Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and 10.5 review – premium tablets

The Galaxy Tab S are premium tablets that comes with optional 8.4 inch and a 10.5 inch screen. The Tab S 8.4 as well as the Tab S 10.5 support WQXGA resolution and runs Android KitKat out of the box. These are powered by Exynos Octa Core processor and are priced over Rs. 30,000.

I did not get the box pack for the review, but inside the box you will get the tablet, travel charger, data cable, warranty card and user guide.

Design, Display and OS
Both the tablets come loaded with the same hardware and features except for some changes, including the size. The Tab S 8.4 is 6.60 mm thick with a weight of about 298 grams whereas the 10.5 tablet is about 6.80 mm thick with a weight of 464 grams.

Build quality and finishing is too good. The border, back to front curves are less curvy that makes it look even slimmer. The Tab S is available in Titanium Bronze – Gold and White – Gold colour options. The sides are golden colour as seen in the image below. It gives a very royal look to the tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 review

The Tab S 8.4 comes with speaker vent, 3.5mm jack, micro USB port and a mic placed at the bottom side, on the top there is another speaker out vent and secondary mic. On the right side there is a single micro SIM slot, a micro SD card slot (128GB), infrared port, volume rocker and power button. And there is an in-call speaker too on this tab.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review

The Tab S 10.5 has got a mic at the bottom, 3.5mm audio jack and speaker out on the left. Power button, volume rockers and infrared port are placed on the top. On the right there is a single micro SIM slot, micro USB port, micro SD slot and speaker out vent.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 finger print scanner

Both these tabs come with dual speakers with stereo output, finger print scanner and runs on Android 4.4.2 with Samsung UI. And there are accelerometer, gyro, magnetic, proximity (only on 8.4) and light sensors. Multiple Indian regional languages are supported.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands on

The 8.4 inch tab and the 10.5 inch tab both sports a Super AMOLED screen with 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution. The colour reproduction and viewing angles are superb. Touch is very smooth and responsive. It is a delight watching movies on such a screen, especially on the bigger version.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 hands on

Memory and Storage
Both tabs come with micro SD card slot with up to 128GB support. Of the 3GB RAM on the 8.4 inch tablet you get around 1.3GB free on the first boot and of the 16GB storage there is about 9.5GB (probably more as I installed some apps before testing this out) of space for apps.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 3.5mm audio, micro USB, mic and speaker

On the 10.5 inch tab the free RAM (of 3GB) is 1.6GB and of the 16GB storage about 11 GB for apps is available.

OTG is not supported, however the OTG cable does get detected, USB keyboard, mouse might work. Apps / Games will get installed on the internal storage. There is option to move to SD card but only a few app will move.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 super AMOLED screen with 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) resolution

Performance
Both of these Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE and 10.5 LTE are powered by 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos Octa core processor (5420) using 4 x (1.9GHz Cortex-A15) and 4 x (1.3GHz Cortex-A7) CPU coupled with Mali T628 GPU. The performance is very smooth. Because of a big screen the 10.5 inch tab slightly under-performs in benchmark scores. The Benchmark apps only showed the 4 x 1.9GHz CPU, but did mentioned 4+4 cores.

Benchmark

App Result (8.4 inch S Tab) Result (10.5 inch S Tab)
Quadrant 20686 18985
Antutu 35471 34309
Vellamo Browser (2258) Metal (1418) Multicore (1588) Browser (2367) Metal (1440) Multicore (1623)
Nenamark 2 59.0fps 59.7fps
Multi Touch 10 point 10 point

Gaming
On both these tabs I could install and play MC4 and Asphalt 8 with no issues, game play is very smooth, lag free and plays well in high visual quality mode. These games got installed on the internal storage.

Entertainment
You can play 1080p videos using MX player. I also tried playing a UHD video but it was not smooth, it did work in S/W mode only (via MX player) but was out of sync with occasional frame drops.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Super AMOLED screen with 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) resolution

Camera
Both 8.4 and 10.5 comes with 8MP rear AF camera with LED flash and front 2.1MP camera. The camera quality is pretty good and can shoot 1080p videos. Just like on other Samsung devices there are different camera modes available (check video review). You can also check the sample images at the end of this review.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 8MP rear AF camera with LED flash

Others
There is built in SIM slot, you can use the tab as a phone via Bluetooth, in call speaker (only on 8.4 inch version), loud speaker and using the Samsung earphones (not included) they do work.

