Samsung released the Galaxy Tab S4 last year without much noise. However, the tablet is one of the best in the Android segment thanks to its gorgeous AMOLED display panel and high-end hardware. Although Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab S5e earlier this year, it’s not really a full-blown successor to the Galaxy Tab S4. While Samsung has been mindful enough to offer multimedia features on the device, it’s lacking a powerful processor as the company decided to go with the mid-ranged Snapdragon 670 SoC. Just following the launch of this tablet, the rumor mill has been rife with reports about Samsung’s next big tablet, known for now as the Galaxy Tab S5. So what do we know about this tablet so far? Well, let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5 Release Date, News and Rumors
What do we know so far?
Well, the Galaxy Tab S5 is expected to be the successor to the Galaxy Tab S4, and is expected to feature quite a few upgrades. Given the relative silence by Samsung, there’s very little we know so far. But following the market trend and the direction in which Samsung is going, we certainly have an idea as to what the tablet will be packing. If the predecessor is any indication, the Galaxy Tab S4 will come in a single 10.5-inch variant, thus reducing the confusion among the customers. Previously, Samsung offered two variants of the AMOLED tablet, which has understandably not worked out as expected. A recent report also speculated that there will be two models of the tablet bearing the model numbers SM-T860 and SM-T865, which are likely for the Wi-Fi only and cellular versions of the tablet.
The display has been something of a marvel on the Galaxy Tab S lineup, featuring crisp colors and excellent sunlight visibility. The Galaxy Tab S4 managed to keep the bezels down with a screen-to-body ratio of 78.6%. While this is certainly very good on a larger device, it can still be better. So this is one of our expectations from the Galaxy Tab S5, primarily with regards to keeping the size down while keeping the display unchanged. Theoretically, it is likely to fit in a 11.5-inch display onto the same exterior if the bezels are completely removed. So we cannot rule out a completely beefed up version of the Galaxy Tab S this year.
We also cannot rule out the possibility of an under-display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Tab S5. Considering what we’ve seen on Samsung’s smartphone lineup so far this year, it certainly doesn’t seem far fetched. It’s hard to take the Galaxy Tab S5e as inspiration for the Galaxy Tab S5 given that the former is merely a mid-ranged tablet, unlike the Galaxy Tab S lineup.
With the improvement in display design, it is also hoped that Samsung will include support for HDR content. It’s a real shame that an AMOLED tablet cannot extensively enjoy HDR content across major streaming platforms. It is hoped that Samsung will shed more light on this aspect, making the Galaxy Tab S5 one of the most appealing media devices out there.
This has never been the strongest link for Samsung’s tablets, although the company’s has taken some giant strides in mobile photography over the past couple of years. Part of the reason why manufacturers don’t take tablet cameras seriously is because people seldom use the camera for anything other than video calls or selfies, making the rear camera pretty much obsolete. But even then, Samsung has been kind enough to include 13MP and 8MP camera sensors on the Galaxy Tab S4, which are no doubt better than most tablet cameras out there. So if you’re thinking about a hole punch camera on the Galaxy Tab S5, well, it may not come to fruition. But with barely any information on this front, we can’t rule anything out at this point.
Many feel Samsung missed a trick with the Galaxy Tab S4 by using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip instead of waiting for the Snapdragon 845, which was the premier performance oriented mobile chipset at the time. The company may want to rectify that with the successor, by going for the Snapdragon 855 on the Galaxy Tab S5. These are Samsung’s flagship tablets and having top end hardware is certainly not going to hurt its credentials in the fast paced market. Using Qualcomm’s latest silicon will also allow Samsung to enable features like HDR10+, 10-bit color, dual 4K displays as well as under display fingerprint scanners. It goes without saying that having hardware like this will also make it suitable for casual or high-performance Android gaming.
The Galaxy Tab S4 came with ample amounts of RAM, with 4 and 6GB variants to choose from. Giving the trend in the industry this year, we shouldn’t be surprised to see an 8GB RAM option with the Galaxy Tab S5. In terms of storage, we may well see a repeat of the 64GB/256GB combination as with the Galaxy Tab S4. Naturally, there is almost certainly going to be a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Another major feature here will be the company’s proprietary S Pen stylus which will make a return this year. The S Pen was missing on the Galaxy Tab S5e, which we feel is primarily to keep production costs down for the device. But it has been a fixture of the Galaxy Tab S series for a while now, and we don’t expect it to disappear this year. If the past is any indication, we expect the Galaxy Tab S5 to launch alongside the Galaxy Note 10 in a few months from now. Keeping this in mind, we could see some major S Pen changes being showcased at the company’s dedicated event. Some rumors have even suggested that there may be an S Pen remote control app, which could be wishful thinking.
