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Three not-so-obvious Galaxy Tab S4 ‘drawbacks’ you should know before buying

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Last updated: August 2nd, 2018 at 21:47 UTC+02:00

After months of leaks and rumors, Samsung finally announced the Galaxy Tab S4 yesterday. The new tablet brings many improvements over the Galaxy Tab S3, but there are also a few changes which cannot be classified as upgrades. We have listed below such not-so-obvious ‘issues’ you should be aware of before buying the Galaxy Tab S4. Depending on your usage habits, these issues may or may not matter to you, but they are worth your attention.

You have to pay for the Microsoft Office apps

Microsoft allows users to create and edit documents for free in its Office Mobile apps for Android, Windows and iOS devices if the screen size is 10.1 inches or smaller. Since the Tab S4 sports a 10.5-inch display, you need an Office 365 subscription to create or edit documents on the tablet using these apps. Therefore, potential buyers who are heavily invested in the Microsoft Office ecosystem must factor the Office 365 subscription costs before purchasing the latest flagship tablet from Samsung. Of course, if you already own an Office 365 subscription or don’t mind using other free alternatives like Google Docs, then the screen size is not an issue.

Iris scanner doesn’t work in all the apps

If you use the fingerprint reader to secure or authenticate a lot of third-party apps, then you should be aware that the iris scanner in Samsung devices cannot replace that. Unlike fingerprint readers, Android doesn’t natively support iris scanners yet, so app developers have to explicitly add support for iris scanning in their apps. On this issue, the Galaxy Tab S3, even with its unreliable fingerprint reader, is certainly a better option than its successor.

Fortunately, Android P has a new Biometrics API that brings native support for iris, face, and fingerprint scanning, but it may take more than 6-7 months for the Galaxy Tab S4 to receive the update. Until then, barring Samsung’s own apps, don’t expect many third-party developers to add support for the iris scanner.

No themes

This is not an issue specific to the Galaxy Tab S4, but it is still worth reminding potential buyers that the Galaxy tablets don’t support themes. Almost all the new Galaxy smartphones support theming, but Samsung has not ported that feature to its tablet lineup yet. If you are used to applying a darker theme on your Galaxy smartphone to make it easier on your eyes, then you might find the default Samsung theme too bright and irritating. Unless you decide to root, currently there is no other option but to stick with the default color scheme on your Galaxy tablet.


Do any of these limitations make a difference to whether you'd buy the Galaxy Tab S4 or not? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to check out our early impressions of Samsung's newest high-end tablet!

Also Read: Two of these Galaxy Tab S4 shortcomings can be fixed via software updates

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