Previously, we unboxed the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 and checked out what was in the box and did a onceover of its build and specifications.
This time around in our Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review, we’ll put it through its paces and see what’s running under the hood. On paper, here’s what our review sample is equipped with:
|Display||10.5-inch TFT LCD, WUXGA 1,200 x 1,920 pixels, 216ppi, 16:10 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Unisoc Tiger T618 octacore 2.0GHz|
|OS||Android 11 + OneUI 3.1|
|Memory||3GB RAM / 32GB + microSD card|
|Cameras||8MP w/ autofocus [rear] / 5MP [front]|
|Battery||7,040mAh w/ 15W fast charging|
|Size/Weight||246.8 x 161.9 x 6.9mm / 508g|
In terms of the hardware running under the hood, our Galaxy Tab A8 review sample runs Android 11 and their One UI 3.1 user interface on an entry-level Unisoc Tiger T618 octacore processor.
The processor is built on a 12nm process and features a pair of ARM Cortex A75 cores intended for intensive tasks and six power-efficient cores for general grunt work along with a Mali G52 MP2 GPU.
As a basis of comparison, the cutting edge Galaxy Tab S8 uses a chip built on a 4nm process but to be fair, both tablets are also worlds away in terms of price points and the Galaxy Tab A8 is intended to maximise screen size and value for cost.
The Unisoc Tiger T618 is paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB of onboard storage that can be augmented via a microSD card slot up to 1TB in the side of the chassis.
More astute readers will note that LTE-enabled variants exist but for Galaxy Tab A8 models sold in Malaysia, you’re relegated to WiFi only variants. The provided 3GB RAM is serviceable but means that it’s not intended for heavy multitasking.
For Malaysia, you only get the 3GB RAM/ 32GB WiFi only option with two different colourways in Pink Gold and Graphite Black. Our Galaxy Tab A8 review sample was the latter. When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the tablet scored the following:
|3DMark Wild Life||706|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited||708|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme||184|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited||181|
|Geekbench 5 single core score||335|
|Geekbench 5 multi core score||1,127|
|Geekbench 5 OpenCL score||985|
|Geekbench 5 Vulkan score||969|
|PCMark Work 3.0 score||7322|
|PCMark Work 3.0 Battery Life||9 hours 29 mins|
This isn’t exactly stellar performance on paper but fortunately it holds up well when subjected to a general usage profile. Starting it up took awhile to sign in to all the usual Google accounts and the tablet immediately had a security update ready and waiting the moment it was connected to WiFi.
In theory, the tablet has at least two Android guaranteed updates so it should support updates all the way to Android 13 in 2024 and another year of security updates after that which makes for solid longevity.
There was some initial lag, especially when you’re starting up apps but it otherwise ran smoothly under regular use with modest expectations.
Chrome and Samsung’s stock browser, YouTube, Netflix and the like all ran smoothly without issue. The tablet was able to play Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG and Asphalt 9 on low settings but the dearth of storage space and the sheer size of modern mobile games means that it’s not advisable unless you bung in an additional microSD card slot to augment the onboard storage.
Samsung’s One UI 3.1 is one of the best Android user interfaces in the market, offering smooth, intuitive access to all critical functions. Of note is its streamlined Battery and Device care setting that closes background apps and runs optimisation tasks to keep the slate running smoothly.
One UI 3.1 also offers a modicum of multitasking via Split Screen view so that you can run two different apps simultaneously onscreen. This comes in handy when processing emails on Gmail and then writing documents out like this review on Google Docs.
The provided virtual keyboard is responsive and nippy though you’ll get more utility if you pair it up with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. Unfortunately, the tablet itself lacks the DeX desktop mode which projects a Windows style desktop interface onscreen like the more sophisticated Tab S7 and S8 but seeing what you’re paying for here, it’s not that big of a dealbreaker.
Camera performance isn’t much to write home about seeing as great shots typically aren’t a tablet’s forte but they’re adequate to take snaps of receipts and the odd casual video call or two under bright lighting conditions. In a pinch, it’s conceivable to use this with a supplementary ring light for video calls.
Overall battery life is excellent and with moderate use it’ll easily last north of two days though heavy usage and gaming including bingeing an entire season’s worth of dramas will cut this short by half. With WiFi on, web browsing, several hours of watching movies and some light gaming, our Galaxy Tab A8 review sample still managed to make it past the day-and-a-half mark.
Unfortunately, charging it is a tedious affair as the 15W charging and massive size of the battery means that it’ll take upwards of two hours and closer to four just to fully charge it.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 Review – Display and Speakers
Our Galaxy Tab A8 review unit features a large 10.5-inch TFT LCD display which has a 1,200 x 1,900 pixels resolution complemented by a glossy finish and a 60Hz refresh rate.
Brightness is adequate under direct sunlight and colours were good overall with crisp detail which, in tandem with its large size makes it great for watching movies and web browsing. The tall 16:10 aspect also makes it great for processing emails and typing out the odd document or two.
The tablet’s movie playing capabilities were complemented by its quad speakers tuned by Dolby Atmos and this setup offered excellent volume, detail and clarity. It’s not inconceivable to prop up the tablet on your desk for enjoying your Spotify playlist.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8?
While more powerful tablets are available in Samsung’s line-up like the new Galaxy Tab S8, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 makes for an affordable tablet for enjoying media on the go.
It makes some modest concessions for cost but its core strengths, namely a large display, great speakers and excellent battery life remain intact along with its modest price tag. For those looking for a more compact slate, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a more viable option and you can check out our Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review here.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. Available from the Samsung Online Store at https://www.samsung.com/my/tablets/galaxy-tab-a/galaxy-tab-a8-wifi-pink-gold-32gb-sm-x200nidaxme/buy/
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large display, great speakers and immense battery life along with excellent build quality at a modest price tag, making this a fantastic, reasonably priced tablet for web browsing, watching movies and enjoying other content.
Huge display for what you pay for
Expandable storage via microSD card slot
Great battery life
Superb build quality for price
Slow charging for the huge battery
Modest processor is less than ideal for gaming