciate it. There’s no 3G so it’s not like the original model that had built-in mobile capability.
The speakers are actually on the bottom of the unit.
Hi Ritchie, great site – like the interaction in the comments.
Have you had it long enough to comment on the battery life?
Do you notice any banding in gradually shaded colours like you sometimes get on the Galaxy SII.
(A good test of this is the Google Docs app.)
Thanks, we’re here because of our readers, so we’ll always be here to talk.
We had to give the unit back soon after we filmed it and made sure it had a fair amount of battery life. I don’t recall seeing much gradation on the screen, but hadn’t focused on that particular visual factor – we will be taking a much closer look later this week when we expect the 7.7 back in our excited little hands!
Another great post, I am getting this one for sure + the prime. You videos really show off the products fine points.
Has this product been officially announced and when is it available stateside?
Why I cannot find your Facebook page?
Wow, talking about treating yourself, a 7.7 AND a Prime – you’ll be the envy of tablet lovers around the world!
ETAs have not yet been confirmed, and it looks like it will get to Australia beginning of January, so probably an indication of what may happen in your corner of the world.
We definitely have a Facebook page, it’s http://www.facebook.com/ritchiesroom – we have a few conversations there as well and post updates on our activities.
Thanks for your comments and for joining us!
Hi Richie, Really liked your review. I own a Galaxy Tab 7, and am really hoping to replace it with the 7.7. I have been using my current device for more than a year now, and I usually replace devices every 9 months or so…. That should say something. I work in the IT department and it is great to be the only female with a large phone. (Of course some coworkers have an iPad.) Today I noticed a few male colleagues with the latest Samsung Galaxy Note. And I must say, the Tab 7.7 better be available soon here in the Netherlands or I might be persuaded to switch.
One question: I assume I will be able to make telephone calls with a bluetooth device like I am using on my current Tab?
Thanks and funny you should mention the “big phone”… I have seen people holding the original Tab up to their ears on a phone call.
The new 7.7 that we looked at doesn’t have a SIM card slot so you could still use a bluetooth headset but only for VOIP-type calls, for Skype etc.
There may indeed be a 3G variant coming your way, in which case you will be able to use as you are with your current Tab.
hai ritchie , do u know when galaxy tab7.7 launch in INDONESIA? and How much does it cost in Australia?and can u give me disadvantages and advantages by using galaxy tab ?
Sorry we only have information for the Australian region, you might need to contact your local Samsung office.
As for the pros and cons of the Tab 7.7, you’d really need to look at your usage. If it’s an ebook reader an e-ink display would be better for long term use. For gaming and casual browsing it is definitely better than a smartphone. And for email etc, something like a Transformer would benefit from the attached keyboard. However, the screen display, the brightness and weight (or lack thereof) makes this a real contender for a casual second mobile device.
Thanks for your question!
Hey Richie, Do you know if I’ll be able to connect to my camera so that I can back up/share photos while travelling?
It might be possible, but you will need an adapter to go from your camera to the Tab via the proprietary connection, and the camera would need to be recognised as a USB drive. Theoretically sounds possible but I’ve never tried that.
I’ll see if it works on another Honeycomb tablet and let you know if it recognised the camera as a drive.
I appreciate your trying this. This is the most compelling reason for me to get a tablet over an ebook.
I tried an Acer tablet with a Samsung USB connected camera and it worked perfectly. All you need is a file manager, the camera needs to be powered and you can transfer files to your tablet.
If it can be done on the Acer then I’m pretty certain the same will apply to other USB devices.
I’m not really a techie but think it is time to buy a tablet. I want this one! How do I work out how much memory I would need? I am guessing a 16gb is cheaper but am happy to go higher depending on what the memory is really for… Thanks for your help
Merry Xmas first of all! Thanks for your question.
When it comes to tablets, the hard drive capacity is for file storage. These files can be movies (they take a lot of space), music (not as much), photos (a little bit less) and documents (usual quite small). In addition to your own files, any apps that you download and install will also take up space as well.
Given the very small gap between the prices of the 16GB and 32GB models, I’d go with the 32GB one – you can never have too much storage space. The memory card slot can also handle another 32GB of files so you’d have 64GB of space for lots of entertainment and productivity files.
Hope this helps!
Cheers and all the best for the New Year,
Hi Ritchie, I received the Asus Transformer Prime yesterday but still need a much smaller tablet for travel so this might be perfect. BTW, can I use a Bluetooth keyboard for either of these tablets ?
Congrats on your Prime purchase! And with the 7.7 up for grabs soon, you’ll definitely have the best of both worlds.
Both tablets can be used with Bluetooth keyboards, but you may want to look for one that features Android shortcuts as you will find them quite useful when typing away and don’t have to distract yourself from touching the screen.
hey ritchie , before i ask u something , thx for ur replied and merry christmas for u and all in this forum .
now , i wanna ask :
1.How much does galaxy tab 7.7 cost in Australia?
