Samsung Galaxy Tab S Review, Top Shelf Android
The Galaxy Tab S is available in two colors: Titanium Bronze or Dazzling White. We have the 8.4-inch Titanium Bronze model in house for review. The Titanium Bronze finish and gold edges of the Galaxy Tab S give it a very rich look that sets this model apart as a high-end, flagship model. The back cover of the Galaxy Tab S does a great job at avoiding fingerprints and features a perforated finish which gives it a bit of additional texture. Although the back cover is perforated, it doesn’t provide a lot of additional grip. When we picked up the Galaxy Tab S, we immediately noticed how thin (0.26 inches) and light (10.37 ounces) it is.
Certainly one of the most impressive features of the Galaxy Tab S is its WQXGA (2560x1600, 16:10) Super AMOLED display which is absolutely stunning. Colors are vibrant and crisp, viewing angles are superb, and the 100,000:1 contrast ratio provides darker blacks and brighter whites.
Samsung’s Adaptive Display technology automatically adjusts the color gamut, sharpness, and contrast of the display depending on which application you are using. This feature works on the following seven apps: Gallery, Camera, Internet, Video, e-Book (Google Playbook), VT Call, and UI. You can also select one of three pre-set professional modes (AMOLED Cinema, AMOLED Photo, or Basic Mode) from the Settings menu to manually adjust the display settings.
In addition to a killer display, the Galaxy Tab S features top-of-the-line hardware including an Exynos 5 Octa processor (1.9 GHz QuadCore + 1.3 GHz QuadCore), 3GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 128GB, Android 4.4 (KitKat), and a 4,900mAh Li-ion battery.
The front-facing 2.1 megapixel camera is found in the upper right corner of the tablet above the display. You’ll find proximity and gesture sensors located near the Samsung logo. Below the display, there are backlit, touch-sensitive Recent Apps and Back keys as well as a physical Home key. This Home key also houses the fingerprint scanner.
When you flip the tablet over, you’ll find the rear-facing 8 megapixel camera and LED flash. Near the right edge, there are two circles for attaching accessories and covers. Samsung offers a few accessories for the Galaxy Tab S, including a Book Cover ($59.99) case which can hold the tablet at three different display angles for watching videos, reading, or typing. Samsung also offers a Simple Cover ($39.99) and Bluetooth Keyboard.
Samsung included a Book Cover with our Galaxy Tab S. To attach the Book Cover, you have to snap it into the holes on the back of the device. When you flip the cover open, it automatically unlocks the screen, assuming secure lock is turned off. You can configure this through the Settings menu. The Book Cover does a good job at holding the Galaxy Tab S in one of three positions using magnets on the cover that help lock it into position. Overall, the Book Cover does a nice job at providing a bit of extra protection and functionality though we prefer Apple and Amazon’s magnetic attaching mechanisms rather than Samsung’s snap on implementation.
Speakers are located on the top and bottom edges of the device, which works well if you’re watching a movie or if you place the tablet flat on a desk. The speakers sound good, but they're still tablet speakers, so don't expect deep, full sound. A microphone is also located along the top edge of the Galaxy Tab S. The bottom edge of the tablet houses a 3.5mm headset jack along with the USB charger/accessory port. A microSD card slot with a swinging cover, Infrared blaster, volume rocker, and Power/Lock key are located on the right edge.