This mid-range tablet is hard to take
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 is a further development of the Galaxy Tab Active from 2015, which has an extra strong housing and is designed to withstand the harshest environments thanks to the protective cover supplied. However, since alternatives for such a robust 8-inch tablet are virtually non-existent, the extra charge for stability is justified.
Design and Processing
The workmanship of the tablet looks very high-quality, stable and robust. The display made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is framed by a very hard and stiff frame. The battery cover on the back side, on the other hand, is made of very thin and flexible plastic, which in the test also proved to be very resistant to external influences. In this combination, the tablet is already certified to the IP68 protection standard, with the back of the tablet must always be tightly closed to ensure tightness.
Equipment and Software
Inside the Galaxy Tab Active 2, an Exynos 7 Octa-7870 CPU from Samsung, with integrated Mali-T830-MP2-GPU, provides the necessary computing power. With 3 GB of main memory, our test device is slightly better equipped than most of the comparators. In contrast, the 16 GB eMMC mass storage device is already known from its predecessor, but only very few competitor tablets have more to offer here. After all, the memory can be expanded to up to 256 GB via MicroSD card.
The connectors of the Galaxy Tab Active 2 provide the usual Android standard. A small special feature is the USB port. This is designed as type C but is internally controlled via USB 2.0 only. All connection options are designed to remain waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters.
Samsung equips the Galaxy Tab Active 2 with Android 7.1 as an operating system. Experience version 8.5 is used as a user interface. The adjustments of the user interface are rather minor and Android users quickly find their way around. In addition to a number of pre-installed Samsung, Google and Microsoft apps, our test device also has Samsung’s Bixby language assistant.
The 8-inch display in the Galaxy Tab Active 2 displays screen contents with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. This is not very much, but compared to the competition it is not unusual.
Our subjective impression of the Galaxy Tab Active 2 screen is also reflected by the readings. Brightness is above average. Contrast and colors are displayed sufficiently. All in all, our test device only has to admit defeat to the Apple iPad (2017).
A special feature of the Galaxy Tab Active 2 is the S Pen, which we know from the Galaxy Note series. It offers a whole range of functions to support you in your everyday life. For example, you cut out certain areas of the display and save it as a screenshot. Samsung promises precise pressure point detection. Even in case of rain, for example, signing a document is no problem, we have tried it out.
The keyword highlight, however, does not apply to the delivery times of the 4,450 milliampere-hour energy source. These are to be evaluated as maximum average. Adjust to a battery life of about one day with regular use.
The main camera of the Galaxy Tab Active2 with a resolution of 8 megapixels left a good overall impression. The pictures are no longer quite up to date, but they offer a nice picture quality. Photographs taken in daylight are rich in detail, the colors are natural. The autofocus is reliable, but you’ll have to be prepared for a sharp drop in detail and sharpness, except in low light conditions.
With the Galaxy Tab Active2, Samsung has a largely well-equipped outdoor tablet. In addition to the robust qualities for outdoor use, the equipment features such as a bright display, a fingerprint scanner, and an exchangeable battery. On longer hiking tours or for the field service we can imagine the tablet as a reliable companion.