It gets hard to look beyond the two leading brands – Apple and Samsung when it comes to tablets. While Apple takes the number one spot for creating the best niche for its iPads, Samsung did an excellent follow-up with the Tab series. Samsung rose to become the only Android brand with a successful tablet lineup that offers premium features, high-end display, seamless performance, and more. Apple’s recently launched iPad Pro 2021 lineup comes with a slew of enhancements, and it makes us question how does it match up to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus?
In this article, we will be comparing the two tablets side by side. We will compare their design, performance, battery, software, and more.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Display, Design & Audio
Both the tablets come with different display technologies. While Apple takes a new approach with Mini-LED, Samsung keeps up with the tried and tested OLED display.
The iPad Pro (2021) features a 12.9-inch Mini-LED display backed by QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz variable refresh rate. The premium tablet also packs support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision. It supports up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. On the contrary, Samsung’s Tab S7 Plus settles for a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display backed by QHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+.
Although both the displays are quite impressive, we think Samsung’s OLED still seems to be a better pick over the super-bright screen on the latest iPad Pro. With an infinite contrast ratio that gives way to display deeper blacks and more vibrant colors, an OLED display on Samsung’s premium tablet usually fits for every type of usage (indoor and outdoor).
However, Apple takes the lead when it comes to screen real estate. The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) offers a 4:3 aspect ratio that can show more text. This may also help in elevating overall productivity.
We are yet to review the latest iPad Pro, but we are judging both the displays based on their specs. We have already reviewed the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, and we are still in awe of its right level of brightness and contrast.
The speakers provided on both tablets share a similar 4-speaker setup offering an immersive audio experience without a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Both the tablets feature sleek and lightweight designs with lower bezels. Apple has not made any obvious design change in its latest iPad Pro. It looks similar to the previous-gen but with some minor tweaks in ports and their placements. Compared to the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus feels a bit more compact.
Stylus support is available for both tablets. Samsung gets S-Pen support while iPad Pro boasts Apple Pencil Gen 2 support. Both styli offer similar functionalities that aid in writing and creativity. Of course, Samsung takes the upper hand here as it bundles the S-Pen for free with the Tab S7 Plus, while you will have to buy the Apple Pencil separately.
We want to hold our horses in declaring a winner for this segment as we will be able to judge better once we keep both tablets side by side and in different settings to gauge which display is better.
Rest assured, we will revisit this comparison and declare the winner after careful consideration.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Performance, Software
We are hopping on to one of the most important segments, the performance! Both the tablets are pretty powerful, but the iPad Pro takes the cake with its ultimate powerhouse Apple M1 processor based on a 5nm process. Check out this test that proves the mighty power of the chipset. The ARM-based chipset by Apple even beats AMD and Intel with its single and multi-core CPU tests. The performance of the M1 processor makes it fitting for playing high-end games too.
Compared to that kind of outrageous power, the Snapdragon 865+ chipset on the Galaxy S7 Plus takes a backseat. It would take Samsung a new approach to beat Apple’s mighty powerful chipset. Even if Samsung goes for Snapdragon 888 SoC for its next lineup of tablets, it won’t be able to match up to the prowess of Apple’s M1 chip. The only way out will be to work on its own 5nm Exynos chipset and enhance new architecture to handle high-end functions.
In the processor performance segment, Apple wins the battle fair and square.
Both tablets come with different ecosystems – Android and iPadOS. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus runs Android 11-based OneUI 3.1 out-of-the-box, while the latest iPad runs iPadOS 14.5. Being an Android tablet, the Tab S7 Plus comes with a software upgrade promise of up two years and an additional one year for security patches. On the contrary, Apple offers unconditional software upgrades for five more years, i.e., five major iPadOS upgrades.
From UI/UX perspective, iPad Pro takes mileage with its better optimized iPad OS ecosystem. The apps, games, and other services on the iPad are better suited for the big screen as they support landscape and multi-pane UI. In contrast, Galaxy Tab S7 Plus can run any third-party app from the Play Store, but they are not as optimized or run smoothly as apps run on iPad. Only apps by Samsung and Google would run as seamlessly as you would expect. Every other app will have issues with clean UI and functions suited for a tablet. Both the tablets enjoy speedy file transfer service – AirDrop on iPad and QuickShare on Tab S7 Plus.
One additional feature that Galaxy Tab S7 Plus gets is the DeX mode support that allows users to connect their tablet to a monitor and use it as a PC. The only issue with that is the incompatibility of several apps. Although DeX support makes for a significant add-on feature, it still is not enough to help Galaxy Tab S7 Plus win this segment.
Samsung and other Android tablet makers still have a long way to go when matching up with UI optimization on the iPad. Simply put, Apple’s ecosystem is optimized for tablets.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: Cameras, Connectivity & Battery
Starting with the camera comparison, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus sports a 13MP+5MP rear camera setup and an 8MP selfie camera. The rear setup supports 4K 30fps video recording while the front sensor supports 1080p 30fps video recording.
The iPad Pro 2021 settles for a 12MP+10MP+LiDAR rear camera setup and a 12MP wide-angle selfie camera setup on the front. The rear setup supports up to 4K 60fps video recording and 1080p 60fps video on the selfie camera.
Comparing the two, iPad Pro 2021 offers better wide-angle and ultrawide picture quality with its cameras. It also has a Center Stage feature that keeps the subject in the center even if the camera keeps moving during FaceTime calls. Apple takes the cherry with its camera setup and new features. But we must mention that the positioning of the front camera sensor on the Tab S7 Plus gives it a better frame placement while using the landscape mode.
Connectivity-wise, both the tablets support sub-6GHz 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C ports, GPS, and mmWave. But the new iPad Pro has got Thunderbolt 4 that offers 4x faster data transfer at 40GB/sec compared to USB 3.2 on the previous-gen iPad.
While Galaxy Tab S7 Plus can’t compete with that speed, it has its winning addition in the form microSD card slot that comes in super handy for those who need more storage on their tablet. Also, the file management is better on the Tab S7 Plus.
Both tablets support external accessories like keyboards. In terms of streaming or screen-mirroring, Apple has got its own AirPlay 2, while the Tab S7 Plus supports Samsung’s in-house Tab Share (available for Samsung TVs), Google Chromecast, Miracast, and more.
A 10,090mAh battery backs the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, while the iPad Pro 12.9-inch has a 10,800mAh battery. Both tablets promise similar performance on single-charge and support fast-charging. But Samsung takes the upper hand with 45W fast-charging compared to 18W fast-charging on iPad Pro.
We think there is a tie between both the tablets in this segment.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) vs Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: The Verdict
Before we come to the verdict, it is essential to know how much the two tablets cost. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is cheaper than the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Samsung is the winner when you look from the perspective of value for money. You can save some extra buck while getting a similar flagship-level performance as the iPad Pro.
But if you do not keep the price point as the base of the verdict, the iPad Pro 2021 is an absolute winner with its more advanced features and specs. Also, iPads offer a better tablet experience than Android. Samsung has come a long way and is inching closer to taking Apple head-on in the comparison; maybe the next generation of Tab S7 Plus could better compete with the latest iPad Pro.
What’s your take on this comparison? Which tablet would you rather prefer and why? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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