Which tablet came out tops? Huawei’s MatePad T8 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

Read our comparison review if you’re in the market for a mid-range tablet

The Huawei MatePad T8 comes with a free cover and Huawei Bluetooth.
The Huawei MatePad T8 comes with a free cover and Huawei Bluetooth.
Image: Supplied/Huawei

Looking for a new tablet? Before you go and buy the first one you see on-shelf or online, there are some important things to consider. After all, not all tablets are created equal and there are definitely more options than, well, an iPad.

Some are better for business — especially when paired with a portable Bluetooth keyboard — and others are more grab-and-go entertainment devices. It all depends on what fits your needs and your budget. If you’re in the market for a mid-range, 8-inch device, we’re putting Huawei’s MatePad T8 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 to the test.

What’s inside?

Both the MatePad T8 and Galaxy Tab A 8 have an 5100mAh battery which means you’re looking at an average of 12 hours of use before you’ll need to plug in and power up. Both devices have a beautifully bright 1280x800 pixel display and the option to expand the memory up to 512GB with an additional microSD card. Both have powerful processors, which makes switching between apps sleek and speedy. Screen real estate matters and the MatePad T8’s 80% screen-to-body ratio makes it ideal for streaming series.

Say cheese 

While tablets aren’t usually a go-to device for budding photographers, cameras are more important than ever thanks to lockdown webinars. Both tablets have a front and rear camera. The MatePad T8’s front camera has a recognition sensor built-in so you can unlock the tablet by simply looking at it. And like your favourite smartphone, all the fun shooting modes are included — beauty shots, panoramas, HDR and even voice control photography.


Weighing only 310g, the MatePad T8 is a little lighter than the Galaxy Tab A 8. If you’re looking to use either as an e-book reader, they are both comfortable enough to hold in one hand but the MatePad T8, however, is smaller, which makes it ideal if you need something you can simply pop into a bag and take on-the-go. To make reading that much better, the MatePad T8 has an enhanced dark mode, specially designed for your e-book library. Both devices have 3.5mm earphone jacks and Bluetooth so if you’re in need of a tablet that will work well with audiobooks, podcasts or Spotify playlists, both will do.

There’s an app for that

While the MatePad T8 is an Android tablet, it doesn’t come with the Google Play Store or any other exclusive Google Apps installed. Instead, you’ll have to use the apps Huawei has included or download more via Huawei’s AppGallery. Most of the apps you already know and use (like Facebook, WhatsApp and Showmax) are available as well as some exclusives. With the Galaxy Tab A8, you’ll get Samsung’s tried-and-tested ecosystem of Samsung apps which connect seamlessly to any other Samsung devices you may already be using ... and yes, that could be your smart fridge.

Family first 

If you’re after a tablet that everyone can use, a family tablet, both Samsung and Huawei offer dedicated apps for children. Samsung’s Kid’s Mode is all about keeping child-safe content in one place. From educational apps to games, a pack of cute, cartoon creatures will keep your little ones’ imagination busy. While Huawei’s Kids Corner offers similar parental control options (think screen time limits, blocked apps, and so on) it also includes wellbeing features like posture alerts and a blue-light filter to reduce eye strain.

What you want to do with your tablet will ultimately determine which tablet is right for you. While Huawei’s MatePad T8 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 8 have similar specs and make great budget-conscious buys at a recommended retail price of R2,999, the MatePad T8 comes out on top. It has everything you need from a mid-range tablet and then some. And the fact that it comes with a free cover and Huawei Bluetooth speaker if you order it online is a huge plus.  

This article was paid for by Huawei.