The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) which some industry insiders believe will be marketed as the Galaxy Tab A2 S will cater to the youngest demographic, sources said earlier this week, adding that the device will compete in the entry-level segment of the market and feature a Kids Mode. It's currently unclear whether that particular functionality will be identical to the Kids Mode app which Samsung has been pre-loading on some of its offerings for a while now, though that seems like a probable scenario. The feature will presumably allow parents to lock any apps they want and allow their children to simply use the device for gaming, watching age-appropriate content, and browsing whitelisted websites.
The South Korean original equipment manufacturer (OEM) prematurely published the official manual for the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) last week, revealing that the product is also set to ship with a physical button for activating Bixby, the company's new artificial intelligence (AI) companion which has so far been exclusive to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus and is only expected to expand its availability later this month with the release of the Galaxy Note 8. Provided that the information revealed in the manual was accurate, the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017), Galaxy Tab A2 S, or however Samsung ends up calling its successor to the original Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 will be the first tablet from the company to feature a physical Bixby button.
The device was also recently certified by Chinese regulatory agency TENAA, with its listing suggesting that Samsung equipped it with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 427, an entry-level SoC with four 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at a maximum frequency of 1.4GHz and the Adreno 308 GPU. That particular silicon is said to be coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal flash memory expandable via a microSD card slot by a still-unspecified amount. The rear panel of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) is said to feature an 8-megapixel camera module, whereas its top bezel reportedly accommodates a 5-megapixel imaging sensor. The upcoming device is thought to run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, with the OS itself likely being skinned by Samsung to a significant degree. The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) is also said to be 4G-enabled, though it remains to be seen whether Samsung also opts to release a Wi-Fi-only variant of the tablet. Given its TENAA-issued certification, the device will almost certainly be released in China and may also make its way to more markets later this year.