Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Review: The Biggest Android Tablet
Samsung just gave the Android tablet space a big boost by launching three devices in its new Galaxy Tab S8 series. The Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8+, and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are targeted at different price points to cater to a wide audience. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is one of the most…
Samsung just gave the Android tablet space a big boost by launching three devices in its new Galaxy Tab S8 series. The Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8+, and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are targeted at different price points to cater to a wide audience. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is one of the most powerful Android tablets you can get in the market, as it is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. It is also one of the biggest Android tablets out there, with a massive 14.6-inch display. Is the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra the best Android tablet money can buy, or has Samsung gone a bit too far? Let’s find out.Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra price in IndiaThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is available in a single configuration with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can choose between a Wi-Fi only and a 5G-enabled version, and these are priced at Rs. 1,08,999 and Rs. 1,22,999 respectively. The tablet is only available in a single Graphite colour.Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra designThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the biggest tablet I have ever used. It has a massive 14.6-inch display with a small notch on the top (when held in landscape orientation). The notch houses a dual camera setup and is barely even visible when using the tablet in landscape mode. However, you will notice it while holding the tablet in portrait orientation. Samsung has kept the bezels thin, which looks good, but this does make it tough to hold the tablet without touching the screen. The 726g weight is noticeable, and I often found myself resting the tablet on a table or on my lap when using it.The S Pen Stylus latches on to the back of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra magneticallySamsung has managed to keep the tablet surprisingly thin at just 5.5mm. In landscape orientation you’ll find the power and volume buttons in the top left corner and the SIM tray on the top-right. You get four speakers on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with two on either side. In addition to this, the left side has a microphone while the right has a USB Type-C port. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner that’s easy to reach with your right thumb when holding the tablet. The bottom has a proprietary three-pin connector with notches on either side to latch on to compatible accessories such as the Book Cover Keyboard that Samsung also sent for this review.The back panel is made of metal which gives this tablet a premium look and feel. There’s a camera module at the top with two camera sensors, and a glossy black strip extends below it. This is the wireless charging mechanism for the S Pen, which can be latched on here magnetically. Samsung bundles the S Pen along with a long USB Type-C to Type-C cable, but you don’t get a charger in the box.Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra specifications and softwareThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra sports a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2960 x 1848 pixels. It has a 120Hz peak refresh rate and is set to that by default. Four AKG-tuned speakers complement the massive display. Powering the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC which is the most powerful SoC you can get on an Android tablet at the moment. In India, it only comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, however storage is expandable thanks to the microSD card slot.You get support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6E, and five satellite navigation systems. It also supports the WiDi (Wireless Display) standard so you can use the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as a secondary screen with compatible Windows machines, The cellular model works with 5G as well as existing 4G networks. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra packs in a massive 11,200 mAh battery and supports 45W fast charging, but you’ll need to buy a charger separately.The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra runs Android 12 out of the boxIn terms of software, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra runs Android 12 with OneUI 4.1 on top. It was running the February 2022 Android security patch which is slightly dated. The UI is polished and very easy to use. Samsung offers the traditional three button navigation layout and you can switch to swipe-based navigation. Multitasking is very easy; you can split the screen with two different apps or open multiple apps in their own windows. You can take full advantage of the big screen by opening multiple apps at once.The S Pen allows you to perform actions much like on Samsung’s Galaxy Note phones, such as taking notes, selecting part of the screen to capture in a screenshot, and even launching your favourite apps. Air Actions allow you to perform certain actions by holding the button on the S Pen and moving it around. You can also sketch or colour using the S Pen, in compatible apps. Colouring felt therapeutic, and the S Pen surprised me with its low latency. It almost felt like colouring on paper.The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra lets you call and text if you have a recent Samsung smartphone, just like you can with Apple’s ecosystem. This requires you to sign in with the same Samsung account on all devices. Another noteworthy feature is the ability to use