There are circular points on the rear to clip in the flip cover that is an optional accessory. The flip cover does not add much weight and is slim. It covers up the tablet completely including the camera module. It is flexible and can be angled in 3 different ways.

Sound is loud and clear. No issues with 3G (H+), tab supports LTE too (not tested it), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. GPS lock is very fast.

The Galaxy S tab comes loaded with a lot of apps like Businessweek+, NyTimes, myplex (TV, Movies etc), Galaxy Apps, remote PC (remotely control your PC), SideSync 3.0 and Smart Remote (use the tab as a remote to control your digital applications – TV, AC, sound system etc.)

The SideSync is interesting; you can connect with your Samsung galaxy smartphones and virtually access the phone on the tablet. You can do anything you are totally controlling the phone via the tablet. You can also make calls / receive calls directly from the tablet. It makes use of Wi-Fi and hence gives you a good range (within the Wi-Fi parameter).

The home screen window has the galaxy essential apps, galaxy gifts, my library (you can download gravity movie for free), news, videos, briefing, calendar, email and office integration.

You can tap and drag the left side to unveil list of apps (Quick menu) – you can edit those, put in the apps that you use most for easy accessibility.

Hancom office is another app that you will find on these tablets. Using this app you can create and edit office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). When you are using it for the first time you will need to download lot of add-ons after which you will get the edit / create options and more.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hancom office

The best part about Hancom office is it gives you the same interface as on Microsoft office. You can start off immediately and no need to learn anything new.

Multi window, motions, printing, screen mirroring, and ultra power saving modes are supported. There is download booster option that will download files of over 30MB at extremely high speed making use of LTE as well as Wi-Fi simultaneously.

You can create a max of 8 users who can access the tablet as if it were their personal tablet, i.e. the users data is encrypted. When a user logs in he/she can set their preferred wallpaper, install apps, save files, change settings, store movies, MP3 etc, the other users will not be able to access the data. In general each of the users will get their own space and their data will not be revealed to other users even though they are using the same tablet

Battery
The Galaxy tab S 8.4 comes with 4700 mAh battery and the tab S 10.5 comes with 7,900 mAh battery.

Galaxy S Tab 8.4 battery performance

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Moderate usage with benchmark apps + camera 18 minutes 6% (33)
1080p video with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 25 minutes 6% (32)
MC4 + Asphalt 8 15 minutes 6% (35)

 

Galaxy S Tab 10.5 battery performance

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Moderate usage with benchmark apps + camera 18 minutes 5% (36)
1080p video with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 25 minutes 5% (35)
Asphalt 8 13 minutes 4% (38)

The 8.4 inch tap will last for up to 5 hours with moderate to high usage, up to 7 hours when watching videos with full brightness / volume + Wi-Fi on and up to 4 hours when playing high end games.

The tab S 10.5 will last for up to 6 hours with moderate to high usage, up to 8 hours of video playback with full volume / brightness + Wi-Fi on and up to 5 hours of game play.

Verdict
The key features on both these tablets are the Super AMOLED Screen with 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) resolution. The visual quality is just too good, natural colors and is the best as compared with other brands in the price range.

Overall performance is pretty good, does well in gaming too plus the battery life and camera output is decent enough. The 10.5 inch is best suited for entertainment and productive works whereas the 8.4 offers more portability. Finger print scanner is another added feature.

The Galaxy S Tab 8.4 LTE is priced at Rs. 37,800 and the Tab S 10.5 LTE is for Rs. 44,800. A good buy if you can afford.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

8.4 Image Gallery


Sample Images shot using 8.4 tablet


Front camera sample

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

10.5 Image Gallery


Sample Images shot using 10.5 tablet


Front camera sample

Samsung Galaxy S Tab 8.4 & 10.5 review

S Tab 8.4 1080p sample video

S Tab 10.5 1080p sample video

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