Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Everything we know so far

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Everything we know so far

October 7, 2021 0 By Michael L Hicks

Can Samsung’s upcoming Ultra tablet compete against the iPad Pro?

Among the best Android tablets available today, the only real toss-up is between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and its upgrade, the Galaxy Tab S7+. But considering both tablets are about a year old with aging chipsets, we’re eagerly anticipating when the new Galaxy Tab S8 will arrive.

The last few Galaxy Tab S tablets were announced and launched in late summer, but Samsung is taking its time with the S8 series. This could be due to recent chip shortages, or because Samsung allegedly plans to release three new tablets this round, including a Tab S8 “Ultra” version that could go toe-to-toe with the iPad Pro in size and performance.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 likely won’t arrive until next year, around the launch of the Galaxy S22. Is the S8 worth waiting for, or should you snatch up an S7 on sale now? To help you decide, here’s everything we know about its potential release date, price, specs, and software.

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Release date

Best premium Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

From $730 at Amazon
From $730 at Best Buy

Amazing screen, sound, and speeds

The Galaxy Tab S8 has a lot to live up to compared to Samsung’s last-gen tablets. The S7+ offers a 12.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display with a lightweight frame, long battery life, a desktop mode and S Pen for productivity, and a discounted price since its launch.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Release date

Samsung hasn’t officially announced the Galaxy Tab S8, but multiple leakers have confirmed that the new series is in production now. It just isn’t likely to arrive this year.

First, a July 7 Naver leak spotted by Techradar claimed that Samsung would target an early 2022 release and guaranteed no 2021 release.

Later that month, frequent leaker Ice Universe claimed that the “Tab S8 + will be released with S22.” And leaker FrontTron suggested more recently that the S8 “release schedule will not be a big difference with the S22 Series.”

While we don’t have a hard release date for the S22 series yet, January 2022 seems most likely. Sources for The Elec claim the S22 will go into production in November, with a planned January launch. That means the Galaxy Tab S8 could ship in about 3-to-4 months.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Price

The Galaxy Tab S7

We’ve heard enough rumored information about the S8 to be nearly certain: Samsung will mimic its Galaxy phone naming system and release a Galaxy Tab S8, S8+, and S8 Ultra, all at the same time. A massive 14.6-inch tablet with an upgraded processor will be your best option if you can afford it.

The rumored specs for the S8 and S8+ aren’t too different from their predecessors in areas like display size, battery life, memory, and storage. Last year, the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ launched with a list price of $649 and $849, respectively, costing hundreds more if you upgraded storage or added cellular connectivity. The S8 lineup’s prices could be similar, but this is pure speculation for now.

As for the apparent S8 Ultra, its massive size and specs built to rival the iPad Pro will make it an expensive device. So we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it cost $1,000 or (much) more.

Also, keep in mind that Samsung may sell three versions of each tablet: Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G, with the cellular models costing extra.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Design

The Galaxy Tab S7+

According to a now-deleted tweet — spotted by GSMArena and widely covered by other tech sites — the Galaxy Tab S8 and S8+ will have similar designs to their predecessors.

According to this leak (which we can’t guarantee is accurate), the Galaxy Tab S8 will have an 11-inch LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, quad speakers, and a 6.3mm thick build. All of these match the S7. Similarly, the Galaxy Tab S8+ could bring back a 12.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display, and a 5.7mm-thick design. Like before, the Tab S8 will have a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, upgraded to an in-screen sensor for the S8+.

Either Samsung has decided not to rock the boat with its upcoming designs, or this is a false leak using old specs to lend credibility. Taking the info at face value, it’s disappointing that Samsung has once again made its OLED screens available only on its more expensive tablets, either to lower the Tab S8 cost or to drive buyers to the larger models.

The supposed Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could have an intriguing design: a 14.6-inch frame measuring just 5.5 inches thick and weighing 650g. But, most exciting, it may have a 92% screen-to-body ratio with truly tiny bezels, something you’d typically only see on a much-smaller smartphone.

Of course, the question will be whether anyone finds the super-wide, 1.4-pound Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comfortable to hold, no matter how thin it is. It’s more likely buyers will consider it a portable laptop replacement meant to sit on your desk with an attachable keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Specs

Several Galaxy Tab S8 leaks have contradicted one another on specs. Leaker Ice Universe claims that all three S8s will have the next-gen Snapdragon 898 — same as the Galaxy S22; on the other hand, a Korean forum leak indicated that the S22 Ultra will be powered by Exynos 2200 instead, while the S8 and S8+ stick with the 898.

Allegedly a 5nm chipset with AMD graphical power, the Exynos 2200 could give the S8 Ultra a special leg up on its smaller siblings. A recent Naver leak indicated that Samsung had failed to scale the Exynos 2200 enough to power its S22 phones; in theory, it makes sense that Samsung would reserve it for a limited run of premium tablets instead.

We don’t have much information on specs for the base S8 and S8+. That same deleted FrontTron leak from May indicated that the S8 specs would be largely unchanged from the S7, with a max of 8GB RAM, dual rear cameras (13 MP and 5 MP), and an 8MP selfie camera. For battery life, the Tab S8 could have a 8,000mAh battery versus 10,090mAh for the Plus — again, the same as the S7 series. Without corroborating leaks, we can’t be certain the S8 lineup will remain so static.

As for the S8 Ultra, another Ice Universe leak claims it will have 2960×1848 resolution — meaning it’ll stick to the series’ 16:10 aspect ratio standard — and a 11,500mAh battery. FrontTron claimed it would be 12,000mAh, so we’ll wait and see which proves accurate. Regardless, this battery boost will likely be eaten up by the larger display and faster processor; expect a battery life above 10 hours, at least.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Software

The Galaxy Tab S8 could take software tips from the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Assuming the rumored early 2022 release date is accurate, expect the Galaxy Tab S8 to ship with One UI 4 installed. By this point, Samsung should have Android 12 optimized for new hardware by the time the S8 comes out.

In fact, the S8 software may even incorporate some Android 12.1 features too. This separate update improves dual-pane navigation and split-screening, making users’ experience with app pairs and multitasking much more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.

While Android 12.1 was primarily designed for foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung could easily employ those tools to help the S8 take full advantage of its large display. You can do so now with DeX mode, but many users will prefer sticking with the standard Android interface.

One UI 3.1 already has software tools built for foldable phones. On Samsung foldables, you can change any app’s aspect ratio, adjust the app split view, pin apps to a taskbar, manage multiple windows, and so on. We wonder if these tools could make an appearance on the S8, now that Google is prioritizing them in its stock software.

Once the Galaxy Tab S8 arrives, it should receive three software updates, which would mean it’ll receive One UI 7 (or Android 15) in the spring of 2025.

Best current Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

From $530 at Amazon
From $530 at Best Buy

High-quality for a reasonable price

Given that the Galaxy Tab S8 may not be a huge upgrade on the Tab S7, there’s no harm in snagging one right now. It tops our best android tablets list thanks to its lightweight design, pleasurably bright and colorful display, and solid performance, and it will likely cost less than its successor.

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