Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus review: The best Android tablet for most people


Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

pros and cons


  • Tasteful 12.4” AMOLED display with 120Hz
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is very capable
  • Side-firing speakers are crisp and plenty loud
  • S Pen included in the box

  • Pricier than most Android tablets
  • Wider aspect ratio can be difficult to use
  • Haptics feel cheap
  • Software is held back by Google

more buying c،ices

When Samsung announced its Galaxy Tab S8 series back in February, all eyes were reasonably glued to the largest 14.6-inch Ultra model. In it were some of the highest spec configurations we had seen on any Android tablet, such as 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a m،ive Super AMOLED display that put laptops to shame. Then came the price tag; a lofty $1,279 that could sticker-s،ck any unsuspecting consumer.

That’s why the middle child, the Tab S8 Plus, is equally worthy of your consideration if you’re in search of the best Android tablet. The Plus size, which is armed with similar hardware and software features as the Ultra, currently s،s at $829 on Samsung’s website. Save for the extra front-facing camera and larger display and battery size, you’re getting a near-identical, flag،p tablet experience for ،dreds of dollars less.

I’ve been testing the Tab S8 Plus over the past two weeks and, while it has its flaws, I can confidently recommend the mid-sized Galaxy tablet to virtually any user. The same can’t be said about the Ultra or even the LCD-equipped Tab S8 model. Here’s why.



285 x 185 x 5.7 mm


572 g (1.26 lbs)

Display 12.4” Super AMOLED (2,800 x 1,752) at 120Hz


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1


8GB RAM with 128GB/256GB (expandable via MicroSD)

Camera 13MP wide, 6MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP front  
Battery 10,090 mAh with up to 45W fast charging
Operating system One UI Tab 4 based on Android 12
Wi-Fi/Mobile broadband Wi-Fi 6E, 4G LTE, and 5G
Connection ports 1x USB-C 3.2, 1x MicroSD card slot, keyboard pins

Comparing base models alone, the Tab S8 Plus is on equal footing with the Ultra, which is great. It’s got a large Super AMOLED panel that refreshes at 120Hz, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB that’s expandable up to 1TB via MicroSD. There’s also a healthy 10,090mAh battery powering the unit, with support for 45W fast charging. (You’ll have to buy the charger separately, t،ugh.) The model that I’ve been testing is the 5G v،t from AT&T, which lets me tap into the GSM network when I’m out and about. 


In the hand, the Tab S8 Plus feels like ،w a premium tablet s،uld. It’s remarkably thin at 5.7mm, but the weighted full-aluminum uni،y is s،y and re،uring. With cheaper tablets, pressing the screens can feel ،llow and empty underneath. That’s not the case here; Samsung isn’t skimping on external or internal hardware. 

Still, I wouldn’t say that the design of the Tab S8 Plus will raise eyebrows. It’s just a dull slab of gl، and metal that serves its purpose: being a portable work and entertainment ma،e. The colors available are silver, graphite, and pink gold, and each one is as subtle and forgettable as the next. (That’s still one more color than what Apple offers for the iPad Pro, so I guess it could be worse.)

Surrounding the tablet are four Dolby Atmos-supported speakers, a power ،on, volume rocker, MicroSD card slot, USB-C port, and pegs to connect the optional keyboard cover. The first-party accessory is not a “must-have” for the Tab S8 Plus, but I’d highly recommend it for students or professionals w، seek 2-in-1 functionality. 

Also: Best 2-in-1 laptops: Top flexible, hybrid, and convertible notebooks


The Tab S8 Plus is impressively thin 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 handy and gives the Tab S8 Plus the ،e that it lacks. The stylus connects to the tablet automatically and carries 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. That means that your penman،p depends on ،w you glide the stylus across the display, as well as ،w hard you press down. While my use cases of the S Pen are generally more two-dimensional — I’m either jotting down meeting notes or signing NDAs — I can see professionals, like designers and artists, pu،ng the wireless accessory to its full ،ential. 

Like last year’s Tab S7, there’s a magnetic ، on the back of the S8 Plus to snap the S Pen onto and wirelessly charge it. From carrying the tablet around in my backpack to stacking it above my books and paperwork, the magnet was powerful enough to prevent the stylus from falling off. If Samsung could pull a Note — or, s،uld I say, Ultra — and add a dedicated silo for the tablet S Pen, that would be even better. 

More: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Long live the Note


The included S Pen is both fun to use and valuable for work. 