the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra as a second screen with a Windows laptop or as an input surface for drawing, using the S Pen. This should be handy for artists.The Book Cover Keyboard case makes the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra more versatileSamsung’s Dex feature gives you a near-PC-like experience on the tablet. Samsung is selling a Book Cover Keyboard case for Rs. 22,999 in India. While the price is on the higher side, this accessory almost lets the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra pass off as a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. This Book Cover Keyboard case comes in two parts. One attaches magnetically to the back of the tablet as a stand and has a neat pocket for the S Pen stylus. The other is the keyboard which lines up with the connectors on the bottom of the tablet to function. I typed part of this review on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and found the keyboard to have good key travel and feedback. The trackpad on the Book Cover Keyboard case was also decent but it wasn’t as comfortable as using a standard laptop.Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra performance, cameras, and battery lifeThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra packs in a seriously powerful SoC, and so it can run pretty much anything you throw at it. You can run any game or app from the Play Store on this device without any issues. Apps load quickly and the tablet could multitask effortlessly thanks to the 12GB of RAM it has. The big Super AMOLED display with its thin bezels offers an immersive experience and I enjoyed watching videos. The high refresh rate made scrolling feel fluid. Samsung’s AKG-tuned quad speaker setup was loud enough to fill a small room with sound.Samsung’s in-display fingerprint scanner was quick to unlock the tablet, never needing more than one attempt. This tablet also allows face recognition which is super convenient when using it along with the Book Cover Keyboard case.The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is just 5.5mm thickI ran synthetic benchmarks and the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra returned some impressive scores. In the AnTuTu benchmark, it scored 8,62,739 points which is even higher than what the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s (Review) score. It also managed 11,972 points in PCMark Work 3.0 benchmark while maxing out 3DMark’s Sling Shot and Sling Shot Extreme tests.I personally found the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra too big for playing first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty: Mobile on. That aside, it was capable of running the game at the ‘Very High’ graphics setting with the frame rate set to ‘Max’. I did not notice any lag or stutter during gameplay, and the tablet did not show any signs of heating even after playing for 20 minutes. I noticed a five percent drop in the battery level after my gaming session.After using the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra for over two weeks I can say that it offers decent battery life. Idle power drain is low, which helps the tablet conserve power when it’s not in use. However, pushing it to its limits resulted in a higher battery drain than I anticipated. With my casual usage, which also included remaining idle at times, the battery lasted me between two and three days before the tablet needed to be plugged in.The notch at the top of the display houses the 12-megapixel dual camera setupHeavy users should still be able to get a full day out of this tablet. In our HD video loop test, it could only manage 10 hours and 9 minutes, but given the size of the display I will cut it some slack. Samsung does not bundle a charger in the box, which to me is unacceptable for a tablet that costs over one lakh rupees. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra supports 45W fast charging. I used a 68W USB-PD charger which managed to charge it to 29 percent in 30 minutes and to 57 percent in an hour. It was completely charged in under two hours.Coming to the cameras, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has dual-camera setups at the front and the back. You get two 12-megapixel cameras at the front, one with a wide-angle lens and the other with an ultra-wide-angle lens. At the back, it has a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 6-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. Given the size of this tablet, it is best to avoid taking photos with it, but it does manage decent shots indoors. The selfie cameras are quite capable and the video recording resolution goes up to 4K. These cameras have an auto-framing feature that automatically pans and zooms on the subject, just like the Center Stage feature on certain Apple iPad models. I could use this auto-framing feature while recording video as well as during video calls, and it was quite handy.VerdictThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the biggest and most powerful Android tablet that you can buy at the moment. The Book Cover Keyboard case (which needs to be bought separately) makes it way more versatile. If you own a Samsung smartphone, you will get a few ecosystem benefits. This tablet will appeal to digital artists and graphics designers who could benefit from the S Pen stylus, and that might justify its high cost.For users who want a tablet for media consumption and don’t mind splurging, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could be worth considering as well. However, I’m of the opinion that it would be overkill for such use cases, in terms of both size and cost. This is the perfect example of how good Android tablets can get, but it has a very niche appeal. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ offers the same hardware in a more manageable size, and that would be my recommendation to most people. Those open to alternatives can consider the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro instead.
