Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Gaming Performance Review (WiFi only model)

Posted by B. Johnson
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Gaming Performance Review (WiFi only model)Hi guys, welcome back,

The very first time Samsung announced a bunch of Samsung GALAXY Pro series a few months ago, many people looked impressed a lot with this new tablet family.

Not only do these tablets have a more professional looking design than Samsung’s usual tablets, but these devices are also packing some monster quality specs that are considered today as the highest-grade specs around the market to date.

Those tablets are Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Samsung GALAXY Note Pro, ranging from the 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch and the largest 12.2-inch models for the Tab Pro series, while the Note Pro series only gets one new 12.2-inch model, of course with some bumped up specs.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 benchmarks and gaming performance

And apparently, Samsung doesn’t have any plan to stop there as this Korean-based manufacturer just unveiled another new tablet series called Samsung GALAXY Tab S series.

As the name of this tablet series suggests, Samsung Galaxy Tab S can be said as the tablet variant of Samsung’s latest-gen Samsung Galaxy S5.

And yes - that’s actually true because, at a glance, there are some similarities between this tablet series and the flagship smartphone – but we’ll get more on that later.

Anyway, earlier, i just showed you guys the LTE variant of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

Despite using the same exact spec sheet, there is still one thing on this tablet that sets it apart from Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. And that is their processor.

If the LTE model gets the treatment of Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 800 processor, then the WiFi model of this tablet will “only” get the Samsung’s usual Octa 5 Exynos processor.

Not to mention, all the graphics-related tasks on this WiFi model is now taken care by the Mali T628 MP6 GPU, as opposed to the Adreno 330 GPU on the LTE variant.

Well, if you’re interested to get to know more about this new-released tablet, then you should definitely check out my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 on this page.

Introduction

Samsung did a marvelous job when making the GALAXY Pro series.
  • It has more mature and more elegant design than Samsung’s older-gen tablets,
  • it has monster specs,
  • it has awesome features including some productivity ones,
  • it has great camera,
  • it has long lasting battery life (despite using a highest-resolution display),
  • it has great gaming performance
  • and pretty much everything on this tablet is just perfect.

To be perfectly honest - for me personally – i think one of Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro tablets – the 8.4-inch variant – is simply the best 8-inch tablet all across the market.

I even can say that this tablet is easily a much better tablet than Apple’s latest-gen iPad mini 2.

And that’s not that hard to take that conclusion given that this 8.4-inch tablet is already a winner when it comes to specs and features – 2 important elements that would give Apple run for its money.

Okay, I know – compared to iPad mini 2 – Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 may not have the same premium design and material just like that Apple’s mini tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

But even so, the design of Samsung’s tablet still looks compelling especially with its “fake” elements (fake stitching and faux leather back cover), which takes inspirations from Samsung GALAXY Note 3.

And that’s the reason why this tablet deserves to be called as an iPad mini killer.

The good news is, Samsung still wants to deliver another iPad mini killer in its tablet portfolio this year – especially when Apple is about to uncover the next-gen iPad mini in the next few months (probably).

The tablet i’m referring is Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

Similar just like Samsung Tab Pro 8.4, this just-announced tablet interestingly still inherits some of the core components used on that Samsung’s productivity tablet.

As a matter of fact, despite using a slightly different design and material, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 actually still resembles the Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 – of course without its “fake” elements.

It has some similar hardware specs, it has similar looking design and it probably has similar performance – given their same exact processor.

However, that’s certainly not the main reason why Samsung decides to out this tablet to the market.

There are some parts of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 that actually get bumped up to a much higher level than on the Tab Pro 8.4 – from its RAM, battery capacity, external microSD card slot, front-facing camera, its display quality, etc.

Not to mention, there are also some new goodies found on this tablet that Samsung didn’t provide on the Tab Pro 8.4 – like fingerprint scanner and 2.1MP front-facing camera.

So with all of these bumped up specs and new goodies that Samsung crams inside this device, will Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 stack up against other 8-inch tablets around the market?

Does this tablet still deserve to be called as an iPad mini killer when Apple finally released the next-gen iPad mini?

Is it worth it to upgrade your Tab Pro 8.4 with this tablet?

Design

As i mentioned above, in terms of design, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 actually kind of reminds me with the design of Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 – especially with the metallic trim all over the bezels, the rounded corners or the aspect ratio of the screen.

Well, that’s not surprising because this is how Samsung releases their newer devices.

I mean – if you go back to the past and see the devices that Samsung has released to the market, it’s pretty obvious that those devices took some inspirations from the previous-gen devices that were released in the same quarter or the same year.

Like for example is Samsung GALAXY Note 3.

