Laptops or computers can be a bit heavy to carry around, and since technology is always aiming for convenience and portability, getting the right tablet with the necessary features is crucial when looking for something to replace your laptop or desktop. So, in this article, we will be reviewing the 2020 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4-inch tablet.
Just like any other mobile phone or tablet from Samsung, the Samsung Tab A 8.4 is of no exception to Samsung’s impeccable electronic gadgets. The Samsung Tab A 8.4 is in high demand since its launch. If you’re thinking about getting one, or just curious about this device and its features, then you should definitely read this review. In this review we will take a look at the following:
- What’s In The Box
- Pros and Cons
- Buyer’s Guide
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into this.
What’s Inside the Box?
At the front of the box, you have the Samsung logo with a picture of the Samsung Tab A, and the Samsung Tab A is written boldly beneath the image. On the left side, you have Galaxy Tab A written and the right side has nothing written. On the bottom, you have the IMEI info and at the top, you have nothing written. At the back, you have all the essential info about the tablet written at the back.
What The Package Contains:
On the inside of the box, you have:
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 inch
- The pre-installed sim card from the network service provider you bought it from
- The wall/USB charger together with the USB C cable
- A sim card and SD card rejector
- A quick reference guide and
- The terms and conditions
- Display: 8.4 inch TFT display
- Resolution: 2.5D curved glass with 1920 * 1200 pixel resolution
- Processors: Exynos 7904 Processor and MALI G-71 MP2 GPU
- Speed and Storage: 3 gigabyte RAM and 32-gigabyte storage with up to 512 GB dedicated to SD card.
- OS: Android 9 OS with One UI
- Battery: 5000 mAh Li-Po battery with fast charge support
- Cameras: It comes with an 8 MP rear camera and 5 MP selfie camera
- Connectivity: It has Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, and Dual-Band WiFi.
- Design: It has a glass screen, a plastic frame, and a plastic chassis design.
- Sensors: When it comes to sensors, you get a Gyroscope, Compass, Accelerometer, Light, and Proximity.
- Other Features: It is a dual sim tablet with a headphone jack, GPS and radio.
The Outer casing:
The device has two volume markers on the right and the power button. At the front, you have the 8.4 1080p TFT display and a 5 MP camera. On the left side, you have your SIM and SD card slot. At the top, you have a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microphone, and at the bottom, you have dual speakers and your USB C charging port.
Just as the name implies, Galaxy Tab A 8.4 has an 8.4-inch display which is nice and bright, running at 1900 * 1200 pixel resolution, which makes it a full HD display. This makes text and pictures look great. They made the device without the S pen this time, and basically what happened was they removed the S-pen for another speaker; so now, you have dual speakers with good quality. Furthermore, the aspect ratio on the screen makes it easy to read texts and other things. So, from the standpoint of just a basic browsing device, I think it is going to do great for most people. It plays videos in full HD when watching YouTube Or Netflix.
It has the Samsung Exynos 700 CPU inside that two A73 cores and six A53 cores at 1.59 GHz, this makes this device kind of a low-end performing device with nothing spectacular when you go beyond the basics. This makes this device great for web browsing, however, when you go into stuff like gaming and video editing which might test the hardware a little more, you are going to start feeling the sluggishness of the processor. This means the Samsung Tab A 8.4 is not a performance device by any stretch.
Storage and Speed:
It has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, and on the side, you’ll see a tray for the SIM card, this is because it supports LTE over the cellular networks along with a micro SD card slot, so you no longer depend on WiFi internet. You can This micro SD card slot has a maximum capacity of 512 GB.
This device weighs about 10.9 ounces (309 grams), so it is pretty light, the build quality isn’t spectacular but it isn’t a cheap-feeling or looks either. It will fit nicely in the hand, and I do believe that there are some cases produced for it too. And there are, like:
The camera system on this isn’t spectacular, you’ve got a front-facing camera that runs at 5 megapixels which are decent enough for video calls, and the rear camera is a basic rear camera with 8-megapixel photo quality. The rear camera will shoot 1080p videos at 30 frames per second and doesn’t appear to be much in the way of stabilization and of course, the video quality isn’t going to rival what you’ll get on a more expensive mobile device.
The Samsung Tab 8.4 comes with a 5000 mAh battery which can run for about 10 to 12 hours if you keep the screen brightness at a reasonable level and do not tax the hardware the much. So, if you’re gaming, you’ll get less than 12 hours but if you’re browsing the web or sending emails, then you should get about 10 to 12 hours of battery life, which is very pleasing.
