Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE Gaming Performance Review

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on August 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE Gaming Performance ReviewHi guys, welcome back here to this website!

It’s been widely known that Samsung always releases a variety of different devices – mostly Androids -, carrying different class of specs, ranging from high-end, mid-end, low-end and even lowest-end device segments.

This strategy proved has worked greatly for this manufacturer in the past few years, especially in challenging the sales of Apple devices each year.

So i don’t see Samsung stop doing this even in the next few years given that this company has always been really addicted with sales number every quarter (that rhymes!).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE benchmarks and gaming performance

Other Android counterparts actually also employ this same strategy like Samsung when releasing their newer devices – like Sony, Asus (with its Zenfone) or LG.

However, we already know that only Samsung that always nailed it perfectly when executing this strategy compared to its rivals, even Apple.

Many believe that Samsung’s aggressive promotion is the one that has made this company the most popular smartphone brands all across this planet, beating Apple by miles when it comes to sales number every quarter of each year.

Anyway, today i’m going to do my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE. I actually already did the review on the 8.4-inch variant of this tablet earlier – both the WiFi-only and LTE models.

So if you’re not a big fan of a huge 10.1-inch tablet, then you might want to check out my personal review and gaming performance review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (WiFi-only and LTE).

Similar just like the 8.4-inch variant, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 also consists in 2 different models – the LTE and the WiFi-only models.

But today, i’m gonna start with the LTE model first, while the WiFi-only variant will get its turn in my next review.

Okay then, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet, then here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE.

But first, as usual, if you feel this review is pretty helpful and informative to you, it would be awesome if you could share this post to your Twitter followers or Facebook Likers by using the social media icons around this page.

Your contribution would be appreciated a lot here.

Introduction

In releasing its newer devices, Samsung usually takes the previous-released flagship device as the core design concepts – or template, if you would – to make the other variants of that device.

Like for example, when Samsung released Samsung GALAXY S3, the next-released GALAXY devices (GALAXY Tab 3, Note 8, etc) mostly looked quite similar with the design of that flagship.

It goes the same when Samsung launched Samsung GALAXY Note 3, which then was followed by the “same-looking” Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, Note Pro 12.2 and even the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro series that also had the same exact “fake” elements found on the Note 3 (fake stitching and faux leather rear cover and fake metallic trim all around the bezel).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE

And as you might have guessed, that’s going to continue again as this Korean-based tech company just rolled out some new tablets under the brand new series - Samsung Galaxy Tab S.

Similar just like this company’s previous-released Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, this tablet series still carries the same design language and even similar spec sheet.

There are 2 variants that will launch under this series – the 8.4-inch model and the 10.5-inch model. Do they remind you with something?

Yep, that’s right – the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4-inches and 10.1-inches.

And coincidentally not - they all have similar spec sheet, although the Tab S series brings some bumped up specs and even new goodies (*cough*fingerprint scanner*cough*) compared to the Tab Pro family.

To be perfectly honest, i’m actually already quite impressed with what Samsung has delivered on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1 series.

They have gorgeous looking design (despite using plastic), they are insanely powerful (in terms of specs) and i think, these 2 tablets are way better than what Apple has in store right now – iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display.

So it’ll not be so surprising if this new tablet series will also impress me again this time.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE becomes the biggest variant under this series (so there will be no 12.2 model of this tablet – which is good because i think it’s too huge for a tablet).

And as i mentioned above, this tablet still inherits the same design language and even spec sheet of Samsung’s previous-released device – Tab Pro series.

Interestingly, Samsung also takes some inspirations from its latest-gen flagship smartphone - Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S – especially when designing this tablet.

The most noticeable similarity between these 2 devices is their rear cover, which has this unique dot-patterned finish all over it (similar just like the one found on HP Slate 6 Voice Tab – which i’ve already reviewed a couple of months ago).

Besides the similarity in design, Samsung also equips the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE with one of the key features on Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S smartphone.

And that is the fingerprint scanner – which becomes more and more important on today’s smartphones and tablets especially for mobile payment system - like for validating the payments on iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, Amazon, etc.

So it’s great to see Samsung finally bring this feature to this huge tablet, beating Apple with its current-gen iPad Air and iPad mini 2 that still haven’t joined in finger-scanning party with iPhone 5S.

Not to mention, this tablet also brings some bumped specs to the hardware sector – from the front-facing camera that now is 2.1MP (as opposed to the 2MP on Tab Pro 8.4), the 3GB of RAM, the external storage ability for up to 128GB, much improved rear-facing camera, more color options and slightly lighter weight.

