The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the latest high-end tablet from the Korean manufacturer with which it wants to demonstrate that Android is still a good system for this type of devices.
Its features are the best we can find. A careful design with rear glass like the latest Galaxy S, a high resolution screen with HDR, a high-end processor and up to four speakers.
He did not want to leave anything uncovered and the Samsung customization layer adds some quite useful functions for this type of device. Even its accessories are top-notch, with a keyboard case and an S Pen. After living in the day to day with this tablet, I tell you my experience while we analyze each point.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Little more you can ask for specs to a device like this. We have a good dose of power, screen and design available. So if you have to find something wrong on the tab is that we do not have a perfect camera, but it is something that is not missing using a tablet.
- 237.3 x 169.0 x 6.0mm and 429g of weight.
- 9.7 “Super AMOLED screen with QXGA resolution (2048 x 1536) (264 dpi).
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Quad-Core: 2 cores 2.15GHz + 2 cores 1.6GHz.
- GPU Qualcomm Adreno 530.
- 32 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM.
- MicroSD up to 256GB.
- 13 MP rear camera with f / 1.9 aperture. Recording 4K at 30 fps.
- Front camera of 5 MP f / 2.2.
- Fingerprint reader front.
- 6000 mAh battery.
- Android 7.0 Marshmallow with Samsung Experience
- USB 3.1 Type-C, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / a, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2. Model with 4G LTE available.
- Positioning with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO.
- Four speakers “Tuned by AKG”.
- S Pen included. 4096 pressure levels and tip of 0.7mm. Spare parts included.
The model I was able to enjoy was black and without 4G LTE connection; Although it is also available in a silver color that I saw in store I loved it. In both colors and, as happens in the Samsung Galaxy S8, the front is black.
Design: The crystal reaches this thin and lightweight tablet
There are already three generations of Galaxy S phones in which Samsung uses crystal for the back . A new sign of the design of their devices that has also begun to reach the midrange in the Galaxy A 2017. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 this material also reaches the tablets.
The crystal looks perfectly on this tablet in which you can admire the reflections leave the side you leave. In fact, few times you leave a tablet looking down because its main feature is its large screen. It is when using it, leaving it on a table, when dragging it you notice something of fear by the possible scratches in the back part.
When you see this tablet what stands out is the rear glass, but when you take it everything changes. The lightness makes presence presence showing the well achieved 429 g of weight (434 g the model with 4G). Not only the overall weight is low, but its grip is comfortable even with one hand since its weight is very well distributed and is only 6mm thick.
The 9.7-inch screen is nicely placed in the center of the device, with 4: 3 ratio which, while not the best for viewing multimedia content, is very comfortable to carry anywhere without losing useful screen space. The width, for my hands, is enough to be able to write comfortably on the keyboard when held upright.
Software: With all the useful tools added by Samsung
Someone will lay their hands on the head now, but the topic that anything that wears a layer of Samsung is condemned is already, almost, a myth. And I explain why: the features that Samsung adds to Android come as ringtones for this device. The performance is not weighed down by it.
Starting with the performance, I want to make a small note. Sometime when switching from one application to another or browsing the launcher has come to give me a little tug, that does not get to the point of despair, is not continuous or common, but sometimes has a look to pass in this device. It’s bad? No. Just once every two days you realize, just as an application takes a little longer than normal to open. But it is something that has not affected my daily experience that I qualify as good.
If I had to list each function that incorporates Samsung this would become eternal, but some I have gotten enough game as the possibility of opening applications in windows and be able to minimize them and resize them to taste. A perfect feature for a tablet but that Android Nougat only allows split screen.
Applications: for me, bloatware is not useless and annoying
Another very useful feature for a tablet is the children mode, perfect for if there are children in the house. This mode, which is present as an application, limits the use of the device to a few functions and disables purchases in applications. Children can take photos and view them in the gallery as well as install and open applications aimed at their age.
Another detail is the on-screen keyboard. It is quite complete, with control key and combinations like Control+Z to undo and keys to move from the keyboard. It is quite comfortable to write on it and I have no complaint of its functioning.
