What comes in the box
What doesn’t come in the box but should have
The flagship parts
The compromises and cut corners
As a Tab S4 user dissatisfied with the cramped keyboard, non-existent HDR support and negligent software support (security patches every 4-5 months, One UI 2.1 update half a year after initial release, still no One UI 2.5), I was hoping the Tab S7+ would improve on all of these issues. Well, it at least got the first 2 right. By no means is the Tab S7+ a laptop replacement but it is a joy to use. The screen feels noticeably sharper even if the resolution bump is fairly minimal. It may have to do with the improved brightness or improvements in the AMOLED manufacturing process, but screen elements on the S7+ look sharper and more defined. The speakers are also louder and have more bass and clarity to them. This is by no means an audiophile analysis, but I am glad to see Samsung didn’t just call it a day with the speaker performance as it was on the S4, even if I still find it really good. The first party keyboard finally is worth your while. The key travel is a little shallow but all the keys have proper spacing and are properly sized. Using the keyboard on your lap though is a large chore. It’s not particularly stable and the connector between the keyboard and tablet is very flimsy, which causes a lot of movement on anything other than a hard surface. he fingerprint scanner is serviceable, if a little hit and miss at times, and the face unlock, although not really that secure, does work fast enough and better than it did previously due to the camera placement. On a side note, I have yet to have any issues with palm rejection but that maybe only because of the way I type, so your mileage may vary. Although they are standout features, I don’t have much to say about the S-Pen or DeX. Given my use case for a tablet, neither are particularly necessary for me but you won’t hear me complain.
What I will complain about is how Samsung treats their customers for this product. Starting with the contradictory information with the launch, some people got their orders early, some on time, some late and some not at all. I can’t imagine why Samsung can’t get the shipping logistics straight but it has led to a frustrating experience for many buyers. Thankfully, I got lucky, but I sympathize for others who haven’t been. Secondly, in regards to what you get, it’s incredibly stupid that the tablet comes with a 15 Watt charger from 2014. It supports 45 Watts, and seeing how long it takes to charge with anything but, you really need it, but no, that’s an extra charge. It also doesn’t come with extra S-pen tips for when the current one wears down. The Tab S4 came with extras, so why the S7+ wouldn’t is well beyond me. Lastly, there are no adapters in the box of any kind. No USB A to C or vise versa, no 3.5 millimeter headphone dongle or anything of the sort. As someone who has gone full wireless, I’m fine, but for the people who haven’t, it’s a massive inconvenience. The headphone jack is only dead in certain market segments, so for people with wires, they need something to plug them in to. The point I’m trying to make is that unboxing the S7+ is as barebones as it gets. One could argue that so is Apple’s, but let’s not use the worst offender as the baseline for the niceties that ought to come with a product like this. On a third and final note, I’d like to talk about software. Despite this being the best Android tablet money can buy, the S7+ is currently on the quarterly security patch list along with the Galaxy A Series phones. Despite having a 5G model that costs over $1,000 USD, quarterly, meaning a patch once every 3-4 months, if that, is the “best” Samsung can give. If history is any indication, it also means that all OS updates will be months behind even the Galaxy S10 series. This is no way to treat your users, Samsung.
In summary, I think the S7+ is a great upgrade from previous Tab S devices that just needs a little love and respect from Samsung. If Samsung commits to monthly security patches and OS updates a month or two at most after the S20’s and Note 20’s, I’ll be a happy camper. As for next year’s Tab S8 line, I would like to see the 45 Watt charger and extra S-pen tips included with the product and a minimum of 8GB of RAM, regardless of the storage chosen. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to be more expensive, but given how cheap chargers, pen tips and RAM is to produce for Samsung, it ought to be part of the price.
This is by no means an in-depth or complex review. I just wanted to share my personal experience and frustrations with what would otherwise be an exemplary product.
If anyone at Samsung is reading this, PLEASE GET THE SOFTWARE TEAM TO COMMIT TO MONTHLY SECURITY PATCHES. It's an entirely reasonable and fair ask.