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Saturday, July 02, 2022

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review: An Android tablet for regular people

If you are considering buying a tablet for your kid or ageing parents, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 makes a lot of sense.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 17999
Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi |
Updated: February 5, 2022 5:10:37 pm
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8 review, Samsung tablets in India, Android tabletsThe Tab A8 is a terrific multimedia consumption device, and there is no second thought about that. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The thing about Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tab A8 is that it lacks any big surprise one would expect from a new device. But that’s also a good thing if you happen to be buying an Android tablet for the first time. At Rs 17,999, the Galaxy Tab A8 has a low starting price for a quality Android tablet. That’s sure to make it an appealing product, especially for kids. But more than that, the Tab A8 gives Samsung access to some potential future customers it might not have been able to reach before. Here’s my review of the Galaxy Tab A8.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 price in India: Rs 17,999 onwards

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review: Design and aesthetics

The Tab A8 uses the same design template that is visible across the budget tablet landscape, which is not a bad thing. It’s got a 10.5-inch screen with reasonably-sized bezels, flat edges, a rounded camera model on the rear, and an 8-megapixel front camera that’s centered when the tablet is held in landscape mode. Measuring 6.9mm and weighing about 509 grams, the tablet is really lightweight and can fit in virtually any bag. The enclosure is made from aluminum, and you get the choice to pick up this tablet in gray, silver or pink gold colour options. The tablet is perfectly sized, good enough that you can even hold it with one hand and read an eBook on the Kindle app for hours without being tired.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8 review, Samsung tablets in India, Android tablets You have the option to buy the device with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi & 4G LTE. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The power button is conveniently placed on the right-hand side of the tablet, just above the volume keys. The Tab A8 lacks any sort of biometrics or fingerprint scanner, but since I am using the tablet at home and don’t have any sensitive data stored on the device, I am okay with this omission.

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The base model has only 32GB of storage, but it supports microSD card storage expansion. There’s a headphone jack in an odd place in the rounded corner of the tablet. Finally, you will notice a single USB-C port for charging and data on the bottom of the tablet. You have the option to buy the device with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi & 4G LTE.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review: Display and speakers

The front of the tablet is dominated by a 10.5 inch, 1920 x 1200 px TFT LCD that is bright, crisp, and perfect for use indoors. I watched (and enjoyed) Netflix’s Tales of the City on the Tab A8’s 10.5-inch display, where it looked excellent with punchy colours. At this price range, it is hard to expect too much.
The Tab A8 is a terrific multimedia consumption device, and there is no second thought about that. The display impresses whether you are browsing, watching YouTube videos, or gaming.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8 review, Samsung tablets in India, Android tablets The display impresses whether you are browsing, watching YouTube videos, or gaming. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Another feature of the Tab A8 that I got swayed by is the quad-speaker system. To put it to the test, I watched Wonder Woman 1984 and The Dark Knight on the Galaxy Tab A8 as well as on my first-generation iPad Air. The difference is, frankly, astounding. The quad speakers sound insanely loud. Yes, they can get a little harsh when you crank the volume up to the maximum but the audio is clear, good enough to fill the entire room.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review: Performance and battery

The Galaxy Tab A8 is out-and-out an entertainment device, so keep your expectations in check if you want a tablet for real work. This won’t replace your laptop anytime.

Its Unisoc Tiger T618 chipset and 3GB RAM may not make it the fastest tablet on the market – but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of editing a piece on Google Docs or the most popular apps don’t run on it. For things like web browsing, casual gaming, video playback and checking emails, the Galaxy Tab A8 is more than enough for these tasks. Anything beyond that, the Galaxy Tab A8’s performance falls flat.
I think Samsung is clear about the use case of the Galaxy Tab A8 and who should really buy this tablet. In terms of software experience, expect a user interface similar to that of what you get on a Galaxy phone.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8 review, Samsung tablets in India, Android tablets Measuring 6.9mm and weighing about 509 grams, the tablet is really lightweight and can fit in virtually any bag. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

It’s running OneUI over Android 11, and Samsung’s custom tweaks can be found like the ability to run two apps at the same time, Edge panel shortcuts, etc. However, it doesn’t support a stylus, keyboard case, or even Samsung’s DeX desktop software. Android is not anywhere close to iPadOS in terms of apps designed to take advantage of the big screen. The cohesiveness is missing on Android tablets, but that’s Google’s job, not Samsung’s.

The 7040 milliamp-hour battery lasts close to 9 hours on a single charge. This was when I primarily used Tab A8 for watching movies, web browsing, reading, etc. It’s very hard to exhaust the entire battery in a day, because this is not a work-centric tablet.

On the downside, the Tab A8’s cameras are average. There’s a five-megapixel camera on the back and an eight-megapixel on the front. There’s nothing to write about the back camera, but the front-facing 8MP camera is fine for video calls but doesn’t deliver professional-level quality.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8, Galaxy Tab A8 review, Samsung tablets in India, Android tablets It’s running OneUI over Android 11, and Samsung’s custom tweaks can be found like the ability to run two apps at the same time, Edge panel shortcuts, etc. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review: Should you buy it?

While the Galaxy Tab A8 won’t surprise you, it’s a great multimedia tablet at the end of the day. The tablet is best to be used to watch movies, read books, browse the web or attend online classes. If you are considering buying a tablet for your kid or ageing parents, the Galaxy Tab A8 makes a lot of sense. At Rs 17,999, the Galaxy Tab A8 is way more affordable than the base iPad, but it’s limited to watching movies, browsing and reading books. But I assure you that you are not getting a raw deal.

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