Galaxy Tab 7.7 blessed with AMOLED, cursed with contract

Samsung offers a hands-on look at its Galaxy Tab 7.7 Android tablet, available on Verizon.

LAS VEGAS--Samsung believes you need another tablet size to consider.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is coming to Verizon's 4G LTE network this year, though the exact timing and pricing have yet to be disclosed.

As you may have guessed, the Tab 7.7 features a screen that measures 7.7 inches on its diagonal. Once released, it will join the existing Galaxy Tab family, including the Galaxy Tab 7 Wi-Fi, Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, Galaxy Tab 8.9, and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

This tablet runs Android 3.2 on a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, with no official word on an Android 4.0 update. Like many of its most recent kin, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 includes a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, along with a 3-megapixel camera on the back. The OS takes advantage of Samsung's most recent TouchWiz interface, adding a tray of useful utilities to the bottom of the screen.

Like the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, the Tab 7.7 includes an IR blaster on its edge, allowing it to be used as a universal remote control when matched with the included Peel app. The tablet comes with 16GB of onboard memory, along with a microSD card slot for additional storage.

But the standout feature here is the screen's Super AMOLED Plus screen technology. Similar to the AMOLED screen used in the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note, the 1,280x800-pixel resolution screen on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is wonderfully vibrant and achieves deep black levels by switching pixels off entirely.

So what's the bad news? Well, along with Verizon's 4G LTE network speeds comes a two-year commitment. There's a decent possibility that Verizon will offer a contract-free version of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at a higher, unsubsidized price, but you're still going to be shelling out for a monthly data plan. With so many Android 4.0 tablets just around the corner (not to mention Windows 8 devices), we suggest keeping your options open.

 

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