After having decided to compete with Apple in front of the smartphones with the GS6 and declensions in front of the iPhone 6, as well on the technical part as commercial, Samsung launches in a similar battle against the iPad and iPad Mini with Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and 7.9 in similar formats. A fight already started with the release of Galaxy Tab A, they also in these formats, but without the high-end side.
The Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch we are interested in here has a screen Super Amoled slab 24.6 cm diagonal format 4: 3 and the definition of 2048 x 1536 px (against 26.7 cm in 16:10 for 2560 x 1600 px on the Galaxy Tab S). It also ships an octo-core home smart chip, Exynos 5433 (ARM Cortex-A57 quad-core clocked at 1.9 GHz + quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 at 1.3 GHz), a 3 GB RAM, a 32GB or 64GB storage capacity expandable via the addition of a microSD card, an 8Mpx photo-sensor on the back, and another 2.1Mpx on the front, a fingerprint reader and a 5870 mAh battery to power everything up. Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth 4.0 make up the bulk of wireless connectivity. There is no GPS in this Tab S2.
The user interface is provided by Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, totally covered with the clean TouchWiz system and so dear to the Korean brand.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet of 9,
If the first Galaxy Tab S 10.5 was an XXL version of the flagship smartphone Galaxy S5, Galaxy Tab S2 borrows nothing Galaxy S6. The new slate Samsung will rather draw on the intermediate design appeared since the Galaxy Alpha then more visibly on the Galaxy Note 4 and finally democratized on the mobile Galaxy A. The Galaxy Tab S2 is the big sister, in size, these devices however, it is the thinnest tablet in the world, at its thinnest part (the photo sensor protrudes a hair), 5.6 mm thick.
If the metal could sometimes be a majority in the construction of the latter, the Tab S2 remains measured on this point and adopts only for its periphery, by adding a small chromed border. The product is light and relatively compact for its format and therefore knows how to be discreet in a bag and handy. It is still expected, however, that a brand will go to Apple’s land with a neutral touch point on the screen to capture the product with one hand, with a thumb on the slab, without canceling the tactile interaction of other fingers.
The fingerprint reader offers the same operation as a Galaxy S6 or Note 4, by placing the finger rather than sliding it, as proposed (unfortunately) Tab S and GS5. This results in a more ergonomic, precise and fast use.
As for other Samsung devices with the same way or the iPad before that, this player quickly becomes essential for the quick release of the screen.
On the side of the flats, because there are some, let’s start with the most anecdotal or almost, namely the finish of the perimeter. The edges are chiseled and can potentially a little annoy the user on the palms. However, this is greatly diminished by the featherweight of the beast. Another remark, the assembly on the back is not 100% uniform. Without apparently achieving the integrity of the product, we would have liked a little more care given to the finish on a product positioned upscale. Note the two small circles on the back, chrome and which, as on the Tab S, sink and allow just to accommodate the system of fixing Samsung’s official cases for its slate.
The Super Amoled slab of 9.7 inches of this Tab S2 sees its definition “fall” to 2048 x 1536 px (against 2560 x 1600 on the Tab S), which allows him to still maintain a resolution of 264 dpi, sufficient for a clear display of texts in particular. The maximum brightness reaches 376 cd / m², which is very correct for this technology which benefits from an almost infinite contrast to compensate. The result is readability outdoors without reproach. We measured a reflection rate of 8%, which places the Tab S2 among the best students in the category.
In terms of color, the Tab S2 does more than defend itself. On the “basic” screen mode, which is the most faithful on the vast majority of Samsung terminals equipped with several display modes, we measured a delta E to 2.2 showing just colors. The color temperature is stable and close to the norm at 6640 K.
This display is however not without reproach, since we have measured a tactile delay of 99 ms, above the average of our comparative and for the blow very far from the 9 ms recorded on the iPad Air 2, master in the matter. In essence, the Super Amoled slab of the Galaxy Tab S2 is still on the same market as the slate of Apple. Two tablets that offer today the best display of the market.
