Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Review: Multitasking On Android

Camera & Battery Life

The Galaxy Tab S2 uses a modest 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera for participating in video conferences, Skyping, and snapping selfies, and an 8-megapixel rear-shooter with an f/1.9 aperture lens. Here's a look at how they perform.

2.1MP Front Facing Camera

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Paul
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Paige

As always when taking photos, lighting is key. That's true of DSLR cameras, and it's true of the 2.1MP shooter in the Galaxy Tab S2. You can see that colors aren't super crisp in the outdoor selfie above (left), but it does a serviceable job for video conferencing chores. The selfie shot on the right was taken indoors with limited light. Again, the colors don't pop, but for chatting on Skype or taking a quick and dirty mugshot, the front camera is sufficient.

8MP Rear Facing Camera

Here again, we can see that lighting plays a crucial role between getting colorful photos with a bit of pop and dulled images that lack proper color tones. You can really see this when comparing the foliage from different pictures -- some are lush green while others are drab.

Overall the quality isn't good enough for any kind of professional printing jobs, but for posting to social media sites and auction pages, the Galaxy Tab S2's rear camera can handle the task.

Battery Life Testing
Going Untethered...
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Antutu

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Battery

There's an enormous gulf between the tablets with the best battery life, like Dell's Venue 8 and Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2, and those those with the worst, as represented by ASUS' ZenPad Tab S 8.0 and now Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2.

The web browsing test is the real eye opener. For this test, we set the brightness to 50 percent and then load a webpage that regularly refreshes itself. After that it's a waiting game, and we didn't have to wait all that long (comparatively) for the Galaxy Tab S2 to call it quits.

It lasted 5 hours and 49 minutes, and that's with the screen automatically dimming when the battery level hits 5 percent. It's also with Wakey running in the background to keep the screen lit (Samsung's settings only allow you to configure the display to stay lit up to 10 minutes).

Bear in mind that this is a lightweight test -- we're not playing games or streaming movies here -- with a brightness level that's probably a little lower than what most people will use. What this underscores is the trade-off in battery life that comes with the pursuit of increasingly thin and lightweight form factors.

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