After staying away from the tablet market for almost a year, Samsung presented another budget-friendly tablet. Although initially launched in Russia, the Galaxy Tab A 8 is now available worldwide, including the US!
Check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8!
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8’s smooth back panel is comfortable against your fingertips, and its rounded edges allows for an easy grip, yet the quality of the plastic gives it a cheap feel.
At 0.29-inch (7.4mm) thick and 0.69-pound (313g), it's not the slimmest or the lightest tablet, but it's definitely presentable.
On the top-right edge you'll find a power button with a volume rocker and microSD card slot below it. The bottom edge has a Micro-USB port, headphone jack, and a single speaker.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 features an all-plastic form, with a matte-complete back and a silver outline.
It also worth mentioning that this device comes with a 4:3 aspect ratio display, and as a result, is slightly wider than what you’d expect to see on any other Android tablet.
The Galaxy Tab A 8 features TFT touchscreens with a 1024 x 768 display resolution. This it means it has a low pixel density of
160 ppi and 132 ppi respectively.
This low resolution is disappointing as it would be something you'd expect with a tablet that is far less expensive than the price at what these tablets are being sold.
With that said, despite the noticeable lack of sharpness, both panels do offer vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles.
Camera & Battery
The standard pair of cameras on the Galaxy Tab A 8 are decent for a tablet. Both the rear 5-megapixel and front-facing
2-megapixel cameras produce clear, in-focus photos, but sharpness at full resolution looks soft around the edges and color saturation falls on the duller side.
According to Samsung, the Tab A 8 should last around 13 hours, and based on my experience, I believe it. On full charge with moderate-to-heavy use, I got two days out of it. We tested it in the CNET Lab by looping a local video on the tablet in airplane mode and the Tab A 8 averaged 11 hours.
The tablet pack a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 306 GPU and 1.5 GB of RAM. This is quite the capable processing package, but things tend to feel a little slower than they should at times.
The benchmark scores disappoint as well, and just like with the displays, this isn’t what you’d expect nor want with a device priced as high as this one.
The extra 0.5GB of RAM is pretty noticeable compared to devices with only 1GB, but unfortunately not by much. On the other hand, these tablets do handle gaming well, and while there is the occasional frame drop, things remain smooth for the most part.
When it comes to the user interface some of the positives include quicker and easier access to the customizable Quick Toggles menu, a split view of the Settings menu, a “close all apps” button, and multi-window, which proves to be really useful on devices with large displays.
What confuses me is the number of duplicate apps such as two web browsers, two note-taking apps, two email apps, three music apps, and even two app stores. Furthermore, launcher’s non-alphabetical organization method can also take some getting used to, and the default keyboard is mediocre at best.
Of course, you always have the option of third-party launchers and keyboards to remedy these downfalls.
Samsung releases more tablets per year than any other manufacturer, so it's nice to see it finally couple its low-end models with affordable prices to match.
In comparison, the Acer Iconia Tab 8 has a higher screen resolution at 1,920x1,200, and it packs a useful micro-HDMI port. Despite this, the Galaxy Tab A 8, (aside from gaming) consistently performs smoother for most tasks; this renders the Tab A 8 the more practical choice for everyday use.
Samsung's own Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 can be currently found for $200, and it houses an IR blaster, which means you can use it as a remote. However, the Galaxy Tab A 8 still manages to one-up it with the latest version of Android OS and the included software perks.
Starting at $229, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 doesn't quite make the list for best tablets under $200, but once the price inevitably drops, it likely will. Until then, it will keep offering smooth performance and more software goodies than comparable models.
Strike offers a wide range of Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 holders, check out variants here and purchase one today!