Because of the iPad Pro’s supremacy, most high-end tablet makers have pulled out of the market, but Samsung has remained committed to keeping the Android flame going. These new versions offer plenty of enticing features to preserve the Tab’s place as the premium alternative to Apple’s offering, with better video conferencing, beefed-up new octa-core processors inside, and a supersized model that appears destined to bring in a whole new class of tablet
Read on to learn more about the new Tab S8 line, which comes in five flavors: S8 Wi-Fi, S8 5g, S8+ Wi-Fi, S8+ 5G and S8 ultra.
Pricing and Availability:
From March 4, 2022, the Galaxy Tab S8 Series will be available in Singapore at the following prices, configurations, and colors:
|Galaxy Tab S8||11-inch||Wi-Fi||Graphite, Pink Gold||S$1,188|
|Galaxy Tab S8||11-inch||5G||Graphite, Pink Gold||S$1,388|
|Galaxy Tab S8+||12.4-inch||Wi-Fi||Graphite, Pink Gold||S$1,538|
|Galaxy Tab S8+||12.4-inch||5G||Graphite, Pink Gold||S$1,738|
|Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra||14.6-inch||5G||Graphite||S$2,188|
|Particulars||Samsung Galaxy Tab S8||Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+||Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|Storage||128/256GB with microSD slot||128/256GB with microSD slot||128/256/512GB with microSD slot|
|Display||11-inch 2560 x 1600 120Hz LTPS TFT||12.4-inch 2800 x 1752 120Hz Super AMOLED (S8+)||14.6″ 120Hz Super AMOLED|
|Camera||13MP + 6MP (Ultra Wide) with flash, 12MP front||13MP + 6MP (Ultra Wide) with flash, 12MP front||13MP + 6MP (Ultra Wide) with flash, 12MP + 12MP UW front|
|Software||Android 12 with One UI 4||Android 12 with One UI 4||Android 12 with One UI 4|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Measurements||253.7 x 165.3 x 6.35 mm, 1.10 lb||284.9 x 184.9 x 5.5 mm, 1.27 lb||326.4 x 208.5 x 5.5″, 1.60 lb|
|Misc||S Pen (in box), power button fingerprint scanner||S Pen (in box), in-display fingerprint scanner||S Pen (in box), in-display fingerprint scanner|
Display and Size:
On testing we found that the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the star of the new lineup, with a massive 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,960×1,848 pixels, just shy of 4K. Despite its enormous screen, the extra-large tablet is only 5.5mm thick and weighs only 1.60 lbs., making it ideal for a knapsack. The mid-tier S8+ has a smaller 12.4-inch screen than its bigger sibling, but it still has the same stunning Super AMOLED display technology, although with a lower resolution of 2800 x 1752. The thinnest of the three slates in the range is also the thickest, measuring 0.25 inches vs 0.22 inches for the bigger display variants.
One reason for its larger size is that it accommodates a thicker, but visibly less bright Full HD LTPS TFT screen rather than the fancy AMOLED display found on the other models – the main difference between this 11-inch model and the larger, more expensive variants in the range.
While the three models have different screen sizes and panel technology, they all have 120Hz refresh rates for silky page navigation and buttery smooth action when gaming or watching films. For unlocking the device, the two higher-tier devices include an in-display fingerprint scanner, while the cheaper Standard S8 has to rely on a scanner on the power button.
Upon testing, the new Tab 8 models all have rounded edges, a premium Armor aluminum frame, and a magnetic rear strip for charging the S Pen stylus, which is almost identical to the Tab 7 models from 2021. The S8 and S8+ are available in silver, graphite, and pink gold finishes, while the Ultra has only one finish option, which is the smart, yet understated, graphite colored casing.
We tested this and under the hood of all five models is the same 4nm octa-core processor. As is often the case with Samsung, the region of the world in which you live will determine which chip you receive. The new Tab S8 tablets in the United States will use Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 1 processors, while devices in the rest of the world will use Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chips.
The new silicon appears to offer a significant increase in horsepower for the S8’s over their Galaxy Tab S7 predecessors’ not-so-shabby performance. That boost in power will undoubtedly be felt most keenly when gaming, as the new chips will include support for ray-tracing, resulting in more realistic lighting effects in compatible games.
On testing, the new S8 tablets have 13MP and 6MP cameras on the back, while the S8 and S8+ have a single 16MP camera on the front. The Ultra takes things a step further, with dual 12MP cameras on the front, one for regular range and the other for ultra-wide angles for better video conferencing. The disadvantage is that, unlike the other S8 models, the Ultra’s display has a notch that extends beyond the bezel to accommodate the additional camera.
Samsung’s new auto-framing technology, which works similarly to Apple’s Center Stage auto zoom feature, automatically keeps you in focus during calls while also zooming in or out to include new participants as they join you.
There is only top-tier hardware under the hood. Unlike the S22 series of phones, it appears that all tablets will be equipped with Qualcomm hardware (the European devices we saw didn’t have Exynos anyway).
When we tested this, in terms of battery life, regardless of the size tablet you choose, you can probably expect similar results. That’s because, as screen sizes increase, so do the battery capacities of each device, as detailed above, with each slate offering 45W fast-charging. It should be noted that wireless charging is not available in any of the options.