After Samsung released this phablet to the market, this company then continued its device portfolio by delivering some other new devices under the flag Samsung GALAXY Pro series – Samsung GALAXY Tab and Note Pro -, which actually looked similar with the design language of Samsung GALAXY Note 3 – from the same fake stitching and faux leather back cover, not to mention the same fake metallic trim all over the bezels.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (front)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (rear)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (side angle)

It goes the same with Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

Given that this tablet just got announced a couple of weeks ago and will launch to the market possibly this July 2014, then it’s really obvious that this tablet will resemble perfectly or almost perfectly with the high-profile devices or flagships that Samsung just released earlier this year – Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

And that’s actually true because at the glance, this tablet kind of looks similar with the Tab Pro 8.4 – from the same screen specs (size, resolution and ppi), the same aspect ratio, the same metallic trim all over the bezels and much sharper rounded corners.

Interestingly, on this tablet, Samsung decides to ditch the fake stitching and faux leather rear cover found on the Tab Pro 8.4 (as well as the Note 3 and the rest of GALAXY Pro slates).

Instead, Samsung uses the same exact back cover design of its latest flagship smartphone - Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S – with that unique dot-patterned finish all over it.

Back to Top
  • No SIM
  • Exp. release 2014, July
  • Weight 298 g (10.51 oz)
  • - Fingerprint sensor
  • 8.4 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 2560 pixels, (~359 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • - Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • Exynos 5 Octa 5420 Chipset (Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU)
  • Mali-T628 MP6 GPU
  • Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat OS
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 128 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA, HSUPA; LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11, dual-band
  • Bluetooth
  • Infrared port
  • USB
  • 8 MP rear-facing Camera with autofocus, LED flash
  • 2.1 MP front-facing camera
  • Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
  • HTML5 Browser
  • No Radio
  • GPS with A-GPS support, GLONASS, Beidou
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • Colors Dazzling White, Titanium Bronze
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 4900 mAh battery
From the hardware standpoint, it’s really obvious that Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 actually takes some inspirations from the productivity tablet that Samsung just released a couple of months ago - Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

And that can be clearly seen by how the entire spec sheet of this tablet almost matches perfectly with the spec sheet of Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 – from their display size, screen resolution, pixel density, rear-facing camera and they even use the same Snapdragon 800 processor.

So i believe Samsung uses the Tab Pro 8.4 as the template or model in order to make Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – given their similarities of specs.

The good news is, despite taking some inspirations from the Tab Pro 8.4, there are still many things to be liked on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – compared to the Tab Pro tablet.

To name a few, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 now comes with bigger 3GB of RAM, slightly bigger battery capacity, higher 2.1MP front-facing camera, the latest Android version, much improved cameras, much bigger external storage capability for up to 128GB (microSD card) and the most noticeable differences between this tablet and the Tab Pro 8.4 are the new addition of fingerprint scanner and Samsung’s usual TouchWiz UI – as opposed to the Magazine UI on the Tab Pro 8.4.

In terms of performance, this tablet probably will be similar like the WiFi variant of Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 edition) – which uses the same Samsung’s latest Exynos 5 Octa “octa-core” processor, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU.

However, given that Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) comes with much heavier TouchWiz UI, compared to the standard stock TouchWiz UI on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, then this probably could help a lot in making its performance much faster and smoother than the Samsung Note 10.1.

But we’ll talk more about that later.

Screen

If we look at Samsung’s latest flagship devices – from Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 to the GALAXY Pro series -, then it’s really obvious that this Korean-based manufacturer has a huge supply of 2.5K screens in its factory – which are kept safely from other rivals like Apple or LG.

That’s the reason why there are not many tablets that have this highest-resolution display.

If i’m not mistaken, there are only 2 tablets that have 2.5K display (2560x1600 pixels) – Asus Transformer TF701T with Tegra 4 and Kobo Arc 10HD.

However, when it comes to quality, there’s no other manufacturer that can even match the display quality made by Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 features a Super AMOLED display sporting the resolution of 1600x2560 pixels with the pixel density of -359 ppi, making it the highest screen specs all across the tablet market to date.

There’s no other tablet that has this same exact screen specifications like this, even Apple with its iPads.

And the fact that this display is a Super AMOLED screen also makes it the best looking display around the market.

This screen looks insanely sharp, crisp, the colors look popping up and well-saturated than on other tablets.

The great thing is - even with that highest-resolution screen -, Samsung doesn’t compromise the performance and the battery life of this tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 still performs blazing fast and its battery life could still last more than one day – even in heavy usage.

And that’s thanks to Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 5 Octa and the power saving management that Samsung has provided on this tablet.

Speaking of power management – i believe this tablet will also get the “special” treatment by Samsung just like it did on its latest flagship Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S – which has this ground-breaking battery life technology and power management that allow this tablet to last much even longer than other rivals (despite using a lower battery capacity).

And that’s proved by many battery life tests that are won mostly by this phone.

So if you’re type of power user or hardcore tablet gamer, i bet you’re gonna love how this tablet could deliver you an outstanding battery life in entire day or two, even in heavy intense usage without resting the screen at all.