Among the installed applications are the basic ones required by Google, the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) with OneNote, OneDrive (with 100GB free for 2 years) and Skype. On Samsung’s side are the basic applications (mail, clock, browser, calculator, gallery, contacts, calendar and camera), Samsung Flow to view mobile notifications on tablet, PEN. UP to view and share drawings, Samsung Internet, Which is the one I have used and it seems to me better than Chrome,
Battery: able to accompany you all day in class
You could say that I have not separated from the Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab since I’ve had it, and has been up to. Its design is very comfortable to take it everywhere and move it from side to side of the house according to what you want to use it. But the best thing is that your battery goes along, although it would have been nice to take it a little step further.
The use I have given you has been intense. He has replaced my notebooks in my teaching hours; Also during the hours of work at home and has been the device that I used to read social networks, news, listen to music and hang out while playing. All this during a day that for me began at 9 in the morning and ended on the mattress around twelve.
With all this use I did not need to load it and it has exceeded the 7 hours of screen on quite well , with location to the maximum, automatic brightness and without deactivating anything. But I would ask more because when night came and go to see some series the battery was already at its lowest.
Lucky to have a charger on the nightstand, but if you’re traveling you can always use an external battery. Charging your 6000mAh will not pose any problem as far as patience as it features fast charging adaptable like other Samsung devices. A while loading while dining and returning, ready to go elsewhere to see that chapter of your favorite series that just took.
S Pen: no need to continue to use paper
I have named in my use that it has replaced my notebooks and it is true. The merit of bringing me to that change was in fact the Surface that I have been using throughout the course, but during the time I have had this Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 I have been using it as a notebook. The lightness and good quality of the S Pen is appreciated.
Unlike the S Pen of other Samsung devices, this is thicker and bigger, making it perfect for writing, as if it were a pen. It has a metal part on the top where you stick it to a magnet, although there is a place prepared to store it on the tablet so you have to carry it in a pocket or hooked to the case if you have one. On the back of the tablet there are magnets for the sleeve with keyboard, so you can place it there, although you may inadvertently turn off the tablet when doing so (because the sheaths on closing turn off the screen).
Something that displeased me when using it is the side button. Pressing the S Pen on the screen will open a menu with shortcuts that you can configure and actions such as select part of the screen (and make a GIF of it), translate a text or start a note. It is very useful, but in its position I have been continuously pressing it unwittingly while writing.
Writing is very comfortable, fast and responsive to your gestures and manner of writing . The pen moves smoothly smoothly across the screen and traces correctly to quick strokes. It has 4096 levels of pressure that allow more realistic paths.
Although it is quite fast, the answer could be better, seeing as the stroke goes with a little delay behind the pen. It only happens when making very fast strokes, something that happens also with other devices of this type also, but that does not affect the result because it finishes also tracing the way that you followed with the pen. Writing or making small drawings, in actual use, you do not notice this delay.
Although with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 comes included the Samsung Notes application , I found Microsoft’s OneNote best to write. It has support for pressure levels, several stroke colors and many options for organizing and attaching files like pictures or voice notes. It is also cross-platform, although it does not have as many options as in its version of Windows 10.
If you like more to write with a pen than to type on the on-screen keyboard you will like to know that you have a keyboard to write with the S Pen. Although my handwriting is not the best in the world, the truth is that you recognize quite well what you have written and it is very easy, with the pen, to fix the faults. You can also press the back and multitask buttons with the pen.
Display: many colors for low HDR content
A Super AMOLED screen with HDR. You go to technology stores and you’re stunned watching screens so they cost one kidney and part of another, but here you can enjoy one. And enjoy, yes, when you find content adapted because HDR is only available for downloaded videos and Amazon Prime Video. Both Netflix and YouTube, among other platforms that support HDR, have not yet offered support.
The large amount of colors that can be reproduced this screen, along with its pure black characteristic of an OLED screen, makes it a delight to watch series, movies, documentaries or even YouTube videos on it. HDR content support is a great addition, but more for the future because at the moment you will not find a difference unless you download a video on purpose.
