Samsung Galaxy S4: First Impressions

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is here and by the looks of it, it’s poised to give the iPad Pro 10.5 version a good run for its money

Samsung Galaxy S4: First Impressions

Earlier this month, Samsung announced its brand new Galaxy Tab S4, which the company claims has the mobility of a tablet and delivers the power of a PC.

While the market for tablets is not as robust as it was when Samsung released its first high-end Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab S, some five years ago, the South Korean giant firmly believes that there is still a niche for a new tablet in the premium segment, and the Tab S4 is, probably, testament to that conviction.

Here’s a look at some of the main features and specifications of this new tablet from the house of Samsung.

Body

With dimensions measuring 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 millimeter, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has a slightly smaller form factor compared to the iPad Pro 10.5 version, in terms of length and breadth, though it measures a millimeter more when it comes to thickness.

The front and back glass and the aluminum frame give the device a premium look and feel.

Display

One of the most striking features of the Tab S4 is its gorgeous Super AMOLED display, which, at 10.5 inches, boasts a bigger screen real estate than its predecessor, and, to add to that, it has thinner bezels, as well.

The Tab S4’s aspect ratio of 16:10 makes it long and narrow, unlike the squared-off 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad Pro 10.5, which makes it ideally suited for using it in landscape orientation rather than portrait.

The 78.6 percent screen-to-body ratio of the S4 is also slightly higher compared to the iPad Pro’s 78.3 percent STB ratio.

Platform and Memory

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo operating system, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 CPU, which is kind of surprising because you would expect Samsung to equip its latest tab with a Snapdragon 845 CPU and at least 6GB of RAM.

That said, the device does feel very fast and if the company’s claims are anything to go by, you should be able to open up to 20 applications at a time on this thing, which means it does have the memory capacity to handle the job.

When it comes to onboard storage, you can either go for the $650 64GB option or pay an additional $100 for the 256GB variant and, of course, you have the micro SD expansion option at your disposal, as well.

The Tab S4’s graphics capability is powered by an Adreno 540 GPU.

Samsung’s claim to enhanced productivity seems to be backed by the fact that it has brought in the DeX software over from the Samsung Galaxy S8 series and the S9, which basically means that you will be able to use the friendlier DeX user interface instead of the regular Android one, which, to be honest, is not very tablet-oriented.

The DeX software experience is a lot like that of a Windows desktop, allowing you the options of resizing your windows, having multiple applications open all at once – up to a maximum of 20 as mentioned earlier – and much more.

Camera

The Galaxy Tab S4 is equipped with a 13-megapixel autofocus back-facing camera with an f/1.9 aperture and a single LED flash, with a recording capability of 2160p @30 frames per second and 1080p @60fps, while on the front you have an improved 8-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 aperture.

Audio

The quad-speakers Dolby Atmos stereo system on the Tab S4 is meant to give you a more immersive audio experience; and, the good thing is that the device comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, as well.

Battery

Although the Galaxy Tab S4’s non-removable 7,300 mAh Li-Po battery seems to be an improvement when you compare it with the Tab S3’s 6,000mAh battery, it remains to be seen whether a bigger battery translates to an improved battery life or it simply compensates for the extra power you lose from a bigger screen and slightly more powerful internals.

Samsung says that the battery can be fully charged in as little as 200 minutes using the included USB Type-C 3.1 connector.

Accessory Options

Samsung is also selling a keyboard case for the Tab S4, which is quite expensive at around $155 but still cheaper than Apple’s smart keyboard which sets you back by a cool $170.

Another accessory for the new S4 is a dock that, basically, allows you to slot the device into it, turning it into something like an Echo Show on one of Google’s new interactive displays, which will show you the time, your calendar appointments, and it can also serve as an interactive photo frame.

While the above accessories come at a cost, Samsung has done well to, actually, include the S Pen in the box at no extra charge, something that Apple should learn from as they charge in excess of $100 for its Apple Pencil.

Color Options

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is being made available in two color options, the Ebony Black and the Grey Fog.

While the choice of color is purely a subjective matter, it must be mentioned that fingerprints are much more conspicuous on the black than on the grey.

The Positives

Some of the main pluses of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are:

  • Fantastic build quality
  • Great specs and performance
  • Gorgeous display
  • Decent cameras
  • IRIS scanner
  • Included S-Pen
  • Samsung DeX
  • Stereo audio system
  • Fast charging

The Negatives

Some of the areas where the Samsung Galaxy S4 does not impress include:

  • Lack of fingerprint scanner
  • A bit pricey at $650 (64GB) and $750 (256 GB)

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