Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: S-class coupe
The gallery on the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 offers various sorting and viewing options. Pinch zooming in or out will increase or reduce the size of the thumbnails. The album view shows a stack of photos with a navigational bar on the left with all the albums.
The app supports bulk actions and photo notes. There are lots of sharing options as well, as well as a powerful embedded image editor. It supports highly customizable slideshows, too.
The music player relies on a customizable tabbed interface rather than the previous split-screen UI. Playlists are supported as well. The bottom of the screen has the basic music controls.
The Now playing screen gives you the usual options - a timeline scrubber for the track, playback controls, and an AllShare shortcut. A coverflow-like list of album art lets you know what the next song will be and is an easy way to skip to it. The music player will also try to find the lyrics for the song you're listening to.
Samsung has implemented several audio-enhancement features. The equalizer presets (called SoundAlive) are cleverly organized into a square similar to the Music Square. The presets balance between Treble and Bass, Vocals and Instrumental. You can also just tap the Auto toggle or enable a Tube amp effect.
The video player has three tabs - Personal, Downloads and Nearby devices - complete with a search field. The available videos show up as a grid of animated thumbnails, but list and folder view are also available.
Unfortunately, the video codec support is quite subpar. Most videos we tried resulted in an "audio codec not supported" message and even some basic video codecs don't work (i.e. DivX). MKV, AVI (XviD) and MP4 videos do play, but anything beyond MP3 or AAC sound is no-go.
An interesting feature of the video player is the ability to have a video running in a pop-up, which is visible throughout the user interface.
The same SoundAlive audio-enhancing technology from the music player is available here too. There are additional settings for the brightness, playback speed and feeding the audio through Bluetooth (if you have wireless speakers).
If subtitles are available, the video player will automatically find and load them. You can also manually load subtitles, if the video and subtitle file names don't match. You can change the zoom mode (100% or fit to screen with and without affecting the videos aspect ratio) and there's a pinch zoom too, in case you want to get close to a specific part of the action.
Excellent audio quality
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 performance in our audio quality test is very much in line with the recent high-end tablets and smartphones by the company. When docked to an active external amplifier, it produced stellar audio, scoring greatly in every part of the test. Its volume levels were above average too, rounding up an excellent overall performance.
The stereo crosstalk degradation when you plug in a pair of headphones is rather big, but the good news is none of the other readings are affected. It’s not a perfect performance here, but one that should please the vast majority of users.
Check out the table and see for yourself.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|