Samsung Galaxy Tab A8


The Galaxy Tab A8 is an affordable tablet that’s got a decent screen and reliable battery life. However during our tests we found the performance levels are very underwhelming, the camera isn’t great, and it takes a while to charge back up. This makes it a mediocre option in today’s tablet market.

Pros

  • Nice design
  • Good battery life
  • Decent screen
Cons

  • Poor performance
  • Mediocre cameras
  • Slow charging
Availability

  • UKRRP: £249
  • USARRP: $229
  • EuropeRRP: €249
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaTBC
Key Features
  • 10.5-inch screenThis tablet has a large screen for watching videos or playing games
  • 7040mAh batteryWith a considerable battery capacity, you should be able to use this tablet on the go for longer
  • Front and rear camerasIf you need your tablet for video calls or taking the occasional snap, it’s got a 5-megapixel front-facing lens and an 8-megapixel rear sensor

Introduction

The Galaxy Tab A8 is Samsung’s pitch to the budget end of the tablet market – a far cry from the luxury of all-singing, all-dancing Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

If you splash out on this device, you’ll get a 10.2-inch screen with a large 7040mAh battery for an affordable price – but does it perform its key functions well, or does it amount to less than the sum of its parts?

Design and Screen

  • Attractive, unflashy design
  • No IP rating
  • Picked up some scuffs, but feels robust

In keeping with most tablets on the market, the Galaxy Tab A8 is not a flashy device in terms of its colour or design. Our review sample has a dark grey rear panel, and the only hint of any flair is a slightly lighter-toned stripe running along one edge. Other than that and the camera lens, it just appears as a large grey slate. Most crucially, it has a matte rather than glossy finish on this back panel, so that it doesn’t act as a magnet for fingerprints and smears.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 rear panelImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, while it’s a growing trend for big-screen devices to cut down on the bezels around the side of the screen, this one still has rather significant black bars at the edges, and though they are at least uniform in size (unlike the iPad 9), it would look more appealing with a minimal frame around the edges. Having said that, we have at least been spared the unsightly in-display notch that was unfortunately present on the brand’s flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

The tablet still retains the 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio playback that has long since been dropped by many premium smartphones, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S22 series, and it’s got a dedicated MicroSD card slot too if you need to expand the storage or transfer photos from your camera more easily. This latter feature may prove especially useful given that, of the base-level 32GB storage, only 18.2GB is actually available to use after system requirements and pre-installed apps are taken care of.

When it comes to unlocking the tablet, you’ve got the options of using a PIN, a pattern, or face unlock. All of these methods worked responsively for me, without irritatingly long delays or false negatives. The tablet also did a fairly decent enough job of reorientating itself when moved from a landscape position to portrait and vice versa, although this could be choppy and did sometimes leave me waiting an extra few second for the right orientation.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 home screenImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Tab A8 doesn’t have an IP rating, so we can’t be exactly sure of how it would manage with exposure to water or dust. What’s more, the manufacturer has not stated whether the display is made of Gorilla Glass or a similarly scratch-resistant material. However, the frame still felt physically robust and did not flex under duress, so I don’t think you’ll need to worry about your child breaking the device unless a very large amount of force is exerted.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 headphone jack and scuffImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Nonetheless, if you’re buying this I’d still recommend getting a case for a few reasons. Firstly I did notice a couple of scuffs on one of the corners after my week with it (see above), which could otherwise have been avoided. Secondly, it does have a large screen that could be vulnerable to scratching if it’s not covered up. Thirdly, a case with a built-in support would allow you to prop this 508g device up on a table or your lab without you needing to hold it yourself for the duration of a film, for example.

Screen

  • Good-sized screen
  • LCD rather than OLED
  • Good for watching films or TV shows

The screen measures 10.2-inches, and I found this to be a fairly good size for watching films and TV series when it’s propped up in front of you, and when it’s lying flat on a table top it’s also a good size for reading through articles or webpages without you having to move it closer to your face.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 lock screenImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The display is LCD rather than OLED, which means that the contrast isn’t perfect and you’ll miss out those majestic deep blacks that characterise OLEDs. Samsung is usually a champion of OLED screens, even on its budget smartphones, so it’s a bit of shame that it hasn’t brought that expertise to bear on this device. The display supports over 16 million colours, which is a good level of colour depth, and the resolution is 1200 x 1920p.

While this quality would be very good for a smartphone of the same price, you are more aware of its shortcomings on a larger-screened tablet as it’s not as super-sharp as you might be used to when watching the same content on a high quality living room TV, for instance.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 playing NetflixImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I spent hours using this device to watch films and TV shows, and though the screen is not the very best around it is still high enough quality to enjoy what you’re watching. Whether watching glossy Netflix documentaries, block-coloured animated movies, or lushly photographed artsy films, this tablet gave a decent account of them that was good enough to keep me entertained. I never found myself particularly frustrated by the screen’s limitations in this context.

When this tablet catches the light, it does unfortunately reflect quite a significant amount of it, so that if a door or window opens near you on a sunny day then you could suddenly be treated to a blazing chink of light in the middle of you screen that reveals a few fingerprint smears or your own face staring back at you.

The display’s brightness isn’t strong enough to overcome this problem, which means that it’s not the best for watching something outside – you’d be better off just using it indoors.

Performance

  • Poor performance
  • Demanding games may be unplayable
  • Experienced lag and brief frozen screen
  • Some Wi-Fi issues
  • Good sound

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 runs on a Unisoc Tiger T618 chipset. I’d never come across this 12nm silicon before, and frankly I’d be happy if I never came across it again.

The performance levels of this device are pretty miserable, and this is visible both in industry benchmarking tests and in real-life usage. I used the base model, which has just 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space.

I put this tablet through Geekbench 5 benchmarks, to measure its CPU power (which dictates general performance), and 3DMark tests, to measure the output of its GPU (which relates to its gaming potential). Below you can see the results in a table, and you can slide across to see how it stacks up against its peers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 Benchmarking Comparison