What's good

  • Affordable
  • Thin and light
  • Quality screen
  • LTE variant available

What's bad

  • Wi-Fi concerns
  • Sluggish UI
  • Disappointing speaker quality

The Galaxy Tab A 8.4 is a new budget tablet from Samsung. It claims to offer the high-end features and performance at an affordable price, bringing a touch of refinement to the budget tablet market. How does it compare to similarly priced tablets and did Samsung make the right compromises to cut prices?

Design

The Tab A 8.4 is thin and light with a plastic body, glossy black front, and matte grey backplate. The speakers are placed on the bottom and there’s a MicroSD slot on one side. It’s not all that different from other modern tablets, but the two-tone design and sturdy feel in the hand puts it a bit above most cheap plastic tablets.

Display

The screen is 8.4 inches and supports 1080p content -- something many 8-inch Android tablets don’t do. Reviewers stated that its screen is sharper than a lot of budget tablets which impressed them and made watching media a pleasure.

PC Magazine says, “This mostly pays off when reading comics or magazines, or watching videos. Cheaper 8-inch tablets often can't display a full 1080p video frame, while this one can.”

Performance

Somehow, the performance for the tablet was both average and lackluster at the same time. Reviewers said that while media and other basic applications worked as hoped that the user interface had issues with lag and stuttering, taking a second or two to respond to prompts.

Software & Storage

The Galaxy Tab A 8.4 ships with an older version of Android (9.0) which reviewers didn’t understand for a major brand in 2020. It comes with 32GB of storage out of the box and a MicroSD slot option.

Slash Gear says, “Samsung has opted to use Android 9.0, rather than the newer Android 10, and that seems a missed opportunity. There’s no word on when – or even if – Samsung will remedy that with a software update.”

Cameras

The cameras were said to be a bit more elevated than most budget tablets but still not the caliber of some smartphones.

When using Zoom reviewers said the selfie cam responded well to lighting changes and detail without too much trouble with blurring or grainy video. The front-facing camera also performed well in low light which cannot be said for other tablets of the same price range.

Battery Life

The battery life for the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 is stated to have 10 hours worth usage on a charge. However, reviewers tested this claim and said it was more like 7 hours -- especially with video -- and that 10 hours will probably only happen when limiting usage to simple web browsing.

Audio

Reviewers found the listening experience on the tablet very disappointing. The speakers performed fine in terms of spoken word but when it came to music it was tinny and flat or hard to hear.

Specs at a Glance

  • Plastic chassis
  • LCD (TFT) display
  • 1.8 GHz Octa-core Samsung Exynos 7904 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Android 9
  • 32GB of storage with MicroSD option
  • Rear-facing 8MP camera with a 5MP selfie cam
  • 5,000 mAh battery

Bottom Line

This tablet seems a mix of good and bad for the price. Reviewers had some issues with Wi-Fi connectivity. But it’s also one of the only tablets in this price point that offers LTE connectivity. Its screen is sharper than most in this price range, but the user interface is slow and unresponsive at times. It’s great for media, but poor for gaming or creating.

PC magazine’s final thoughts were, “The Galaxy Tab A 8.4 satisfies e-reading, video, and basic gaming needs for less than the iPad mini...as long as you're willing to put up with truly bad 2.4GHz Wi-Fi performance. If all you're looking for is the most basic color e-reader and video player, you can pay a lot less.”

Tom’s Guide says, “Like it's Tab A predecessors, it's clear the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 exists in the budget tablet category. Still, the cheapest iPad with cellular capabilities you can buy new costs [less] so Samsung managed to undercut Apple's cellular tablet to a considerable extent. If you want an affordable tablet with that you get [sic] you online on-the-go, it could be worth checking out.”

Slash Gear states, “Samsung has added a low-cost Android tablet to its line-up, and the biggest surprise with the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) is that it comes with baked-in LTE. The new slate creeps in at [a lower price] and while it might not compete directly with a new iPad Pro, it’s a whole lot cheaper than Apple’s most affordable cellular models.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.8 GHz
Screen Size
8.4"
Camera
8+ MP



Prices (Where to Buy)




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Quick view

Screen Size
8.4"

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020)'s screen size is 8.4 inches with 1200 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8 GHz

There is a Samsung Exynos 7904 Octa-core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Android 9.0 Pie operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 512 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
5000mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 5000 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 11 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) Specs

Overview
Release date March 24, 2020
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
Networks
LTE:
700/800/850/1800 /1900/2600 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 9.0 Pie

Compare Android Tablets

Processor Samsung Exynos 7904 Octa-core 1.8 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.35 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 5000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to: 12 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 11 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 11 hours
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Mocha
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.2 x 12.5 x 0.7 cm (8 x 4.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 10.9 ounces
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1200 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 270 pixels
Size 8.4 inches
Sensors Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging IM
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.9
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Self-timer, White balance, HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR, MIDI, MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MKV, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020)
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