At the begin­ning of 2022, Sam­sung showed a new line of tablets — Galaxy Tab S8. They aroused such inter­est among fans of the brand that the man­u­fac­tur­er had to sus­pend pre-orders. Let’s not just eval­u­ate the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab S8, but com­pare the new prod­uct with its main com­peti­tor — Apple’s iPad Air 5.

The dis­play of the Galaxy Tab S8 is sur­round­ed by thin bezels. Source: pocketlint.com

Com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor Galaxy Tab S7, the new tablet has a num­ber of improve­ments: a more pow­er­ful Snap­drag­on 8 Gen1 proces­sor, more RAM, a new 12 MP self­ie cam­era, durable Corn­ing Goril­la Glass to pro­tect the dis­play. Apple engi­neers also made a num­ber of changes. New iPad Air 5 received more inter­nal mem­o­ry, a new A13 Bion­ic proces­sor and a 12-megapix­el self­ie cam­era with an ultra wide-angle lens.

Competing tablet designs

Exter­nal­ly, gad­gets from Apple and Sam­sung have not changed much when com­pared with the pre­de­ces­sors of the flag­ship series. Both are still light­weight, com­fort­able and styl­ish. The cas­es of both tablets are made of alu­minum.

The iPad Air 5 has a case with angu­lar edges, char­ac­ter­is­tic of all Apple gad­gets of recent years. The tablet is com­fort­able to hold in your hands, and the pres­ence of a frame around the dis­play elim­i­nates acci­den­tal touch­es to the screen. At the ends of the case are the pow­er and vol­ume but­tons. There is also a USB‑C con­nec­tor.

The design of the Galaxy Tab S8 is also min­i­mal­ist, but the edges of the case are not angu­lar, but round­ed. On the back of the case is an elon­gat­ed glossy area, to which the S‑Pen is mag­ne­tized — so it is con­ve­nient to store and charge it.

The S‑Pen is a sty­lus that enhances tablet func­tion­al­i­ty and enhances the user expe­ri­ence.

Also, the sty­lus can be fixed on one of the ends of the case — it is attached to it.

The iPad Air 5 has thick­er bezels than the Galaxy Tab S8. Source: apple.com

Both tablets have a fin­ger­print scan­ner built into the pow­er but­ton of the gad­get. There is no face recog­ni­tion fea­ture. The devices dif­fer in size and weight, Sam­sung is heav­ier and larg­er:

Mod­el Galaxy Tab S8 iPad Air 5
Height, mm 254 246
Width, mm 165.1 177.8
Thick­ness, mm 6.35 6.1
Weight, g 499 453

When com­par­ing the Galaxy Tab S8 tablet with the iPad Air 5, it’s hard to pick a design favorite. They are sim­i­lar to each oth­er and both have an alu­minum body. The only notice­able dif­fer­ence is that Apple’s gad­get turned out to be wider due to a dif­fer­ent aspect ratio of the screen.

Display Comparison

Tablets have sim­i­lar screen sizes:

  • Galaxy Tab S8 is equipped with an 11” dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 2560x1600 pix­els;
  • iPad Air 5 — 10.9 ”at a res­o­lu­tion of 2360x1640 pix­els.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers have stripped both gad­gets of sev­er­al flag­ship tech­nolo­gies. For exam­ple, Sam­sung uses IPS instead of an AMOLED matrix, while Apple decid­ed not to imple­ment Pro­Mo­tion to change the frame rate and mini-LED (anal­o­gous to AMOLED). These tech­nolo­gies were left for the top ver­sions of tablets — Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Pro.

Both tablets have wide view­ing angles. Source: imore.com

In terms of pix­el den­si­ty per inch, Sam­sung’s tablet wins: 274 ppi ver­sus 264 ppi. From a tech­ni­cal point of view, there is a dif­fer­ence, but hold­ing the tablets in your hands is almost impos­si­ble to notice. In terms of bright­ness, the iPad Air comes out on top with 485 nits ver­sus 463 nits. The dif­fer­ence is min­i­mal, and the infor­ma­tion on both dis­plays is well read even on a bright sun­ny day.

The big­ger advan­tage that the Galaxy Tab S8 has is the 120Hz refresh rate. While the com­peti­tor has only 60 Hz. Sam­sung also wins a lit­tle in col­or repro­duc­tion — the col­ors are more sat­u­rat­ed. The frame rate dif­fer­ence is most notice­able in games. When watch­ing movies, it is not felt.

Tablet performance

When com­par­ing the per­for­mance of the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad Air 5 2022 tablets, the Apple gad­get comes out on top by a wide mar­gin. The Apple M1 chipset was installed in it — this is an eight-core proces­sor that sur­pass­es all exist­ing tablets in its class in terms of pow­er.

The Galaxy Tab S8 is not weak in terms of per­for­mance. It has a top-end Snap­drag­on 8 Gen 1 chip and 8 GB of RAM, but even this is not enough to fight Apple. The pow­er­ful M1 chip was installed in the iPad, which will be enough to solve all sorts of tasks over the next 4–5 years: games, graph­ics, web surf­ing, watch­ing videos in max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion, and so on.

At the same time, the proces­sor in the Galaxy Tab S8 is also enough for any mod­ern games and demand­ing appli­ca­tions. It’s just that Apple, unlike Sam­sung, has made a bet on the future — their tablet will remain rel­e­vant longer.