2.Is it true that galaxy tab 7.7 will get ICS updated?
3.Which is better between galaxy tab 7.7 and galaxy note ritchie?
4.Can we use voice call in transformer prime like galaxy tab 7.7 do
Thanks and Merry Xmas to you too! It’s been great having all these discussions with people from around the world, looking forward another great year of new products and sharing/discussing with our readers. Now, let’s go through your questions.
1. The Tab 7.7 will be $579 for 16GB and $649 for 32GB.
2. Samsung have officially confirmed that the 7.7, amongst other Galaxy devices, will receive the upgrade to ICS.
3. We haven’t yet played with a Note, but I’d consider it to be more of a large smartphone than a small tablet. I don’t think you’d carry the Note and another smartphone. The Note is positioned as a productivity tool, whereas the Tab 7.7 can cross over into gaming and entertainment.
4. Voice calls via Skype and other internet-enabled chat platforms are definitely possible on the Prime, but the 7.7 is more suited to private calls as it has a speaker at the top front like the original Tab sis.
Hope this answers your questions and have a great day!
Hey ritchie , thx for ur great replied , and i wanna ask something more
1. Is that price for 3G or just wifi version?
2.Can u show to us the unboxing video of samsung galaxy tab 7.7, because i really love this tablet very much
3.Can i buy this tablet from u rithcie?because this tablet hasn’t available in INDONESIA ?
4.Please make a full review video about PEN MEMO app in tab 7.7 like drawing , edit photo , crop photo , combine 2 photos and many more from this PEN MEMO , because i want to compare it with SPEN MEMO from galaxy note
thx for ur replied rithchie
This is for the Wifi version. We will look at unboxing or at least what comes in the box when we finally get the full retail version.
Australia has not yet been confirmed 100% for an initial shipment, but it’s still to be expected late January.
We’ll look at Pen Memo and all the other requests that we’ve been fielding and hopefully will come back with new impressions and demos.
thx ritchie , i really satisfied with ur answer , i’ll be waiting for the video and good news from u
Amir D says
Hey Ritchie, I wonder how this tablet can handle some heavy tabbed web browsing?
We didn’t have a huge amount of tabs open simultaneously, next time we have one we’ll report back to you.
hi ritchie , i forgot to ask u about games in tab 7.7 , i wanna know that can we play all android games in tab 7.7?
Most games should be compatible as even games built for earlier versions of Android will now fill the resolution of larger screens thanks to the “zoom to fill” and “Stretch to fill” features introduced in Android 3.2.
Thx for your review. I really liked it. what a cool tablet!By the way, could you pls tell me how long the battery is? I can’t help owning this tab.
The battery lasts for 10 hours watching video content, according to Samsung’s official website. So you can count on at least 10 hours of display viewing, and lots more if you’re just using as an mp3 player.
Happy new yearssssssssssssssssssssssss …..Very nice reviews from this site and I always search ur reviews first b4 i buy tech stuffs.
Just some quick questions. 🙂
U mentioned the price of wifi version. I found some online shopping results from google saying the price of that tab as 275$ in some website. Is ausi price is 2 times (almost) higher ? 🙁 ..
Thz you ..
Happy new year to you too! Not sure what currency that was in or what region of the world, but here the 16GB is $569, and the 32GB is $649. That would be an absolute bargain if that was the case!
Its being seen that the galaxy tab 7.7 that are shipping don’t have the infrared port feature shown in your review… Can you confirm why from samsung pls?
To be honest, I’m not sure why they left it off – maybe there was some agreement with the TV side of the company? Couldn’t say. I will ask the question.
Charles nash says
Ritchie..have you found out why this port was removed by Samsung?
oh no. I’ve been waiting for the 7.7 to be available, but if it doesn’t have infrared port then I won’t be getting one 🙁 , maybe the sony S1…
Yes, I think it’s a shame as well… It was one of the “killer apps” that I thought would widen the appeal of the Tab 7.7. Doesn’t take away from the other great features, but it was something I was also looking forward to testing out more vigorously.
hai ritchie , i have a very important question , which is better between tab 7 plus and tab 7.7 ? please give a me a complete answer , because maybe i want to buy 7 plus,thx.i hope u will reply quickly . thx
The 7.7 is slightly lighter, slightly thinner, has a higher resolution and a faster processor. It also has the Super AMOLED Plus screen. I guess the Tab 7 Plus is more of a natural successor to the original Tab, whereas the 7.7 is actually a different form factor and offer. I’m a pretty big fan of the 7.7 because of the size, weight, and very impressive screen display.
Hi Ritchie- not sure if you are allowed to recommend but… where should I buy this tablet from?? I have seen a few online places that are selling the 3g version but others say this version isn’t available in Australia. I guess I am asking who is reputable? Is ebay an option?
