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Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and 8.0: specs and release date

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung reveals the successor to our favourite Android tablet yet

Samsung has revealed full details of two new flagship Android tablets: the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and 8.0. We described the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 as “the best 10in Android tablet” when we reviewed it last year, largely thanks to its superb screen, but Samsung has made significant changes to this year’s model. 

Aside from the slight drop in screen size, Samsung has changed the aspect ratio of the screen. The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 had a widescreen 2,560×1,080 display, whereas the new S2 9.7 has a 2,048×1,536 resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio – the exact same resolution as the iPad Air 2. The 8in version of the tablet shares the exact same resolution despite being almost two inches smaller. 

The screen pack even more pixels than last year’s models, then, and Samsung claims the new Super AMOLED displays cover 94% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut. The tablets also use a new Adaptive Display technology, which adjusts the gamma, saturation and sharpness of the screen based on the application being used, as well as the colour temperature according to the ambient lighting. Such automatic tools can sometimes prove more of a hindrance than a help, so we’ll be examining that closely when we get our review units.

If we had one criticism of last year’s Tab S range it was performance. Samsung has beefed up the specs this time around, opting for the same octacore (quad 1.9GHz + quad 1.3GHz) processor inside both models, plus 3GB of RAM. Both will come with 32GB or 64GB storage options, with the option to add another 128GB via the microSD card slot. 

The 9.7 will be thinner than the iPad Air 2, weighing only 389g (for Wi-Fi only) compared to the Apple tablet’s 437g. Samsung’s not letting Apple pull away with iOS 9’s new split-screen feature, either, with both S2 models allowing users to run and view two apps simultaneously.

Both models will also come with fingerprint scanners built into the home button. Following a deal with Microsoft, they will ship with Microsoft Office apps for Android and 100GB of free OneDrive storage for two years. 

Samsung has yet to announce prices, but says both models will be available globally from August. The tablets will be available in either black or white colour schemes. 

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