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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T835) Tablet Preview

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is here! This is not just an upgrade of last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, but a larger model Here are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 that arrived in our lab last week!

 

How Does The Galaxy Tab S4 Compare To The Galaxy Tab S3?

Here’s a comparison of their key specifications :

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Tab S4 (2018)Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (2017)
Display10.5-inch Super AMOLED display
- 1600 x 2560 pixels (287 ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
9.7-inch Super AMOLED display
- 1536 x 2048 pixels (264 ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 7.0 Nougat
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 835Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 280 cores (2.35 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 280 cores (1.9 GHz)
2 x Qualcomm Kyro cores (2.15 GHz)
2 x Qualcomm Kyro cores (1.6 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 540Qualcomm Adreno 530
RAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 400 GB)
32 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP camera5 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP camera with single LED flash
- Up to 4K video recording @ 30 fps
13 MP sensor with f/1.9 lens
- Up to 4K video recording @ 30 fps
Network4G LTE
LTE Cat16 DL : 1 Gbps
LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
4G LTE
LTE Cat16 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth v5.0
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth v4.1
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
GPS SupportGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDouGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
Iris ScannerYesNo
Fingerprint SensorNoYes
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Proximity SensorAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
NFCNoNo
S PenIncluded
Pen tip : 0.7 mm
Pressure levels : 4,096
Included
Pen tip : 0.7 mm
Pressure levels : 4,096
Battery7,300 mAh lithium-ion battery6,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions164.3 mm wide
249.3 mm tall
7.1 mm thick
169.0 mm wide
237.3 mm tall
6.0 mm thick
Weight483 g434 g
Available ColoursBlack, GreyBlack, Grey

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Price + Availability

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is available in two colour options – Black and Grey. They are both available starting 21 September 2018. with these recommended retail prices :

 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T835) Tablet Up Close!

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 was a 9.7-inch phablet, but with the Galaxy Tab S4, Samsung decided to go bigger with a 10.5-inch display. Yet, it’s barely larger than the Tab S3. In fact, it is slightly narrower.

How is that possible? They reduced the bezel size, and removed the physical and capacitive buttons. This allowed Samsung to expand the display size by 8% while only increasing the form factor by 2%.

Of course, without the physical home button, the Galaxy Tab S3 lost its fingerprint sensor. A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor would be awkward in such a large tablet. So they replaced it with an iris scanner

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) also got a boost in performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. It is not only faster, it is 35% smaller, and uses 25% less power.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Key Features

 

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Better Performance + More Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) runs on the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.

It has four  Qualcomm Kryo 280 cores running at 2.35 GHz, and another four Kyro 280 cores running at 1.9 GHz. It also has a faster Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU.

Like last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, it has 4 GB of RAM. This time, they are using the faster LPDDR4x memory. They also doubled its storage capacity64 GB of internal flash storage. This addresses one of the weaknesses of the Tab S3 – lack of storage.

 

New S Pen Stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) comes with a redesigned S Pen with a glossy, rounded design. Samsung also removed the pocket clip, and replaced it with an odd metal fin to help you identify where the button is located.

Despite its new look, the new S Pen still has the same 0.7 mm nib and support for 4,096 pressure levels. It is also electromagnetically-powered by close proximity to the Galaxy Tab S4’s display. So it will never run out of power.

In case you are wondering, no, it does not come with the new remote control function that is the hallmark of the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Bluetooth S Pen.

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The Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) boasts a higher-resolution 8 MP Sony IMX320 sensor, up from the 5 MP shooter in the Galaxy Tab S3. It can take pictures with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels, and record Full HD videos.

Samsung kept the rear camera resolution at 13 MP, which is really good enough. But they switched out the Sony IMX260 sensor for the Samsung S5K2L2 ISOCELL sensor, which is an improved version of the sensor used in the main camera of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphones.

Just like last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, this camera can record 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second, and supports electronic image stabilisation.

Next Page > More Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Features

 

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Improved Audio Capabilities

One of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is its quad speaker system tuned by AKG. That carries over in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App). But that’s not all.

This time, Samsung added support for Dolby Atmos. This allows the Galaxy Tab S4 to deliver a more realistic 3D audio soundscape using those four speakers. Incidentally, the Tab S3 is smart enough to detect when you rotate it and change the output accordingly.

 

SIM + microSD Tray

The SM-T835 is an LTE model, while a less common WiFi-only SM-T830 model is also available in some countries. The LTE model comes with a unique double-sided card tray – one side for a microSD card, and the other side for a nano SIM card.

It officially supports microSD cards of up to 400 GB in size, like the 400 GB SanDisk Ultra (Price Check), but could theoretically support higher capacity cards when they are launched.

 

Samsung DeX Built-In

This is a great new feature that was first introduced in the Samsung Galaxy Note9. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) has Samsung DeX built-in. You won’t need to purchase a DeX station or a DeX pad. You just need a simple USB-C to HDMI adaptor. You don’t even have to use a Samsung-branded adaptor (looking at you and your MFi bullshit, Apple!)

Just hook up a monitor to the Galaxy Tab S4 using the HDMI adaptor, and you can use a mouse and keyboard to enjoy a desktop working experience. While using Samsung DeX, you can also use the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) as a very touch pad, a digitiser or a touch keyboard.

All in all – this is a very useful feature if you are always on the go, and yet would like to enjoy a desktop working experience.

 

Recommended Reading

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