Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 could come in an Ultra model with a massive battery and display
While Apple’s latest iPad Pro may have taken the crown for best tablet of 2021, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Tab S8 series may dethrone it later this year. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 series was the company’s first real contender to the iPad Pro, and if the latest rumors about the Tab S8 series end up being true, Samsung is making a lot of improvements to keep up with Apple.
First of all, we have to note that these rumors are a bit sketchy. We learned about this leak thanks to tipster @FrontTron, who has a keen eye for leaks coming out of Korea. The tipster spotted a series of posts by a user on Naver, South Korea’s largest online platform. Samsung allegedly sent out a survey to users asking them for their thoughts on the company’s upcoming tablet products. It’s not unheard of for a company to probe users through an online survey and reveal product information in the process — Google revealed the price of the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 this way — but we should note that the information in the survey may not necessarily reflect actual products in the pipeline.
With that caveat out of the way, what information about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablets does this survey seem to reveal? A lot, surprisingly.
First of all, there seems to be 3 models in the lineup: a regular, a plus, and what seems to be an “Ultra” model. The regular tablet will have an 11″ LPTS TFT display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the plus model will have a 12.4″ OLED display at a 120Hz refresh rate. Then there’s the “Ultra” model which seems to have a gargantuan 14.6″ OLED display at a 120Hz refresh rate. Samsung is no stranger to making big tablets — its Galaxy View and Galaxy View 2 have an 18″ and 17″ screen size respectively — but most tablets that are meant to be handheld have typically been at max 13″ in size. Samsung has apparently managed to trim down the bezels to achieve an impressive 92% screen-to-body ratio, which might justify this Galaxy Tab S8 “Ultra” model’s massive screen size.
The tablets in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series are not only massive but they’ll also be quite thin and light if this leak is to be believed. The regular model is said to be 6.3mm thin and weigh only 502g. The plus model is said to be 5.7mm thin and weigh 575g, and the Ultra model may only measure 5.5mm in thickness and weigh 650g. The larger surface area of the Ultra model would allow Samsung to spread components out more, reducing the thickness. Apparently, the Ultra model will have a ridiculous 12,000mAh battery — the same capacity as the 17.3″ Galaxy View 2 — while the plus and the regular models will have a 10,090mAh and 8,000mAh battery respectively. All three tablets are said to support 45W fast charging (likely compliant with USB-PD PPS).
As for the performance, Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy Tab S8 series with the Snapdragon 888 chipset. The base and plus models seem to come in two configurations each, with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Tab S8 Ultra may be offered in an additional 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage variant. It’s unclear if the storage will be expandable. There also apparently won’t be a 6GB RAM base model this year, which is nice as I’ve heard Samsung’s base Galaxy Tab S7 has some issues with memory management.
Cameras aren’t a major selling point of tablets, but it appears the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will include a 5MP ultra wide-angle camera on the front in addition to the 8MP sensor that will be present on all three models. It appears this ultra wide-angle sensor is being included so users can see more during video calls. On the rear, all three tablets will have a dual 13+5MP camera setup and an LED flash.
Next, Samsung is said to equip all three tablets in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 lineup with quad speakers (likely tuned by AKG). The company will also place a fingerprint scanner underneath the display, though it’s unclear if it’ll be an optical or ultrasonic module.
In terms of accessories, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series is rumored to come with an S-Pen as standard. Samsung may also launch a new premium keyboard accessory with 165° angle adjustment that ranges in cost from KRW 198,000 (~$177) to KRW 320,000 (~$287). It’s unclear if the base and plus models in the Galaxy Tab S8 series will be compatible with older keyboard models, but at the very least, a new keyboard will be necessary to have for the bigger Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as Samsung has never launched a product that size before.
Depending on when these tablets launch, they could run Android 12 out of the box, but it’s more likely they’ll launch with One UI 3.5 based on Android 11. We don’t know much about Samsung’s Android 12 plans yet, but the leak does show off some on-device DeX mode features, including a laptop mode, tablet mode, drawing mode, and viewing mode.
As for the pricing, it may range from KRW 829,000 (~$744) all the way to KRW 1,669,000 (~$1498) for the base Galaxy Tab S8 to the most premium Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Each tablet will be offered with Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, or 5G connectivity, though it’s unclear if the LTE/5G differentiation will exist outside of Korea. We don’t know the exact pricing or availability yet, but we’re sure to learn more ahead of Samsung’s next big Unpacked event later this year.
Featured image: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 in mystic black with its keyboard cover