Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite challenges iPad — for a much cheaper price

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
(Image credit: Samsung)

After weeks of leaks, Samsung today (May 27) unveiled its new Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, a budget-friendly tablet running the latest version of Android. This could be a big deal for tablet fans, especially those who are budget-conscious, as the original Galaxy Tab A7 is our top pick for the best Android tablet you can buy. 

In our Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review, we heralded the original A7 for its great battery life, thin bezels, and affordable price. Samsung's new Lite version starts at an even lower price — just $159 — and comes with the latest version of Android, making it a strong contender for a spot among the best tablets on the market. While the new Galaxy Tab A7 Lite can't match the latest iPads (especially the powerhouse 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021) in terms of performance or screen quality, the fact that it's hundreds of dollars cheaper gives it a potent edge.

Samsung announced the A7 Lite alongside its new Galaxy Tab S7 FE tablet, a more powerful Android tablet with a commensurately higher price tag. Here's what we know so far about the more budget-minded A7 Lite.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite price and release date

Samsung plans to begin selling the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite on June 10 in the U.S.; the tablet will be available both through major retailers and via Samsung's own website

The A7 Lite will have a starting price of $159, which is quite a bit cheaper than the $229 starting price of Samsung's original A7 tablet. However, the company is currently selling the original A7 at a steep discount ($89) via its website, so if you're interested, you might still have time to snap up the old model for a significantly reduced price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Starting price$159
Display8.7-inch, 1340 x 800 pixels
ProcessorOcta-core (4x2.3GHz + 4x1.8GHz)
Storage32GB / 64GB
Memory3 GB / 4 GB RAM
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5, LTE optional
Cameras8MP AF (rear) / 2MP (front)
Dimensions8.37 x 4.9 x 0.31 inches
Weight0.8 lbs (Wi-F), 0.82 lbs (LTE)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite design

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite appears to be a tinier, lighter version of the original A7 with a smaller, lower-resolution 8.7-inch screen. In our review of the original A7 we were a little dismayed by how dim its 10-inch screen was, so it would be nice to see the A7 Lite's display hit more impressive brightness levels.

The smaller A7 Lite also appears to share its predecessor's thin bezels, a nice design touch which can make the screen feel more immersive when you're using it to watch movies or play games.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review

The new Tab A7 Lite is even smaller and thinner than the original Tab A7, pictured here. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While the original A7's metal chassis was available in a dark gray, silver, or gold finish, Samsung only offers the new A7 Lite in gray and silver.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite display

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite sports an 8.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1340 x 800 pixels,  and we'll have to wait until we see one in person to know how good the display looks.

This is an important factor because the display of the original Galaxy Tab A7 was one of the affordable Android tablet's biggest flaws. In our review we noted the original A7's larger 10.4-inch (2000 x 1200 pixels) display was a little too dim, failing to get as bright as competitors like the Fire HD 10 tablet and delivering poor image quality at wide viewing angles (30 degrees to the left or right).

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite audio

Two stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos adorn the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, so you should expect some decent sound quality from Samsung's newest budget Android tablet. 

A similar set of speakers graced the original Galaxy Tab A7, and during our review process we found they delivered crisp, clear music and vocals — but only up to about 80% of the maximum volume. Cranking it up any further tended to make music sound a little distorted, and we'll have to wait and see if the new A7 Lite has speakers with a similar issue.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite performance

The new Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is shipping with an (as yet unnamed) octa-core processor packing a quartet of 2.3GHz cores and another quartet of 1.8GHz cores.

That could deliver slightly better performance than the original Tab A7, which had a similar Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor with 8 cores that maxed out at just 2.0GHz. 

However, even if there is a noticeable improvement, don't expect the A7 Lite to be a powerhouse. In our review of the original A7 we noted modest performance while multi-tasking (expect some lag when you go hard on Chrome tabs) and less than ideal performance in Android games like Asphalt 9: Legends.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite cameras

The A7 Lite will ship with a rear-mounted 8MP camera complemented by a 2MP camera on the front, so you'll always have the option of taking photos but you probably won't be excited by the results.

We'll have to get one in for testing to truly evaluate the quality of images these cameras produce, but since the original Galaxy Tab A7 had a slightly better camera complement — 8MP in the back and 5MP in the front —  and we still had a hard time getting great photos out of them, it's likely the A7 Lite's cameras will struggle to impress.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite software

One of the big selling points of the original Galaxy Tab A7 was the fact that it came running pure Android, rather than the forked variant Fire OS that most Amazon tablets use.

That's significant because there just aren't that many affordable, quality Android tablets out there which run stock Android. Instead, most are Amazon devices running Fire OS, which means you don't always get access to the latest Google apps and you're constantly fighting a deluge of Amazon ads and content.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite will, like the original Galaxy Tab A7 pictured here, run stock Android and offer full access to the Google Play store. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The new Galaxy Tab A7 Lite should start shipping next month with the latest version of Android 11, making it a great budget-friendly option for getting your hands on a pure Android tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite battery

Samsung has yet to provide official estimates for how long the 5,100mAh battery in the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite will last under sustained use, so it's hard to say if it will live up to the epic 13-plus hours of battery life that the original Tab A7 delivered.

However, the Tab A7's larger battery was also driving a larger screen, so it's possible the A7 Lite's smaller battery may yet live up to the remarkable performance of its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite outlook

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is shaping up to be a pretty decent compact Android tablet at a remarkably low price, though we'll have to wait until we test one ourselves to know for sure.

We loved the portability, slim design, and incredible battery life of the original Tab A7, so the fact that Samsung is now shipping an even smaller version is very exciting. If you're in need of a tablet and don't want to pay Apple prices, or you want something that will play well with your other Samsung Galaxy devices, the new Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a compelling option.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.