Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
August 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE Review and Gaming PerformanceHi guys, welcome back to this site!

In the past few years, Samsung has been getting a huge success over its tablet line.

Even though the oldest-gen tablets made by this manufactured were not really impressive and even looked inferior compared to Apple’s tablet, this company has improved a lot – in fact, significantly – in delivering the best possible tablets for its consumers.

And that’s proved by Samsung’s recent GALAXY Pro line – Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Note Pro -, which become new magnets around the tablet market to date.

In fact, many believe that these Samsung tablets are now more superior than Apple’s latest iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display.

And i think, that’s not so surprising for me given that Samsung GALAXY Pro family features some of the best hardware specs around the tablet market to date.

Not only that, given Samsung’s experience in the past few years, now this company is also more concerned a lot about the sectors that have always been scrutinized by the public on its products – and those are the design and build quality.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE benchmarks and gaming performance

Ever since Samsung released Samsung GALAXY S4 – which became the design inspiration for all Samsung’s latest devices -, now Samsung’s tablets and smartphones have way much better looking design than the oldest-gen GALAXY devices.

And it goes the same with the Samsung’s tablet that i’m about to show you right now.

This one actually kind of reminds me with the tablet series that Samsung just unveiled a couple of months ago – Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro and Note Pro series.

Not only does it have the similar type of specs with the Pro line (actually, this tablet comes with the same exact spec sheet with the Pro tablets), this tablet also comes with similar looking design with the Pro series.

Okay then, without further ado, introducing to you to Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE.

Just like i mentioned above, this tablet kind of reminds me with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro series - the 8.4-inch model of course.

I actually think that Samsung uses that Pro tablet as the core concept when making this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE.

It has the similar spec sheet, it has the similar looking design and pretty much everything on this tablet looks similar with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

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

By looking at the whole thing on this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE, it’s pretty clear that Samsung wants to aim its bullets at another market with this tablet, not the same one as Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 tablet.

There is a few things on this tablet that actually are different than the Pro model.

But we’ll talk more about that later, okay?

Well then, if you’re interested to get to know more about this tablet, including its gaming performance and how it stacks up against other 8-inch rivals, then here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE.

But first, as usual, before you go straight to the review, i just want to say that, if you feel this review is helpful and informative to you (hopefully entertaining as well), then it would be awesome if you could just spend some of your time to share this article to your friends or family by using the social media icons around this page.

It would mean a lot to me and this community.

Okay then, without further ado, here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE.

Introduction

When the first time Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro series came out, i was like – damn! all of these tablets look so amazing.

They have the best hardware specs around the market to date (like 2.5K display, Snapdragon 800 processor, huge RAM, huge battery capacity, great quality camera, better UI and many more).

Not to mention, all of Samsung’s Pro tablets have more mature and gorgeous looking design compared to older-gen Samsung GALAXY tablets.

But apparently, Samsung doesn’t have any plan to stop there to amaze its consumers.

A couple of months later, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series got announced.

Similar just like the Pro series (especially the Tab Pro tablets), this tablet actually bears a striking resemblance with some of the sectors on GALAXY Pro tablets – from their design language, their spec sheet, their display and pretty much everything on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is actually just the slight upgrade from the Pro variant – but we’ll get more on that later.

However, there are some parts of this tablet that make it different than the Pro series.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE Review and Gaming PerformanceTo name a few, its User Interface looks so different than the Pro variant, it now has slightly different looking design than the Pro series, and there are some other things that make this tablet probably a better version of the Pro variant.

Not to mention, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE now comes with that fingerprint sensor – which can’t be found on the Pro variant.

But the questions are, with all of these new goodies and some bumped up specs here and there under the hood, Does Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE deserve to be called as the perfect version of the Pro series?

Does this tablet have what it takes to be an iPad mini killer?

Is it worth it to upgrade your 8.4-inch Samsung Tab Pro tablet with this latest-gen device?

Design

When it comes to design, this tablet actually takes some of the inspirations from the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, given their similar specs and model.

I’m actually not surprised to see this happen because i already know that Samsung always uses its latest-gen flagship device as the template – if you would – to make the other variants of that tablet.

