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!



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40 Comments

1. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

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

10. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

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

20. JEverettnow

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 11, 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.

25. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

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

27. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

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

24. robcar

Posts: 110; Member since: Jan 18, 2011

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

32. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 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.

2. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

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

3. aayupanday

Posts: 582; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

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

5. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

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

9. DONUT

Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 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?

11. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 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.

19. vikingsfootball09

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 02, 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.

33. DONUT

Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

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

22. coolcool

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

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

34. DONUT

Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 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

37. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

Nobody is stopping Apple from doing the same.

4. sarb009

Posts: 322; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Pre-ordered mine gonna give it a try

6. bayhuy

Posts: 320; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

It looks like over-sized phone...

35. simpleas

Posts: 196; Member since: Apr 30, 2014

Yeah like how ipads look like oversized iphones...

7. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I can fit that in my pocket :p Teehee

8. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

13. ncallan

Posts: 43; Member since: Mar 15, 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.

12. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

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

16. deathgod

Posts: 122; Member since: Nov 23, 2011

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

21. JEverettnow

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

You can with Text Plus

14. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

Sexy !

15. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 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).

17. karamelakimo

Posts: 109; Member since: May 26, 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

18. alaw.14

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

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)

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