Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7"
A lightweight, powerful tablet that rivals the iPad for less. A superb option.
If you’re looking for an absolutely top notch tablet that’s up there with the iPad in terms of power and features – although not in price – then UK buyers really have to take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.
There are a few options for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. There’s a Wi-Fi only 8-inch screen option, a 4G 8-inch option, a 9.7-inch Wi-Fi only option, and this – the 4G 9.7 inch version (which also has a Wi-Fi feature). All of them are amongst the very best tablets you can buy, competing with Apple in a way no other tablet company has even gotten close. It may not be as beautifully-designed as an iPad, but its metal frame with matte-black vulcanised plastic back, and cool Gorilla Glass front, still look pretty sleek, and it has a higher-end feel to it than any other Samsung tablet. It comes with 32 GB of internal storage, and if you feel that won’t be enough for all your music, apps, and video downloads then we suggest investing in a 128 GB microSD card. Mercifully Samsung – unlike Apple – have provided a slot for just this purpose. When you initially set the Galaxy Tab up you can train it to recognise your fingerprints, and thereafter it will always ask for a print before unlocking – great for security and your peace of mind.
There are so many great features but chief amongst them is the incredible Super AMOLED screen. It’s so bright you can easily use it outdoors in harsh sunlight, while the colours look so gorgeous you’ll love watching movies on this tablet. The inbuilt speakers are surprisingly potent too, delivering a well-balanced audio performance to almost match the picture quality. If you enjoy taking photos then you’ll love the 8 MP rear-facing main camera – which is so sharp you won’t need your mobile’s camera while on holiday, and with the 9.7” screen you can instantly see all the glorious detail in your recent shots.
You’ll be quietly impressed with the Galaxy Tab S2’s battery performance. If you wish to use it solely for playing MP3s you’ll get 71 hours before needing a recharge, while you also get 14 hours of solid video playback and eight hours of web browsing. As this is also a 4G model it supports fast mobile broadband Internet at around five times the speed of 3G services, so you can check your emails and stream videos while out and about – something the Wi-Fi-only model can’t offer. Finally, with an Octa-core processor and 3 GB of RAM this is an incredibly powerful device that won’t let you down no matter how much you punish it with excessive multitasking and processor-hungry apps. It’s built to withstand serious use and this makes it one of the very best tablets you can buy.
- Nice and light
- Great processor
- Long battery life
- Not as beautiful as an iPad
- Android 5.0.2 is a little out of date now
- Not the cheapest
Why you should buy it: If you want raw power and unbelievable features, aren’t fussed about aluminium unibodies and don’t want to fork out the extra cash for an iPad – then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is the tablet for you.