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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.

Related phones

Galaxy Tab S 8.4
  • Display 8.4" 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4900 mAh(29h 3G talk time)



1. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 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~~

7. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 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,

20. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

21. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 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.

24. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

There's a phone app? lolwut?

3. alaw.14

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

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

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 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

8. deepblack

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 09, 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.

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 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?

4. Totse2k15

Posts: 478; Member since: Feb 11, 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.

6. koko1

Posts: 103; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

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

10. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

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

13. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

22. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 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.

11. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Finally Exynos with Amoled and 3Gb Ram Tab.

12. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 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).

14. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

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

15. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

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

16. wilsong17 unregistered

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

17. shaheer7

Posts: 22; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

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

18. shaheer7

Posts: 22; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Waiting for note 8.0 amoled.. with stylus

19. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

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

23. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

can i make voice calls using tab s 8.4?

25. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 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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