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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely Evaluate



The tech business has by no means appeared sure about whether or not tablets are fully their very own machine class, or finest served merely as a substitute for laptops, and no pill feels extra emblematic of that uncertainty than the Tab S8 Extremely.

With an infinite 14in show, this can be a lovely machine for media consumption and internet looking – however with costs ranging from $1,099/£999 it’s laborious to think about many individuals dropping that sort of cash to observe Netflix on the prepare (in any case, how may you afford it after paying Netflix’s newly elevated charges?).

The show’s dimension and side ratio look so much like a laptop computer’s, particularly with the keyboard cowl hooked up, and with Samsung’s DeX interface this can be a surprisingly succesful pc various.

Alternatively, that keyboard case is each elective and extortionately priced. Samsung does embrace an S Pen stylus without spending a dime with the pill, however that is too massive a pill to easily maintain in a single hand and use a stylus with the opposite.

How nicely the Tab S8 Extremely works will rely so much on why it appeals to you – and the way a lot cash you need to burn.

Design and construct

Huge show
Slim however strong building
Noticeable notch

The very first thing that anybody notices in regards to the Tab S8 Extremely is that this factor is huge. That is Samsung’s first ‘Extremely’ pill, and the corporate has gone all out.

The 14.6in show shouldn’t be solely comfortably bigger than the 12.4in display screen of the Tab S8+, however can also be a lot larger than Apple’s closest rival, the 12.9in iPad Professional. It’s an infinite display screen, larger than many laptops, and naturally that makes the pill as a complete fairly large.

To Samsung’s credit score, it’s labored laborious to maintain the S8 Extremely slim regardless of that. Someway, virtually impossibly, that is simply 5.5mm thick – thinner than each these different two tablets. It’s the type of engineering feat that feels a bit like a magic trick, however a vital one to handle what’s already a hefty weight: 726g for the Wi-Fi mannequin, and 728g for those who add in 5G.

That’s heavy for a pill, particularly one you would possibly need to maintain in a single hand with a stylus within the different. That implies that due to this dimension, the Extremely is downright awkward to make use of as a pill a number of the time – it is simply too large to comfortably take notes on, use as an e-reader, and even simply use to browse the net out of your couch.

In fact, this is able to be gentle for a laptop computer, however Samsung’s official E-book Cowl Keyboard weighs one other 644g in its personal proper, taking you as much as 1.37kg complete – which is definitely heavier than some equal laptops. Should you do choose to purchase the keyboard – which is an additional $349/£299 by itself – bear in mind that it is good, however not nice. It is snug sufficient to kind on, and I like the expansive trackpad, however the display screen detaches just a little too simply from the keyboard, and along with the kickstand its footprint is gigantic – this would possibly not be a pleasant choice for working from a aircraft or prepare.

As for a way the Extremely seems, Samsung has saved issues restrained. Whereas the S8 and S8+ include some vibrant end choices, the Extremely is just on provide in Graphite gray. That dominates the pill’s aluminium rear, other than a small Samsung brand, antennae strains, and black strip working alongside from the 2 rear cameras – the place the S Pen stylus can connect magnetically. Should you favor, it’s also possible to connect the S Pen to some (although not all) of the squared sides.

From the entrance although, there may be one standout design ingredient: the notch. Whereas Samsung has moved away from notches on its premium telephones – with punch-hole selfie cameras on the S22 collection and an under-display digital camera on the Z Fold 3 – the corporate has made the bizarre option to put the Tab S8 Extremely’s two front-facing lenses right into a notch.

Though the pill does have sufficient of a bezel to carry onto, it apparently didn’t enable sufficient area for these lenses. Luckily, the slanted notch solely drops just a little method into the show, so for essentially the most half it received’t get in the best way of content material. This doesn’t really feel like essentially the most elegant method of dealing with selfie cameras in 2022, however in the end it doesn’t really feel like a significant downside.

When it comes to safety, the S8 Extremely’s physique is made out of Samsung’s Armour Aluminium, which I can say from expertise is not less than powerful sufficient to guard an in any other case fragile Z Flip Three from a nasty drop. The show is coated in Gorilla Glass 5 – although not the most recent Victus normal – however there’s no IP score for mud and water-resistance safety right here.

