Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus – a review

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus – a review

A few weeks ago, Samsung announced their new flagship tablets – the Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus. While these devices have a lot of similarities with their predecessor, the Tab S4, there are also some pretty big differences as well. We got our hands on these new Galaxy tablets to see what they’re all about in this review.

The design of the tablets

This is where they differ. The Tab S2 starts at 7.0 inches, while the Tab S3 kicks off at 8.4 inches, and the size continues up to 9.7 inches with the latest refresh of tablets in 2018: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 that just launched in late November this year. Starting at $650 for an 8-inch device, it’s clear why so many people want these tablets for work, school or home use. Their sleek designs are slim and lightweight; making them easy to carry around without weighing you down.

The screens are big enough to do some serious work, but not too big that they’re unwieldy when carrying them back and forth between different rooms. The Super AMOLED screens make the colors pop out like never before and make your photos look incredible.

There’s even been improved battery life with their new Exynos 7904 chip inside which means less time charging your tablet! The best part? You can actually see a huge difference in performance. Apps load much faster and browsing feels super smooth as well as fast. The 2019 update also brings better water resistance, meaning if you get caught outside during a rainstorm (or spill something) you won’t have to worry about your tablet getting damaged.

 Bixby home screen

The feature that sets these tablets apart from any others is Bixby, an intelligent assistant that’s powered by machine learning. Bixby will listen for voice commands, scan your location, understand your preferences and intentions to get the best possible results. The screen can also be activated by voice commands even when it’s turned off. You can manage multiple apps simultaneously on two screens, making multitasking simple. In addition, you can pin apps to the side of the screen as a sidebar and open them in fullscreen mode.

One of my favorite features was Side Sync 3.0 which allowed me to sync my phone so I could use it as my personal hotspot while using the tablet’s data connection! I love this because I’m able to use mobile data without having to connect through WiFi! They have many more features like split-screen app browsing, but there are too many cool features so you’ll just have to try them out yourself!

One of my favorite features was Side Sync 3.0 which allowed me to sync my phone so I could use it as my personal hotspot while using the tablet’s data connection! I love this because I’m able to use mobile data without having to connect through WiFi!

I would recommend these tablets if you’re looking for something new and innovative or if you want a great device that can run all of your favorite games.

Other features

The fingerprint scanner is also still placed awkwardly right under the rear camera. Though, I am sure people would be willing to compromise for a larger display (and then again for better cameras). Regardless, this does not take away from the fact that it’s still one of the most comfortable tablets to hold in landscape mode because it’s just so light.

The colors are very warm, giving it that nice natural look to photos without turning them into hot messes of yellow and reds like other smartphones out there. It is surely an accomplishment when they can fit all this tech in such a slim package. And lastly, if you’re worried about slowing down your tablet due to an overload of apps or games? You don’t have to worry about that. There are three different levels of performance; Standard, Balance, and Power saving modes.

Standard allows for free access to some RAM but is optimized for performance at the cost of battery life; Balance combines high performance with battery efficiency; Power saving reduces performance to ensure long battery life by lowering processor speed and limiting app activities.

The verdict

The 8-inch tablet is really impressive, boasting an AMOLED display at 16:10 aspect ratio, making it one of the brightest devices we’ve seen. In other words, this is definitely a device worth looking into if you’re in need of something for reading or light media consumption. If you’re after a new tablet for watching videos or drawing with the device’s pressure sensitive stylus then you should go for its 10-inch counterpart instead.

Apart from size, both models are quite similar but the one key difference between them is that the 8-inch one doesn’t have support for DeX, which essentially allows you to turn your phone into a desktop PC by connecting it to an external monitor or keyboard via HDMI or USB Type-C cables respectively.

That said, both tablets come with the same software experience. They also have almost identical specs – both sporting 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and a 5MP front camera as well as 13MP rear shooter. As far as battery life goes they last about 9 hours each so there’s not much difference there either.

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