However, if you look closely at the design of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE, this tablet actually takes design cues from the latest-gen Samsung GALAXY S5 smartphone, not the Tab Pro series.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE Review and Gaming Performance
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE (rear)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE (side angle)

I think the reason why Samsung decides to use this design is because - as we all know already - Samsung GALAXY S5 is the latest flagship device in Samsung’s portfolio this year, while Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 was released back then in February 2014.

So if the GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 takes design cues from Samsung GALAXY Note 3 with those “fake” elements (from the fake stitching, faux leather back cover and fake metallic trim around the bezel), on the other hand with Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE, this tablet now doesn’t have 2 of those “fake” elements, leaving only the 'fake metallic trim all over the bezel'.

The other design change that Samsung made on this tablet is the rear cover.

Unlike the Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 with those “fake” elements, now the back cover of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE interestingly uses the same exact unique dot-patterned back cover just like the one found on Samsung GALAXY S5 smartphone.

I kind of like this design actually, although it doesn’t looks as compelling as the faux leather back cover of GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

But to be perfectly honest, i’m actually quite impressed to see how Samsung has improved a lot in its design department.

I think we have to agree that the latest Samsung’s Android devices now look way more elegant and more mature than the oldest-gen GALAXY devices released few years ago, right?

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  • 4G LTE 850 / 2100
  • 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
  • Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 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, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE actually takes a lot of “inspirations” from the Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.4 Pro.

In fact, by looking at the whole spec sheet of this device, it seems like Samsung uses all the same exact equipments and parts of Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 and crams them all into this Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE – no doubt about that.

It features:
  • the same 8.4-inch display sporting the same exact 2560x1600 pixel resolution (even with the same -359 ppi pixel density),
  • the same exact Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz per core,
  • the same Adreno 330 GPU,
  • the same 8MP camera on the back,
  • the same 16GB/32GB of internal storage
  • and some other similar hardware specs.
However, as the next-gen device, there are still some new upgrades and improvements found on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE – compared to Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

They are the external memory card slot – which is now able to handle 128GB microSD card -, bigger 3GB of RAM (as opposed to the 2GB of RAM on Tab Pro 8.4), the 2.1MP front-facing camera, new color options – from Dazzling White and Titanium Bronze -, slightly bigger 4900mAh power battery and Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS comes out of the box.

Speaking of software, this tablet now comes pre-installed with Samsung's usual TouchWIz UI - unlike Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 that comes pre-installed with Magazine UI.

So if you’re already familiar using the usual TouchWiz UI and its pre-loaded features, then you’ll definitely feel at home when using this tablet.

Besides those new bumped up specs and new color options, there is also one new goodie that Samsung equips on this tablet – which can’t be found on the GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

And that is the fingerprint scanner, similar just like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone.

This feature could probably be the reason for you to choose this tablet instead of Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 because fingerprint scanner can be really helpful for many things on today’s activities on tablets/smartphones.

With that fingerprint scanner, you can unlock this tablet, you can validate the payment to Google Play or other app services – PayPal, Hulu or Amazon, unlock specific apps and many other things.

So i think it’s great to see this feature finally arrive on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE.

Screen

In the display sector, there’s actually not much to write home about on this tablet.

It still deploys the same exact 8.4-inch display sporting the resolution of 1600x2560 pixels (with the same -359 ppi) just like the one found on Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

However, unlike the Tab Pro 8.4, interestingly Samsung decides to uses the Super AMOLED display – as opposed to the Super Clear LCD on the Tab Pro 8.4.

So as a result, the display of Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE now looks much brighter and the colors look popping up and well-saturated than on the Tab Pro 8.4.

I think this is a great decision by Samsung because this type of display is now considered as one of the best displays around the smartphone and tablet markets to date, and only Samsung has this display technology.

And given that Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is mainly intended by Samsung as a media-consumption device – unlike Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 that is originally intended as a productivity tablet -, then the experience of enjoying media on this tablet is definitely much better than on the Tab Pro 8.4.

User Interface

Interestingly, Samsung decides to go back with the TouchWiz UI on this tablet – which, as we all know already -, is the closest it can get to the stock version of Android OS (you know, the UI with standard Android homescreen, drop-down navigation window, app drawer, widgets, etc).

