Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra first impression

Since the iPad Pro 2018, we’ve not felt like getting any tablets or even upgrading… Until the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra (that is a very long tongue twister). We decided it was time to venture into another operating system to try out apps on Android. Does it have better apps than the iPad? Does it work better in general?


The S8 Ultra is a humongous tablet! It’s the closest to my 15-inch tablet dream. Our unboxings are not too techy, there are plenty of those online. But first, let’s talk about the contents of the box.

We’re not happy about not getting a charger in the box. However, we do have plenty of devices that support the USB-C cable that came with the device, so charging shouldn’t be a big problem. The S Pen feels amazing in the hand. It looks smaller than the Apple Pencil 2, and that is because it is. It is lighter, making it feel like it will write better than the Apple Pencil.

Though it has a much smaller tip that feels like it’s going to break, it’s quite solid when pressing against a hard surface. That is effectively what you would do when writing. The Apple Pencil tip is replaceable, but the S Pen doesn’t seem like you could replace it. Nothing in the box indicates a replacement of any kind. It makes you wonder how easy it would be to replace if you lost it or accidentally chewed it up.

The S Pen snaps to the back and attaches quite firmly, not so much on the top. Overall, we prefer the S Pen to the Apple Pencil, which is quite surprising.

Compared to the iPad Pro 12.9 from 2018, the S8 Ultra is a bit heavier. It is also much larger, though not as wide. It is impressively thin, which is exciting. We can’t help but wonder if it can replace the iPad Pro. We got the 256 GB, 12 GB RAM S8 Ultra partly because we got a little impatient. The 512GB was impossible to come by.

Setting it up

Now, attempting to turn it on… and voila! We are excited about trying out productivity apps on Android. Once the tab was on, we had to find a way to stop the screen flickering (during our video recording). We did most of the setting up, offline. It’s cool how the device has a fingerprint scanner on the glass.

Samsung Notes

Once le tab was ready, of course, the first thing Ropsie will do is look for a note-taking app. It took me about three attempts to find the search tool. Samsung Notes is the main reason we chose to get this tab, we had to try it! Especially on a 14.6 inch screen!

The app supports both fixed and infinite pages. You can pick a scrolling direction as well. Before attempting to write anything, I changed the page template. Samsung Notes has plenty of templates to choose from, for a free app, it’s impressive already. It has 5 pen tools, with a decent thickness scale!?

The handwriting experience with the S pen is amazing! I was very worried about the thin tip but it works wonders. Its soft finish makes writing on glass feel better than it does on the iPad. It does not feel like you’re writing on glass. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s possible on this tab, as far as note-taking is concerned.

At a glance, Samsung Notes is an amazing note-taking app. We’re curious to know if it’s stable, a bit buggy or if it really is the perfect note-taking app for Samsung devices (as it appears to be).

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