First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Hands on with Samsung's next flagship tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is an impressive Android tablet at first glance, with an immersive screen and a robust design, but we’ll need to take a closer look for a definitive verdict.
- UKRRP: £649
- EuropeRRP: €769
Samsung has ushered in a new range of tablets, unveiling its latest Galaxy Tab S8 family of slates alongside the new Galaxy S22 phones, but will they succeed the older Galaxy Tab S7 range as the best Android tablets on the market?
With impressive specifications and a reasonable price tag of £649, it certainly seems that the base model will be a competitive and tempting option for anyone who is not wedded to devices from Apple or Amazon. Here’s how I found using the Galaxy Tab S8 during a 90 minute press session.
The Galaxy Tab S8 has a starting price of £649, but that’s for the base version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space; if you want to add 5G mobile connectivity, rather than just Wi-Fi, that would ramp up the cost to £799. Variants are also available with increased 256GB storage; the Wi-Fi-only edition costs £699, and the 5G version costs £849. We’ve asked Samsung for US and Euro pricing, but at the time of publishing hadn’t heard back.
Design and Screen
- Attractive and responsive display
- Premium design
The Tab S8 feels sturdy in the hand, but that’s not to say that is sacrifices a touch of class for its robust construction quality; you can tell that this is a premium tablet thanks to the cool metallic feel and the stunning screen. Weighing 507g, fortunately, during my time using it the device didn’t feel too cumbersome to wield with two hands or even just with one.
The standard Tab S8 packs an 11-inch display that’s plenty big enough to get to grips with your favourite apps, whether for watching videos or doing something a little more creative, such as sketching. When you draw on the surface, either with your finger or an S-Pen, the display is highly responsive to every small movement so that your designs are faithfully recreated.
The resolution is 2560 x 1600p, which is super sharp and so it should be perfect for those screen-intensive tasks for which tablets were designed based on my opening tests.
- Dual rear camera sensors
- Ultrawide front-facing camera
On the rear panel, you’ll find a dual-sensor camera set-up, consisting of a 13-megapixel main camera sensor and a 6-megapixel ultra wide lens, which gives you a couple of different options for those rare occasions when you want to shoot or record using your tablet rather than your smartphone. On the front, there’s a 12-megapixel camera for when you want to take selfies or, more likely, record yourself for a video call.
We’ve not had time to put the camera system to the full test yet, and with the rise in popularity for devices such as these in video-calling when working from home, for example, we’ll be sure to try it out in a range of different circumstances.
Performance and Battery Life
- Large battery capacity
- Top-tier processor
The battery capacity weighs in at 8,000mAh, which should be enough to support a tablet of this size, even given the demands that such screen specifications will surely exert on it. Likewise, the 4nm octa-core processor should be handle the demanding apps that you use on your tablet fairly capably too, but in the case of these key specifications we just haven’t had enough time to give you the full verdict. Remember to check back on this page for our full review, once the tablet has been put through our vigourous benchmark and real-world testing.
Should you buy it?
The Galaxy Tab S8 has been an impressive tablet based on my initial experiences, with a sharp and responsive screen, incredible internal specs, and a robust but attractive design. We’re looking forward to putting it through our rigorous testing period to see just how good it is in real-world use, to see if it lives up to this early promise.
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The Galaxy Tab S8 is available to buy in Graphite, Silver, or Pink Gold
Below you can see a table detailing the Tab S8’s full specs and how they differ to its more expensive siblings.
The brightness level of a display. 300 nits is regarded as the minimum target for high-end screens.
OLED and AMOLED
Types of displays that use self-lighting pixels to provide greater contrast and more vibrant colours than a typical LCD display, as well as sharper blacks.
The number of times the screen refreshes itself per second.