Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Android packaged in a premium shell!


I’ll be honest. When I realized I have been handed a Galaxy Tab S to review, I was a bit disappointed. It came out the back end of 2014, and this being early 2016 (I have taken a little while in publishing this), I wasn’t hoping for much from this. However, all this changed the moment I opened up the box and realized how beautiful, sexy and thin the tablet is. Forget the specs, forget the dates, and forget the brand, forget the space grey competitor and just admire the look and feel of this beautiful tablet.


The first thing you notice is the beautiful front, the second thing you notice is how impossibly thin it is, despite being one of the ‘older models’ and the third thing you notice is the beautiful back, which has a soft ‘pipped’ feel to it. It looks good, it feels good, and it is definitely designed for the premium user.

So what does this tablet hold under the hood? Quite a lot. Let’s have a quick look at the specs:

  • 10.5 Display, 2560 x 1600, Super AMOLED
  • Lightweight and ultrathin, at only 467g and about 6.6mm thin
  • Multi user mode allows the whole family to have a unique and personalized experience
  • The front ‘home’ button hides a fingertip scanner, giving you the ultimate in security and privacy
  • Up to 9 hours battery life
  • 8MP Rear Camera, 2.1MP Front, 1080p HD video (30fps)
  • Android 5.0
  • Exynos 5 Octa Processor
  • WiFi / 4G Connecitivity
  • 16GB Memory, with micro SD Slot

Being a Samsung tablet means that it obviously comes with TouchWiz installed straight out of the box, but unlike the Samsung phones where it has a small screen and not a lot to offer, the device here uses multi-window and multi tasking capabilities to its full potential. Having a 10.5″ screen means you can easily have a document open on one side and email on another, or even browse a website while you watch a video on the other half.

The small storage space does leave a lot to be desired, especially since Samsung use up almost half of the 16GB available with their OS!

However, apart from that, not much else from Samsung leaves much of an impression. You are stuck with a lot of stock Samsung apps that you are not allowed to delete, and while one may strive to make an effort to use them, you often end up having to just make peace with ignoring them.

On a day to day usage though, this hardly gets in the way. The performance is fast and responsive, and the battery life is pretty decent. Being light also means you can easily carry it around, and the screen is not just a decent size, it works great with a stylus. Bit of a fingerprint magnet, and the bright flushed colours that are a Samsung trademark only enhance the effect.

The cameras on this one are okay, and definitely one of those ‘do not use to take photos in public’ cameras, but once again, who the hell buys a tablet to take photos?

All in all though, if you want a premium look and feel, and don’t mind buying something slightly older, this is a great choice.

Our thanks to Three for sending this tablet out for a review. You can check their tablet range on their website.



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