When it comes to phone games, light arcade ones like Candy Crush or 1010! are my go-to as they demand little attention. I’m not someone you can easily convince to try open-world games for their graphics, music, and overall indulgence.
The reason being, I find the latter a bit difficult to immerse myself in due to my phone’s small screen. I’d have to hold it close to my face to fully appreciate the details of the games’ fantasy lands.
But just a week ago, I spent at least an hour a day indulging myself in the world of Sky: Children of the Light (Sky). What’s changed? I got to play it on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite.
It’s like an oversized phone
That heading basically describes my first impression of the Tab A7 Lite when I opened up its packaging. Weighing just 366g and with a smaller size of 8 x 5 inches, I could hold it in one hand for my regular social media scrolling and light article reading.
With a silver aluminium back and glass front, it has enough bezel to grip comfortably without triggering accidental touches on the screen. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers equipped with the Dolby Atmos system on both short ends of the tab which are loud and clear, making it a pleasure to binge Netflix on.
The Tab A7 Lite’s physical buttons are positioned a little oddly on the right side of its long end, with its volume rocker below the lock button. I often found myself carelessly locking the screen every time I wanted to adjust the volume of my media. Perhaps I’m just used to the positioning of physical buttons with volume rockers above the Bixby button on my Samsung phones.
There’s a noticeable camera bump when the tab is laid flat on the table, making it slightly wobbly when typing on-screen. At 8MP, photos taken from the rear camera lack sharpness and details, while the 2MP front-facing camera had low contrast.
The latter is enough to get you by when it comes to Zoom calls and unlocking the screen with facial recognition. But don’t expect the Tab A7 Lite to impress in photo taking.
Unlike the Galaxy Tab A7 which has a front-facing camera that sits atop the screen when in landscape mode, the Tab A7 Lite’s webcam is on its short end.
Catered to play and leisure
It seems like Samsung isn’t pushing any productivity features here; the Tab A7 Lite doesn’t come with a stylus, there’s no official keyboard case for it, and Samsung DeX isn’t available. You’d have to find third-party keyboard book covers or use a detached Bluetooth keyboard if you intend to use it for light work.
While it does handle multitasking in pop-up and split-screen modes decently with an Android 11, One UI 3.1 OS, the tab’s on-screen keyboard isn’t very pleasant to type on when held in any orientation. It’s too flat for touch typing without a physical keyboard and too wide for typing with my thumbs like I would on a phone.
Instead, this is an affordable tablet you would buy to watch videos, read, and play some light games on.
However, I couldn’t ignore the screen’s lack of sharpness. Text and images appear pixelated on its 1,340 x 800 pixels and a 179 PPI display. Other reviewers would agree that the screen was likely the biggest sacrifice Samsung made when compared to the standard Tab A7 at 10.4 inches with 1,200 x 2,000 pixels and a 224 PPI display.
With a bigger screen compared to my phone, I finally understood the appeal of exploring open-world games that I used to despise. Nevertheless, I had to ignore the pixelated graphics which struggled quite severely on the tab.
On the bright side, the tablet was light enough for me to hold comfortably while playing Sky for long periods of time. Its Dolby Atmos speakers were loud and immersive, enabling me to fully enjoy the mystic world of Sky with my new friends who would fly me around the islands to find more Spirits.
Its battery life was good enough to get me through several episodes of The Good Doctor and social media browsing with some juice to spare. With a 5,100mAh non-removable battery, the tab should last you at least 10 hours of usage without scrambling for your charger.
I’d say it’s pretty reliable as a distraction tool if you’re going somewhere that would require a long wait, like at a doctor’s appointment. The tab is also small enough to fit in most handbags too, making it just slightly less portable than a phone.
It’s clear that my biggest issue with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is its low-res display. But despite that, it shouldn’t hinder the functionality of the tablet if you’re only using it leisurely or for entertainment.
At RM699, the Tab A7 Lite is an affordable tablet that can get you through daily Zoom calls, light reading, some gaming, and a Netflix binge-watch.
Perhaps it may even be beneficial for parents looking to purchase an affordable entry-level device for their kids to keep up with school online.
For its price, the sacrifices made with the screen seem fair. If in-game graphics and sharper images matter to you, you could opt for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 that has a more vibrant and colourful display for the cost of RM200 more at RM899.
You can learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite here.You can read more Samsung reviews here.
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.