Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review

This ultra-light Android tablet is an iPad challenger

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 takes some cues from the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 with a slimmer and lighter profile, but it doesn't quite inherit the same internal hardware.

At the heart of the new tablet duo is Samsung's Exynos 7 5433 octa-core System-on-a-Chip that combines another 1.9GHz quad-core processor with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.

Clock speeds are the same as the last-generation Galaxy Tab S and don't reach the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 performance levels, but its ARM-based cores have been upgraded in a year's time.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review

The same applies to the graphics chip and RAM found inside the Galaxy Tab S2. It has a Mali T760MP6 GPU that's new to the Samsung tablet line, but that's still a step behind its phones. The RAM remains 3GB of LPDDR3, instead of the 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM in the Note 5.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 shows performance gains over last year's tablets, but its benchmarks trail the iPad Air 2. Running Android 5.0.2, its Geekbench 3 scores averaged a healthy 4,077.

That means it's slotted itself right in between Google's Nexus 9 tablet with a score of 3,492, and Apple's iPad Air 2 with a tablet-defining score of 4,506.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

What's interesting is that, while Samsung is a bit clock-speed-shy with its tablet chipsets, Apple in contrast goes all out with its iPads. The iPad Pro has its highest-end A9X chip.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 topped the charts on our benchmark rankings, while Apple's iPhone line has always fall short. The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus stick have a new, but more conservative A9 processor.

The good news is that the Galaxy Tab S2 is still a snappy performer when TouchWiz doesn't bog down the interface, and the operating system consistently stays out of the way here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review

Internal storage

Better yet, Samsung makes a fair trade-off with the internal storage specs. All of Apple's devices begin with 16GB of storage for the same (and at some stores, cheaper) price as Samsung's 32GB phones and tablets.

That's more important to many file-hoarding consumers who have gigabytes worth of music, photos and apps stored locally, than a tablet that ekes out a win when it comes to processor performance under pressure.