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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Hands-on

We were in attendance tonight when Samsung announced the new Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (full specs) at the Galaxy Premiere event in New York City, and thankfully after the presentation, the company opened up a fancy experience section where members of the press and a few Samsung employees were able to go hands-on with the new devices. 

Both tablets sport gorgeous Super AMOLED displays, featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1600. Both models presented were powered by Octa-core processors with 3GB of RAM, featured 8MP rear-facing cameras, NFC, are just 6.6mm thick, and run Android 4.4.2 out of the box.

As far as impressions go, I was actually quite surprised by both the display and thinness of the tablets. The displays are extremely crisp and bright, while the weight and portability of the tablets sets them apart from other devices in their field. It is almost unreal how light they are, and when you are viewing a high-res video, it almost seems hard to imagine how far display technology has come over the past couple of years for mobile devices.

Below we have full galleries and hands-on videos for the tablets. If you have questions, you know where to drop them.


Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 1 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 2 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 3 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 4 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 5

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 6 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 7 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 8 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 9 Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - 10

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 1 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 2 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 3 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 4 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 5

Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 6 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 7 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 8 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 9 Galaxy Tab S 8.4  - 10

Hands-on Videos

Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

  • Tommy

    Samsung has finally delivered a tablet equivalent of one of the world’s
    most popular smartphones—and given those who have bought that phone a
    few compelling reasons to buy a Tab S over an iPad.
    And if you have decided to become a proud owner of this device, perhaps you’re in the market for a solid and beautiful protection case as well.

  • Mordecaidrake

    So they now have what 4 different tablets in varying sizes? Note, Pro, Tab, and S?

  • hoosiercub88

    Does the outside seam bezel feel as ridiculously cheap as it does on the Galaxy S5? That was the only thing that threw me off from the S5.

  • SeanPlunk

    I’m excited for the 10.5″ It uses the same s-stripe sub-pixel layout of the Note 2 so it actually has 3 subpixels! I can’t wait to see it in person. It’s the highest resolution non-pentile AMOLED ever produced AFAIK.

  • Sjschwar

    the sony tablet z2 is both thinner and lighter. I also didnt hear any mention of waterproofness. “sets them apart from other devices in their field.” hmm..

  • MichaelFranz

    That 8.4 has my attention. Although I think if they release a Nexus 8 w/ LTE i’d go with that

  • Chippah

    I have had a Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 edition since launch and here’s my beef.

    The Capacitve buttons and “home” button on a 10″ tablet is asinine.

    Perhaps on a smaller tab tablet it can work but on this sized tablet the design is absurd.

    For instance, you are sitting on the couch and want to use the tablet plugged in.
    Wellllllllll,.. The Usb port is right at the botton under the bottons and the cord is right in your way.

    Your instinct is to flip the tablet upside down, Now your nav buttons are at the top of the device
    and backwards.

    Add a flip style case and its even worse.

    Want to stand up the device with a smart case while plugged in?
    You cant.

    Use the device in portrait mode.. buttons are awkwardly on the left or right.

    Even rooted, there arent many options to ADD nav keys on the device as development support is extremely limited. (no CM, PA builds, Etc etc. just modded stock.)

    The screen and battery life, i hope is better on this new model, because the 2014 edition battery life is medicore, especially for how heavy the device is. it hurts your fingers after a while holding it. (My sons old garbage ipad 2 easily runs circles around it in the battery dept and look how old that device is now.)

    The Screen is absolutely stunning however, And I would think AMOLED will Blow some minds.

    I agree with the other commenters here. Samsung is releasing a new Tablet like every week,
    Multiple processor specs, sizes, etc. It is totally watering down the market and absolutely killing any and all development as are there are simply too many variants to possibly be supported.

    25 different tablet models from samsung makes the end users suffer from the development side. (Which Samsung wants to be Apple in this regard anyway and their plan is working, they want no outside dev, Knox. etc) But also everything else suffers. Lack of Accessories. etc.

    They should have like 5 models total depending on size and needs.

    Ill Pass and wait for the next N10 or LG 10″

    • OnlyNexus

      Button Savior app in the store. No root required. Customizable soft keys.