Show and audio

Huge 14.6in AMOLED show
Widescreen 16:10 side ratio
S Pen stylus assist
Quad audio system

The Tab S8 Extremely’s show is in fact the primary cause it’s so rattling large.

At 14.6in, this is able to be a fairly large display screen on a number of laptops, let alongside tablets. As I’ve already stated, that makes the pill as a complete cumbersome, however in fact the perk is that there’s a complete lot of display screen area, whether or not you need to use it for streaming Netflix or working a number of work apps side-by-side.

You’d assume the latter could be the apparent focus, however I’m not so certain. That’s partly as a result of Samsung has opted for an uncommon side ratio, with a large 16:10 show that’s a greater match for Netflix originals and film streaming than it’s for productiveness, particularly at a time when work-focussed laptops are transferring in the wrong way, in direction of boxier screens that supply further vertical area.

That’s to not say you could’t work on a widescreen show like this – and naturally Samsung has included loads of software program instruments to do exactly that, which I’ll talk about later – however this appears like a display screen finest suited to watching on.

And to be truthful, screens don’t get significantly better. It is a 120Hz AMOLED panel, able to easy animations and quick body charges whereas rendering content material in lovely element and depth at a crisp 1848 x 2960 decision. HDR10+ assist rounds out the function set, serving to supported content material look its finest – although there’s no assist for the Dolby Imaginative and prescient normal, regardless of the pill’s spectacular quad audio system supporting Atmos.

Samsung has included an in-display fingerprint sensor too, discovered alongside the underside of the display screen (or the right-hand aspect, when utilizing it panorama). That is as quick and dependable as you’d anticipate.

In fact the opposite key function is that this show helps enter from Samsung’s S Pen stylus, which comes included with the pill. This newest model has shaved the response price a lot that the stylus primarily feels instantaneous, eliminating the awkwardness from taking notes or drawing doodles.

The S Pen itself boasts solely a single button, however Samsung’s ‘air actions’ permit you to mix this with gestures to set off a spread of customisable results distinctive to every app, including an additional degree of performance to the stylus setup.

Specs and connectivity

Flagship Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 chip
As much as 512GB storage and 16GB RAM
Elective 5G networking

You’d be anxious if a pill this costly didn’t have specs to match, however Samsung hasn’t skimped there.

The Tab S8 Extremely is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 – the corporate’s strongest chip but – and could be specced with as much as 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage (although this may make an already costly pill much more so).

Should you don’t care in regards to the RAM, keep in mind that the S8 Extremely helps microSD playing cards as much as 1TB, so even the most cost effective SKU can simply be expanded to supply much more storage.

Efficiency is inevitably spectacular. I’ve truly been testing out the S8 Extremely’s least expensive model, with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM, however I’ve discovered even this mannequin in a position to comfortably sustain with something I’ve thrown at it, together with multi-tasking a number of apps in split-screen for a full work day.

In benchmarks that is essentially the most highly effective Android pill we’ve examined but, although it have to be stated that it lags far behind Apple’s newest M1-powered iPads. Impressively, it manages to drive comparatively excessive body charges on GFXBench’s extra demanding graphics exams regardless of the excessive WQXGA+ decision. I’d anxious that as a result of the construct is so slim I’d see overheating issues, however I haven’t seen any to date.

It’s price noting that the S8 Extremely is among the many merchandise that Samsung has admitted can have efficiency throttled in sure apps by the corporate’s Sport Optimization Service, particularly many video games. This may restrict efficiency (within the title of defending the {hardware} from overheating and different points), although Samsung is issuing patches to scale back the throttling behaviour.

The Eight Gen 1 can also be able to offering 5G networking, although you’ll must pay further for it – by default the pill is Wi-Fi-only. On the time of writing no US service is providing the 5G mannequin both, so American readers could not get the choice in any respect.

Past 5G, you’ll discover Wi-Fi 6E supported together with Bluetooth 5.2 There’s no NFC included, however I feel that’s fantastic – I battle to ascertain many individuals breaking a 14.6in pill out to make a contactless cost with.

Battery and charging

Common battery life
Quick charging by pill requirements
Charger not included

An enormous show gave Samsung area for an enormous battery, with a whopping 11200mAh cell right here – virtually triple the scale of a typical smartphone battery, and greater than most tablets too.

