Notebookcheck

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Tablet Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Kevin S.), 08/19/2014

Brilliant star. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 relies on an in-house South Korean processor, which is why it slightly lags behind the Note 10.1 in terms of performance. Battery life shows some flaws, which are however still in a very good range. The star of the Tab S is clearly the display, which can entirely convince.

For the original German review, see here.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is the first tablet, which has a Super-AMOLED display. The Galaxy Note 10.1 relies on a Super-Clear-LCD, which could convince in the test, but which still leaves room for improvements. The in-house competitor is equipped with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, while the manufacturer relies on an in-house development with eight processor cores for its most recent design. Otherwise, equipment of both tablets is relatively similar. For the Tab S 10.5 we are only missing an S-pen. Additionally, battery size is reduced, despite the somewhat larger display. Our test device is equipped with a 16 GB flash memory and LTE modem and can be purchased for 600 Euros (~$796) (RRP).

The competition is large and ranges from the Apple iPad Air (starting from 479 Euros; ~$636) to other Android tablets, such as the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (starting from 444 Euros; ~$589) or the Google Nexus 10 (starting from 399 Euros; ~$529) up to tablets with Windows 8.1 RT like the Surface 2 (starting from 429 Euros; ~$569) or the Nokia Lumia 2520 (starting from 525 Euros ; ~$697). Both for the Nexus 10 and the Surface 2 (Europe), no LTE versions are available. 

Case

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

The back is made of plastic in something known as the Ledero look.
The back is made of plastic in something known as the Ledero look.
The front is protected by an unspecified glass.
The front is protected by an unspecified glass.

The chassis of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is completely made of plastic. The back is reminiscent of the leather look of the Galaxy S5 with a pleasant touch and a good grip. Our white test device has a red-gold frame around the display, which feels very high quality, but which is also made of plastic. The tablet is also available in bronze. The panel itself and the frame are covered by a glass surface. Weighing just 470 grams (16.6 oz), the device is not too heavy and is only undercut by the iPad Air (467 g, 7.5 mm; ~16.5 oz, ~0.30 inches) and the Xperia Z2 Tablet (425 g, 6.2 mm; ~15.0 oz, ~0.24 inches). With a height of only 6.6 millimeters (~0.26 inches), it is extremely flat and lies comfortably in the hands. It is significantly slimmer than the Note 10.1 (535 g, 7.9 mm; ~18.9 oz, ~0.31 inches).

The Tab S 10.5 is insensitive to pressure. No undulations on the image occur from pressure on the back, the display frame or the touchscreen. The tablet is also relatively torsion-resistant, but creaks significantly. Clearances between gaps are very uniform and no point of criticism. Unfortunately, there is no IP certification as found with the Xperia Z2 tablet. 

The battery is firmly fixed and not replaceable. Covers for the micro-SIM and memory card are tightly attached, but can be easily opened. The plastic is relatively insensitive to fingerprints. This is different from the glass cover, which in turn can be easily cleaned. 

Connectivity

Wie wir testen - Ausstattung

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has abundant equipment: the USB-2.0 interface supports OTG and is MHL-capable. DLNA and Ant+ are also supported. An NFC is not included. The infrared sensor is used through the app WatchON and can be used as universal remote control for Set-Top boxes, Media Player, DVD and Blu-ray player as well as television. Unlike the LG, the Tab S does not allow for control of an air conditioner or other appliances with similar receivers. 

Both clip brackets on the back are reserved for optional accessories like a cover and integrates inconspicuously in the design. The memory card slot supports MicroSD cards up to 128 GB. 

Top edge: infrared, volume control, power
Top edge: infrared, volume control, power
On the left: audio, speaker
On the left: audio, speaker
Bottom edge: microphone
Bottom edge: microphone
On the right: SIM, USB 2.0, MicroSD, speaker
On the right: SIM, USB 2.0, MicroSD, speaker

Software

Google Android 4.4.2 KitKat is used for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Besides, the manufacturer implements its own TouchWiz UI, which seems very structured and appealingly designed. Additionally, one can resort to Samsung's App store, which offers exclusive apps. SideSync 3.0 allows for synchronization of contents: text, links or other content can be copied to the tablet through copy-paste. The familiar child mode is also included, just like Multi Window, which enables parallel use of applications. 

Unfortunately, there is also bloatware that cannot be uninstalled.