      • Chippah

        OH YEAH! I forgot about that app. I used that years ago with a kindle.. thanks for reminding me

        • hkklife

          I don’t mind the buttons as the onscreen ones still eat up a lot of space (especially on a 7-8″ device like the N7 and so few developers are supporting immersive mode) but I really wish Samsung would use Galaxy Active (AKA “Droid X style”) physical buttons on their tablets. Much harder to press by accident. If you already have a physical clicky home button, might as well flank it by 2 similar style buttons.

          My biggest beef is the lack of ANY modern/compelling Android tablets less than 10″ with 32GB or more of internal storage + a microSD slot.
          Also, why are tablet manufacturers so sluggish to adopt new SoCs? This would have been the PERFECT device to debut the 805 on a few months down the road! At least they should’ve put in an 801 to differentiate it from the 8.4″ Tab Pro (arguably still the best bang for the buck in Samsung’s current tablet line. These tablets just beg to be gaming devices but they will a number of FPS slower than the GS5 and the upcoming Note 4

          True, we got 3GB RAM so I’d also have liked to see microUSB 3.0 support trickle down from the Note Pro and 12.2″ Tab Pro. Samsung’s arbitrary adding and subtracting of features drives me nuts. Finally, why do no tablets support wireless charging other than the N7 2013?

  • jamaall

    For the first time, I actually want a Samsung tablet. They did a great job with these this time. If I wasn’t already dropping ~$250 on the Moto 360 and since I already have a N7, I probably would have bought this.

  • jamaall

    I’m surprised its not called the Galaxy Air and the Galaxy Air Mini

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    • GJV

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  • M3D1T8R

    Wish it had front facing speakers like the N10. And of course the usual trash Samsung buttons and Touchwiz. But that screen, wow. Almost want the 8.4″ anyway just for that.

    Coming from a N7, how locked down are these? Is it at all feasible to root and run a stock Google rom?

    • Jordi Agricola

      Cyanogen will probably support it, and if the Knox counter thing hasn’t gotten any worse, you should have no problem flashing that and living happily ever after.

  • EZTV2

    Nice ! If use it watch movie ,that is too wonderful. Certainly connect with hdmi converter to watch High-Defenition. That is a word – Great ! http://www.hdgenius.com

  • Trysta

    Is the 8.4 version difficult to hold in portrait with those tiny bezels? I found the tiny bezels on the iPad mini obnoxious even with the software to avoid edge detection. The 8.4 looks gorgeous but I could see this being a problem maybe?

  • Samsung’s mission should be to make an operating system that works across all of their tablets so that they can update them all at once. Would solve a lot of issues for everyone.

  • santos

    why am not surprised to read the usual whine (why does samsung come up with a new tablet every week even if im not going to touch a samsung product in my life. or, but so many tablets how will the poor consumers know which one to buy it will be sooo confusing), get over it they want to make more tablets no one is pointing a gun at your head to buy them

    • crazed_z06

      It is getting real tired lol

  • Justin

    Any idea which processor will end up in the American version?

    • sj0808


    • Raghav Kapur

      Exynos -WiFi only variant
      Snapdragon 801- WiFi+4G LTE

  • Kurt Weber

    I feel like Samsung has a new tablet to release every week..

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  • ravenofdoom

    I’d like to know why they can’t get the bezel’s narrower on these 10+” devices. I’m assuming it’s a function/property of the panel and not a design choice to have more room for internals/battery (since that doesn’t make sense… you could just make the table a mm thicker and increase battery by like 25%)

    • d-rock

      This one isn’t that bad but bezel sizes are usually caused by buttons and inputs on the side.. That’s why the g2 and 3 have nearly no bezel with the buttons on the back.

      • ravenofdoom

        Yeah, and the rear camera. I want a tablet to be all screen – the physical/capacitive buttons on a tablet are stupid.

        • ravenofdoom

          hell, it’s a stupid design on a phone… Samsung does it half because it’s part of their brand recognition (dumb reason)… and half because they lack innovation in ways to reduce the bezel with new materials and design creativeness… it’s a lot easier to work with internals/battery/camera-placement, etc. when you’ve got room above/below and to the sides. LG went back to the drawing table with each iteration to figure out how to utilize every mm of space.

