June 1, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

professionals and cons


  • Tasteful 12.4” AMOLED show with 120Hz
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could be very succesful
  • Facet-firing audio system are crisp and lots loud
  • S Pen included within the field

  • Pricier than most Android tablets
  • Wider side ratio might be tough to make use of
  • Haptics really feel low cost
  • Software program is held again by Google

extra shopping for selections

When Samsung introduced its Galaxy Tab S8 sequence again in February, all eyes had been fairly glued to the biggest 14.6-inch Extremely mannequin. In it had been among the highest spec configurations we had seen on any Android pill, comparable to 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an enormous Tremendous AMOLED show that put laptops to disgrace. Then got here the value tag; a lofty $1,279 that might sticker-shock any unsuspecting shopper.

That is why the center youngster, the Tab S8 Plus, is equally worthy of your consideration in case you’re looking for the very best Android pill. The Plus measurement, which is armed with comparable {hardware} and software program options because the Extremely, presently begins at $829 on Samsung’s web site. Save for the additional front-facing digital camera and bigger show and battery measurement, you are getting a near-identical, flagship pill expertise for a whole lot of {dollars} much less.

I have been testing the Tab S8 Plus over the previous two weeks and, whereas it has its flaws, I can confidently suggest the mid-sized Galaxy pill to just about any person. The identical cannot be mentioned concerning the Extremely and even the LCD-equipped Tab S8 mannequin. This is why.



285 x 185 x 5.7 mm


572 g (1.26 lbs)

Show 12.4” Tremendous AMOLED (2,800 x 1,752) at 120Hz


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1


8GB RAM with 128GB/256GB (expandable by way of MicroSD)

Digital camera 13MP extensive, 6MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP entrance  
Battery 10,090 mAh with as much as 45W quick charging
Working system One UI Tab 4 primarily based on Android 12
Wi-Fi/Cell broadband Wi-Fi 6E, 4G LTE, and 5G
Connection ports 1x USB-C 3.2, 1x MicroSD card slot, keyboard pins

Evaluating base fashions alone, the Tab S8 Plus is on equal footing with the Extremely, which is nice. It is acquired a big Tremendous AMOLED panel that refreshes at 120Hz, the most recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB that is expandable as much as 1TB by way of MicroSD. There’s additionally a wholesome 10,090mAh battery powering the unit, with help for 45W quick charging. (You may have to purchase the charger individually, although.) The mannequin that I have been testing is the 5G variant from AT&T, which lets me faucet into the GSM community after I’m out and about. 


Within the hand, the Tab S8 Plus seems like how a premium pill ought to. It is remarkably skinny at 5.7mm, however the weighted full-aluminum unibody is sturdy and reassuring. With cheaper tablets, urgent the screens can really feel hole and empty beneath. That is not the case right here; Samsung is not skimping on exterior or inside {hardware}. 

Nonetheless, I would not say that the design of the Tab S8 Plus will increase eyebrows. It is only a uninteresting slab of glass and metallic that serves its function: being a conveyable work and leisure machine. The colours obtainable are silver, graphite, and pink gold, and every one is as delicate and forgettable as the following. (That is nonetheless yet one more colour than what Apple presents for the iPad Professional, so I assume it could possibly be worse.)

Surrounding the pill are 4 Dolby Atmos-supported audio system, an influence button, quantity rocker, MicroSD card slot, USB-C port, and pegs to attach the non-obligatory keyboard cowl. The primary-party accent just isn’t a “must-have” for the Tab S8 Plus, however I might extremely suggest it for college kids or professionals who search 2-in-1 performance. 

Additionally: Greatest 2-in-1 laptops: Prime versatile, hybrid, and convertible notebooks


The Tab S8 Plus is impressively skinny at 5.7mm.

June Wan/ZDNet

Samsung bundles a $59 S Pen stylus with the Tab S8 Plus. For a freebie, the S Pen is remarkably helpful and provides the Tab S8 Plus the spice that it lacks. The stylus connects to the pill mechanically and carries 4,096 ranges of stress sensitivity. That signifies that your penmanship is dependent upon the way you glide the stylus throughout the show, in addition to how arduous you press down. Whereas my use circumstances of the S Pen are usually extra two-dimensional — I am both jotting down assembly notes or signing NDAs — I can see professionals, like designers and artists, pushing the wi-fi accent to its full potential. 

Like final 12 months’s Tab S7, there is a magnetic strip on the again of the S8 Plus to snap the S Pen onto and wirelessly cost it. From carrying the pill round in my backpack to stacking it above my books and paperwork, the magnet was highly effective sufficient to forestall the stylus from falling off. If Samsung may pull a Observe — or, ought to I say, Extremely — and add a devoted silo for the pill S Pen, that will be even higher. 

Extra: Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely evaluation: Lengthy dwell the Observe


The included S Pen is each enjoyable to make use of and useful for work. 