The TouchWiz UI looks fine.
The TouchWiz UI looks fine.
Not all apps can be uninstalled.
Not all apps can be uninstalled.
Magazine view
Magazine view
A child mode is also available.
A child mode is also available.
Useful features and simple maintenance.
Useful features and simple maintenance.
There is even an adjusted app store.
There is even an adjusted app store.

Communications & GPS 

Among other things, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S can be connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi mode, which is capable of the IEEE-802.11 standard a/b/g/n/ac. The wireless accepts both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies. The range is decent. Even at a distance of 20 meters (~66 feet) from the router (Fritz!Box6360), the tablet still showed half of the signal strength, where damping varies between -69 and -78 dBm in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. In the 5.0 GHz band, it was slightly weaker. Websites built up with a slight delay. 

Download Booster
Download Booster

Our test device also has an LTE modem, which resorts to a large frequency coverage and which also supports HSPA+ up to a download speed of 42 MBit/s. With the fast data standard LTE, a download rate of up to 150 MBit/s and an upload rate of 50 MBit/s can be achieved. Additional speed can be obtained through the so-called Download Booster, which combines Wi-Fi performance with mobile data connection in order to speed up the download of media larger than 30 MB. 

Samsung also chose to install a telephone app, such that it is possible to call from the Tab S 10.5. A telephone earpiece does not exist, so that only the speakers are available on the device itself. This should only be used in case of emergency since transmitted speech quality is only average. This could work better in combination with a Bluetooth headset.

The tablet supports Bluetooth in the version 4.0 with LE and A2DP, which makes it possible to stream stereo sound wirelessly in high quality to an external output device. That works without any flaws, just like the audio output of streamed Full HD web videos. Next to the data transfer, Bluetooth connection also allows for sharing the Internet connection of the tablet with another device (tethering). 

Determination of the position is done via GPS, Glonass or the Chinese Baidu. In closed rooms, the satellite fix takes place within 13 seconds. Outdoor use only requires several moments. In order to judge the precision more thoroughly, we let the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 compete against the bike GPS computer Garmin Edge 500. Admittedly, the precision of that device is not achieved, since significant deviations in forested areas can especially be noted. On an entire route, these differences are only minimal, such that the performance of the components can be considered good.  

App GPS test: indoors
App GPS test: indoors
App GPS test: outdoors
App GPS test: outdoors
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Webcam shot
Webcam shot
There are many different settings available.
There are many different settings available.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has two cameras. The camera on the front is not only meant for video calls, but also for selfies. Admittedly, 2.1 MP (1920x1080 pixels, 16:9) do not necessarily suggest that, but the camera has a portrait mode, which uses a so-called airbrush effect. It is a simple blur, which is adjustable in five steps. Results are rather average and at most decent in good light conditions. But here again the relatively low resolution of the shots can be noted and when light is too strong, the image shows signs of overexposure.

The main camera on the back is much better. It has a resolution of 8 MP (3264x2448 pixels, 4:3) and delivers good quality by daylight. The colors seem very vivid and the image only appears blurred at the edges, where details become a bunch of pixels. For a tablet however, shots are good. In poor light conditions, quality decreases significantly and colors appear very pale. The Tab S 10.5 is one of the few devices within its class with an LED flash, which results in good images. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Canon EOS 70D (reference)
Canon EOS 70D (reference)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (with HDR)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (with HDR)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (without HDR)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (without HDR)

Many camera settings are possible. The various effects allow for interesting scenes. The panorama mode achieves even 360°. At this place, it would have been better to invest in more vertical pixels: just 960 pixels are rather poor. The HDR mode, however, works perfectly and allows for significantly better images in difficult light conditions.  

Videos can be recorded in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels). UHD- or slow motion takes are not supported. Quality is decent in good light conditions. Here again, the microphone cannot convince since it is only mediocre. 

Panorama shot with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Panorama shot with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Effect: Vignette
Effect: Vignette
Effect: classical
Effect: classical
Effect: paled colors
Effect: paled colors
Effect: grayscales
Effect: grayscales
Effect: sepia
Effect: sepia
Effect: coloring
Effect: coloring
Effect: turquoise
Effect: turquoise
Effect: coarse
Effect: coarse

Accessories

The delivered accessories of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 include a short manual, a data cable and a modular power adaptor with a rated power of 10.6 Watts (5.3 Volts, 2 Amperes).

Optionally, the manufacturer offers a cover, which is available in different colors, but not in Europe. Besides, a Bluetooth keyboard should be soon available to buy, which also serves as a cover.

