The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a new tablet that is super cheap starting at just 159 US Dollars. For that, we get an 8.7-inch screen, a MediaTek processor, and up-to-date Android 11. It’s one of few 8-inch Android tablets – so, is it a good one? That’s what you’ll learn in this Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review.
Design & Built Quality
Considering its price, I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is well built. We’re getting a mostly metal body with some plastic parts at the top and bottom. I like the design and it does look better than the competition from Amazon.
It’s 8mm thin, weighs 360g, and is narrow enough so that you can hold it in one hand. That’s what you usually want to be able to do with an 8-inch tablet.
It has a standard headphone jack, a USB C 2.0 port, and a microSD card slot. There’s no fingerprint scanner but you can unlock it using the webcams facial recognition.
The 2-megapixel webcam is not great at all. In fact, especially the HD video out of that camera looks a bit blurry. It’s lacking fine detail. And the same goes for the 8-megapixel main camera. Photos look fine but the video looks over-sharpened.
I like that we get two speakers that offer a real stereo separation. Considering its price, I think the sound is fine. But, obviously, you’ll get much better bass and a more pleasing sound with most pricier tablets.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has an 8.7-inch LCD with a resolution of 1340 x 800 pixels. It means that the pixel density is the same as on typical 8-inch tablets with a standard HD resolution. That’s not great and I wish Samsung would have used a FullHD screen. Because here, texts certainly don’t look as sharp as they could.
Usually, you’ll be holding a smaller tablet closer to your face than a 10-inch one. And that means the pixel density needs to be higher for the screen to look sharp. So, if you use your phone first and then switch to the A7 Lite, I think many will clearly notice a lack of sharpness. But well, that’s what you get in this price range.
All other aspects are not great but fine. Viewing angles and color reproduction is good and the brightness is okay. I was able to read with it while sitting in a café outside. That’s doable as long as you’re not sitting in direct sunlight but a bit brighter would have been better. Now, it’s not great in direct sunlight at all so it’s not a beach tablet or so.
It seems like Samsung didn’t cover the display in a coating to prevent fingerprints because I had to clean the screen all the time.
Another kind of downside is that the tablet has a Widevine Level of L3. That means that you can’t watch Netflix with HD resolution. It’s not too much of a bummer because the screen doesn’t have the highest resolution anyways.
By the way, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite does not support the S Pen. So, this is not a great tablet for handwritten notes. You can use generic pens made for capacitive touchscreens but they are terrible and might be okay for little children. But not for handwriting.
Hardware & Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite features a MediaTek Helio P22T processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. Out of the box, 12.5GB are used by the system. You can get it with LTE as well.
Benchmark results are pretty week. It’s much slower than the bigger Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 in the Geekbench 5 benchmark. With that being said, its CPU performance is better than of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus which is a direct 8-inch competitor. However, the Amazon one, which is cheaper, has a noticeably better graphics performance. So, that one is the better gaming tablet.
My gaming test shows that while you can play many games on the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, you’ll have to select the lowest graphics on pretty much all demanding titles like PUBG Mobile. It doesn’t look amazing but with low settings, it does run fine. But you will have to live with occasional stutters but I think it’s playable.
I played a bit of F1 Mobile Racer and it’s playable as well. But again, it doesn’t look amazing and you’ll have to live with some minor stutters. Other games like Super Mario Kart run fantastic.
The operating system itself and common apps like Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and Microsoft Office run well. When using tons of tabs or switching between apps fast, you sometimes will have to wait a bit until something is loaded. That’s to be expected in this price class because this clearly is an entry-level tablet. So, don’t expect a super snappy experience. But everything is usable and a bit of multitasking works too.
Software: Android 11 & OneUI
Samsung is shipping the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite running Android 11 and its OneUI in version 3.1. That means we’re getting up-to-date software out of the box and that’s fantastic. Usually, Samsung is much better with updates than most other Android brands. In the past, the Tab A series has usually gotten at least two big updates. So, I’m hoping it’ll be the same here.
With OneUI, standard Android gets customized a bit. The interface is not as heavy as it used to be. Some of the features can be very useful.
For instance, I like that you can open apps in a so-called pop-up view. That means it’s opened in a free-floating window which can be very handy if you’re using the tablet with a keyboard and mouse.
The Samsung Notes app is a fantastic note-taking app for Android. Yes, even without the S Pen and especially when you’re using other Samsung devices too.
The battery life is average only. When streaming HD videos on YouTube with maximum brightness, the battery lasted 6.5 hours.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite Review: Final Words
Let’s get to the end of my Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review. I mentioned quite a lot of downsides like its low-resolution screen, the weak graphics performance, bad cameras, and the not-supported S Pen. But actually, I think all of that is okay once you consider the price. It’s a very cheap tablet and of course, it’s to be expected that we don’t get the best features.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive 8-inch tablet, I think the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a good choice. It certainly can hold up to the competition especially due to its design and up-to-date software. So, if you want something small for surfing the web, reading some eBooks, maybe even playing some games, I think it’s a good choice.
But yes, this is certainly not a premium device. I wish Samsung would make an 8-inch tablet of the Galaxy Tab S series but they haven’t done so since the Tab S2. So, I’m not getting my hopes up.
Let’s get to the competition.
If you want something cheaper, you should check out the Amazon Fire HD 8 and HD 8 Plus. Now, its plastic body doesn’t look and feel as good as the Samsung one, but the screen is similar, the graphics performance is better and the battery life is much longer. However, you’ll have to live with Amazon’s Android and not Google’s Android.
The only high-end 8-inch Android tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3. Its design looks super old but that’s because it’s a rugged tablet meant for tough environments. But the screen is great, it does support the S Pen, has a fantastic performance, and has tons of software features including Samsung DeX. It’s a fantastic tablet but a unique one so check out my review before you buy it.
Now, if you don’t care that much about the screen size, you should also check out the standard Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. Usually, it costs about the same as the A7 Lite but has a bigger 10.4-inch screen and a better performance. It’s not 8-inches though.
- Good design
- Decent performance
- Android 11
- Very affordable
- Low-resolution screen
- Bad cameras
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