The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra seems to be promising to do for tablets what Samsung's Ultra-branded phones have done for flagship phones. With some truly outstanding specs tipped for the tablet — including a huge 14.6-inch OLED display —this might finally be a device that will make Apple sweat a little.
While we're still expecting a normal Galaxy Tab S8 and a Plus model, this new Ultra model is rumored to be larger, more powerful and with features to make it an even more useful tool for work and play. The rumored price is pretty eye-watering, but if Samsung can produce this Ultra tablet with its usual level of quality and polish, it might be enough to tempt users away from Apple's iPad Pro, or even a full-blown laptop.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 release date, price, specs and leaks
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We've rounded up all the leaks and rumors for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra below. Have a read and see if this sounds like a genuinely useful device or just an over-specced and overpriced monster of a tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra release date rumors
We expect the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series, including the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, to arrive alongside the Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone early next year, thanks to a tip from reliable leaker Ice Universe. That's unusual since it will have been well over a year since the Galaxy Tab S7 series first emerged in August 2020.
We expected Samsung to once again offer a base version and a Plus version of its new tablet as it had with the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. However Ice Universe teased back in July that "there is "Ultra," with more details coming since then.
Ice Universe has also given us an apparent codename for the tablet: SM-X906B. We'll be watching out for more mentions of this name in future, as this will be the name that appears in regulatory listings where more specs can sometimes be found.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra price
Our best idea of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra's cost is from apparent leaked prices in Korean won, from a now-deleted tweet by FrontTron. These claimed there are three options for the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: a ₩1,469,000 ($1,247 converted) WiFi-only version, a ₩1,569,000 ($1,332) LTE version, or go all out and pay ₩1,669,000 ($1,417) for a 5G-ready version.
Converting prices like this isn't particularly accurate, so let's check some existing prices. Samsung's current top tablet, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, starts at $849. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the closest rival, starts at $1,099. It seems likely that an Ultra Samsung tablet would cost close to $1,000, but a base price that's significantly higher than the Apple equivalent could be a bad decision.
It's worth noting that Korean blog Naver says that the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could be in extremely limited supply, though the site doesn't supply a reason. It could be related to the high price, global chip shortage or both.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra design and display
At the center of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, there will apparently be a 14.6-inch (2960x1848) AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate (so says Ice Universe). That's significantly larger than the 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S7 Plus or 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The resolution beats the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and 11-inch iPad Pro easily, but doesn't quite match up to the larger iPad Pro's Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED panel.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra's panel may use Border Reduction Structure (BRS) technology (according to leaker yeux112 on Naver and via Twitter leaker FrontTron) at certain points around the display to help make the bezels thinner. Given that the display is meant to almost be the size of a laptop screen, any bulk Samsung can trim off of the edges would be well worth it for ergonomics.
The size of the screen alone unsurprisingly means an equally large rumored weight. Supposedly, the tablet weighs 650 grams (about 1.4 pounds), but the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is set to be an impressive 5.5mm (0.2 inches) thick. That would make it heavier (but the same thickness) as the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, but both lighter and thinner than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
We don't have any leaked renders or specifics about the design for this tablet. The first were these renders designed by Ice Universe. They admit that this may not accurately reflect the final product, but are the best we've got for now to help us imagine the Tab S8 Ultra.
More recently, solidly reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (more commonly known as OnLeaks) also made some S8 Ultra renders with a notch along one side to accommodate a camera.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra cameras
While the two smaller Galaxy Tab S8 models are rumored to have an 8MP front-facing camera like the Tab S7, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is tipped to have both a 5MP camera and an 8MP camera on the front. The 5MP camera is an ultrawide snapper, which will let you fit more in frame when taking selfies or during video calls. If we're lucky we may see an iPad Pro-style Center Stage feature that lets the camera dynamically follow you and zoom in and out as you and anyone else in the frame moves around.
Meanwhile on the back, there will supposedly be 13MP and 5MP cameras, just like the other Galaxy Tab S8 models are rumored to have, and like both Galaxy Tab S7 models use now. Comparatively, on the iPad Pro, Apple uses a 12MP ultrawide camera on the front, and 12MP main and 10MP ultrawide cameras on the back, alongside LiDAR sensors for AR applications.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra specs
There are two different stories about what the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could contain. The first option is that it will use a Samsung-designed Exynos 2200, complete with rumored AMD graphics, according to a leak from Korean forum Clien. That will mark it as different from the basic Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus, which are tipped by the same source to use Snapdragon 895 (possibly also called the Snapdragon 898) chips instead.
Considering we've seen some encouraging benchmarks for this new Exynos chip, Samsung may finally have a chip that can take on Apple's latest A15 Bionic chipset. Whether it has the chops to beat the Apple M1 chip inside the iPad Pro is another matter though.
That's assuming this leak is correct however. Ice Universe has posted that the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will use a Snapdragon 895 chip just like its cheaper siblings.
Whatever the chip ends up being, the rumors seem to agree there will at least be a version with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage available.
As you probably expected, there are rumors that an S Pen stylus is included with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. An included stylus is one of the advantages of buying Samsung tablets over an equivalent iPad, so it's good to hear that's not going away.
There are rumored to be quad speakers again too, just like the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and the iPad Pro. It should make for an excellent video-watching tablet alongside that huge AMOLED display.
If you want a keyboard cover with the Tab S8 Ultra, that will apparently cost ₩320,000 ($271 converted). That's very expensive even in comparison to the rumored keyboard prices for the other Tab S8 models (₩198,000 and ₩220,000), but apparently there's some special ability on the Ultra's keyboard that the others don't have.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra battery and charging
As rumored by Ice Universe, the battery inside the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is 11,500 mAh. That's a fair bit larger than the 10,090 mAh found in the Tab S7 Plus. But given how much larger the display is, Samsung's still going to have to do some clever tuning to make sure the Tab S8 Ultra gets decent battery life.
Meanwhile for charging, we're to expect a 45W fast charger to come with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, claims Ice Universe. This charger, also rumored for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, is the same as the Tab S7 series.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra outlook
The rumored Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra specs we have so far show a tablet that could very much deserve the title of Ultra. It's tipped to have a larger display than any rival tablets, feature a handy second front camera and could have some incredible performance if it uses the Exynos 2200 chip rather than a Snapdragon one. Seemingly, it even nails the basics by supposedly coming with a stylus and a 45W charger as standard.
The place where the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could fall down is value for money. First off, it looks like this will be a very expensive slate indeed. Factor in the added cost of that supposedly unique keyboard and that price is tipped to get even higher. Even if you can afford that, you then have to consider whether all this purported power is even worth having. The M1-powered iPad Pro has been criticized for not offering apps that make the use of the chip's full potential. So unless Samsung's been working with software partners to make some demanding apps, it's possible the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could also end up being too powerful for its own good.
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