Interestingly though, on this tablet, Samsung decides to lower its battery capacity to just 7900mAh battery – as opposed to the 8220mAh battery on Tab Pro 10.1.

However, that doesn’t mean that the battery life of this tablet will be inferior compared to the Tab Pro variant.

Well, that’s so wrong because on this tablet, Samsung also equips the similar screen technology and power management that came with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S – which also is packing a smaller-sized battery compared to the predecessor but amazingly has much longer battery life.

With so many improvements and including some new goodies found on this tablet, does Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE have all what it takes to challenge or even become an iPad-Air killer (besides Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 10.1)?

Does this tablet have more powerful gaming performance than Tab Pro 10.1?

Is it worth upgrading to this model if you already own the Tab Pro 10.1?

Design

In terms of design, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE actually is not a huge departure from the previously-released Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.

It still has that fake metallic trim all over the bezel, it has that sharp looking rounded corners – which is not fully rounded anymore - and the last similarity between these 2 tablets is their physical home buttons that is still positioned on the low area in landscape mode.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE (front)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE (rear)

However, there are still some design changes that Samsung applies on this tablet.

The most noticeable change found on this tablet is its screen size that now gets expanded to 10.5-inches (from Samsung’s traditional 10.1-inch display).

Not to mention, on the rear side, Samsung decides to ditch the “fake” elements – fake stitching and faux leather cover on the Tab and Note Pro series – for a more elegant rear-cover with this unique dot pattern all over it.

Actually, this dot-patterned rear cover was firstly seen on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S, which is not quite shocking given that Samsung usually utilizes its latest-released flagship device – such as Samsung GALAXY Note 3 or GALAXY S5 - as the core design concept - or template, if you would – in order to make the other variants or models of that device, carrying different class of specs.

To be perfectly honest, i would personally prefer the design of Samsung Tab Pro and Note Pro series because i kind of like the faux leather and fake stitching on their rear cover, creating this elegant and more professional looks than any other competing tablets on the market, even the iPad Air with the so called “premium” aluminum material.

So i think it’s great to see Samsung really takes this department seriously and always try to experiment with the design of its GALAXY devices.

I believe this has something to do with its never-ending battle with Apple in the courtroom over patent lawsuits that mostly are about the designs of old-gen Samsung GALAXY devices that resemble Apple iDevices – iPhone and iPad.

The good news is, from what i heard lately, this year, Samsung is finally ready to jump to a more premium bandwagon with its GALAXY devices.

So you can expect to see the aluminum-plated Samsung GALAXY smartphones or tablets anytime soon (hopefully, it’s Samsung GALAXY Note 4 that firstly gets this treatment).

Back to Top
  • 4G Network LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2600
  • Exp. release 2014, July
  • Weight: 467 g (1.03 lb)
  • - Fingerprint sensor
  • 10.5 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 2560 x 1600 pixels, (~288
  • ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Chipset
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • - Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 128 GB
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera, autofocus, 3264 x 2448 pixels, LED flash
  • 1080p@30fps Video capturing
  • 2.1 MP front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA, HSUPA; LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,
  • Infrared port
  • microUSB v2.0
  • Accelerometer, gyro, compass Sensors
  • No Radio
  • HTML5 Browser
  • Dazzling White, Titanium Bronze Colors
  • GPS GLONASS, Beidou, A-GPS support
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 7900 mAh battery
Similar just like its design, the overall spec sheet of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE is also not a huge departure from the previously-released Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 tablet.

It still inherits the same screen specs, the same processor, the same graphics chipset the same rear-facing camera and some other similar hardware specs.

However, there are still some major changes made by Samsung in the hardware department.

First of all, its screen is now enlarged to 10.5-inches (from Samsung’s traditional 10.1-inch display) and altered into Super AMOLED screen, which now has much improved quality – more vivid, more realistic and well-saturated colors – and is embedded with Samsung’s screen technology and power saving management that allows for much longer battery life (despite using much lower battery capacity).

This same type of display is actually also deployed by Samsung on its latest flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, which amazingly has the best battery life than competitors (again, despite using slightly lower battery capacity than rivals).

From the hardware standpoints, there is no single doubt that Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE is the best 10-inch tablet all across the market – and not just on paper. It features a larger 10.5-inch display sporting the resolution of 1600x2560 pixels (with pixel density of -288), Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP camera, 7900mAh battery capacity (as opposed to the 8020mAh battery on Note 10.1 or Tab Pro 10.1) and some other standard features.

