Samsung has been making tablet computers for more than a decade, but in recent years the Korean company has really stepped up its game in recent years.
However, they don't come cheap - bundling a 4G/5G model with keyboard cover can easily set you back four figures. That's far more than most people are willing to spend on a tablet. Now, Samsung is aiming to correct that with the launch of the Tab S7 FE, a more affordable version of its flagship tablets.
It borrows the branding from last year's Galaxy S20 FE smartphone, and has the same aim - to offer the same core experience as the flagships at a lower price point. Crucially, even entry-level models will have 5G support.
Here's everything you need to know about the device, which will likely act as a direct rival to the iPad Air.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE release date
After months of rumours, Samsung officially announced the Tab S7 FE on 27 May 2021. It was a low-profile launch by the company's recent standards, consisting only of an official press release and social media posts.
Despite having already officially released, the Tab S7 FE is still only available to pre-order via Amazon, with no shipping date mentioned.
However, all this information is specific to the UK - it's not clear when the device will launch globally.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE price
As with the release date, we only have confirmed pricing for the UK:
- 4GB RAM/64GB storage - £589/US$829 (approx. US$835)
- 6GB RAM/128GB storage - £629/US$849 (approx. US$892)
The estimated US pricing above is a direct conversion - it will likely be much closer to $589 and $629 respectively.
That entry-level configuration is slightly more expensive than the cheapest iPad Air (2020). That device starts at £579/US$599.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE specs and features
The Tab S7 FE was extensively leaked ahead of the official announcement, so we already had a good idea what to expect.
The device is essentially a stripped-down version of the regular Tab S7 from 2020, offering the same core experience at a lower price point. However, that does mean some compromises are dotted throughout the Tab S7 experience.
Among the most notable is the processor. The S7 FE uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 750G processor, while the S7 and S7+ both use 2020's flagship Snapdragon 865+. That means a slight drop in performance, although the 750G is no slouch - it should be able to handle most everyday tasks with ease.
However, the use of that chip means both models support 5G. That was something you had to pay at least US$849 for on the Tab S7, and it wasn't available at all in the UK.
The cheapest model combines this with just 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, though. Most people will need to stump up the extra cash for the 6GB/128GB variant. If you're worried about the amount of storage on offer, the S7 FE supports microSD card expansion up to 1TB.
Another key compromise can be found with the display. It has the same 1600x2560 resolution as the regular Tab S7, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. The 120Hz display on the flagship devices were one of their key selling points.
It matches the S7+ on screen size - 12.4in - as well as maintaining its 84.6% screen-to-body ratio. Samsung has avoided the temptation to make the S7 FE's bezels any thicker, so the device still looks very modern.
The selfie camera above the display has dropped from 8Mp to 5Mp, while there's a single 8Mp sensor on the back. That means you miss out on the S7 and S7+'s 5Mp ultrawide lens.
There's also no fingerprint sensor of any description, so you'll need to rely on face unlock or manually enter a password.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other areas that haven't been compromised. The S7 FE has the same 10,090mAh battery as the S7+, and also supports 45W fast charging. It also comes with quad stereo speakers tuned by AKG, as well as support for the Bluetooth-enabled S-Pen included in the box.
The device comes running Samsung's One UI 3.1 over Android 11, with an update to Android 12 likely at some point in the future.
There are also some attractive colour options - you can choose between black, silver, green or pink finishes.