Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 was unveiled in October 2017 but up to now, the Korean company has only confirmed the Wi-Fi variant of the 8-inch rugged tablet in the U.S., priced at $419.99.
It had been a while since Samsung released the first-generation Tab Active and as expected, the Tab Active 2 received a significant jump in specs and features as well. Similar to the original Tab Active, the new model is available in both Wi-Fi and LTE variants, but the latter has yet to set foot in the U.S. market. This wait might not be long, though. The Wi-Fi Alliance has recently cleared a Samsung tablet with model number SM-T397U, which we believe is the Galaxy Tab Active 2 LTE headed to the U.S., probably as an unlocked variant. Still, if the latest changes that Samsung has been making to its smartphone model numbers are anything to go by, it could mean that this variant will be available via U.S. carriers.
In a bid to unify its flagship smartphones, Samsung has been making gradual changes not only to the design language, but also to how it code-names the phones. Unlike before where each U.S. carrier had a Samsung Galaxy Sx phone with a different model number, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, for instance, all come with a similar model number on all carriers.
To put it clearer, the Galaxy S7 on Verizon has model number SM-G930V and T-Mobile has model number SM-G930T. The last letters on each number represent the carrier, but with the Galaxy S8, things are different. All carrier variants have model number SM-G950U, where the “U” doesn’t represent any carrier. If you are on Verizon, the S8 model number is SM-G950UZVAVZW and on T-Mobile, the model number is SM-G950UZVATMB. For the former, the last ‘VZW’ stands for Verizon Wireless and for the latter, ‘TMB’ comes in for T-Mobile. Those on AT&T should see ‘ATT’ while the Sprint version has ‘SPR’ – and so on.
Whether Samsung will do the same for other mobile devices is unknown, but regardless of what happens, there’s little doubt that the recently-cleared model number SM-T397U is a U.S.-bound LTE variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2. The Wi-Fi variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 has model number SM-T390N. The UK variant of the Tab Active 2 LTE has model number SM-T395N. Even though the cleared model number SM-T397U is a little bit off, it’s nothing strange in the world of Samsung tablets.
For the uninitiated, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 ships with a rugged body with MIL-STD-810G certification and just like any other Active gadget from Samsung, the body is also IP68 certified along with the included S Pen. In terms of specs, the 8-inch WXGA TFT screen used has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and as pointed out earlier, the Tab Active 2 has an upgraded Exynos 7870 octa-core, up from the Snapdragon 400 used in the OG Active.
The processor is paired with a 3GB RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The back camera has an 8MP sensor with autofocus and LED flash while the front gets a 5MP unit. The tablet also gets a fingerprint scanner, NFC, USB-C, a 4450mAh user replaceable battery and Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box.
Even though we don’t get a specific release date from this appearance on Wi-Fi Alliance, history tells us that it shouldn’t be long before the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 LTE starts selling in the U.S. The same history also tells us that the LTE variant will cost higher than the $419.99 charged for the Wi-Fi variant.