Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review: Hands-on

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review: Hands-on

 

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The recent Samsung Unpacked 2015 event in London was primarily focused on showing off the Galaxy S6 Edge+, but we also had the opportunity to try out the Galaxy Tab S2 for the first time since it was announced last month.

 

Samsung will launch 8in and 9.7in editions and is - yet again - looking to take a chunk out of Apple's market share, this time by going after the identically sized iPad Air 2 series. Even the prices are the same as the iPad Air 2's: the 8in model will start at £319, and the 9.7in model £399. We got our hands on the 9.7in Galaxy Tab S2 version.

 

Design

Measuring 169x237.3x5.6mm and weighing 389g, the 9.7in Galaxy Tab S2 is seriously thin and light. Thinner and lighter, in fact, than the equivalent iPad Air 2. At first, holding it feels slightly peculiar, as we'd expect a tablet of this width to be a bit weightier. Still, it's easy to appreciate how comfortable and ultra-portable it is, even before that mild initial shock wears off.

 

The inclusion of a plastic back panel - rather than one made from metal or glass - somewhat dulls the sense that this is a premium device, but the Galaxy Tab S2 is far from tacky. There's a strip of metal around the edges to protect against knocks and, despite the exceptional thinness, we couldn't bend or flex it; the only adverse effects of our attempts were some unimpressed looks from the event staff.

 

There's no room for a full-size USB port, but there is one microUSB port and a microSD slot for expanding the built-in storage - 32GB or 64GB - with up to an extra 128GB.

 

Display

At 2048x1536, the Galaxy Tab S2's resolution has actually been downgraded from the original Galaxy Tab S's 2560x1600. In sharpness terms, this is partly offset by the maximum screen size also shrinking from 10.1in to 9.7in.

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