    • sergio garduno

      They have the physical buttons because Apple forced them to. Nobody to blame but Apple.

  • hines

    Looks promising and the screens magnificent

  • wtd2009

    the 8.4 is solid. so much available storage for $399. i might just pick this up in the fall.

  • Kayak83

    What differentiates this from the 8.4 Pro? I own the pro but really just want longer battery life.

    • r0l

      Looks like the screen is the primary and only major difference.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    When I enjoyed Samsung Tablet Deign. They stopped trying after the 7.7 with the metal back. I’m not saying Metal makes or break a design….but I was in love with this device. And look……………no home button.


    • CasperTFG

      Yep, no hardware button. Forgot about that one.

    • Raven

      This is a very nice looking tablet. I wish they would go back to something like this because I will never buy a tablet with a physical home button. So, no matter how awesome their screens may be, they won’t be getting my money. (I know they are just heart-broke.)

    • grumpyfuzz

      old tablet ui too… I miss that

  • Damian

    I just can’t get excited for Samsung tablets and I’m okay with that

  • QuadKore

    Really digging the 8.4! So I will be retiring my HTC One 2013 and buying the LG G3 when releasef and the Tab S 8.4. Sounds like a nice combo. 🙂 The hard part is waiting for my tax refund check to be deposited!

    • ROR1997

      Im getting the G3 too. I think I’ll stick with my iPad mini right now tho, only because a lot of my friends have iPhones so I can use iMessage and FaceTime with them lol. But if the 8.3 seems worth it I might pick one up.

      • QuadKore

        Yea I’ve have 3 Samsung tabs in the past…I really like their tablets. The S5 though is a different story. I’d go with the M8,G3.or OnePlus before the S5. The AMOLED seals the deal for me.

        • ROR1997

          They have nice tablets, definitely. I don’t mind a skin on a tablet as much as I do my phone. So I’ve never truly considered a Samsung phone since ditching the Fascinate.

  • M3D1T8R

    Looks very nice, especially the super high pixel density of that beautiful 8.4″ OLED display. Now if there is only some way to easily get rid of all the Samsung Touchwiz jank, I just might consider living with their terrible buttons and buying one of these.

  • Derek Duncan

    Does the 8.4 have a keyboard case too?

    • yeah, they both have the keyboard case optional accessory

      • Derek Duncan

        I can’t see this confirmed

        • Maxim∑

          Tim was at the event…

          • Derek Duncan

            I know tim was at the event but there’s no photo or anything in the 8.4 video that tells me it

        • I remember it being mentioned at the press event

  • ROR1997

    Ill wait for the “Galaxy Tab S Prime” that is announced in 3 weeks. Only question is, should I get the 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 10.1 , 10.2, 11.9, or 12 inch version.

    • Why would you think that a Tab S Prime is coming in 3 weeks? AFAIK an S5 Prime is not yet announced, and Sammy has never announced a Prime version of something until months after the original availability.

      • ROR1997

        Samsung releases a tablet like every week.

        If you bought every samsung tablet ever, one of the three little pigs could build a house out of it.

        And the big bad wolf wouldn’t even have a hard time blowing that plastic piece of crap house down.

        • sergio garduno

          1. It gives consumers choice
          2. Nobody forces you to buy every single one of them
          3. Plastic is not as bad as you make it seem, stop whining.

          • Quantity is not better than quality.

          • sergio garduno

            It’s not, but Samsung tablets have a bunch of very useful features that people whine about because “they don’t use them everyday”. Oh, but they also whine when there’s only the very minimum features. They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Therefore, their software’s good (if a bit laggy) and their hardwares great, I could care less about aesthetics, as long as it doesn’t look like a Galaxy Tab 7. Quit being so petty people and instead focus on what matters.

        • sj0808

          No they don’t

        • Jprime

          But he’d have a hard time getting in using the fingerprint scanner

      • Android_09

        The stupid is strong with this one