It’s very likely the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 could end up being the best Android tablet of the year – partly because it’s shaping up to be a really powerful device, and partly because there just aren’t that many slates running the Google-designed software.
Indeed, the Android tablet landscape is pretty sparse these days, but one company that can be relied upon to launch impressive slates is Samsung, with its Galaxy Tab S range proving to be real alternatives to an iPad. The Galaxy Tab S7 FE has now broken cover, and the Tab S8 could be out before the end of the year. That said, we’re now hearing that it might not land until early 2022.
It will be the follow up to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which with their big screens and stylus and keyboard accessories are a match for Apple’s best in a lot of ways. But their successors – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, along possibly with a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – are now in the works.
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.
The latest leak suggests the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 won’t land until early 2022 – but as well as a Plus model it could also be joined by a Tab S8 Ultra.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next premium Samsung tablet
- When is it out? Possibly August but maybe not until 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
The only release date rumor so far points to early 2022 for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. We would however take that with a pinch of salt, as while Samsung isn’t totally consistent with when it releases new Galaxy Tab S models, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 range and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 all hit stores in August of their launch years.
So prior to this rumor we had expected the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 would land in or around August of 2021. But with chipset shortages affecting smartphone and tablet production, it’s certainly possible the slate could have slipped into next year.
As for the price, there’s no news there either, 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.
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.
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.