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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series goes official with iPad-killing Ultra model

Samsung's new iPad Pro killer packs a hefty specs sheet and a price to match.
By
February 9, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with keynboard angled
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s been a while since we’ve seen new flagship tablets from Samsung. The Galaxy Tab S7 series proved the company could go up against Apple’s iPads in the premium slate space. Now, it’s hoping to finally outdo its rival with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 line.

Samsung is bringing three new models to market alongside the newly announced Galaxy S22 series, and for the first time, an Ultra offering, too. There are a few commonalities between the trio.

For starters, all Galaxy Tab S8 models include Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipsets. There are no Exynos 2200 models, so wherever you live, you’ll get the Snapdragon. That chip should give this edition a healthy processing power boost over the outgoing duo. You’ll also notice the absence of a headphone jack, even on the base Galaxy Tab S8, but all three feature 45W charging via a USB-C 3.2 port and a bundled S Pen.

As for capture and playback, a 13MP primary camera at the rear with a supporting 6MP ultrawide is standard across the board. Four AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos support are also present on each.

Finally, Samsung is upping its own high water mark for issuing upgrades. The Galaxy Tab S8 series, like the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S21, and its foldables will receive four generations of Android upgrades with five years of security patches. This means the Android 12 slates will receive Android 16 in the distant future. Notably, the Galaxy Tab S7 line won’t be a part of these new upgrade plans.

See also: Your guide to the best tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 rear panel
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Let’s talk unique features now. Starting at the top, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the highest-profile model in the lineup. It’s fronted by a decidedly big-for-a-tablet 14.6-inch AMOLED display with a 2,960 x 1,848 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The screen also houses an in-display fingerprint scanner, a spec it shares with its Plus sibling.

This screen size makes the Ultra the best option for those seeking a laptop replacement. It isn’t blemish-free, though. A noticeable notch is positioned on the Tab S8 Ultra’s right-hand side. It’s reminiscent of Apple’s new MacBook line but does pack additional functionality. Two 12MP snappers, a primary and ultrawide, provide different experiences for those perpetually locked in video calls. We don’t expect everyone to appreciate this decision by Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Hot or not?

842 votes

The other headlining feature is the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s massive battery. It crams 11,200mAh into its relatively brief 5.6mm thick shell. This does come with a substantial weight penalty — you’re looking at a hefty 726g slate.

Finally, the big numbers continue with the RAM and storage. Buyers can get up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot for expansion, too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series specs

Galaxy Tab S8Galaxy Tab S8 PlusGalaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Display
Galaxy Tab S8
11-inch LCD
2,560 x 1,600
276ppi
120Hz refresh rate
276ppi
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
12.4-inch AMOLED
2,800 x 1,752
266ppi
120Hz refresh rate
266ppi
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
14.6-inch AMOLED
2,960 x 1,848
240ppi
120Hz refresh rate
240ppi
CPU / GPU
Galaxy Tab S8
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM
Galaxy Tab S8
8GB RAM
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
8GB RAM
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
8/12/16GB RAM
Storage
Galaxy Tab S8
128/256GB
microSD card support
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
128/256GB
microSD card support
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
128/256/512GB
microSD card support
Connectivity
Galaxy Tab S8
USB-C 3.2
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
5G support (optional)
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
USB-C 3.2
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
5G support (optional)
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
USB-C 3.2
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
5G support (optional)
Audio
Galaxy Tab S8
Dolby Atmos support
Quadruple stereo speakers
No 3.5mm headphone jack
3 microphones
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
Dolby Atmos support
Quadruple stereo speakers
No 3.5mm headphone jack
3 microphones
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Dolby Atmos support
Quadruple stereo speakers
No 3.5mm headphone jack
3 microphones
Cameras
Galaxy Tab S8
REAR
- 13MP main with AF
- 6MP ultrawide

FRONT:
- 12MP main
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
REAR
- 13MP main with AF
- 6MP ultrawide
FRONT:
- 12MP main
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
REAR
- 13MP main with AF
- 6MP ultrawide

FRONT:
- 12MP main fixed focus
- 12MP secondary ultrawide
Power
Galaxy Tab S8
8,000mAh battery
45W charging
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
10,090mAh battery
45W charging
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
11,200mAh battery
45W charging
S Pen
Galaxy Tab S8
Included
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
Included
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Included
Authentication
Galaxy Tab S8
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner (power key)
Face recognition
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face recognition
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face recognition
Software
Galaxy Tab S8
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Dimensions / weight
Galaxy Tab S8
253.8 x 165.4 x 6.3mm
507g
Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
285 x 185 x 5.7mm
567g
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
326.4 x 208.6 x 5.5mm
728g

The other Galaxy Tab S8 models

The Plus model doesn’t see many marked upgrades over the outgoing Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. In fact, the two models share dimensions, although the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus does include a more durable, scratch-resistant body. The AMOLED display remains the same, too, measuring 12.4 inches, packing a 2,800 x 1,752 resolution, and refreshing at 120Hz.

Internally, the base Galaxy Tab S8 Plus starts with 8GB of RAM, shedding the 6GB option of the Tab S7 Plus. However, 128GB and 256GB storage variants remain complete with microSD card support. Notably, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus’ battery is only slightly smaller than its Ultra sibling, but the 10,090mAh capacity should provide plenty of juice between charges.

Finally, what about the base Galaxy Tab S8 model? Well, you won’t notice too many new additions here either. An 8,000mAh battery powers an 11-inch LCD with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. This more compact form factor should provide a better handheld experience. The tablet shares camera specs and RAM/storage options with the Plus model, but it does settle for a physical fingerprint scanner on the power button. Some will welcome this little change on the cheaper model.

See also: The best affordable tablets you can buy

Pricing and availability

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with S Pen
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (8/128GB Wi-Fi): $699 / £649 / CA$899.99
  • Galaxy Tab S8 Plus (8/128GB Wi-Fi): $899 / £849 / CA$1,149.99
  • Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra (8/128GB Wi-Fi): $1,099 / £999 / CA$1,399.99

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series will be available for pre-order from February 9. Notably, preorders for the Ultra model (which only comes in the Graphite color) will include a free backlit keyboard cover.

Samsung’s other two models will be offered in Graphite, silver, or Pink Gold. Both models come with a free slim keyboard cover for those preordering them from February 9.

As for general availability, expect all three slates to start shipping from February 25.