If you prefer a more basic and not so saturated colors or perhaps a slightly bluer or reddish screen, you can adapt it from the screen settings. Its brightness is excellent for interiors (where it is given more use to a tablet) and full sun on the outside you will not have to bring the tablet to your face, because it looks, but not so well. The automatic brightness on the other hand does a great job, although in environments without light, at night for example, it does not lower the brightness to the minimum but it stays just a point before it and you have to lower it manually.
Related to the S Pen, it would be appreciated that the separation between the screen and the glass was smaller, so that the tip of the S Pen was closer to the pixels representing its layout. Although the difference is not extreme, the dot representing the pen on the screen is a little offset from where the S Pen is due to it. This hurts when you are writing very small letters or drawing in great detail.
An extra detail if you have videos in 4K is that you can play them without problems in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 as it supports 60fps playback of videos recorded in 4K resolution although its screen has a resolution QXGA (2048 x 1536).
Sound: stereo experience in any position “by AKG”
At first they tell you that you have stereo speakers and you can imagine one at the top and another at the bottom, but at the front. Seeing that they are on the edges that surround the device already you disappoint a little, but that disappointment disappears when using it. The four speakers achieve a very good immersive experience.
Whether you hold the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vertically or horizontally, you can enjoy the stereo sound thanks to its four speakers. The most impressive thing is how thanks to the orientation information of the tablet each speaker changes to offer the “right” or “left” sound. If you hold upright for example, the two most left will emit the left sounds and the two more right will sound the right.
The name of the brand AKG, expert in professional audio equipment, is very present in this device. It even appears in the back. The “Tuned by AKG” that appears does not mention that it was they who created the four loudspeakers, but they are the ones who have calibrated them . The result is four loudspeakers that achieve a very high volume and a good but not exceptional sound quality.
To my taste, I would say that you are lacking bass and that the stereo effect is not achieved 100% like when you have two speakers focusing on you. Luckily the equalizer allows you to easily modify the level of bass versus treble and instrumental sound versus vocal. You can also add simulated effects such as being in an auditorium or a more stereo sound. If you prefer the audio jack connector, you have a configurator to adapt the sound to your ears.
Camera: Enough for what is used on a tablet
The cameras are not the best of this device and, unlike other components, it is not up to a high camera mobile. But of course, do you use the cameras of a mobile phone like a tablet? For the use that is given to the camera of a tablet has more than enough cameras.
Take photos to papers, use applications to scan documents, take photos to things from home because it is the camera that you have on hand or use it to make a photo on the outside because your mobile makes bad pictures. Its result is quite good. Its large aperture (f/1.9) of the rear camera allows even indoors with a lighted lamp you can take a photo to whatever you want. The well-used 13MPs allow you to capture details like small print on paper.
We have a PRO but very poor mode with only the option to change ISO, tone and contrast. There is also a non-automatic HDR mode and fast camera. It highlights the possibility of recording content in 4K using the rear camera.
Performance: at the doors of the best
As for performance there is no complaint at all except in the graphics aspect where a game as powerful (and new) as Injustice 2 takes quite a while to load. It is the only one with which I have had problem, although it is something that is understood since it is a new and powerful game.
But since this tablet also looks for a good reliability in productivity, and therefore mounts a high-end processor, it would have been better, also given its price, to have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. Although said, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Leads is able to run everything with enough speed.
Final Conclusion: The Best Tablet, with a Best Tablet Price
Everything is good in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, in what is scarcer, is in what is least needed. You can use it of notebook thanks to its pen and screen of good resolution. It can be your device to watch series and movies with a great quality. It can be your music speaker while you do not use it and your main game device. It can be your work team with its keyboard case (which we have not been able to test) and windows interface. It can be your device to show your creative potential.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 may be all that a tablet can be. Its price of 784 $ (output, in USA, for the Wi-Fi model), becomes great, but not for its potential. In my opinion this tablet almost deserves that price for all the quality that includes itself. But it has small details that fail and miss this year’s Snapdragon 835 processor or at least splash resistance for household situations.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 costs a lot and is capable of doing a lot very well. But perhaps the one that looks for a tablet does not look for to do so much, being then its price a step back when deciding for her.