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Best small Android tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 review: The best small Android tablet on sale today  March 23, 2017 – 04:55 pm
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Key Features

  • 8in screen with 1536 x 2048 resolution and 320 pixels per inch
  • Weighs 265g
  • 5.6mm thick
  • 32/64GB storage (expandable)
  • Octa-core processor with 3GB RAM
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Price as reviewed: £319

In 2014, Samsung finally offered a worthwhile Android alternative to the iPad mini with the Galaxy Tab S. Now it is back with an updated design and new screen size. This 8in version is the smaller of two otherwise identical tablets sold by Samsung and carrying its premium "S" moniker. The other has a 9.7in screen identical in size to the iPad Air 2, while its smaller relative is the same as the iPad mini.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0: Look and feel

The Tab S2's design gets out of the way and leaves the superb screen to do the talking. What remains is a metal chassis with shiny, chamfered edges on the front, dark, almost industrial looking sides, and a rubbery soft-touch back.

At 134.8mm, the Tab S2 is just about narrow enough to be held in one hand and prodded with the other, while the 265g weight (272g for the model with a 4G SIM card slot) is perfectly acceptable. The Tab S2 is 5.6mm thick, making it 0.8mm thinner than the Galaxy S6 smartphone, and in turn this means the tablet is comfortable to hold. It really is tiny and the kind of gadget I just want to keep picking up to admire.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2A metal chassis with chamfered edges gives the Tab S2 a premium look and feelIBTimes UK

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0: Screen

For me, this 8in screen is the perfect size and shape for a small tablet; any larger and it becomes a laptop replacement, any smaller and it is not much bigger than a smartphone. The resolution here is also excellent, at 1536 x 2048, producing a pixel density of 320 per inch, almost identical to the 324ppi iPad mini 4.

Text and icons are super sharp, while images are bright with punchy colours and deep blacks. Text on some websites is on the small side, but this is not anything zooming in cannot fix. You can just about see individual pixels if you really strain but I think this resolution strikes a good balance between clarity and energy efficiency. Being a Super AMOLED panel, colours sometimes seem a little too saturated and less natural than they are on an iPad but this is only noticeable when you compare the two tablets side-by-side.


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