With the Galaxy 7.0 Plus, Samsung has finally settled on a favorite tablet size: all of them.
The Galaxy 7.0 Plus is a souped-up sequel to last year’s original Galaxy Tab, running Android 3.2 Honeycomb. It has a 7-inch, 1024-by-600 resolution display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, a 3-megapixel camera in back and a 2-megapixel camera up front.
Why bother with this model instead of waiting for the already-announced Galaxy Tab 7.7? Although Samsung hasn’t announced pricing for either tablet, the Tab 7.7 will probably be more expensive, thanks to its Super AMOLED Plus 1280-by-800 resolution display and 1.4 GHz processor. More importantly, Samsung hasn’t said whether it will launch the Tab 7.7 stateside.
Samsung plans to release the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus in Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, followed by a global rollout. Although the Tab 7.0 Plus will have HSPA+ connectivity and support for voice and video calling with no need for a headset, you can expect U.S. carriers to cut voice calling from their own models; they hate the idea of people replacing their smartphones with tablets instead of signing up for additional data plans, and for that reason removed voice calling from last year’s Galaxy Tab.
The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will bring Samsung’s Honeycomb tablet count to three, including the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In addition to the unreleased Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung is also working on the 5-inch Galaxy Note phone-tablet hybrid, and will launch 4-inch and 5-inch Galaxy Players—essentially, rivals to Apple’s iPod Touch—in the United States next month.
I can’t imagine all this size experimentation is easy for Samsung—managing the supply chain must be a nightmare—but it’s an easy way to differentiate from Apple’s iPad, which is still the best 10-inch tablet on the market thanks to its simple interface and huge app library. I like the handheld nature of 7-inch tablets, so I’m glad Samsung is still playing around with this size even if Honeycomb still needs improvement.