Warranty

Samsung offers a warranty of 24 months on its Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which cannot be extended. Accessories and battery have a warranty of six months. 

Input Devices & Control

The capacitive touchscreen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 reacts very quickly to inputs. Sometimes one is not even sure whether the surface has been touched. Correspondingly, inputs are precisely translated and do not have to be repeated. Sliding properties are also good; a small unevenness on the surface can however be noted if one focuses on it. 

The virtual keyboard is also well thought through and is suitable for typing. A nice feature is that it can be represented in a smaller version detached from the edge, in order to hide less of the content. Feedback can be given in the form of a sound or vibration. The pen input feature, as used for the Galaxy Note 10.1, is not available for the Tab S. Thus, a corresponding app is not preinstalled

The fingerprint scanner is integrated in the home button. Up to three fingerprints can be stored by the system. Samsung keeps on ensuring that fingerprint data are only stored on the device. Once the feature is installed, only the fingerprint can unlock the tablet. In addition, payments via PayPal and the Samsung account can be done using a fingerprint. If the stored fingerprint happens to get lost, an alternative password ensures that the tablet can be accessed. The scanner itself works relatively well, even if the entire finger has to be pulled over the sensor. However, it happens quite often that we were too fast, or the finger was not correctly put on the input surface. 

Keyboard (landscape mode)
Keyboard (landscape mode)
Keyboard (portrait mode)
Keyboard (portrait mode)
Shrunken keyboard
Shrunken keyboard

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

The Super-AMOLED screen of the Tab S 10.5 is awesome.
The Super-AMOLED screen of the Tab S 10.5 is awesome.

The Super-ALMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is the highlight of the tablet. The 10.5-inch panel creates a Wow effect when looking at it for the first time. With 2560x1600 pixels it is no newcomer in terms of pixel dimensions, but it still has a very high resolution and delivers a pixel density of 288 ppi. With that, the test device has a higher pixel density than the iPad Air (264 ppi), despite the slightly larger screen. The Nexus 10 (300 ppi) has a similar resolution, but it is slightly smaller.

Brightness at pure white representation reaches a maximum value of 314 cd/m². That does not seem a lot, considering that similar competitors all show a higher value. The Lumia 2520 (max. 753 cd/m², 82%) has no rivals in this category. Using, however, the brightness sensor of the Tab S 10.5, a brightness of over 500 cd/m² can be achieved. Illumination with 87% is good, but not excellent. The Surface 2 (89%), the Xperia Z2 Tablet (89%) and the iPad Air (90%) are slightly better, but in practice such small differences are barely noticeable.  

280
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 314 cd/m²
Average: 290.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 290 cd/m²
Black: 0.0 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1

Due to the display technology, the black level of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is 0.00 cd/m², since an OLED panel does not depend on any background illumination. Contrast is therefore correspondingly high and tends towards infinity. Since none of the competitors has an AMOLED screen, all other screens perform worse. Black of the test device is deep black and colors are represented very intensively. 

Therefore, most people perceive the color representation of an AMOLED display as over-saturated and unnatural. However, Samsung's engineers did everything right again. Calibration of the display at delivery is very good in all modes. Color deviations are neither visible in the sRGB nor in the larger Adobe-RGB color space. That is confirmed by the measurements of DisplayMate, which determined a complete coverage of both color spaces. With that, the tablet is also perfectly suited for professional use in the field of graphic design. This is a unique achievement, considering that even the iPad Air only covers the smaller sRGB color space. 

The adaptive display adapts automatically to the represented content. Automatic can also be switched off. Then, the three profiles; Simple, Photo and Cinema are available. The first two barely show any deviation in the grayscales (dE 2) and the mixed colors (dE 2) and do not create any color cast. In Cinema mode (mixed colors dE 8), the high color saturation also leads to a higher deviation and a slight blue cast, which is indeed positive when watching a movie. Despite the OLED, color saturation is only slightly higher; for non-professionals no difference will be apparent. Only red is not perfect in terms of color fidelity, where it should be said that the measurements have been performed with the target color space sRGB. In the Adobe RGB color space, deviations are smaller (see also mixed colors). Overall, Samsung provides an excellent display

Grayscales (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)

Despite a glossy display surface, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 performs well in outdoor use, where the tablet takes advantage of the extremely high contrast. Admittedly, strong sunlight is not easy to handle for the device, but just a few clouds are sufficient to obtain an excellent view on the panel, not to mention shady areas.

