Which is better, the Galaxy Tab S2 or iPad Air 2?

Samsung Galaxy Tab s2 black 2
Credit: Michael Kan

When the Galaxy Tab S2 launches in August, it'll give the iPad Air 2 a run for its money. Which is better for you? The Tab S2 comes in two sizes, so for this article, I'll compare the 9.7-inch WiFi version to the iPad Air 2's WiFi version.


The Galaxy Tab S2 comes with a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 (QXGA) Super AMOLED display. The iPad Air 2 also has a 9.7-inch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution. No word yet on the S2's pixel density. The iPad Air 2 has 264 pixels per inch (ppi). For now, we'll call this a tie.

Size and weight

The Galaxy Tab S2 comes up a winner here. It's thinner and lighter than the iPad Air 2. It measures 169mm x 237.3mm x 5.6mm, and weights 389 grams. The iPad Air 2 is slightly heavier and bulkier, at 240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm, and weighs 437 grams.

Processor and RAM

The Galaxy Tab S2 features a serious processor: an eight-core Exynos 5433 SoC chip. Packed inside, it has two quad-core processors, one running at 1.9GHz, the other at 1.3 GHz. It comes with 3 GB of RAM. The iPad Air 2 hnas A8X chip and M8 motion coprocessor. It comes with 2GB of RAM. On paper, the Galaxy Tab S2 wins. But Apple engineers have a way of getting every bit of performance out of hardware. So we'll call this a toss-up.


The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in 32GB and 64GB versions. Both have a microSD slot that can take up to 128GB extra. The iPad Air 2 comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. Slight edge here to the Galaxy Tab S2 because it will give you more total storage space if you use the microSD slot.


The Galaxy Tab S2 has a 8MP rear camera and a 2.1MP front camera. The iPad Air 2 has a 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front camera. The Galaxy Tab S2's specs sound slightly better, but not enough to make it a winner in this category.

Operating system

This one's like debating religion. The Galaxy Tab S2 comes with the latest version of Android, Lollipop 5.0, while iPad Air 2 comes with iOS 8. Android has more features and is better for customization. iOS is simpler and more elegant. Take your pick; they're equal.

Bottom line

There's no pricing available yet for the Galaxy Tab S2, so it's tough to decide which is the better deal. The Galaxy Tab S2 overall has slightly better specs, but not enough to be a game changer. For now it comes down to whether you're an Android or iOS fan.

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