On the notification slide, you have some shortcuts for:
- Smart View
- Blue light filter
- Tablet visibility and
- Dolby Atmos
Performance-wise this device is great for web browsing and video streaming, it isn’t fast so things wouldn’t spring to life on you as you’d expect on a more powerful device. Another thing we noticed too is that although video plays back fine, looks great on the display and the colors do look nice on the screen. However, you’ll get these moments of latency as you change the screen’s orientation, such that the video will pause and then catch up whenever you change the orientation.
Another area where you might notice some sluggishness is on games, it runs pretty well on games like Call Of Duty when running on the lowest possible settings. Most game developers target low-end devices like this, so, you shouldn’t have too many games that won’t play on this device. The only downside is that this device wouldn’t provide that much graphic fidelity.
On the 3D Mark Slingshot Benchmark test, this device has a score of 942 that makes this device faster than the 8-inch Amazon tablet, but much slower than most of the iPads that you right now can buy, including the low-end iPad that cost the same as the Samsung Tab A 8.4. Generally, we are seeing so much better performance out of even the lowest cost Apple device and it is crazy that we are not seeing Android tablet makers push these devices a little further. Apple’s proven you can put a high performance in a low-cost device and why we still see these kinds of Android devices, this kind of puttering along is really puzzling, to be honest with you. It is kind of a disappointment to see absolutely zero performance growth on the Android side especially at the low end.
In fairness, this device does have the LTE radio built-in for the price, however, you have to pay extra for that on the iPad side. Nonetheless, I still think we should be seeing better performance than what we are getting here.
Another little gripe we have with this particular device is that it is not very good at ignoring unintentional movements on screens. What we mean by this is that if you open an eBook and your thumb is just resting on the screen, it will think you’re touching the screen, and you’ll get things like touch selection and apps launching and other things, when you’re just trying to hold onto the tablet. You also cannot scroll while you’re holding it; so, hopefully, future updates will rectify this problem. You just have to pinch the tablet on the side to prevent those unintentional screen touches from registering, and that’s something hopefully they can workout on future software updates. Speaking of software, this device is running Android 9 at the moment which surprises me, and hopefully, they update it.
Generally, this device did perform well, when it was tested for basic tasks.
There isn’t much for ports however, on the bottom you’ve got a USB type – C charging port, which is the new port used for charging and data devices. On the top, you have a headphone port so you can plug in your typical 3.5mm headphones jack to it.
It does have facial recognition built-in, but it is completely optical. However, it doesn’t have some of the security features that we are seeing on more expensive devices for face recognition. In other words, it isn’t taking a 3d image of your face, it is strictly going off of front-face image recognition. I did try putting a photo in front of it, however, that didn’t trick it. So, you aren’t going to rely on this facial recognition to keep state secrets or something important like that– you’ll probably want to stick with a password.
Pros and Cons:
- This device comes with the LTE network service unlike the other Samsung tablet modules with only WiFi
- It is very affordable
- Fits perfectly into your hands and you can use it with one hand with no hassle
- Come with face ID for extra security
- Comes with Android 9 installed
- 32 GB of storage is low
- You cannot connect any other accessory like a keyboard
If you’re thinking about buying this device here are a few things you might want to consider:
Who Is This Device For?
This device is great for people who are new to tablets or love simplicity. This is because it is affordable with a price tag of $280 and also can moderately perform most of the functions that high-end tablets perform. Besides, if you’re looking for an extra tablet you can use during your leisure time to read books, play games, stream movies or just to surf the internet, then this device might be what you’re looking for.
Also, it is handy and you can travel with this without having to worry about saving space. Also, you can easily perform tasks like holding it while streaming a movie, or playing games with just one hand.
Finally, this device comes with 4G LTE which means you can travel with it, without worrying about WiFi connectivity.
Can I Game With This Device?
In testing it in gaming, it does really good. One of the best tests for a tablet is Asphalt 9 since we have actually seen some other cheap tablets struggle with this game. It didn’t have any problem with this game, and it run nice and smoothly with no choppiness. With a game like PUBG, the graphic settings were balanced with medium frame rates and it didn’t get choppy or looked bad either.
For a game like Call of Duty Mobile, the graphics were on the lowest settings and with medium frame rates to get a smooth play. However, you have to remember this game is really well optimized for mobile devices, so we had no problem playing this game and it was really smooth as well, compared to other tablets this game was played on.
So, generally, you can play games with this device but you might need to adjust your graphics settings for certain games.
Do I Need To Worry About Space?
Well, in this day and age with technological advancement the 32 Gb storage might not be enough for you if you’re looking to install a lot of apps. However, the 512 external memory slot makes up for it. So, you shouldn’t be worried about storage if this isn’t going to be a device you’ll be using for work.
