While Android dominates the smartphone market, the same can’t be said for the tablet market, where Apple’s iPad still rules over any particular Android tablet. For many years, Android tablets have failed for numerous reasons, including an inferior display, substandard build or less powerful specs. But last year’s Galaxy Tab S marked a change in this.
Instead of the above issues, we had a tablet that was inspired by the Galaxy S5 and sadly, took both the good and the bad from Samsung’s smartphone flagship. It wasn’t perfect, but, in my opinion, it was one of the best Android tablets ever made, so talk of the Galaxy Tab S2 has me excited.
The leaked press render shows a tablet that continues the trend and is inspired by the Galaxy S flagship, and, with the Galaxy S6/Edge offering one of the best smartphone experiences yet, there’s hope for the next Tab S. Having used the original Galaxy Tab S 8.4 since August last year, here’s five Galaxy S6/Edge features I think are needed on the Galaxy Tab S2:
Less bloatware and lag
I’m going to start with the biggest issue on the original Tab S and one that’s been largely fixed in the Galaxy S6: software. The software experience on the Tab S was so bad that 2GB of the 3GB RAM was always in use by the system and, as a result, lag was present everywhere, like on the Galaxy S5.
Fast forward to the Galaxy S6 and Samsung’s latest handsets have been completely stripped back. In addition to less bloatware, TouchWiz has been streamlined on the Galaxy S6 and Samsung’s in-house Exynos 7420 processor has been optimised to work with the handset. If the same experience came to the Galaxy Tab S2, it might just be the best Android tablet ever made.
There’s no denying Galaxy S6 (and arguably more so, the S6 Edge) is a sexy looking smartphone with a metal build and glass panels combining to produce a beautiful smartphone. The leaked renders of the Tab S2 suggests it will have the metal sides but is unclear on the whether it’ll be glass; I personally think they should keep the glass.
The problem for Samsung is that the company has so many tablet ranges including the Galaxy Tab A, Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy NotePro, Galaxy Tab 4 and Galaxy TabPro. Looking at these ranges, there’s absolutely no way of instantly knowing which is the premium range, yet specs wise, the Tab S has been arguably the best. Going for glass with the Tab S2 will instantly make the Tab S its flagship tablet range.
Smartphone cameras may have improved but tablet cameras are often reduced to little more than a mediocre sensor and I personally think that tablet cameras should be upgraded. From my time working with consumers, I know it’s a common misconception that the iPad camera takes great photos as the images look great on the display.
A common trend in advertising is for OEMs to make comparisons to the iPhone or iPad and by upgrading the camera on the Tab S2 – or even adding the Galaxy S6 camera if possible – Samsung would have an entire marketing campaign ready-made for them. Add in an outstanding display and the next Tab S2 could challenge the iPad.
Better QHD display
The QHD display on the original Tab S was one of the best I’ve ever used on an Android device, but the S6 is even better. If Samsung can bring the quality of the Galaxy S6 display to the Tab S2, it will beat any tablet on the market.
Yes it’s unlikely that Samsung will drop from QHD on the original Tab S to lower on its successor, but it’s about more than just the display resolution; the quality of the display and the viewing angles make a difference as well. If Samsung can make the Tab S a tablet you can share around in the family with excellent viewing angles, it would improve the possible uses and possibly justify a higher price tag.
In the future: the Edge screen
The concept of the Edge Screen on the Galaxy S6 Edge is simple: the curved part of the display can display a night clock, a stream of information – such as Twitter Trends or Latest News – or notifications including Edge Lighting when a contact calls. An Edge Screen on a larger tablet display would mean that actually, the curved display has uses for almost everyone; whether it’s notifications, information or just as a night clock, the possibilities are endless.
The possibilities are endless...
Having used the Galaxy S6 Edge for over month now, I can safely say that bringing a curved display to the tablet lineup is exactly the move Samsung needs to make. It may be highly unlikely but if they could add the Edge Screen without raising the price too much, they would have a tablet that might just kill the iPad.
So there’s just a few Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge features I’d like to see on the Galaxy Tab S2. The original Tab S is, even now almost one year later, still one of the best Android tablets ever made. But the next Tab S is a chance for Samsung to put the pressure on Apple.
Tablets have largely failed to live up to their initial expectations of killing the PC market and largely it is because the iPad has dominated the tablet market. Where Apple hasn’t really had to innovate – other than bringing the iPhone experience to a larger screen – neither have other OEMs, and the market is calling for someone to push the boundaries of what is possible with tablets.
Apple has pretty much kept the iPad design consistent ever since it first debuted in 2010 and the lack of premium build anywhere else has pretty much meant that no tablet has challenged it. Yet a Galaxy S6 inspired Tab S with the glass build would be a challenger and adding an Edge Screen would force Apple into innovating in the following iPad. This could then kickstart a new era where tablets actually become attractive again.