Samsung created the Galaxy Tab A series to offer buyers a cheaper alternative to their higher-end devices. Don’t be mistaken: these devices are not “flagship killers” but entry-level trailblazers, designed to be the ideal low-budget option for those wanting a bit more screen real estate. Find out if it’s the tablet for you in Android Authority‘s Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review.
What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (Wi-Fi, 3GB/32GB): $159.99 / €169 / £149
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (Wi-Fi, 4GB/64GB): $199.99
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (LTE, 3GB/32GB): $199.99 / €199 / £179
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has been one of the most popular entry-level tablets since its release in June 2021. Essentially, it’s a smaller, more stripped-down version of the Galaxy Tab A7. The two devices share the same aspect ratio, but the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has a more compact 8.7-inch display, lacks a gyroscope, has a smaller 5,100mAh battery, and is powered by a slower Mediatek Helio P22T chip.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite comes in two versions: Wi-Fi only (32GB or 64GB) and LTE (32GB). The 32GB models come with 3GB RAM as standard, but the US-exclusive 64GB model has 4GB RAM which should offer a boost for multitasking. All of the models have expandable storage via microSD (up to 1TB) and charge and transfer data via USB-C.
In terms of aesthetics, the device looks and feels great for the price. It’s available in gray (with black bezels) or silver (with white bezels).
You can purchase the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite from all major retailers starting at $159.99. This includes Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung’s official store.
With the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, you get all the bare necessities of a tablet — a larger screen, up-to-date software, and capable hardware — for an entry-level price. Additionally, because it came out in 2021, Samsung regularly holds sales on all variants of this device.
In spite of its age, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has been promised three years of major OS updates and four years of security patch updates. This means Samsung’s budget slate — which has already received the Android 12 update — is slated to get Android 13 and 14 upon release. With One UI’s rapid evolution into a feature-rich interpretation of Android, we consider this to be a major boon.
With the LTE version, you can add a SIM card to establish a connection anywhere through carrier data. Taking the tablet on several commutes and road trips, we found the GPS functionality to be great. However, if you go with the base model, you can always download maps for offline use or rely on Wi-Fi hotspots.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite’s body is made up primarily of sturdy aluminum metal, with plastic areas at the top and bottom ends. The use of metal lends a high-end feel to what is a budget-oriented tablet.
For battery life, in real-world situations like watching movies and browsing the web, you can expect 10-12 hours of screen-on time from a full charge, depending on the brightness setting. If you’re using the device heavily at max brightness, you can expect to get closer to four hours before it dies.
Charging from zero to 100% takes roughly four hours at the 15W maximum charge rate. This is quite normal for most budget tablets.
Expandable storage bolsters the tablet’s value as a media consumption device. The base model ships with a mere 32GB, but you can add up to 1TB of storage via microSD. With more space for photos, games, movies, and other media files, you won’t see that “nearing maximum storage” warning as often.
Finally, while there are some display issues (we’ll get to those), the relatively low resolution is not a major concern. Because it’s only 8.7 inches from corner to corner, the individual pixels aren’t as immediately obvious as you might find on larger ~10-inch budget tablets. The tall 5:3 aspect ratio is also rather pleasing, especially considering many mobile games are optimized for that elongated landscape mode.
What’s not so good?
At the heart of the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the Mediatek Helio P22T. From the get-go, it’s evident this entry-level ARM processor lacks the snappiness of most low to mid-range Snapdragon chips. In our testing, mobile games like Minecraft, Pokémon Unite, and Genshin Impact struggled to open and run smoothly. Less intensive games like CUE and Fate/Grand Order would launch as long as nothing else was open in the background — but performance was still sluggish. Even navigating the system UI could be a bit of a chore at times, with on-screen actions often lagging behind physical inputs.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite looks great on the outside, but the internals aren’t quite up to standard.
Limited memory is normal on budget tech. However, the RAM limitations don’t do much for the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite’s responsiveness in conjunction with the slower processor. We constantly had to use RAM boosting apps in our testing to clear up memory because we were nearing the maximum far too often. We also had to clear the cookies and cache regularly.
