Samsung today strengthened its Galaxy Tab series with the addition of Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 tablet in India. The tablet comes with a price tag of Rs 47,990 and is available in Black and Silver colour options. The tablet comes with an enhanced S Pen stylus bundled with it for a more natural handwriting experience. It is the successor of Galaxy Tab S2 tablet which was launched back in the year 2015 for Rs 39,400. The new tablet comes with a better display, faster processor, an improved S Pen stylus, better cameras, and enhanced audio experience than its predecessor. Along with the tablet, you can get the Book Cover separately for Rs 2,999 and the Keyboard Cover at Rs 8,499. You can connect a keyboard and transform the tablet into a laptop, but for that, you have to buy the keyboard separately.
But will it be enough to make a long-lasting impression on the customers? We got the chance to use the device for a while and here are our first impressions.
The S-Pen has a diameter of just 9.4mm with a smaller 0.7mm tip and an increased pressure sensitivity. This advanced S Pen does not require any charging or pairing. With a thickness of 9.4mm, the tablet provides a comfortable grip and a more natural handwriting experience. It supports 4,096 pressure sensitivity level which as per Samsung gives a pen to paper feel. Moreover, the Air Command lets you have quick access to the S-Pen-specific apps. We used the S-Pen to create notes, and it was quite responsive and worked just fine. All its capabilities were seen in the dedicated apps that Samsung pre-installed on the tablet, during our brief testing of the device.
Design and Display
Starting with the design, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a slim built body with metal frame and glass back. The round curves around the edges are making the device easy to hold in hands. The Tab S3 has a metal body which seems durable and most importantly is comfortable to hold. It’s right, and left-hand side panels are slightly chamfered to offer a comfortable grip; you won’t realise its usefulness till you hold it in the portrait mode to read an ebook or to do similar tasks.
For the quick physical overview, the front of the device features a LED flash, a fingerprint sensor embedded into the physical home button key which is swift and accurate. Two capacitive buttons accompany the scanner on either side.
Similar to smartphones, the tablet boasts power button and the volume rockers with sufficient distance in between them on the right side of the device and a dedicated port for the keyboard on the left. On the bottom, we have 3.5 mm headphone jack, coupled with USB Type-C along with two bottom speakers. We also have the two speakers on the top side of the device (one in each corner of upper and lower). On the right side, we have dedicated a SIM slot and a microSD card slot as well. At the back, we get to see a primary camera along with LED flash and the Samsung branding below it. During our brief testing of the device, the tablet felt robust and premium in hand. All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has an aristocratic look without any fancy designing elements, but it feels solid and is easy to use.
Coming to the display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 sports a 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. What makes it stand out of the crowd is the fact that support videos in HDR (10bit coloured) for true-to-life colours and rich digital content. The screen looks sharp and well-lit during our brief testing period, and we hope it would be a good job during our detailed review. The display looked decent and bright, and the colour seemed to be accurate with impressive touch response. The Galaxy Tab S3 also comes with a blue light filter for the display which helps alleviate eye strain at night. It will adjust the screen colour to relieve the visual fatigue. The dimensions of the tablet are 237.3 x 169.0 x 6.0 mm, and it weighs 434 grams.
Hardware and Software
On the hardware front, the tablet is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor which isn’t the best of the best at this point, but it’s the former flagship chipset launched by Qualcomm for the mobile market and is clocked at 2.15GHz along with Adreno 530 GPU. It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be further expanded up to 256GB via microSD card slot. That said, the specifications look promising, though we can’t comment on the performance just yet, however, during the time we had the device with us, we didn’t face any issues. It would be interesting to see how well does it perform or will it be able to compete with the competitors in our detailed review.
The Galaxy Tab S3 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with company’s TouchWizbuser interface running on top of it. The user interface has its hits and misses, and we will be discussing it thoroughly in our review, so keep a tab on this space. All in all, the TouchWiz remains fairly smooth and functional, while interacting with the device.
Though I doubt, anybody would use a big device like this for photography but having powerful cameras on a tablet is quite useful. Especially the front camera these days keeping in mind the selfie craze among people right now.
On the camera front, the device sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and f1.9 aperture, while for the front, there is a 5-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calling with f2.2 aperture.
However, don’t expect much from these cameras. The front camera especially does not offer much detail and is best for video calling only. The rear camera is okay for occasional photography.
Battery and Connectivity
The Galaxy Tab S3 is juiced by a 6,000mAh battery onboard with fast charging technolgy which the company claims can give up to 12 hours of video playback.
On the connectivity front, the tablet comes with a single SIM card slot using which you can make voice calls and can access 4G networks. It supports 4G LTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC USB Type-C and GPS/GLONASS. Other features of the Galaxy Tab S3 include an Accelerometer, RGB Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor and a Geometric Sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has Samsung Flow that uses biometric authentication to log-in. It can also wirelessly tether compatible devices to transfer documents from a mobile device to a tablet. Whether a user is using a smartphone or a tablet, the device can sync message notifications and never miss any important text message. It also comes with Microsoft apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Samsung highlights that its Galaxy Tab S3 integrates the AKG audio technology that comes from the company’s collaboration with HARMAN. The device features a four stereo setup tuned by AKG for a rich premium visual and listening experience, and the company boasts that it can automatically change the direction when you switch from landscape to portrait. The speakers have intelligent Auto Rotate Stereo function which allows the tablet to redirect sound based on its orientation.