Aside from the top-tier processor, the minimum RAM specification is a respectable 8GB, increasing to a 12GB option for all but the Ultra. Storage capacity is similarly reflected: 128GB or 256GB are standard, with only the Ultra offering 512GB. Fortunately, all three products will support microSD expansion, allowing you to significantly increase that capacity if desired – a welcome addition here.
The software is also unassuming, which should come as no surprise. On testing on the tablets, you’ll find Android 12 and, of course, Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 on top of it.
Samsung Knox, the company’s security solution, is also present on these devices. In terms of security, the fingerprint sensor is embedded in the display of the S8+ and Ultra, and it is embedded in the power button of the Galaxy Tab S8.
The update policy of Samsung is intriguing: Samsung promises a long period of support: Four major Android updates, as well as five years of security updates, are included. You could have a lot of fun with these tablets for a long time!
Battery life and Charging Speed:
In our test while all three new tablets feature USB-C 45-watt fast charging, they do not support wireless charging or reverse wireless charging, as did their predecessors. However, they can share power with devices. Buyers should be aware that Samsung has not included a charger in the box, which is an additional cost to consider if you don’t already have a spare lying around.
The Ultra, unsurprisingly, has a larger battery than the other models to keep that beast of a screen lit up, with an 11,200mAh pack that Samsung claims can last for up to 14 hours of video playback.
According to Samsung, the S8+ will last an hour less than the S8 Ultra during unplugged video playback, with its 10,090mAh battery lasting 13 hours, whereas the S8, with its less demanding display, will last two hours longer, with a claimed life of 15 hours of video playback.
While all three new tablets feature USB-C 45-watt fast charging, they, like their predecessors, do not support wireless charging or reverse wireless charging, which is surprising given that the new Samsung Galaxy S22 phones do. They can, however, use wired power-sharing to share power with other devices.
Both the S8 and S8+ charge to 100% capacity in an impressively quick 80 minutes.
All three come with the “new and improved” S Pen stylus, which Samsung claims provides even lower writing latency thanks to a new prediction algorithm. It’s also worth noting that if you order any of the three Tab S8 models directly from Samsung, you’ll receive a Slim Keyboard Cover for free for a limited time.
The trio all have three microphones with noise cancellation for calls and recording, as well as Dolby Atmos-powered quad speakers that produce a surround sound effect when watching compatible movies.
They all come pre-installed with Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI 4 software, as well as Samsung’s DeX mode, which allows the tablet to behave more like a PC, delivering a desktop computing experience when plugged into a monitor and supporting mouse control and external keyboards.
Each new slate supports Wi-Fi 6E, but the Tab S8 Plus is the only model in the US that can be configured with a 5G radio — at least unlocked. In the United States, carrier-sold models with 5G onboard are available. That is not the case in other regions, such as the United Kingdom and Europe, where buyers can equip both the standard S8 and the high-end S8 Ultra with 5G connectivity.
The Ultra’s top-tier status is supported by the fact that it is the only model with 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB RAM options, as well as the only one with a larger 512GB storage option. Both the S8 and S8+ have 8GB of onboard RAM and only two built-in storage options: 128GB and 256GB.
The boundary between tablets, laptops, and Chromebooks is becoming increasingly blurred with each new iteration of Samsung’s Tab line – these are unquestionably the best Android tablets ever offered.
This is especially true with the new Tab lineup, with the top-tier S8 Ultra appearing to be a true PC replacement. When combined with the device’s backlit keyboard casing, it might easily be mistaken for a standard Windows laptop. With the capacity to display three snapped programs on the screen at once, there’s very little that these devices can’t handle in terms of productivity chores.
As a result, the Ultra is the standout model for power users looking for a laptop-like experience from an Android tablet. Multitasking will be a snap thanks to the larger display, and multimedia creators will appreciate the greater RAM and storage space options.
However, for many consumers, the S8+ should find the sweet spot for those who desire the class-leading AMOLED display in a more manageable design. It’s also the model we recommend for dedicated Android gamers who want to play while on the go.
The basic S8 will be a success for people only looking to use their tablet as a consuming device, as it has all of the processing power of its larger, more costly siblings while being less likely to give you arm ache during longer reading and viewing sessions.
In 2022, there are many similarities between Samsung’s Tab S Series devices, including the design, dual rear camera, One UI software, and chipset. All three tablets include a S Pen in the box for sketching and taking notes.
However, there are numerous distinctions to be made across the board. If you’re willing to spend more money on a tablet, the Tab S8 Ultra will impress you with its massive display, larger battery, and secondary front camera. If you prefer something small and light while still looking very premium, the Tab S8 is your best bet. The Tab S8 Plus is a good compromise between the two.
Get the Galaxy Tab S8 if:
- You want a portable tablet that you can easily carry from room to room or lug around in a backpack all day
- You want a tablet for playing Android games
- You don’t want to spend too much
Get the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus if:
- You intend to do a bit of productivity work
- You want better battery life
Get the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra if:
- You will do a lot of productivity work
- You know the tablet will be deskbound often, i.e., portability isn’t your biggest requirement
- You want the largest screen possible