We're hearing a slow and steady drip of Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 leaks, and it's starting to sound like one of the best Android tablets we've seen - or we could say 'they' are, as it sounds like there will be a Plus and Ultra version of the slate too.
Initially, we thought the new family of slates would launch in August - that would be a year after the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus dropped - but with that month in the rear-view mirror, our sights are set on January.
These tablets could be rivals to Apple's top iPad Pro slates, especially the Plus and Ultra versions with their giant screens and top processors - that is, if the rumors are correct about all the specs.
Below then you’ll find a list of the main things we want from Samsung’s next top tablets, but before that we’ve included details on the likely release date and price, along with the leaks and rumors that are starting to build up – and we'll be updating this article whenever we hear anything new, so check back regularly.
We've heard some Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra screen specs which suggest it could be big and high-res, but we need to hear about software before we get excited.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next premium Samsung tablet
- When is it out? Possibly early 2022
- How much will it cost? We don't know, but it's sure to be expensive
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 release date and price
One release date rumor points to early 2022 for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. That's in line with another more recent rumor, which suggested the range would land alongside the Samsung Galaxy S22, which we're expecting in or around January. Another source has also now said the same.
Some rumors suggested the tablets would come in August 2021, a year after their predecessors, but time disproved those notions.
As for the price, there’s no news there, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 started at $649.99 / £619 / AU$1,149, while the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 Plus started at $849.99 / £799 / AU$1,549, so prices may be similar for the next model. If anything though the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range might cost more, since the trend is for prices to rise.
Leaks and news
The first major Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 leak to get our attention reveals plenty about the upcoming slate, which will apparently be available in 11-inch, 12.4-inch and 14.6-inch variations – with that last one a huge addition to the line.
According to one leak, the Ultra's 14.6-inch screen will have a 2960 x 1848 resolution.
Specs-wise, the tablets are said to top out at 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for the largest model, while 5G variants will be available. All three models are being tipped to have dual-lens 13MP+5MP cameras on the back, along with an 8MP camera on the front (though the Tab S8 Ultra apparently also has a 5MP ultra-wide lens on the front).
This leak also points to an 8,000mAh battery in the standard Galaxy Tab S8, a 10,090mAh one in the Tab S8 Plus, and a 12,000mAh one in the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
That's slightly at odds with another leak though, which agrees on the size of the battery in the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, but suggests the Ultra model has an 11,500mAh one, and subsequent leaks have backed this up.
As for the chipset, one leak points to the Exynos 2200 being used in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, and the Snapdragon 898 being used in the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus. These are expected to be the two speediest Android chipsets of early 2022.
That said, we've elsewhere heard that all three models might use the Snapdragon 898 chipset. Additionally, the three slates might support 45W charging, which is reasonably speedy.
We can predict a few things about the upcoming tablets too. Based on past form, two of these three models will likely be called the Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8 Plus. The top model meanwhile is rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
The Plus and Ultra models will probably also have an AMOLED screen, and they will likely also both have a 120Hz refresh rate and a top-end chipset (we're expecting this to be the Snapdragon 888 or Snapdragon 888 Plus from Qualcomm).
What we want to see
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and particularly the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus are excellent slates, with the latter topping our best Android tablets list, but they’re not perfect. Here’s what Samsung can do to make the Tab S8 even better.
1. More ports
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is almost a laptop, especially once you add the optional keyboard accessory, but it has just one USB-C port, which limits its versatility a bit.
So for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 we’d like to see a second port added, and ideally also a 3.5mm headphone port. Tablets don’t need to be as slim and compact as phones, so we reckon the usefulness of having such a port is greater than the space saved by removing it.
2. A competitive price
The Galaxy Tab S range is positioned at the high end of the market, so these slates are always going to be expensive, but we noted in our Tab S7 review that the price is a bit too high really, so we’d like to see that addressed for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range.
We’re not convinced the price will go down, but stranger things have happened, so we’ve got our fingers crossed.
3. A backlit keyboard cover
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 supports an optional keyboard cover, one which is generally pretty good, but the fact that the keys aren’t backlit means it’s hard to use in the dark.
It’s a small thing but one that could make a big difference to some people, so we’d like the keyboard cover for the Galaxy Tab S8 to have backlit keys.
4. An OLED screen on all models
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has an OLED screen, but the basic Tab S7 is lumbered with an inferior LCD one, so for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 we want to see OLED on both models.
With more and more companies offering OLED screens on their devices and Apple now offering them on almost every iPhone, we think it’s reasonable for even the most basic slates in Samsung’s flagship tablet range to use OLED too.
Plus, while Apple has embraced OLED on its phones, the iPad range actually still uses LCD, so this is one way in which the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 could stand out.
5. A fingerprint-resistant back
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus have an aluminum back and a premium look and feel, but one thing that spoils the look somewhat is how prone to picking up fingerprints they are, as we noted in our review.
This is a problem faced by many phones and tablets, but it’s one that we’d like Samsung to try and solve for the Galaxy Tab S8, especially as tablets don’t get covered up by cases as frequently as phones, so we want a back that stays pristine.
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