In the Geek­bench 5 test, the iPad Air 5 comes out on top in terms of per­for­mance, gain­ing 7151 points. This is not much less than the iPad Pro 11 with a score of 7293 points. The Galaxy Tab S8 with the top-end Snap­drag­on chip did not score even half of this indi­ca­tor — only 3228 points.

Geek­bench 5 is one of the famous appli­ca­tions that mea­sure the per­for­mance of tablets and smart­phones. It sim­u­lates physics, works with graph­ics, encryp­tion and cal­cu­la­tions.

In Adobe’s Pre­miere Rush test, Apple also won by a huge mar­gin. Con­vert­ing video from 4K to 1080p, the Galaxy Tab S8 did it in 48 sec­onds, while the iPad Air 5 took just 22 sec­onds.

Pre­miere Rush is a mul­ti-plat­form video pro­cess­ing appli­ca­tion that includes a pro­pri­etary device bench­mark.

Com­pared to the younger A‑series from Sam­sung (Galaxy Tab A7 or Tab A8), Galaxy S tablets are ahead in many tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics: proces­sor pow­er, mem­o­ry capac­i­ty, cam­era qual­i­ty. You have to pay for this — S‑series mod­els are an order of mag­ni­tude more expen­sive.


Accord­ing to this para­me­ter, the Galaxy Tab S8 takes the lead. With a screen fre­quen­cy of 60 Hz, the bat­tery last­ed 13 hours and 4 min­utes in the test. And even in the 120 Hz mode, this fig­ure fell slight­ly — to 12 hours 51 min­utes. The test con­sists of con­tin­u­ous web surf­ing with Wi-Fi on, with the screen bright­ness set to 150 nits.

Apple engi­neers are con­stant­ly work­ing to improve the auton­o­my of their gad­gets, but in the case of the iPad Air 5, they lost the fight to spe­cial­ists from Sam­sung. In the same test, the tablet last­ed 10 hours and 11 min­utes. This is a good result, but the Galaxy Tab S8 gives a bet­ter result.

Stylus support

The Sam­sung tablet comes with an S‑Pen, which expands the func­tion­al­i­ty of the device: quick note-tak­ing, draw­ing, and man­ag­ing var­i­ous options. For exam­ple, you can switch to Sam­sung DeX mode, where the desk­top lay­out resem­bles Win­dows and all win­dows can be resized with the pen.

Sty­lus for iPad Air 5 sold sep­a­rate­ly. Source: ma4p.com

The iPad also has a sty­lus, the Apple Pen­cil. It opens up a num­ber of pos­si­bil­i­ties of the device, but it is not includ­ed with the tablet. Apple Pen­cil allows you to trans­late hand­writ­ten text into typed text, draw per­fect­ly even geo­met­ric shapes, work and edit any text, quick­ly access notes, take a screen­shot with one ges­ture, and so on. You can buy this pen sep­a­rate­ly at a price of 11,000 rubles.

Camera Features

For tablet users, the front cam­eras are more impor­tant than the main ones, as they are used for video com­mu­ni­ca­tion. In the iPad Air 5th gen­er­a­tion, the man­u­fac­tur­er installed a 12 megapix­el mod­ule. Even in low light con­di­tions, the tablet cre­ates col­or­ful and detailed pic­tures. The cam­era sup­ports the Cen­ter Stage func­tion to fix on the user’s face: dur­ing video calls, his face is kept in focus.

The dif­fer­ence in self­ie shots between iPad Air 4 (left) and iPad Air 5 (right). Source: theworldsbestandworst.com

The Galaxy Tab S8 has a 12-megapix­el cam­era with auto-fram­ing, which also keeps the user’s face in focus dur­ing video calls. When shoot­ing a pho­to, the mod­ule pro­duces excel­lent shots in good light­ing, and when the qual­i­ty is insuf­fi­cient, the qual­i­ty decreas­es slight­ly, but still remains at a decent lev­el.

Even at dusk, the Galaxy Tab S8 is capa­ble of good shots on the main cam­era. Source: hothardware.com

When com­par­ing the rear cam­eras, the tablet from Sam­sung comes out on top. It has a 13MP wide-angle lens and a 6MP ultra-wide-angle lens. These sen­sors can’t com­pare to flag­ship smart­phone cam­eras, but you can get a good shot if you need to. The qual­i­ty of the images is high­ly depen­dent on the light­ing.

Only one mod­ule was built into the iPad Air 5 — this is a 12 megapix­el wide-angle lens. In terms of image qual­i­ty, it is infe­ri­or to the Galaxy Tab S8 and its old­er broth­er iPad Pro — this is espe­cial­ly notice­able in detail.

What to buy — iPad Air 5 or Galaxy Tab S8

The tablet from Sam­sung is almost 25% supe­ri­or to Apple in auton­o­my, but los­es more than twice in per­for­mance. Here you have to choose whether the user needs lap­top-lev­el pow­er, which even has nowhere to use now. An option for those who want to buy a tablet that will remain rel­e­vant even after 4–5 years.

To date, the Galaxy Tab S8 also con­fi­dent­ly copes with all games and resource-inten­sive appli­ca­tions. But after 4–5 years, its per­for­mance may not be enough.

The more advanced rear cam­era is an advan­tage that many users won’t notice since smart­phones rather than tablets are used to take pho­tos and videos. But a bet­ter dis­play with a fre­quen­cy of 120 Hz and the pres­ence of a sty­lus in the kit are more sig­nif­i­cant plus­es towards the Galaxy Tab S8.