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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: Still a decent compact tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 intro
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £320
inc VAT

A stunning screen, but the competition has kicked it up a notch since the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 first launched over two years ago


Processor: Quad-core 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (+quad-core 1.3GHz), Screen size: 8.4in, Screen resolution: 2,560×1,600, Rear camera: 8 megapixels, Storage: 16/32GB, Wireless data: 4G (optional), Size: 212.8×125.6×6.6mm, Weight: 294g

Fingerprint Scanner

As with Samsung’s current flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, a fingerprint scanner has been incorporated into the Home button which gives you a more secure way to unlock your device, log in to your Samsung account or pay for PayPal purchases.

You can register up to three fingers per user and we found the scanner worked consistently provided you made sure you registered your swipes correctly. Using the fingerprint scanner proved much faster than entering pin codes or dealing with pattern unlocks and was our favoured method of verification. Samsung is expected to open the API to third-party apps, so we’re hoping to see it as a verification option in other apps in the future.


Around the back is an 8-megapixel camera complete with an LED flash to help with low-light photography which we don’t often see included on a tablet. Annoyingly, we found that the camera would refuse to use the flash if the battery was low in order to conserve battery, but strangely this was also the case if you then plugged the tablet in to charge, which was puzzling.

As far as tablet cameras go, we were actually quite pleased with how the Galaxy Tab S performed. The camera supports image stabilisation for both video and still images, which we found helped under tough low-light conditions and allowed for sharper images when slower shutter speeds were needed. There were also modes for HDR, Panorama, Burst Modes and Dual Camera, which allows you to use both cameras at the same time, which is a surprising fun feature we first saw on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Overall, the camera captured decently sharp images, with good saturation and low-light noise was kept under control.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 rear


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 really is a lovely tablet with a standout screen that beats both the iPad Mini 3Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and the Google Nexus 9. It’s thin, light, has good battery life and some nice tweaks to Android, and it’s also £50 cheaper than when it first launched a year ago, with prices now starting from £270. However, the competition has also dropped in price since then, and we think the sheer speed and more attractive, waterproof design of the £265 Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact just pips the Tab S 8.4 to the post. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is still an excellent tablet, but, despite its price drop, it’s no longer as good value as it once was.

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ProcessorQuad-core 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (+quad-core 1.3GHz)
Screen size8.4in
Screen resolution2,560×1,600
Screen typeSuper AMOLED
Front camera2.1 megapixels
Rear camera8 megapixels
Memory card slot (supplied)MicroSD
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
Wireless data4G (optional)
Operating systemAndroid 4.4 (KitKat)
Battery size4,900mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Part codeSM-T700

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