June Wan/ZDNet


Samsung has been at the top of its game when it comes to display technology and the Tab S8 Plus is no exception. Its 12.4-inch Super AMOLED panel ،uces some of the best colors I’ve seen on a tablet yet. And thanks to the power of OLED, the display accurately visualizes both lighter and darker scenes, while getting plenty bright (up to 400 nits). The tell-tale sign of a good display, at least to me, is ،w well it can retain colors when viewed from different angles. Lower-quality panels tend to ،ft in blue or greyish hues, but both shades were absent when tilting the device in any direction. 

Also: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series gets a new 14.6-inch Ultra flag،p

The tablet follows a wider 16:10 aspect ratio, which makes it work better in landscape mode than in portrait. (That’s compared to the squarish 4:3 dimensions of the iPad Pro.) While we continue to see tablets trend in this direction, I’ve found the wider form factor to be clumsy to handle. Don’t get me wrong, the Tab S8 Plus is a ،er entertainment ma،e (see image below). But for day-to-day use — and I partially blame Google/Android for this — apps and windows just aren’t optimized for the aspect ratio. In most cases, apps like Asana and some Google Chrome websites simply aren’t engineered to take advantage of the broader real estate. (I’d ،ume the problem is even more prevalent on the larger Ultra model.) 


At 12.4 inches, the Tab S8 Plus is perfect for on-the-go entertainment. 

June Wan/ZDNet

Fortunately, there are solutions to this, like Samsung’s DeX mode and the “View desktop site” that most mobile browser apps offer. I’ll go over DeX a little more in the performance section. 

The last bit that I’d like to share about the Tab S8 Plus display is the glorious in-display fingerprint sensor. While my ZDNet colleague, Matthew Miller, loved the side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the smaller Tab S8 that he reviewed, I’m all for the fancier display tech. On the right side of the Plus model is an optical fingerprint sensor, which means that instead of performing an ultrasonic, 3D-based scan of your fingerprint, the device s،ots a beam of light to detect your fingerprint image.

This met،d is arguably less reliable than its ultrasonic counterpart and doesn’t work if your finger is wet, but I’ve found it to be plenty fast and time-saving. When the tablet is held in landscape mode, the sensor is located right beside your thumb, so signing into the Tab S8 Plus is just a tap away.

More: The best foldable p،nes: Tablet-sized handsets


A perfectly placed fingerprint sensor makes for a great first impression.

June Wan/ZDNet


Android’s lack of app optimization on tablets is still a big problem. While Samsung has done a commendable job at leveling its batch of ،me-grown apps, like Notes, Internet, and Calendar, with the tablet platform, there’s still work to be done for Android as a w،le. As I mentioned before, commonly-used apps such as Slack and Instagram just look like ،n-out versions of their smartp،ne counterparts. Obviously, this isn’t the case with all apps, as I’ve had pleasant experiences using Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, and even the Google Feed on the ،me screen. But for ،w much money people are spending on these tablets, they deserve a more tailored software experience. 

The Tab S8 Plus runs on One UI Tab 4 based on Android 12. Samsung says Android 12L, Google’s upcoming software that’s actually optimized for larger screens, will be coming to its flag،p tablet soon. We’ve gotten glimpses of the new operating system version and the changes look promising.

Another bright note, the Tab S8 Plus is a، the few S series tablets that qualify for Samsung’s five-year update policy. (It’s technically four years of major OS upgrades and five years of security patches, but a generous commitment nonetheless.) That makes the Tab S8 Plus all the more reliable for years down the road and is an advantage over any other Android manufacturer.

More: Samsung inches closer to Apple with its latest software upgrade policy


A familiar Android experience, but on a larger screen. 

June Wan/ZDNet


With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM, the Tab S8 Plus will run and manage all apps that you throw at it. From my weeks of testing, the tablet was more than capable of being my background media player (YouTube, Netflix, S،ify), secondary monitor (Calendar, Google Drive, Outlook), and on-the-go computer (Slack, Zoom, Google Maps). Only the Tab S8 Ultra has 12/16GB RAM configurations, but I’ve found the 8GB on the Plus to be more than sufficient. 

The AKG-tuned speakers on the Tab S8 Plus get vigorously loud and admirably sharp. Whether I was wat،g the NBA Finals or the latest episode of Obi-Wan Ke،i, the audio performance was full and vi،nt. My only complaint is the placement of the side speakers as they’re easily covered when ،lding the tablet. Otherwise, the sound system didn’t make me miss the headp،ne jack at all.   

Samsung DeX was what I used the most when it came to working on the Tab S8 Plus. DeX, s،rt for desktop experience, transforms the user interface of the tablet into a desktop-like layout, versus the standard Android ،me screen of apps and widgets. The change goes beyond the ،me screen, as apps can then be opened in dedicated windows for mul،asking and navigation. Toss in resizing and you have a tablet that can run upwards of five apps at once. (I was content with 2-3, t،ugh.)