iOS 16 to New MacBook Air: The Most Exciting Announcements by Apple at WWDC 2022
Apple hosted the WWDC 2022 keynote this week where it announced iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, and watchOS 9 as expected. Alongside showcasing its new software developments, Apple used the WWDC stage to unveil a new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro as two of its new hardware offerings. Both new MacBook models…
Apple hosted the WWDC 2022 keynote this week where it announced iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, and watchOS 9 as expected. Alongside showcasing its new software developments, Apple used the WWDC stage to unveil a new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro as two of its new hardware offerings. Both new MacBook models are powered by the company’s M2 chip. Between the two models, the new MacBook Air — aka MacBook Air (2022) — carries an all-new design that brings it closer to the MacBook Pro family.Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital Host Akhil Arora speaks with Executive Editor Jamshed Avari and Reviews Editor Roydon Cerejo to talk about WWDC 2022 and its key announcements.The biggest announcement of this year’s WWDC keynote is iOS 16. The new operating system for the iPhone comes with a revamped Lock Screen that supports widgets and customisations. Apple has also redesigned the way we get notifications on the Lock Screen on iOS 16, to ensure that users get a clear view of their personalised screen while getting new alerts.Alongside the new Lock Screen that has got long-due cosmetic changes, iOS 16 carries a new Messages app that has the ability to edit or even unsend a sent message. Apple has also brought iCloud Shared Photo Library feature to let users share photos with their family members seamlessly. But as of now, it’s impossible to say if this new addition will get much attention, given it can be confusing for many to know how to best use it.The iOS 16 update will also bring a feature called Visual Look Up, that will allow users to tap and hold on the subject in an image to lift it from the background, and use it in apps including Messages. Apple said that the feature can recognise birds, insects, and statues, among others. This particular addition would make it easier for users to clear background from their images, without requiring them to use a third-party app. It’s only possible on iPhones with A12 Bionic and later though.In addition to iOS 16, Apple showcased macOS Ventura as its next software release for Mac devices. The new operating system carries features including a Stage Manager, which is designed to enhance multitasking by allowing users to easily switch between apps and windows from a new side panel.The new macOS release also comes with a feature called Continuity Camera that lets MacBook consumers use an iPhone as the webcam. And with Desk View, you can use the ultra-wide camera on the iPhone to show not just what’s in the front of the MacBook (aka you), but also its bottom (aka the keyboard).Exact details on how the Continuity Camera will be deployed are yet to be revealed. Apple has also not made it clear whether the feature will be limited to the rear camera of the iPhone or can also work using its selfie camera.This year’s WWDC also brought the MacBook Air (2022) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) as two new hardware offerings. While the new MacBook Pro model has the same design of its existing siblings, the new MacBook Air carries a fresh design that brings a display notch and replaces the earlier wedge-style frame with a flat one.Apple also introduced the M2 chip that is coming first on the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The new chip comes as the successor to the M1 chip, and not as an upgrade to the M1 Pro or M1 Ultra. However, some customers may get confused between choosing the M2 and M1 Pro — given these have been unveiled just a few months apart.The M2-based MacBook Air (2022) is notably a more expensive model over its M1 counterpart that was introduced in 2020. The new model starts at Rs. 1,19,900, while the existing MacBook Air is available from Rs. 92,900.At the keynote, Apple also showcased watchOS 9 with new workout improvements, watch faces and features including Sleep Stages and the Medications app. The company also announced iPadOS 16 as its new operating system for the iPad. It brings Stage Manager to the iPad Pro models to enhance multitasking and make them work in line with MacBooks.We discuss more on watchOS 9 and iPadOS 16, as well as some titbits of this year’s WWDC. You can listen to all this by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.If you are new to our site, you can find the Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital on your favourite platform — be it Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.Don’t forget to follow the Gadgets 360 podcast wherever you’re listening. Please also rate us and leave a review.New Orbital episodes release every Friday — this week is an exception, due to the WWDC keynote. So, make sure to tune in each week.
