Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A8 tablet is coming in January 2022. Just don’t expect a major upgrade over last year’s Galaxy Tab A7. The Tab A8 is as incremental as tablet updates get.
How budget? — Samsung’s not saying yet. However, last year’s Tab A7 cost $229 for the 32GB model and $279 for the 64GB model, which gives you ballpark pricing for the Tab A8.
Streaming-focused — With a 10.5-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio (1,920 x 1,200) display, the Tab A8 is a multimedia-first device. The tablet features Dolby Atmos-powered quad speakers. Though you can download streaming apps to watch content, the tablet is also compatible with Samsung TV Plus, a free ad-supported streaming platform that aggregates various channels into one app. When it comes to an entertainment-focused tablet like this, the battery is an important feature; the tablet has a 7,040 mAh battery and is capable of 15W fast charging, though the fast charger is sold separately.
10 percent faster — This budget Samsung tablet features a Unisoc Tiger T618 chipset. It’s slightly more powerful than the T610 chipset on the Nokia T20 tablet, but it’s still a low-tier chipset. Samsung claims this chip offers a 10 percent performance boost over the Tab A7, which uses a Snapdragon 662 chip. However, the move to abandon the Snapdragon chipset for a Unisoc one could mean Samsung is aiming for an even lower price point. In any case, the tablet will be offered in three storage configurations: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, which is new for A-series tablets. You can also upgrade storage to a max 1TB with a microSD card.
The two larger storage configurations get a bump in memory this year, with 4GB of onboard RAM compared to the 3GB on the 32GB model. The Tab A8 has a split-view feature, where you can use two apps side-by-side. On top of that, it’s also possible to pop apps into their own window. The Drag & Split feature is an adjacent feature that works with Samsung apps; it works by dragging a tab to the side to create a new window in split-view mode.
Tablet cameras — The tablet is equipped with two cameras: one rear 8-megapixel camera and one 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Having reviewed the Nokia T20 just recently, which has two similar resolution cameras, this doesn’t sound very impressive, but we’ll have to see. Other features worth mentioning are face recognition software that locks the tablet when unknown users access the device, an educational hub for children with parental controls, screen recording, and, yes, a 3.5mm jack.
Worth it? — Overall, the Tab A8 is seemingly a more powerful tablet than its predecessor, but not by much. Compared to the Nokia T20, which is a very similar device, the Tab A8 falls short of the mark, even with a slightly more powerful chipset. With the T20 priced at $250 and featuring a crisp 2K display, it’s tough to see the Tab A8 as a better pickup. Then again, Samsung’s a more popular brand than Nokia, which might be enough to move units. At least it’ll come in three colors.