Samsung has established itself as one of the leading smartphone brands in Australia and around the world. One of the few companies which can really challenge the dominance of Apple’s hardware, Samsung has released mobile devices of all kinds to give Australian customers a wide range of products to make daily life better.
The tablet market is a key one for the Korean hardware giant, and one in which it compete very seriously. The company’s efforts have been concentrated most recently into its latest offering, the Galaxy Tab S2. Samsung’s flagship tablet comes in two different sizes, runs Samsung’s customised Android OS, and is packed with a host of technical innovations. In other words, it has Apple’s iPad and all other competitors squarely in its sights.
With many Aussies having bought the Tab S2 since its recent December release, we’ve surveyed hundreds of customers around the nation to find out just what they think of Samsung’s latest entry into the tablet computer market.
The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in both a modest 8-inch screen size and a big, movie-watching 9.7-inch size. So whether it’s portability and versatility you’re after, or whether you want a media and gaming powerhouse, Samsung’s got you covered. Both versions are equipped with Samsung’s trademark AMOLED screens, with the vivid colours and energy efficiency that comes with them. They also come with either Wi-Fi only or with a SIM slot for 4G connectivity. Furthermore, Samsung’s Quick Connect feature lets you seamlessly share content from your Tab S2 to other Samsung devices such as your phone, TV or printer.
Under the hood sits Samsung’s own octa-core processor, with all four variants sharing the same internals and the same 32GB of memory which can be expanded with an SD card. In terms of battery life, Samsung claims an impressive 14 hours of video playback time for the smaller model and 12 hours for the larger model – a significant increase on the Tab S2’s iPad opposition.
Tab S2 users were full of praise for the tablet’s hardware, commenting positively on the bright, high-resolution screen, light weight and zippy performance. One customer was also effusive about the Samsung’s tough build and its ability to be thrown around – good if your tablet needs to survive some wear and tear from young children. At just 5.6mm thick and weighing under 400g (around 270g for the smaller model), it’s an impressive achievement for a tablet with such a small form factor to be so capable.
In the camera department, the Tab S2 comes with an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2.1MP front camera for your selfies and video calls. The camera app includes a bunch of features that we’ve come to expect on such devices including HDR, panoramas, a delayed timer and several other features. It also comes with multiple pre-loaded filters for you to apply before or after you take a photo.
That said, several of our survey respondents made negative mentions of the Galaxy Tab’s camera quality, which is perhaps not surprising given its lower resolution compared to today’s top smartphones. But with other redeeming features like a fingerprint sensor built into the home button and useful keyboard cover accessories, there’s little the Tab S2 can’t do.
The Galaxy Tab S2 runs Samsung’s significantly modified version of Android 5.0, coming equipped with many customised features and proprietary apps. For starters, Samsung has packed in features only found on its larger models such as Multi-Window, which lets you view two apps side-by-side or in a smaller window. The fingerprint recognition software adds another level of security, letting you access your tablet and make purchases online with a swipe of your finger. In-built modes like Power Saving and Ultra Power Saving also add plenty of value.
On the application front, the Tab S2 obviously has access to the Google Play store and the countless thousands of useful apps that come with it. Chief among these is Samsung’s deal with Microsoft which nets you 100GB of free OneDrive storage space for two years – perfect for backing up your photos and for using Microsoft’s office apps, such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint – on your tablet.
Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 value for money?
Many survey respondents commented on the ease with which they could use their Samsung tablet, including Samsung’s own Galaxy Life and Galaxy Apps collection, S Planner, Milk Music and many more. You can even download a Kids Mode application from the Galaxy Apps store, letting you partition your device so that your children can only access certain apps and games.
With virtually the only complaints about the Galaxy Tab S2 being the occasional ones of price and camera quality – the majority of owners had nothing to say in the negative department – it seems Samsung really is onto a winner here with its flagship competitor in the personal tablet market. If you’d like to compare some of Australian customers’ favourite tablets, check out our star ratings.