Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) is unexpectedly cheap for an LTE tablet

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Samsung has added a low-cost Android tablet to its line-up, and the biggest surprise with the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) is that it comes with baked-in LTE. The new slate creeps in at under $300, and while it might not compete directly with a new iPad Pro, it's a whole lot cheaper than Apple's most affordable cellular models.

The 8.4-inch display comes in at 1920 x 1200 WUXGA resolution, and uses a TFT LCD panel rather than the OLED we've seen from other, more expensive recent Samsung tablets. It's surrounded by a metal body that measures in at 7.95 x 4.93 x 0.28 inches and 0.7 pounds.

Inside, there's Samsung's own Exynos 7904 chipset, an octa-core CPU that has been paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There's a microSD slot that can handle up to 512GB cards if you need more. The battery is 5,000 mAh, and Samsung says you should get up to 12 hours video playtime from it, or up to 11 hours of internet browsing. When it comes to charge up, there's Fast-Charge via the USB-C port on the bottom.

As you'd expect, you get WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. However what's unusual for a tablet this affordable is the integrated 4G LTE connection. Various US carriers – including AT&T, Verizon, Spring, T-Mobile, and US Cellular – will be offering the Galaxy Tab A 8.4, and Samsung will be selling it direct from its site from today.

On the front there's a 5-megapixel camera for selfies, while an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus is on the back. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack, too, and two speakers. You get Dolby Atmos tuned sound support as well, though Samsung's S Pen stylus won't work with the tablet.

That's not our biggest issue, mind. Samsung has opted to use Android 9.0, rather than the newer Android 10, and that seems a missed opportunity. There's no word on when – or even if – Samsung will remedy that with a software update.

Still, the price and inclusion of LTE may well help you see past the older software. Samsung is offering the Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020) model for $279.99, right now for Verizon, but with the other carrier versions in the pipeline. The good news is that you don't actually need to activate the tablet on a data plan if you don't want to: you can simply use it as a WiFi-only model. If you do want the LTE, however, you can either opt for a new line of service or add the tablet to an existing plan.