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Samsung Galaxy Tab S' phone-syncing feature SideSync isn't new, but it is improved

Samsung made such a big deal out of the SideSync feature on its Galaxy Tab S tablet, you'd think it was a brand-new feature. Not so, but it is expanded and potentially quite useful.

SideSync mirrors your Galaxy S5 with the Galaxy Tab S, including calls. Sarah Tew/CNET

When Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Tab S tablet in New York on Thursday, it prominently highlighted a feature that shares files and even phone calls between the Tab S and your phone. With all the fanfare surrounding SideSync on stage, you'd think it was brand new.

SideSync previously cropped up on the Galaxy Note Pro series of tablets, and also exists as a tool to share data between select Ativ PCs and Galaxy phones. In fact, Samsung is already up to version 3.

But let's get into what's new, which is fielding phone calls. SideSync will work with both Wi-Fi and LTE versions of the tablet to mirror a device, which was a Galaxy S5 phone in the on-stage demo.

A call-forwarding option means that you can answer phone calls on the Tab S if you're already using it, rather than breaking focus to reach for your phone. (This is similar to Apple's new Handoff feature for its latest operating system.) Call-syncing will work with only the Galaxy S5 for now, but Samsung plans to expand phone support down the line. Galaxy Note 4, anyone?

In addition to managing calls, SideSync also transfers files over the air between the phone and Galaxy Tab S, and between the Tab S and a PC -- this isn't new. If you've got a gaggle of Tab S slates together in the same room, connecting them in the same cozy network lets users edit documents at the same time, in real time.

All of this productivity is welcome, but Samsung's main point of pride is the Galaxy Tab S' Super AMOLED display, a first for its tablet line. Check it out, along with all other Tab S features, in CNET's hands-on preview with the Galaxy Tab S tablet .