Android’s best iPad: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 reviewed
You’ve seen Samsung’s 2015 phones, and now it’s time to see what the company can do to make its tablets on par with these bad boys. Is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 the best tablet around?
Another year, another tablet, and while these get better every year, Samsung is hoping to echo its success in the year’s smartphone world in tablets, too.
This starts with the processor in the Tab S2, and it’s here that Samsung has made a few changes, keeping an eight-core processor reliant on two quad-core chips, replacing its homegrown Exynos 5420 from last year with the newly updated Exynos 5433 which comprises of one 1.9GHz quad-core section working alongside another 1.3GHz quad-core section.
This will be matched with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage in Australia, the latter of which can be updated with a microSD slot.
Google’s Android 5 “Lollipop” runs here, with the latest incarnation of Samsung’s TouchWiz operating on top.
All of the Galaxy Tab S2 models being released in Australia will feature 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 with Low Energy (LE), with the LTE models also featuring 4G mobile connectivity with support for voice, too.
Cameras are also here, with a 8 megapixel auto-focus camera on the back with no flash, while the front sports a 2.1 megapixel camera, also with no flash. Video capture is possible from the rear camera, supporting up to Quad HD’s 2560×1440, the same widescreen resolution the previous display of the Galaxy Tab S (2014) sat at.
For sure review unit, this technology can be found under a 9.7 inch 4:3 aspect ratio Super AMOLED display running the resolution of 2048×1536, protected by a level of Gorilla Glass.
The 8 inch variant also features the same resolution in a smaller panel relying on the same 4:3 aspect ratio, and as such, each version of the Tab S2 supports a different pixel clarity, with roughly 291 pixels per inch on the Tab S2 9.7 inch, and roughly 320 pixels per inch on the 8 inch, technically making the Galaxy Tab S2 8 inch the better of the two.
Ports on the units include a microUSB charge and data transfer port found along the bottom near the 3.5mm headset jack. Meanwhile, up to two slots can be found on the side dependent on the model you opt for, with a pin tool ejectable microSD slot on the right edge found on all models, while the LTE models add a nanoSIM slot ejectable by the same pin tool just below this.
Buttons are the same, however, with the same staple signature Samsung buttons seen on phones here, providing light-up soft buttons for multitasking and back below the display and flanking a physical home button with a fingerprint sensor found beneath this. Two other buttons can be found on the right edge, comprised of a power button just above a volume rocker.
The battery in both Galaxy Tab S2 tablets is non-removable, and is rated differently for each variant, with the 9.7 inch model sporting a 5870mAh battery, while the 8 inch grabs a 4000mAh battery.
It’s that time of the year again, folks: it’s time for a new tablet.
Not one from Apple, though; we just saw a launch of a 12.9 incher from Apple already, and it won’t be here until later on, roughly when the next 9.7 inch iPad Air 3 is expected, likely to be some time in October or November.
No, this time the tablet is from Samsung, a company that has been trying to match and outpace its biggest rival in the smartphone and tablet space for sometime.
We don’t have to tell you what company that is, sufficed to say that with the reinvention of its tablet series last year, it got quite close.
In fact, 2014’s Tab S series brought with it a textured back, decent performance, lots of features, and a screen that was super sharp and ideal for taking on the go. Samsung has even manage to hit Apple where it hurts with its latest smartphones this year, with unique designs, excellent screens, fantastic cameras, and a solid build.
Can Samsung work the same magic to the tablet sector in 2015 as it did with phones?
Pick up the Galaxy Tab S2 and you’ll find a totally different look and feel to that of the previous Tab series, with metal, plastic, and glass, and the general feeling that Samsung has taken its Note 4 from last year and rolled it out with a rolling pin.
This means you get flat metal edges with a trim of silver regardless of whether you chose black or white, since they’re the only two colours being made available.
The design is also fairly thin, measuring in at a ridiculous 5.6mm, which is still thick enough for both the microUSB charge port and 3.5mm headset jack that sit along the bottom.
A weight of around 392 grams makes for a comfy hold on our LTE variant, and you’ll even shave three grams off if you skip the mobile modem, though we’ll get to a neat feature later you’ll miss out on if you do.