After a "worldwide" launch that expanded to India a few months ago, Samsung's Galaxy Tab S7 FE is coming to the US in both cellular-connected 5G and Wi-Fi models. Specs for the two 12.4" tablets differ beyond just connectivity, and what you're getting is definitely cut down compared to the Tab S7+, but that comes with a benefit: Prices for the new tablets start at just $530 for the Wi-Fi version, and $670 for the 5G model, with availability set for tomorrow, August 5th.
If you hadn't followed the earlier launch, the Tab S7 FE isn't just a cut-down version of the Tab S7+ (whose display size it matches), but basically an entirely different tablet. In a sense, that doesn't quite live up to the FE name you might know from phones like the Galaxy S20 FE. That means no 120Hz OLED display, no 800-series Snapdragon chipset, and less RAM, among other changes.
|Display||12.4" 2560 x 1600 TFT LCD|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 750G (5G) or Snapdragon 778G (Wi-Fi)|
|Storage||64GB, microSD expandable (may differ by model, color, market, and carrier)|
|Cameras||8MP rear, 5MP front|
|Colors||Music Black (5G + Wi-Fi), Mystic Silver, Mystic Light Green, and Mystic Light Pink (all Wi-Fi)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi up to Wi-Fi 5.|
|Misc.||USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C (w/DP out), stereo speakers w/Dolby Atmos,|
The latest Fan Edition tablet uses a Snapdragon 750G on the 5G model or a 778G on the Wi-Fi version — and the difference isn't just 5G. The 778G is a newer chip with a newer generation of CPU core and GPU, a smaller node, and newer revisions for other heterogeneous compute units. (It's also the first time I know of that this chipset has come to the US.) In short, the Wi-Fi model should actually be a little faster than the 5G version — though the difference may not be huge in practice. The Snapdragon 778G also supports newer connectivity standards like Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6e, though based on the spec sheet Samsung gave us, these features aren't actually being used on the Wi-Fi version of the S7 FE.
Honestly, it's a little strange that the cheaper version of the tablet would be getting technically "better" hardware, but that's what Samsung has told us.
It has a big 12.4" display, but it's not OLED or 120Hz, as with other Tab S7 models. While it's "just" a 60Hz display, it hits a high 2560x1600 resolution. Cameras are more of a disappointment, with a single 8MP shooter on the back and a 5MP selfie cam, but odds are you aren't going to be toting around a tablet for photos unless you're planning to go full boomer at a concert. If you do, you'll enjoy Samsung's fast charging to top up wirelessly on your way out the door. Samsung claims up to 45W of charging speed, but if it's the same 45W charging it's advertised for prior Galaxy S phones, that's bunk and you'll never actually approach that peak rate. And with a similar-sized battery to the Tab S7+ paired with a chip that could consume less power, you might see some pretty good battery life, too.
As you'd expect, it comes with an S-Pen in-box for scribbling, and though it doesn't have a slot on-device that it lives in, it can magnetically attach to the back, so you don't lose it. There's also a pogo connector on the bottom for use with the Keyboard Book Cover accessory.
Software is undefined "Android 11," which actually doesn't tell us a specific version when it comes to Samsung's OneUI, but I assume it's probably 3.1. As a relatively "budget" device, Samsung only promises quarterly updates. Though Samsung hasn't given us a precise update schedule, it promised the Tab S6 Lite and S7 four years of updates, so I would expect the same for the Tab S7 FE.
In all, the new Tab S7 FE looks set to beat the prior Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, and by a good margin. Fans can pick one up in the US starting August 5th, with Wi-Fi versions starting at $530. The 5G version will start life at AT&T, Verizon, and Samsung's site on the same date for $670, but it will come to T-Mobile and US Cellular later. Those that buy the 5G version or pre-order the Wi-Fi model will also get $80 in Samsung credit for a limited time.