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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Review
Introduction


The iPad mini, it has ceremoniously become the item to beat in the compact sized tablet segment. Hard to imagine it, especially when there are several players in the space vying for supremacy, the only other company that’s able to contend with Apple’s ferocity is Samsung – who happens to have that more-is-better approach to things. Aiming to shine even brighter, Sammy is going back to its roots by blessing the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 with a drool worthy looking Super AMOLED display. Naturally, it’s been a while since we’ve seen something graced with this particular display technology, but will it be enough to entice hungry consumers who are looking for the next big thing?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Get Started Guides

Design

Impressive for pushing the boundaries further with its streamlined construction, it’s still lacking that premium element with its plastic housing.

Borrowing the same design language introduced by the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s design is a familiar one due to the dimpled pattern of its plastic body. Remarkably, they’re able to reduce the size of the tablet, enabling it to reach an impressive thinness of 0.26-inches (6.6 mm) – besting the 0.28-inch (7.2mm) construction of its previous effort with the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, as well as the iPad mini with retina display. More than comfortable to hold for reading or play, we only would’ve liked to see more premium materials used with its construction, which has been the constant theme with Sammy’s portfolio at this point. Call it wishful thinking on our part, but that’s the one single element that would’ve solidified its design. Our review unit is bronze-colored, adorned with a contrasting gold bezel around the outer edge of the tablet.

The tablet is obviously designed for portrait orientation operation – more so when its front-facing camera, two capacitive Android buttons, and home button are laid out similar to a smartphone. Diving more with the latter feature, Sammy has integrated its finger print sensor into the home button, allowing for an additional form of security for unlocking the tablet and making mobile payments. Operating in similar fashion to the Galaxy S5’s finger print sensor, we’re sometimes finding ourselves swiping slowly on multiple occasions for it to properly register. Rounding things out, there’s an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash perched in the rear of the tablet.


Display

Super AMOLED in a tablet!

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Super AMOLED screen in a tablet, but boy does it make a comeback big time with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4! Elegant and mesmerizing, the 8.4-inch 1600 x 2560 Super AMOLED display shines ever so beautifully to capture our attention both near and far. Sure, the resolution isn’t necessarily a new high point for Sammy, seeing that it has been established previously with the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 already, but we appreciate that it continues to produce stunning clarity and detail with its 359 ppi pixel density count.

Naturally, the star of the show here is the Super AMOLED technology. On one hand, some folks might bash it for the oversaturated, inaccurate colors it produces, but many would love it for that same fact. This time around, however, Sammy provides three viewing modes with the display – AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and basic, resulting in really different color reproduction. We have to say we are pleasantly surprised by the “basic” display mode, which enables the screen to produce almost spot-on accurate colors – something that no AMOLED screen has done to date, including those of the Note 3 and Galaxy S5, whose color reproduction remains far off from the accurate visuals found with the Basic mode of the Tab S series. Both color temperature (6750 K) and Delta E values (2.74 in grayscale and 2.57 in rgbcmy) are remarkably close to their reference levels. Good job, Sammy! Meanwhile, the adaptive display option is supposed to optimize the screen’s color range, saturation, and sharpness to deliver more eye-catchy visuals, depending on the content that's being displayed.We are happy with the impeccable viewing angles and potent brightness output (419 nits), allowing the display to come to life and prove to be versatile in a variety of conditions. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the best displays on a tablet to date!

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPad mini 2 450
(Good)
8
(Good)
1:936
(Average)
6928
(Excellent)
2.22
8.11
(Poor)
2.32
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 419
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6747
(Excellent)
2.06
2.58
(Good)
2.74
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 410
(Good)
4
(Excellent)
1:860
(Average)
6914
(Excellent)
2.02
3.87
(Good)
4.77
(Average)
LG G Pad 8.3 345
(Average)
4
(Excellent)
1:1168
(Good)
6588
(Excellent)
2.26
5.61
(Average)
2.58
(Good)
View all


38 Comments
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posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:07 1

1. pyradark (Posts: 783; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


First!!! This is nice!! Still lack of premium material

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 09:03 11

10. hung2900 (Posts: 821; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


Actually: still plastic of Samsung. Nothing wrong if the plastic belongs to Sony or Nokia.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 15:15 5

20. JEverettnow (Posts: 210; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


Aluminum is much heavier than polycarbonate. do you really want an 8 or 10inch tab made of aluminum? i will take the lighter plastic tab. i know it is preference, but I am just not a fan of the way aluminum gouges and feels. I like a grippy plastic phone.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 19:59

25. pyradark (Posts: 783; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Something premium as nokia and sony tablet. Its kinda looks filmsy

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 21:35 4

27. hung2900 (Posts: 821; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


You mean the "premium" Nokia glossy "polycarbonate" or the slippery and not ergonomic glass of Tablet Z?

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 17:04 4

24. robcar (Posts: 78; Member since: 18 Jan 2011)


Looks premium in my eyes... very good looking device.

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 07:35 1

32. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 114; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)


I wish they stuck with the faux leather from the Note 3. That looked much elegant and high class than the dimpled texture that they use today.

I'm kinda excited about that yummy high-res AMOLED display.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:07 5

2. Jason2k13 (Posts: 657; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


front looks great... not too sure about the back though...

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:08 3

3. aayupanday (Posts: 527; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


At the end of the day, its still #PLASTIC.
Samesung have forgotten everything about designing after their Omnia range.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:12 13

5. Jason2k13 (Posts: 657; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


and still sells more than most tablets... so yes i agree, people hate #plastic.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:51 1

9. DONUT (Posts: 307; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


interesting. the tablet goes on sale on 27th June but it sold more than most tablets? pray tell, where do you get your information? or are you some sort of prophet?

