Samsung finally decided to do right and give a decent trade in offer on the Galaxy Tab s8 ultra last week. Before, they were only offering $200 to trade in the s7 plus. As of last week, they were offering $600. Because I only paid like $550 for my s7 plus from an open box deal I got from best buy, I figured it might be a good time to make the jump.
I received the Galaxy Tab S8 ultra on Thursday of last week and have been playing around with it over the weekend. I have 14 days to either return the S8 ultra or send in the S7 plus. Is the new device worth the extra $500 I’d have to pay in order to keep it….. or should I just keep the S7?
I won’t go over the specs of the respective devices because there are a ton of articles and videos detailing them both. I’ll just be talking about my experience with both of them.
I was quite happy with my s7 plus as a media consumption device. I also own the keyboard cover and while I don’t really use it THAT much. It is an accessory that I’d recommend if you can afford it. In addition to offering protection for the screen, it is quite useful for the DEX features if you want to have that laptop experience. The screen is great, but the aspect ratio is a bit weird. I also own the Z-fold 3 and even though the screen is much smaller, the experience in having a more square device seems better than having a rectangular one. It feels like it is made from premium products, but I don’t really like how it feels while holding it in my hands. There’s something about the edges that don’t feel quite right against my skin. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like cold and sharp. Not like it would cut my fingers, it just feels weird to me. I also thought this device was a bit heavy and I wouldn’t want to hold it for a long period of time. I had the o.g. s6 for a while and it’s weight was much more manageable. This isn’t a deal breaker as I can usually just prop it up somewhere near me. Gaming on the the device though is barely manageable. I’ve been playing Genshin Impact a lot lately and it looks and runs pretty good. I have decently large hands, but it’s still a bit uncomfortable to reach all of the on screen buttons. I can do it, but gaming on my smaller z fold 3 is a lot more comfortable. Overall though, I am pretty happy with this device. Samsung’s One UI makes it an amazing multitasking experience. The 120hz refresh rate isn’t something that I really notice with my eyes, but hey, more is better ….right? The sound is pretty decent and I would still say that this is a great tablet for note taking, gaming, and media consumption.
ON the other HAND
The Tab S8 ultra really is a beast of a device. It guess you could call it beauty and the beast as it as also a beautiful device to look at. This thing is huge. The display is absolutely gorgeous. The aspect ratio seems a bit better to me than the s7+ because even though it’s still rectangular, it’s not quite as rectangular.
This thing is also heavy. After carrying it around for a while, then picking back up the s7+, the s7 no longer feels as heavy somehow. In fact, it was a bit in awe at how much lighter it felt. Before, the weight of the s7, though not too heavy, was noticeable. But after wielding the s8 around, the s7 feels….right. Though heavier, it doesn’t have that same cold/sharp feeling that the s7 plus has in my hand. Still though, given the weight difference, I’d much rather carry around the s7+. I can carry the s8 ultra around, but it’s not something I’d want to hold in my hands for a long period of time. It’s just too heavy and too big. If laying in the bed, i’d just use the stand to prop it up. It’s definitely not a device that you’d want to use to read an ebook or something. It’s possible, but again, just too big and too heavy.
One UI is a great experience to me and works well on both tablets. Both can also be used as a second screen and it’s a beautiful thing when using my z fold 3 to connect to DEX wirelessly. The included s-pen works flawlessly and is great for taking notes or swiping through the user interface.
You’re going to want to lay it down flat on the table as opposed to holding it like a notebook because of the weight. While it is possible to hold it like a notebook, I could see it getting uncomfortable after holding it like that for an extended period of time.
Overall, I really like both tablets. For regular students, (not graphic design/animation)….I’d have to recommend the s7+ though. For most people, the ultra just going to be a bit too big and heavy to carry around. The s7+ is large enough to have a really good surface area to take notes. It’s lighter and has all of the functions and features of it’s bigger brother. Despite the minor issue i have with the aspect ratio on a few applications, it’s still a gorgeous display and the snapdragon 888 processor should be more than adequate for at least another 3 years. I think Samsung will be supporting it with updates for at least the next 2. It’s definetely worth the money.
Is the s8 ultra worth upgrading to?….for me, yes and no. From a financial perspective, it’s probably better for me to save the $500….but i really do like the device.
Though heavier and bigger, I’m usually not one handing it for long anyway. I rarely held the s7+ like that, and I probably will be holding this one less because of the weight and size. It’s like I want to hold it more because it looks really cool, but my subconscious brain is like, yeah, put this thing down somewhere and look it at from a distance. I really was amazed at how much easier and lighter the s7+ felt after switching back to it.
In my situation though, I own a z fold 3 that I use in tablet mode while at home anyway. The s7+ in this case became a bit redundant.
The s8 ultra sort of reminds me of a “all in one” computer that’s more portable. Again, i can’t emphasize how great this screen looks. It’s a very sexy looking device. It’s super thin and I’m amazed that something so thin would work so well. It’s a very nice show piece that looks good sitting on a countertop, desk, or dresser. I could connect a bluetooth or stadia controller to it and rock out with streaming game services. I connect wireless DEX to it and can control the screen with my z fold 3. It’s really like having portable monitor/lcd in a way that the s7+ isn’t. Though the s7+ can be used in the exact same way, the s8 ultra just looks way better in my opinion.
The responsible thing for me to do would be just hold on the s7+…..but i don’t always make the most financially responsible decisions when it comes to tech sometimes. It’s not worth it on a practical level, but did I mention how beautiful / sleek and sexy this thing is? I think I’m going to keep it and trade the s7+ in. If I didn’t have the z fold 3 already or had traded it in for the s22 ultra, I probably would have kept the s7+ for the pure tablet experience. But since I already have a tablet screen in my phone, I think that having a portable all in one esque device better satisfies my tech needs.