Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Last updated date: August 15, 2019

DWYM Score

8.6

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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We looked at the top Samsung Tablets and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Samsung Tablet you should buy.

Editor's Note August 29, 2019:
Checkout The Best Samsung Tablet for a detailed review of all the top samsung tablets.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 67 expert reviews, the Samsung Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8"; 32 GB Wifi Tablet (Black) SM-T713NZKEXAR.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.1
9 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
1,514 user reviews

What experts liked

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 boasts a bright Super AMOLED screen with vivid colors and a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution that matches the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4.
- Tech Radar
November 15, 2018 | Full review
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 has bright and vividly colorful screen. Its rail-thin design is comfortable and ultracompact. It comes with 32GB of storage, a microSD card expansion slot and fingerprint scanner. Battery life is long.
- CNET
November 28, 2016 | Full review
It’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s svelte, it’s good-looking.
- The Verge
September 3, 2015 | Full review
Samsung also refined its tablet design even further, delivering a device that's thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad Air 2 (and that's not the only similarity).
- Engadget
September 18, 2015 | Full review
The screen was among the brightest we've measured and readability in daylight was very good.
- Consumer Reports
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 ($499.99, 32GB) is one of the nicest Android tablets we've seen, with a gorgeous Super AMOLED display, a more refined body than its predecessor, and a powerful processor for excellent performance.
- PC Magazine
September 4, 2015 | Full review
It’s so light that it’s almost like holding a thin plastic cutting board in your hands.
- Digital Trends
September 1, 2015 | Full review
The Galaxy Tab S2’s 8in 2,048 x 1,536, 320 ppi, Super AMOLED touchscreen is one of its biggest selling points.
- Trusted Reviews
April 7, 2017 | Full review
The Tab S2 is so compact that I had no problem typing with my thumbs in portrait mode -- something I've never been able to do on another Android slate.
- Laptop Magazine
September 1, 2015 | Full review

What experts didn't like

The beams of light are a bit distracting when scrolling and reading text near the bottom of the screen, and turning them off in settings doesn't help orient your fingers in the dark.
- Tech Radar
November 15, 2018 | Full review
Unfortunately, the luminous quality of the display comes with a downside.
- CNET
November 28, 2016 | Full review
But it’s the same processor found in last year’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, not the latest and greatest.
- The Verge
September 3, 2015 | Full review
Curiously, the Tab S2 also has a significantly smaller battery than last year's model -- the 9.7-inch version we tested packs in a 5,870mAh cell, compared to 7,900mAh on last year's device.
- Engadget
September 18, 2015 | Full review
The memory card was more difficult than most to insert and remove.
- Consumer Reports
The 32GB Tab S2 comes preloaded with 6.5GB of Samsung bloatware, like Milk Music, most of which cannot be deleted.
- PC Magazine
September 4, 2015 | Full review
It’s almost as expensive as an iPad. Lacks premium all-metal build.
- Digital Trends
September 1, 2015 | Full review
Not only is the device running on the out-of-date Android 5.0.2 version of Lollipop, Samsung also hasn’t provided a firm date – or even confirmation if – it will be upgraded to the final version of Android M.
- Trusted Reviews
April 7, 2017 | Full review
What keeps the Tab S2 from being an Editors' Choice pick is its below-average battery life.
- Laptop Magazine
September 1, 2015 | Full review

An Overview On Samsung Tablets

Buying a tablet these days isn’t like buying a suit. You only need a suit to do one thing, and that’s fit well. A tablet? You can use it as a workstation, a communications hub or to get your daily news. You can use it for video gaming, as a jukebox or Netflix viewer — or whatever else will keep your kids quiet in the back seat on long car rides. Clearly, one size does not fit all.

That’s just the beginning of its applications, but Samsung Galaxy tablets have been around since 2010 for a reason.  Even their budget models can do quite a bit without breaking the bank, thanks to their versatile Android operating system and open-door policy when it comes to apps.

