I picked up the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. I went to Best Buy with the intention of buying the Tab S2 to review for you all but I wasn’t totally sold. I actually demoed them beforehand and I asked you all on Twitter which colors I should pick: gold, black or white if I were to buy the Tab S2. But long story short, I left with both the gold 8-inch Tab S2 and the black 9.7-inch Tab S2; both with Wi-Fi and both with 32GB of internal storage. The tablet you see here is the 8-inch model. I will have the 9.7-inch unboxing and first impressions video up very soon so hit that subscribe button and stay tuned for that.
With that said, let’s go ahead and use our Beau HD official unboxing knife to slice off both pieces of tape holding this box together. We can slide off the top and we’ll see the 8-inch Tab S2 sitting right on top, which I will set off to the side for now. But I will say, this is an incredibly thin device. Underneath the Tab S2, we have a SIM card removal tool which in this case will be used to eject the microSD card slot. There is a User Manual to help setup the device, get it started and just get it up and running. We have a standard micro USB charging cable here and a US wall wart for charging of course. And that is all that is included in the box.
But let’s take a look back at the Tab S2 and unwrap it from the protective cloth blanket. First of all, yes this tablet is very thin and lightweight. It actually only measures in at 5.6mm thick and it weighs 265grams. I did go with the gold variant but the gold is very subtle. It almost looks light brown or silver in certain lighting conditions. It definitely doesn’t have that very flashy appearance to it that gold traditionally does have.
Taking a look around the device though, we will find nothing on the left hand side. There is a power/sleep on/off button and volume rocker on the right hand side above the microSD card slot for expandable storage. Nothing is up top but we do have dual speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB charging port. The front is home to a 2.1MP front-facing camera sensor, an impressive 8-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2048x1536 resolution as it features a 4:3 aspect ratio. More on the display coming very soon.
You will also find the traditional Samsung home button as well as the multi-view and back capacitive touch navigation buttons. The home button does feature a fingerprint scanner, which is pretty neat for a tablet. Nothing new here but certainly very useful. And I found that the home button is actually a lot more clicky and audible than the home button found on the Note 5 or Galaxy S6. It makes a very apparent, loud clicking noise every time I press it. I’m kind of hoping it just needs to be worn a little bit because it is very loud for a home button. I never thought I’d be saying it but it’s true.
The back of the 8-inch S2 features an 8MP camera sensor with a pretty large f1.9 aperture to help capture more bright and clear images. We’ll see about that as it is a tablet after all. There are also some connectors here for 3rd party accessories. But the back cover itself is plastic so it’s not crafted with a uni-body aluminum so it feels a little bit cheap as you can’t really feel the cold metal on all your fingers. However, Samsung did put metal around the frame of the device which is where it really matters. If you’re going to put metal on one area of the device, it should be the frame. Two of the metal sides actually overlap on the plastic back cover a little bit, which is pretty nice.
The Tab S2 features a Super AMOLED display that measures in at 8 inches and it features a 2048x1536 resolution. It’s not every day you see a tablet with a large AMOLED display so it’s kind of a treat. At 320ppi, it does look really good. The viewing angles are great. The colors and vibrancy are excellent. It looks very promising. I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun using this tablet on a daily basis. Since I’ve been using the Nexus 9 as my main Android tablet, I am adjusted to the 4.3-inch aspect ratio. I don’t really have too much of a problem with it as I browse the web more than I watch movies or videos.
The Tab S2 also features 2 quad-core processors. We have an Exynos 5433 octa-core processor with 2 quad-core processors. We have a 1.9GHz processor and 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM. Not the most top of the line specs but certainly high end. The device is extremely fast in just navigating the OS and opening and closing apps. TouchWiz is running on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. I might install the Google Now Launcher but I am pretty impressed with just how fluid the TouchWiz launcher is out of the box. We have Flipboard to the left and there are some pre-installed bloatware apps that could be useful. We have Microsoft Office apps so Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Skype and OneDrive. You can’t uninstall these apps but you can disable them.
The fingerprint sensor appears to work well. However, it is a little bit awkward to use on such a large device. Not as easy to use as on the Note 5, for example but I am glad it’s here. I would like to be able to double press the home button to open the camera app. But for some reason, it’s not available on the Tab S2. I’m not really sure why. It could be because I shouldn’t be taking pictures on a tablet but Samsung is kind of touting their camera on here so I should be able to activate the camera app by double pressing the home button like on many of the other recent Samsung devices.
As I have more time to investigate and use this tablet, I’ll report back to you. the 9.7-inch Tab S2 unboxing and first impressions video is coming very soon. And I should have some comparisons coming to your sub-boxes soon as well so stay tuned for that.