Samsung T5 vs. T7: A Detailed Comparison to Find the Best Portable SSD

Samsung‘s portable solid-state drives (SSDs) have earned wide acclaim for their compact size, durability, swift speeds and ample storage capacities. The Samsung T5 and its successor, the Samsung T7 Touch, exemplify high-performance external storage solutions. While both drives havestellar reputations, their distinct features cater to different priorities.

This comprehensive guide contrasts these two market-leading portable SSDs across10 key areas to determine which model offers the best value for various users‘ needs.

Overview of Models

The Samsung T5 hit the market in 2017, impressing with its compact, durable metal design, fast 540 MB/s data transfer speeds and wide capacity range from 250GB to 2TB. Password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption provide security.

Launching in early 2020, the cutting-edge Samsung T7 Touch adds a fingerprint sensor and nearly doubles transfer speeds to 1050MB/s. It ditches the 250GB variant but offers the same capacities otherwise, from 500GB to 2TB. The T7 Touch also carries a price premium for its upgraded performance and security.

While the T7 Touch outstrips its predecessor across most metrics, the older Samsung T5 remains a high performing, more affordable option. Let‘s delve into the specifics to weigh their trade-offs.

Samsung T5 vs. Samsung T7 Touch SSD Comparison

SpecsSamsung T5Samsung T7 Touch
Release DateAug 2017Jan 2020
InterfaceUSB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.2 Gen 2
Dimensions74 x 57.3 x 10.5 mm85 x 57 x 8 mm
Weight51 grams58 grams
Capacity250GB/500GB/1TB/2TB500GB/1TB/2TB
Read SpeedsUp to 540 MB/sUp to 1050 MB/s
Write SpeedsUp to 515 MB/sUp to 1000 MB/s
EncryptionAES 256-bit hardware encryption + Optional password protectionAES 256-bit hardware encryption + Password/Fingerprint protection
EnduranceN/AUp to 1500GB written per day
Warranty3 years3 years
MiscPassword optionalIncluded software for password/biometric features
Price$99 (500GB)$169 (500GB)

Performance

The Samsung T7 Touch doubles down on swiftness with its PCIe NVMe interface, allowing sensational sequential read/write speeds of up to 1050/1000 MB/s. That‘s nearly twice as fast as the T5‘s ceiling of 540/515 MB/s.

Real-world tests validate these speed claims. Using the CrystalDiskMark benchmarking tool, the T7 Touch scored sequential read and write speeds surpassing 1000MB/s with a queue depth of 32 in a Windows 10 desktop environment. In contrast, the T5 achieved 556MB/s read and 519MB/s write speeds under the same test conditions.

While the T5 delivers sufficient performance for many, its lack of raw speed compared to the blazing-fast T7 Touch is apparent. Transferring a 5GB video file took just 14 seconds with the T7 Touch versus 29 seconds for the T5 in one test.

If peak transfer velocity is your priority or you routinely handle enormous files, the T7 Touch‘s almost 2x faster speeds make it the unambiguous winner. Power users like video editors, photographers and graphics professionals require this level of high-performance hardware.

However, for general everyday usage like storing documents or playing media, both SSDs easily suffice with the T5 costing substantially less. Gamers loading titles may also notice shorter load times with the T7 Touch.

Verdict: T7 Touch has vastly quicker file transfers but T5 meets most casual users‘ needs.

Security

The Samsung T7 Touch adds an extra authentication layer – fingerprint unlock using its built-in sensor. Up to 4 fingerprints can register, catering to both private and securely shared usage.

Meanwhile, both SSDs have the option to enable password-protection through included software to prevent unauthorized data access. The same AES 256-bit hardware encryption secures data on both against external attacks.

With biometric sensor and password protection, the T7 Touch offers comprehensive security unmatched by the T5. Professionals dealing with sensitive client data or companies safeguarding valuable IP especially benefit from this enhanced protection.

But the T5‘s built-in encryption still reliably wards off prying eyes, especially when password protection is activated as an added measure.

If bulletproof safety tops your requirements, the T7 Touch pulls ahead. But don‘t underestimate the capable security the T5 provides either.

Verdict: T7 Touch has a clear edge with biometric unlock.

Hardware Design

Regarding hardware design, both SSDs mostly stick to a familiar, compact rectangular slab form factor common among external drives. They share a durable aluminum unibody metal construction resistant to shocks, falls and general wear-and-tear.

Up close, differences emerge in dimensions and weight. At 74 x 57.3 x 10.5 mm and 51 grams, the T5 maintains a thinner, lighter and more pocketable profile compared to the T7 Touch‘s 85 x 57 x 8 mm and 58 gram chassis. While not bulky by any means, the T7 Touch’s extra heft results partly from its fingerprint sensor hardware and advanced internals.

With ucabke options included for both SSDs, you can easily hook them up on the go to transfer files whether you‘re using a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. The T5‘s marginally smaller footprint gives it an edge for mobility but real-world portability remains excellent with both models.

Those moving around frequently may still prefer the T5 but the T7 Touch won‘t weigh you down either. Choose based on speed versus portability priorities.

Verdict: T5 has minor portability advantage from smaller form.

Capacities

Previously the T5 offered more options with a 250GB entry-level configuration that‘s no longer available with the T7 Touch. Currently both provide ample room even with the lowest 500GB capacity, enough for tens of thousands of photos, hundreds of hours of music or a dozen large games or applications.

The 1TB tier suits most from enthusiasts to creative pros as a bounding box for their entire libraries. Only heavy content creators or mega-collectors might feel the need to jump to the roomy 2TB ceiling.

