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Samsung-Book-Cover-and-Simple-Cover-for-the-Galaxy-Tab-S-8.4The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is definitely one of the best tablets you can buy right now. It’s incredibly thin with the smallest bezel I’ve ever seen on a tablet. The TouchWiz launcher interface for tablets is fantastic and the screen is absolutely the best tablet screen ever, Super AMOLED! At QHD resolution 8.4” the S 8.4 is perfect for reading books, manuals, textbooks, comic books, magazines—even for someone with bad eyesight like me. Great battery life too.

Let me discuss some features about the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 that swept me away.

Catch Up on The Hunger Games

You can view your movies and games with dark shadows, vibrant colors and stunning contrast. The Hunger Games Movie app allows for Galaxy Tab S 8.4 owners to download the first two Hunger Games films from Google Play for free. Users will also receive exclusive content that is available in the app.

Detail-Oriented Display

GTS8Brwn_600x600_xlarge_clIn addition to watching your movies and games in a mix of dark shadows, vibrant colors and stunning contrast, the Tab S has an 8.4” display screen with twice the amount of pixels of an HDTV. The screen uses auto-adjust to adjust levels of brightness and keep the screen clear based on what you are viewing and where you are.

When it comes to the display, there’s not much I can say besides that Samsung really killed it. The screen has 2,560 x 1,600 resolution translating to a pixel density of 287 ppi. Either way, the screen is the sharpest I’ve seen.

Fine, now that we’ve let that out of our system, let’s put the measuring tape away and pull up our pants. Even putting aside the specs, it has a stunning display. The Super AMOLED panel is definitely something worth talking about, and while it may not sound revolutionary to anyone who’s used any of Samsung’s latest phones, it’s pretty something uncommon for a tablet.

Lighter Than 1lb

A comfortable design and with an ultra-thin build makes this tab difficult to put down. Since it’s a lightweight device, it is perfect for traveling and it connects flawlessly with other Galaxy gadgets for you to easily share videos and photos from just about anywhere.

Family-Friendly

The Multi User Mode makes it possible for everyone in the family to create a personalized and private tablet experience which can be made secure through the fingerprint scanner. Those interested in keeping your young ones entertained, the Kids Mode allows you to customize apps and playtime with parental control.

Software Layout

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 uses an up-to-date Android 4.4.2 Kitkat software that comes pre-installed with Samsung’s latest TouchWiz interface. The interface emulates that of the Galaxy S5 alongside the company’s own drop down notifications, icons, widgets and so on.

The TouchWiz interface does have some drawbacks, but these will normally come down to personal preference and how you want to use the device.

I like the ability to simultaneously run two apps, and this you can do by swiping from the right of the screen to easily access your apps anytime. There’s also the recent modification of the apps menu popping up from the bottom of the screen without taking much of the screen display—something I personally found unnecessary for tablets. The standard recent apps display would have been far better.

GTS8Brwn_600x600_xlarge_s2Camera Attributes

It certainly wouldn’t be worth concluding my review without dwelling a bit on the camera. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash as well as a 2.1 MP front camera. The setup is pretty much like on the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

So it happened that I took some snap shots in auto mode, seeing that most consumers will do it this way but there also several specialty modes to choose from, including, panorama, dual camera, HDR and “Beauty face.” In addition, you can adjust the metering modes, ISO, flash and face detections from the menu.

Low Battery? Not An Issue

The Ultra Power Saving Mode allows you to remain connected even with a critically low battery. This mode works by turning off non-essential apps and turning the screen to black and white, so you can still use the device when you need it the most.

Magazines Brought to Life

With Papergarden, you can peruse through your favorite news magazines, fashion news and sports illustrations. You can easily navigate through your loved reads and view everything at a resolution that’s specifically designed for your Galaxy Tab screen. Photographs will appear stunning and texts will be easy to read.