Not to mention, similar just like Samsung GALAXY 5S smartphone, this tablet also gets the fingerprint scanner treatment, which allows for mobile payment system – on Amazon, Google Play Store, Hulu, etc - or unlocking the phone.

Probably there are some other functionality besides the 2 aforementioned above that Samsung also provides on this tablet through other apps or tasks.

It’s worth noting that on this tablet, Samsung has made a lot of changes mostly in the hardware department of this tablet – from the screen size that gets enlarged (from 10.1 to 10.5-inches), the front-facing camera (from 2MP to 2.1MP), a much smaller battery (from 8020mAh to 7900mAh), the expandable storage (that now allows for 128GB microSD card from 64GB) and slightly lighter weight (from 477g to 467g) -, of course if all compared to the 10.1-inch of Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro or Note Pro.

Screen

As i mentioned above, on this tablet, Samsung has put a lot of works on its display.

Not only does this company make some huge improvements on this Super AMOLED display, but Samsung also brings some of its latest technology and power management system on the screen and hardware.

Even with those many pixels presented and executed on this display in buttery smooth performance – not to mention, with a smaller 7900mAh battery capacity -, this tablet still manages to reach a much longer lifespan of its battery life than most of its rivals.

And this is truly impressive because if Samsung could really improve and better this technology on its newer GALAXY devices, then after all, it’s not really necessary anymore to use some huge battery capacity on its devices in the future.

So you probably will see Samsung’s next-gen GALAXY Note 4 with even smaller battery capacity than other competitors on the market.

Talking about the screen of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE, then there should be no question anymore because Samsung's homemade Super AMOLED screen has been known as one of the best displays around the market, even better than the so called “Retina Display” of Apple’s devices.

The most prominent thing on this display is, the colors now look more vivid and really well-saturated than most of other screens across the market.

Not to mention, the screen of this tablet also looks insanely sharp and bright, the colors look more vibrant and realistic – especially compared to the Super Clear LCD on Tab Pro or Note Pro series.

And the best of all is, this tablet sports the highest-resolution screen on the market to date. And that’s the biggest plus point of this tablet.

And as mentioned above, even with this display and all of its pixels (1600x2560 pixels) executed by the Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, this tablet still performs smoothly without any lag, and amazingly, it has much better battery life than any other 10-inch tablets out there (despite using smaller 7900mAh power battery).

User Interface

Interestingly, on this tablet, Samsung decides to ditch the Magazine UI on its Pro line for the same-as-usual TouchWiz UI, with all of its standard Android homescreen, widgets, app shortcuts, drop-down notification window, app drawer, icons, features not to mention other new features especially the ones that are synchronized with the fingerprint scanner.

To be honest, compared to Magazine UI – which in my opinion, looks so attractive and innovative -, i still prefer the TouchWiz UI because this UI has always been the trademark of all Samsung GALAXY devices.

Many believe that the decision of Samsung to revolutionize its TouchWiz UI into Magazine UI was because this Korean-based manufacturer felt threatened by Google and Motorola with their collaborative devices.

Samsung felt the need for this company to create new unique look of Android UI, which then could also be used as the core design of Samsung’s own Tizen OS for the future GALAXY devices.

So that’s why Google decided to sell Motorola to Lenovo, in order to embrace Samsung back as its best partner and then make Samsung switch back the Magazine UI to the standard TouchWiz UI.

Back to Top
The performance of this tablet will likely be similar with the 10.1-inch model of Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro or Note Pro – given their similar spec sheet.

It still carries the same Snapdragon 800 processor with the clock speed of 2.3GHz per core, the same Adreno 330 GPU, but the RAM is getting bumped up to 3GB (from the previous 2GB on Samsung GALAXY Tab and Note 10.1).

So even with that highest-resolution screen, the overall performance of this tablet will be blazing fast, the experience will be fluid and smooth, and the most importantly, there will be no lag whatsoever.

And that’s not surprising given that Snapdragon 800 is one of the best mobile processors on the market today – alongside Apple’s 64-bit A7 chipset or Tegra 4 with its staggering 72-core GeForce ULP GPU.

So for doing any basic tasks like – watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, using live wallpaper or editing videos or Office documents, this tablet is more than capable to deliver a buttery smooth performance, even all tasks at once, and that’s thanks to the 3GB RAM that Samsung has crammed into this tablet.