The Tab S 10.5 performs well when it is slightly cloudy.
The Tab S 10.5 performs well when it is slightly cloudy.
There are no constraints in shady areas.
There are no constraints in shady areas.

Viewing angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 is not bad either. The image remains stable in all positions and no color distortions show up, which is to be expected considering that the Tab 10.5 uses an AMOLED technology. From a viewing angle of 60° onward, a small loss in brightness can be noted, and from 120° on, a slight green cast appears. We could not discover a ghost-effect.

Viewing angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Viewing angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

The in-house processor Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa is used for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Actually, the use of this SoC was already expected in the Note 10.1, but the manufacturer integrates a Snapdragon 800 for the European version. The Exynos 5420 has eight cores in total, which are composed of two quad-core processors. The first is based on the Cortex-A15 architecture and performs at up to 1.9 GHz and the second relies on the Cortex-A7 cores, which clock up to 1.3 GHz. For small loads, the more efficient A7 processor is used, whereas the A15 cores are used when more performance is required. The ample 3 GB internal memory supports the system. For graphics calculations, the integrated ARM Mali-T628 MP6 is used. 

Performance is impressive, but is no longer part of the current high-end products. Application performance is however still very good and is on the level of a Snapdragon 800. Depending on how the many processor cores are used by the app, the Tab S 10.5 is sometimes faster than its competitors. Graphics performance is good, however, it cannot keep up with the current top systems. That is clearly visible in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (13,791 points), where all competitors are faster. In the GFXBench 2.7 (offscreen, 23 fps) it is somewhat more balanced. For the onscreen tests, the tablet has to pay the price for the very high resolution: frame rates are low. 

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
13908 Points ∼8%
Microsoft Surface 2
14281 Points ∼8% +3%
Apple iPad Air
14858 Points ∼9% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
15407 Points ∼9% +11%
Nokia Lumia 2520
16812 Points ∼10% +21%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
18806 Points ∼11% +35%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
13791 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Surface 2
14812 Points ∼4% +7%
Apple iPad Air
18868 Points ∼5% +37%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
15111 Points ∼4% +10%
Nokia Lumia 2520
18048 Points ∼5% +31%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
19518 Points ∼5% +42%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
14333 Points ∼25%
Microsoft Surface 2
12692 Points ∼22% -11%
Apple iPad Air
8520 Points ∼15% -41%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
16539 Points ∼29% +15%
Nokia Lumia 2520
13562 Points ∼23% -5%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
16678 Points ∼29% +16%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
22.8 fps ∼3%
Google Nexus 10
12.4 fps ∼1% -46%
Microsoft Surface 2
16 fps ∼2% -30%
Apple iPad Air
27 fps ∼3% +18%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
24 fps ∼3% +5%
Nokia Lumia 2520
19 fps ∼2% -17%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
27.6 fps ∼3% +21%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
14 fps ∼4%
Google Nexus 10
7.9 fps ∼2% -44%
Microsoft Surface 2
24 fps ∼7% +71%
Apple iPad Air
21 fps ∼6% +50%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
15 fps ∼4% +7%
Nokia Lumia 2520
27 fps ∼7% +93%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
27.5 fps ∼8% +96%
AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
35010 Points ∼81%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
35455 Points ∼82% +1%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
32525 Points ∼76% -7%
Linpack Android / IOS
Single Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
382.801 MFLOPS ∼37%
Google Nexus 10
134.173 MFLOPS ∼13% -65%
Apple iPad Air
557.99 MFLOPS ∼55% +46%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
455.616 MFLOPS ∼45% +19%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
347.856 MFLOPS ∼34% -9%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
770.167 MFLOPS ∼32%
Google Nexus 10
189.94 MFLOPS ∼8% -75%
Apple iPad Air
977.31 MFLOPS ∼40% +27%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
916.667 MFLOPS ∼38% +19%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
600.237 MFLOPS ∼25% -22%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
920 Points ∼20%
Apple iPad Air
1479 Points ∼32% +61%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
956 Points ∼21% +4%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
915 Points ∼20% -1%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
2712 Points ∼17%
Apple iPad Air
2687 Points ∼17% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
2995 Points ∼19% +10%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
2327 Points ∼14% -14%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa, ARM Mali-T628 MP6, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 10 Samsung Exynos 5250 Dual, ARM Mali-T604 MP4, 32 GB SSD
 
Microsoft Surface 2 Nvidia Tegra 4, NVIDIA GeForce Tegra 4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPad Air Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB SSD
 
Nokia Lumia 2520 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 APQ8074AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash

In terms of browser performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 does not have to hide. Using the preinstalled Google Chrome browser (version 36), the tablet achieves good results in the benchmarks. Only in Sunspider 1.0 it somewhat trails its competitors. In practice, browsing is fast and in Multi Window mode, no speed losses show up as well. 

