Making the A-series tablets even more affordable, Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite on 18th June. Besides the physical stores, the 8.7” tab can be purchased from any of Samsung’s authorized dealers – such as Lazada, Shopee, MobyShop as well as their official store. The Wi-Fi version is priced at SG$228 while the LTE version sells for SG$298. The connectivity is the sole variation you can choose between, as the A7 Lite will only be available in Grey with a 4GB+64GB combination in Singapore (although the Global version also comes in Silver with a 3GB+32GB config). You will be able to grab a discount of SG$10-$20 depending on the website and also receive a complimentary Disney Mickey Mouse Kids Cover worth SG$68.
Encased in a metal body befitting the grey finish, the A7 Lite is a tab that is easy not just on the pocket but also to carry around. Slim at 8.0mm, it weighs only 371g despite the metal cover. The 8.7” TFT LCD is bordered by a black frame holding a 2MP front camera that blends in quite neatly below the earpiece. The 8MP rear camera barely causes a bump on a back that sports a dull yet classy Samsung logo towards the centre. The power button and the volume keys go on the right of the tab, leaving the left side smooth for using the tab in landscape mode. The speed is limited with the 4GB RAM, but the 64GB read-only memory can be further extended by up to 1TB with a MicroSD card.
The MediaTek Helio P22T processor clocks up to 2.4GHz with its eight cores and serves well for basic functions as intended. 5G capabilities have not yet reached this price segment in tablets and you will have to make do with 4G speeds while on the move without Wi-Fi. Tabs rarely come with good cameras, and the 8MP rear camera with Auto Focus will capture decent photos (even without a flash) and video in 1080p FHD at 30fps. However, what will be missed is the S-Pen that is not compatible with the A7 Lite.
The slate runs on the One UI 3, based on Android 11. With Bixby and a handful of customization options, the UI is light and keeps things simple, while also supporting PC Sync. The 3.5mm jack avoids the hassle of using a Type-C to earphone jack adapter, and dual speakers output good sound quality for multimedia content. The 5100mAh battery can be fast-charged with a 15W adapter, which unfortunately has to be bought as an add-on. The device has an accelerometer, a geomagnetic sensor and a light sensor. The box does not contain any goodies; just the tablet, the charger with Type-C cable and the documents.
Design & Display
The complimentary Mickey Mouse case that Samsung is giving along with the tab might imply that their target audience is kids (who may tend to test the durability of the tab during online classes!). The metal body is quite sturdy and will withstand rough usage. The finish does not retain any fingerprints and can hide mild scratches. The slightly smaller screen measuring 8.7” makes the tab feel compact, and its dimensions are 212.5×124.7×8.0 (HxWxD in mm) at just 371g.
The front camera and light sensor fit under the earpiece, which is arranged on a narrow bezel that brings out a good screen-to-body ratio. The sides are also made of metal, and hold the power and volume keys to the right. The matte finish makes it easy to carry around and gives a good grip during a commute. Overall, the design is certainly not the most attractive. It is rather a plain and common design, but one which fits in just about anywhere.
The LCD on the A7 Lite has a resolution of 1340×800 and can play videos at 1080p. The colour depth gives enough contrast for streaming content. The screen suits communicative purposes well, despite having a smaller screen than its predecessor, Galaxy A7, which had a 10.4” screen. The small display does make it easier to use the one hand mode and gestures. The TFT display does not output sufficient brightness for outdoor use under sunlight, and the brand expectedly leaves out the brightness levels from its marketing notes. The screen is designed for standard usage in terms of output quality but can be used for long hours without it heating up.
Software & Performance
The Helio P22T chipset by MediaTek does not lack power. It is, however, a bit underused as it can bring together higher specs than the display, memory modules and cameras that are offered in the A7 Lite. It has eight Arm Cortex-A53 Cores that can reach processing speeds of up to 1.8GHz and 2.2GHz. The graphics unit used is the IMG PowerVR GE8320. It has a 4G modem and can connect to Wi-Fi networks on both bands – 2.4GHz and 5GHz. MediaTek also uses its technologies called MiraVision and ClearMotion to enhance the display. Overall, the performance is impressive for simple uses – communication, multimedia, office use or student use. The hardware is limited, but what the tablet can handle, it handles well.
The One UI 3 has a simplistic look and also restricts background activities to optimize usage and battery consumption. It provides a few customization options to personalize your home screen, lock screen and call backgrounds among other things. The Bixby Routines have updated controls to increase automation.
Samsung Knox is a feature that claims to be a hardware-backed security system that can protect your data from malware and other attacks. The tab connects with other Galaxy devices, and this comes in handy especially for the Wi-Fi version, as it will automatically connect to your Galaxy mobile phone’s hotspot. You can also access calls and messages, that you receive on your phone, on your tab. Samsung Kids is a mode that is available with parental controls and children can enjoy a handful of apps and features, and the usage will be monitored.
The front camera is a 2MP lens and it comes in handy during meetings and video calls. The rear camera could have been better off with a flash. The 8MP snapper has been added as a bare necessity, and will not be giving you anything more than the basics. Apart from the Auto Focus, the camera does not have anything else to offer. The camera app on the One UI is simple like the rest of the interface. There are built-in photo editing tools that let you play around with your shots. The sync feature between your Galaxy devices and PC lets you access photos or videos on any of your devices.
The 5100mAh battery is not a big downgrade from the 7040mAh cell on the A7. It manages the day-to-day functions effortlessly and the charge would be good to last an entire day. The Li-Polymer is not removable and is capable of fast-charging, enabled by MediaTek’s Pump Express system. However, the package comes with a regular powered charger, and the 15W fast charger has to be bought separately.
Who is this phone for?
The tab has been built keeping the minimum requirements in mind and seems most suitable for daily, regular usage without the need for high levels of performance.
The tablet is for you if:
– You require a portable tab for work or study, in non-technical domains
– Your child requires it for general or academic use
– You want to have an extra or secondary device that can be used as a spare
– You want to use a device for home automation software and streaming music
The tablet is not for you if:
– You are looking to carry out heavy functions or apps
– You are a gaming enthusiast
– You are looking to shoot, record or edit multimedia
– You are looking for high specs in any of the areas – speed, camera, display, etc.
The Galaxy A7 Lite is a simple, easy-to-use device that will attract no attention, yet be of immense use to you. It is an entry-level tab that will particularly suit children or first-time users. The build quality is robust enough to withstand rough handling, especially for those of you who are constantly on the go. Despite a few alternatives in the same price range by Huawei, Lenovo or Samsung itself, the A7 Lite is a product that does not require much consideration before purchase. It is a dependable, low-spec and cheap option.
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