iPad iPad Mini 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.3

Discussion in 'iPad' started by appleroid, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. appleroid macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2015
    Looking at getting a 7-9 inch tablet, read that these two are the best, thoughts?

  2. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    For sheer screen quality, the Samsung S has no equal right now. If you've never seen the S series you're in for a real treat. The Mini 2 is last years tech. The screen is nice but nowhere near the quality of the Samsung.

    OS: Samsung vs Apple. That's where you'll find the Mini 2 has the edge. There's more bloat on the S Tab but some features are way cool like the split window multi-tasking on the Samsung. :)

    I have that on my Galaxy Tab 8 and it's pretty slick. As far as construction goes, they both are nice but if you prefer aluminum then the Mini 2 is the preferred choice.
  3. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    I personally don't like anything Samsung, except for their TVs. I think samsung's bastardized version of Android is horrendous. If you are looking for Android tablet I would consider nexus 7 or nexus 9. Both run on Stock android and both will receive updates, however rare, from Google. Who knows if and when the Samsung tablet will get updates.

    I my self picked up iPad 2 mini 32GB, which was barely used for a month, from Craigslist for $200. I absolutely love this tablet and would pick it over any Samsung tablet any day. But that is my opinion. Try searching for reviews on YouTube comparing Samsung and iPad mini.
  4. studIOS5 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Oregon, OH
    I've had both and I can confidently say the mini wins hands down. On the stock launcher, touchwiz lags like crazy and all the extra "features" really slow it down. The mini 2 is better for fluidity and tablet app accessibility. You just can't find tons of cool android tablet apps and when you do, they usually aren't as polished as their apple competitor.
  5. tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    Get rid of the touchwiz launcher (easy to do).... that solves the lag problem.

    That being said, the S 8.3" has an occasional weird thing going on with google chrome, where it doesn't record clicking on hyperlinks. You tap it several times in a row... nothing. Very strange, I have seen this same thing on both the S 8.3 and S 10.1. Except for that, the machine is fluid and fast.

    I like the 4:3 ratio screen better (win for mini), but the price of the S 8.3 is better since you can buy cheap SD cards for storage (win for S 8.3).

    Split screen on the samsung is awesome (win for mini). Come on Apple, up your game!

    Do you use Amazon Prime? Well you can't watch amazon prime movies on the Samsung, cause they don't offer a tablet version that works with anything but iOS and fire tablets. (win for mini).

    A lost of apps are offered first on iOS, and only show up on Android months later (win for mini).

    iTunes movie ecosystem is a lot better defined than google play (win for mini).
  6. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    I read Amazon changed their policy regarding Prime. http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-com-Prime-Instant-Video/dp/B00N28818A

    Anyways for movies I use Showbox.
  7. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    I just went through this process - here is my experience.

    First off, I have multiple Apple devices (iPhone's, iPad's, kids have iPod touch's) so I just want to put that out there. The Apple EcoSystem is important for my family, but I'm a tech geek so I do not discriminate and I'm not so locked into the EcoSystem that I cannot switch to an Android phone or tablet. HOWEVER, I do want products that work and are easy to pick up and use. I use a tablet mainly for a media consumption device. Reading, Twitter, YouTube, web browsing, casual games etc.

    I recently bought an Air 2 and loved it, but prefer the smaller tablet (i.e. Mini, Galaxy Tab S 8.4 etc) so I gave it to wife and decided to buy the GT S 8.4 to give it a try. This wasn't my first Samsung Tablet or for that matter my first Android tablet as I've had the Nexus 7 2.0. Here are my honest impressions of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 after a little over a week of intensive use.


    -AWESOME screen. Bright, colorful . . . the Super Amoled is the best I've ever seen on a tablet. If you only care about the display then absolutely check out the GT.
    -It is very thin and light. Easy to hold to read a book etc.
    -Multi window is cool and useful. Watching YouTube video and doing some google searches split screen is nice.
    -MicroSD expansion is nice to have.
    -Google Now is really, really nice.
    -Obviously customization of Android is a positive.

