Samsung is getting ready to take the fight to other manufacturers this year. It signified its intents early on by launching a total of four new tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. And that might just be the beginning. Samsung is said to be unveiling a host of new tablets and mobile devices at the Mobile World Congress next month. All these devices are said to be making their way onto store shelves by the end of the first quarter. Let’s take a look at all the devices that were announced at the CES, and those that are allegedly going to launch at the MWC.
Galaxy Tab Pro series
The Galaxy Tab Pro series is designed to take on the high-end segment. Samsung launched three tablets in this series with varying screen sizes, with the intent that these tablets challenge other high-end offerings, like the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7 2013. Samsung has retained the same design as was used in the regular Galaxy tab models, but has included a faux leather back, which was similar to the one used on the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition.
There are three tablets in the Galaxy tab Pro series, with all three models coming in two variants: With LTE connectivity and without. All models, with or without LTE, feature the same quad-HD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. They also feature the same 8 MP camera at the back along with a 2 MP camera at the front, both of which can shoot video in full-HD.
First, there is the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, which, with its 8.4-inch quad-HD screen and pixel density of 359 ppi, is the highest resolution tablet in this category. Then there is the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, which has is a 10.1-inch offering. The last model is the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, which as you can guess comes with a 12.2-inch screen.
Considering that these tablets are designed for the high-end market, they come with high-end hardware. All three LTE models featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC. This is the MSM8974AB variant that is clocked to 2.3 GHz with a quad-core configuration of ARM Cortex-A15 based Krait 400 CPU. The GPU is a 550 MHz Adreno 330. Connectivity is also taken care of with the inclusion of Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi Direct and micro-USB 2.0.
There is a reason Samsung uses Qualcomm hardware in devices that require LTE connectivity. Qualcomm’s Gobi Category 4 LTE (LTE Advanced) modems are in a league of their own. Other vendors like Broadcom are beginning to offer LTE Cat 4 starting this year, but it is unlikely anyone would catch Qualcomm in this regard anytime soon. The LTE modem on the Snapdragon 800 allows for 150 Mbit downstream data access through a technique known as carrier aggregation. LTE Advanced networks are yet to take off outside of South Korea, but Verizon is looking to launch its first LTE-A network later this year. Other U.S. carriers would likely follow suit.
The models that do not feature LTE come with Samsung’s own Exynos 5 Octa 5420 SoC. This was the same SoC that was first seen on the Galaxy Note 3. The major difference between the Exynos 5420 and Qualcomm’s offering is that the Exynos has eight cores. Four of which are the Cortex-A15 which is clocked at 1.9 GHz, with the other four based on a 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7. The GPU is a Mali-T628 MP6.
Coming back to the hardware on the Galaxy Tab Pro series, the 8.4-inch and 10.1-inch tablets come with 2 GB RAM, while the 12.2-inch offering has 3 gigs RAM as standard. All models are offered in storage variations of 16/32 GB, and feature a micro-SD card slot to further boost storage by a maximum of 64 GB. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 comes with a 4,800 mAh battery, while the 10.2-inch version has an 8,220 mAh battery. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 features a 9,500 mAh battery. All models in the Galaxy Tab Pro come with Android 4.4 KitKat along with Samsung’s new UI skin, called Magazine. It looks much more modern than TouchWiz, which was starting to look very outdated.
Pricing information for the U.S. for these tablets hasn’t been announced yet, but it would not as inflated as the $1,000 price tag that is set on the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 LTE model in Finland.
Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Along with the Galaxy Tab Pro series, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 last week. The tablet features a 12.2-inch quad-HD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The tablet comes in storage variations of 16/32 GB, has 3 GB RAM, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, 8 MP camera at the back, 2 MP shooter at the front along with a 9,500 mAh battery.
The non-LTE version features Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa 5420, while the LTE version has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800. This being a tablet in the Galaxy Note line, it comes with the S Pen stylus and addition software features to make use of the stylus. Other than the inclusion of the stylus, there isn’t much difference between the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2. Consumers buying either tablet would get around $700 worth of goodies for free that include 1 TB Bitcasa storage, Hancom Office, unlimited Cisco WebEx (6 months duration) amongst others.
