Samsung Galaxy Tab S Announced in the U.S. – Will it become the Tablet of 2014?

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We were invited yesterday to attend Samsung’s announcement of their newest, and most probably the best tablet to date – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.

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The announcement was actually made in Madison Square Garden in New York but thanks to technology we were able to watch it via livestream (with no commercial breaks. Kidding.) I didn’t know what to expect because honestly, I think I have already reviewed the 2 best tablets in my book: the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 12.1. What could possibly be better than 2 of them combined?

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JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics.

We caught on JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics speaking at the start of the livestream. “The tablet is becoming a popular personal viewing device for enjoying content, which makes the quality of the display a critical feature. With the launch of the Galaxy Tab S, Samsung is setting the industry bar higher for the entire mobile industry. It will provide consumers with a visual and entertainment experience that brings colors to life, beautifully packaged in a sleek and ultra-portable mobile device.”

The specs were then announced and here’s what I’ve gathered:

  • World’s First Super AMOLED Tablet 2560×1600 with an aspect ratio of 16:10
  • Samsung’s thinnest and lightest tablet ever!
  • The Galaxy Tab S will provide rich details that are eye-catching. Each and every pixel is alive.
  • Adaptive display adjusts to the environment of different usages (i.e. ambient lighting)
  • AMOLED Cinema and Photo Modes let users adjust the display settings of the Galaxy S Tab for better results.
  • Content, content and more content! Samsung partnered with the likes of National Geographic and Marvel for their digital editions to be downloaded on the Galaxy Tab S.
  • 2 versions of the Galaxy Tab S will be made available: 8.4″ and 10.5″
  • The 8.4″ variant will be priced at $399 while the 10.5″ will have a price tag of $499

After the livestream, our friends from Samsung Philippines brought out the demo units of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4″

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 on the left and the Tab Pro 8.4 on the right.

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Specs of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4:


Category

Specifications

Network

LTE : 800/ 900/ 1800/ 2600+850/ 21003G : 850/ 900/ 1900/ 21002G : 850/ 900/ 1800/ 1900

Processor

Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz QuadCore+ 1.3 GHz Quadcore) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz Quadcore*

Display

8.4” 2560×1600(WQXGA) Super AMOLED

OS

Android Kitkat (4.4)

Camera / Flash

8MP w/ LED Flash + 2.1MP Full HD

Video

H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, VP8Recording : FHD(1920 x 1080) @ 30fpsPlayback: WQHD (2560×1440) @ 30fps

Audio

MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC

 Content Services / Applications

Papergarden, Professional pack, Multi-user mode, Sidesync 3.0, Gear & Gear fit manager

Free Downloadable apps

Group Play, S-Note, S Translator, Samsung Link, Scrapbook, Story Album, Video Editor,
Gear Manager, Gear Fit Manager, Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Level, E-meeting, Kids Mode, Kids Piano(Ding Dong Tap), S-Console, Hanshow, Hancell, Hanwrite

Google Mobile Services

Chrome, Gmail, Google Search, Maps, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube, Google+, Hangouts, Play books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Drive, Google setting, Photos

Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth®4.0, IrLED

GPS

GPS, GLONASS, Beidou(not supported in USA, Canada)

Sensor

Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Sensor*Proximity Sensor(only LTE ver)

Memory

3GB (RAM) + 16/32GB internal memorymicroSD up to 128GB

Dimension / Weight

125.6 x 212.8 x 6.6mm, 294g(Wifi) /298g(LTE)

Battery

4,900mAh

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON THE SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S 8.4

The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is thinner and slightly shorter than my current favorite, the Tab Pro 8.4. The weight difference is slightly noticeable, with the Tab S having a lighter feel. My pictures may not show it properly, but the Tab S clearly shows a brighter, more vivid display thanks to its Super AMOLED technology.

So I asked, what’s the difference between this and the Tab Pro? Will the latter be shelved in a couple of months? Ivan, the PM for Samsung Philippines’ Tablet group explained that these 2 have different markets, and we all found out what it is: Phone features and LTE. Yes, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ will have a phone feature and built-in LTE which the Tab Pro doesn’t have here in the Philippines (only the Wi-Fi variant is being sold here.)

Here are the photos of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5″

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Specs of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5:


Category

Specifications

Network

LTE : 800/ 900/ 1800/ 2600+850/ 21003G : 850/ 900/ 1900/ 21002G : 850/ 900/ 1800/ 1900

Processor

Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz QuadCore+ 1.3 GHz Quadcore) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz Quadcore *

Display

10.5” 2560×1600(WQXGA) Super AMOLED

OS

Android 4.4 (Kitkat)

Camera / Flash

8M w/ Flash LED + 2.1M Full HD

Video

H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, VP8Recording : FHD(1920 x 1080) @ 30fpsPlayback: WQHD (2560×1440) @ 30fps

Audio

MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC

 Content Services / Applications

Papergarden, Professional pack, Multi-user mode, Sidesync 3.0, Gear & Gear fit manager

Free Downloadable apps

Group Play, S-Note, S Translator, Samsung Link, Scrapbook, Story Album, Video Editor
Gear Manager, Gear Fit Manager, Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Sound, E-meeting, Kids Mode, Kids Piano(Ding Dong Tap), S-Console, Hanshow, Hancell, Hanwrite

Google Mobile Services

Chrome, Gmail, Google Search, Maps, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube, Google+, Hangouts, Play books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Drive, Google setting, Photos

Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO,WiFi Direct, Bluetooth ®4.0, IrLED

GPS

GPS, GLONASS, Beidou(not supported in USA, Canada)

Sensor

Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Sensor

Memory

3GB (RAM) + 16/32GB internal memorymicroSD up to 128GB

Dimension / Weight

247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6 mm , 465g(Wifi)/ 467g(LTE)

Battery

7,900mAh

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON THE SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S 10.5

I’m calling it as early as now: the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 can blow the iPad Air away. I can’t emphasize enough on how lightweight it is. And the screen, man, the screen display is much better than the 8.4 version. The sample video of New York looks so real it’s like bringing a Samsung TV along with you. If you love watching videos, and read digital magazines, you’ve gotta get this!

If I’m going to be asked between the two, I’ll pick the Tab S 10.5 over the iPad Air without batting an eyelash. By the way, just like the 8.4″ variant, the 10.5″ will have the LTE version here in the Philippines sans the phone features.

HOW MUCH WILL THE GALAXY TAB S WITH LTE COST IN THE PHILIPPINES?

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Our friends from Samsung do not have an idea yet, but they said that it will be competitive with the iPad Mini w/ Retina Display and iPad Air’s prices. An iPad Mini with Retina Display and LTE 16GB variant is priced at Php 26,990 and the iPad Air 16GB with LTE has a price tag of Php 31,990 at the Apple PH Store. I mentioned earlier that the Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ has a price tag of $399 (equivalent to around Php 17,000) and the Tab S 10.5″ at $499 (roughly around Php 21,000.) My forecast is that the Tab S 8.4″ with LTE will be sold here at Php 24,990 and the Tab S 10.5″ may have a price tag between Php 28,990 and 29,990. These are just my personal forecast, okay? As always, let’s wait for Samsung Philippines to formally announce the pricing of these 2 tablets next month.

I’m hoping to review these tablets next month, but based on my hands-on impressions, the Galaxy Tab S could be the Tablet of the Year 2014.

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