Customer Review

431 of 454 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Android tablet to date, July 3, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5-Inch Tablet (16 GB, Titanium Bronze) (Personal Computers)
This is my fourth Samsung 10 inch tablet Ive tried in the last couple of years. Ive always wanted to replace my iPad with an android tablet especially one made by Samsung. Almost all my electronics that I own are made by Samsung, except for my iPad Air and Apple TV 2. This tablet is an improvement over the Tab pro which was released just 6 short months ago. I kind of wish Samsung had just waited longer and released this tablet instead of the tab pro.

Whats new and improved:

The tab s feels much better built over previous Samsung tablets Ive tried. The previous tablets had a much more plastic feel to them and make clicky sounds when holding them. This one feels nice in the hand with the nice grippy material and also looks more higher end.

Touch wiz is more simplified and faster.

This tablet has 3gb of ram, which is 1gb more than the tab pro. Its much faster now and multitasking is smoother. More apps can run in the background and fewer refreshes in apps and on webpages.

Improved screen quality since the screen is now an AMOLED, its brighter and has better battery life. The screen is also larger now at 10.5" when compared to the tab pro which was 10.1".

This tablet has a built in finger print scanner. This is a very handy feature to have for added security without having to type in a PIN, password or pattern. Too bad this feature hardly works. I had to slide my finger a good two to three times for it to register and unlock the screen for me. No other tablet on the market has this feature currently including the iPad Air. I am glad samsung added this feature but it needs work.

Ultra power saving mode can greatly increase battery life especially when it's very low. Although it turns the screen into black and white and only allows you to use a few selected apps. I really don't see how this is that handy on a tablet, but, is super handy to have on your smartphone like it is on the s5. Still nice for samsung to include this.

Side Sync is an built app that allows you to access your Samung Galaxy Smartphone remotely while on the same wifi network. You can take calls, read/reply to texts and transfer files from you tablet. This is very handy feature. I thought initially it only worked on the newer S5 but I was able to download the app on my S4. Sadly I couldnt get the feature to work with my s4.

The tab s also has a new private mode which allows you to hide files, pictures and videos. The private mode is also incorporated with finger print scanner so that the hidden files only show when using your finger to unlock the screen.

What still needs improvement:

The placement of the menu and back capacitive buttons still comes in the way and gets accidentally pressed when using the tablet in portrait mode. I guess you could just use the tablet in landscape mode all the time.

The tablet ecosystem in the google play for 10" tablets is very limited. There are still many apps that just dont take advantage of this tablets larger, higher resolution screen or aspect ratio. This is not the case with iPads and one of the main reasons why I still prefer my iPad Air. Some of the apps cant even run in landscape mode which is what this tablet is meant to be used in. Here is just a small list of the tablet apps that are not optimized yet: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Yelp, Dropbox, Dictionary, Instagram, Epocrates, Medscape, WebMD, Zedge, Tapatalk.

I still found there to be some lag from time to time. At times the tablet was just really fast and other times it was lagging for no apparent reason. I installed nova launcher and disabled many samsung and google unneeded apps to make it slightly better.

I also found there to be issues with the network connection. The tablet always seemed to be connected to my router but from time to time I experienced issues with it loading pages or refreshing apps. I had no issues like this on any other device on my network. So I suspect it was the tablet only that this issue.

The screens responsiveness was not up to par with other touch screen devices I own and tried. At times I would have to press the screen muilitiple times before it would respond.

The watch on tv remote seemed to give me very odd and weird information. It would show me content that had nothing to do with my cable provider or the channels I selected. I took a look at the same app on my Samsung S4 and the information was totally different. The information on th s4 app was correct. Maybe a future update to the wach on app on the tab s will improve the results for me.

Although battery life is much improved in this tablet. Its still not as good as what Im getting with my iPad Air. With the tab s I was getting about 8-10 hours of screen time mostly from surfing web pages and a little youtube streaming. With the brightness at about 30% and some notifications enabled. With my iPad Air I can easily get 15 hours with the same type of usage and settings. If I really push its limits I can get about 18 hours of screen time on my iPad Air.

Samsung Tab S vs iPad Air

The tab s clearly has better hardware and specs. The screen is so much better than the iPad Air. The tab s has higher resolution screen and more pixels per inch than the iPad Air. The iPad Air's 9.7" screen is smaller than the tab s which is 10.5". The screen also get much brighter is great for outdoor use. The screen also gets much dimmer which is better for night reading.

The placement of the speakers on the tab s is much better. When watching a video you get the nice stereo effect in landscape mode. With the iPad Air the speaker are not placed on either side of the screen, so you only get the stereo effect when using the tablet in portrait mode. I did find the speakers on the iPad Air to have more bass in them. Both tablets had just as loud speakers in my opinion.