iOS 16 Won’t Reach iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, Original iPhone SE; Apple Watch Series 3 Not Eligible for watchOS 9
iOS 16 will not make its way to the iPhone models that are older than the iPhone 8, Apple has confirmed following the announcement of its new iOS release. This simply means that if you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, or the original iPhone SE, you will not be able to experience iOS 16.…
iOS 16 will not make its way to the iPhone models that are older than the iPhone 8, Apple has confirmed following the announcement of its new iOS release. This simply means that if you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, or the original iPhone SE, you will not be able to experience iOS 16. Similarly, Apple has silently removed the Apple Watch Series 8 from the list of compatible Apple Watch models for watchOS 9. Both the new iOS and watchOS releases — alongside iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura — will be available for testing under public betas in July and will be released as free software updates for eligible hardware later this year.As mentioned on the iOS 16 Preview site, the new software is not compatible with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and the original iPhone SE. The list of compatible models for the iOS 16 update, instead, starts with the iPhone 8 and iPhone SE (2020). The iPhone 8, which debuted in 2017, is the oldest model in the list of eligible devices for iOS 16.The iPhone 6s series was launched back in 2015, while the iPhone 7 models and the iPhone SE came in 2016.However, despite being dated, all these models received iOS 15 last year. This is unlike how various Android smartphone makers treat their existing users as they often pull software update support for their older models. Nevertheless, companies including Google and Samsung have started making a change on that front by promising to seed software upgrades for up to four years and security updates for up to five years to their select models.The list of devices that are ineligible to receive iOS 16 also includes the iPod touch (7th generation) — the last-generation iPod. The iPod touch (7th generation) debuted relatively later in May 2019.Similar to the iOS update, Apple has confirmed on its website that the Apple Watch Series 3 will not receive the watchOS 9 update. The particular model was launched in 2017 and received watchOS 8 last year.With the Apple Watch Series 3 becoming ineligible for the update, the Apple Watch Series 4 has become the oldest model in the Apple Watch family to receive watchOS 9.If you own any of the dated Apple devices, you are now forced by the Cupertino company to upgrade to a newer hardware to get the latest software experience. But nonetheless, Apple is expected to continue to provide security updates to some of the devices that are ineligible to receive the latest software.Separately, Apple announced at its WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday that public beta releases of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura will be available to users for testing in July. Exact release dates are yet to be revealed, though.Before giving the new software versions as public betas, Apple has released its new iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS Ventura for developers who have signed up for the Apple Developer Program. The company has brought the first developer preview tvOS 9, without any pomp and show.
Apple iPad Pro 2022 May Get 14.1-Inch Display, M2 Chip With 16GB RAM: Report
Apple iPad Pro 2022 lineup is expected to include at least one model that will sport a 14.1-inch display, powered by M2 SoC and 16GB of RAM, as per a report. The Cupertino-based company recently unveiled the MacBook Air (2022) and the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) with its latest M2 chipset under the hood, at…
Apple iPad Pro 2022 lineup is expected to include at least one model that will sport a 14.1-inch display, powered by M2 SoC and 16GB of RAM, as per a report. The Cupertino-based company recently unveiled the MacBook Air (2022) and the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) with its latest M2 chipset under the hood, at WWDC 2022. The upcoming iPad model will go against the likes of the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra that features a 14.6-inch, and octa-core SoC — most likely Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, paired with up to 16GB of RAM.Citing multiple generally reliable leakers, industry pundits, and insiders, a report by PhoneArena claims that at least one model of the iPad Pro 2022 lineup will have Apple’s latest M2 chip. As per the company, Apple says that its new chipset offers 18 percent improved CPU performance and 35 percent GPU performance over its predecessor and is 1.9 times faster (CPU) and 2.3 times faster (GPU) compared to competing 10-core processors.Apple recently launched laptops powered by the latest CPUs.Furthermore, the processor is said to be paired with 16GB of ‘base’ RAM, a minimum of 512GB internal storage, and a 14.1-inch display. Other storage options could include 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models.Although the information on the specifications of this rumoured model is scarce, it looks like Apple will go all out to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Samsung’s offering features a 14.6-inch WQXGA+ (2,960×1,848 pixels) Super AMOLED display. It is powered by an octa-core SoC, paired with up to 16GB of RAM. However, it gets up to 512GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 1TB) — nowhere near the claimed 4TB iPad Pro 2022 model that could be offered by Apple.