Samsung was one of the first companies to launch and promote portable SSDs in India. It has its previous model, the SSD T5, as a default recommendation. It’s fast, reasonably priced and widely available. Being the world’s largest manufacturer of SSD flash memory, the company is also usually quick to come to market with innovations. Samsung’s internal as well as external drives tend to be cost-effective, but we are now at a point where many companies have entered the fray. Portable SSDs are starting to become commoditized, which means that apart from the external design, each brand has little difference from the next.
To stay ahead of the curve, Samsung has introduced its new SSD T7 Touch which has a fingerprint sensor for security. Previous models have offered hardware encryption that is enabled using a password, so the fingerprint sensor is just a new way to make use of this capability, not a new level of security as it might seem. This is still more than many others have to offer, and will be more convenient for many.
Is the SSD T7 Touch defined by just this one feature, or is it a worthwhile update to the excellent SSD T5? Read our full review to know.
Samsung SSD T7 Touch Design and Features
Samsung seems to have settled on a simpler design for its portable SSDs, and the new SSD T7 Touch represents only a minor development compared to the SSD T5 and SSD T3 that preceded it. The body is now a bit flattened and a bit elongated, but it is still palm-sized and will fit into any pocket very easily. The outer shell is made of metal and curves around the long sides without any seams, with the short sides flattened.
weight just 58gThe device is exceptionally portable, but it doesn’t feel underpowered at all. At 8mm thick, it’s thinner than most current smartphones. It’s one of the most premium-looking portable SSDs we’ve encountered of late, but the metal exterior will be susceptible to scuffs and nicks if not handled with care. We’d prefer an IP rating, like the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD claims. You have a choice between black and silver, both of which look good.
You might not realize at first that the front square is a fingerprint sensor. When the drive is plugged in and working, the border lights up with blue LEDs, and there’s a spinning animation that’s not absolutely necessary but looks great.
In the box, you get USB Type-A and Type-C cables that are longer than usual, which means it’s easy to plug into the back of a desktop PC. The SSD T7 Touch will work like any other storage device if you leave it plugged in, but you’ll need Samsung’s Portable SSD Plus software to set up encryption and fingerprint recognition. Executables for Windows and macOS are included on the drive itself, and Android apps can be downloaded From Google Play Store.
Samsung SSD T7 Touch Fingerprint & Encryption
Encryption on the SSD T7 Touch is achieved using 256-bit AES. It’s not enabled by default, so you can plug the drive into any compatible device and use it as soon as you take it out of the retail box. Once you’ve installed the software on any PC, you’ll need to choose a password and you’re warned that there’s no way to save data on the drive if you forget it. You can then train the device with one or more of your fingerprints, just like you would on a smartphone.
The fingerprint sensor is thankfully independent of orientation, so you don’t need to position the body of the SSD in any special way. It works very quickly and is extremely convenient. If you’ve ever used a phone with a fingerprint sensor, there’s no steep learning curve here.
When encryption is enabled, plugging the drive into any PC will only show a 50MB partition that’s big enough for Samsung’s software installers. The best part is that you don’t need to temporarily install any software on the PC you’re using – just a fingerprint will unlock the drive. We’ve seen tools in the past that required you to run a small app on the guest computer to type in a password, and now that’s taken care of on the drive itself. This also means you can unlock the SSD when you plug it into a game console or any other type of host device.
One thing it’s missing is a timeout function – the drive won’t lock itself after a period of inactivity when plugged in, and won’t require a password from time to time, which would have been nice. A fingerprint may not be enough protection if you’re storing very sensitive material, but it’s extremely convenient if you need a deterrent to accidental snoopers.
We tried using the SSD T7 Touch with a Google Pixel 3 running Android 10, and it worked fine when plugged in using its own USB Type-C cable. As in our Windows and Mac test systems, only the small split was visible until the sensor was touched. However, after decrypting the drive, our phone told us that it needed to be formatted and could not be recognized. The Samsung Portable SSD app will let you enter and change fingerprints just like any PC, but there’s also another similarly named app that’s used for the SSD T5 and T3 and doesn’t recognize this model – which is just needlessly confusing.
Samsung SSD T7 Touch Specifications and Performance
For storage capacity, you can choose between 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Samsung is clearly not targeting the lower end of the market, and has used a faster NVMe SSD that can take advantage of the 10Gbps bandwidth of a USB 3.2 Gen2 connection (which is, confusingly, the same as USB 3.1 Gen2. Is). You’ll need a relatively modern PC to be able to utilize this kind of speed.
Samsung ambitiously claims that sequential read and write speeds are up to 1050 Mbps and 1000 Mbps, respectively – almost twice that of the SSD T5, which is rated at 540 Mbps. It’s still not quite as fast as the Samsung SSD X5 which uses Thunderbolt 3, but it’s a lot more affordable.
There’s no mention of waterproofing or shock resistance, which is what many other portable SSDs claim. The drive is said to be able to withstand a fall from a height of 2 metres. You also get the standard 3 year warranty.
Our 1TB review unit was formatted to the exFAT file system by default, which is widely compatible across PCs, Macs, and other modern devices. The formatted capacity was stated to be 931.51GB. We tested this SSD using an HP Specter x360 13 aw0205tu laptop because of its current-gen hardware and high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports to ensure zero interruptions.
CrystalDiskmark reported sequential read and write speeds of 974.3 Mbps and 982.7 Mbps, respectively, which were slightly below Samsung’s best-case-scenario numbers, but pretty impressive even by SSD standards. Random read and write speeds, which are more representative of average workloads, were 271.6 Mbps and 284.3 Mbps, respectively.
We then moved on to the Anvil benchmark, which showed read and write scores of 1,955.04 and 2,200.07 respectively, for a total of 4,155.11. Even with casual use, copying a 45.6GB Steam game folder with a wide variety of file types and sizes, we saw very zippy performance, and the speed a rock after a short period of time due to overheating or buffer saturation. Doesn’t fall from
We are seeing a new generation of NVMe portable SSDs to hit the market, which is great because the standard to use them is now available. Very few PCs have 10Gbps-capable USB ports but such devices will meet some demand, helping the standard spread. We recently reviewed the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD, which promised similar speeds and performed slightly worse, though it has an IP55 rating for physical protection.
Despite its speed, we think the main attraction here will be the fingerprint sensor, which adds a layer of security without making life more difficult for the user. Overall, the Samsung SSD T7 Touch is more than a worthy successor to the SSD T5, bringing a new generation of hardware with better speeds and features – albeit at a much higher price point, at least for now.
Rupee. 12,999 (500GB)
Rupee. 19,999 (1TB)
Rupee. 37,999 (2TB)
- Fast USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Connectivity
- convenient fingerprint sensor
- stylish and compact
- Display: 4.5
- Value for money: 3.5
- Overall: 4.5
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