Samsung appears to be planning a new 7-inch tablet called the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at next month’s IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany. The company released a free Android application to supplement its IFA news and close inspection of the app package’s contents contain a reference to the Galaxy Tab 7.7 name, according to ThisIsMyNext. Many around the web suggest the device will use a 7.7-inch screen in keeping with the naming convention of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 models, whose names do refer to screen sizes. I think there’s another explanation.
Last week, we noted that Samsung was working on Super AMOLED Plus displays in sizes up to seven inches, which would be in products by year end. The screen technology provides some of the most vivid, eye-popping colors and is used in a few of Samsung’s current smartphones. (Related: our Super AMOLED Plus smartphone video demo) These displays max out at 800 x 480 resolution today, but Samsung is reportedly working on 1280 x 720 support on the larger screens, giving me cause to suspect the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will still have a 7-inch screen — like the current model — but the other 7 may loosely refer to 720p, or 1280 x 720 high-definition resolution.
There’s little doubt that whatever the screen size of the new Galaxy Tab 7.7, it would likely run Google Android Honeycomb, and not Gingerbread as the 7-inch Tab I currently own does. I’ll be curious to see how that plays out because I prefer Gingerbread, along with the Samsung software tweaks to improve it, over any of the Honeycomb tablets I’ve used or reviewed yet. I’m also partial to the 7-inch screen size because it offers the same portability of a smartphone, fitting in jacket pocket or back pants pocket, while also providing a larger screen experience.
Aside from the screen size, operating system and overall specifications — I’d expect a dual-core processor to power the slate — I’m looking seeing if the new tablet will support cellular voice calling. The original Galaxy Tab model actually does, but in the U.S., such functionality is stripped out. There are ways to hack voice service back in, but that’s not an ideal solution. If Samsung brings a 7-inch — or even a 7.7-inch — Galaxy Tab with Super AMOLED Plus screen and voice support, my next “smartphone” just might be a 720p tablet.