Features Samsung Took Out:
Well, with the price tag of this device, Samsung took out some features such as:
- The multi-window tray
- You do not get the cloud syncing service on this device
- Unfortunately, you do not get Samsung DeX on this device.
- No fingerprint scanner unlike some of the tablets
- The downgraded on the battery compared to last year’s module
- No S-pen, it was substituted for the speakers
- No Bixby support. So, if you use Bixby support for your gaming and Samsung smart TVs and just the Samsung ecosystem, you might not be able to sync that up with this device.
Little Comparison: Which Is Better? Samsung Tab A 8.4 2020 or Samsung Tab A 10.1 2019
To help you understand the device you’re getting, we decided to compare this device with the Tab A 10.1, which was the tablet released last year by Samsung. Also, if you have the 2019 Galaxy Tab A 10.1 inch and you’re still contemplating about upgrading to the Tab A8.4 inch 2020, then maybe this section might help you. Even though both devices are under $300, they both are different when it comes to major features.
Which Has a Better Screen?
When it comes to which has a better screen, the color and brightness on both devices are pretty similar. However, the 10.1 inch does go a little bit darker once you turn the brightness all the way down.
When it comes to which has better speakers, I do not really think either is that great, neither one is as loud as maybe the iPad. Surprisingly, the 8.4″ is a tad louder than the 10.1 inches. So
Which Has Better Performance?
It does get a little bit tricky when it comes to performance, however, the 10.1-inch loads webpages a little faster most of the time than the 8.4 inch but in reality, you’re not going to notice the difference in performance even when next to each other. Sometimes the 10.1 inch wins, sometimes the 8.4 inch does.
I tested both devices’ performance by opening certain apps such as PUBG and Call Of Duty mobile, and generally, the 10.1 inch was a hair faster than the 8.4 inches.
Which Has a Better Gaming Experience?
Well, generally, I think it just depends on the kind of games you play. However, the graphics on both of these devices are balanced and medium frame rates. So, it really doesn’t matter but it comes down to your preference. However, I do feel like the 8.4 inch is easier to handle if you’re going to use a touchscreen. However, if you’re going to use a controller, then you can use that on either tablet.
Another thing to consider is if you’re going to be taking this with you on a trip, and you have other stuff, then you may be leaning towards the 8.4″.
Which Has a Better Camera?
Probably the biggest downside to both of these tablets is the front and rear-facing cameras. To us, both are not that great, and pretty much the same quality on both. Most people aren’t going to buy these for the camera, but just in case it was something you’re considering, then here you have it.
Our Thoughts After Testing Both Devices:
So, I think we have compared most of the basics on each tablet, and I do not think you can go wrong on either of these. So, even though the 10.1 inch has a little larger battery, it still gets just about the same battery life as the smaller 8.4 inches.
I prefer the smaller 8.4 inches to play my games on just because it is easier to handle as I said earlier, But it is a no-brainer to go with the larger screen if you’re mainly looking for a tablet to watch videos. So, having said that, if I had to choose between these two tablets, I’ll probably go with the Tab A 8.4″ just because of it’s handiness.
Generally, speaking if you’re on a low budget go in for this device, however, if you have the money to spend, then you can go in for something higher.
Overall this isn’t a bad tablet and it isn’t a great one either, it’s kind of in the middle, it’s basic transportation. This is something decent and cheap and with this device, you get something that looks okay, and feels okay, but doesn’t perform all that well, and that’s what we got here. So, generally, if you want something inexpensive that can get on the LTE network by itself, then I’ll say the Samsung Tab A 8.4″ is worth taking a look at Furthermore, it had a WiFi speed of 100 Mbps which isn’t bad, enough for video chatting and watching HD movies.
We did a battery drain test on this tablet with screen brightness at 100% while streaming video, it lasted a little over 6 and a half hours, just under 7 hours. This is okay, because of a battery of this size. When charging it back up from zero to 100%, it took about three hours total.
So, overall, we highly recommend this 8.4 version of the Galaxy Tab A, although we thought it would be a little bigger. However, the screen on it is really nice with good viewing angles, and the battery life is decent with no problems with playing games or watching videos at HD resolution. But right now we think that if you’re spending less than 300 dollars on a tablet, then you might want to take a better look at this device.
We hope you found this review helpful and we think you can now make a firm decision on whether you need to buy or upgrade to this device. If you found this piece helpful, kindly hit the like button, and do not forget to share it with your friends and family that might find it helpful. If you have any questions or contributions, kindly leave them in the comment section below and we will help you find the right answer.