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
851 Points ∼14%
Nokia Lumia 2520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
542 Points ∼9% -36%
Google Nexus 10
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 32 GB SSD
652 Points ∼11% -23%
Microsoft Surface 2
GeForce Tegra 4, 4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
791 Points ∼13% -7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
909 Points ∼15% +7%
Apple iPad Air
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1855 Points ∼30% +118%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4588 Points ∼12%
Nokia Lumia 2520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2714 Points ∼7% -41%
Microsoft Surface 2
GeForce Tegra 4, 4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3368 Points ∼9% -27%
Apple iPad Air
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
5113 Points ∼14% +11%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1112.1 ms * ∼28%
Nokia Lumia 2520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
559.5 ms * ∼14% +50%
Microsoft Surface 2
GeForce Tegra 4, 4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
384.5 ms * ∼10% +65%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
632.6 ms * ∼16% +43%
Apple iPad Air
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
385.5 ms * ∼10% +65%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
306 Points ∼21%
Nokia Lumia 2520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
292 Points ∼20% -5%
Microsoft Surface 2
GeForce Tegra 4, 4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
365 Points ∼25% +19%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
233 Points ∼16% -24%
Apple iPad Air
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
563 Points ∼39% +84%

* ... smaller is better

Memory of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is available in both 16 and 32 GB versions. Our test device is a 16 GB version. After startup, 10.6 GB are available for use. Since Samsung preinstalls quite a number of apps, additional space can be allocated by uninstalling unnecessary applications. Unfortunately, this is not possible for all apps. If more space is needed, it can be upgraded by up to 128 GB via a MicroSD card. Since the system also supports App2SD, apps can be transferred to the additional memory. 

The performance of the memory is not very fast during linear reading and writing, but on the other hand, access speed for smaller data blocks is good.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
89.85 MB/s ∼50%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Adreno 330, 801 APQ8074AB, 32 GB eMMC Flash
63.27 MB/s ∼35% -30%
Google Nexus 10
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 32 GB SSD
99.53 MB/s ∼56% +11%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
103.96 MB/s ∼58% +16%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
15.72 MB/s ∼27%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Adreno 330, 801 APQ8074AB, 32 GB eMMC Flash
24.6 MB/s ∼43% +56%
Google Nexus 10
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 32 GB SSD
20.02 MB/s ∼35% +27%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
22.35 MB/s ∼39% +42%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
12.1 MB/s ∼58%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Adreno 330, 801 APQ8074AB, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11.9 MB/s ∼57% -2%
Google Nexus 10
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 32 GB SSD
10.35 MB/s ∼49% -14%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
15.97 MB/s ∼76% +32%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Mali-T628 MP6, 5420 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.56 MB/s ∼50%
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Adreno 330, 801 APQ8074AB, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1.54 MB/s ∼49% -1%
Google Nexus 10
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 32 GB SSD
1.27 MB/s ∼40% -19%
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
2.09 MB/s ∼67% +34%

Games

The integrated graphics unit ARM Mali-T628 MP6 allows for good gaming performance, even though it lacks some current high-class GPUs. Nevertheless, OpenGL ES 3.0 is also supported and it depicts graphically elaborate games like The Descent in high resolution. Racing games like Asphalt 8 are also no problem and together with the flawlessly working sensors, they ensure a perfect gaming experience. Only Anomaly 2 shows some stutters when the highest detail settings are chosen. 

Anomaly 2 (High)
Anomaly 2 (High)
The Descent (Ultra)
The Descent (Ultra)
Asphalt 8 (High)
Asphalt 8 (High)

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

Temperature

The surface temperature of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is low and absolutely no point of concern. In idle modea maximum of 30.1° C (86.18 °F) is reached. The Note 10.1 (max. 33.3 °C; 92.3 °F) heats up more. The Microsoft Surface 2 (max. 28.3 °C; 82.94 °F) achieves the best value.

