Despite its efforts to streamline its products, Samsung still has quite a number of them with sometimes confusing names. Not all of them are created equal and, unsurprisingly, not all of them get the same treatment as far as updates are concerned. That’s sometimes true even for mid-range devices that are still under support, especially Samsung’s mid-range tablets. That was the case with the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 from 2019 that carried an S Pen which is only now getting its Android 11 and One UI 3.1 updates at long last.
To be fair, Samsung did show the 2019 mid-range some update love over the years. It launched in 2019 with Android 9.0 Pie and was updated to One UI 2.0 with Android 10 last year. The problem has always been one of timing, with Android 12 just a few months away. But, as they say, better late than never.
Both One UI 3.1 and Android 11 are, of course, huge updates that bring massive changes both under the hood and in the UI. Android 11 brought changes to the underlying framework, especially when it comes to privacy, while also new features like floating chat bubbles and a smart home menu via the power button.
One UI 3.1, on the other hand, refined the new design language that Samsung started a few years back. This update also brought improvements to Samsung’s stock apps like Samsung Internet. Unfortunately, it also removes some features like Wi-Fi Direct sharing and Samsung recommends using Android’s Nearby Share instead.
The update is not only huge in changes but also in size at 1.3GB, so best prepare the tablet’s meager storage space for it. Given the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) with S Pen’s age and price tier, however, this could very well be its last major update and is admittedly a fitting last one for the mid-range slate.