    Negatives (I realize given how many Apple Devices I have some of these are subjective in nature, BUT, I'm trying to be as device and OS objective as possible) :

    -Battery life was not good for me. Whenever I checked what was running etc. the beautiful display (set at about 30% brightness) was constantly the cause of over 65% of my battery usage. I barely got through a day most times without having to plug it in (Spotify, web browsing, YouTube etc).
    -For $399 it didn't feel in the least premium to me. Rubbery, dimpled back still feels a bit low end (I understand this is very subjective and was NOT a deal breaker for me).
    -Touchwiz is still too bloaty for me even though it's gotten much better. I did download and install the Google Launcher which made things better but specifically on the Samsung it just isn't a cohesive experience and it shows. I understand that some like this and want multiple app stores etc, but it just isn't for me.
    -Also, Android is coming along nicely, but again in my humble opinion it's still way behind iOS in smoothness, polish etc.
    -The device hangs and stutters way too often. For example, when I would touch the YouTube App it would hang for a couple seconds before it opened. I know it's only a couple of seconds but it shouldn't happen on a high end tablet.
    -Chrome was slow and laggy. Also, scrolling stuttered constantly. Double tapping to zoom into text and read magazines etc was unreliable and spotty.
    -Didn't love the aspect ration of the screen. Likely something I would get used to but I like the wideness of the iPad Mini much more for reading, browsing etc.
    -Some apps are just not as polished or don't work as well. For example, I got Rayman Fiesta Run and it suffered so much slowdown it was unplayable. Say what you will, but it takes away from the experience when this happens on a supposed high end, high spec tablet.
    -The Fingerprint Sensor is a joke compared to TouchID. Sorry, if someone wants to argue this they just haven't tried or extensively used TouchID. I believe that TouchID does not get enough credit for how well it's implemented and how accurate it works. TouchID was revolutionary for me (yes I said revolutionary) as I need to have my devices locked for security purposes (work and kid proof) and while it's admirable Samsung tried to add the sensor it is just way too unreliable to be used consistently as the unlock method.
    -Holding the device landscape mode created many problems for me because of the capacitive buttons on the bottom of the GT. Too many times my palms or fingers would hit those buttons just simply from re-adjusting grip or trying to access the mult-tasking bar that is accessed from swiping to the left from the right side of the screen.

    I think that's it - sorry for the long post. To sum it all up, many of these things might seem small individually, but the sum of the parts created a less than optimal experience for me given the $399 price tag of the Galaxy Tab. Therefore, I returned the GT got the iPad Mini 3 instead (Yes, Touch ID is worth the extra $$$ for me).

    One last note - I did purchase the Samsung branded wrap case for the GT as well ($60) and it was atrocious. If you get the GT, get a cheaper one on Amazon.

    Good luck.
  8. studIOS5 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Oregon, OH
    Ha! I feel like I've just experienced déjà vu. I have gone through nearly every single step you have except mine started out with a free tab s 8.4.

    Basically i was at the mall with my girlfriend at the time (of 3 years) and we decided to stop into some jewelry stores. She found the exact engagement ring she wanted so I played the "oh that's way too much" card and went back the next day and got the ring.

    They were running a special where if you purchased more that 1k in jewelry you got a free tab s 8.4 (great deal right). I got the tab s, excited to satisfy my nerdy android itch (same situation as you except I kept my air 2). Everything you said about the tab s is exactly what I say to friends that ask me about it. I even picked that case up too, and I concur, not worth 60.

    In the end u ended up with a mini 2 and a smart case because I liked the size a lot and figured for free I might as well keep it around.

    Small world haha
  9. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I own a variety of tablets... among the collection is a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. I bought it last Autumn when Best Buy dropped the price to $249, but they can be found at various places for $199.

    It is a high quality tablet with an amazing screen and snappy performance (even with TouchWiz).

    I installed Nova Launcher and performance improved. I just recently rooted it, used Titanium Backup to "freeze" the Samsung bloatware, and installed a multi-window app manager to allow any app to be used in multi-window mode. I used multi-windows functionality on my Surface RT and Surface 2 devices... Samsung did a good job implementing this functionality on the GTab.

