Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0″ vs 9.7″: Review

by birtanpublished on March 24, 2021

What's up guys Mike here the Detroit Borg with a look at the new Samsung Galaxy Tab a so these are their new mid-range tablets with two sizes available 8 inch and 9.7 inch and we're going to take a look at both of them in this video now in terms of pricing you can get the 8 inch for 229 or the 9.7 inch for $2.99 which well under cuts something like the iPad Mini or the iPad air 2 but of course you have much lower end specs here compared to those tablets now in terms of specs both of them are roughly the same the 9.7 inch does have a larger display a larger battery and has a set of dual speakers instead of

The single speaker on the 8 inch but otherwise they have the same internal specs they're both powered by a quad-core clocked at 1.2 gigahertz one and a half gigs of ram 16 gigs of internal storage but we do have an upgraded LTE model which gives you 32 gigs of storage and 2 gigs of ram in terms of the display both of them have the same resolution 768 by 1024 so we get 160 PPI on the 8 inch and only 132 PPI on the 9.7 inch now in terms of the display technology these are using LCD pls displays which delivers good off excess viewing pretty good contrast and

Nice even backlighting certainly not the higher-end AMOLED displays from the Tab s here or the retina displays from the iPad but they deliver pretty good colors it's pretty bright interesting and I think it's a really pleasing display to look at I think the only issue is the sharpness of the display so if you plan to read text on this for long periods of time this may not be the best option for you and if you do I would recommend the smaller 8 inch tablet in terms of cameras we have a 5 megapixel camera on the back only good for 720p HD video we have a 2 megapixel camera on the front

In terms of badly we have 4200 milliamp hours on the 8 inch and 6,000 milliamp hours on the 9.7 inch but you can expect about the same battery life in both tablets now you can expand storage thanks to a micro SD card slot which supports 120 gig cards now perhaps the biggest news with the new Tab A is the screens aspect ratio which is a very I pad like 4 by 3 as opposed to the 16 by 10 widescreen aspect ratio and Samsung has favored up to this point now inside our blue boxes here we'll find both of our tablets wrapped in these fabric envelopes very similar to the Tab s I

Reviewed previously now in terms of accessories of course both of them have micro USB 2.0 cables now the nine point seven inch does have a larger power quicker charging of course because we have a larger battery to deal with we also have some paperwork which includes a QuickStart guide information on how to upgrade the software information on how to register your device and your health safety and warranty guide now taking a closer look at the design these are budget tablets so they are plastic there's no metal here but the plastic has a nice silkier texture to it feels a

Little more premium than Samsung's tab four from last year which had a really coarse grain to it it's actually very similar to the Tab s but not quite as light not quite as thin the bezel surrounding the glass is also plastic but it does add some detail also on the back are these fasteners for attaching the optional cover accessory of course we've seen this with a tab s before also on the back is the protruding 5 megapixel camera with 720p video and auto focusing now 6 up more on the 8 inch because the camera module is actually behind the display which is not

The case on the nine point seven inch is actually behind the bezel now on the bottom you'll find more differences we have a USB 2.0 port a headphone jack and a set of dual speakers on the nine point seven inch and a single speaker on the eight inch on the right side basically the same layout for both we have a microphone a sleep-wake power button and below that is a vine rocker farther down we'll find a micro SD card slot covered with a flap which again supports 120 gigs toward the top of the display you'll find a front-facing 2-megapixel camera with an ambient light sensor

There is no LED notification light toward the bottom you'll find your home button which does not integrate any fingerprint scanner we also have our Android navigation keys which are capacitive but they are not backlit like you get with the Tab s alright so let's take a look at the user interface this is Android 5.0 skinned with TouchWiz so it has been updated for the new look and it's actually pretty nice and pretty quick and smooth terms of our lockscreen we have our expandable notifications we can also quickly launch into our camera app right from the lockscreen now if we

Get to the home screen you swipe between our available pages and if you swipe all the way to the right you get to that Flipboard briefing so this is familiar from other Samsung devices so this basically aggregates news items and you can customize this by going up here to the upper right you can customize the categories that feed into each of these so for example if you like Mideast news you can edit or if you want to add Democrats or if you're under business you can add small business and Wall Street under technology you can add mobile marketing and you get

The idea here so there's a lot of customization options and of course you can also rearrange them if you want or you can just disable certain categories now to edit our home screens here just pinch in and out you can see an overview of all the available home screen so you can add a new one you can rearrange them or delete them you can also select which one you want to be the home screen by tapping the home icon in the upper part of the screen now if you want to completely disable briefing just uncheck it and it disappears you can also change your wallpaper or add widgets from your

