Samsung today unveiled its Galaxy Tab S series of tablets, including the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 tablet which as its name indicates comes with an 8.4-inch display. The tablet brings an array of powerful specifications on board, which puts it directly in competition against Samsung’s arch rival Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display. We pitted the two tablets against each other to see which one beats the other in terms of specifications.
Design and form factor
Talking of the design element, Samsung has used its perforated back panel design for the tablet to put it in line with the company’s flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone. On the other hand, Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display comes with an aluminum chassis that adds to its looks and makes it look premium over the polycarbonate chassis that is seen on the Galaxy Tab S 8.4.
Ergonomically, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 measures at 6.6mm in thickness, which is pretty thin for a tablet, while Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display is 7.5mm thick. Weighing in at 298 grams, Samsung’s newbie will be lighter on hand than the Apple’s, which weighs 331 grams.
The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 flaunts an 8.4-inch Super AMOLED WQVGA (2,560×1,400 pixels) display, which is bigger than the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch (2,048×1,536 pixels) Retina display. While the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 offers a bigger screen size and higher resolution, the Retina display on the iPad mini’s screen is no slouch either.
In terms of performance, there shouldn’t be much to worry about with either of these tablets. the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is powered by either a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor or an Exynos 5 octa-core processor (quad-core 1.9GHz Cortex-A15 cores and quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 cores) depending upon the market. Apple’s Retina iPad mini too brings a powerful 1.3GHz 64-bit A7 chip under the hood.
The massive 3GB of RAM of the Tab S 8.4 is three times the iPad mini with Retina Display 1GB of RAM. Talking of the internal storage, the Tab S 8.4 brings 16GB/32GB of memory on board, which can be expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card, while the Apple iPad mini with Retina Display offers 16GB, 32GB and additional 64GB and 128GB variants, all of which lack microSD card support. Overall, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 will give you more memory space.
On the photography front, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 adorns an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, which makes it win over the iPad mini with Retina Display in this department, at least on paper. The iPad mini with Retina Display sports a 5-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel front-facing cameras.
The software is one of the major differentiators between the two tablets. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has launched with Android 4.4.2 KitKat wrapped under Samsung’s Magazine UI, which brings along a number of additional features and tweaks to the vanilla Android.
The iPad mini with Retina Display, on the other hand, runs the redesigned iOS 7.1, however will soon be upgradable to iOS 8 which was unveiled earlier this month. While the iPad mini with Retina Display has an advantage in the apps department, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 too gets a plethora of features and apps, both from the Play Store as well as from Samsung. It is difficult to compare the two on the basis of software, as both have their own pros and cons.
It is a tough call to decide on which one of these two powerful tablets wins over the other, considering that both the tablets bring the best of their worlds. It eventually all boils down to the platform and the choice is between iOS and Android.