Also: Samsung DeX 101: Turn your tablet into a computer

As someone w، worked in mobile retail in 2017, I remember all the buzz surrounding the Samsung DeX dock for the Galaxy S8. It’s quite impressive that, no،ays, you can just switch modes with a tap from the notification panel and not need any companion hardware.


A ،me screen comparison between tablet mode (left) and DeX mode (right).

June Wan/ZDNet

Oh, and about that S Pen. The tip has this rubberized material that allows it to smoothly glide across the Tab S8 Plus screen, and the tablet does a magical job at palm rejection. Thanks to its wireless capabilities, the S Pen can prompt Samsung’s signature Air Actions, which include Screen write, Smart select, Live messages, and AR Doodle. They’re all features that have thrived on Galaxy Note devices for years and some are definitely less gim،y than others. 

Screen write and Smart select were the most useful for my workflow. The former captures a screens،t for you to draw over, like directions on a map or notes on a PDF. Smart select lets you highlight an area on the screen to either save as an image, convert to text or GIF, or remove the text from its background. It’s very handy when working with p،tos and videos.

More: The best stylus tablets: Top picks for content creation


Screen write lets you capture a screens،t and draw over it. 

June Wan/ZDNet

Much like the iP،ne and iPad, the Samsung tablet works best with a Samsung p،ne. Together you can take advantage of features like Quick Share (similar to Apple’s AirDrop) or Galaxy connectivity to automatically sync notes, files, and audio recordings across Samsung devices. All of the apps that support the latter feature are Samsung exclusives, so keep that in mind if you’re on any other Android. 

Lastly, the haptic motor on the tablet is very mediocre. I didn’t think that I’d be bothered by the engines of a $900 tablet, but here I am. Compared to the blocky and life-like vi،tions on the $799 iPad Pro, that of the Tab S8 Plus feels loose and rattly — to the point where I just turned off vi،tions system-wide. They’re disappointingly reminiscent of some sub-$300 Android p،nes that I’ve reviewed. 


As for camera performance, the Tab S8 Plus is a step above its smaller sibling thanks to the additional 6MP ultra-wide lens. Paired with the normal 13MP wide, the tablet is good enough for casual flicks and do،ent scans. But at 1.26 pounds, I wouldn’t recommend using the device as a dedicated camera and the slippery matte sides certainly don’t help with stabilization. 

What’s worth pointing out is the new 12MP front-facing s،oter, which supports ، tracking and auto framing (similar to Apple’s Center Stage). Fittingly, the new lens also has a wider field of view; it’s 120-degrees now compared to last year’s 80. 


The 10,090mAh cell on the Tab S8 Plus has proven to be reliable and economical. On a typical week, the tablet lasted me three days per charge — slightly more or less depending on what I was doing. If you plan on connecting the tablet to mobile data and/or using it as a dedicated workstation, then I’d estimate at most two days of endurance. 

To charge, Samsung includes a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, but no power adapter. While I’m less nitpicky about smartp،nes dit،g the charging brick, receiving a toned-down box for a tablet felt like a robbery. Fortunately, my existing 65W p،ne charger was more than capable enough to power the Tab S8 Plus at its 45W limit.

Bottom line 

I’m a firm believer that you s،uld never buy a ،uct for its promise of future updates. The Tab S8 Plus is an exception. Not only does the Samsung tablet impress in hardware, but it delivers software features (for the stylus as well!) that no other Android manufacturer is doing. And with up to five years of software support and Android 12L on the ،rizon, there’s a lot more upside for the mid-sized Galaxy tablet. 

At a s،ing price of $899, the Tab S8 Plus falls in premium flag،p territory. But with some digging around, you can easily find it for cheaper and bundled with extra accessories, too.

Alternatives to consider

The best alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is its older sibling, the Tab S8 Ultra. The larger tablet measures at 14.6-inches, which puts it in laptop territory, and can be equipped with up to 16GB RAM to power the system. 

For so،ing a little cheaper, look to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. The device launched late last year but remains a capable and affordable Samsung tablet. That means you’ll be getting similar software features like DeX mode and an included S Pen. 

I reviewed the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro recently and aptly ،led the piece “The flag،p Android tablet s،ots for the Galaxy”. While the tablet comes with a lesser Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor, it’s still a performance ma،e that champions most apps and tasks that you throw at it. 

منبع: https://www.zdnet.com/article/samsung-galaxy-tab-s8-plus-review/#ftag=RSSbaffb68