Apple iPad Air 5 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (2021): Which tablet should you buy?

Apple iPad Air 5 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (2021): Which tablet should you buy?

Tablets are becoming more and more popular amongst users for several reasons. For starters, these versatile devices are getting faster and starting to support more advanced features. For a large number of people, these glass slabs even work as a replacement for their laptops. After all, they typically offer large screens, multitasking, accessory support (such as keyboards, mice, and styli), and much more. Their portability and sleek designs make them a solid companion that can easily fit in our compact bags wherever we go. This is the Apple iPad Air 5 (2022) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (2021) — the battle between two very different tablets sold by rival manufacturers. If you decide to buy the iPad Air 5, don’t forget to check out some of the best cases and chargers for it.


iPad Air 2022

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Apple iPad Air 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: Specifications

Apple iPad Air 5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
  • Apple M1 chip
  • Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G 5G (Wi-Fi model)
  • Qualcomm SM7225 Snapdragon 750G 5G (Cellular model)
  • 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm
  • 461 g (462 g for Cellular model)
  • 284.8 x 185 x 6.3 mm
  • 608 g
  • 10.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display
  • 2360-by-1640-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Supports Apple Pencil 2
  • 12.4-inch (diagonal) LCD display
  • 2560-by-1600-pixel resolution at 243 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Around 500 nits brightness
  • Supports the included S Pen
  • Rear:
    • 12MP Wide camera
    • ƒ/1.8 aperture
    • Digital zoom up to 5x
    • Autofocus with Focus Pixels
    • Smart HDR 3
    • Auto image stabilization
  • Front:
    • 12MP Ultra Wide front camera, 122° field of view
    • ƒ/2.4 aperture
    • Smart HDR 3
    • Retina Flash
    • Auto image stabilization
  • Rear:
    • 8MP camera
    • ƒ/1.9 aperture
    • Digital zoom up to 2x
    • Autofocus
    • Portrait mode
    • Night mode
  • Front:
    • 5MP camera
    • ƒ/2.2 aperture
    • Fixed Focus
    • Portrait mode
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64GB/256GB SSD
  • 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB SSD
  • Built‐in 28.6‐watt-hour rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery
  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‐Fi or watching video
  • Built‐in 10090 mAh rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery
  • All-day battery life
  • 4G/5G on Cellular model
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4G/5G on Cellular model
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Touch ID
  • Face Recognition
  • iPadOS 15
  • One UI 4.1 (Based on Android 12)
  • Space Gray
  • Starlight
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Silver
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum
  • Starts at $599
  • Starts at $429

Design: Choose a supermodel

Design is a very subjective matter. Nonetheless, we can make some objective observations regarding the bodies of these two tablets. Both of them feature almost the exact same exterior design. It’s a flat aluminum chassis with rounded corners and the companies’ respective logos. The two are slim, light, and look futuristic.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE on black table with keybaord cover and S Pen

Perhaps the most notable difference between the two tablets is the colors they offer. The Apple iPad 5 (2022) comes in five finishes to choose from — Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, and Blue. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (2021) offers four — Black, Silver, Pink, and Green. If you don’t have a color preference, then design shouldn’t really be a major aspect to consider when choosing between the two. Ultimately, they both are sleek, and there are more notable pros and cons to weigh.

Display: The Galaxy is wider than Air

iPad Air 2022 with M1

After flipping over these two tablets, we are faced with two gorgeous, Full HD displays with thin bezels and rounded corners. The biggest difference between the two is the screen size. The iPad offers 10.9 inches of screen real estate. On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE adds an inch and a half to reach 12.4 inches.

When it comes to the resolution, your naked eye probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. So in this round, the main focus would be the size. If you’re looking for a wider canvas, then Team Samsung it is. Otherwise, the Apple iPad Air has a slimmer, lighter, and more compact build that makes it slightly more portable. Notably, both the iPad and Galaxy tablet screens support the companies’ respective smart styli — the Apple Pencil 2 and the S Pen.

Performance: The M1/iPadOS mix is merely mighty

m1 chip overview

Let’s start this round by reminding you that the Apple M1 chip is a Mac processor. The iPad Air 5 packs a chipset that fuels macOS and powers Apple’s newer computers. Another aspect to consider is that the entry model of the iPad Air 5 packs 8GB of RAM, while that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE settles for just 4GB. That’s not to mention that Android OS is a more demanding operating system when it comes to memory usage.

Qualcomm snapdragon logo on red background

Expect iPadOS 15 to run smoother on your tablet than One UI 4.1. After all, the former OS is a more powerful iteration of iOS. In late 2022, your iPad will also start supporting resizable app windows — thanks to Stage Manager on iPadOS 16. This makes it a mighty competitor to the Galaxy Tab S7 FE when it comes to multitasking. Lastly, iPadOS has better native app support when compared to Android. By going for Apple’s tablet, you get a richer selection of optimized apps — including some Pro software for power users.

Tidbits: Batteries, Cameras, and more

Long battery life is essential on a tablet. After all, users tend to expect their devices to last them a day when working on the go. Needing to find a power source every couple of hours can be a dealbreaker for many. Fortunately, both the iPad Air 5 and Galaxy Tab S7 FE offer all-day battery lives, and you shouldn’t need to worry about charging them more than once a day with average use. Notably, though, the iPad comes with a 20W brick that fully charges the iPad in 135 minutes. On the other hand, the Samsung tablet takes 190 minutes to fully charge using a 45W brick — which is sold separately. The Samsung box includes a 15W brick, which doesn’t support fast charging.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE keyboard folio

In the camera department, the iPad also wins over the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Both the front and rear cameras on the Apple tablet have higher resolutions when compared to Samsung’s. The latter supports Portrait and Night modes, though. So if you attend virtual meetings frequently, you might want to take this into consideration. Finally, both tablets support keyboards, mice, and styli. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE includes an S Pen in its box, though. On the other hand, you’d have to buy an Apple Pencil 2 separately for the iPad. This would cost you an additional $129.

Bottom Line: The iPad Air makes more sense

Despite these two tablets landing in the mid-range category, the iPad Air packs plenty of high-end specs — such as the M1 chip. If you aren’t on a limited budget and are willing to pay an additional $170, the iPad Air 5 makes more sense than the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. It will likely receive software support for more years, performs better, and has a richer library of optimized apps. If you’re already using an iPhone or Mac, it also would make sense to go for the iPad to take advantage of the Continuity features.

The Samsung tablet is a solid option for those who just want a media consumption device, are on a more limited budget, or need a larger display. As a reminder, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE includes the S Pen in its box. So if you plan on using a smart stylus with your purchase, that is going to cost you an additional $129 if you choose the iPad Air. Ultimately, both tablets are more than decent, but the iPad offers a more advanced tablet experience.

    The 5th-generation iPad Air (2022) is powered by the Apple M1 chip. It supports 5G for the first time, and it comes in an array of beautiful colors.
    The Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a mid-range tablet from Samsung. It includes an S Pen and is great for getting light work done on the go.

Which of the two tablets will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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