Read our full report on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet screen
INTERFACE AND NAVIGATION 5/5
No disruption of software on this Tab S2, the Samsung regulars in mid / high-end these last 12 months will not be lost. The TouchWiz interface that comes to cover Android 5.0.2 is now lighter, offers at startup a menu of basic applications and dedicated applications or partners, such as Smart Manager for a quick look and fast management of storage or battery, Side sync to deport the Tab S2 poster on another compatible screen, the Galaxy Apps store with offers dedicated to Android apps, the Microsoft suite, the Team, The World, LeKiosk and of course the swarm of Google apps.
We note the disappearance of the application bar for launching two apps at the same time on the screen. You have to go through the multitasking and the small “multi” icon to separate the screen, provided that the application in question is compatible with this option.
Performance range, the Tab S2 has a mobile chip largely able to make it carbureless without any hitch, and this, whatever the uses. The Exynos 5433, which already equips the excellent Galaxy Note 4, plays a very good score and it is possible to multitask with some open applications in the background and even, for the joy of the test, a full HD video in window mode without the tablet stumbling at a single moment.
Video playback retains the same qualities and flaws as most high-end Samsung mobile products: broadly-based file compatibility, a rich application of playback and display options, a window mode for watching video while doing other things thing … and always an incompatibility with the AC3 and the DTS. Pity…
The headphone output of the Galaxy Tab S2 is overall good. It delivers sufficient power for all helmets, even the most greedy and a sound devoid of distortion. In addition, the dynamic range is above average. Only the restitution of the stereo image is content with a value in the average.
The two speakers on the lower edge of the unit provide stereo rendering. Unfortunately, this positioning is not very ergonomic. When holding the tablet in landscape, the lowest output is obstructed by the hand. If their power is correct, the sound quality is not really at the rendezvous. No bass and noticeable distortion in the high mids make listening music and watching movies complicated.
Side video games, one of the very small weaknesses of the Galaxy Note 4 and the Exynos 5433 is expressed in a way more visible here: its GPU. If it allows the tablet to display most of the beautiful graphic effects of the usual gaming behemoths of the Google Play Store, it also offers quite a lot of aliasing (stair effects). What slightly to start, but without questioning, the real pleasure that provides this tablet in play. The fluidity is there, on all games at all levels of graphics.
The sensor remains at 8 Mpx, as on the first iteration of the Tab S, but the results are less convincing. The level of detail is correct in the center, but the smoothing is more present on the edges. Above all, the colors are much duller and the clichés clearly lack heat compared to the first Tab S and iPad Air 2. The focus and trigger are rather fast, but it is not uncommon to get blurry images for as much. Stabilization would have been welcome. In low light, the performance could have been good, if the contrast had been a little higher and – again – the colors less dull. The electronic noise remains contained, but we are still far from being able to exploit these photos. Also note that between the Tab S and Tab S2, the LED flash is
Those who would be tempted to make videos with this Tab S2 will be able to do it until Full HD. Both continuous focusing and exposure metering are done through smooth, well-managed transitions. The final result, however, suffers from the same reproaches as for the photo.
Find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 in our Face-à-Face Photo
The 2.1 MP front sensor does not excel particularly. The level of the details does not reach the peaks, which seems to try to counter the tablet by an accentuation of the contrast not necessarily very happy. Smoothing applied to the image – excluding “beauty” mode – can limit the noise breakage. We will be content with videoconferencing, but selfie lovers will not be at the party. In this register, we prefer the Sony Xperia Z Tablet or iPad Air 2.
By choosing the extreme finesse, Samsung has sentenced to reduce by 25% the capacity of the battery in the Tab S and Tab S2. It could result in a collapse of the autonomy, but Samsung manages to compensate, thanks to a combo Android / TouchWiz lighter. However, there is a strange phenomenon: the Tab S2 is one of the best tablets in the market streaming video streaming (Netflix), with more than 12 hours of operation, even if it remains 1:30 less than Tab S. D ‘ on the other hand, the slate is less enduring in mixed use, with 9:16 performed on our new test protocol, when Sony offers an additional 4 hours of autonomy and a Galaxy Tab A, almost more than double!
The Tab S2 remains solid in autonomy, especially its watch, but today we can find much better, for sure. The recharge is not particularly fast and a complete cycle always requires a little more than 3 hours of time.