Thanks for your help.
thanks ritchie for your answer , can i see any lags on galaxy tab 7.7 just like galaxy tab 7 plus do? According to you , which is better between galaxy tab 7.7 and ipad 2 and why ? thanks ritchie because i am so confuse to decide which one i prefer to , i hope you can give many opinions for that
I got my 7.7 from JB HiFi for just under $500. I’m not too worried about the lack of 3g as most (all) smartphones can be used as a mifi when you are out and about. It’s a GREAT tablet – even without a usb and infra red port.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the 7.7 once you’ve had some time with it.
Hi, What about anti-malware & firewall? is that necessary for this? Can we safely use this for on-line banking?
Some random thoughts on my tab 7.7. My primary use is for email, facebook, web surfing, IMDB (to answer those pesky questions when watching movies/tv!) and skype. For this I love it. I don’t watch movies/play music or games on it.
1. The screen is brilliant – really clear and bright with good viewing angles. the high res certainly helps. Photos looks great.
2. The included eBook reader doesn’t work with my library ebooks. I use Aldiko (free) which works fine. The 7.7 is a great size to be used as an eReader. Aldiko has a nice night time setting for reading in the dark.
3. The browser works fine – with multiple tabs. And it supports FLASH!!IceTV doesn’t work (IceTV team are working on it) , but there are alternatives.
4. I miss the autocorrect that Apple has (yes – really!). Little things like typing its that would correct to it’s. There maybe app or setting that I haven’t found, but it’s not a big deal at the moment.
5. You need to buy 2 at a time. My wife loves it and it’s hard to get it off her.
6. Covers aren’t easily available (at a sensible price) in Aus , but I have ordered a Samsung one via ebay UK ($41).
7. The cameras are good, and flash is ok. They work well with Skype.
8. I’ve tried it as a standalone GPS. It works to a point, but I’ll be buying a separate GPS for car navigation use. GPS and (non 3G) tablets are big discussion point in itself – see Whirlpool
9. No 3G isn’t a problem as you can connect via your smartphone.
10. The interface is really sexy and easy to personalise. I like the way it moves between screens.
Have you got some step by step instructions for connecting the 7.7 to a pc via usb so it can be used as a mass storage device. I can only connect as mtp which is pretty useless.
I’m running win XP, Media Player 10. I can see the tablet in Win Explorer as a MTP device, but can’t use this to transfer files to/from the tab.
It works fine as a usb mass storage device on my Win 7 laptop. Maybe it’s time to update my old xp box…
Glad to hear it all worked out! Yes, XP was probably not designed to handle these kinds of devices. Back in XP days, tablets was something you took when you spent too much time in front of a PC.
1) Does this support DLNA?
2) Will it partner with my SGH D900i bluetooth phone to make receive calls?
Any idea how I use my mobile phone to connect my tablet to the internet? I have an HTC touch pro 2 and just cannot figure it out…
Tanvir Ahmed says
I am planing to buy a new galaxy tab. But I am not able to decide which one should i go for, i.e. the new 7.7 tab or the 7 plus tab. i don’t find much difference between them. Would like to get some advice. Please help!
I have read a few conflicting reports about Samsung’s proprietary 30 pin connector.
What I am curious about is whether the 7.7 is dropped into an Apple dock (designedfor an iPad) via this bottom 30 pin connector, whether it fits and is able to play sound? No need to charge or sync – although a bonus. Without physically trying one it is a bit difficult. Any ideas?
@Tanvir I just got my 7.7 a couple days ago. To put it mildly it blows my mind!!!
I had the 3g 64gb galaxy 10.1 previous to it until it got water damaged. Decided to go for the 7.7 on the basis of having the Super AMOLED plus display which I love on my S2. If it was a choice between 7.7 and the 7 plus go with the 7.7 hands down.
Anyway to cut to the chase… an amazing piece of tech display is gorgeous ,fantastic contrast and has to really be seen to be believed. My old 10.1 isn’t even in the same class.
Thing that I’ve been most impressed with is the ability to play HD MKVs flawlessly without any need to transcode.
I use my tablet primarily to watch media and read comics for which this is perfect.
Have been showing it off at work over the past couple days and its been a massive hit people keep grabbing off me to play with. The size is perfect can easily use with one hand. I honestly can’t think of anything I don’t like about it.
Samsung need to do more about marketing this device coz it is a fantastic piece of tech.
Tanvir Ahmed says
@ martin thank’s for the info dude!! I’ll get one by this week or next. 😀
@tanvir no worries dude let me know how u get on @catinhat187 your gonna love it
jason whistle says
Hey Ritchie, Writing from across the pond here! Saw one of your videos and you come off as a really nice fella. I’m wondering if you can help me or point me in the right direction. I would like to purchase an international 7.7 because all the american ones have the phones disableled. Can you direct me to a legit source? Seems American ebay and some other american companys are a bit shady.