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Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 hands-on

Samsung just announced its thinnest tablet yet in the form of the Galaxy Tab S2, and we were able to go hands-on with the device thanks to Samsung Netherlands. The Tab S2 doesn’t exactly have tough shoes to fill – the original Galaxy Tab S had an amazing Super AMOLED display, but a weak processor ruined the most important part of the experience, which is the software.

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This time around, Samsung is fixing that by putting in the Exynos 5433 from the Galaxy Note 4 in the Galaxy Tab S2. It’s not the latest chipset but is still powerful enough to drive the 2048×1536 display. In our hands-on time, the Tab S2 felt extremely fast and smooth despite being a non-final unit. Android 5.0.2 with the Galaxy S6 version of TouchWiz (this is 5.0.2, but it includes features like multi user support and alphabetical sorting in the app drawer) no doubt helped the tablet perform well, and we can only imagine how good the experience will be on the retail units. As had been officially confirmed by Samsung, a lot of Microsoft apps are installed out of the box, and users will get 100 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years.

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In terms of design, the Tab S2 feels quite premium and solid in the hands thanks to the metal frame around the sides, which is similar to the metal seen on the Galaxy A lineup. The back isn’t metal but is made of soft plastic like the original Tab S, so you won’t ever feel like you aren’t getting your money’s worth when it comes to the feel of the entire construction. The thinness is noticeable as well, and also adding to the charm is the Super AMOLED display. Vivid, punchy colors and deep blacks are all present here, with a couple of display modes built-in to allow users to tune the display to their liking (very useful for those who like muted, more lifelike colors.)

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Most, if not all, users shouldn’t feel the need to change the display mode, as the Super AMOLED screen is still the best thing out there for devices with such large displays. But those that prefer using their tablets for video viewing will be disappointed by the 4:3 aspect ratio of the display, but think of any other use case and the aspect ratio won’t present any problem.

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The Galaxy Tab S2 isn’t exactly a big upgrade over the Galaxy Tab S when you look at overall specs, but it’s still going to command a good position in a market dominated by cheap tablets in Apple’s iPads. Again, the high quality of the Super AMOLED display overcomes everything else, and it is what is going to help sell the Tab S2 to consumers. But the tablet market isn’t exactly very interesting at this point, and we will surely be waiting for those oft-rumored Samsung tablets with flexible and foldable designs to freshen things up.

Update: Here are the suggested retail prices for the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and 8.0:

  • Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Wi-Fi: Euro 399
  • Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 LTE: Euro 469
  • Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 Wi-Fi: Euro 499
  • Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE: Euro 569

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We will be doing a full review of the Galaxy Tab S2 (both 8.0 and 9.7-inch variants) in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let us know what you think of Samsung’s latest and greatest high-end tablet!

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17 Comments

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Ionut Ciprian
Ionut Ciprian

Hello,
i just got my 8.0 LTE. Does someone knows where is the multi user option?

so7invictus
so7invictus

I just got mine yesterday, 9.7″ version, it seems that the Users option (the part where you can setup multiple users?) is missing from settings, any ideas?

jijings
jijings

i think this is the downgrade of Galaxy Tab S 8.4, and i feel like dissapointed to waiting for this tablet…and i will canceled to change my tab S 8.4 with Tab S 2….so…….yeaa……may be i will be waiting for the next of Tab S…next year may be…i hope…..

Gaston95
Gaston95

Samsung should really stop focusing on hardware only.There’s absolutely no important change on this thing except its hardware..What’s the point to switch from the tab s 8.4 if the product’s name ?

Finally……….only wet stuff this year..

MrPrayer
MrPrayer

Tons of hi-res 3+ MB pictures in 2 consecutive articles in my RSS reader. Thanks Abhijeet, now i know how to kill my internet connection for a couple of minutes.
😉

PS: Please resize them before publishing.

Than33
Than33

That is a real downgrade for galaxy tab s.

It has lower resolution/dpi
It has smaller screen
It has awful 4:3 aspect ratio
It has smaller battery
It has buttons on wrong side
It has worse looking backside

If I understand well it has SUPER AMOLED instead of SUPER AMOLED PLUS.

And CPU is almost the same.

Than33
Than33

That is a real downgrade for galaxy tab s.

It has lower resolution/dpi
It has smaller screen
It has awful 4:3 aspect ratio
It has buttons on wrong side
It has worse looking backside

If I understand well it has SUPER AMOLED instead of SUPER AMOLED PLUS.

And CPU is almost the same.

Sam_X
Sam_X

Buttons in portrait mode arrangement on a 9.7″ tablet?
WHAT THE HELL???

Is Samsung actually paying money to these so called “designers” (a.k.a. Apple copiers)?

deanpcgmr
deanpcgmr

What I would’ve had on this tablet:

8.4″ 2560×1600 / 10.5″ 2560×1600 Super AMOLED Plus Displays (Maybe even with a slight edge for appeal, similar to the ZTE Nubia Z9)
Exynos 7420
3GB of LPDDR4 RAM
Completely Aluminium Alloy Body
8MP/5MP Cameras
Front Facing Stereo Speakers
32/64/128GB UFS 2.0 Memory
Touch Fingerprint Scanner

I feel like this isn’t an upgrade in any way, maybe except for UI speed, which shouldn’t have been an issue in the first Tab S.

Gaston95
Gaston95

That’s almost what it should have been..

Channel42x
Channel42x

I kinda like the look of it. But personally I wouldn’t buy a tablet myself, rather have 1 device instead of 2.

But yeah, everyone’s different, and sure there’ll be people who’ll buy it and like it.

mada222
mada222

It’s a pullshit why Samsung make vertical tablets like Apple the horizontal tablets is meaning Samsung. The specs. is bad no flash old processor low resolution. is Samsung go forward or go back? !!!!!!! I don’t know

Gaston95
Gaston95

Nobody knows anymore, only wet stuff this year definitely..

jezzlimpt
jezzlimpt

No S Pen?

sanayp
sanayp

The s pen comes only with tabs and phones which has word NOTE in it

moninhas
moninhas

Galaxy tab A has a S pen and hasn’t any word NOTE in it…

Gaston95
Gaston95

That’s the note series..