Samsung Tab S2 8"

When Samsung announced the new S2 I wasn't going to update unless there as 32 GB on board. That's how it came so I did the upgrade. This is probably the biggest adjustment I'll have to make for a tablet because it's 4:3 aspect ratio rather than 16:9. Other oddities include an offset micro USB port and the SD slot needs a little tool to access the tray. Do not lose the tool.

I have to admit, I heard a lot about how awful 4:3 is for video with the black borders. I watched some of a show on Netflix and didn't find it any different than watching non-HD channels on a TV. I notice the smaller viewing area more than the borders. I am quite sensitive to resolution and the screen is beautiful. I use my tablet mostly for reading magazines and books and the extra width is really nice as it's a bit more comfortable to hold in two hands and allows more words per page. The magazine pages fit the screen better too. 

Surprisingly the slightly wider screen makes it easier for onscreen typing. There is a setting that changes the keyboard height - useful with the shorter screen. I love the handwriting option Samsung has with their default keyboard; the C-pen works well with the handwriting recognition to provide a smooth feel. If you can't bring yourself to use a stylus and Note device, this is the next best option.

The multi-window is less intuitive to use unfortunately. Instead of sliding in from the right you have to hold down the history button and select the apps to pop up. Only the apps with the double bars in the top right corner will pop up.


The speakers on the bottom are ok for volume but pretty thin/tinny sounding unless the speakers are facing down so they can get some reflection. Do people who care about sound use the onboard speakers with all the BT options? The Monster Clarity speaker I have connected quickly and sounds much better. The Tab S2 doesn't come with headphones but the ones I had lying around provided a full sound. The battery is smaller than the Tab S 4000 vs 4900. When I used the Tab S all day (like I do sometimes) I had to recharge a couple time unless I was just reading a book. I expect the same from the Tab S2. I'm a bit disappointed there's no camera flash since I like the Samsung camera better than the one on my phone. There is a pro mode though.


Samsung really brought their A game to the build quality. The buttons are almost flush yet clicky and even though the device is super thin and light, it feels solid. The fingerprint scanner works well. They've managed to get the 3.5mm earphone jack to sit flush and not bulge like it did for the Tab S. I'm looking forard to my ZNAPS so I can do magnetic charging. I'll be factory resetting the Tab S tomorrow to hand it over to Fred. It seems that Android and iDevices continue to converge. While iPhones have gotten larger to compete with Android devices, Android tablets are shifting to the 4:3; a move that started with the Nexus 9.



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