When the Samsung Galaxy S Tab first hit shelves in mid-2014, the response was phenomenal. It was considered by most tech geeks to be the best Android tablet produced to date, if not the best of any tablet design on the market. Now, the company has introduced the next generation Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab, and while it doesn’t really break the mold, it does offer that same exquisite design and display in a modestly lighter package.
We’ll take a moment to fully review the new Samsung Galaxy S2 Tablet, detailing all of its best and worst features. And as a fair reference point, we’ll compare the newer version to its predecessor, the Galaxy S Tab.
Size and Portability
The Samsung Galaxy S2 Tablet is actually a bit smaller than its older sibling, making it slimmer, lighter and a bit more portable. It can be purchased in two sizes, with 8.0” or 9.7” screen sizes; a bit smaller than the original 8.4” and 10.5” displays of the Galaxy S Tab.
Samsung managed to shave an entire millimeter off the tablet’s depth, dropping from 6.6mm to 5.6mm; something the company was very proud of when it extolled the S2 as the slimmest tablet on the market to date, even thinner than Apple’s iPad Air 2 and recently released iPad Mini 4, both measuring 6.1mm in depth. And of course, the Galaxy S2 lost a bit of weight as well.
Less Pixels but Higher Ratio = Impressive Display
Samsung chose to reduce the resolution from the original Galaxy S Tab’s 2,560 x 1,600 to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, keeping the popular Super AMOLED display. However, the picture quality doesn’t suffer for it because the developer increased the aspect ratio to 4:3, and it makes a noticeable difference compared to the usual 16:9 and 16:10 users have become accustomed too.
All in all, the display is as pristine as you’ll find in any high-end tablet device.
The performance in the latest edition is comparable to its predecessor, although the specs did change in one aspect. The Samsung Galaxy S and S2 Tab both feature octa-core CPUs, including quad 1.9GHz and 1.3GHz speeds with 3GB RAM installed. Where they differ is the processor. Samsung has traditionally used Qualcomm processors, but transitioned to their own Exynos 5433 processor in the Galaxy S2 Tab.
Camera Flash Eliminated
For some unknown reason, Samsung chose not to install a flash on the newest model’s camera. Otherwise, the S2 mimics its forerunner. Both are equipped with an 8MP rear-facing camera and 2.1MP front-facing camera.
Downgraded Battery Quality
One of the worst and by far most confusing choices made by Samsung in developing its Galaxy S2 Tab was the decision to decrease the battery quality. The first edition 8.4” and 10.5” tablets came with 4,900 mAh and 7,900 mAh battery capacities respectively, which was considered respectably high quality. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S2 tablet was downgraded to 4,000 mAh in the 8” model, and a lamentable 5,870 mAh in the 9.7” model.
Last but certainly not least, Samsung is asking big ticket price for the new tablet. The smaller edition of the Galaxy S2 Tab was released with a MSRP of USD $399 (AUD $499) with WiFi installed or AUD $649 with 4G+ network (4G+ n/a in US), while the larger 9.7” version starts at USD $499 (AUD $599) with WiFi, or USD $599 (AUD $749) with 4G+.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab is a great device that deserves our applause, but I would personally recommend the smaller 8.0” model. Not only is it a bit softer on the wallet, you won’t have to live next to an outlet or car charger in order to keep it running. If increased size and longevity is more important to you, you may want to consider purchasing the original Samsung Galaxy S Tab, which you can snag off Amazon for about $450 (AUD $640).