If you sought the T5‘s 250GB variant for an OS boot drive or just need modest storage, compact external SSDs from other brands now better serve that niche. For everyone else, both SSDs offer effectively the same versatile capacity selections.

Those needing 4TB will have to look at Samsung’s larger T7 Shield options released more recently instead.

Verdict: Trade-off of lowest 250GB capacity for higher baseline with T7 Touch.

Software

The Samsung Portable SSD Software packages available for both drives provide monitoring functions like checking drive health and updates. Key settings for enabling password protection and tighter integration with your OS can be configured as well.

Specifically the T7 Touch leverages its software suite to support its marquee fingerprint authentication in tandem with the onboard sensor hardware. Overall the interfaces adopt a simple, user-friendly design that stays out of your way.

Since internal hardware handles encryption on both SSDs, no third-party software needs managing to keep data secure. Just activate the password protection option if desired without any complexity.

The software doesn‘t set either drive apart significantly. But it plays a vital role for the biometric security headlining the T7 Touch.

Verdict: Similar software support, enables fingerprint sensor on T7 Touch.

Connectivity

As outlined earlier, the T7 Touch adopts a faster USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface using a type-C connector compared to the T5‘s USB 3.1 Gen 2 implementation. Both connect easily to most computers and mobile devices manufactured in the past 5 years. Additional Type-A to Type-C cables make backwards compatibility with legacy machines straightforward.

Real-world tests measuring CrystalDiskMark speeds over a USB connection validate that the T7 Touch maintains a substantial read/write advantage. So although both SSDs utilize the common USB standard, the T7 Touch better exploits its potential for blazing yet consistent real-world throughput.

Adopters of the new USB4 interface standard can expect its maximum 40Gbps bandwidth to eclipse even the T7 Touch’s limits. But until wider USB4 adoption, the T7 Touch still massively outstrips typical external HDD speeds.

In summary – both SSDs conveniently hook up to modern USB ports with automatic driver/plug-and-play functionality. But newer T7 Touch better harnesses interface potential for faster file transfers.

Verdict: T7 Touch better utilizes USB 3.2 bandwidth but T5 still universal and speedy.

Durability

Both drives boast respectable durability ratings – up to 1500G/0.5m shock resistance and 2 meter drop test success when not powered on. Their metal bodies and lack of moving parts ensure they withstand vibration, shocks and drops that quickly destroy lesser portable drives.

While Samsung lists an endurance rating of 150TBW (terabytes written) for the T5, no official figure has been provided for the T7 Touch. However given its robust construction and advanced 3D V-NAND technology, similar or higher write endurance can be safely assumed before wear concerns arise.

Unless you somehow manage to physically pierce the drive or lose it down a mountain never to be seen again, either SSD will easily outlive conventional hard drives. For portable external storage durability won’t drive your buying choice between them. Pick based on performance, security and pricing factors instead.

Verdict: Comparable real-world durability with both adequate for travel.

Value & Pricing

The 1TB T7 Touch debuted at $230USD, over twice the $110USD early price of the equivalent T5 which now retails closer to $150USD. Considering markedly higher performance and the addition of fingerprint sensor security, the T7 commands this premium.

Cost per gigabyte hovers around $0.15 for either drive currently. While the T5 offers better outright affordability, T7 Touch delivers more bang for buck based on its specifications. For professional usage, the value proposition favors the T7 Touch despite higher absolute costs. As with most PC hardware, gradual discounts should occur over their lifespan too.

With portable external SSD storage still pricier than traditional hard drives, neither drive qualifies as a budget option. But compared to internal SSDs, their reasonable pricing and included enclosure provide convenience lacking with standalone M.2 drives.

If you prioritize affordability, the T5 no doubt keeps more cash in your wallet. The T7 Touch best suits buyers wanting leading-edge versatility backed by Samsung’s technology innovations in the external SSD space. While not cheap, frequent discounts and sales make this premium SSD more attainable for hobbyists and mainstream users alike.

Verdict: T5 more affordable overall but T7 Touch delivers performance and security enhancing its value.

Compatibility

The T5 and T7 Touch both function universally across Windows, macOS and Android operating systems without any setup or configuration. Android 6.0+ and Windows 7 or higher versions support necessary USB standards for operating these SSDs without issues.

Handily their compact build means you can directly connect them not just to laptops but smaller devices like the Nintendo Switch, tablets, smart TVs and smartphones supporting external storage.

If your ecosystem spans both desktop OSs and mobile devices, either SSD operates seamlessly while transferring files between environments. Both SSDs natively work with common backup software too. Simply focus on each drive‘s comparative advantages rather than compatibility concerns when choosing.

Verdict: Universal USB plug-and-play ensures equal, excellent cross-platform compatibility.

Verdict: Which Is Better for You?

So when considering the renowned Samsung T5 versus its highly advanced successor, the T7 Touch, which is preferable for your needs?

Creative professionals, enthusiasts or businesses requiring high speed transfers for large video, graphics or data files heavily benefit from the T7 Touch and its nearly 2x faster throughput compared to typical SSDs. Its number one advantage lies in uncompromising speed combined with security.

Budget-conscious shoppers wanting reliable portable storage get better value from the Samsung T5. Despite lagging behind latest performance standards, it still delivers sufficient real-world speeds for the average user transferring documents or lightweight media. Its smaller size could also appeal more if portability outranks speed in your workflow.

Both options ultimately serve as well-rounded, travel-ready external SSD storage solutions. If top-tier transfer velocity matters above all else, the T7 Touch justifies its premium price tag to jump past the venerable T5’s capabilities. For everyone else, the T5 remains a highly capable workhorse that outshines traditional portable HDDs for just a bit more money.

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