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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. S7: Base model battle

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Hands
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

It's no secret that there are a lot of Android tablets to choose from when you do an online search, but a good number of those tablets are not worth your money. An exception to that rule is many of the tablets from Samsung. For years now, Samsung has been one of the few manufacturers creating excellent, powerful tablets. The company recently took the wraps off its latest tablet offering, and so it raises the question — Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 or Tab S7?

Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Galaxy Tab S7: Battle at the base

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 S Pen Multitask

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

On the surface, these two tablets are nearly identical. The biggest difference on the outside is the colors. The Galaxy Tab S7 is offered in Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic Silver, and Phantom Navy. In comparison, the new Galaxy Tab S8 launched in three color options — Graphite, Silver, and Pink Gold. The tablets both feature an 11-inch LCD panel with a fast 120Hz refresh rate, and though it isn't AMOLED, these are bright and vibrant panels. 

Because these two tablets are virtually indistinguishable on the outside, it means that the usability for each is the same. When holding the Tab S7 or S8, they are both thin and easy to manage thanks to each being so lightweight. While both tablets have a bar on the back where the included S Pen magnetically attaches, the Tab S8 doesn't try to blend it in as the prior model did. Instead, the bar is black no matter which color you pick up, which makes it stand out — for better or worse. 

Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Galaxy Tab S7: Internal differences

Where these two tablets do differ is on the inside. As expected, the newest Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 features the latest processor from Qualcomm in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Inside of the Galaxy Tab S7, you'll find the Snapdragon 865+. Even though this chip is two years old, it still offers solid performance for most tasks. Alongside the latest and greatest processor, Samsung also chose to put 8GB RAM in the Tab S8 base model to improve overall performance. The Tab S7 starts at 6GB and to get 8GB you have to opt for the 256GB or 512GB internal storage model. However, both tablets offer expandable storage via microSD card up to 1TB.

Breaking down the specs
Galaxy Tab S8Galaxy Tab S7
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 865
Display11-inch LCD (120Hz) 2560 x 160011-inch LCD (120Hz) 2560 x 1600
Memory8GB6 or 8GB
Storage128GB or 256GB128GB or 256GB or 512GB
Rear Camera13MP AF + 6MP UW + Flash13MP AF + 5MP UW + Flash
Front Camera12MP UW8MP
Battery8,000mAh Li-Ion 45W Fast Charging8,000mAh Li-Ion 45W Fast Charging
AudioQuad Speakers + Dolby AtmosQuad Speakers
AuthenticationFace Unlock, fingerprint on power buttonSide-mounted fingerprint sensor
ConnectivityWiFi 6E (6GHz) Bluetooth 5.2WiFi 6E (6GHz) Bluetooth 5.0
S Pen✔️✔️
microSD card slot✔️ (up to 1TB) ✔️ (up to 1TB)
3.5mm headphone jack🚫🚫
Dimensions9.99" x 6.51" x 0.25"9.99" x 6.51" x 0.25"
Weight1.10 lb1.10 lb
ColorsGraphite, Silver, Pink GoldMystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic Silver, Phantom Navy

Each tablet features an 8,000mAh battery capable of up to 15 hours of usage between charges. When it is time to juice them back up, Samsung opted to include the ability to charge at up to 45W quickly. 

While both tablets feature a quad-speaker setup, the Galaxy Tab S8 got a bump in the audio category. By including Dolby Atmos certification on its newest tablet, Samsung gave the device a significant increase in its ability to act as an excellent entertainment device. Whether you're gaming or streaming, the overall immersion on the Galaxy Tab S8 will be great.

Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Galaxy Tab S7: What about the camera?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Perhaps the camera department is the most significant change between the two tablets. On the backside of the devices, you'll find very similar optics, with both featuring a 13MP main camera with autofocus and flash. Beside it on the Galaxy Tab S8, there is an ultrawide 6MP sensor, with the Tab S7 sporting a 5MP ultrawide lens. Although using a tablet for photography isn't overly common, using one for video calling is a big difference between the two tablets.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with the S7's camera, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, it's vastly outclassed. The front-facing camera on the Galaxy Tab S7 is a serviceable 8MP sensor. On the latest tablet, you'll get a 12MP ultrawide sensor. This camera setup enables it to ensure that you're in the frame thanks to the wider angle. But it also allows Samsung to use some software magic to keep you in the frame if you move around the room using the auto framing feature.

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

Ultimately these are two tablet options that keep Samsung in the lead when it comes to the best Android tablets, so it'll come down to your needs and budget. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, you get a device that will get more extended software support up to at least four years, plus better performance to handle nearly any task you throw at it, improved cameras, and Dolby Atmos support. But it's likely going to cost you more.

For the Galaxy Tab S7, if you already have this tablet, it is likely not worth an upgrade to Tab S8 — unless you do a lot of video calling or need the extra performance. If you are buying a new device, the Galaxy Tab S7 is still a great tablet with solid performance. So, if you don't need the latest processor or the best cameras, then you can likely find the Tab S7 on sale to save some money. But, if you want a tablet with longer support and specs that will better handle your needs, the Galaxy Tab S8 is the one for you.

Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.