Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Samsung now has two small form factor tablets in its lineup, both packing dual-core processors. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is the slightly superior of the two, featuring a few tech treats which justify its extra cost over the Galaxy Tab 2. But just how much better is it?

We have pitted the pair of 7-inchers against each other in a tech face-off to try to figure which is the best overall. We aren’t concerned just about specs either, its all about value for money and if the extra price justifies the Tab 7.7 purchase. Or is the recently announced Galaxy Tab 2 the tablet to go for?

Form Factor

Winner: SamTab 7.7
196 x 133 x 7.89 mm, 335g

Loser: SamTab 2
193 x 122 x 10 mm, 344g


For a tablet to have us tempted, it has to be thin and the more weight Samsung takes off something, the bigger our smiles get. It's impressive enough that both the 7.7 and Tab 2 keep their mass below 350g. Still, that extra 9g shaved off the 7.7 isn't going to be enough for you to notice it. If you want the lightest slate possible sitting in your bag, though, it's Samsung’s premium offering that has it.

What really counts for the form factor round this time is that the 7.7 is more than 2 mm thinner, which might not seem much, but is enough to make the tablet feel slim. The Galaxy Tab 2 is just that tad more hefty.

Display

Winner: SamTab 7.7
7.7", 1280x800, Super AMOLED Plus, 196 ppi

Loser: SamTab 2
7", 1024x600, PLS TFT, 170 ppi


Samsung is proving to be a bit of a master of the display at the moment. The Super AMOLED Plus tech in the Galaxy S II has now found its way into tablets. This is definitely a good thing. The screen in the 7.7 is absolutely stunning. Its 1280x800 resolution means it's sharp and the AMOLED Plus keeps video and images looking incredibly vivid and rich while leaving power consumption low.

The Tab 2 isn’t quite as exciting. Don’t expect the same levels of saturation from its PLS TFT screen. It definitely looks good, but suffers a bit of a resolution drop, resulting in loss of sharpness and pixel density. Ultimately, if a top-end display is what you are looking for, then the 7.7 is going to be the tablet for you.

Engine Room

Winner: SamTab 7.7
1.4 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9, Mali-400MP, 1GB RAM

Loser: SamTab 2
1GHz dual-core, 1GB RAM, GPU not announced



It’s level pegging on the RAM front between both tablets, which with 1GB each should mean quite a lot of breathing room for multiple apps to be running. Sadly we don’t have a GPU listed yet for the Tab 2 but the Mali-400MP in the 7.7 is a bit of a beast and, coupled with a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, will allow for even the most intense Android gaming apps to run speedily.

A drop down to 1GHz with the Tab 2 means it doesn’t win this one, simply on pure power terms. Do remember though that both are going to be fast enough for top-end Android operations not to seem problematic.

Software

Winner: SamTab 2
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) + TouchWiz UX

Loser: SamTab 7.7
Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) + TouchWiz UX



If you are all about having the latest and greatest, its the Tab 2 that takes the win here. ICS is a more refined tablet experience and introduces a lot more cross-platform phone and slate functions than the already very good Honeycomb platform. As for the UI, each features Samsung’s TouchWiz UX which adds a lot of nice social media tweaks to Android.

Imaging

Winner: SamTab 7.7
3MP AF LED rear facing, 2MP AF front facing

Loser: SamTab 2
VGA front facing, 3MP rear facing


The tablet is not the most traditional of photographic devices. Most feature little more than a 3-megapixel camera on the rear and something of a decent resolution on the front for video calling; 1080p recording is a given on both Samsung tablets.

The major differences between the pair in the photographic department is with their front-facing cameras and the fact that one has a flash and not the other. The 7.7 ups it to a 2-megapixel resolution unit, compared to the Tab 2’s "VGA quality". This will make quite a difference to video calling and you will likely notice a significant quality change between the two.

We have given the win here to the 7.7 out of sheer megapixel numbers and the inclusion of LED. However, until we see test snaps from the pair of tablets against each other, it's impossible to know which truly is best. It may be that better colour saturation or sharper images come from the Tab 2. We just couldn’t say.

Storage

winner: SamTab 7.7
16/32/64GB + microSD

loser: SamTab 2
8/16/32GB + microSD



The facts are fairly clear on this one. You can stuff more onto the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 than you can the Galaxy Tab 2. The first gives you a total possible of a hefty 64GB but the latter a whopping 96GB.

Now, while we're giving the win to the 7.7, it's worth remembering that there's something to be gained from the fact that you can get an 8GB version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Storage can be quite an expense when it comes to tablets and it'll push the price up more than an equivalent amount if microSD space might cost you. So, actually, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 doesn't bring the largest amount of space, it offer a more economical way of making your choice.

Price

Winner: SamTab 2
Cheaper

Loser: SamTab 7.7
More expensive


Irritatingly, we don’t have a definite price for the Tab 2 or the 7.7. Speaking to Samsung, however, and from the specs above, we can pretty much expect without doubt that the Tab 2 will be cheaper. Placed as a more mid-range device, this is really an area where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is set to appeal.

Battery

Winner: SamTab 7.7
5,100mAh

Loser: SamTab 2
4,000mAh



Quantifying how much power the 7.7 and Tab 2 will suck from their battery packs is difficult. They both have dual-cores system, which is a bit more of a drain on power, so it's probably their differing displays and clock speeds that will have the biggest effects.

On the one hand, an AMOLED screen is more power-efficient but, on the other, there are more pixels to push on the 7.7. As it stands, the 7.7 is quoted at 1200 hours of standby time and 20 hours of 3G use. As yet, there are no such specs for the Galaxy Tab 2 but, at a guess, which such a large difference in battery capacity, one would expect the 7.7 to last a little longer.

We'll have to await the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 review for the full answer to that one but if you want another way of looking at it, the iPhone 4S uses a 1432mAh battery. So, effectively, the 7.7 has nearly a 4S’s worth of extra power to play with - quite a bit when you think about it.

Connectivity

tie: SamTab 7.7
Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct
tie: SamTab 2
Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct

An orgy of connectivity options is available to both the Tab 2 and 7.7. The major punchlines are things like Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi Direct. Both take full advantage of them. The real treat is the last of these, Wi-Fi Direct, which allows devices to sync between each other without the need to go via a conventional home network. It means you can send information with other Wi-Fi Direct compatible devices anywhere. 

In the end though, both are evenly matched in the connectivity department and provide more than enough orifices in which to plug gadgetry.

Conclusion

Winner: SamTab 7.7

Loser: SamTab 2



The boxes have all been ticked and the votes are in. From a raw stats point of view, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes out on top, mostly because of its screen, battery and better processor clock speed. These are, after all, the fundamentals of tablet use.

However, depending on the price premium placed on the new Samsung tablet, up against the Tab 2, it may be that the extra beef simply isn’t worth the cost. If you want the best of the best, the 7.7 is clearly Samsung’s flagship mini tablet. It packs a massive amount of power and is one of the most potent pieces of hardware, alongside the Galaxy Note, that you can buy today but, as a mid-range piece of kit, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 looks like it'll do just fine.

Which tablet would you go for you? Let us know in the comments below ...

Fancy reading a bit more about the Tab 2? Check out another head to head against the original here.