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 09:22

11. Jason2k13 (Posts: 657; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


okay lets wait a few months time, and then we can compare the sales of this tablets with other manufacturers? It's only Samsung after all.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 14:26 2

19. vikingsfootball09 (Posts: 66; Member since: 02 Oct 2013)


hey donut>>> im sure jason2k13 meant that samsungs plastic devices, whether it be a smartphone or tablet, given so much hate for their use of plastic...samsung still outsell all android oems...and i dont see the galaxy tab s series lineup will be any different.

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 09:52

33. DONUT (Posts: 307; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


yea i actually got it lol. he shouldve phrased it better

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 15:26

22. coolcool (Posts: 6; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)


search this "Samsung is coming closer and closer to overtaking Apple’s tablet market share"

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 09:54

34. DONUT (Posts: 307; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


and we all know why; Samsung is spamming the market with so many different tablets. theyre covering every corner of the market, so of cos theyre gona sell more. Apple only has 2 tablets in the higher end market. even Apple's "cheaper" tablets (the iPad Mini and etc) are still relatively expensive. it really is no surprise that Samsung is over taking Apple imo

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 02:36

37. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Nobody is stopping Apple from doing the same.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:08 2

4. sarb009 (Posts: 294; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Pre-ordered mine gonna give it a try

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:30

6. bayhuy (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


It looks like over-sized phone...

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 22:47 1

35. simpleas (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Apr 2014)


Yeah like how ipads look like oversized iphones...

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:30

7. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1458; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I can fit that in my pocket :p Teehee

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 08:36 4

8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3616; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Good to see PA not bashing AMOLED, but for me, Exynos kills this tablet.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 11:18 2

13. ncallan (Posts: 28; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


I'd have been much more likely to consider this if it wasn't for the exynos, I don't think the graphics chip is strong enough for the screen res.

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 10:11

12. hunted (Posts: 352; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


hi can i make calls using this tab? my wife is interested in this one but not sure where to get this info

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 12:11 1

16. deathgod (Posts: 122; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


I think you'll have to wait for the LTE version with the snapdragon processor

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 15:16 1

21. JEverettnow (Posts: 210; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


You can with Text Plus

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 11:43 1

14. district11 (Posts: 114; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)


Sexy !

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 11:57 1

15. ThePython (Posts: 387; Member since: 08 May 2013)


After using a 7-inch tablet for so long I'm really looking forward to something a bit bigger... the 10.5 inch is a little -too- big so this might just do the trick. Either this or the TabPRO 8.4 (cheaper and all).

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 13:26

17. karamelakimo (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 May 2014)


i think this could be the best small android tablet ever if the battery was bigger and the design was beautiful
but anyway i like it

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 14:19 4

18. alaw.14 (Posts: 169; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)


http://m.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_tab_s_found_to_have_best_performing_tablet_display-news-8853.php
This is impressive. Good job samsung!!!

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 16:33 1

23. Totse2k15 (Posts: 276; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Just done reading that, myself. I'm thinking about going all the way for the 10.5" epic big screen AMOLED. Need $100 more though. *Sigh*

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 20:22 7

26. ColinW (Posts: 31; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


Any review that is immedietly critical of non-metal phones loses credibility, totally if they put a heavy bias on whether a product has it or not.. When reviewing any product you need to look at the pros and cons of each element in the review. Like or dislike the look of non-metal phones is purely personal choice, how the material performs for the function it is there for, is the important thing.

The iPhone is a prime example, it looks and feels quality, but its metal chassis and overall construction is far more prone to breaking, scratching, water and dust intrusion, Its design prevents access to the battery (a major negative especially if the phone has a bad battery life), and sim card needs a tool to remove that is easy to lose, forget and scatches the phone. Lastly, it means the iPhone is difficult and expensive to repair. Good design, quality ............... of course not, so why not raise these issues when reviewing a phone or tablet?

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 05:56

31. anGel_pLayer (Posts: 50; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Yeah... Reviewers should review the device for what it is and not what they wanted it to be....

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 22:13

28. cttan456 (Posts: 61; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Totally agree with you ColinW! Thumbs up for you!

posted on 24 Jun 2014, 23:25

29. techno_beat (Posts: 4; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


only 16gb?Do they have 32gb of storage?

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 02:17

30. enderw33 (Posts: 12; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Another Samsung amoled review from PA that doesn't mention the subpixel arrangement.
I'm getting sick of this...

posted on 25 Jun 2014, 22:48

36. simpleas (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Apr 2014)


The Verge, "Yes, some people will quibble about sub-pixel arrangements, but you can ignore them."

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 13:41

38. mhannigan (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 May 2014)


Anyone who thinks the polycarbonate on this tablet is an issue, has not held it even for a moment. The truth is that there is almost NO plastic in the tablet. It isn't much thicker than the slab of glass that covers the front. The plastic on the rear is no more than a covering or a skin. It certainly isn't part of the structure of the device as the removable covers on the phones are. The construction of this tablet is as sturdy as any one to date, and I would say about as sturdy as a tablet can possibly be built.

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Display8.4 inches, 1600 x 2560 pixels (359 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Exynos 5 Octa 5420, 8-core, 1900 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 & ARM Cortex-A7 processor
3072 MB RAM
Size8.38 x 4.94 x 0.26 inches
(212.8 x 125.6 x 6.6 mm)
10.51 oz  (298 g)

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