I had the pleasure of reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S7+ for CGM, and it ranked among the best of any tablet last year. But, since this was a 2020 model, the next big thing was inevitable. Samsung has released its Galaxy Tab S8 series, and the Galaxy Tab S8+ is a big step up from its predecessor, without hurting anything that made the S7+ so great in the first place.
Let’s start with where the two devices are similar (if not totally identical). They both sport the same dimensions and the same screen, using the same battery with the same charging capabilities and the same fingerprint sensor. They both have microSD slots for storage expansion. The similarities, however, end there.
The Galaxy Tab S8+ is slightly lighter than its predecessor and is built with Samsung’s new Armor Aluminum technology, also used with their Galaxy S22, Fold 3 and Flip 3 phones. Samsung claims it is 40% less likely to bend Consequently. The Galaxy Tab S8+ also offers better screen protection with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Inside, the Galaxy Tab S8+ packs a punch with the 4nm Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 gen 1 chipset. Internal storage took a hit as the S8+ doesn’t offer a 512GB option (it’s only for the S8 Ultra) but makes up for it in RAM. The 128GB model offers 8GB of RAM (the maximum for the S7 series) and the 256GB model comes with 8GB or 12GB options. The S8+ has also been upgraded to an Adreno 730 from the 630 on the S7.
“Samsung has released its Galaxy Tab S8 series and the Galaxy Tab S8+ is a big step up from its predecessor…”
The cameras have been improved on the Galaxy Tab S8+, the biggest being the selfie camera, which is now 12MP as opposed to 8MP on the S7+. The selfie lens on the S8+ is an f/2.4 compared to the S7+’s F/2.0, so lighting conditions become more of a concern (only slightly) for the newer model. On the other side, the ultra wide lens has been upgraded from 5MP to 6MP to go with the main 13MP lens. The Galaxy Tab S8+ offers LED flash and video resolutions up to 4K 60fps for the front and selfie cameras.
If you’re looking to buy a tablet that would be considered more future-proof, the S7+ won’t get any updates beyond Android 13, but the Galaxy Tab S8+ is guaranteed four OS updates in due to Samsung’s new firmware policies. You can expect to be up-to-date on this year’s model for a long time.
Now let’s talk about one of the great tools of the Galaxy tablets, the S Pen. While the S Pen sports slightly longer latency on the Galaxy Tab S8+ (6.2ms compared to the S7+’s 5.6ms and a far cry from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 2.9ms), it offers some exciting new features which deserve our attention.
“The Galaxy Tab S8+ offers LED flash and video resolutions up to 4K 60fps for the front and selfie cameras.”
Now you can pair your tablet with a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and use the phone as a toolset for certain apps, such as Samsung Notes or Clip Studio Paint, leaving your entire tablet screen as your workspace. Imagine an artist holding their palette in one hand as they work freely with their canvas. Now make it digital.
In terms of overall performance, there’s not much I can say about the S8+ that I haven’t said about the S7+. It has a spectacular, bright and beautiful screen with a sound quality that always amazes me. The performance of the S Pen is always excellent and the new features only make it better. The S8 series of tablets are a perfect sequel to their predecessors. They have moved forward, improving what needs to be improved, leaving behind what works well.
At $979.99, it’s priced on par with the latest iPad Pro, at the expense of the Galaxy Tab S8+. While the S8+ is indeed an improvement over the S7+ (which IMHO eclipsed the iPads of the day) in just about every way, the leap Samsung made was small compared to the leap Apple made. with its M1 chips. Someone who isn’t brand loyal on either side would probably rely on the immense power of the latest generation of Apple devices and the S8+ certainly doesn’t bring anyone to the other side. However, loyal Android users will still find the Galaxy Tab S8+ a powerful device well worth the price.