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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on

Posted: , by John V.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on

It’s funny how the landscape is being dominated in the tablet market by certain companies more so than others. We obviously have the iPads from Apple’s camp, and then there’s everyone else in the Android tablet space. In particular, the Android tablet scene is mostly occupied by the wealth of devices from Samsung’s stable. At one point, the original Galaxy Tab family was regarded as the company’s premier tablet line, but it has since become more of the entry-level offering – supplanted by Sammy’s Note series.

In another turn of events, Samsung is shaking things up by introducing yet another line of tablets – the Galaxy Tab S family. Directly expected to compete in the compact segment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is shaping up to be one beauty of a tablet that’s bringing back the Super AMOLED display. Needless to say, it’s quite a rare thing to find in the tablet space, so it’s wonderful that it’s coming back.

Design


There’s no denying it folks, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 shares the same design language of the Sammy’s flagship smartphone – the Galaxy S5. One could argue that it’s essentially an 8.4-inch version of the popular tablet, but there are subtle differences. First and foremost, it’s not water-resistant, so don’t think that you can finally take a dip in the pool with it. Secondly, although its body uses almost the same plastic materials as the S5, it’s technically different – as well as the dimpled pattern in the rear. Instead of being circular in shape, it’s actually squarish.

Overall, the main thing that really astounds us about the design is how incredibly thin it is. As Samsung states, it’s just as thick as 5 credit cards! Naturally, its size lends itself in being very easy to handle with one hand, especially with its light weight feel. Better yet, its physical home button even features a finger print sensor – just like the Galaxy S5’s implementation. Being sold as a premium tablet, the one element it’s lacking is the premium choice of materials. In contrast to other tablets, this one might have the skinny body, but it’s not necessarily as attractive or constructed.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on


Display


Hello Super AMOLED, we’ve missed you! Sporting a gorgeous looking 8.4-inch 1600 x 2560 Super AMOLED display, it radiates and shines immensely to capture wandering eyes in a crowded, low lit room. Typical of the technology, the display produces vibrant and saturated colors that don’t disappoint. And of course, its wide viewing angles enables the display to retain its crispness and clarity in all lighting conditions – especially when hard lighting would usually wash it out.

With the high resolution of its display, we have little problems trying to make out details in the web browser. Now, those familiar with Sammy’s line of tablets will know that the resolution isn’t new, seeing that we’ve seen it previously in the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. Therefore, it matches its cousin with its pixel density count of 359 ppi. Ultimately, though, the standout feature here is simply the iridescent Super AMOLED display that shines brightly.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 hands-on


Interface


For those who are familiar with Sammy’s latest Galaxy devices will be at home with the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s customized Android experience. Using the latest version of the TouchWiz UI, running on top of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, its layout has been optimized, of course, to accommodate the confines and spaciousness of a larger screen. In a way though, it’s meant to be used in portrait due to its design. All of the normal features are found here, but Sammy has included a few new goodies with the experience.

Out of the bunch, there’s a cool sync mode called SideSync 3.0, where it can pair with a Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, which can then access all of the phone’s functions through the tablet interface (think a virtual Galaxy S5). Therefore, we can make phone calls, text messages, and even play games on the virtual Galaxy S5. We didn’t get a chance to try it for ourselves with our hands-on unit, but it seemed pretty responsive from the demo we saw.

Playing around more with the software, it’s clearly obvious who it’s trying to target. Unlike the Galaxy Pro series, the Galaxy Tab S is more apt to attract mainstream users – whereas with the former, it’s meant to suit productivity conscious users. Visually, though, TouchWiz is in need of a revamped design.



Processor and memory


Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa 5420 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. Having this configuration, we didn’t see any performance hitches with the tablet in our short time. Generally speaking, it manages to maintain a responsive performance – so you can expect that heavy gaming won’t be a problem.

Sure to please multimedia heavy users, the tablet is stuffed with an ample 32GB of internal storage – further supplemented by the availability of a microSD card slot.

Camera


In comparison to smartphones, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s 8-megapixel camera isn’t regarded as a serious thing, but nevertheless, it’s fast snapping and features the usual arsenal of shooting modes to appease most people. Sorry folks, video recording is maxed out at 1080p!

Expectations


Things are definitely heating up in the tablet space. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is going to be a strong competitor to the iPad mini 2, seeing that it matches up nicely with its size, price point, and overall package. Expected to become available sometime in July for $400 in two colors, it’s not necessarily a cheap thing. Design alone, it doesn’t scream premium, but rather, it’s the specs, streamlined chassis, and gorgeous Super AMOLED display that contributes to its overall appeal. Who know how it’ll fair in the long run, but it’s undoubtedly an attractive offering – especially for those who already own a Galaxy S5, since it interacts with it in a unique, intimate way.



