Samsung is preparing to launch three tablets this year: the Samsung Galaxy Tab Advanced 2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A2. The most anticipated tablet in this trio is the Galaxy Tab S4 but for those of you on a budget looking to grab a newer Android tablet, then you may be interested in the Tab Advanced 2 or Tab A2. We’ve seen blurry pictures of both budget tablets appear on regulatory commissions but apart from some networking information, we haven’t learned much about these upcoming devices. Now, thanks to firmware files first discovered by XDA Recognized Contributor deadman96385, a member of the LineageOS team who maintains several builds for Samsung devices, we have obtained partial specifications for the 10.5″ Samsung Galaxy Tab A2. Interestingly, the firmware suggests the device may sport a dedicated Bixby button like on the Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and Samsung Galaxy S8.
Within the firmware files for the “Samsung Tab A2 XL” code-named gta2xl (which matches a code-name we discovered from our list of unannounced 2018 Samsung devices revealed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s Android Oreo framework), the Tab A2 XL is explicitly stated to support a “wink_key.” Examining the firmware of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and Samsung Galaxy S9 reveal that “wink_key” is the code-name for the Bixby button. Hence, we speculate that the device may sport a dedicated Bixby button like the current and previous generation Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphones. Numerous Samsung devices are compatible with Samsung Bixby, though the available services will vary on the device. We assume that if the device ends up having a dedicated button for the virtual assistant that it’ll support at least Bixby Home and Voice but maybe not Bixby Vision like on the flagship Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 8, or Galaxy S8. Unfortunately, we can neither confirm what Bixby services the device will support nor can we corroborate this finding with the (blurry) regulatory pictures that have appeared online this week.
Pictures of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A2 XL taken from FCC filings.
The firmware files reveal that the device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 system-on-chip like the rumored Samsung Galaxy J6+/Samsung Galaxy On6+. The device will have the TV101WUM display panel, though interestingly information online states that this is a 10.1″ 1920×1200 LCD panel whereas the recent regulatory filings state that the device will have a 10.5″ panel. We aren’t entirely sure what’s behind the discrepancy, but the official firmware files that’ll be available on release should clear up exactly what display panel this device will have.
We have put together a specification table based on our findings from within the firmware files as well as information already revealed via certification filings (via TabletMonkeys). There were mentions of multiple regional models of this device including one for Sprint in the U.S., Verizon Wireless in the U.S., an LTE model for the Middle East, an LTE model for Turkey, an LTE model for Europe, and of course a Wi-Fi only model. We don’t know when the device will launch nor do we know what it will cost, but if we learn more information we’ll follow up with another article.
Unlocked European LTE variant
Sprint LTE variant
Verizon LTE variant
Unlocked Middle East LTE variant
Turkey LTE variant
Wi-Fi only version
*The pictures submitted to the FCC clearly show that the device will not have a physical home button. It’s unclear where the fingerprint scanner will be placed if it exists. The firmware states that the device has a scanner, but it does not reveal its location.