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Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 vs Nexus 9: What to Know



Near the end of July Samsung revealed two brand new “class leading” extremely thin and lightweight tablets called the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. The new design and stunning screen makes them instantly compete with Apple and Google. With an August release date near, here’s how they compare to Google’s own Nexus 9.

This year Samsung took a completely different approach to its Android tablets. Following in the footsteps of Google and Apple they ditched the long and skinny 16:9 aspect ratio, and went for shorter and wider tablets. This move is reportedly the make them easier to hold, especially for long periods of reading, web browsing or gaming.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: What Buyers Need to Know

The Samsung Galaxy Tab lineup can be a bit confusing with all the different options, names and sizes, but the company’s latest Galaxy Tab S2 looks to be the best Android tablet released in all of 2015, and should be available sometime in August. Below is how Samsung’s Tab S2 compares to the Nexus 9.


Google’s Nexus 9 was announced back in October and was released in early November as the first device running Android 5.0 Lollipop. It was touted as a flagship Android tablet, Google’s best yet, but ended up seeing mediocre reviews, performance, and was slow to receive the latest Android updates, even though it’s a Nexus device.

The Nexus 9 is still a great tablet, one of the better options available for Android buyers, but it has some strong competition from Samsung and its latest Galaxy Tab S2. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes in the same two sizes that Apple offers with the iPad, with one being slightly bigger than the Nexus 9, and one a little smaller. Samsung is selling an 8-inch model, and a 9.7-inch iPad-like variant.

For those considering a new Android tablet in time for back-to-school, the new Galaxy Tab S2 should certainly be on your radar, and Google’s Nexus 9 has seen a lot of price drops as of late, making it a great choice as well. All things aside, here’s the latest details about both for those debating which tablet to buy.

Display Size

Display Size

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes, and has a beautiful S-AMOLED HD display. Just like Apple, Samsung is now offering the Tab S as an 8-inch version, and a bigger 9.7-inch model shaped like the iPad. They've switched to the same 4:3 aspect ratio as well. Meaning instead of long and skinny, the new tablets are wider and not as tall. Just like the Nexus 9.

Samsung's Tab S2 (both screen sizes) come with a beautifully crisp, bright, and colorful display offering a 2048 x 1536 resolution. This is lower than last years 2560 x 1600, but should still look excellent compared to any of the competition. The tablets are also thinner and lighter than anything else in this size category.

Google's Nexus 9 however, has an 8.9-inch 2048×1536 Full HD display. Meaning they're almost the same in resolution, but the Nexus 9 is a perfect middle ground in terms of size. If a 9.7-inch iPad is too big, the 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2 might be perfect. Or those wanting something slightly bigger may want to go for Google's 9-inch tablet instead.

It's a tough choice, as they're very similar all around. That being said, Samsung's known for having some of the best displays on the market, and it will be hard to beat. Most likely Samsung's Tab S2 has the better screen, and as soon as it hits retail stores we'll be sure to try it out and post a full review, and update our comparisons.



  1. Ange Dylla

    08/07/2015 at 6:58 pm

    Can you message on it or receive txt? what about a spen does it have that?

  2. zambutu

    08/08/2015 at 5:58 am

    The old tabs were 16:10 not 16:9pm…makes a diference

  3. Monokuma

    11/29/2015 at 1:52 pm

    Errrrrhhhmmm. Uhhh, why is my tab s2 8.0 able to play 1440p quad HD videos on YouTube? If it was only 1080p screen then I wouldn’t have the 1440p option on YouTube. Get your facts right.

    • Someone

      12/18/2015 at 12:33 pm

      Mainly, it’s because you’re wrong and the option isn’t controlled by the resolution of your screen.

      • Monokuma

        12/18/2015 at 4:51 pm

        Then tell me, why am I able to play 1440p videos in YouTube and my tablet s2 box says able to play 1440p format video playback ?

  4. Flamnpede

    12/09/2015 at 12:34 pm

    Um according to the benchmarks the Nexus 9 basically wipes the floor with the tab s2.

  5. Bob

    12/18/2015 at 3:53 pm

    Umm.. only a true nerd is concerned strictly with specs.. all those specs play a big part in usability.. the premium feel and the user experience offered by the Samsung tablet is far superior to what Google 9 is offering.. imho..

  6. Luka

    01/17/2016 at 10:15 am

    “About the only advantage the Nexus 9 does have is…” and lists 4 of them.

    • Chaz

      01/17/2016 at 10:48 am

      Better GPU tegra k1
      Bigger screen
      Google OS
      Faster Updates

      That’s it, While Tab S2-

      Thinner Design 5.5 mm
      Super Amoled
      Good camera
      No light bleed like the N9
      No stiff buttons like the N9
      No Lag unlike 5.1.1 version of the N9
      SD Expansion up to 100gb
      Cheaper compared to the 32gb Variant N9
      Comes with better colors
      Ultra Lightweight, lighter than Z3 TC

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