Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung’s newest tablets are making their stateside debut, and you might want to get in line now.

Samsung continued their onslaught of new, just-in-time-for-school devices this week as they trotted out the American versions of their Galaxy Tab S2 tablets. Coming in both 8" and 9.7" flavors, they are Samsung’s bid to become your newest companion in class, on the couch or in the can—presuming you haven’t already filled that role.

That’s a big presumption, though. The tablet market has been hot for a while now, and Samsung has been one of the most popular providers of Android tablets. The Tab S2 builds on so much of what Samsung’s mobile departments have pioneered. So, there’s no surprise to see these tablets have HD Super AMOLED screens and quad-core processors, both of which have been hallmarks of Sammy’s phones, phablets, and tablets in recent memory.

Simple games, watching a video, browsing the internet and using a spattering of miscellaneous apps make up the daily duties of a tablet and the Tab S2s are beyond overpowered to handle all that and much more. This future-proof philosophy is bittersweet, making newer tablets like the Tab S2 especially enticing but giving owners of older Samsung tablets little reason to upgrade. That is because the older devices are still perfectly capable of running any app or piece of current software.

Samsung is betting that the design changes found in the duo of new Tab S2s are enough to persuade content tablet owners to upgrade. Those changes are focused mainly on the design of the Tab S2s. Both the 8" and 9.7" are thinner than their predecessors and have a trimmed down bezel to allow for a wider, 4x3 ratio screen that is aimed at making the tablet more useful for two-way interaction when compared to the 16x9 screen that is typically better for watching videos. We certainly see the logic behind the move and, where it may be somewhat innovative in the scheme of Samsung’s tablet offerings, it’s hardly a major departure from the rest of their competition.

Some of the best reasons to own a Tab S2 come in the way of software upgrades. SideSync adds functionality for your Tab S2 to play nice with your Galaxy phone. It immediately connects the two and syncing them when in proximity while allowing you to take calls and answer texts on the tablet in the living room while your phone is docked in your bedroom. Live streaming functionality is also a new addition so you can immediately push live video to a YouTube or Periscope account in an instant. These are nice bells and whistles to add but just integrate what would have been an additional app directly into Samsung’s overlay on the Android OS.

Both the 8" and 9.7" Galaxy Tab S2 models will be available in the U.S. on September 3rd. The starting price is set at $399.99 and $499.99 respectively with the base models sporting 32GB of internal storage and an expandable SD card slot. Perfect for you in case the stock storage is not big enough for your ever-growing music and movie collection.

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