    After rooting and freezing, the GTab is significantly faster than before. RAM usage is down from 1.4GB to 1GB. My benchmark for outstanding tablet performance was my iPad 4 running iOS 6.x. This GTab exceeds that.

    It includes an IR blaster (to use it as a remote control), and support for microSD cards and USB OTG. I've paired it with a Motorola BT keyboard w/trackpoint.

    Although I'm heavily invested in the iOS ecosystem, I'm finding that this GTab is extremely versatile by comparison.

    Both of the devices you are considering are worthy choices.
  10. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2013
    New York
    I've had experience with both an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy tablet, and I have to say, I love my rMini 2. Best purchase I have ever made and I'm sure you won't regret it either.
  11. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    Funny stuff.

    SRacer makes some great points too. Both are really good tablets, just depends on what works for you.
  12. RedCoil, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    RedCoil macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    I'm in the same situation. I'm looking for an ~8 inch tablet to use for note taking and reading/annotating PDFs. I have it down to either the iPad Mini 2 (I don't see any reason to buy the 3) and the Nvidia Shield Tablet.

    In favor of the Mini:
    -Better selection of tablet apps.
    -4:3 screen is better for viewing documents.
    -Better overall build quality.
    -Thinner and lighter vs Shield.
    -Better battery life vs the Shield.

    In favor of the Shield:
    -Front facing speakers.
    -Expandable storage.
    -Stylus included.
    -Pretty slick gaming features.
    -Prompt updates from Nvidia (as opposed to probably never with Samsung)

    I think I'll probably go with the Mini 2. I want it mostly for reading so the thinner/lighter frame plus the screen ration are the deciding factors for me. If you're looking for an alternative the Shield Tablet is at least worth a look.
  13. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    Red - I'll chime in. DO NOT get the Shield. I too was wooed by some of the things you mentioned and while it gets relatively favorable reviews there was one MAJOR issue I had with it. The Wi-Fi is terrible and it wasn't just my device - do a search and many Shield users have the problem. Also, there are issues with the corners cracking. I don't if it's a hardware or software issue (or both) but it was basically unusable.

    Get the mini 2 for what you are looking to do with it. Again, I only got the Mini 3 because I love the fingerprint sensor (I know not applicable to most).
  14. iMaven macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2011
    I have the 8" Galaxy Note and the iPad mini 2. I rarely use the Galaxy Note. Many people talk about how much customization it can do, but I find there are still some things lacking with the OS.

    iPad mini - use it constantly because, it just works. It hardly ever gives me problems and I can easily get to everything I need. iOS isn't perfect, but in my opinion it's the best OS on a tablet so far.

    I prefer the iPad mini over any Android tablet. Plus, I don't want to see another *Dead Android on my tablet, like I did the other day.

    *Dead Android - happens before it boots up and the Android is laying on it's back with the torso open and his circuit board showing. Also there's a triangle with an exclamation point.
  15. RedCoil macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Hmm, good to know. I guess it's time to keep an eye out for a good sale on the Mini 2 then.
  16. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009

    I have both devices and between the two the Tab S is my go to tablet for the following reasons:

    Firstly, it's lighter and easier to hold for extended periods of time, especially when reading on it.

    Secondly the screen is second to none.

    I also like the SD card external storage that I can load my anime and watch easily.

    That being said, the iPad2 is nice also and nothing compares to an iPad product for battery life. It just is not comparable.

    However, I don't mind charging my Tab more often. I do play games on both devices and find the experience to be good on both.

    The cost is pretty comparable so if you are into the apple eco system, you really can't lose with the retina mini.

    As far as touch wiz or lag goes, I really can't say I pay much attention to it, so it must not be that bad for me or I would note it. I have had some ipad apps crash on me a few times so my mini is not flawless compared to my android device.

    My preferences are simply because I prefer Android at this time.

    If i could change only one thing about the tablet it would be the battery life.

    Hope this helps.

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15 January 27, 2015