June 29, 2015

EE Harrier Tab vs Apple iPad mini 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

EE Harrier Tab vs Apple iPad mini 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

There aren’t many 4G tablets, let alone cheap ones, leaving the EE Harrier Tab with minimal direct competition, but there are still some fairly affordable ones and they’re from big name brands too.

The 4G versions of the Apple iPad mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 for example both come in at mid-range prices of £339 and around £300 respectively.

But that’s still a lot more than the £200 EE Harrier Tab, so do you really get that much more for your money? Read on for a full comparison.

Build

EE Harrier Tab vs Apple iPad mini 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

EE Harrier Tab (212.8 x 124 x 8.5mm 338g plastic) vs Apple iPad mini 2 (200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm 341g metal) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (212.8 x 125.6 x 6.6mm 298g plastic)

The EE Harrier Tab isn’t going to win any design awards with its metallic (but plastic) back, yet it doesn’t look overly cheap, helped by the fact that it’s fairly thin and surprisingly light at just 338g. In fact its plain, fairly smart design ensures it wouldn’t look out of place in the office.

The iPad mini 2 on the other hand could easily win a design award. Its slim metal shell leaves it as one of the best looking tablets on the planet, though it’s actually slightly heavier than EE’s slate. Not by much, but that means it’s certainly no more portable, which can be a key concern with tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is the slimmest and lightest of the three but it’s plastic like the EE Harrier Tab and for the most part the shell doesn’t even try and look any more premium than that, though it does have a shiny faux-metal band running along the edge.

Display

EE Harrier Tab vs Apple iPad mini 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

EE Harrier Tab (8.0-inch 1080*1920 275ppi) vs Apple iPad mini 2 (7.9-inch 1536*2048 324ppi) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (8.4-inch 1600*2560 359ppi)

The EE Harrier Tab has an 8.0-inch 1080 x 1920 screen with a pixel density of around 275 pixels per inch, while the Apple iPad mini 2 has a 7.9-inch 1536 x 2048 screen with a pixel density of 324 pixels per inch and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has an 8.4-inch 1600 x 2560 screen with a pixel density of 359 pixels per inch.

So the EE Harrier Tab has the least sharp display of the three, but it’s still above average for a tablet of that size and shouldn’t feel lacking in clarity.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has the largest and sharpest screen. It’s also a Super AMOLED display, making it brighter and richer than its rivals.

The iPad mini 2 falls in the middle for sharpness, but it’s the smallest of the three, so arguably the EE Harrier Tab strikes a good middle ground in terms of size.

Power

EE Harrier Tab (1.5GHz octa-core 2GB RAM) vs Apple iPad mini 2 (1.3GHz dual-core 1GB RAM) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (1.9GHz octa-core 3GB RAM)

There’s a 1.5GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM powering the EE Harrier Tab, which ensures it has surprisingly high end performance.

It’s certainly a lot higher spec than the 1.3GHz dual-core iPad mini 3 with its 1GB of RAM, though that in itself has far slicker performance than it has any right to.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4 has the best specs, with its 1.9GHz octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, but it’s also around £100 more expensive than the EE Harrier Tab and the Harrier Tab already exhibits fairly slick performance.

Camera

EE Harrier Tab vs Apple iPad mini 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

EE Harrier Tab (8MP rear 2MP front-facing) vs Apple iPad mini 2 (5MP rear 1080p@30fps 1.2MP front-facing) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (8MP rear 1080p@30fps 2.1MP front-facing)

Tablets are rarely known for their cameras but the EE Harrier Tab actually makes a pretty good attempt, with an 8 megapixel snapper on the back allowing it to take impressively detailed images and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for solid selfies and reasonable quality video calls.

In fact it’s more or less a match for the far more expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and out-specs the iPad mini 2 with its 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front-facing one by a significant margin.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

EE Harrier Tab (4650 mAh 16GB 4G) vs Apple iPad mini 2 (6470 mAh 16/32GB 4G) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (4900 mAh 16/32GB 4G)

All three of these tablets have reasonable size batteries. The EE Harrier Tab and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 are similar at 4650 mAh and 4900 mAh respectively, while the iPad mini 2 has a larger 6470 mAh battery.

Both the iPad mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 can last for a full day of fairly heavy media use. EE hasn’t confirmed how long the Harrier Tab can last for but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s similar. At a minimum we’d expect to get around seven hours of video out of it, given the specs.

For storage all three slates have 16GB models, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and iPad mini 2 are also available in 32GB sizes, however the iPad mini 2 doesn’t have a microSD card slot, which the EE Harrier Tab and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 do.

All three tablets support 4G, which is a big selling point on slates as it’s still offered by relatively few. On the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and iPad mini 2 you have to pay a premium for a 4G version though, while the EE Harrier Tab comes with 4G as standard and for far less money.

Conclusion

The EE Harrier Tab stands up surprisingly well to its more expensive rivals. It’s not the best at anything but it’s a great all-rounder, with a smart design, plenty of power, a decent screen, a good camera, promising battery life and of course 4G.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and iPad mini 2 offer most of those things too and in some cases top the Harrier Tab. The Galaxy Tab 8.4 has a class-leading screen for example while the iPad mini 2 has a premium build, but the £300 4G version of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is half as much again as the EE Harrier Tab and the £339 4G iPad mini 2 is even more and they arguably don’t offer enough extra to justify the price hike.

If you’ve got money to burn they’re both strong buys, but the EE Harrier Tab is more affordable and better value.

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