How Long Does S Pen Last

Pros

  • Included, splendid S Pen stylus

  • Light, attractive, easy to handle

  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Awkward display size and aspect ratio

  • Android isn’t a swell tablet OS

  • Functioning isn’t remarkable

Review body

The bundled Southward Pen is a pleasure to use, simply tin’t make upwards for Android’s tablet quirks.

Nigh the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Hither are the specs of the tablet we tested:

  • Processor:
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    128GB
  • Display:
    2560 10 1600 120Hz LCD touchscreen
  • Wireless connectivity:
    Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth five
  • Wired connectivity:
    USB-C
  • Cameras
    13MP wide main camera, 6MP ultrawide secondary camera, 12MP ultrawide front-facing camera
  • Battery:
    8000mAh
  • Weight:
    1.01 pounds
  • Size:
    10 x 6.v x .25 inches

What we similar

Samsung’s S Pen is the killer feature

Credit: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

Stylus users rejoice—the Tab S8 comes with Samsung’s excellent Southward Pen.

Apple’southward Pencil two carries an MSRP of $130 (and rarely goes on sale), a meaning sum on superlative of the iPad’s already expensive pricing. But every Galaxy Tab S8 ships with Samsung’s Due south Pen in the box—a big win for anyone who likes to use a stylus.

The stylus attaches magnetically to the side or rear of the tablet, and the magnetic dock on the side doubles every bit a charger. It’s an effective, simple style to keep the stylus topped off, but it’s a bit too easy to knock the pen off the magnets and lose it. This is a problem the Tab S8 shares with Apple’s iPads and Microsoft’s Surface line, however.

Using the S Pen is a joy. The pen has a rounded shape that feels much like a typical mass-product ballpoint pen. Information technology’s easy to concur and maneuver with one hand, even for those with minor hands. If anything, those with larger hands may find it too small, as the stylus is not as long as many pens or a classic No. 2 pencil.

It’s a responsive stylus. This is due not only to the pen, which connects over Bluetooth and promises simply half dozen.two milliseconds of latency, just also the LCD touchscreen, which can refresh at 120Hz. The added refresh rate cuts downwards on visual latency because the display tin update every viii milliseconds. That’s twice equally quick as a 60Hz display, which updates once every 16 milliseconds. This is a feature Apple neglected to include in the 5th-gen iPad Air.

To be clear, Samsung’s Southward Pen doesn’t do anything Apple’due south Pencil tin can’t, and I slightly prefer the chunkier feel of the Pencil. Just here’s the affair: the Apple Pencil 2 is an accessory. The S Pen is included. That makes the stylus a cardinal feature of the Milky way Tab S8, and Samsung’southward tablet is the improve for information technology.

It’s attractive, light, and thin

The Milky way Tab S8’s xi-inch display, thin chassis, and low 1.1-pound weight make for a tablet as nimble as the fifth-gen iPad Air. The Tab S8 is even a half-inch narrower than the Air, which makes the Tab S8 easier to cradle with one manus.

That’due south not to say it’s unique, as the Galaxy Tab S8 certainly cribs a few notes from the latest iPad Pro and Air. It’s most notable when held, as the Tab S8’due south slab-sided feel, rounded brandish corners, and pinhole speaker cutting-outs all experience reminiscent of an iPad.

At that place are flaws in Samsung’due south reproduction. The tablet has large antenna lines that cut into the metal chassis along the meridian and lesser. Similar lines tin be institute on the iPad, but they’re smaller.

Luckily, Samsung found a manner to add together a affect of unique class: a line of black chrome that extends downward from the camera cut-out. It’s a unproblematic but effective touch that helps the tablet stand out from its peers and keeps attention away from the sizable antenna lines.

Solid battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 upside down on a table

Credit: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

If yous’re not a heavy tablet user, look the Tab S8’southward bombardment to terminal effectually two to three days.

I wasn’t certain what to expect from the Milky way Tab S8’s endurance. The 8000mAh is not large for a modern tablet and high-refresh displays, such as the 120Hz touchscreen on the Tab S8, tend to drain the battery rapidly. Thankfully, my worries were unfounded.

Battery life was never a problem in my time with the device. Browsing the web, viewing YouTube, editing documents, and jotting notes with the S Pen tuckered a flake more than than ten% an hour, putting real-world battery life between eight and ten hours. This is similar to my experience with Apple’southward 11-inch iPad Pro.

Slumber mode is lite on battery consumption, draining no more than 5% each nighttime. Apple’south iPads perform better in this area, draining a couple percent a night, but the Tab S8 performs well for an Android device.

The combination of solid battery life in agile employ and a power-sipping slumber mode means y’all won’t take to charge the device frequently if you’re not a heavy user. I found myself charging in one case every 2 to iii days for the bulk of my time with the device.

The speakers sound corking

Most modern tablets have skilful speakers, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 goes above and beyond. Information technology has an AKG-branded quad-speaker arrangement that includes speakers on not simply the top and bottom but also on one edge.

It’s a clever blueprint. The arrangement of the speakers provides a convincing sound phase with a strong sense of a left, right, and center aqueduct, something the fifth-gen iPad Air doesn’t handle every bit well. It’s as well nigh impossible to fully comprehend the speakers while belongings the device. This enhances existent-world audio performance when using the Tab S8 similar, well, a tablet.

The audio quality is good, if not outstanding. The speakers are then loud that using them at maximum is oftentimes a chip uncomfortable, but the oomph is useful if you want to make full a small room with music. Dialogue and other spoken content come up across potent and crisp. Music is also by and large clear, but bass-heavy music tin reverberate unpleasantly inside the tablet and dirty the mid-range.

Only call back: this is not a huge tablet. The Milky way Tab S8’south sound performance is groovy for its size.

What we don’t similar

The 11-inch brandish is awkward

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 display turned on.

Credit: Reviewed / Matthew South. Smith

The Tab S8’southward xi.1-inch screen is a bit too narrow to use some applications properly.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 has an 11-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. That’s a 16:10 attribute ratio which, when held in portrait orientation for tablet use, is taller and more narrow than the 4:3 aspect ratio of Apple’s iPad, only shorter and wider than the 21:9 attribute ratio of many modernistic Android phones. This becomes a problem.

Consider a common utilize example: spider web browsing. Because of its uncommon aspect ratio, web pages oft experience narrow and constrained on the horizontal axis. Text is sometimes rendered a bit smaller than what’southward comfortable only, in other cases, a web page will default to a mobile view, in which example everything may announced too large.

Documents, such as PDFs and Word documents, likewise experience strange. Most PDF documents are created for a wider, shorter format, so these documents fit strangely on the Tab S8’southward brandish. Viewing the certificate at the default level of zoom often results in text that’southward too pocket-size. You can zoom in, only this means you take to roll horizontally while reading the certificate.

It’due south a similar story with apps. Open up the card bar in Gmail, for example, and you’re suddenly left with a very slim email view with text that does non adjust itself to fit the new infinite. Google Bulldoze, on the other mitt, defaults to a smartphone-optimized view with oversized icons.

It’south a huge thwarting that Google’s ain apps withal neglect to calibration well on tablets in 2022, but here we are.

Android isn’t a great tablet Os

Android’s tablet woes are partially addressed by Samsung’s bundled software. The visitor has a replacement for nearly every app in the Android ecosystem—there’s fifty-fifty an alternative web browser called “Net.”

Many of these alternatives are constructive. Samsung’southward photo, file management, and camera apps are all better than those provided past Google. They have an interface better optimized for the device’s attribute ratio, plus additional options specific to the device.

I particularly like the Notes app, which can exist summoned at any fourth dimension by touching a shortcut on the side of the screen. The shortcut only responds to the S Pen, so accidentally activating information technology is rarely an issue, and lets you lot quickly jot down a notation while performing another task.

Even so, at that place’s simply so much Samsung tin can do, and Android’s listing of tablet mode woes remains long. Aside from the website, document, and app aspect ratio and back up issues already discussed, Android struggles with lackluster mouse support, a disappointing default keyboard with lackluster integrations, and confusing multi-tasking.

Samsung’s solutions come with a catch: They are all-time when used with a Samsung business relationship. That’s not an event for Samsung superfans, but the visitor’s ecosystem of services and devices is not as highly-seasoned, or as widely available, as those from Apple, Google, and Microsoft. You demand to ain a Samsung tablet, smartphone, and laptop to fully appreciate the company’due south ecosystem. Most people don’t.

Performance is fine, only far behind the iPad Air

The Galaxy Tab S8 turned on

Credit: Reviewed / Matthew South. Smith

The Tab 8 is fast enough, but if you need more speed, check out any of the iPads.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is powered past Qualcomm’south Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a new design that has three different types of processor cores. It has a unmarried performance cadre, 3 “mid” cores, and four efficiency cores. Samsung pairs this new chip with a respectable 8GB of RAM.

Geekbench 5, a synthetic processor examination, spat out a single-core score of 1192 and a multi-core score of 3119. This is not a flattering effect, as information technology falls backside the 9th-gen Apple tree iPad from tardily 2021. Apple’south 5th-gen iPad Air, powered by its own M1 fleck, tin exceed a single-cadre score of 1700 and a multi-core score of 7200.

The 3DMark Wild Life Extreme test, which primarily tests graphics performance, reached a score of 2306. This is improve than the 9th-gen iPad but one time again far behind the iPad Air with Apple M1 chip.

I struggled to notice a significant performance difference in existent-world apply. Web pages, Word documents, and apps open in a flash and whiz by when switching between them. Even editing a smartphone photo or sorting through a large PDF is buttery shine. Games like
Asphalt 9
and
Alto’s Odyssey
played without a hitch.

Nonetheless, the significant gap between the 5th-gen iPad Air and the Milky way Tab S8 is difficult to ignore. I expect near people won’t notice it well-nigh of the fourth dimension. Merely what well-nigh two years from now, when new apps are more enervating? What about 3, or four? The iPad Air is more futurity-proof.

The cameras aren’t groovy

The Samsung Milky way Tab S8 has a 13MP rear-facing main photographic camera joined by a 6MP ultrawide photographic camera. They take adequate photos, simply they don’t stand out when compared to photos from recent iPad Air and Pro tablets. This likely comes down to image processing more raw technical capabilities, as Apple’s fifth-gen iPad Air has a 12MP rear-facing camera. A 12MP forepart-facing camera is also included and takes usable, though unremarkable, selfies.

You won’t discover whatsoever of the more advanced features you might expect. Video recording is limited to 4K at 30fps with the rear-facing camera or 1080p 30fps on the forepart-facing camera. Portrait mode is available but basic with none of the advanced lighting and filter effects common on smartphones. Tedious-motility video is absent and HDR is only available for photos.

The Galaxy Tab S8 does back up one affair the Air does not: facial recognition login with the forepart-facing camera. It’s not reliable, however, and may annoy every bit often as information technology helps. A fingerprint sensor, available on the power button, proved quicker and more than reliable than facial recognition.

Should you buy it?

Possibly, just Apple’due south iPad Air 5th-Gen is the better tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 camera.

Credit: Reviewed / Matthew Southward. Smith

The cameras aren’t impressive, simply at least the Tab S8 has facial recognition—something the iPad Air and iPad Pro do non have.

Samsung’due south Milky way Tab S8 is a fine tablet despite the quirks of its brandish aspect ratio and the limitations of the Android operating system. It’s bundled with an splendid stylus, is easy to handle or pack for travel, and has strong battery life. I enjoyed my time with the tablet.

Yet the Galaxy Tab S8 is hard to recommend. Information technology’south slower than Apple’s fifth-gen iPad Air, is saddled with a less impressive app ecosystem, and struggles within the limitations of Android.

Longevity is also an issue. I’thou confident the fifth-gen Air will be useful in v years (my personal tablet is a 2017 iPad Pro x.5, and it works bang-up). Samsung, by contrast, tends to support its tablets for only a few years.

The Milky way Tab S8 will appeal to Android fans who desire a solid tablet and a great stylus at a reasonable price. If you’re not allergic to Apple, notwithstanding, an iPad is a better choice.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Run across the tester

Matthew S. Smith

Matthew Southward. Smith

Correspondent

@Matt_on_tech

Matthew Due south. Smith is a veteran tech announcer and general-purpose PC hardware nerd. Formerly the Lead Editor of Reviews at Digital Trends, he has over a decade of feel covering PC hardware. Matt often flies the virtual skies in Microsoft Flying Simulator and is on a quest to grow the perfect heirloom tomato.

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