The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ were introduced in 2020 to widespread acclaim, with many users hailing them as the ideal iPad Pro replacement. While the Galaxy Tab S7 FE wasn’t quite as beautiful, the Tab S8 has been heavily rumored for much of 2021, suggesting that a real replacement isn’t far away. Everything you need to know about Samsung’s next flagship tablet is right here.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab S7 in two sizes: a conventional 11-inch device and a 12.9-inch “Plus” model. The most notable difference between the two was the display — and not simply in terms of size. While the smaller Tab S7 featured an LCD display, the larger Tab S7 has a stunning 120Hz OLED panel that is still one of the finest on the market today.
The South Korean tech giant is reducing the size of its successor by three times. The Tab S8 will be available in three sizes, similar to its flagship phone series: an 11″ S8, a 12.9″ S8+, and a laptop-friendly 14.6″ S8 Ultra. It’s difficult to estimate the size of the audience for such a massive slate, but Samsung appears to consider it as an unexplored market with a lot of promise.
The Tab S8 will maintain its 11″ 120Hz LCD panel, like it did last year, while the larger two versions will get 120Hz AMOLED displays. Furthermore, while the precise screen resolution for the Tab S8 and S8+ has yet to be revealed, we expect those devices to equal the specifications of their predecessors. The Tab S8 Ultra receives a good jump in resolution to match its bigger display, with 2960 x 1848 pixels. Regardless, the pixel density for all three models should be the same.
Another feature that distinguishes Ultra’s large screen from the competition is a notch-shaped cutout for the front-facing camera. It’ll be a divisive move for Samsung, and it’s already been compared to Apple’s new MacBook Pro, although leaked renders show a slight indent that shouldn’t affect daily use. It’s likely to turn off some potential customers, although it’s only on the most expensive versions.
Apart from the notch on the Ultra, the design of all three smartphones is essentially identical to the Tab S7, right down to the flat back with matching antenna lines and an S Pen magnet. The only significant variation between the devices is the size of the power button. In-display fingerprint sensors are available on the Tab S8+ and Ultra, but not on the Tab S8. Instead, the tablet is unlocked via an enlarged power button. Should you be lured to the 11″ display, it’s a little upgrade that shouldn’t detract too much from the entry-level model.
All three should be quite quick, as you’d expect from Samsung’s top-tier tablets. According to recent speculations, the Tab S8 series will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, which might make these tablets one of the first to use Qualcomm’s newest chipset, depending on when they actually launch.
The smaller two versions haven’t seen nearly as many leaks as the Ultra, but given that Samsung seldom changes the specs across its various-sized devices, we can presume the following will apply to all three slates. The Tab S8 Ultra will have 8, 12, or 16GB of RAM, with 128, 256, or 512GB of storage, accordingly. The 16GB/512GB SKU appears to be Ultra-exclusive, while the other two should be available on the S8 and S8+. In case you want to carry that monster on the fly, Samsung’s largest model will be available in both Wi-Fi and 5G varieties.
According to leaked spec sheets, all three versions have enormous batteries, ranging from 8,000mAh in the Tab S8 to 11,200mAh in the S8 Ultra. This is equivalent to the Tab S7 devices, thus battery life should be similar across generations. Although it’s unknown how quickly the Tab S8 and S8+ will charge, the Ultra will use 45W charging to match its huge battery size.
All three models are expected to run Android 12 with One UI 4.1, making them among the first slates to ship with the updated operating system and following a similar upgrade for the Tab S7. Recent speculations suggest that several good quality-of-life enhancements are on the way, including window transparency levels, personalization options — presumably similar to what we saw on the Galaxy S21 series with Android 12 — and late-night dimming modes. The device will easily remove contacts without the help of any apps.
Moreover, DeX Mode is getting portrait orientation support, which should make the desktop PC-like workflow a lot more portable.
Expected Launch Date & Price
It’s still unknown when Samsung will reveal and distribute the Tab S8 series. When the lineup was initially revealed in May of last year, it appeared like a late 2021 release was a certain conclusion. However, a revelation in Q1 2022 is plausible today, but without any leaks or clues as to when Samsung would discontinue the series, your estimate is as good as ours.
In terms of cost, we just have a smidgeon of information thanks to the original leak. If the mentioned pricing is correct, the 11″ slate will cost roughly $740, while the 12.4″ slate would cost around $1,120. The 14.6″ model, unsurprisingly, has a price tag to match its massive size, starting at $1,320 for entry-level features. Even if these figures turn out to be exaggerated, it’s evident that you should start putting money aside now for the company’s ultimate unveiling.
With the Galaxy Tab S7, Samsung established itself as Apple’s last true competitor, and with its successor, it plans to enhance what a premium tablet can achieve in 2022. While the Tab S8 series isn’t a radical departure from its predecessor, a large, bold display may be enough to persuade shoppers to forego Windows laptops in favor of a near-15″ slate. We’ll have to wait and see how powerful — and costly — the Tab S8 truly is.