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Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 Review

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Camera

Good news! The Galaxy Tab PRO takes great daytime photos with its 8MP camera. Even night photos are not bad.

Surprise, surprise! It turns out that the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 is one of the few tablets boasting a really good main snapper. On the back of the device we find an 8MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash. What makes things even better, the camera app is rich in modes and settings – lots of the fancy stuff a Galaxy S4 can do with its camera, the Tab PRO 8.4 can do as well. Think features like erasing moving objects from the frame, or shooting a burst of photos and then picking the best one. There's also HDR, Panorama, time-lapse videos, and so on. Support for 4K or slow-mo video recording isn't present, but we weren't expecting to see these perks on a tablet anyway.

Daytime photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 are sharp and detailed even when viewed at full size. What's more, the high resolution of the produced images gives you plenty of freedom to crop them to your liking. Colors are life-like and neutral in appearance, just like they're supposed to be. Even panorama and HDR photos turn out splendid. Photos taken at night, or in any case when light is scarce, are much less detailed, but they're still perfectly usable when viewed at a smaller size. The LED light, however, sometimes disrupts the color balance when it is used.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 3
No data
No data
No data
Apple iPad mini 2 3.2
3.5
674
No data
LG G Pad 8.3 3.7
5
605
No data
View all

In broad daylight, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 can take decent (for a tablet) 1080p videos. Low-light videos are much noisier, as expected, but they don't look terrible either. The only thing we're really disappointed by is the microphone, which captures low-quality sound at a low volume level.


Multimedia

The beautiful screen make this a great tablet for watching photos or video, and the IR blaster is a welcome feature. Speakers, however, could have been better.

There's nothing new about Samsung's Gallery application as it is identical to the one found on other recent Samsung devices. We don't mind, however, as the app is pretty good the way it is. It lists the folders containing images on the left, while the images in the highlighted folder are listed on the right, each with its own, resizeable thumbnail. Images can be grouped chronologically, or by location, if that's your cup of tea. The mandatory image editing tools come built into the software, allowing us to crop or rotate the picture, as well as to add stickers or effects to it.

The Music player has a rather simple interface. It isn't beautiful, but it is straightforward to use and has any core feature that a music player needs, and then some. Music is organized in tabs, with album art displayed next to each item. Effects come built into the app, along with a 7-band equalizer and an intelligent volume normalizer. When the app is in the background, music playback can be controlled from the home screen widget, from the notifications panel, and even from the lock screen. Furthermore, Samsung has implemented its Adapt Sound feature, which can fine-tune sound reproduction in a way that matches the user's headphones and hearing.

Speaking of music reproduction, the sound coming out of the tablet's built-in speakers is of decent volume and quality. There's even an audible hint of bass. We're just not happy with the speakers' placement on the narrow side of the device as there's no stereo effect while watching videos.

The IR blaster on the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 lets the device act as a remote control for your TV or set-top box, and that's a very welcome feature. In fact, in select countries, the WatchON feature will turn your tablet into a full-fledged TV guide, showing what's playing on each channel. Tap on your show of choice and the tablet will automatically switch to the channel it is on. Neat, huh?

With its gorgeous, widescreen display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 is ideal for watching videos and even full-length movies. Just be aware of its lack of DivX codec support – something that has to be rectified by downloading a third-party video player. All other popular video file formats, however, are playable with the tablet's stock Video app and run flawlessly at 1080p resolution. The app comes with support for Samsung's Popup Play feature for watching videos in windowed mode.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 2 0.97
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 0.439
LG G Pad 8.3 0.43
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 2 74
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 79
LG G Pad 8.3 81
View all


27 Comments
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posted on 20 Feb 2014, 04:37 7

1. Väliaikainen (unregistered)


I just somehow don't like Magazine UX. It's somehow disturbing to my eyes. They just tell me to look away from it lol... I really hope the S5 will have a more mature UI

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 19:00 1

16. Bioload25 (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Cant expect that from Samsung bro --'

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 20:25 1

17. Nexus4lifes (Posts: 68; Member since: 13 Feb 2014)


Ever heard of the term launcher?

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 22:49 1

18. Taters (Posts: 2950; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Aren't you just a hater?

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 03:50 1

20. Väliaikainen (unregistered)


If I was a hater I would hope Samsung to keep making ugly UI on their products

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 21:11

26. JohnZimmerman (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)


To expand on Nexus4lifes response, you can quickly and easily remove the Magazine UX by installing a "launcher" (basically, an app that gives you a home screen, dock, and app drawer). Nova is a popular choice.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 04:41 1

2. X.E.R.O. (unregistered)


Looks like an enlarged Note 3. A stylus would probably give this an extra .5 in the final score.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 04:41 16

3. tech2 (Posts: 2046; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


If there's one thing that the display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 lacks, that would be drawbacks. - Nick T.

You sir, deserve a cookie !