Galaxy Tab 3 Lite
Samsung has inadvertently confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite yesterday by making the tablet go live on Samsung’s Poland site. The tablet’s user manual was also revealed, which gives us a detailed look at its hardware. The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is going to be a sub-$200 offering, and as such comes with hardware that is not exactly earth-shattering.
The 7-inch model comes with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600, 1.2GHz dual-core Marvell PXA986 processor, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage. There is a reason why most manufacturers don’t include Marvell’s processors on their tablets. It is because it is not that good. Other than the Galaxy Tab 3 and HP’s Slate 10 tablet, there aren’t any tablets that use this processor. Other hardware details on the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite include a 2-megapixel camera at the back, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and 3,600 mAh battery. The tablet is said to come with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. There will be two variations of the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. The LTE model will likely be available for $264 while the Wi-Fi only model is set to retail for $165. The tablet should be officially unveiled at the MWC.
Galaxy Note 3 Neo
The Galaxy Note 3 Neo is a Lite version of the Galaxy Note 3, and will come with mid-range hardware. In terms of design, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo looks exactly like the Note 3, but in a slightly smaller form factor. The device will feature a 5.55-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720. If the leaked benchmark scores are any indication, it will be the first device to come with Samsung’s hexa-core Exynos 5260 SoC that has two Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz and four Cortex A7 cores that run at 1.3 GHz. The device also features a new Mali-T624 GPU.
Other hardware is in the form of 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 8 MP back and 2.1 MP front shooters, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, MHL 2.0, microUSB 2.0 and a 3,100 mAh battery. The Note 3 Neo also comes with a stylus that has tailored software features like Air Command, Multi Window Mode, S Finder and more. It should launch with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and feature Samsung’s new Magazine UI.
Galaxy Grand Neo
The Galaxy Grand Neo will be the Lite version of the Galaxy Grand 2. The Galaxy Grand 2 price is set at somewhere around $400 in international markets, but the device isn’t available in the U.S. yet. It is likely that Samsung will be targeting the low-end segment with the launch of the Galaxy Grand Neo, and let the Galaxy Note 3 Neo duke it out with other mid-range handsets.
The hardware on the Galaxy Grand Neo is nothing to write home about, with the device featuring a 5-inch screen with a WVGA resolution (800 x 480), 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 gigs of on-board memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 5 MP camera along with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Grand Neo is set to be available for somewhere around $200 – $250 without a contract.
The Galaxy S5 was rumored to launch at the MWC, but now we know that it would be getting an official unveil sometime in the month of March. The Galaxy S5 is said to feature a 5-inch AMOLED screen with quad-HD resolution, 3 or 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory, 16 MP ISOCELL camera that has been designed to take great images in low-light conditions, Wi-Fi ac, LTE-A and a fast charging 2,900 mAh battery.
The Galaxy S5 is said to come with the Snapdragon 805 in regions that require LTE connectivity. The non-LTE model would feature an all-new Exynos 6 SoC that is said to be an octa-core offering. It has been rumored that Samsung would include ARM’s v8 64-bit cores in the Exynos 6, and considering the fact that almost all manufacturers are launching 64-bit offerings, it could turn out to be true.
There is also a strong likelihood that the Galaxy S5 would feature an iris scanner that can scan a user’s retina as a means of authentication. Samsung was said to be working on the same technology last year, but it was later revealed that time constraints in relation to the launch of the Galaxy S4 inhibited them from including this technology on the device.
Another interesting rumor about the Galaxy S5 is that it would be the first Galaxy device to feature an all-metal chassis. It has been alleged that Samsung is considering two versions of the Galaxy S5, with the high-end variant featuring a metallic chassis. Considering that this is a high-end offering, it is more than likely it would feature the latest Android 4.4 KitKat.
Galaxy S5 Zoom and Galaxy S5 Mini
Samsung is also said to be at work on the Galaxy S5 Mini and the S5 Zoom. The S5 Mini will have a 4.8-inch qHD screen, while the S5 Zoom would feature a much better lens when seen against last year’s S4 Zoom. No other hardware details are available yet as far as these devices are concerned, but it is likely that they will be launched at the same time as the Galaxy S5.