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Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 review

 Review: June 2015  

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: If you're looking for an averagely-sized, averagely-priced tablet with average specs, the Galaxy Tab A is for you. Its best features are its slimline, ergonomic design and smart looks; the main negative is the low screen resolution. Overall, it's a good basic tablet.

Today's best buy: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7" 3 ... from Laptops Direct (£454.97)


Design & looks

With a screen measuring 9.7 inches and a 4:3 aspect ratio, the Galaxy Tab A is a good size for an everyday tablet. The Tab A is a typical Samsung product, with an all-plastic but robust build. It looks smart and it's light in weight for a tablet of this size. It's very slim too, measuring just 7.5mm thick, and is very easy to handle. It gives the impression of a premium product costing more than it actually does.

Samsung has got the design of the Tab A just right, making it a very practical and appealing choice. It's available in a choice of Black or White.

The quality of the screen is less impressive, however. It's a basic TFT display - not the AMOLED type used on more costly tablets like the Galaxy Tab S, and the resolution is really quite surprisingly low. With just 1024 x 768 pixels, that works out at a very low pixel density of 132ppi, meaning that fine text and graphics aren't very sharp on this screen. That's not good if you're planning to read books and magazines or view a lot of web pages. It's not good for anything, really.


The Tab A runs Android Lollipop plus a range of Samsung modifications. You'll find some bundled software included that may or may not appeal to you.

With an entry-level 1.2GHz quadcore processor and a modest 1.5GB of RAM, performance is quite acceptable when performing simple tasks, but there's never going to be enough power to run demanding apps, especially games. Even casual users may feel frustrated at times.

The built-in memory of 16GB is a good amount for general use, and you can add a microSD memory card for up to 128GB of extra storage.

Twin cameras

The Tab A comes with both front and rear cameras, although neither are particularly impressive.

The main rear camera has 5 megapixels and autofocus - but no flash. It's capable of taking good pictures in daylight. In low light conditions, things tend to fall apart.

The front camera is just 2 megapixels and can be used for selfies and video chat in decent lighting.


Here we're reviewing the Wi-Fi only version of the Tab A. There's also a 4G-enabled model that costs about £50 more.

Both versions of the Tab A have all the basic connectivity options covered - USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1 and a headphone jack. They also include ANT+ support.

Battery life

The Tab A's 6000mAh battery seems to be a reasonable size for a tablet of this type. The low resolution display and entry-level processor help to extend its life further, and it will give a maximum of around 14 hours of continuous use between charges.

Conclusion - average

If you're a casual tablet user and don't expect to use your device for heavy 3D gaming, or reading books, or doing anything very intensively, then the Tab A was probably designed with you in mind. It's good value for a 10 inch tablet, and the Tab A is an attractive and lightweight device with a good blend of features.

Apart from the impressive slimline design, nothing else stands out, and the features are distinctly entry-level. But for casual users, these won't present major limitations. The main pitfall is the low resolution screen.

Possible alternatives include the Google Nexus 9 or iPad Mini 3.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 features include:

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User questions

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Is a keyboard available for this tablet ?

Asked by Dickie from US on 29th Nov 2016
Samsung Galaxy Tab A.

Does the Tab A 9-7 have built in security?

Asked by carolyn from uk on 3rd Jun 2016

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 user reviews

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Average rating from 1 review:

Reviewed by Angela from United Kingdom on 2nd Aug 2016
Surprised there's no headphones included.

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