Widget panel now if you go to the home screen now you can see that is completely gone you can also just happen hold on the home screen to get to that same editor we also have our drop down notification sheet which includes all of our notifications which are expandable and dismissible up top we have all our quick standing toggles as well as our brightness slider which does include adaptive brightness which is nice you do have an ambient light sensor in here we have s finder which is a universal search for the entire platform this allows you to search the entire device

For anything so for example if you want to search for Android here searches for everything including your Settings panel your files and a web search we also have quick connect which allows you to see wireless devices nearby that you can connect to with this tablet such as other Samsung devices an AV receiver for broadcasting media a TV for mirroring your device to that TV stuff like that so this just is a quick way of accessing those features up top we have all of our quick setting toggles which includes things like Wi-Fi Ceylon turn they'll off quickly to mute your device that

Sort of thing screen rotation lock bluetooth power saving mode so you have kind of a standard power saving mode to preserve battery life airplane mode do not disturb to meet your notifications Reading Mode which dims the display to kind of a warmer color which is more pleasing to the eye while reading we have ultra power saving mode which I'll demonstrate in just a bit smart stay so it monitors for the presence of your eyes and prevents the display from going to sleep pretty familiar Samsung feature must have private mode for hiding certain files if you want to hide some

Documents or photographs you can enter private mode to do so so it's behind a password in order to reiax as those files and then we have screen mirroring for wirelessly broadcasting the display in audio this device to a compatible TV such as a Samsung Smart TV and you can disable syncing now this is also customizable so we can go up to edit and we can add or remove some of these toggles now if you want to quickly access any one of these control panels just tap and hold on them so for example if you want to access do not disturb here just happen hold on it and you can

Schedule your do not disturb settings instead of just turning on and off also available from the drop-down notification shade is multi-user mode so this allows you to switch to a guest notes if you want to hand this off to another user without giving them access to your account you can just enter guest mode and they have to use their own account you can also add a new user so this is a permanent user that can have access to the device by logging in with their own account which is completely separate from yours they can set their own

Wallpapers install their own apps take their own photographs and it's completely independent from your primary account now we have two profiles we can use you can use the standard user profile which is just like your profile or restricted profiles if you want to use this with children in the family you can select a restricted profile so they have limited access to apps and accounts so ultra power saving mode is only available in portrait orientation but you can see very basic stuff here you have your internet browser your calendar and your clock you have your estimated

Time of battery life left and then you can add additional apps but very few of them so you can add your calculator Google+ and memo app but it dials back screen brightness dials back background processes but you do get some of your notifications here if you want to exit this just go up to turn off ultra power saving mode take a look at the app selection here pretty basic stuff we have a lot of Samsung Apps and a lot of Google Apps here which get their own folder but we also have lots of Microsoft apps so we have Word Excel PowerPoint OneNote Skype and onedrive so

They all come pre-installed here and that's part of Samsung's new agreement with Microsoft now you can edit the app drawer just go up to edit and you can see the apps that are eligible for uninstallation have this will – science if you want to uninstall those you can you call so folder these items in edit mode so for example just drag and drop them over top of each other and then you can name them or change the coloring now this tablet does support split screen view so if you tap and hold the overview button this activates split screen view now this allows you to select a

Compatible app for split screen view like YouTube and Chrome here so one opens on one side the other opens on the other side and you can resize the window you can tap on the window to highlight it in blue which means that's the active window so you can go back and that's or think so with the active window highlighted in blue if I tap the circle icon I can act upon it so I can switch between the left hand and right hand side I can copy items from one window to paste it in the other I can maximize it minimize it or just close the window alternatively you can activate split

Screen view from the overview features so apps that are compatible with split screen will have these little double icons next to the close button so for example I can activate split-screen for Gmail so it loads Gmail on one side and I can activate another app on the other side now split-screen is very useful to have a specialty on tablet here so for example if you're reading email you have a question from somebody you can bring up the browser on the other side to do some research to find the answer we also get a pop-up viewer for certain apps

Here so for example I'm in Chrome and I can swipe in from the upper left hand or right hand edge to minimize it into this window view which I can resize now I can do this up to five times with individual apps here so I can actually have five windows open at once it gets a little laggy here with that many windows open but you can press the home button to minimize them into these badge views which hover over whatever you're doing it you can just tap them to bring them forward again now I can also tap that circle icon here to act upon them so you can either maximize them minimize them

