Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Camera and Battery Life
Like most tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has dual cameras: an 8 megapixel F1.9 front-facing camera and a 13 megapixel F1.9 rear-facing camera. The rear facing camera has various modes such as HDR, Panorama, Pro, Beauty, Auto, Sticker, and Hyperlapse. The front facing camera doesn't have as many modes, but it has plenty of settings to get rid of those wrinkles on your forehead and bags under your eyes.
Over the years we have gotten used to camera settings and how to manipulate them under different lighting. However, while testing a camera we like to see just how the Auto mode performs as compared to setting things manually. These aren't things people tend to think about when asking a server to take an image of them at a restaurant. Instead, they just want that Auto setting to hopefully kill it every time. In this regard, we are giving the Tab S4 a passing grade. Under reasonably good indoor lighting the camera was perfect. The colors were spot on and there was no visible grain, though perhaps a touch over-saturated at times.
However, the Galaxy Tab S4's rear camera didn't fare so well in dim lighting as it suffered from a fair bit of noise. As you can see, when there isn't much light present, the camera tends to add some grain and also exaggerates any light source it can find. Our nighttime photo shot came out okay; the colors are nice and well lit areas are visible. However, even at lower lighting levels indoors, as with the painting on the right, there's noticeable grain in the image.
To determine how the Galaxy Tab S4 compares to other tablets with respect to battery life, we ran it through two battery benchmarks you can find on the Google Play store -- AnTuTu Tester's Battery benchmark and PCMark for Android's Work 2.0 Battery Life test. We'd caution these tests are designed to better understand what a moderate to heavy, "always-on" usage model might look like in terms of battery life, rather than mainstream, light-duty off/on mixed usage.
The AnTuTu battery test sets the display brightness to maximum and cranks up workloads for the processor, graphics core, memory and storage subsystems. It then runs through a number of real-world scripted workloads, including web browsing, gaming, and video playback, in an effort to drain the battery as quickly as possible.
One of the areas where the Tab S4 impressed us the most was the battery life. In our testing, Samsungs Galaxy Tab S4 offered nearly four more hours battery life than the S3. Yes, it has a larger battery, but there are other factors at play here. It's newer Snapdragon CPU architecture is more power-efficient and there have been software enhancements to Android that increase power efficiency as well. So, in the end we get a more powerful and power-efficient tablet. Good stuff, thanks to continuous innovation.