While Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ may be the company’s most competitive tablets to date, they also raise questions about what the company might be cooking up for its next-generation slates.
At present, there’s very little on the ground, with regards to leaks and rumours surrounding what we’re assuming will be called the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8+.
That said, there are still plenty of reference points based on the state of the market and the moves of competitors that can help build a picture of what the next Galaxy Tab(s) might look like.
When will the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8/S8+ launch?
Using previous members of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S line as a guide is a tricky tightrope to walk, partly as a result of the more recent return to a multi-device strategy and partly because of how Samsung has viewed the Galaxy Tab S line and its purpose over the years.
Previous entries in the Tab S line have launched as early as March and as late as September, with 2020’s Tab S7 and Tab S7+ making their debut in August; arriving as part of one of the company’s own-brand ‘Unpacked’ events alongside other productivity-focused devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S30/S21 release date, pricing and spec news
This seems like a logical strategy to continue, partly as it pulls focus solely on Samsung, letting the company hit numerous market segments in one go (looking at everything that was announced this year) and also sits at a relatively quiet time in the year, long after the hype of the company’s own Galaxy S smartphones have launched and in plenty of time before the likes of Google’s next Pixel phones or Apple’s next iPhones break cover.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8/S8+ cost?
Like its smartphones, the ‘S’ line of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family has always served as the flagship, the premium, the most feature-rich of its slate offerings and as a result, the one with the most demanding price tag.
Also, like its smartphones (and the wider market as a whole), the asking price for Tab S slates has been creeping up each year too, with notable spikes driven by leaps in networking technology – such as 5G.
In the UK, 2017’s Galaxy Tab S3 and 2018’s Tab S4 both cost £600, the Tab S6 pushed things the price to £619, which is the starting mark for the WiFi-only Tab S7, while adding 4G costs £100 more and adding 5G costs £200 more (using the Tab S7+ as a guide).
With the continued adoption and development of 5G networks, there’s a chance that 2021’s Tab S8 line will come in just two flavours, dropping any option of 4G cellular connectivity and instead encompassing it within a 5G cellular SKU, alongside a cheaper WiFi option.
Assuming Samsung upped the display technology in the smaller Tab S8 to match that of the larger plus model, starting prices of £699 and £799 for the WiFi-only SKUs of both the Tab S8 and Tab S8+ seem wholly viable, with a £200 premium added on top for the addition of 5G still in place.
What features could the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8/S8+ offer?
While Samsung isn’t pushing either Tab S7 as a laptop replacement to the same degree as Apple does its iPads or Microsoft its Surface 2-in-1s, they’re still some of the most capable slates out there, especially in the Android camp; which is sorely lacking in decent competition.
Like the Tab S7 line, we’d expect superb screens (Super AMOLED in both cases this time, if we had our way), 2021’s flagship Qualcomm chip at their hearts (assumed to be the Snapdragon 875) and great quad speakers to serve as highlights across both Tab S8 entries.
As mentioned, each would come in just two different connectivity configurations: WiFi-only or WiFi+5G, however, we’d be open to a larger storage SKU, perhaps topping out at 512GB, at least on the Galaxy Tab S8+.
Samsung’s One UI user experience already handles features like multi-window Android interaction fairly well but better app support is really the key to getting the most out of the tailored hardware and software the Tab S8 line will have on offer. As such, it’s Samsung’s responsibility to work with third-parties to bring better app support for its features and devices, such as its low latency S Pen, come Tab S8 launch time.
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