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 05:08 1

4. _Bone_ (Posts: 2126; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Tablets just grown up. Thin and light like they should be, but laptop-like functions and multitasking. Although I do miss the pen here, and I'm among those who's say what the hell, go for the 12", waiting for that review.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 05:23 1

5. hboy857 (Posts: 185; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Best tablet Samsung ever created, congrats but it is disappointing to hear that their tablet still occasionally lags and stutters. Hopefully next time they will optimize their Magazine UX properly (or they could use more powerful intel bay trail processor) and bring us a new design for tablet.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 06:03 7

8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2126; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Movies always had a stroboscopic effect cause frames get lit, go dark and roll on, 24 times a second, and you can condition yourself to see the flickering 99.9% doesn't realize.

But may I ask what's the point?

Cause the geek world effectively conditioned itself to spot the lag I can confirm NONE of my non-geek relatives recognize or care about, cause they are busy using the phone and not hunting occasional stutters that happen on every OS and every device.

I bet you can spot something ugly on your girlfriend, but should you really focus on those things?

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 06:26 1

9. X.E.R.O. (unregistered)


The point is, that's what geeks do and I see no problem with that.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 07:04 2

10. _Bone_ (Posts: 2126; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Well they see a problem where there isn't really one, films have stroboscopic effect yes, gadgets have input lag & occasional stutter yes, but it's only there if you spend time nitpicking instead of using the product for... you know, productivity.

Stop ruining your own experience.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 07:30

21. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Considering you can purchase other $400 tablets (and even tablets at half that price) that exhibit little to no lag...

Yes, focusing on the negatives is pretty important, especially if you're paying a price premium for an inferior product.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 05:52 7

6. geordie8t1 (Posts: 101; Member since: 18 Feb 2014)


Phonearena Not sure why you are saying its expensive? Its guide.price is the same $400 as apples latest ipad mini retina. The differance here though is that this has micro sd port meaning extra 64gb card for only like $40. That extra space will cost you upwards of $600 for 64gb ipad. Bear in mind also that this tablet will no dount drop to around $350 after a month or so. In my view its one of the best tablets to date, better then the competition

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 06:02 3

7. Nabil2511 (Posts: 149; Member since: 27 Jan 2014)


loving the magazine UX..

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 07:04 1

11. amozhi (Posts: 97; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Magazine UX exactly looks like Metro tiles. I hate metro and therefore magazine UX. It is a deal breaker. I don't buy this device. Better I would buy Chrome book for the same price

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 09:05 1

12. Sakeem (Posts: 141; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


I had a chance to play around with a demo unit at Best Buy last night. I must say this is a well-built beast of a tablet. I think its the right size for me. Might be a birthday gift from me to me next month. Just waiting on the rumors of the Nexus 8 and refreshed Nexus 10 to see if anythng materializes with those.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 09:31 1

13. jove39 (Posts: 1279; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


"we still see lags and choppy transitions every once in a while, which is disappointing"

Samsung just can't make a smooth UI...with all the power from adreno 330...it still stutters!

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:44

14. grapeseed87 (Posts: 123; Member since: 13 Mar 2013)


Haha finally Samsung catching up to the tiles of WP8. :D

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 15:14

15. galanoth (Posts: 318; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


Why are people saying this is a copy of WP8?
IIRC, Magazine UX is flipboard.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 22:53

19. Taters (Posts: 2950; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Samsung used metal on the tab 7.7 but materials are overrated. It honestly made no difference at all in terms of quality feel compared to the plastic tabs. They are all well made unlike the stuff from HTC that has gaps everywhere and screens that easily allow dust in.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 18:45

24. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


ohhh, but, it has to have the PREMIUM build, sooo, it needs such metals....jk...just making fun of iphone users and those who throw around the word PREMIUM....

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 07:34

22. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is larger than the Tab Pro 8.4, has the same 2560x1600 resolution, has a Snapdragon 800, and only costs $379.

You can easily sideload Android apps onto the Kindle, and if you're brave enough you can install a custom ROM if you want access to the Google Play Store directly.

The Tab Pro 8.4 is several months late to the party in my opinion. It offers nothing new that I haven't seen before.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 18:44

23. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Wow, this looks a lot like the phablet I ordered - the Coolpad 9976A - its dimensions are 185X104X7.6mm - 7.28346 X 4.09 X 0.30 in - 7.1 inch screen ...maybe P.A. does a VS review on the two?

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 01:43

25. DerryAhmad (Posts: 243; Member since: 05 May 2012)


Best Tablet on the market. Loving my Black Tab Pro 8.4

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:44

27. ron15 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 May 2014)


Hey I really like this tablet but before buying I just want to ask if it will be able to do these things.

1. Use excel full functionality and snappy.?
2. Connect to a projector via VGA.
3. Use presenter view for powerpoint presentations.

Assuming this is "Pro" I think it has these features.. but maybe not... so anyone can you please help me?

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Display8.4 inches, 1600 x 2560 pixels (359 ppi) Super Clear LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Quad core, 2300 MHz, Krait 400 processor
2048 MB RAM
Size8.62 x 5.06 x 0.28 inches
(219 x 128.5 x 7.2 mm)
11.82 oz  (335 g)

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