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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has officially announced the successor to its Galaxy Tab S tablet after numerous leaks of the device first appeared in May. The Galaxy Tab S2 arrives just over a year after the original was revealed and it will be available to buy from August.

What does the Tab S2 offer over the Tab S though? We have crunched the numbers and compared the specs to find out what has changed with the new Galaxy Tab S2 and what the differences are between old and new.

The Galaxy Tab S2 is slimmer and lighter

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes like the Galaxy Tab S, but the sizes offered aren't the same. The Tab S2 will be available in 8-inch and 9.7-inch options, while the Tab S comes in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch models.

In terms of numbers, the smaller Tab S2 measures 134.8 x 198.6mm, while the larger model measures 169 x 237.3mm and both are 5.6mm slim, which Samsung claims is the thinnest out there.

The original smaller Tab S measures 125.6 x 212.8mm and the larger model measures 177.3 x 247.3. This means the 8-inch Tab S2 is slightly wider but not as tall as the original, while the larger is smaller overall, as you would expect given the smaller display. The original models are also thicker at 6.6mm.

When it comes to weight, the Tab S2 8-inch hits the scales at 265g and the 9.7-inch at 389g, both of which are lighter than the 294g of the 8.4-inch Tab S and the 465g of the 10.5-inch Tab S. The new models also sport a fingerprint scanner.

The colours offered are also different with the Tab S2 being made available standard white and black options while the Tab S came in slightly more exciting Dazzling White and Titanium Bronze. The new models also offer a smooth rear while the original had a textured rear so the design has been toned down a little with the Tab S2.

The Galaxy Tab S has a sharper display but the aspect ratio has changed

Both models of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 come with a Super AMOLED display with a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, which is actually a few less pixels than the Tab S models that feature a 2560 x 1600 resolution.

The 8-inch Tab S2 will offer a pixel density of 320ppi, while the 9.7-inch model will be slightly lower at 264ppi. This is also lower than the original Tab S models that offer 359ppi and 287ppi respectively meaning the image detail will be sharper on 2014's model.

Aside from the drop in resolution, one of the biggest changes is in aspect ratio. Rather than sticking to 16:9 or 16:10 that's been common on Android in the past, the new Tab S2 makes a move to 4:3, matching the aspect and resolution of the iPad, amongst others.

This means that, although the resolution has dropped, the display is wider in portrait, making it more natural for reading things like ebooks. The flip-side of the aspect change is that when you're watching movies in landscape, you'll have wider black bars top and bottom than you did on the previous devices.

Same cameras but no flash on the Galaxy Tab S2

Cameras aren't as important on tablets as they are on smartphones but they are still worth a mention. The Galaxy Tab S2 features an 8-megapixel auto-focus rear shooter and a 2.1-megapixel front snapper on both models.

The Galaxy Tab S offers the same but with an LED flash, which the new models don’t appear to have so if you’re planning on doing any low light shots, the Tab S is likley to be more useful.

More storage on the Galaxy Tab S2 but smaller battery capacities

In terms of performance, the Galaxy Tab S2 has an unnamed octa-core processor on board both models made up of a quad-core 1.9Ghz chip and and 1.3Ghz chip. This is supported by 3GB of RAM and there are 32GB and 64GB storage options with microSD support for storage expansion up to 128GB.

The Galaxy Tab S also features an octa-core processor under the hood, made up of 1.9Ghz and 1.3Ghz chips and these are also supported by 3GB of RAM. The internal memory offered is less than the new model at 16GB but it does still offer microSD support up to 128GB.

Battery capacity has decreased for the Galaxy Tab S2 over the original model. The Tab S2 8-inch will have a 4000mAh capacity and the 9.7-inch model will have a 5870mAh capacity. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4-inch model has a 4900mAh battery, while the 10.5-inch 7900mAh so there is quite a big difference between old and new here.

Similar software experience

The Galaxy Tab S2 tablets will run on the latest version of Android - 5.0 Lollipop but you can expect the same experience from the Galaxy Tab S.

Samsung has said the new Tab S2 is the "most immersive Samsung tablet to-date", as well as providing users with quick and easy access to a wealth of superior viewing and productivity features. But this was the case for the Tab S too so it’s unlikely you'll notice too much difference in terms of user experience.

The Galaxy Tab S2 will come preloaded with Microsoft Office Solutions and two years free OneDrive cloud storage though, so that will be useful for those looking for a tablet to work with on the go.


Interestingly, despite the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 being an upgraded model, it doesn't blow the Galaxy Tab S out of the water when it comes to its specs. In fact, in some cases, the older model wins the point.

The Galaxy Tab S2 is slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy Tab S, but it also offers smaller screen sizes along with smaller battery capacities. The cameras are the same in terms of megapixels but the Tab S offers a flash while the Tab S2 doesn't appear to.

The display resolution has also taken a slight hit on the latest model so you'll get a slightly crisper image on the older model but as the aspect ratio has changed, you should find the Tab S2 better for reading. You will get more internal storage on the Tab S2 and the productivity software seems to be a little better than the Tab S so the new model gains a little back here but many things remain the same, including the processor.

Overall, it doesn't seem like you get too much more with the new model so it will more than likely come down to price and which you prefer in terms of design.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 20 July 2015.