Under load, which was simulated with the Stability Test app, measured values climb up to 39.6 °C (103.28 °F). With that good value, the test device is mid-table. With 42.1 °C (107.78 °F), the iPad Air heats up the most, whereas the Surface 2 (max. 35.5 °C; 95.5°F) is again the coolest. 

The temperature of the power adaptor also remains acceptable. 

Max. Load
 31.5 °C39.6 °C31.9 °C 
 30.9 °C33.1 °C31.6 °C 
 30.8 °C32.2 °C31.0 °C 
Maximum: 39.6 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
29.3 °C36.4 °C29.6 °C
30.3 °C33.0 °C30.7 °C
30.2 °C31.1 °C30.0 °C
Maximum: 36.4 °C
Average: 31.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41.7 °C | Room Temperature 23.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

Both stereo speakers of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 are well positioned. The quality of the output devices is however average. Basses for example, cannot be heard. Highs are clear and without any distortions, but seem slightly hollow at maximum volume. Other tablets like the iPad Air or the Dell Venue 11 Pro show how it could be better. Output via audio jack is relatively good, which is also confirmed by the RightMark Audio Analyser.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 ranges between 2.1 and 3.9 Watts in idle mode. Its competitors partly exceed this range when the display is set to maximum brightness. The Nexus 10 needs here up to 9 Watts and the iPad Air (max. 7.1 W) also requires significantly more energy.

Under load, consumption of the test device climbs up to 10.4 Watts. Again, power consumption is relatively low. Only the Nexus 10 (max. 9.4 Watts), which has significantly lower performing hardware, and the Xperia Z2 Tablet (max. 7.4 W) need less energy. The power adaptor of the Tab S 10.5 is, however, relatively small-dimensioned with a rated power of 10.6 Watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 2.1 / 3.4 / 3.9 Watt
Load 7.4 / 10.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has a 7900 mAh battery, which is thus smaller dimensioned than the one used for the Galaxy Note 10.1 (8220 mAh). This is mainly due to the flatter design, which does not offer enough space for a larger battery. Correspondingly, a lower battery life of the test device in comparison with the in-house competitor is bound to occur. 

Maximum endurance of the battery is determined with an online script, which simulates the reading of a book. All loads are switched off and the display is dimmed. Since consumption at this lower panel illumination is higher than for other tablets, the test device cannot achieve a top score, where a determined value of over 18 hours is still very good. Conversely, activating all interfaces and setting the display illumination to maximum, results in 5.5 hours. In comparison to other tablets, that minimum battery life of the Tab S 10.5 is the best. The test was performed with the Stability Test app, which drains the battery as fast as possible. 

The tests with adapted display brightness (150 cd/m²) provide a better comparison. In the test "browsing via Wi-Fi", a script is executed in the browser, which loads a website every 40 seconds. The test result of 10 hours is again a good outcome, which is only exceeded by the Lumia 2520 (13:23 h, 8120 mAh), the Nexus 10 (10:53 h, 9000 mAh) and the Galaxy Note 10.1 (18:25 h). The infinite playback loop of a Full HD movie results in 6.5 hours battery life. With that value, our test device comes in last. The other tested tablets achieve a battery life of over 10 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 14min
WiFi Surfing
10h 00min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 35min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 33min

Verdict

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is without any doubts an excellent piece of technology. Performance however, shows slight flaws. The Exynos Processor cannot entirely keep up with the current Qualcomm rockets. Graphics performance also falls slightly behind an Adreno 330. Nevertheless, the tablet performs decently in combination with Google Android 4.4 KitKat. Besides, memory can be upgraded and fast LTE ensures mobile Internet access. 

The material choice is limited to a lot of plastic and some glass. Here, the test device is not on the same street as the iPad. On the other hand, the Tab S 10.5 is slimmer than Apple's star model. Yet, the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet can undercut this and is additionally insensitive to water and dust. The Galaxy Tab S does not have huge flaws: any possible complaints are on a high level. Only in terms of the speaker quality could the manufacturer have made a bigger effort. 

In comparison with the Galaxy Note 10.1 we are missing an S-pen. This fact shows that Samsung wants to promote both products simultaneously. While the other model is more suited for a productive business use, the Tab S 10.5 is a slim multimedia performer, which truly inspires with a brilliant Super-AMOLED display. 