To that icon view copy text or items from this window to post paste them into the next or just close them out now if I want to close these out I can just happen hold on them and take them up to remove now briefly take a look at Samsung's keyboard does include a handwriting keyboard and there is a version of this that will be sold with a stylus you can also just use your finger and it works pretty well we can also quickly access a voice keyboard or our split keyboard which is important on the tablet so if you want that split keyboard for more thumb reachable typing

You can do that here now let's take a look under settings panel some of the unique features here so some of them are under sound and notification so we have our sound mode pretty familiar stuff but we also have sound quality and effects this is something we saw with a galaxy s6 so we have a dab sound which will calibrate these sound to your ears you just have to connect a set of headphones we also have some equalizers here for sound the live plus and tube amp and these are only available over Bluetooth headsets or attached headphones now because we have a set of stereo speakers

On the 9.7 inch we do have the option to turn on sound alive plus to recreate surround sound under display we have our screen mode so we have reading mode or adaptive display so I'm going to go ahead and click that under motions and gestures we have mute to silent alarms we also have palm swipe to capture and you can see those are all turned on by default so if you want to capture a screen grab just swipe across the display under battery we have our uses information which includes power saving mode which you can toggle and off you'll save ultra power saving

Mode if you want to turn that on under storage you can see how much space is available to the user so not a whole lot here almost half of it is taken up by the system but of course you can expand storage settings is also searchable so if you just want to find things like display just type at any get instant results you can jump right to it take a look at our camera app of course we have a five megapixel sensor good for 720p HD video tap anywhere on the scene to adjust exposure and focus snap your photograph you can pinch in and out to zoom we also have our mode selector down

Here so we have auto panorama continuous shot sound & shot sport and beauty face if you want to know what each one of these are just go up to info and it gives you an explanation for each now you can also rearrange these just tap and hold on them and move them around now to record video just hit the record video icon and when you're recording video you do have continuous auto focusing again this is 720p video at 30 frames per second we can also tap anywhere on the scene to adjust exposure and focus pinch in and out to zoom you can snap for the ground so while

Recording video does so silently you can also pause it or to stop it we also have our front-facing camera which includes features like beauty face so it's actually tracking your face and then we'll soften the details to look a little more flattering so you can snap a photograph you can record video as well we have our modes here which include beauty face auto mode interval shot for taking the burst shot and sounded shot which records audio with your photograph now I can take a photograph just by tapping the screen but you also have something under settings which you can

Enable that's off by default which is gesture control so I've turned it on so let's go ahead and test that out basically I have to do is hold your hand up to the camera it recognizes it and does a countdown we also have some other options under settings so we can change our picture size so 5 megapixels is actually 4 by 3 you'll have to step down if you want 16 by 9 now in terms of quality the images are actually pretty good either in medium low light conditions or bright sunlight conditions so it's able to find the right exposure it reproduces color accurately I find

Focus sharply and clearly and the images aren't over processed although you do see some grain here and there but generally speaking it's much better than I expected especially for a 5 megapixel camera that only records in 720p video so they're doing a really nice job here prioritizing image quality this is also true for video but he also looks clear with good color reproduction and exposure the only problem I've had is with white balancing it tends to jump around while panning a scene now continuous on the focusing can be a little slow and abrupt it's also not

Balanced or stabilized in any way so handheld video can be a little shaky but that's common for any lower end basic tablet alright guys my gear the Detroit Borg testing out the front-facing camera of the Galaxy Tab 8 which isn't so good 2 megapixels front-facing VGA video quality but it does a pretty good job finding the right exposure so you can least see me but of course a budget tablet comes with a budget camera that's the case here now in terms of our Geekbench 3 score is not terribly impressive here the single core is all under 500 multi-is alone under 1,500

Compared to the Tab s which scored around 800 on the single core in nearly 2,400 on the multi but ultimately both pale in comparison to the performance of the iPad air 2 at 18 10 on the single core and over 4,500 on the multi-core next up I want to check out this speaker quality of the Tab A and compare them to other tablets so far we are not beings we are not yet where is she taking gun oh what a lovely day so in conclusion the tabby definitely isn't the best tablet to buy out there but at this price it's a pretty solid deal with a

Nice display pretty decent cameras really nice form factor I do like the 4 by 3 aspect ratio but of course if you want to use this for watching movies this isn't the best form factor for you but for everything else I think this 4 by 3 aspect ratio definitely hits the sweet spot now because of our lower end specs performance isn't the best here although TouchWiz does perform fairly smoothly until you start pushing it with side by side windowing but I think you get a lot of software features like multi-user mode which I think is important to a lot of families who are

Purchasing tablets and if you're already a Samsung phone or tablet user you'll feel very comfortable with this experience so that's going to do for me in this video thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the next one

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