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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: what we want to see

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Android tablet landscape is pretty sparse these days, but one company that can be relied upon to launch impressive slates is Samsung, with its Galaxy Tab S range proving to be real alternatives to an iPad.

Most recently we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which with their big screens and stylus and keyboard accessories are a match for Apple’s best in a lot of ways. But their successors – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus – are probably in the works, and we already have a wish list for them.

Below then you’ll find a list of the main things we want from Samsung’s next top tablets, but before that we’ve included details on the likely release date and price, along with any leaks and rumors. There isn’t much in the way of those yet, but we’ll be updating this article whenever we hear anything new, so check back soon.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next premium Samsung tablet
  • When is it out? Possibly August
  • How much will it cost? We don't know, but it's sure to be expensive

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 release date and price

Samsung isn’t totally consistent with when it releases new Galaxy Tab S models, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 range and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 all hit stores in August of their launch years – though while the Tab S7 range was announced in early August, the Tab S6 was unveiled in late July.

In any case though it’s likely that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 will land in or around August of 2021, though at the time of writing there aren’t any release date rumors, so we’re not at all certain of that.

As for the price, there’s no news there either, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 started at $649.99 / £619 / AU$1,149, while the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 Plus started at $849.99 / £799 / AU$1,549, so prices may be similar for the next model. If anything though the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range might cost more, since the trend is for prices to rise.

Leaks and news

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is yet to leak, but we expect it’s in the works, so it’s likely we’ll start hearing about it soon. Check back in the coming weeks and months for all the latest information.

We can however predict a few things. For example, based on past form there will probably be two Tab S8 models, likely dubbed the Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8 Plus.

The Plus model will probably also have an AMOLED screen, and they will likely also both have a 120Hz refresh rate and a top-end chipset (probably the Snapdragon 888).

What we want to see

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and particularly the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus are excellent slates, with the latter topping our best Android tablets list, but they’re not perfect. Here’s what Samsung can do to make the Tab S8 even better.

1. More ports

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 only has one port (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is almost a laptop, especially once you add the optional keyboard accessory, but it has just one USB-C port, which limits its versatility a bit.

So for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 we’d like to see a second port added, and ideally also a 3.5mm headphone port. Tablets don’t need to be as slim and compact as phones, so we reckon the usefulness of having such a port is greater than the space saved by removing it.

2. A competitive price

The Galaxy Tab S range is positioned at the high end of the market, so these slates are always going to be expensive, but we noted in our Tab S7 review that the price is a bit too high really, so we’d like to see that addressed for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range.

We’re not convinced the price will go down, but stranger things have happened, so we’ve got our fingers crossed.

3. A backlit keyboard cover

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7's keyboard isn't backlit (Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 supports an optional keyboard cover, one which is generally pretty good, but the fact that the keys aren’t backlit means it’s hard to use in the dark.

It’s a small thing but one that could make a big difference to some people, so we’d like the keyboard cover for the Galaxy Tab S8 to have backlit keys.

4. An OLED screen on all models

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has an OLED screen, but the basic Tab S7 is lumbered with an inferior LCD one, so for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 we want to see OLED on both models.

With more and more companies offering OLED screens on their devices and Apple now offering them on almost every iPhone, we think it’s reasonable for even the most basic slates in Samsung’s flagship tablet range to use OLED too.

Plus, while Apple has embraced OLED on its phones, the iPad range actually still uses LCD, so this is one way in which the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 could stand out.

5. A fingerprint-resistant back

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Galaxy Tab S7's back is prone to picking up fingerprints (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus have an aluminum back and a premium look and feel, but one thing that spoils the look somewhat is how prone to picking up fingerprints they are, as we noted in our review.

This is a problem faced by many phones and tablets, but it’s one that we’d like Samsung to try and solve for the Galaxy Tab S8, especially as tablets don’t get covered up by cases as frequently as phones, so we want a back that stays pristine.