Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Review



Samsung just can’t get enough of itself it seems. First, it was the humble Galaxy Tab line that brought them into the tablet segment, then soon after that, the Galaxy Note family came screaming onto the scene with a healthy productivity element. Very recently, we saw an even more enhanced productivity line of tablets in the Galaxy Tab/Note Pro family. Are you confused yet? Well, hold onto your frazzled brains because there Samsung introduced yet another line on top of all that – the Galaxy Tab S. 

Whereas the 8.4-inch version of the Galaxy Tab S aims to contend with the likes of the more compact-sized 8-inch segment of tablets, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is setting its sights on those fuller-sized offerings – like the iPad Air. Previously, the only other tablet to feature a Super AMOLED display was the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from 2010. After a long absence, Samsung is bringing back the display technology in a large scale with this tablet. However, can that be enough to offset the competition?

The package contains:
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Get Started Guides


Not surprisingly, it borrows some of the Galaxy S5’s design language.

Looking at it from the front, we’re even hard pressed to notice any major differences between this and the design of Sammy’s last effort in the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. Technically speaking, it’s longer and wider, but they’ve managed to reduce its thinness and weight to an impressive 0.26 inches (6.6 mm) and 16.47 ounces (467 grams) respectively. To tell you the truth, though, it’s pretty unnoticeable that the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has a larger overall footprint, seeing that it easily matches the confines of many 10-inch sized tablets.The design language of the tablet doesn’t surprise us in the smallest bit, since it borrows many of the Galaxy S5’s design characteristics – like the dimpled patterned design of its casing. Yes, it’s still comprised mostly out of plastic, accented by a metal-like trim bezel, so the design isn’t a fresh or evolutionary one. Rather, for a tablet aimed to be a “premium” offering, it’s still lacking the necessary housing materials and solid foundation to elevate its construction to the same level of the iPad Air or Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet for example.

Unlike the Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which is designed for operating in portrait mode, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is obviously meant to be used mostly in landscape – so two-handed operation is ideal. In typical fashion, its sides are adorned by the usual suspect of ports and buttons, which are the IR blaster, power button, volume controls, two speakers, microSD slot, microphone, 3.5mm headset jack, and microUSB 2.0 port.

Better yet, it also receives the same biometric finger print sensor found with the Galaxy S5 – adding yet another security measure into the mix. Naturally, its implementation isn’t as seamless or accurate as Apple’s Touch ID sensor in the iPhone 5s, seeing that we constantly find ourselves having to slowly swipe over the home button for it to properly register. Despite that, we appreciate that it’s here nonetheless.

Lastly, there’s an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash placed in the rear of the tablet.


To date, this is the largest sized Super AMOLED panel commercially used by a mainstream tablet. And boy it doesn’t disappoint!

Previous to the announcement of Sammy’s new Galaxy Tab S line, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from 2011 featured the largest Super AMOLED panel in a tablet. Well people, the record is now being smashed by the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, seeing that it packs a beautiful 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED display. Indeed, the resolution is outstanding by itself, but we can’t forget that it was achieved by Sammy’s own Galaxy Pro line of tablets. Nevertheless, the details are sharp, clear, and plentiful!

Circling back to the focal point of the tablet, its gorgeous Super AMOLED display, our eyes instantly become wide open the moment its piercing iridescence comes into view. This time around, 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 (7050 K) and Delta E values (3.06 in grayscale and 2.38 in rgbcmy) are very 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. Moreover, the display continues to astound us with its very wide viewing angles, strong brightness output (395 nits), and overall great clarity. Don’t worry, the saturated goodness is a pleasant thing to admire!

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