Last year’s Galaxy Tab S was lauded by numerous technology outfits and consumers as the best Android tablet of 2014. Unsurprisingly, speculation, rumors, and leaks regarding the follow-up to the original Galaxy Tab S began to surface several months ago. As we near the one year anniversary of Samsung’s solid all around tablet reputable leaker OnLeaks has posted an image on Twitter that may depict the Galaxy Tab S2. If any of you were hoping Samsung would bring some of the design changes that premiered on the Galaxy S6 to its upcoming flagship tablet you will be pleasantly surprised. While we don’t have any idea what the rear of the tablet looks like the sides and front of the device are decidedly reminiscent of the Galaxy S6; long story short it looks amazing.
The crowning achievement of the Galaxy Tab S was its amazing hardware. From the processing package, to the display, RAM, battery, and even the camera the Galaxy Tab S outclassed its competitors; especially the display, oh that beautiful display. The only real sore point was the design of the tablet. While it was thin, light, and had reasonably sized bezels it lacked premium materials and was unabashedly Samsung, meaning it stuck to a design language the company had stubbornly clung to since the Galaxy S3. The leaked render of the Galaxy Tab S2 suggests Samsung is finally moving forward as it has with the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy Tab S2 appears to adopt a metal frame with chamfered edges much like the Galaxy S6, except slightly less rounded, which is a good idea as the rounded edges of the Galaxy S6 might making holding a much larger device unwieldy. It will also apparently be unnervingly thin, rumors suggest somewhere between 5.5 mm and 5.8 mm. While we have no idea if the back adopts the glass panel found on the Galaxy S6 this is the one design change we hope Samsung decides to omit from its upcoming tablet. The greater the surface area of a glass panel the less resilient it is to cracking; it would be nice to see Samsung go all metal or adopt a premium feeling polycarbonate rather than glass.
The only other shortcoming of the Galaxy Tab S was Samsung’s overburdened TouchWiz; though much less offensive than its design. Samsung does bring a lot of great features to tablets with TouchWiz. Multiwindow is absolutely amazing when using a large screened device; every Android tablet should have this feature. However, TouchWiz on the Galaxy Tab S was much like TouchWiz on the Galaxy S5; it contained more than it needed and lacked an appealing design language. TouchWiz on the Galaxy S6 is a different story. It is much lighter and wicked fast because of it. Though the design still isn’t as beautiful as stock Lollipop it is more coherent and the theming engine at least gives you the option to change it to your liking. If Samsung brings the same philosophy to the version of TouchWiz running on the Galaxy Tab S2 they will have reconciled the only gripes many had with the Galaxy Tab S: design and software.
In late February benchmark test scores for what is assumed to be the Galaxy Tab S2 indicate the flagship tablet will come equipped with top-notch specs, in typical Samsung fashion. Apparently the Exynos 5 Octa, an eight core chip running at 1.9 GHz, supported by 3 GB of RAM will power the device. Though the Exynos 5 is not as cutting edge as the Exynos 7 chip found in the Galaxy S6 it is more than capable, especially considering Samsung decreased the die size from 22 nm to 20 nm after the release of the Galaxy Tab S. This change increases the power efficiency of the chip and in turn its processing power as the CPU will be able to avoid throttling itself due to high heat. However, some have speculated the Galaxy Tab S2 will in fact ship with the new 14 nm processor found in the Galaxy S6. It is possible that the 14 nm Exynos chip helped Samsung achieve the tablets rumored thickness, or thinness, as the power efficiency offered by the 14 nm Exynos 7 would give them the ability to reduce space needed for heat sinks and dissipation. Considering the benchmark results were leaked in February it could very well have been a pre-production unit. Our only recourse at the moment is patience. We will get all the details sooner than later, most likely in June, when Samsung is expected to reveal its flagship tablet for 2015.