June Wan/ZDNet


Samsung has been on the prime of its sport on the subject of show know-how and the Tab S8 Plus is not any exception. Its 12.4-inch Tremendous AMOLED panel produces among the finest colours I’ve seen on a pill but. And because of the ability of OLED, the show precisely visualizes each lighter and darker scenes, whereas getting a lot brilliant (as much as 400 nits). The tell-tale signal of show, no less than to me, is how properly it might probably retain colours when seen from totally different angles. Decrease-quality panels are likely to shift in blue or greyish hues, however each shades had been absent when tilting the system in any course. 

Additionally: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 sequence will get a brand new 14.6-inch Extremely flagship

The pill follows a wider 16:10 side ratio, which makes it work higher in panorama mode than in portrait. (That is in comparison with the squarish 4:3 dimensions of the iPad Professional.) Whereas we proceed to see tablets development on this course, I’ve discovered the broader kind issue to be clumsy to deal with. Do not get me mistaken, the Tab S8 Plus is a killer leisure machine (see picture beneath). However for day-to-day use — and I partially blame Google/Android for this — apps and home windows simply aren’t optimized for the side ratio. Generally, apps like Asana and a few Google Chrome web sites merely aren’t engineered to make the most of the broader actual property. (I might assume the issue is much more prevalent on the bigger Extremely mannequin.) 


At 12.4 inches, the Tab S8 Plus is ideal for on-the-go leisure. 

June Wan/ZDNet

Luckily, there are answers to this, like Samsung’s DeX mode and the “View desktop web site” that almost all cellular browser apps supply. I will go over DeX slightly extra within the efficiency part. 

The final bit that I might wish to share concerning the Tab S8 Plus show is the fantastic in-display fingerprint sensor. Whereas my ZDNet colleague, Matthew Miller, beloved the side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the smaller Tab S8 that he reviewed, I am all for the fancier show tech. On the correct aspect of the Plus mannequin is an optical fingerprint sensor, which signifies that as a substitute of performing an ultrasonic, 3D-based scan of your fingerprint, the system shoots a beam of sunshine to detect your fingerprint picture.

This technique is arguably much less dependable than its ultrasonic counterpart and would not work in case your finger is moist, however I’ve discovered it to be a lot quick and time-saving. When the pill is held in panorama mode, the sensor is situated proper beside your thumb, so signing into the Tab S8 Plus is only a faucet away.

Extra: One of the best foldable telephones: Pill-sized handsets


A wonderfully positioned fingerprint sensor makes for an amazing first impression.

June Wan/ZDNet

Software program

Android’s lack of app optimization on tablets continues to be an enormous downside. Whereas Samsung has completed a commendable job at leveling its batch of home-grown apps, like Notes, Web, and Calendar, with the pill platform, there’s nonetheless work to be completed for Android as a complete. As I discussed earlier than, commonly-used apps comparable to Slack and Instagram simply appear like blown-out variations of their smartphone counterparts. Clearly, this is not the case with all apps, as I’ve had nice experiences utilizing Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, and even the Google Feed on the house display screen. However for the way a lot cash individuals are spending on these tablets, they deserve a extra tailor-made software program expertise. 

The Tab S8 Plus runs on One UI Tab 4 primarily based on Android 12. Samsung says Android 12L, Google’s upcoming software program that is really optimized for bigger screens, might be coming to its flagship pill quickly. We have gotten glimpses of the brand new working system model and the adjustments look promising.

One other brilliant observe, the Tab S8 Plus is among the many few S sequence tablets that qualify for Samsung’s five-year replace coverage. (It is technically 4 years of main OS upgrades and 5 years of safety patches, however a beneficiant dedication nonetheless.) That makes the Tab S8 Plus all of the extra dependable for years down the highway and is a bonus over another Android producer.

Extra: Samsung inches nearer to Apple with its newest software program improve coverage


A well-known Android expertise, however on a bigger display screen. 

June Wan/ZDNet


With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM, the Tab S8 Plus will run and handle all apps that you simply throw at it. From my weeks of testing, the pill was greater than able to being my background media participant (YouTube, Netflix, Spotify), secondary monitor (Calendar, Google Drive, Outlook), and on-the-go laptop (Slack, Zoom, Google Maps). Solely the Tab S8 Extremely has 12/16GB RAM configurations, however I’ve discovered the 8GB on the Plus to be greater than adequate. 

The AKG-tuned audio system on the Tab S8 Plus get vigorously loud and admirably sharp. Whether or not I used to be watching the NBA Finals or the most recent episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the audio efficiency was full and vibrant. My solely criticism is the position of the aspect audio system as they’re simply lined when holding the pill. In any other case, the sound system did not make me miss the headphone jack in any respect.   

