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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 and S8 Plus have few compromises

After months of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Samsung has finally revealed its new Galaxy Tab S8 lineup at Samsung Unpacked. As we’ve been expecting, the trio of new tablets includes the Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, with the latter bringing some hefty upgrades over the two smaller and more affordable models. The S8 and S8 Plus provide plenty of power in an attractive package, though, for those who don’t need the Ultra’s considerably larger screen and internal storage space.

Same internals, different sizes

Galaxy Tab S8 Plus on carpet.
Ajay Kumar/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Tab S8 and S8 Plus are primarily differentiated by their screen and battery sizes. The S8 features an 11-inch LED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, while the S8 Plus ups the ante with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2800 x 1752. Both screens provide a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and reduced eye fatigue. The devices come with fast-charging capabilities using USB Type-C 3.2, but the former brings with it an 8,000mAh battery, while the latter rocks an upgraded 10,090mAh to help power its larger screen.

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Otherwise, the S8 and S8 Plus come packing a 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa-core processor and 8GB RAM, which should ensure rock-solid performance for daily use. Storage options include 128GB or 256GB, though both tablets support additional microSD cards up to 1TB for expansion. Both also come with Wi-Fi 6E (2.4/5/6GHz) and Bluetooth 5.2.

Galaxy Tab S8 Plus with S Pen cover.
Ajay Kumar/Digital Trends

The back of the Tab S8 and S8 Plus offer dual cameras, including a 13MP main shooter with autofocus and 4K video capabilities, as well as a 6MP ultrawide sensor. Meanwhile, the devices’ front-facing 12MP ultrawide sensor should make videoconferencing a breeze, though they’re less capable than the dual sensors on the S8 Ultra. Automatic framing for up to 10 subjects is available, too, though doing so steps the resolution down to Full HD at 30 frames per second.

Lastly, one of the biggest questions looming over Samsung’s newest tablets has been whether they would support the S Pen, and the answer is not only yes, but it so happens that the company is packing one in with every model in the S8 lineup, meaning you can use any of the slates for taking notes and productivity tasks.

Software and authentication

Galaxy Tab S8 vertical scrolling.
Ajay Kumar/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus unsurprisingly launch with Android 12. Authentication options for both devices include using a pin/pattern, face recognition, or the built-in fingerprint scanner. Note, however, that the fingerprint scanner is on the power button for the S8, while it’s embedded in the display on the S8 Plus.

Pricing and availability

The Galaxy Tab S8 starts at $700 for the 128GB model, while the S8 Plus starts at $900. Pre-orders start today, and Samsung is including a free keyboard cover with all orders.

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