Among those budget models, Samsung’s Galaxy type A and E tabs are a good example of what you can expect for the low end of their pricing scale. The Tab E series was first released in 2015 as a no-frills tablet that allowed users to customize as they wish from the Google Play stores a vast array of apps.

The Tab A series, released the same year, has gone through a few different updates and size configurations. It’s a mid-range model, but it does come with one big, distinctive perk: free, built-in versions of the Microsoft Office suite, including useful software like Word, PowerPoint and Excel. If you’re looking for a work tablet, that asset alone makes the Tab A pretty tempting.

No matter which model you get, there are certain handy features you can expect. In the Galaxy versus iPad debate, the Samsung Galaxy’s expandable memory often comes up as an advantage, and it’s a big one if you plan on storing lots of media or playing a lot of technologically demanding games. While some iPads may have bigger internal memory (especially in the more recent generations), they’re largely limited to the cap you see on the box. With most Galaxy tablets, you have the option to add up to to 128 GB of storage on a microSD card. Mind you, the SD cards are typically not included, but it’s good to have the option if you need it.

Another big difference between tablets on the Android OS (such as Galaxy) and Apple products is the marketplace for apps. On your Galaxy tablet, you’ll be shopping for apps on Google Play, as opposed to Apple’s App Store. And while you’ll find a lot of the same apps on both of them, there’s a somewhat wider variety on the Google Play. You might not care about or even notice the difference, unless you happen to be a former iPad user. Certain apps are not usable across different operating systems, and one big example is their primary media player. Movies bought on Google Play can be used on iPhone if you have that app, but the same can’t be said in reverse for movies bought on Apple’s iTunes store. Without some serious hacking, you won’t be able to view iTunes content on your Galaxy tablet.

Galaxy tablets do sport some other nice proprietary features, depending on the model, like their multi-user mode that saves different log-ins for different people, along with their particular set of apps and documents — a big plus for larger families. Some also have a multi-window option that lets you open two compatible apps side by side, which gives the tablet a smidgen of laptop-lite capability.

In general, though, you can count on Samsung’s tablets to be highly customizable. The more tweaking you put into it, the more productivity you’re likely to get out.

The Samsung Tablet Buying Guide

  • Half the point of having a tablet is portability. You want to be able to use it anywhere, so make sure to check that your Samsung Galaxy has connectivity that fits with your lifestyle. Most models are able to go online via Wi-Fi or mobile networks, but some Tab E tablets are strictly Wi-Fi. That may work fine if you’re planning to fire it up at home or in large urban areas, but be prepared to settle for offline usage on road trips or remote locations.
  • The first things you’ll probably want to do after getting your settings right is download some apps for your tablet. Thanks to the Google Play store’s wide variety, you’ll find no shortage of widgets, from the big ones like Facebook and Twitter to innovative indie games for you and the kids. But buyer beware! Google Play tends to be a bit more unregulated, and while you won’t have much to worry about from big name apps, there is some pirated, buggy or just plain malicious material out there in the far reaches of the marketplace. Be sure to check the ratings — especially on apps intended for children — and report any defective content. If you’re squeamish about purchasing an unknown app, check the terms. Many reputable ones offer a grace period where you can cancel your purchase in a few days and avoid the charge.
  • Planning on taking lots of pictures? Samsung Galaxy tablets come with front and rear facing cameras, and the space to play around with photo editing apps makes them great for home video. But if you’re picky about the resolution, check the specs for both the front and rear cameras. The most modern Galaxy tabs can get up to 13 megapixels on the rear cam, and while the 5-8 MP on the Tab A and E models may be nothing to sneeze at, it’s not likely to beat what you can already take with your smartphone.
  • Buying your tablet for a youngster? Samsung has a Kids Mode available on most older models, and it’s a great way to keep kids both entertained and in check. The app not only has dedicated games and activities, but you can monitor your child’s usage and set time limits for how long they can play. You can also move other approved apps under the Kids Mode umbrella and have them protected by a password. And while Kids Mode is free, there is one other investment that you should definitely make for younger tykes: a childproof tablet case.