The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 works well for anyone looking to replace an older tablet or their first Android tablet. However, you might be better off hanging onto the S7 if you already have one, as this one doesn’t have a lot of new things on offer.
- Nice design
- Powerful processor
- Vibrant display
- S-Pen included
- Great audio
- Book cover accessory feels cramped
- Not a significant upgrade over the previous generation
- Still can’t compete with an iPad for finish or performance
When Samsung releases a new device, consumers expect a certain level of quality and improvement from one generation to the next. But Apple still dominates tablet sales at the top, so how does the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 compete?
There’s no change between the design of this tablet and its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. Everything is the same, and reviewers aren’t sure how they feel about that.
Some felt that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, while others said they were disappointed.
However, there is one small addition this time around in the Rose Gold colorway.
The 11-inch LCD is vibrant, according to reviewers. It has the 120Hz refresh rate we expect from new top-end devices. However, none of this is a surprise as Samsung’s top-tier devices have built a reputation on impressive displays.
It's one of the central areas in which Samsung excels, without a doubt.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 features the newest chipset available from Samsung. Reviewers said the tablet kept up with almost anything they threw at it, including multiple apps and streams and lots of gaming.
Software & Storage
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 runs Android 12 with some extra addons from Samsung running over the top. Reviewers didn’t find Samsung’s changes too heavy-handed or intrusive.
You’ll also find your choice of 128 or 256GB of storage, which is plenty for a nice selection of media, apps, and more.
Tablet cameras are only going to get so good compared to other smart devices out there. So while you won’t want to keep it around as your primary shooter, reviewers mentioned that the camera is quite suitable for social media posting, video calls, and Augmented Reality type tasks.
The battery life on this tablet is very respectable. Reviewers averaged around 12 to 13 hours of battery life in most tests.
It also benefits from 45W fast charging, making top-offs speedy when the battery level dips low.
Reviewers stated that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 offers decent sound with clear, bright-sounding speakers. However, as with most tablets, the bass was very flat.
If something you want to watch or listen to is bass-heavy, you’ll want a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Reviewers were delighted that Samsung includes the S-pen with the tablet, whereas most of the competition only offers an active stylus as an optional accessory (if at all.)
There is a magnetic strip on the back for the pen to stick to when not in use. This storage method received mixed reviews. So if you’re worried about keeping up with your S-pen, plan on a case to keep things extra secure.
The Bookcase and keyboard combination is the other accessory available for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. The keys were delightfully clacky, reviewers stated, well pronounced and not hard to push. However, the bookcase made it feel a bit cramped for long-term use.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum design
- 11-inch LCD
- Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor
- 8/12GB of RAM
- Android 12
- 128/256GB of storage
- 12MP cameras
- 12-13 hour battery life
- Stereo speakers
- S-pen and Bookcase keyboard
The Bottom Line
Samsung is still a quality and performance leader in most rights. But if you already own a tablet from a recent generation, the S8 isn’t an upgrade worthy of being excited about. It’s snappy, has a bright screen, and does things well, but so does the S7. It mostly comes down to personal preference and what you’re willing to spend.
If you’re replacing a tablet that’s a few years old (or searching for your first premium Android tablet), the tablet is a shining example of the potential of Android tablets.
Pocket-Lint says, “A great premium Android tablet experience with top-tier hardware and a great design. The thing is we could say the very same about the almost identical Tab S7 from 18 months prior, as not much has changed generation to generation.”
Tech Radar states, “The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus are remarkably limited upgrades compared to 2020’s Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus. If you’re after an Android tablet, this will likely be a top choice for 2022.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Milan Nair, Fone Arena
The Galaxy Tab S8 offers incremental upgrades of the Galaxy Tab S7 from. The display is fantastic, the performance is great, and the speakers are good. The multimedia experience is enjoyable, the S-Pen offers powerful features and battery life is excellent. And with Dex mode, you can be quite produc...
- Manuel Masiero, Notebookcheck
Boasting strong performance and features, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 5G is one of the best Android tablets currently available.
- Matthew S. Smith, Reviewed
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 is a fine tablet despite the quirks of its display aspect ratio and the limitations of the Android operating system. It’s bundled with an excellent stylus, is easy to handle or pack for travel, and has strong battery life. I enjoyed my time with the tablet. Yet the Galaxy Tab...
- Nathan Wasson, Hothardware
The Galaxy Tab S8 lineup offers a range of premium Android tablets for a variety of use-cases, from a mobile entertainment/media device to a portable productivity machine and something in-between. While Samsung currently owns the premium Android tablet space, the company hasn’t been complacent in it...
- Dan Seifert, The Verge
After years of not seeing a great reason to buy an Android tablet, I have to admit that Samsung has presented a compelling pitch this time around — provided you are already in the Samsung Android ecosystem. The Tab S8 and S8 Plus integrate well enough with other Samsung products, they are excellent...
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