In fact, with that battery needing to energy prime specs and an enormous show, it does drain quick. I’ve discovered it packs sufficient energy to final a piece day – which might be the most effective bar for fulfillment right here – however you’ll possible need to cost it afterwards. Which means you received’t want to fret an excessive amount of about bringing a charger out with you for those who’re engaged on the go, however might want to keep in mind to prime it up in a single day.

If that’s not an choice, charging is quick – not less than by pill requirements. The S8 Extremely can use as much as 45W charging speeds, which Samsung says can return a full cost in 82 minutes. We take a look at smaller time increments, and I discovered it attain a 14% cost in 15 minutes, and a 29% cost in 30 minutes. That’s slower than Samsung predicts, and on that foundation I’d anticipate a full cost to take extra like two hours.

There’s an necessary caveat there although: I wasn’t testing with an official 45W Samsung charger. That’s as a result of Samsung doesn’t embrace one within the field. I examined charging with a third-party 65W USB-C PD charger, and you need to be capable of fortunately use something related – or certainly your telephone charger – however keep in mind that you just may need to pay further to purchase the official plug to ensure Samsung’s prime speeds.

One different draw back is that there’s no wi-fi charging assist right here. That’s not too large of a deal for a pill – the sheer dimension means this is able to be awkward to put on the typical charging pad anyway – nevertheless it does additionally imply that there’s no reverse wi-fi charging, so you may’t use this to prime up your telephone or headphones on the go.

Digicam and video

Twin 12Mp front-facing cameras
13Mp and 6Mp rear cameras
Trumps virtually any laptop computer for video calls

The Tab S8 Extremely has a complete of 4 cameras, which can sound like overkill for a pill, however there may be some technique to the insanity.

On the again you’ll discover a pair of lenses: a 13Mp fundamental digital camera and a 6Mp ultrawide. I’ll be sincere, I’ve needed to pressure myself to make use of these to check the pill out, and I can’t think about many circumstances through which individuals would depend on them – that is far too cumbersome a tool to make use of as a digital camera in any conventional sense.

Nonetheless, little doubt use circumstances exist, and the cameras right here aren’t unhealthy in any respect, particularly in brilliant gentle. The ultrawide is proscribed, with low dynamic vary and splotchy particulars, however the primary digital camera typically will get the job accomplished.

The 2 front-facing cameras are arguably extra necessary, as they’ll kick in if you wish to use the Tab S8 Extremely for video calls – and whether or not or not you purchase into the notch will actually hinge on their high quality.

Each lenses use 12Mp sensors, although there’s nonetheless a slight high quality drop as you turn to the ultrawide – although a lot much less so than with the rear cameras.

In stills each cameras take detailed vibrant pictures, however the primary lens handles dynamic vary and difficult lighting higher.

Extra importantly, they’re each succesful on the subject of video, and that is one space the place the Tab S8 Extremely can edge virtually any laptop computer in the marketplace – if you wish to take a video name on the go the usual for laptop computer webcams stays embarrassingly low, whereas each these lenses protect pores and skin tone and element and might accommodate various kinds of lighting nicely.

Software program and updates

Ships with Android 12 and OneUI 4.1
4 years of Android updates promised
Elective Samsung DeX desktop interface

The Tab S8 Extremely ships working Android 12 with Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 interface on prime. This permits some seamless integration with different Samsung gadgets – akin to screen-sharing or file transferring with Samsung telephones or laptops, or fast pairing with Galaxy Buds headphones – but additionally brings with it a couple of tablet-specific optimisations.

The most important one is DeX mode, an elective mode that prompts a desktop-style interface. That is clearly designed for productiveness in the beginning, and makes essentially the most sense when paired with the keyboard case and a mouse or trackpad – it truly is the realisation of this can be a laptop computer substitute.

For essentially the most half DeX mode works easily, however there are hiccups. Not each app is optimised for the mode, and a few will flag warnings while you open them about doable inconsistencies. I didn’t discover too many issues, besides one which was a significant headache for my private workflow: 1Password refused to run in any respect whereas DeX mode was energetic, that means I needed to change out each time I wished to log into an account wherever. Not superb.

You don’t have to make use of DeX in fact, and even with out it you may arrange a productive work area. Samsung has a few of the finest multi-tasking instruments in Android proper now, and with this huge show it’s simple to arrange a number of home windows side-by-side or flip between apps. I actually did discover that I may comfortably work on the S8 Extremely, although given the selection I’d nonetheless go for a full Home windows laptop computer 9 instances out of ten.