All of this has us wondering if Samsung could have prioritized the tablet’s internals over the premium build. Could they have gone with a plastic build over a metal one in favor of a faster processor? While it’s worthwhile to mention the chip shortage, this trade-off would’ve been more than acceptable at this price point.
The TFT LCD display of the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is rather unremarkable. The glass is reflective and plasticky, and smudges stand out at every viewing angle. The brightness maxes out at 360 nits, meaning it doesn’t get bright enough to cut through the glossiness most of the time. For indoor use, the brightness is satisfactory, though from sharper viewing angles you might encounter some rainbowing effects which make it hard to see the content on screen even in well-lit conditions.
Color-wise, the display is adequate. Videos and apps don’t look washed out, and the colors have good vibrance — especially reds and yellows. However, when there are moving scenes with both deep darks and brighter areas, the haziness and blurriness give away the cheapness of the display.
The tablet’s speakers aren’t great either. While they’re marketed as stereo speakers that support Dolby Atmos, you must manage your expectations here. They emit next to no bass and can sound a little tinny at high volume. We would recommend using the built-in headphone jack or connecting a separate Bluetooth audio device.
Another cost-cutting area is the absence of any gyroscope hardware. The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite includes the accelerometer and compass from the regular Galaxy Tab A7. However, it is devoid of any gyroscope sensors, meaning apps and games that require gyroscope functionality will not work.
There’s a reason why Samsung doesn’t go into too much detail about the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite’s 8MP primary camera and 2MP selfie camera.
The cameras are seemingly there for the sake of having cameras. They aren’t a focal point of the device, and, at this price point, you wouldn’t expect exceptional cameras.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite specs
|Galaxy Tab A7 Lite|
|Display||8.7-inch TFT LCD|
1340 x 800
|CPU||Mediatek Helio P22T MT8768T|
|Storage||32GB (expandable via microSD up to 1024GB)|
64GB (expandable via microSD up to 1024GB)
3.5mm headphone jack
|Audio||Stereo speakers (with Dolby Atmos)|
8MP (with AF)
|Software||Android 11 (Android 12 update available)|
|Dimensions / Weight||212.5 x 124.7 x 8mm|
366g (Wi-Fi only)
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review: The verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a solid choice for people wanting to upsize their Android experience without overspending. It doesn’t boast all of the features or performance numbers of more costly devices, but at $159.99 — and often cheaper on sale — what more can you reasonably ask for? With well-rounded software, premium build materials, a headphone jack, and expandable storage, this budget-oriented tablet will continue to have value even at the end of its long life cycle thanks to Samsung’s excellent long-term update policies.
In particular, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a great option for younger kids and older folk who are likely to be less put off by the low-res display and weak performance. Samsung Kids is a Samsung-exclusive “kids mode” app that allows you to turn your device into a safe virtual environment and entertainment hub. Furthermore, it doesn’t require a great deal of processing power, meaning the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a prime candidate to be turned into a dedicated Samsung Kids device.
Budget tablets can also be great for many different niche use cases. For example, while the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is nowhere powerful enough to run demanding games consistently, it could easily be used as a cheap, dedicated Twitch chat display for checking in on comments while streaming on a computer or console.
With that said, if you’ll be using your tablet more than a few hours per day, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite probably isn’t your best bet. If you can afford it, we highly recommend spending a little bit more to guarantee yourself a better experience.
Samsung has alternatives to the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite within its own lineup. With a larger display, bigger battery, and better overall performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (
) is by far one of the best budget tablets on the market. If you’re willing to part with a little bit more money, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE (
) is a bigger 12.4-inch tablet with a more powerful Snapdragon 778G chip. Be sure to avoid the 5G version, though, as it houses a weaker chipset.
The Tab A7 Lite is a good buy if you want to upsize your Android experience without spending a lot of money.
If you’re looking beyond Samsung, other manufacturers have options at the ready. The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (
) is an even cheaper alternative that may fit your situation better if you’re more ingrained in Amazon’s ecosystem. If you’re an Apple person, ease of use will come with its price premium. However, the base iPad (
) is still a very compelling option. It also features the A13 Bionic chip, which is far superior to the Mediatek Helio P22T when you factor in how well Apple optimizes its software for its hardware.