This actually contradicts with Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 that deploys Magazine UI – the UI that brings complete design and layout overhaul with the new and fresh tile-shaped UI - similar just like the UI of Windows Phone devices.

So if you’re already familiar using the standard TouchWiz UI along with its useful pre-loaded features, then you’ll be glad to hear that Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE comes pre-installed with the Samsung’s usual TouchWiz UI – of course with some new and much improved features.

The most importantly, the standard homescreen will go back to normal just like you’ve already come to love on your Android device (with widgets, app shortcuts, etc).

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When it comes to performance, then without a doubt Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE will be blazing fast in that sector.

Even though this tablet is still packing the same old Snapdragon 800 processor - with the same Adreno 330 GPU -, the overall performance of this tablet will still be similar with Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 – given their similar specs.

However, the decision of Samsung to use TouchWiz UI on this tablet really helps a lot in improving its overall performance.

Now this tablet performs much faster and smoother than Tab Pro 8.4.

So for doing any basic productive or consumptive tasks on this tablet – like for watching full HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing heavy web pages, using live wallpaper or using apps -, this tablet along with its processor are more than capable to execute all of those tasks in smooth and lag-free performance without any problem whatsoever.

And thanks to the 3GB of RAM (an upgrade from 2GB of RAM on Tab Pro 8.4), there is a huge space which you can always use to multitask many many apps at once.

Meanwhile, as a gaming tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is definitely a perfect device for that.

Thanks to the Snapdragon 800 processor - accompanied with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU -, there are many games that you can play on this device. In fact, all of the games that you see today on Google Play Store - from games like Modern Combat 4 (or even Modern Combat 5), Need for Speed Most Wanted, N.O.V.A 3, Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA San Andreas -, all can be played perfectly and smoothly on this 8.4-inch tablet, even in full graphics setting.

So if you’re still busy looking for a decent gaming tablet with the best display on the market, you should stop searching because Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is the best choice for you.

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

Camera

Similar just like on the predecessor, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE still comes with the same but much improved 8MP camera on the back – with LED flash and autofocus supports.

Interestingly, Samsung made one improvement on the front-facing camera on this tablet, which now is 2.1MP camera – as opposed to the 2MP camera on Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

Talking about their quality, then it’s really obvious that the cameras on this tablet are more than capable to deliver decent shots to you.

Samsung with its flagship Android devices have been popularly known to have great quality cameras.

In fact, the cameras on Samsung’s flagship tablets are on the same level – and even surpass – with the cameras on Apple’s iPads. So you can expect the same thing on this tablet.

Battery Life

Besides the improvement made by Samsung on the front-facing camera, this company also made one other improvement on the battery capacity.

If Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is equipped with 4800mAh battery, on the other hand with Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE, this tablet is now packing a slightly bigger 4900mAh power battery.

So the overall battery life of this tablet is probably much longer than on the Tab Pro 8.4.

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

If you’re not a power user and would only use this tablet in moderate usage – with screen on/off time combined -, then you can expect this tablet to last in one solid day or even more than 1 day – of course in one full charge.

Meanwhile, if you’re type of power user and will always use this device in heavy intense usage without resting the screen at all, then the battery life of this tablet could probably be around 7 to 9 hours, which is great and ideal for a 8-inch tablet.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, for me personally, it’s not that hard to recommend you this tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is just a perfect tablet.

As a matter of fact, if you’re okay with the dot-patterned finish on its back cover, then this tablet could be the best 8-inch tablet across the market to date, even beating iPad mini 2 by miles.
  • It has much highest-grade of specs (like 2.5K display, Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, 8MP camera, etc),
  • it has an amazing quality of Super AMOLED display,
  • it has great UI and rich features,
  • it has great cameras,
  • it has powerful gaming performance,
  • it has smooth and lag-free experience,
  • it has great battery life,
  • it has much better build quality and design,
  • and pretty much everything on this tablet is just perfect.
Not to mention, the fingerprint scanner on this tablet makes it a better option than Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4.

And if you’re into macro photography or if you love watching movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web or even playing games, this tablet has you covered.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE is a perfect device for all media-consumption or even productive activities.

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

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