Samsung DeX was what I used essentially the most when it got here to engaged on the Tab S8 Plus. DeX, brief for desktop expertise, transforms the person interface of the pill right into a desktop-like structure, versus the usual Android dwelling display screen of apps and widgets. The change goes past the house display screen, as apps can then be opened in devoted home windows for multitasking and navigation. Toss in resizing and you’ve got a pill that may run upwards of 5 apps without delay. (I used to be content material with 2-3, although.)

Additionally: Samsung DeX 101: Flip your pill into a pc

As somebody who labored in cellular retail in 2017, I keep in mind all the thrill surrounding the Samsung DeX dock for the Galaxy S8. It is fairly spectacular that, these days, you may simply swap modes with a faucet from the notification panel and never want any companion {hardware}.


A house display screen comparability between pill mode (left) and DeX mode (proper).

June Wan/ZDNet

Oh, and about that S Pen. The tip has this rubberized materials that permits it to easily glide throughout the Tab S8 Plus display screen, and the pill does a magical job at palm rejection. Due to its wi-fi capabilities, the S Pen can immediate Samsung’s signature Air Actions, which embrace Display write, Sensible choose, Reside messages, and AR Doodle. They’re all options which have thrived on Galaxy Observe units for years and a few are positively much less gimmicky than others. 

Display write and Sensible choose had been essentially the most helpful for my workflow. The previous captures a screenshot so that you can draw over, like instructions on a map or notes on a PDF. Sensible choose enables you to spotlight an space on the display screen to both save as a picture, convert to textual content or GIF, or take away the textual content from its background. It’s extremely helpful when working with photographs and movies.

Extra: One of the best stylus tablets: Prime picks for content material creation


Display write enables you to seize a screenshot and draw over it. 

June Wan/ZDNet

Very similar to the iPhone and iPad, the Samsung pill works finest with a Samsung telephone. Collectively you may make the most of options like Fast Share (much like Apple’s AirDrop) or Galaxy connectivity to mechanically sync notes, recordsdata, and audio recordings throughout Samsung units. All the apps that help the latter function are Samsung exclusives, so preserve that in thoughts in case you’re on another Android. 

Lastly, the haptic motor on the pill could be very mediocre. I did not suppose that I might be bothered by the engines of a $900 pill, however right here I’m. In comparison with the blocky and life-like vibrations on the $799 iPad Professional, that of the Tab S8 Plus feels free and rattly — to the purpose the place I simply turned off vibrations system-wide. They’re disappointingly paying homage to some sub-$300 Android telephones that I’ve reviewed. 


As for digital camera efficiency, the Tab S8 Plus is a step above its smaller sibling due to the extra 6MP ultra-wide lens. Paired with the traditional 13MP extensive, the pill is sweet sufficient for informal flicks and doc scans. However at 1.26 kilos, I would not suggest utilizing the system as a devoted digital camera and the slippery matte sides definitely do not assist with stabilization. 

What’s value declaring is the brand new 12MP front-facing shooter, which helps facial monitoring and auto framing (much like Apple’s Middle Stage). Fittingly, the brand new lens additionally has a wider subject of view; it is 120-degrees now in comparison with final 12 months’s 80. 


The ten,090mAh cell on the Tab S8 Plus has confirmed to be dependable and economical. On a typical week, the pill lasted me three days per cost — barely roughly relying on what I used to be doing. When you plan on connecting the pill to cellular information and/or utilizing it as a devoted workstation, then I might estimate at most two days of endurance. 

To cost, Samsung features a USB-C to USB-C cable within the field, however no energy adapter. Whereas I am much less nitpicky about smartphones ditching the charging brick, receiving a toned-down field for a pill felt like a theft. Luckily, my present 65W telephone charger was greater than succesful sufficient to energy the Tab S8 Plus at its 45W restrict.

Backside line 

I am a agency believer that it is best to by no means purchase a product for its promise of future updates. The Tab S8 Plus is an exception. Not solely does the Samsung pill impress in {hardware}, but it surely delivers software program options (for the stylus as properly!) that no different Android producer is doing. And with as much as 5 years of software program help and Android 12L on the horizon, there’s much more upside for the mid-sized Galaxy pill. 

At a beginning value of $899, the Tab S8 Plus falls in premium flagship territory. However with some digging round, you may simply discover it for cheaper and bundled with further equipment, too.

Options to think about

One of the best various to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is its older sibling, the Tab S8 Extremely. The bigger pill measures at 14.6-inches, which places it in laptop computer territory, and might be geared up with as much as 16GB RAM to energy the system. 

For one thing slightly cheaper, look to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. The system launched late final 12 months however stays a succesful and inexpensive Samsung pill. Meaning you may be getting comparable software program options like DeX mode and an included S Pen. 

I reviewed the Lenovo Tab P12 Professional lately and aptly titled the piece “The flagship Android pill shoots for the Galaxy”. Whereas the pill comes with a lesser Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor, it is nonetheless a efficiency machine that champions most apps and duties that you simply throw at it. 

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