On the Android side of things, Samsung is perhaps the only OEM that still believes in and is innovating high-end tablets – at least in this part of the world. Since most of us these days have access to big and small screens at home and at our workplaces. The most probable and meaningful use cases for Tablets are for when we are on the move – to consume multimedia content, or as a more work-friendly gadget than our phones.
The recently launched Galaxy Tab S4 addresses both of these needs. It has a gorgeous AMOLED screen and seamless Samsung Dex integration that should further add relevance to the form factor for productivity-oriented users.
All these innovations don’t come cheap, though. If you are thinking Value, you might very well score a last-gen MacBook Air for lesser. If you are looking for an awesome Android equivalent for iPad Pro that’s more portable than a laptop, read on.
We will discuss if the new Samsung slate is worth buying and more in our Galaxy Tab S4 Review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Specifications and Price In India
|Model||Samsung Galaxy Tab S4|
|Display||10.5” WQXGA (2560×1600) Super AMOLED|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa Core (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz)|
|Internal Storage||64GB ( expandable up to 400GB)|
|Software||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Primary Camera||13MP- (f/1.9 aperture) autofocus|
|Secondary Camera||8MP(f/1.9 aperture)|
|Others||USB3.1 (Type C), POGO, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, RGB, Proximity, Iris Scanner, Hall Sensor,Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS + GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO, S Pen (included), 4 speakers tuned by AKG, Dolby Atmos|
|Battery||7,300mAh, Fast Charging|
|Price||Rs. 57,900 (Rs. 5000 HDFC card discount extra)
Rs. 6,999 – Keyboard case
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Design and Build
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has a very simple and familiar glass body. The bezels running around the screen are symmetrical and don’t look odd even when you are using it in landscape mode with a keyboard attached. For a distraction-free experience, there is no branding on the front.
The navigation bar is still on screen and we will have to wait for the Experience UI 10 update for gesture navigation ( considering the size, those should work better than widely spaced navigation keys, especially in landscape mode).
The volume rocker is near the top right corner, which means it’s still accessible for adjusting volume when you are using Tab S4 in landscape or Dex mode. Then there are four AKG tuned speakers for rich, loud audio.
There are biometric unlock options like Face Recognition and Iris scanner for convenient unlocking, but they don’t work very well and you will be using the regular PIN/ Pattern mechanism more often.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Keyboard Case
While the S Pen comes bundled with the Tab, you will have to buy the Keyboard case or a Book cover case for Tab S4 separately. The keyboard cover is what you’d need to convert the Tab into a laptop. Or as close to it as possible.
The plastic Keyboard protects the Tab and hinges to it at an angle using gold contact pins. The keys are pretty cramped, though and it took a great deal of effort before we got used to typing on it. Also, there is no trackpad on the keyboard and you will still need to attach a Bluetooth mouse if you are seriously gunning for a PC-like experience.
The Keyboard also has a dedicated button to pop an on-screen one, just so you don’t have to struggle to find particular symbols, punctuation, emojis, etc.
The S Pen sits in the removable holder on the left. Its good to hold and should be a valuable accessory for people who need to draw on their screens for personal or professional reasons, but I didn’t find much use for it on the Tablet. Unlike the Galaxy Note 9 Stylus, the Tab S4 S Pen is missing Bluetooth capabilities, but that’s okay since it has been designed for a different set of audience (professionals).
Either way, this is an excellent quality stylus for artists and for people who need to sign documents, take written notes, etc.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Display
The Galaxy Tab S4 has a Full HD+ AMOLED display, 10.5-inches in size. The display is big enough to warrant a paid subscription for Office 365, and awesome enough for relishing HDR content.
If you scrutinize the screen for color accuracy and quality, the Tab S4 might not hold to the standards set by Galaxy S and Note-series smartphones, but it’s still a very impressive AMOLED panel.
We quite relished watching Netflix shows, streaming YouTube Content, and even regular browsing. The quad speakers further enhance the experience.
You can choose between different color profiles and the display is light on eyes with long-term use. We did notice a blue shift when gawking at the screen from extreme angles.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Performance and Software
Samsung doesn’t go all-in with performance hardware on its tablets as it does on its phones. The Tab S4 gets last year’s flagship Snapdragon 835 along with 4GB RAM. This proved more than enough for streaming multimedia and also for regular day-to-day work (with multiple apps open in the background), but might not suffice in the long run and won’t certainly help Tab S4 being viewed as an option for demanding or productivity oriented users.
Having said that, our experience on the Galaxy Tab S4 was perfectly smooth. We didn’t run into any hardware related hiccups even with multiple apps and multiple tabs running.
As for the software, Samsung Dex is the key highlight of the Galaxy Tab S4. You don’t need a cable to switch to the Dex mode on Tab S4. You can use a quick-settings tile or just dock the Tab on the pogo pins.
The Dex wonderfully emulates the familiar Windows-like interface with a taskbar that many of us are habituated to. You can open Android Apps, resize them, switch between them and use conventional keyboard shortcuts. There is one glitch though – very few apps run as intended on Samsung Dex.
Samsung is taking Dex quite seriously, but there is surely room for improvement. You can now connect Samsung S-series and Note-series phones to any bigger monitor using an HDMI connector to trigger Dex mode, and we can expect more developers to pitch in with optimized apps in the future.
In our time with the Galaxy Tab S4, we rarely switched to the regular mode. The Dex mode is the one we naturally stuck to and the one we wish would get better moving on.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Camera, Battery, and Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has a 13MP rear camera with 4K Videos support and an 8MP front camera with 1080p video recording. Given the large form factor, it doesn’t make sense for you to use the tab as a primary photography device, so we didn’t test the camera extensively.
The rear camera is good enough for when you need to quickly share documents or other relevant pictorial information and the front camera is good enough for decent video calling.
The 7300mAh battery on the phone lasts really long, more so if you are not using a SIM card. The Galaxy Tab S4 supports fast charging and the bundled charger can top up the battery in about 2 hours.
The tablet accepts both 4G SIM cards and MicroSD card slot.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Review – Should you buy it?
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has its highs and lows, but at the end of the day, it is one of the best Android Tablets money can buy. The Samsung Dex integration makes this a unique proposition, even over Apples iPad Pros. This is the most we have been excited about a tablet in years.
At the same time, we did feel like Samsung is holding back on performance hardware (especially considering the steep price), and the Dex mode still needs some time to evolve to meet expectations of demanding users.
At its current price point of 58K (another 7K for the keyboard), the Tab S4 is more of a luxury meant for people with specific professional requirements.
- Excellent Display
- Samsung Dex has the potential
- Excellent Battery milage
- SIM and SD card support
- Dex needs better App support