Looking for a cheap, portable tablet to entertain the kids? The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite may just fit the bill. At S$228 for the Wi-Fi version (tested here) and S$298 for the LTE model, the A7 Lite is much more affordable than the tablets from market leader Apple (from S$499). The catch, though, is that this entry-level slate is not quite as snappy, and its 8.7-inch screen is middling at best. But the A7 Lite will do a decent job, especially if you are mostly just watching videos and playing casual games.
- 8.7-inch LCD (1,340 x 800 pixels)
- MediaTek Helio P22 chip with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage
- 5,100mAh battery
The A7 Lite makes a good first impression. Its metal body feels sturdy without any flex or creak. Adding to this are dual speakers that make for a decent audio experience. A 3.5mm headphone jack is available, too. But the display quickly dispels any illusions I had about this tablet. Colours look pale and less than vibrant while the screen resolution is merely adequate for its size. I also found the display to be fairly reflective, and it picks up fingerprints and other smudges easily. With the screen brightness set to its maximum, the display is just about usable outdoors.
The Wi-Fi version of the A7 Lite comes with just 32GB of internal storage. The LTE model ups this to 64GB. The former also has less memory or RAM (3GB) compared to the latter (4GB). But while you can't increase the RAM on the Wi-Fi model, you can add more storage (up to 1TB) via its microSD card slot. The A7 Lite lacks a fingerprint sensor, though you can choose Android's less-than-secure facial recognition method via the 2MP front camera. This camera, like the 8MP rear one, is adequate if you're not too fussy about photo quality and noise. In short, stick to your smartphone cameras if you can.
The A7 Lite comes with Samsung's latest One UI interface on top of Android 11. It looks and feels polished. Samsung also has a dedicated kids mode (Samsung Kids) that come with a bunch of child-friendly apps and games (from the Galaxy Store). Hence, you can simply enable this password-protected mode and pass the tablet to your child without worrying about inappropriate content. Major downside: The A7 Lite is powered by a middling MediaTek Helios P22 chip. Everything just feels sluggish, from switching between apps to opening them. Even the screen takes a while to switch its orientation when you rotate the tablet. To be fair, the tablet doesn't feel slow once you have your app open and running. But unless you're playing a casual mobile game, you may want to give it a miss.
Its battery life is decent. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite lasted 10hr 41min in our usual video-loop battery test with the screen set to its maximum. But the included charger only outputs 7.8W, despite the tablet supporting 15W charging. As a tablet, the entry-level A7 Lite offers affordable, portable entertainment — especially with the included 2-months free trial of YouTube Premium — but you'll need some patience with its mediocre speed. Recommended only for less-demanding users. It's available now on Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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