The Tab s had micro sd slot so expanding storage is cheap and easy. It accepts cards up to 128gb. But the use of card is limited quite a bit now since the kitkat update. Not at appps can run and be stored on the sd card. Also apps iSyncr for example which is an app that allows you to transfer your music wirelessly from your PC to your tablet/phone, only works when connecting your devcie via usb to your pc. Or you have to root your device to gain full rights over your own sd card.

The tab s has only about 10gb of available storage out of the box. There is no 32b version available right now and also no choice of getting more storage. With an iPad you can get up to 128gb storage, but storage is expensive at $100 each step up.

The tab s has included gps. In order to get gps with an Ipad you have buy an LTE enabled model which is another $120.

The tab s can run two apps side by side at the same time. Not all apps are support with this feature, but its very handy when multitasking. The IPad Air cant do this.

The tab s has the watch on tv app and a built in IR blaster. Makes it easy to control your home entertainment system from your tablet. The iPAd AIr doesnt have this feature.

Overall the tab s is nice improvement over the last version. My main reason in sticking with my Ipad Air is the app support. I also prefer the 4:3 ratio that the Ipad AIr has. It looks great in portrait mode for reading and browsing web pages. I dont like the tab s in portrait mode it just isnt functional that way. If you use your tablet mostly for watching videos and playing games, I would say the tab s is the better choice. Also if you use your tablet alot outdoors than the tab s is better since it gets brighter. But the Ipad does have better battery life, better support,higher resale value, Airplay, Multitasking Gestures and more accessories. Also the Ipad Air will updates much quicker. I have no idea how long the Tab s will take to get android L. Probably atleast a good 3-6 months once its publicly released. Where as the Ipad AIr will get iOS 8 the day it comes out. My only main gripe about my Ipad Air right now is the lack of ram, at 1gb it has to refresh apps and website frequently. The tab s is better for multitasking. You cant go wrong either way. They both are great tablets. But the tab s is more versatile and has better value.

Update: Just wanted to add a few things I missed in my initial review. The tab s has the faster wireless which is ac when compared to the iPad Air which does not have ac wireless. This will only be an advantage if you have an ac wireless compatible router.

The tab s takes a little bit less than 7 hours to fully charge. Versus the iPad Air which takes a little bit over 4 hours to charge.

Also the tab s does not have NFC capability.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 5, 2014 1:33:56 PM PDT
Anon2k15 says:
"There is no 32b version available right now and also no choice of getting more storage. "

Not if you buy from BB.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2014 4:36:36 PM PDT
Team Radbery says:
This beast blows away the Ipad. Which isn't saying much since the Ipad is several years old already. Best display in the world. Period.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2014 7:18:28 PM PDT
AK529 says:
Thanks for pointing that out. It seems best buy is the only retailer that currently sells the 32gb version.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2014 3:10:48 PM PDT
D. Snow says:
Radbery wrote:

>This beast blows away the Ipad. Which isn't saying much since the Ipad is several years old already. Best display in the world. Period.

I totally agree. Apple iPads are weak and overpriced, and lacking MANY features that are standard on the Galaxy Tab S. And Android 4.4 is much more powerful than iOS.

The iPad Air screen is pretty good, but iPad Mini Retina screen sucks, I would never pay 400+ bucks for that!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2014 3:25:09 PM PDT
Fred says:
Not even Samsung lists on their website a 32 gb S model... interesting

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 10:52:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2014 2:11:32 PM PDT
MS says:
Great review; but I disagree with one of the things you mentioned: finger print sensor. It works perfectly for me - because of the way I gave my samples while setting it up. I did a video for this in my review and you can clearly see it working every time without fail for me.

Posted on Sep 14, 2014 8:55:32 AM PDT
A. Miller says:
This is the only tablet so far with an AMOLED or OLED in general which means perfect blacks with anything. The best benefits you will see if watching movies and tv's(play "POTC: Curse Of the Black Pearl" as it should look great on blacks there) on this and games.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2014 10:19:33 AM PDT
S. Daniel says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2014 4:28:41 PM PDT
D. Snow says:
>If you like garish LED Christmas lights you will love this display

There are several different display settings, you can tone it down. Galaxy Tab S is light-years better than the weak overpriced iPad Mini Retina!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2014 7:59:35 AM PDT
Launa Curtis says:
I don't know about the samsung, but other fingerprint sensors can be difficult. If you work with your hands a lot - ie. outdoor, manual work, or if you wash your hands a lot or use antiseptic gel or lotion a lot, - it will mess with a clean fingerprint reading.
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