Which Galaxy Tab S8 should you buy? Galaxy Tab S8 vs Plus vs Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs S8 Plus vs S8 Ultra compositional image showing all three tablets
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has unveiled 3 new additions to its Galaxy Tab line of Android tablets: The Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

All three offer big screens, exciting camera options and the power of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which should make these tablets great for multi-tasking and playing Android games.

But while they may look pretty similar at a glance, there's more setting these tablets apart than their different sizes. Each of these new Galaxy Tab S8 tablets is distinct enough to warrant careful consideration if you’re interested in buying one of the new slates.

In this article we'll walk you through the differences between Samsung's Galaxy Tab S8 tablets to help you make a more informed purchasing choice. They're all competing for a spot in our best Android tablets and best tablets lists, but one may suit you better than the others. Read on to see which one's right for you!

Galaxy Tab S8 vs Plus vs Ultra: Specs 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy Tab S8Galaxy Tab S8 PlusGalaxy Tab S8 Plus
Display11 inches (2560 x 1600) 120Hz refresh rate12.4-inches (2800 x 1752) Super AMOLED, 120Hz14.6 inch (2960 x 1848) Super AMOLED, 120Hz
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CamerasRear: 13MP & 6MP (Ultra Wide). Front 12MP (Ultra Wide)Rear: 13MP & 6MP (Ultra Wide). Front 12MP (Ultra Wide)Rear: 13MP & 6MP (Ultra Wide). Front 12MP & 12MP (Ultra Wide)
ConnectivityWiFi 6E (2.4/5/6GHz), Bluetooth v5.2WiFi 6E (2.4/5/6GHz), Bluetooth v5.2, 5GWiFi 6E (2.4/5/6GHz), Bluetooth v5.2
Size9.99 x 6.51 x 0.2511.22 x 7.28 x 0.2212.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches
Weight1.1 pounds1.27 pounds1.4 pounds

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 if... 

...you want an all-around solid tablet that’s easy(ish) on the wallet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Tab S8 doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of its counterparts but it’s arguably the best tablet for the majority of people. Not only does it have most of the features found in the new Tab S8 line, but it’s also the cheapest at $699. That fact alone may be enough to make this the most compelling tablet of the trio.

This slate features an 11-inch Full HD (2560 x 1600) 120Hz display, which should be more than good enough for watching videos and playing games. The tablet measures 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 inches and weighs 1.1 pounds, making it the lightest and smallest of Samsung's new tablets. Its thin bezels should help whatever you're watching pop, and the 12MP front-facing camera and three microphones ensure you’ll look and sound your best during business or personal calls.

A Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU powers the entire line of Galaxy Tab S8 tablets. They also all run on Android 12. This means that, in terms of performance, the Tab S8 is pretty much on par with the Tab S8 Plus and Ultra — though the Ultra can be bought with more RAM, which should make it feel speedier. But the important thing to know is that you don't need to pay more for a Tab with more power — the base Tab S8 has the same chip under the hood as the beefy Tab S8 Ultra.

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus if…

...you’re willing to pay a little extra for an AMOLED screen or need 5G connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is the odd duck in the new Galaxy Tab S8 lineup. It has the same features of the vanilla Galaxy Tab S8, only with a 12.4-inch AMOLED screen and 5G connectivity. That last point is interesting because the S8 Plus is the only S8 that Samsung is currently selling with 5G connectivity (at least, in the U.S.) via Verizon

Samsung has promised that all the S8 tablets will eventually be available with cellular connectivity via AT&T and T-Mobile, but at time of writing the Plus is the only Tab S8 that's available with the feature. So if that's important to you, this could be the tablet for you!

We’d go over more of the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus’ features, but to be honest, it’s fundamentally the same tablet as the Galaxy Tab S8. You’ll get high-resolution cameras, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of starting storage (expandable to 1TB with a microSD card) and 45W fast charging via USB-C. At the risk of rending a verdict before you’ve finished reading this comparison, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus isn’t the most exciting tablet on this list.

You should get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra if…

...you want a tablet with a large screen that can double as a laptop. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with Slim Book Cover Keyboard

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1,099) is the first tablet that casts a literal shadow over the iPad Pro. With its enormous 14.6-inch AMOLED display, this Android slate makes the iPad Pro seem cute by comparison. And with its improved Samsung DeX multi-window mode, up to 16GB of RAM and the optional ($350!) detachable keyboard, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could potentially replace a laptop.

Samsung is clearly targeting hybrid and at-home workers with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, as the ample screen space makes it both great for getting things done and tricky to hold in one hand. It should also make for a nice big canvas to doodle on using the included S Pen stylus, and the (2960 x 1848) Super AMOLED display packs more pixels than just about any other tablet out there, with the notable exception of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021.

With its starting price of $1,099 the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is about the same price as that iPad Pro, which is a heck of a premium. But it’s definitely one of the most impressive Android tablets we’ve seen.

Which Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablet is right for you? 

If we’re being honest, this is really a contest between the Galaxy Tab S8 and the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. The Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is a solid Android tablet on its own, but compared to the tablets flanking it, it will no doubt be the most overlooked of the new Galaxy Tab S8 line. It lacks the large screen of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and costs $200 more than the entry-level Galaxy Tab S8. Unless you absolutely need 5G connectivity, it’s hard to recommend this tablet.

So, should you get the Galaxy Tab S8 or the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra? For most, price will be the determining factor. $1,099 is admittedly a lot of cash. Granted, you're getting your money’s worth considering how the tablet is the same size as most laptops – especially if you get it with the Book Cover Keyboard. If you’re a creative, then the ability to use the tablet as a canvas will surely make the price worth it. But even if you simply want to watch content on a gorgeous display and money is no object, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will suit your needs.

While the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the most impressive Android tablet to date, the Galaxy Tab S8 is an all-around great device that most people will naturally gravitate towards. $699 isn’t exactly cheap, but that’s still far less than you'd pay for the Tab S8 Ultra. And though if it lacks some of its bigger sibling’s features, you’ll still get a device that’s great for conference calls or consuming content. You may not need to get the Galaxy Tab S8 if you own the still adequate Galaxy Tab S7, but if you have an older Android tablet or if you’re an iPad user curious about Samsung’s slates, the Galaxy Tab S8 is a great choice.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.