What happened to the Android tablet market? Aside from last year’s Nexus 9, there hasn’t been a notable competitor to the iPad in a while. That’s a far cry from what we saw a few years ago, when a new Android tablet seemingly came out every month. Luckily we have Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S2 filling that void.
There are actually two Tab S2 models, one with a 9.7-inch display and one with an 8.0-inch display; we got our hands on the smaller version. Aside from screen size, however, there’s very little that separates the two models, as both come packing the same internals. That includes Android Lollipop, octacore processor, 8-megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB/64GB of expandable storage. The larger model comes with a 5870mAh battery, while the 8-inch slate sports a 4000mAh battery.
Otherwise the Tab S2 is pretty much what you’d expect, which is to say it’s your typical run of the mill Android slate. What’s different about this year’s Tab S2 is that the screen ratio has been changed to 4:3, whereas last year’s Tab S was widescreen. That seems to be the preference in the tablet space—something that will likely cause many to cry blasphemy and say it’s too iPad-like.
Some other perks of the Tab S2 include a fingerprint reader, which Samsung has become incredibly adept at producing this year. Next to Apple’s Touch ID, Samsung’s fingerprint technology is among the best and most accurate on the market.
At $399 for the 8-inch model ($499 for the 9.7-inch), Samsung is asking a premium for its small slate, though it’s no less than the Nexus 9, which is currently the same price through Google’s store. Check out the unboxing above to see the Tab S2 in action.