GTS8Brwn_600x600_xlarge_bkBottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is very good. A lengthy battery life, thin and light design and a stunning screen display makes this one of my favorite Android tablets. The main issue I have is the performance which I feel isn’t as brisk as it should. The LTE edition however uses a different chip, increasing the potential for faster processing. It however sounds unreasonable to make someone pay more for that kind of performance they should have got from the Wi-Fi models. The finger print scanner isa much appreciated addition, but it can be temperamental at times—such that I’ve more than once locked myself out of my tablet.

I’ve used a lot of tablets and nothing comes close … the design, the amazing display, and finally the price (street) is so much lower than other Android or Apple tablets in its range.

It simply outperforms everything else in its class. Better colors, contrast, resolution, design, and while it’s list price of $399 is near-identical to Nexus 9 and iPad Mini – it’s street price is about $100 cheaper than those.

 

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

Category

  • Tablet

Carrier

  •  Wi-Fi

Form Factor

  • Touchscreen

Color

  • Titanium Bronze or Dazzling White

OS

  • Android™ 4.4, KitKat (Lollipop coming)

Size

  • WEIGHT

    10.37 oz.

  • PRODUCT DIMENSIONS (INCHES)

    8.37″ x 4.94″ x 0.26″

Camera

  • CAMERA RESOLUTION (FRONT)

    2.1MP

  • CAMERA RESOLUTION (REAR)

     8.0MP
  • DIGITAL OPTICAL ZOOM

    4x Digital Zoom

  • FEATURES

    Download
    Dual-Camera

    Shot Modes: Auto, Beauty Face, Panorama, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Shot & More

  • MAIN CAMERA – FLASH

    Flash

  • MAIN CAMERA – AUTO FOCUS

    Yes

Battery*

  • BATTERY TYPE AND SIZE

    3.8 Volt, Lithium Ion, 4900 mAh

  • MUSIC PLAY TIME

     Up to 80 Hours*
  • VIDEO PLAY TIME

     Up to 12 Hours*
  • INTERNET USE TIME

     Up to 10 Hours*

Memory

  • INTERNAL MEMORY

     3GB RAM; 16GB ROM**
  • EXTERNAL MEMORY/MICROSD™ CAPACITY

     microSD™ (Up to 128GB)
  • SDHC/SHD SD CARD

    Yes

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi

     Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO, (2.4Ghz + 5.0 Ghz)
  • FEATURES

    MHL; Wi-Fi

  • BLUETOOTH

    4.0

  • BLUETOOTH PROFILES

    HSP, A2DP, AVRCP, OPP, HID, PAN(PANU Only), DI, HOGP

CPU

  • PROCESSOR SPEED, TYPE

    Exynos™ 5 Octa (1.9Ghz Quadcore + 1.3 Ghz Quadcore)

Display

  • MAIN DISPLAY RESOLUTION

    1600 x 2560 Pixel

  • MAIN DISPLAY SIZE

    8.4″

  • MAIN DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY

    WQXGA Super AMOLED™

  • TOUCHSCREEN

    Yes

User Interface

  • FEATURES

    Samsung Traditional UI; Smart Pause™; TouchWiz®; Widgets

Features

  • GPS NAVIGATION

    Yes

  • BUSINESS/ENTERPRISE

    Yes

  • PREMIUM CAMERA

    Yes

Audio

  • FEATURES

    Music Player; MP3/MP4/Music Tones; Audio Streaming

  • AUDIO PLAYING FORMAT

    MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA

Video

  • FEATURES

    Video Player; Video Streaming

  • VIDEO PLAYING FORMAT

    MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Fun & Entertainment

  • FEATURES

    Downloadable Content, IR Remote Control, S Voice™, Samsung Widget Gallery, Live Wallpapers, WatchON™

Business & Office

  • FEATURES

    Enterprise-Ready; Corporate E-mail/Calendar/Contacts; Microsoft® Office-compatible; Mobile Device Management; On-Device Encryption (ODE); SAFE™; SAFE with KNOX; Virtual Private Network

Messaging Options

  • FEATURES

    Email

Sensor Type

  • TYPE

    Accelerometer; Fingerprint Sensor; Gyro Sensor; Geomagnetic Sensor; Hall Sensor; RGB Sensor