Aware that the entry-level tablet market is growing again, Samsung had to update itself. With this in mind, the manufacturer is back with a Galaxy Tab A8 that smells like an upgrade.
Samsung is about to unveil its high-end slates with the Galaxy Tab S8, but the South Korean firm doesn't forget to offer much more affordable tablets, as is the case here with the Galaxy Tab A8. This device replaces the Galaxy Tab A7 released in 2020.
If you've held a Galaxy Tab A7 (2020) in your hands, you shouldn't be too disoriented with this model. With dimensions of 246.8 x 161.9 x 6.9 mm and a weight of 508 g, it is a bit heavier than its elder brother (476 g). Its brushed aluminum finish is quite pleasant in the hand, but leaves some fingerprints.
The only back photo sensor is slightly protruding, which prevents the tablet from lying perfectly flat when put down, but this is not really disturbing. The screen occupies 80% of the front and has rather contained black bands. The weight is well distributed, which makes it rather pleasant to use.
The three buttons (volume and power controls) of the Tab A8 are all placed on the right side. As with its predecessor, the placement has been thought for a horizontal use. Once again, the front sensor is located on the right side. We regret the absence of a fingerprint sensor, even if a facial recognition system is present.
The Tab A8 houses a USB-C port and four speakers spread across the bottom and top slices. We appreciate the presence of a 3.5mm mini-jack socket and a microSD port to expand storage capacity up to 1TB.
The Tab A8's 3.5mm jack is satisfactory. Although it lacks a hair's breadth of power (91 mVrms), its distortion is particularly low and the dynamic range wide.
The four stereo speakers do their job well and accompany video and music playback nicely. However, we advise not to listen with the volume pushed to the maximum, at the risk of suffering a little saturation.
The Tab A8 is equipped with a 10.5-inch LCD panel displaying 1920 x 1200 px in 16:10 format. The whole is readable, but not likely to dazzle you. Its maximum brightness reaches 343 cd/m², which is quite average, especially in full sun. The minimum value falls to 8 cd/m², which allows the user to indulge in night-time consultation without difficulty, even if many other tablets do better on this point.
The contrast is in the good average with 1470:1. The remanence time is normal (17 ms) and the touch delay remains correct (81 ms). The reflectance rate is important (51.4%), even if it is the case of the vast majority of tablets.
Unfortunately, there is no way to change the color profile of the tablet. A shortcoming that we already deplored on the Galaxy Tab A7.
Even more disappointing, the standard calibration values out of the box are far from excellent. The delta E is set at 4.4 - the colorimetric drifts are imperceptible to the eye below 3. On the other hand, the color temperature climbs to 7789 K, which is too high. The rendering a little cold tends to blue. However, there is a dimmer to correct the shooting a little. We know Samsung can do better, but in its defense, tablets at comparable prices suffer from the same defects.
The Galaxy Tab A8 is based on a 12nm Unisoc Tiger T618 chip coupled with 3/4 GB of RAM and 32/64 GB or 128 GB of storage - we tested the best model. The handover from the Tab A7's Snapdragon 662 to this SoC is beneficial to it. Indeed, on our test protocol, the slate scored an overall index of 86. It does particularly well in multitasking and allows for a fairly intense overall use. There will be no problem opening multiple tabs or checking social networks throughout the day.
This tablet isn't initially thought of for video gaming, but proves capable of running a good portion of the Play Store titles. It managed to maintain a 43 fps display on our test protocol. Obviously, you'll have to make some real concessions on the most demanding apps, but it should be suitable for most current titles.
Samsung's entry-level tablet has a single 8-megapixel camera module, with a f/2 lens. This is a modest configuration reserved for backup purposes. The Realme Pad and the Nokia T20 are frankly disappointing on this point, so we'll compare it here to its elder brother, the Galaxy Tab A7.
Main module: 8 Mpx, f/2
During the day, it is clear that the Tab A8 struggles to shine. Compared to its big sister, the rendering is nevertheless a little more readable, especially thanks to a more pronounced contrast (see the portraits). The whole seems a little sharper, even if the level of detail is low. That said, the colorimetry is more accurate on the Tab A7, while that of the Tab A8 seems washed out.
At night, neither picture is really usable. Despite everything, the Tab A8's picture allows you to distinguish the scene, even if an extremely penalizing digital noise covers it all. On the Tab A7, the algorithm loses the pedals and does not manage to transcribe anything.
Front module and video
A 5MP sensor is located on the right side of the tablet. Its quality is rather mediocre, but will be enough for a small selfie or video conferencing. It is possible to film in 1080p at 30 fps. As expected, the result is not exceptional. The tablet has trouble handling dynamics and colors are a bit dull.
Like its big sister, the Tab A7 is powered by a 7040 mAh battery that is supposed to give it a generous autonomy. This is the case since the latter lasted 17 h 45 min on our Viser test protocol which simulates a mixed use. This very solid score ensures that you don't have to worry too much about it...
...and fortunately! Indeed, the Galaxy Tab A8 really takes a long time to recharge with the 7.5W charger included in its box. It took 4 h 13 min to recharge, which is longer than all its competitors. A disappointing performance.
The Tab A8 is compatible with 15W charging, which should allow it to reach 100% autonomy in about 2 h 30 min. We therefore advise you to use such a charger to go faster on this point. Its good autonomy makes it easy to pass the pill, but we have the right to expect better.
Interface & OS
The interfaces of the Samsung tablets follow each other and are similar. The One Ui overlay is always efficient and works the same way as on the smartphones of the South Korean company. The overall experience remains convincing.
A dedicated mode for children, called Kids, is available on the Tab A8, which allows you to offer them a space all to themselves (but still under the control of parents). It should also be noted that the S-Pen stylus is not compatible with this model.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is a well-finished tablet that offers both performance and autonomy for a tight price. However, we regret that it doesn't offer a more pronounced upgrade than the previous version, notably by granting a faster charge. It is nevertheless a good entry-level slate, but the now more numerous competition is to be considered.