Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: Same company, different target audience

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: Same company, different target audience

The Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab A8 only have a difference of a single letter in their name, but they’re two radically different tablets. The Galaxy Tab S8 is the flagship offering and is one of the best Android tablets you can buy right now. It was unveiled in January this year alongside the more premium Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. The Galaxy Tab A8, on the other hand, is a budget-friendly option for those who just want a large screen device with good multimedia capabilities.

How do they stack up against each other, and which is best for you? We find out in this head-to-head comparison.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Vs Galaxy Tab A8: Specifications

Specification Galaxy Tab S8 Galaxy Tab A8
Build
  • Metal unibody
  • Glass back
  • Metallic frame
Dimensions & Weight
  • 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3mm
  • 503g (Wi-Fi)/507g (5G)
  • 246.8 x 161.9 x 6.9mm
  • 508g
Display
  • 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD
  • WQXGA (2560 x 600p)
  • 276ppi
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 10.5-inch
  • TFT LCD
  • 1920 x 1200 TFT LCD
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Unisoc Tiger T618 octa-core (up to 2.0GHz)
RAM & Storage
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • microSD card support (up to 1TB)
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 32GB/GB storage
  • MicroSD card support
Battery & Charging
  • 8,000mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging support
  • 7,040 mAh battery
  • 15W fast charger (inside the box)
Security Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • Face Unlock
  • No fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 13MP, AF
  • Ultra-wide: 6MP
  • 8MP
Front Camera(s) 12MP 5MP
Port(s)
  • USB 3.2 Type-C
  • USB Type-C port
  • 3.5mm audio jack
Audio
  • Quad-speaker setup tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos certification
  • 3 microphones
  • Quad stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos support
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 5G (optional, in some regions)
  • Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS+GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
  • LTE on select models
Software
  • One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
  • Promised four Android OS upgrades
  • Promised five years of security patches
  • Android 11 with One UI 3.0
Other Features
  • S Pen included in the box
  • Microsoft Office 365 subscription
  • Face Unlock
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Design & Display

The Galaxy Tab S8 is a direct successor to the impressive Galaxy Tab S7, which we called one of the best tablets that team Android had to offer in 2020. The Galaxy Tab S8 is a premium tablet through and through, featuring a glass back, metal frame, and squared-off corners. Measuring 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.33mm and weighing 503g, the Galaxy Tab S8 is a bit heavier and taller than the regular M1-powered iPad Pro. On the back, you’ll find a dual-camera module in the upper left corner perpendicular to the black strip that holds and magnetically charges your S Pen. The power button, which also doubles as the fingerprint scanner, is placed on the right edge, while the bottom houses the USB-C port. There’s no headphone jack here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with an S Pen

The Galaxy Tab A8 features an all-plastic build, which is understandable given its price. It also has thicker bezels. The back only houses a single camera and discreet Samsung logo, giving the tablet a clean appearance. It’s slightly thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Tab S8. Physical keys are on the right edge, while the USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack are located at the bottom.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 2021

The Galaxy Tab S8 features a large 11-inch 2K LCD panel with a 120Hz refresh rate protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The Galaxy Tab A8 features a 10.5-inch TFT LCD panel with 1200 x 1920 resolution with the standard 60Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy Tab S8 supports stylus input via the included S Pen. You can use it to draw, write, and sketch on the large display. The stylus is pressure-sensitive and has a very low latency of 6.2ms. The Galaxy Tab A8 doesn’t come with an S-Pen, nor does it support stylus input.

Performance

The Galaxy Tab S8 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, making it one of the most powerful Android tablets on the market. That, together with 120Hz refresh support, means the Galaxy Tab S8 will fly through everything you throw at it, be it heavy gaming, video editing, or working on multiple apps side by side. The Galaxy Tab S8 also supports DeX mode, which gives you a desktop-like computing experience when you connect the tablet to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You can also use DeX in standalone mode on the tablet by connecting it to Samsung’s Book Cover keyboard. It allows you to turn your Galaxy Tab S8 into a laptop or PC replacement.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab A8 is powered by a starter mid-range Unisoc Tiger T618 chipset, featuring two Arm Cortex-A75 performance cores running at 2.0GHz and six Cortex-A55 efficiency cores clocked at 2.0GHz.

The base model of the Galaxy Tab S8 packs 8GB of RAM, with the top model having 12GB RAM. Storage options include 128GB on the base model and 256GB on the top variant. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab A8 comes in 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants.

Cameras

On the Galaxy Tab S8, you get a total of three cameras: two on the back and one on the front. The rear camera setup consists of a 13MP f/2.0 primary shooter and a 6MP ultra-wide camera. And then there’s a 12MP ultra-wide shooter on the front with a new Auto Framing feature (similar to Apple’s Center Stage) that automatically adjusts the shot to keep you in the frame.

The Galaxy Tab A8 has an 8MP fixed-focus front camera that can record 1080p videos. However, it doesn’t support the Auto Framing feature.

Battery, Audio, Software

The Galaxy Tab S8 has a large 8,000mAh battery life which Samsung claims provides up to 15 hours of video playback or web browsing. The tablets charges via a 45W fast charger that comes inside the box and can fully charge the device in an hour and 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab A8 packs a 7,040mAh cell and charges via a 15W charger.

The Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab A8 both pack powerful quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos surround sound support for immersive video watching and gaming experience.

On the software side, the Galaxy Tab S8 runs Android 12 out of the box with One UI 4 while the Tab A8 runs Android 11 with One UI 3.0. While Samsung promises four years of OS updates for the Galaxy Tab S8, it hasn’t clarified its stance on the mid-range Galaxy Tab A8.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Tab S8 is the company’s flagship tablet, packing powerful internals and a premium design. It’s a natural competitor to the M1-powered iPad Pros, and while Android has a long way to go before it can catch up with iPadOS, Samsung has done a great job with One UI-specific software additions such as split-screen view, Smart Switch, and DeX mode. The Galaxy Tab S8 starts at $699 for the base 8GB/128GB model and comes in Silver, Pink Gold, and Graphite colorways. Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S8 deals to save some money.

    The Galaxy Tab S8 is a flagship Android tablet packing Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chipset and S-Pen support.
    The Galaxy Tab S8 has a large display and powerful quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

The Galaxy Tab A8 is your average Android tablet with a good set of multimedia capabilities and a large screen to read, consume content on or play games. It doesn’t support a stylus so you won’t be able to do creative work such as drawing or painting. However, you can connect it with a portable wireless keyboard and prop it up with a folio case to turn it into a basic work machine.

About author

Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]

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