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Sprint Product Ambassadors - Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

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Sprint Product Ambassador

Hey everyone!

I am back with another product ambassador review, this time for Samsung’s Premium tablet for 2015, the Galaxy Tab S2!  This is my second premium Samsung tablet, and I am happy to say that it has quickly become my new favorite.

With today’s review, I wanted to compare the Tab S2 to the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, which is the other edition that I have.  Let’s begin!

Packaging:


I know, I know, packaging isn’t really a feature that sets product apart, but I tend to like packaging.  Apple has done well in the category of packaging with its iPhone and iPad lineup, so packaging can be an important aspect to some people.  I found that Samsung changed the way it packaged its tablets between the 2013 and 2015 year for its premium tablets as you will see below. The Galaxy Note 10.1 packaging was in the style of wood-grain and displayed an image of the Note 10.1 on the front of the package.  The Tab S2, however, has taken a minimalistic approach to its packaging.  The wood-grain is gone, the image of the device is gone, and the writing has moved from landscape to portrait.  Why the change to portrait?  Samsung moved the charging port and navigation buttons to the shorter side of the device because most people tend to use tablets in portrait mode most of the time. 

 

Note 10.1 2014 Edition:

20151005_112214.jpg

Tab S2:

20151005_122622.jpg

Specs Comparison:

 

Note Tab 10.1 2014 Edition

Tab S2

Display

10.1” 2560x1600(WQXGA) TFT

9.7” 2048x1536 (QXGA) sAMOLED
8.0” 2048x1536 (QXGA) sAMOLED

Dimensions + Weight

243.1 x 171.4 x 7.9 mm / 540g(WIFI)/ 547g(3G,LTE)

9.7” 169.0 x 237.3 x 5.6 mm
(392 g)
8.0” 134.8 x 198.6 x 5.6 mm
(272 g)
**LTE VERSION ONLY

Chipset

WiFi/3G : 1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad
LTE : 2.3GHz Quad

Exynos 5433 (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad)

Memory

3GB RAM, 16/32/64GB
microSD up to 64GB

3GB + 32/64GB
MicroSD up to 128GB

Camera

8M w/ LED Flash + 2M Full HD

8MP AF + 2.1MP FF - NO FLASH

Connectors

USB2.0, 3.5mm Ear jack

USB 2.0, 3.5mm Jack

Connectivity

WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), BT4.0

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO
(2.4GHz/5GHz)
Wi-Fi Direct, BT 4.1 BLE

Battery

8,220mAh

9.7” 5,870mAh
8.0” 4,000mAh

IR LED

Yes

No

Video

MPEG4, H.264, MP43, VC-1, WMV 7/8,
Sorenson Spark, H.263, VP8
1080p Full HD video @ 60fps

Recording : QHD (2560 x 1440) @ 30fps
Playback : UHD (3840 x 2160) @ 30fps

Specifications Sources -- Note 10.1 2014 Edition (Samsung); Tab S2 (Samsung)


The specs between the two really set each device apart.  The Tab S2 contends well with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, and is a clear winner in other regards.

Display:

Let’s talk about the display for a minute:  The Note 10.1 packs a 10.1” TFT display whereas the Tab S2 carries a significant upgrade to a sAMOLED screen in either 9.7” or 8.0”.  For demonstration purposes, I will be referring to the 9.7” only, as this is the model that I have.  The sAMOLED screen on the Tab S2 allows for picture-perfect viewing; the images are clear, crisp, and colorful.  I can immediately tell the difference between the two screens when I use my MLB At Bat application as you can see below.  A photo of the screen does not do the screen justice, but you get the point:

 

20151001_192120.jpg

(The moment the Yankees won their 10,000th game with a strikeout over the Red Sox)

 

Battery:

The battery capacity between the two versions is significantly different.  The Note 10.1 2014 Edition packs a whopping 8,220mAh battery where the Tab S2 packs a 5,870mAh battery (9.7”).  The difference between the two is noticeable, but the performance of the device and the battery on the Tab S2 is enough to keep me satisfied with the smaller capacity battery.  The battery on the Tab S2 is depleted as one would normally expect with videos or graphic-intense applications and the standby time is superb.

If you’re concerned about battery life, know that with the Tab S2 you can actually charge it while you’re using it if it’s in a case.  The Note 10.1 made it extremely difficult to charge and use at the same time, especially if that use involved watching a video or using the device in landscape mode at all.  This has been resolved with the Tab S2 because the charging port has been moved to the shorter (portrait mode) side!  I can now charge my device in or outside of a case, prop it up and watch TV or movies to my heart’s content without worry about battery life.  So, in the end, the battery is a non-issue because I can at least charge and use at the same time.

Dimensions and weight:

Samsung_Thickness.png

Image Source: Samsung


We know that the length and width will adjust based on screen size, as you can see in the table above.  However, what makes a huge difference in the Tab S2 is the amount of depth and weight shaved off in comparison to the Note 10.1 or other models.  The Tab S2 is only 5.6mm thick compared to the 7.9mm thickness of the Note 10.1 2014 edition!  See for yourself:

20151005_121505.jpg

(There's a glass protector on the Tab S2)

In addition to thickness, weight plays a large role as well.  Weight is a problem with tablets because they are often large devices that must be held with two hands.  This is convenient for reading a book, but it does take its toll on your wrist. The Tab S2 has taken 148 grams, or a little over 5 oz., of weight off of the Tab S2 compared to the Note 10.1. The weight of the Tab S2 allows it to be easily held in one hand, or in both hands.  It is especially convenient when using the Tab S2 as an eBook reader.


Things I wish the S2 had:

There are a few things that I with the S2 did have, however.  It appears that Samsung is removing the IR Blaster from its products, which means I can no longer control my TV, stereo system, DirecTV, etc. with a built-in remote control app on my device.  This is not a huge problem for me, but I did like the convenience factor of being able to control my TV when I could not locate my remote.  (I have kids, so losing a remote is a daily occurrence).


I would love to have an S-Pen with the Tab S2.  I realize it would be called the Note 9.7 or the Note 8.0 2015 or 2016 edition if it did, however.  I enjoy using the S-Pen for taking notes while on calls, sketching something during a demonstration, and allowing my children to draw pictures for me.  So, not having this is a bummer, but not a deal breaker by any means.  I am sure I can pick up a stylus somewhere for less than $10.00 that works almost just as well!

 

I think wireless charging would have also been a nice feature for the Tab S2 to have.  I often set my tablet on my side table next to my bed or my couch depending on its use for that day.  Since it spends time on the table, it would be nice if it could rest on my wireless charging pad to charge instead of having to plug it in manually. 

 

Final thoughts:

The Galaxy Tab S2 is a premium tablet that exceeds many of my expectations for a tablet. The tablet is easy to see, easy to use, and comes packed with numerous features and functions that make life easier. It is especially easy to sync between any other existing Samsung products such as the Note 5 or Galaxy S6. The battery life is solid, the screen is beautiful, and the processor is snappy.  I am confident that the Tab S2 has replaced my Note 10.1 2014 edition.

 

Here are some other images comparing the two:

20151005_121128.jpg

20151005_121226.jpg

20151005_121418.jpg

20151005_121139.jpg

20151005_121152.jpg

As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by and read what I have to say!  Drop a line below with any questions or comments!

-- Troy





Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee