The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the beefed-up sibling of the Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8+ that was unveiled by Samsung on 9 February 2022 during its Galaxy Unpacked event. Powered with a powerful chipset and equipped with a 14.8 inches display panel, this device is also one of the tablet computers this 2022.
It is somewhat similar to the Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8+. All three devices are high-tier and flagship-grade Android tablets. However, the added specifications and features of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are far superior to its siblings.
Of course, considering this superiority, it is also the most expensive among the entire Galaxy Tab S8 line. This concise review explores and describes the major selling points or features and benefits, and the pros of this premium Android tablet from Samsung, as well as its noteworthy drawbacks or limitations and issues.
Reasons Why You Should Buy: Pros of Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Reviewers and observers from the consumer tech community have noted that this is an iPad Air 5 and 5th-gen iPad Pro killer. There are some truths to this claim. Samsung has marketed this device toward power users. Its flagship-grade specifications and premium features essentially make it a direct rival of the iPad Pro.
Below are the features and selling points, benefits or advantages, and reasons why you should buy this tablet from Samsung:
• Equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: The entire Galaxy Tab S8 line is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It is the most powerful mobile chip from Qualcomm and one of the flagship chips of 2022. Hence, it enables the Ultra to handle demanding tasks, as well as run apps such as high-end mobile games and video editing apps.
• Large OLED Display with 120Hz Refresh Rate: Another one of the notable pros of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is its 14.6-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. This panel produces vibrant colors and deep blacks while allowing users to run or stream ultra-high-definition images and videos.
• A Note on the 16:10 Ratio of the Display: It is also important to highlight the fact that the Super AMOLED panel has a 16:10 aspect ratio with around 240 PPI pixel density. The wide screen makes it ideal for consuming most video content on streaming services. The large display area is also ideal for running apps side-by-side.
• The S Pen Comes Out of the Box: The Tab S8 Ultra also ships with the S Pen out of the box with no added cost. Note that the Apple Pencil is sold separately from the iPad. Consumers need to spend at least USD 150.00 more. The S Pen is fundamentally free. It also works as an input device even without a charge.
• Desktop Experience from Samsung Dex: Samsung Dex is another notable feature of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It runs the conventional Android tablet user interface into a desktop-like environment that allows running multiple, resizable, and floating app windows. This is perfect for the 14.6-inch OLED panel.
• Properly Placed Front Cameras: This device has two front-facing cameras placed on the top-center position of the landscape orientation. The cameras take clear photos and videos. The placement is also ideal for using the tablet in landscape mode, especially during video calls or video conferencing.
• 128GB Base Storage and Expandable Storage: The base model of the Tab S8 Ultra comes with 128GB storage based on solid-state drive and universal flash with 8GB of RAM. There is also a variant that comes with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There is also a dedicated slot for microSDXC for storage expansion.
• New-Gen Wireless Connectivity: Other pros of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are the Wi-Fi 6E and 5G wireless connectivity. The Wi-Fi 6E allows this device to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, as well as to the wider and faster 6 GHz band. There is also a 5G variant that connects to sub-6 GHz 5G cellular networks.
Reasons Why You Should Not Buy: Cons of Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
The specifications and features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra make it a powerhouse and all-around tablet device that can compete with the iPad Pro and relatively replace laptops. However, it still has notable issues or drawbacks and disadvantages that limit its functionality or specific use cases and turn off potential buyers.
The following are the cons or disadvantages, and the reasons why you should think twice before buying this tablet device:
• Expensive But Awkward Keyboard: The Book Cover Keyboard retails separately at USD 349.00. This optional accessory expands the functionality of the Tab S8 Ultra and maximizes the productivity capabilities of Samsung Dex. But its awkward design and ergonomics make the device not suitable for use as an actual laptop.
• Only 4 Years of Software Support: Note that the entire Tab S8 line will get up to 4 years of operating system and software upgrades and updates from Samsung. However, this is not enough. Apple devices get at least 7 years of upgrades and updates. This is one of the notable cons of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
• Lack of Premium Apps: There are a lot of apps available for iPadOS. These range from productivity and creativity apps to high-end mobile games. The Android operating system still lags when it comes to its app library. There are high-rated apps available for iPad that are not available for Android tablets.
• A Considerably Expensive Device: The base model of the Tab S8 Ultra retails for about USD 1100.00 and the high-tier variant is priced at USD 1380.00. Remember that the keyboard retails at USD 349.00. The total cost of the full S8 experience is close to the iPad Air and even high-end laptops.
• Limitations of Super AMOLED Display: OLEDs suffer from serious drawbacks. These include a shorter lifespan compared with IPS LCD and miniLED LCD as evident from susceptibility to screen burn-ins. The OLED panel on Ultra also struggles in a bright outdoor environment because of its 500 nits of maximum brightness.
• Disadvantages of Samsung Dex: Price is a clear disadvantage of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Samsung Dex is appealing and undeniably useful but it is still incomparable to Windows and macOS, and even ChromeOS. Hence, considering its price, this device is not an actual laptop or desktop replacement.
• Pros of iPadOS and iPad Devices: Mainstream and less popular apps for Android are not optimized for large screens. iPadOS has a better app library. Furthermore, Apple is known for strong hardware-software optimization. The M1 chip on the Air and Pro remains the best. These facts represent the cons of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Review Verdict: To Buy or Not to Buy
Three of the key features and advantages of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are the large Super AMOLED display, the inclusion of the S Pen, and the Samsung Dex. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip is also another advantage. These four make this device a portable powerhouse tablet computer that has the potential to become a decent iPad killer and laptop replacement.
But this device also suffers from several drawbacks or disadvantages. The most notable one centers on the limitations of the Android operating system that effectively limit the potential of all high-spec Android tablets. The high price point and short-termed software support of this tablet can also turn off potential users the worth of their money.