Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: Which should you buy?

It’s no secret that the tablet space in 2022 is mostly being dominated by Apple’s iPad options. Unless you’re specifically searching for an “Android tablet” you’re likely to end up on a list recommending you to buy an iPad of some sort. But that’s not to say you can’t find good Android tablets out there. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 lineup is making huge waves in this space right now. In fact, the vanilla Galaxy Tab S8 is the one we recommend for most people out there, even though the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the one that is the most impressive.

The Galaxy Tab S8, however, is attached to a $699 price tag which makes us wonder just how good it is when compared to the already excellent Galaxy Tab S7 that can save you a few bucks. Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to find out, so let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Galaxy Tab S7 comparison to find out which one’s better to buy.

Navigate this article:

  • Specifications
  • Design and display
  • Hardware and performance
  • Cameras
  • Which one should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: Specifications

Before we begin the comparison, let’s take a look at the specifications table to find out just how powerful these tablets are on paper:

Specification Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
Build
  • Metal unibody
  • Metal unibody
Dimensions & Weight
  • 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3mm
  • 503g (Wi-Fi)/507g (5G)
  • 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3mm
  • 498g (Wi-Fi)/ 500g (LTE)
Display
  • 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD
  • WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD
  • WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM & Storage
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • microSD card support (up to 1TB)
  • 6/8GBGB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB storage
  • microSD card slot for expansion (up to 1TB)
Battery & Charging
  • 8,000mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging support
  • No charger in the box
  • 8,000mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging support
  • Comes with a 15W charger in the box
Security Side-mounted fingerprint scanner Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • 13MP, f/2.0 primary camera
  • 6MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide camera
  • 13MP, f/2.0 primary camera
  • 5MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide camera
Front Camera(s) 2 MP, f/2.4, 120-degree (ultrawide) 8MP, f/2.0, wide
Port(s) USB 3.2 Type-C USB 3.2 Type-C
Audio
  • Quad-speaker setup tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos certification
  • Quad speakers tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos certification
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 5G (optional, in some regions)
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax dual-band Wi-Fi
  • GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo
Software
  • One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
  • Promised four Android OS upgrades
  • One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 (current)
  • Promised three Android OS upgrades
Other Features S Pen included in the box S Pen included in the box

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 was already a pretty good upgrade over its predecessor, so we had our expectations set for the Galaxy Tab S8 too. The company spent a good amount of time working on the Galaxy Tab S8 to polish it further and it shows in the specs sheet. Let’s dive a little deeper into each individual section to see just how much of an improvement the new tablet offers over the last one.

Design and Display

Both the Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Tab S8 are virtually indistinguishable from the outside. They both have the same dimensions, as you can see in the specs table, meaning they’re equally thin and have the same footprint overall. The Galaxy Tab S8 weighs a few grams heavier but you won’t really notice the difference while using it. Both tablets also have a magnetic bar at the back where the included S Pen attaches. While Samsung tried to color match this bar on the Galaxy Tab S7, it’s just a black-colored bar on the Tab S8, regardless of the color variant you choose.

Speaking of colors, that’s perhaps one of the main differentiating factors when it comes to these tablets. The Galaxy Tab S7 is offered in Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic Silver, and Phantom Navy. The newer Galaxy Tab S8, meanwhile, comes in three colors — Graphite, Silver, and Pink Gold.

Mystic Black Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 back panel with retail box in the background

Moving over to the front, both tablets feature an 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD panel with support for a maximum screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate. These aren’t AMOLED panels, but they’re pretty good for your day-to-day usage, be it for media consumption, gaming, and more. As we mentioned in our Galaxy Tab S7 review, this display offers HDR10+ support, and watching HDR content on the tablet is an absolute pleasure. You can expect it to be a similar experience on the Galaxy Tab S8 considering it’s using the same display.