User Interface

Unlike the Tab Pro 8.4 that comes pre-installed with the new and fresh Magazine UI – which is exclusive only on Samsung Pro series -, on this tablet, Samsung decides to go back with the TouchWiz UI – of course with some new and much improved features.

So if you’re already familiar with the standard Android UI on your device, then you’ll feel at home when using this tablet.

The homescreen, the widgets are still there.

The features, the app drawer and the drop-down notification window are also still the same ones as before.

However, given that this tablet is now equipped with the fingerprint scanner, then there are probably some new pre-loaded apps/tasks that will be synchronized with this feature.

Back to Top
As i already said above, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 consists in 2 different variants – the LTE and the WiFi-only models.

And this is similar just like the other Samsung’s flagship devices that receive 2 different processors depend on their cellular support.

So if the LTE-enabled variant gets the treatment of 'snappy' Snapdragon 800 processor, then you should be grateful for having Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa on this tablet.

In terms of performance, the LTE model may be the winner in this sector.

However, it doesn’t mean that the WiFi-only variant of this tablet is gonna suck in performance.

That’s not true because Samsung has put a lot of work to tweak and improve its Exynos 5 Octa so it can deliver a much faster and lag-free performance to any device that it comes with.

So for any basic consumptive tasks – like watching full HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, using live wallpaper or editing videos/documents -, this tablet is definitely more than capable to give smooth and fluid performance to the users.

It goes the same when playing games.

As a gaming device, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is also a great machine for that matter.

Any games that you see on Google Play Store today, even the graphically demanding ones – like Modern Combat 4, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Need for Speed Most Wanted, N.O.V.A 3, GTA San Andreas or probably the next Modern Combat 5 -, all can be played in buttery smooth performance without any lag whatsoever.

And the most importantly, in full high graphics setting.

So if you’re still confused to find another alternative for Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display, then Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 can be a great option for you – while the other one is Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

It has much higher-grade specs, better features, better UI (of course depends on your own taste), better camera, better battery life and pretty much everything on this Samsung’s tablet is just better than Apple’s mini tablet.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (WiFi), including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

In the past few years, Samsung’s flagship devices have been popularly known to have great quality cameras that can even rival the cameras of Apple iPads.

And apparently, Samsung still wants to continue that tradition on this latest-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

It’s still able to take sharp and great quality shots that are not only worth sharing to your Instagram account, but also still look gorgeous and sharp on your large HD TV in your guest room.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 features an 8MP rear-facing camera, accompanied with LED flash and autofocus – which are really important for taking low-light photos/videos.

Interestingly, on this tablet, Samsung decides to bump up the front-facing camera to 2.1MP – as opposed to the 2MP camera on the Tab Pro 8.4.

So you can expect to have much sharper and better looking selfies on this tablet.

Battery Life

Besides the front-facing camera, the other sector that gets upgraded to the higher level on this tablet is its battery capacity. Compared to the Tab Pro 8.4 with its 4800mAh power battery, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is now packing a slightly larger 4900mAh battery.

So you can expect this tablet to last much even longer than Tab Pro 8.4.

Not to mention, thanks to the battery technology and power saving management that Samsung has provided on this tablet, this tablet probably could last more than 1 day even in heavy intense usage – of course in one full charge.

However, that also depends on which type of user are you.

If you’re not a power user and will only use this tablet in your spare time – or with combined screen on/off time -, there is a huge chance this tablet could last in 2 days.

On the other hand, if you’re type of power user and will likely use this tablet in heavy usage – like for watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, this tablet probably could deliver you around 8 to 10 hours of battery life.

But battery life of any device will always be varied depends on some certain factors – like the amount of apps that you activate at once, the activation of WiFi or Bluetooth, the brightness of the screen or the running tasks in the background memory.

So if you want to achieve that 2-day battery life on this tablet, you should definitely pay attention to these factors.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i would personally say that Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is still a great choice of 8-inch tablet – no argue with that.

It has the highest probably the best looking display on the market right now, it has faster processor, it has some new technology and power management (just like on Samsung Galaxy Tab 5S), it has great camera, it has great gaming performance, it has long lasting battery life, it has more mature looking design and everything about this tablet is just top notch.

However, if you ask me, i would probably prefer the LTE variant of this tablet given that it’s packing a more powerful Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU.

But that’s just my opinion.

So if you still want to pick up the WiFi model, it’s still a great decision.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (WiFi) is still a great quality device.

In fact, this tablet – along with the LTE model – is probably the best 8-inch tablet on the market right now, even much better than iPad mini with Retina Display.

This tablet is more than great for watching HD movies (given its gorgeous AMOLED display), it’s awesome for playing games, it’s stunning for taking photos/videos, it’s amazing for reading books or browsing the web - long story short - Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is simply the best media-consumption device around the market today.

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