This post was published 1 year, 6 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
Samsung announced two new tablets back in July, an 8 inch and a 9.7 inch Galaxy Tab S2, which are both now due for release very soon.
These tablets follow a very familiar Samsung design style which is obvious within the first second of looking at them. As is often the case though, both new variants are thinner as well as lighter than their predecessor, the Galaxy Tab S. The 8 inch variant comes in at just 0.22 inches (5.6mm) thick and weighs only 265 grams while of the 9.7 inch model is naturally a little heftier but still very light, weighing in at 389 grams. Their weight is evenly distributed too, making them easy for the user to hold in one hand. Samsung is claiming the Tab S2 is the “thinnest and lightest tablet of its size ever”.
Samsung has chosen to stick with 8 and 9.7 inch displays, identical to the screen sizes of Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini respectively. On both models these are beautiful 2048×1536 Super AMOLED panels which have adaptive features that allow the user to adjust display settings like saturation and sharpness.
On the back of the tablet, instead of the glass we’ve seen on the Galaxy S6 and Note 5, there’s a plastic patterned texture. Though this description might sound as though it would feel a bit cheap (like the plastic on the Galaxy S5), it does provide some grip and actually doesn’t feel too bad.
These devices not only have impressive designs, but they are also mini powerhouses. At the heart of these tablets is an Octa-core Exynos 7 5433 processor (four 1.9GHz Cortex A57 cores and four 1.3GHz Cortex A53 cores) paired with a Mali T760MP6 GPU. This chipset is the same as in Exynos version of the Galaxy Note 4 and so should pack enough punch to handle most apps and games with relative ease. Samsung’s own chips have nearly always performed very well and so this should be no different.
Both tablets offer 3GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage with the option of expansion through a MicroSD card slot which can take cards in capacities of up to 128GB. The devices also each come equipped a 8 MP rear shooter and a 2.1 MP front camera. All the usual sensors and radios are present too, including WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS & GLONASS and optional 4G LTE. The fingerprint scanner in the power button remains as well but now requires a simple touch rather than a swipe like the Galaxy S6 phones.
Besides the physical dimensions, the other main difference between the models is the battery size. The 8 inch model houses a 4000mAh battery, while the 9.7 inch gets a larger one, pushing the capacity to 5870mAh.
The Galaxy Tab S2 will ship initially with Android 5.0.2, which is a little disappointing on the verge of the Android Marshmallow release. Also, Samsung isn’t the best at tablet updates so we would not hold our breath for a quick update either. That said, 5.0.2 Lollipop will be supported for some time yet and for most users can probably last a while before it looks or feels outdated.
Orders for the device are starting today in the US with the UK, Singapore, Australia and various other countries throughout Western Europe all expected to see a public release soon after.
Samsung has created two tablets bound for success. Both of these tablets include very high-end flagship specs and a beautiful design. The new generation of iPads will be coming out very soon, and Samsung’s got some potent rivals for them.