Back in July, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Tab S2 tablet model. Without revealing an exact release date, the device maker did mention that there will be two variants; the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and the larger Galaxy Tab S2 9.7. The numbers included in the model's names reflect their screen size.
Featuring sharp, vivid displays, fast processor and noticeably slim profiles, both Samsung tablets are seen as direct competitors to Apple's iPad Air 2 and the smaller iPad Mini 3.
Both coming with 5.6mm-thick bodies, the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and 9.7 are some of the thinnest devices that the South Korean tech giant has ever manufactured. While they are not made with the metal-and-glass design similar to Apple's iPads, their metal and plastic frames still exude premium appeal.
The larger Galaxy Tab S2 packs a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1536x2048 resolution. That translates to a sharp 264ppi pixel density. Weighing 0.86 pounds and with dimensions of 9.3 by 7.7 by 0.22 inches, the new 9.7-inch Tab S2 is both lighter and slimmer than the iPad Air 2 which sports dimensions of 9.4 by 6.6 by 0.24 inches and weighs 0.96 pounds.
Under the hood, it is equipped with Samsung's Exynos 5433 SoC (system-on-chip) with a 64-bit octa-core 1.9GHz CPU and the Mali-T760 MP6 graphics processor. 3GB of RAM is coupled inside along with 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, and an option to expand up to 128GB via microSD. Keeping things powered is a large 5,870mAh battery.
The slightly tinier Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is furnished with a similar Super AMOLED touchscreen with 1536x2048 pixels resolution. The smaller 8-inch display makes it sharper than its larger sibling with 320ppi pixel density.
A quad-core 1.9 GHz processor is fitted inside with similar RAM and built-in storage as the 9.7-inch variant. The Tab S2 8.0 also holds a size and weight advantage over Apple's iPad Mini 3. The former is weighing 0.58 pounds and just 0.22 inches thick compared to the latter's 0.73 pounds and 0.29 inches.
Both Galaxy S3 slates feature fingerprint scanners and run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop by default. They also offer the same camera specifications; 8-megapixel main camera with autofocus at the back and 2.1-megapixel in front. It is worth noting that Samsung decided to remove the LED flash that had complimented the rear camera in the last generation Galaxy Tab S.
Interested buyers will have to shell out $400 for the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and $500 for the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7. Both prices apply for the devices' 32GB versions. Samsung said that there will also be WiFi-only and LTE variants but it is up to the telecom companies to release their individual pricing and availability. The major carriers expected to offer the new devices include AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile.
Consumer do not expect the two Galaxy Tab S2 model to become available until later this month or on October. However, it looks like US Cellular is already prepared to release the larger Tab S2 9.7 to its subscribers. Last week, the carrier shared a press release announcing when Samsung Galaxy Tab 9.7 will become available on Friday, September 11. US Cellular customers can put do not have to cash out anything for the device and are only asked to pay $27.50 monthly for 24 months.