As for playing games, it’s also not going to be far different with Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 10.1 or Note 10.1 - of course the LTE models with Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330.

Most of the games - even the graphically demanding ones - will perform smoothly and the most importantly, in full high graphics.

There are many high-performing games that you probably would like to play on this tablet – like Modern Combat 4 (or even Modern Combat 5), N.O.V.A 3, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Need for Speed Most Wanted, GTA San Andreas or Real Racing 3.

Most of these games will likely run smoothly and perfectly in full graphics.

However, as has been told by some readers of this website, apparently, there are some newer 3D games – the graphics intense ones – like Need for Speed Most Wanted that is incompatible with the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

I believe the one to blame is developer for not updating its games for some specific tablets.

And given that Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 is a new-released tablet, not to mention, it deploys the highest-resolution screen (1600x2560 pixels) on its smaller 8.4-inch display (with the highest ppi), so i’m not really surprised when hearing that games like Need for Speed Most Wanted can’t be played on this tablet.

But hopefully, the developers will update and well-optimize their games for tablets like Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE in the near future.

But basically, with Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 and huge 3GB of RAM, this tablet is just way too powerful for playing games.

With this hardware specs, any tablet will definitely have great gaming performance – no doubt about that.

And that goes the same with Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE.

This tablet is just great for gaming.

But then again, it also depends on several different factors – like developers’ updates for its games on some specific new tablets, the screen resolution of the tablet or the software of the tablet.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

One interesting fact about this tablet is, despite using the similar class of hardware specs just like the previously-released Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 or Note 10.1 LTE, Samsung decides to lower the battery capacity of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE.

If the Tab Pro 10.1 and Note 10.1 both get the same 8220mAh power battery, on the other hand with Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE, this tablet is only packing a much smaller 7900mAh battery.

I believe this has something to do with the technology that Samsung has provided on its screen and not to mention, a much improved power saving management, which gives this tablet a much longer battery life than other competing tablets across the market.

Samsung actually also did this on its latest flagship Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S smartphone that also has great battery life (in fact, the best on the market right now) – despite using a smaller battery capacity.

So even with that smaller 7900mAh power battery, this tablet can still deliver you 2 days of battery life in the row – of course in one full charge.

So for doing things like watching HD movies or YouTube videos, reading books/magazines, checking emails, listening to music or playing games – all in combined screen on/off time -, you can expect to see this tablet last about 2 days.

However, if you’re a type of power user and would like to use this tablet for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, its battery life could probably last around 8 hours to 10 hours. And this is more than great for a media-consumption tablet.

My Personal Opinions

Similar just like my impression with the 8.4-inch of Samsung Galaxy Tab S, i also think that this 10.5-inch variant still excels all other competing rivals around the market today, even the iPad Air – in terms of performance, hardware specs, battery life, camera, gaming performance and the most importantly, the display.

If you’re going to buy this tablet or you’re still thinking of getting it in the near future, then you must also be ready to receive a tablet with possibly the best looking display on this planet.

Yeah, that’s true – when it comes to display, there’s no tablet on the market today that could match the overall quality that Samsung has provided on this tablet’s display.

The other key points on this tablet are:
  • its camera that’s able to take decent quality shots (no doubt about that),
  • its hardware specs (Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM),
  • its solid build quality and more elegant design,
  • its fingerprint scanner,
  • its great screen technology and power saving management,
  • its great battery life, its TouchWiz UI
  • and pretty much everything on this tablet is just perfect.
So if you’re confused whether to pick up iPad Air, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 or Tab Pro 10.1, i suggest you to choose Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE given that it has much better specs than Apple’s tablet, Note 10.1 and Tab Pro 10.1.

Not to mention, it also has the fingerprint scanner, which is still lacking on iPad Air until today.

Meanwhile, if you’re the current owner of Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 or Tab Pro 10.1, you probably would like to upgrade your device to Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE because there are many things to be liked on this latest-gen device.

It has slightly larger display (10.5 from 10.1-inches), it has better battery life, it has gorgeous screen, it has the fingerprint scanner, it has more mature design, it has better 2.1MP front-facing camera (from 2MP camera on Note 10.1 and Tab Pro 10.1).

But there is one downside of this tablet – compared to Samsung Note 10.1. And that is the lack of S-Pen, which could be really crucial especially if you like using this stylus and its pre-loaded features.

So the decision is yours now to make.

Are you willing to sacrifice your S-Pen on your Note 10.1 with this no-stylus Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE in favor of getting much improved specs and new goodies?

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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