Mystic black Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with keyboard cover

While we’re discussing media consumption, it’s worth pointing out that both tablets also feature a quad-speaker setup tuned by AKG. You essentially get two speakers on either side and they offer great stereo separation. Overall, it’s safe to say that both tablets are equally good when it comes to media consumption.

Hardware and Performance

As noted in the specs sheet, both the Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Tab S8 pack different hardware on the inside. The newer Galaxy Tab S8 is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset whereas the Galaxy Tab S7 is powered by the Snapdragon 865 Plus. Despite being a relatively older chip, we think the Snapdragon 865 Plus chip inside the Tab S7 should be able to keep up with all your needs even in 2022.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with XDA logo and S Pen

The base model of the Galaxy Tab S8 comes with 8GB of RAM, whereas you only get 6GB of RAM with the Tab S7’s base unit. The Galaxy Tab S7 also tops out at 8GB RAM while the Tab S8 can be purchased with up to 12GB memory. You get the option to purchase the Tab S7 with more internal storage but you can also add a microSD card to both tablets, so it’s not necessarily a big deal.

As far as the battery life is concerned, both the Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Tab S8 are packed with an 8,000 mAh battery inside, which we think is enough to keep the lights on for at least two days with light to moderate usage. Your mileage may vary based on your day-to-day workload but we doubt if you’ll be running around looking for a charger to top up these tablets all the time. Both tablets support 45W wired charging but you’ll have to spend more money to actually buy a charging brick that supports 45W charging speed. The Galaxy Tab S7 only comes with a 15W charger but it’s still better in our books compared to the Galaxy Tab S8 which doesn’t ship with any charger inside the box.

Cameras

There’s not a lot of difference between the two tablets in the camera department too. Both the Galaxy Tab S8 and the Galaxy Tab S7 feature a 13MP primary sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. You get an additional ultra-wide camera on both tablets but Samsung has used a slightly different 6MP sensor for the Tab S8 instead of the 5MP sensor found on the Tab S7. Cameras — especially the rear ones — usually don’t take the center stage when it comes to tablets but we think both devices in this comparison offer a decent set of optics to get the job done.

The front-facing camera is what we’d say is more important on a tablet these days as they can be used for video calling. Samsung has improved the selfie camera on the Galaxy Tab S8 by adding a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. The Galaxy Tab S7, in comparison, only comes with an 8MP wide camera which is just okay-ish at best.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Galaxy Tab S7: Which one should you buy?

Well, now that we know what each of these tablets are made of, it’s time to figure out which one’s best for you. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is currently going for $699 for the base variant with Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab S7 starts at $649. If you don’t mind spending the extra money then we think the Galaxy Tab S8 is worth considering over the last year’s model. Not only does the new tablet come with a better chipset for improved overall performance, but you’ll also get extended software support up to at least four years. Notably, it’s also good for those who tend to attend a lot of video calls as it comes with a better front-facing camera.

That’s not to say that the Galaxy Tab S7 is a bad option. It’s definitely not worth upgrading to the Galaxy Tab S8 if you already have the Tab S7. In fact, it may not entirely be a bad idea to consider buying a Galaxy Tab S7 over the Tab S8. It’s still a great option to consider if you don’t necessarily need the latest processor or the best set of cameras on your tablet. It’s currently running One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 and is likely to get at least a couple of updates before it sees the end of the line. You’re also likely to find a good deal on the Galaxy Tab S7 to save some money considering it’s a relatively older device now.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 offers a decent set of upgrades over the last year’s model. You get updated internals and a better selfie camera this time around.

    Buy from Best Buy

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

    The last year’s Galaxy Tab S7 is still a solid option to consider if you don’t mind putting up a slightly older chipset.

    Buy from Samsung

So which Samsung Galaxy tablet are you looking to buy? Let us know by dropping a line in the comments below. If you’re planning to buy the new Galaxy Tab S8 then be sure to stop by our best Galaxy Tab S8 deals page to see if you can find some good deals for it. You can use the extra money to buy yourself one of the best cases for it and add some protection.

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