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Galaxy Tab S4 Review – Key Specifications, Design, and More

Galaxy Tab S4 Review – Key Specifications, Design, and More

Galaxy Tab S4 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (review) is the best Android tablet you can buy. It’s pricey, but you get a stunning screen for the money.

Key Specifications

  1. Review Price: £599
  2. 10.5-inch HDR Super AMOLED display
  3. Optional keyboard cover
  4. Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  5. Expandable via microSD
  6. 7300 mAh battery, USB-C, Fast Charge
  7. S-Pen included
  8. Dolby Atmos
  9. Dex

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Design

  • Here a whole lot to like about the Tab S4. Though, its design and build aren’t on that list. It’s a design that works exceptionally well for phones but not so much for tablets.
  • My main concern is the glass rear. Not only do I fear that it will become damaged every time I put the device into my bag uncovered, but it’s super-slippery, even after only a few minutes of holding it.
  • Slightly oily residue on your hands will instantly transfer onto the glass, leaving the device a smudge-covered mess. The relaxed feel of metal is far more reassuring on a tablet.
  • At smallest, the device is thin and light. Slipping it in a bag will result in no noticeable weight gain.
  • And I could hold it in one hand while scribbling some notes without feeling any strain.
  • The rest of the rear is clean, with a camera and flash, Samsung branding, and a ‘Tuned by AKG’ logo.
  • My review unit was a glossy black, and there’s a whitey/grey version available too.
  • About the metal sides, you’ll find a volume rocker, standby switch, and a set of POGO pins for connecting up the Book Keyboard Cover, which is sold separately.
  • However, a USB-C port sits along the bottom edge, flanked by a 3.5mm headphone port. Easily the most significant omission is the home button, which has been a mainstay of the Tab line.
  • It’s been ditched here in favor of a larger screen with a thinner bezel, and it’s a good move.
  • Here very little need for a dedicated home key here, and in my experience, I haven’t found fingerprint sensors on tablets all that useful.

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Display and S-Pen

  • The display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is gorgeous, and it lives up to the iPad Pro 10.5 for having the most lovely collection on any tablet you can buy right now.
  • Samsung’s big victory over Apple is the use of OLED technology, as opposed to IPS LCD.
  • However, OLED is used in some of the best TVs we’ve reviewed this year and allows for perfect blacks and bold colors.
  • The panel is HDR-enabled for apps like Netflix and Prime Video and has a high resolution of 2560 x 1600. It meets all the requirements.
  • To watch movies on the go, there is nothing better. The colors are bold and bright.
  • The viewing angles are wide enough for a couple of people to manage them simultaneously, and there’s a nice touch of brightness.
  • I found myself increasing the brightness to 100% when in sunnier environs or on the train in the morning. Nonetheless, turning things down to about 60% will suffice indoors.
  • I’ve remained to switch between the Tab S4 and Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 for the past few days trying to decide which one is better, and it’s close.
  • The Tab S4 is easily better for bingeing on Netflix, not just because of the more punchy panel but also because the 16:10 aspect ratio is better suited to widescreen video.
  • On the other hand, the iPad Pro has a 120Hz refresh rate, scrolling, and scrolling much smoother.
  • I would also say that the iPad displays colors a bit more accurately to my eye anyway. As a result, editing the same photos on both devices in Adobe Lightroom CC was a better experience on the iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Performance, camera, and audio

  • Here are four speakers on the Galaxy Tab S4: two along the bottom and two on the top.
  • Separately has been ‘tuned’ by AKG – a brand owned by Samsung – and they can push out Dolby Atmos audio. Allowing the Atmos setting does result in a relatively decent faux-surround feel.
  • Though, it sounds a little fake and processed at loud volumes, tending to feel slightly tinny. At least a headphone jack is included.
  • Private the Galaxy Tab S4, there’s a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and, in the UK, 64GB of storage (some regions will get a 256GB option too).
  • A MicroSD slot is included so that you can expand that further.
  • Here in 2017, this would have been a flagship setup. In 2018 it felt slightly limited, though.
  • Particularly for the £599 price. 4GB of RAM is tight and leaves multi-tasking in Dex mode feeling unreliable.
  • I’m less dissatisfied with the inclusion of the Snapdragon 835. Though apps run fine, and even games such as Asphalt 9 are fast and smooth.
  • Get below to look at how the Tab S4 performs in Geekbench 4 tests compared to the Tab S4 and the two current iPads.
  • Cameras are far from the essential part of a tablet, and Samsung hasn’t done much here to show it has focused any time or effort on them.
  • Here a single 13-megapixel f/1.9 camera on the back and an 8-megapixel form on the front.
  • However, pictures remind me of those taken with a mid-to-low-end phone, maybe the Galaxy A6 (2018).
  • The colorful, with decent detailing, they get the job done if the environment is bright. And also, low-light performance is poor, and you’ll likely get better results from your phone.
  • However, the front 8-megapixel sensor is suitable for video calls – I used Google’s Duo app for this – with lovely facial details and sufficient brightness.
  • My review unit came with LTE/4G support, which worked perfectly once I’d added Three SIM cards inside.
  • It works for phone calls and messages, too. For LTE connectivity, you’ll have to pay an extra £50 (£649 instead of £599).
  • That seems a fair price, and I’d likely choose that option just for the extra freedom you get with 4G.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Software

  • Android tablets have always felt hamstrung because of the software. Android is excellent on phones but poor on anything more significant.
  • The lack of updates and support from Google has meant that it’s been up to third-party developers to try to get the job done.
  • Considering there don’t appear to be any tablet-specific featur in Android Pie, things look setting to continuing in this vein.
  • In an attempt to get around this, Samsung has plucked its Dex interface from the Galaxy S9.
  • Dex was an entirely separate UI, previously only available when you connected a compatible Samsung phone into a Dex dock and a monitor.
  • It would then let you attach a mouse and keyboard and use the phone like a more traditional desktop PC.
  • The Dex UI’s strength lies in its windowed interface, which means you can have a few apps open at once.
  • Being able to open Spotify and YouTube, along with Docs, Sheets, and a calendar at once, with them all visible, is truly remarkable for productivity.
  • A toggle enables Dex in the quick settings menu. Tap it, and, later, a couple of seconds, the Windows-Esque desktop will appear.
  • Sideways the bottom, you’ll find the usual Android soft-keys plus a selection of running apps and a taskbar incorporating the date, time, and other settings.
  • Here apps can be dragging anywhere on the desktop. Nonetheless, there’s no support for widgets. When you open up an Android app in Dex, it appears as a phone-sized window.
  • You can drag this about and open multiple windows at once or switch to a full-screen view.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Battery life

  • Inside the Galaxy Tab S4, you’ll find a 7300mAh battery, a decent increase over the 6000mAh cell from the Tab S3.
  • A fast charger is including in the box, via which you’ll be able to get from 0%. However, to 100% in a couple of hours. In our usual array of battery tests, the Tab S4 did well.
  • It went from 100% to 91% after an hour of HDR streaming video from Netflix, starting from a fully charged cell.
  • It lost a further 8% after an hour of standard HD Netflix video, and then 5% playing a video stored on the device.
  • These results are just about par with those achieved by the iPad Pro 10.5 running the same tests.
  • Where the Tab S4, and most Android tablets, fall is in standby time. Leaving the Tab S4 unplugged overnight saw a 9% drop.
  • The iPad Pro dropped just 3% at the same time. It means you’ll need to keep more of an eye on the battery if you tend to leave a tablet in your bag all the time.

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