Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Review Summary
Editor’s Ratings: 4/5
- Bright and vibrant screen
- Powerful performance
- Dex support
- Excellent sound and battery life, 25W charging
- No bundled charger
- Cover sold separately
The Galaxy A53 is loaded with specs and its mid-budget price range allows it to compete with devices like Moto Edge 20 Pro, Xiaomi 11T Pro, and more. Samsung has packed the Galaxy A53 with Exynos 1280 chipset, 120Hz AMOLED display, Android 12, and more. All this and more in the 35k price range seems like a very good deal, but is it really better than its competitors? Read on to find out.
Samsung is the only Android maker that continues to take the tablet market seriously. The South Korean giant has been offering budget Galaxy A Series Tabs and premium S series tabs.
Apple still continues to be the dominant player in the segment. The Cupertino giant launched multiple iPad models across different price points catering to the needs of many. Samsung is one company that has been trying to hold up on the Android side of things with its A-series and the premium Tab S-series. The company’s latest premium range of tablets is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series, which was launched in India alongside the Samsung Galaxy S22 series.
The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series includes the Galaxy Tab S8 (starts Rs 58,999), Galaxy Tab S8+ (starts Rs 74,999), and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra (starts Rs 1,08,999). Recently, Samsung loaned a Galaxy Tab S8 for review. After using this as the primary device for work and leisure, here is our Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: design and build
When we talk about the design, the new Tab S8 isn’t very far off from the previous generation Galaxy tab S7 family. It’s a rectangular slate with a metal chassis, sleek built, and squared-off edges. Even the dimensions and screen size of the Galaxy Tab S8 are identical to its predecessor.
The Tab S8 has a clean rear panel with antenna bands running next to the top and bottom edges. There’s a dual-camera setup and a narrow magnetic stip to hoist as well as to charge the bundled S Pen stylus.
Like most Samsung devices, you’ll find the power button-cum-fingerprint reader sitting on the right edge alongside a volume rocker. It also gets to the hybrid card slot on the right edge.
The front is dominated by a large screen which is surrounded by black bezels. The bezels is thicker than modern-day smartphones but it’s uniform and didn’t get in the way of our user experience. Apart from that, there’s hardly anything to complain about.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: Display
The Galaxy Tab S8 ships feature an 11-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) LED display which refreshes 120 times every second. Samsung is a true champion and the king in the ring when it comes to displays for hand-held devices. It once proves its might with the Galaxy Tab S8 screen.
Although it’s not an AMOLED screen like its Ultra or plus siblings, it looks bright and vibrant. With 120Hz smooth scrolling, you will end up appreciating the Galaxy Tab S8 screen.
This premium tablet from Samsung gets Vivid and Natural colour modes and a custom slider for advanced users. The brightness levels are also great as it is clearly one of the brightest tablets in the market. I found it legible in every outdoor condition.
The only downside I see here is the lack of HDR 10 support. That’s right, you can really consume HDR content on the TFT on offer. The Galaxy Tab S8+ and Tab S8 Ultra both come with 120Hz Super AMOLED with HDR10+ support.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: Software
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 ships running on Android 12 with One UI 4 skin on top. This custom user interface offers loads of features and customization options. Apple’s Airdrop like Quick Share (works between Samsung products) and Second Screen feature that lets you turn your tab into a second screen wirelessly for your windows PC or laptop.
But that’s just half of the story. With Google not focusing enough on the tablet segment, app optimization is something that curtails the Android tablet experience as a whole.
Samsung DeX is potentially the way to address this app optimization issue. While DeX mode is designed to offer the window’s desktop-like experience. With Dex, you can scale apps and even let you multi-level tasking seamlessly. With Samsung continuously improving DeX, you can expect further improvements in the days to come.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: S-Pen and Bookcover
Samsung bundles an S-Pen stylus with its Galaxy Tab S8 Series tablets but decides to sell keyboard folio cases separately. It should come bundled with the tab as should the charger. The folio case snaps to the back tab magnetically protecting both the tablet from every nook. To test out Tab S8 to its full potential you’ll need this keyboard case.
The keys on the keyboard are super agile offer good key travel which might surprise you if you haven’t used one of these Samsung covers in the past. It also has a space to secure s pen which is a welcome addition. The S Pen feels like a pencil which makes it more convenient to hold and write than the S Pen that comes with S22 Ultra. It is sturdier as well. With Samsung’s smart software, you can write notes and it can convert that to useable text. I am not really into sketching or drawing but if you are you will really enjoy the S pen’s extremely low latency and precision.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: Performance
The Galaxy Tab S8 along with its two siblings is one of the best performing android tablets in the market. It is driven by Qualcomm’s best SoC – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which makes everything quick and responsive. What’s commendable here is heat management as Samsung has toned down the SD 8 Gen 1 slightly without cutting down on performance to ensure the device doesn’t heat up under stress. I even tested some games and the experience was on expected lines without any hiccup.
Until and unless I am using it to consume content, I preferred the Dex mode to get my work done. I find it more convenient to use when using it for getting my office work done or multitasking. If you are into benchmarks here are the scores that will help you formulate your own opinion about the performance of the Galaxy Tab S8:
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: Cameras
Samsung has completely realigned the placement of the front camera. It can be spotted on the left bezel which makes it a perfect spot for attending video calls in landscape orientation. As far as quality is concerned, the tab S8 houses a 12MP ultrawide camera offering 120˚ field-of-view making it a perfect one for attending video conferences.
On the flip side, it gets to flaunt a 13MP primary and 6MP ultra-wide shooter. The primary rear camera clicks decent images but the ultra-wide camera is sub-par. The tablets are not known for photography and that doesn’t change with the Galaxy Tab S8.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review: Audio & Battery
If there is one thing that really stands out about the Galaxy tab S8 it’s the audio performance. The tablet features a quad-speaker setup offering excellent sound with crisp vocals and clear bass and treble. These are so good that I often use them for listening to music or watching movies without earphones.
As far as battery life goes, the Samsung Galaxy S8 packs an 8000 mAh battery which is enough to last for more than a day for most users. However, to fast charge, you are required to buy a 45W Samsung charger that retails for about Rs 2,500 in India. With a 45W charger, you can refill it to about 45 per cent in 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review verdict: Should you buy it?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tops the charts of best Android tablets in the market. Samsung has been offering these tabs with top-of-the-line hardware but they have been let down by the half-baked Android ecosystem. Having said that, in recent times, Samsung has taken it upon itself to patch some of these shortcomings to offer a seamless cross-platform experience something similar to the Apple ecosystem.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8? Well, the Tab S8’s features like DeX, S-Pen stylus, Keyboard cover (sold separately), powerful hardware make it a compelling device. Can it replace a laptop? To some extent yes but not completely. You can get things done if you really want to but the Android platform is nowhere close to Windows or macOS.