25 Comments
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posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:01 12

1. gigaraga (Posts: 1211; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Really loving this device! Watched the entire live stream and gotta say this innovation is excellent! The display (esp) and design, features etc...all the All In One! And perfect size too~~

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:51 4

7. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 321; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


finally, not since the Tab 7.7 have we had AMOLED on a tablet, can't wait to try this out. Hopefully it doesn't suffer from the laggy interface seen on the Tab Pro 8.4. I really wanted that device but it was just to laggy,

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 00:39 2

20. joey_sfb (Posts: 3003; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I don't get to see much lag in android since 2012. Even on low end devices.

However, its still the favorite word for android haters because they just want android to be damn.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 01:47 2

21. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 321; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Im no hater, infact im a huge fan of android and samsung. I currently own galaxy s5 g900f, galaxy s4 i9506, & galaxy mega 6.3 i9205 (among other brands and ecosystems). Yes im a fan, but i also speak the truth, no BS, the tab pro 8.4 seriously suffers from lag. Eg. Its hugely noticeable we you swipe to bring up or close the magazine flipboard thing.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 17:35

24. joey_sfb (Posts: 3003; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Ok. I will check out the Tab Pro 8.4 when its available over my local store.

Anyway, I will get a Super AMOLED over a regular LCD. My eye is a big fan of it. I love its true black feature.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:04 1

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


There's a phone app? lolwut?

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:17 3

3. alaw.14 (Posts: 143; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)


There is a phone app on all the lte models of samsung tablets.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:24

5. vincelongman (Posts: 1313; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Yep, its called SideSync on Samsung's Ativ books (laptops), its been around for a while now (maybe a few years, not quite sure)

Its actually quite similar to Apple's Continuity (but not quite as much stuff) now that I think about it lol

https://www.samsung.com/us/sidesync/

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:51

8. deepblack (Posts: 34; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Phone app he is asking means the app making phone call like smartphone.
Most of Samsung's LTE tablets can be used as a phone.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:57

9. vincelongman (Posts: 1313; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Oh oops, sorry I had all the Samsung news pages open, I thought he was talking about the tablet and phone integration from their ad

lol is the phone app on the 10.5" as well?

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:19

4. Totse2k15 (Posts: 272; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Missed the live stream... Thanks for sharing! Very sexy and beastly tablet. Good to know it's $399. I can't wait to show this to my big bro (he's kinda a sammy fanboy), will tell him to sell his Ipad Mini 2 64GB for this, lol.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:32 4

6. koko1 (Posts: 98; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)


best tablet in 2014, aplle, u gotta show us some cool new features

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 20:39

10. bossmt_2 (Posts: 435; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Sigh. Galaxy Spam hitting the tabletsphere as well. That makes what 3 different 10.1 tablets for Samsung?

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:31 2

13. shuaibhere (Posts: 1546; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


One is low end tablet....
Other one of aimed at productivity...
And this is aimed multimedia usage..

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 06:35

22. bossmt_2 (Posts: 435; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Man if only Apple or Amazon had this same brilliant strategy. Samsung pours tablets onto the market just to fill shelves and keep competition out cause they have more power than LG, Motorola, etc.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:10

11. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Finally Exynos with Amoled and 3Gb Ram Tab.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:17

12. Killua (Posts: 270; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Waiting for the review. Kinda disappointed since the Tab Pro 8.4 didn't get released in my country. I hope this one does, or hopefully Note 8.4 2014 will be announced soon (and released here).

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:34 3

14. refillable (Posts: 641; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


This is a legitimate successor to the Amazing Samsung tab 7.7. Kudos to Samsung!

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:40 3

15. refillable (Posts: 641; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


All those Tab 2, 3, 4 are getting worse... This one isn't!

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:52

16. wilsong17 (Posts: 968; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


look amazing i wonder which one to pick this one or the 12 inch

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 00:14 2

17. shaheer7 (Posts: 22; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Lol.. 12 inch.. its 8.4 or 10.5 inch tablets..

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 00:15

18. shaheer7 (Posts: 22; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Waiting for note 8.0 amoled.. with stylus

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 00:22

19. Bjray (Posts: 96; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Would love a GPE version of the 8.4" But maybe the Nexus 8 will fit the bill.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 07:58

23. hunted (Posts: 336; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


can i make voice calls using tab s 8.4?

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 16:21

25. blackberry_Boy (Posts: 159; Member since: 27 May 2014)


hmmm what to get should I get a Tab S 8.4 or IPad Mini 2? I know the Touch ID is by far the better fingerprint scanner but I can add more storage on the Tab S I already own a 64gb sad card.......

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