Samsung Galaxy Tab S5 leaks and rumors are already starting to circulate, and we may be several months away from the announcement of the new tablet. Before that day comes, we want to keep track of all the bits of information we've heard and all of the hopes and expectations we have for the future Galaxy Tab S5.
It's been less than a year since Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab S4, so it may still be early to start wishing for a Galaxy Tab S5. To hold us over, Samsung did launch a more budget-focused Galaxy Tab S5e back in February, though the new tablet has taken more than two months to actually release in stores.
It's also worth noting that the Galaxy Tab S5e isn't the full Galaxy Tab S5we're expecting. It offers a slimmer, lighter design and can come configured with up to 6GB of RAM, but it has no S Pen and uses a mid-tier chipset. That may be why the Galaxy Tab S4 still costs over 50% more than the Galaxy Tab S5e.
So, with the Galaxy Tab S5e not serving as a true successor to the Tab S4, here's what we want to see from the real heir to the Tab S family throne.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung's next premium Android tablet
- When is it out? Likely in August 2019
- What will it cost? Likely more than the $650 (£599) launch price of the Tab S4
Price and release date
We've only got a little to go on in this department, but history can be a decent indicator. The Galaxy Tab S4 launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9 in August 2018. So, the new tablet will presumably launch alongside a new phone once again.
We anticipate an August launch for the Galaxy Note 10, and therefore expect the Galaxy Tab S5 in August as well. In terms of price, the Tab S5 will likely launch in the ballpark of $650 (£599) at a minimum. This was the launch price of the Galaxy Tab S4. But, if Samsung includes some of the upgrades we hope to see in the Galaxy Tab S5, the price could go up a considerable amount.
Some screen upgrades
Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 did upgrade the display from the Tab S3, but the Tab S5 could stand to go even further.
The Tab S4 has a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED displays with 2560x1600 resolutions.For the front of the Galaxy Tab S5e, Samsung managed to stuff that same 10.5-inch display from the Galaxy Tab S4 into a frame that it smaller in every dimension. That makes them plenty sharp, and in that regard, the Galaxy Tab S5 doesn't really need to make any improvements to still offer excellent visual clarity.
But, even with the newly reduced bezels on the Galaxy Tab S5e, there's still a considerable amount more needless black border on the 2018 tablet than on Samsung's new, premium smartphones.
With the Galaxy Tab S5, it would be exciting to see a bit more screen filling the space. Samsung could theoretically fit an 11.5-inch display in the same form factor as the Galaxy Tab S5e, and that would leave almost no bezel.
A bezel-free Galaxy Tab S5 would also help resolve one of our main complaints with the Tab S5e, its bland design. And, while Samsung's at it, the in-screen fingerprint scanner from the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus would be nice to see.
Support for new HDR standards, please
While this is technically still a matter of the screen (to a degree), we feel the high dynamic range on the Galaxy Tab series should be explained more clearly.
Samsung doesn't provide many details when it comes to HDR on its tablets. Sure, they get sharp, Super AMOLED displays that can display great visuals, but as more and more content is getting the HDR treatment, it would be good to see a full commitment to new HDR standards from Samsung on some of its biggest OLED displays.
That Galaxy Tab S4 has a screen that Samsung lists as "HDR-ready," and the Tab S3 product page listed HDR support but only for video on the Amazon app. The Galaxy Tab S5e having what appears to be the same display as the S4 is presumably also HDR-ready, but what this means for users is unclear.
If you go to the main product pages for the Tab S5e, you won't find any mention of HDR for the display, and the Tab S4 doesn't say anything more than HDR-ready. Meanwhile, if you check Samsung's latest phones' product page, you'll see clear certification for HDR10+ on all four models.
The large tablet display of the Galaxy Tab S5 would make it an ideal platform for content consumption, and official support for the new standards in HDR like HDR10+ or even Dolby Vision would be an excellent improvement. Better still if that support isn't limited to just a few apps.
The latest Qualcomm chipset
When the Galaxy Tab S4 launched, it didn't get the latest chipset at the time, opting instead for the Snapdragon 835 over the the Snapdragon 845. For a tablet that could be used for productivity, seeing an outdated chipset is not exciting, as it just means everything will be that little bit slower. And, the Galaxy Tab S5e didn't even get a high-end chipset, with Samsung going for the mid-tier Snapdragon 670 instead.
So, for the Galaxy Tab S5, we hope the Snapdragon 855 will be powering everything. And, in the tablet form factor, maybe an advanced cooling solution can be applied to help the CPU run even faster than it does in phones, perhaps by means of overclock as the Asus ROG Phone does. Topping it off with 8GB of RAM would also be helpful for multitasking.
The Snapdragon 855 chipset would also open up the door for a number of other features, like an in-screen fingerprint scanner, HDR10 video capture, HDR10+ video playback, 10-bit color, and support for dual-4K external displays.
The return of S Pen and Dex
There are two features we fully expect to see come back with the Galaxy Tab S5.
Samsung's S Pen is a staple of the tablet family, yet it was excluded from the Galaxy Tab S5e. Not only was it not included with purchases of that tablet, but it isn't supported for users who buy it separately.
For the Galaxy Tab S5, we believe the S Pen will be back with some new flourish. The Galaxy Tab S4 launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9 with upgrades to the S Pen, if the Galaxy Tab S5 indeed launches alongside the Galaxy Note 10, the pair may tout even more S Pen upgrades, like a built-in camera.
We also expect Samsung's Dex feature to come back with the Tab S5. It was also excluded from the Tab S5e, but for a more premium device like the Galaxy Tab S5, Samsung should include its desktop-like Dex experience for users that want to be productive on their tablet.
The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have considerably large batteries for smartphones, so Samsung included a nifty feature first introduced by Huawei: the ability to wirelessly share your phone's battery. Samsung calls it Wireless PowerShare.
Given that the Galaxy Tab S5 will have a substantially larger battery than Samsung's phones, it could make sense to offer that same feature here. This would let the the Tab S5 serve as a tablet and on-the-go wireless battery bank.
5G and Wi-Fi 6
Connectivity is seeing some big shifts right now, and it would benefit customers to get a little future-proofing from their premium tablet in that regard.
Wi-Fi 6 is a new standard for connectivity that supports higher performance, faster speeds, and more connected devices. With networks are becoming more congested, it only makes sense for the Tab S5 to be prepared for the latest network standard.
On that note, 5G may also be a smart optional feature, even if it's only for Samsung to get 'first 5G tablet' bragging rights. Not everyone is going to need 5G in 2019 or even 2020, but as mobile carrier's roll-out of the new technology you may benefit from the extra bandwidth – eventually.
If Samsung includes the Snapdragon 855 chipset, it could also include a 5G modem. As with most other tablets, adding a cellular connectivity option tends to bump the price up, and a 5G option would likely be a considerable bump compared to just 4G LTE connectivity. But, it may be worth it for some.
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