We’ve all heard of wireless charging, but what about Wireless PowerShare that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S10 earlier this year? Well, this is a feature that allows to compatible devices to share power or battery power with each other to keep the other juiced up. This is an excellent feature that was originally introduced by Huawei in its smartphones not too long ago. It’s no surprise that the Galaxy Tab S5 will have a larger battery under the hood. This makes it an ideal candidate for Wireless PowerShare, which would make this an excellent companion device for Samsung’s existing devices like the Galaxy S10 as well as the yet to be launched Galaxy Note 10.
Connectivity and Battery
This goes without saying, but Samsung will desperately want to release a 5G compatible version of the Galaxy Tab S5. Given the confusion and subsequent clarification about Samsung’s 5G capable Galaxy S10 models in the U.S., it makes sense for the company to rectify this in time for the release of the Galaxy Tab S5 as well as the Galaxy Note 10. The Snapdragon 855 also comes with support for 5G, so that may be a hint about 5G capabilities on the device. However, it’s entirely likely that Samsung may surprise us all and only offer a 4G model of the tablet. But we’re hoping against hope that there will be a 5G model as well. Naturally, the company will also offer a Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Tab S5 for global markets.
This is an area which hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but Samsung maybe considering dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack from the tablet. Going by the trend this year, followed up by what we saw on some of the company’s mid-ranged handsets, it’s fair to assume that the next flagship tablet will see the same fate. However, we did see the predecessor packing a 3.5mm headphone jack, so it’s likely that the company may just keep it. There will be a USB C port on board, along with the company’s fast charging tech enabled. Battery life on the Galaxy Tab S4 was extremely healthy, while charging it was also pretty fast thanks to the 18W charger supplied by the company. Expect there to be a 7,300 mAh (or bigger) battery onboard the newest Samsung tablet. Surprisingly, Samsung used a smaller 7040 mAh battery with the Galaxy Tab S5e, raising furthers doubts that the battery capacity may be cut down.
This is expected to be a highlight across all Samsung smartphones and tablets in 2020. The company has worked extensively on its One UI which is based on the Android 9.0 Pie operating system. We expect a tablet-optimized version of this operating system onboard the Galaxy Tab S5, along with some new features to complement the AMOLED display as well as the onboard S Pen stylus. It’s also fair to assume that Samsung will be on top of its device update program going forward, which technically makes the Galaxy Tab S5 eligible for at least two major future updates, including Android 10 Q.
Pricing and Availability
This is merely an estimate as we’re still a couple of months away from the official announcement of the Galaxy Tab S5. However, if the predecessor is any indication, we expect the standard variants of the tablet to be priced around the $650 mark. This is a conservative estimate given that Samsung is also expected to include cellular variants in the mix. It is also possible that Samsung will finally breach the $1000 mark with its tablets as well. As we’ve mentioned above, the tablet should in all likelihood launch alongside the Galaxy Note 10. Rumors suggest that the Note 10 is scheduled for an August release, so it’s fair to assume that the Galaxy Tab S5 will break cover around the same time. It has also been suggested that Samsung may offer 128GB and 256GB models of the tablet. Perhaps Samsung is looking to offer the 128GB model for the same price as last year’s 64GB model. Expecting this would be quite a leap, though.
Samsung unveiled a bunch of accessories for the Galaxy Tab S4, including its very own Book Cover Keyboard, which acts as a cover as well as a keyboard for the tablet. We can expect to see some of Samsung’s own accessories for the Galaxy Tab S5, including a repeat of the aforementioned keyboard case. Given the open nature of wireless keyboard cases, the tablet will also work with a large number of third party offerings. There should also be a standard Book Cover sans the keyboard and a charging dock as well. We cannot rule out the possibility of Samsung unveiling new accessories for the tablet to appeal to productivity driven customers.
Should you wait for the Galaxy Tab S5?
Well, if you’re a fan of Samsung’s tablets, particularly the AMOLED display touting Galaxy Tab S lineup, there’s every reason for you to be excited about Samsung’s newest offering. While it doesn’t offer the same level of excitement as some other tablets in the market (read: Apple iPads), there’s no denying that Samsung has taken giant strides in the tablet market especially since the arrival of the Galaxy Tab S series a few years ago. We’ve spoken in great length about the changes that we expect to see on the Galaxy Tab S5. However, these changes may not be appealing to everyone.
If you’re a customer who is simply looking to get the AMOLED tablet experience and are also considering purchasing the older Galaxy Tab S4 model, we strongly recommend you to wait. With the Galaxy Tab S5 still not announced, Samsung is unlikely to slash prices for its older model. You can expect pricing for the Galaxy Tab S4 to drop significantly as we head in towards August which may be the best time to invest in Samsung’s 2018 flagship tablet.
The hardware specifications suggest that the Galaxy Tab S5 may pack a few upgrades over the predecessor. However, since we’re yet to gain concrete information on the tablet, it’s hard to tell if it will be worth the wait. The rumors certainly suggest that it will be, though.