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In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE. Test model provided by Cyberport.de
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 LTE. Test model provided by Cyberport.de

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

:: Processor
:: Memory
3072 MB
:: Graphics adapter
ARM Mali-T628 MP6, Core: 600 MHz
:: Display
10.5 inch 16:9, 2560x1600 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, ten multi-touch points , Super AMOLED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 10.55 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined headphone and microphone jack , Card Reader: MicroSD up to 128 GB (SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: Sensor for acceleration, orientation, rotation, ambient light and G-sensor, digital compass, WiFi-Direct, OTG, IR transmitter, DLNA, GPS, Glonass, Baidou, MHL 2.1, Ant+
:: Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 4 (800, 850, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz), Body-SAR: 0.20 W/kg
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.6 x 247.3 x 177.3
:: Weight
0.47 kg Power Supply: 0.065 kg
:: Battery
30.02 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 7900 mAh, 3.8 V
:: Price
600 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: 2.1 MP; main camera 8 MP, LED flash, Speakers: two stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual, Power adaptor, Data cable, Shoort manual, SideSync 3.0, Paper Garden, Multiuser mode, Child mode, WebEx, Remote PC, Hancom Office, Evernote, Samsung Apps, Samsung TouchWiz UI, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The Super-AMOLED screen is 10.5 inches large.
The Super-AMOLED screen is 10.5 inches large.
As expected, it has bold colors and a deep black.
As expected, it has bold colors and a deep black.
But also color space coverage and precision are excellent.
But also color space coverage and precision are excellent.
The display is a real eyecatcher.
The display is a real eyecatcher.
The webcam offers a portrait mode.
The webcam offers a portrait mode.
The physical home button also contains the fingerprint scanner.
The physical home button also contains the fingerprint scanner.
Both sensor keys are illuminated.
Both sensor keys are illuminated.
The back is completely made of polymers.
The back is completely made of polymers.
The camera uses an LED flash.
The camera uses an LED flash.
The clips for the optional cover are inconspicuously mounted at the back.
The clips for the optional cover are inconspicuously mounted at the back.
The speakers are not very good. The audio jack however is flawless.
The speakers are not very good. The audio jack however is flawless.
MicroSD and SIM slots can be closed.
MicroSD and SIM slots can be closed.
The system boots within 54 seconds.
The system boots within 54 seconds.
Especially low viewing angles lead to a green cast.
Especially low viewing angles lead to a green cast.
Google Android KitKat 4.4 and Samsung's TouchWiz UI are installed.
Google Android KitKat 4.4 and Samsung's TouchWiz UI are installed.
10.55 GB are available for use.
10.55 GB are available for use.
preinstalled apps
preinstalled apps
preinstalled apps
preinstalled apps
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
Basemark X 1.1 (Medium Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (Medium Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (Low Quality)
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (Low Quality)
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (High Quality)
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (High Quality)
3DMark
3DMark
Browsermark 2.1
Browsermark 2.1
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II
AnTuTu v4
AnTuTu v4
AndEBench
AndEBench
Octane 2.0
Octane 2.0
Octane V1
Octane V1
Sunspider 0.9.1
Sunspider 0.9.1
Sunspider 1.0.2
Sunspider 1.0.2
Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
Vellamo 3
Vellamo 3
Basemark ES 2.0
Basemark ES 2.0

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Links

Price Comparison

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Amazon.com

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+excellent display
+slim and lightweight design
+many interfaces
+memory can be upgraded
+LTE
+allows for calls
+decent camera with LED flash
+good battery life
 

Cons

-poor speakers
-only USB 2.0
-no S-pen
-no IP certification
-modest microphone

Shortcut

What we like

The Super-AMOLED display is awesome. A full Adobe RGB coverage and a high color precision make the device also suitable for creative jobs.

What we are missing

The speakers could have been of a higher quality.  

What surprises us

Where Samsung relies on a Snapdragon processor for the European Note 10.1, our test device uses an in-house Exynos CPU. For a high-end device we expected a Snapdragon 801. 

The competition

Nokia Lumia 2520, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), Microsoft Surface 2, Google Nexus 10Apple iPad Air.

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
08/14/2014 v4
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
78 / 80 → 98%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
52 / 70 → 74%
Weight
84 / 88 → 92%
Battery
92%
Display
90%
Games Performance
61 / 80 → 76%
Application Performance
49 / 70 → 70%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
59 / 91 → 65%
Camera
73 / 85 → 86%
Average
77%
88%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Tablet Review
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2014-08-19 (Update: 2014-08-23)