That is partly as a result of there stay small indicators that Android merely isn’t finest on tablets. For instance, the widescreen 14.6in show must be good for media streaming – however whereas Netflix makes the a lot of the big panel, the Disney+ app refuses to maximise content material to suit the show, forcing me to observe Moon Knight with letterboxing round all 4 sides of the content material. Loads of different apps fail to profit from the area accessible, actually because they do not have tablet-optimised variations for Android in any respect.

Issues like this may occasionally enhance when Samsung decides to replace the Tab S8 Extremely to Android 12L, Google’s current model replace focussed on large screens. This features a taskbar and simpler split-screen work, although since OneUI already consists of a lot of this it’s laborious to know the way large a change 12L would actually make right here.

The excellent news is that Samsung has already confirmed it plans to challenge the replace, as a part of a beneficiant replace promise for the Tab S8 line. This pill will obtain 4 years of Android model updates – essentially the most of any pill on the market – with a fifth 12 months of safety patches. That can see it obtain not solely this 12 months’s Android 13, however go all the best way to Android 16 in 2025, with protecting patches by means of 2026.

Value and availability

It received’t come as any shock that the Tab S8 Extremely isn’t low cost. It begins from $1,099/£999 for the 8GB/128GB Wi-Fi solely mannequin, rising to $1,399/$1,249 for the 16GB/512GB model – and all the best way as much as £1,399 so as to add 5G onto that model within the UK. We’re rounding up the most effective Tab S8 collection offers we have discovered that will help you shave that value down although.

That’s not the entire price although. Whereas the S Pen stylus is included, the keyboard case shouldn’t be – and at $349/£299 it’s a considerable extra price. Should you’re hoping to make use of the S8 Extremely to work on, as most definitely will probably be, the beginning value is then successfully $1,449/£1,299.

In equity to Samsung, Apple’s 12.9in iPad Professional stays equally costly, ranging from $1,099/£999, and neither are unhealthy worth given the specs on provide – however most pill customers merely do not want all that energy, and those that do may be higher served by a laptop computer.

Should you principally desire a pill to observe Netflix one, you could find a superb one for a lot much less – even inside Samsung’s personal Tab S8 vary – although admittedly with a dinkier display screen. And if you need it primarily to work on, for a similar value as this pill and the keyboard case you’ll truly discover that there are glorious laptops accessible that can beat this on efficiency and ease-of-use.

Verdict

The Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely is, from a pure {hardware} perspective, virtually actually the most effective Android pill round. Wonderful efficiency is matched by a slender design that retains the entire package deal as light-weight and cozy as doable given the colossal show.

The query is who the S8 Extremely is for. Nice as that show is for watching TV and movie, that is certainly too costly a tool for many to choose up for media streaming or Android gaming.

And whereas it’s a succesful work machine, when you throw within the keyboard case the calibre of laptop computer options improves drastically, most of which is able to nonetheless be higher work machines due to the software program limitations endemic to Android on tablets.

In fact, the true edge right here is versatility. No cheaper tablets will match the S8 Extremely’s productiveness prowess, and not one of the laptops can compete as media gadgets.

For the Tab S8 Extremely to make sense as a purchase order, you’ll most likely have to need to use it for each of those – or not less than know for certain that you just’ll make use of the pill kind issue as typically as you’ll the laptop computer mode.

Should you can afford it – and extra importantly, justify it – that is unlikely to disappoint. However at this value, most of us are higher off wanting elsewhere.

Specs
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely: Specs

Qualcomm Snapdragon Eight Gen 1
8/12/16GB RAM

128/256/512GB storage (expandable as much as 1TB)

14.6in 120Hz AMOLED show (1848×2960 at 240ppi)

Twin rear cameras: broad (13Mp, f/2.0) and ultrawide (6Mp, f/2.2)

Twin front-facing cameras: broad (12Mp, f/2.2) and ultrawide (12Mp, f/2.4)

Quad stereo audio system

Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
5G (elective)
S Pen stylus (included)

11200mAh battery
45W wired charging

326.Four x 208.6 x 5.5 mm
726g (Wi-Fi) or 728g (5G)

About the author: SubSellKaro

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