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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Quick Review: The Best Android Tablet In The Market?

We go hands-on with the Tab S3

High-end tablets are a rarity nowadays, and there’s few manufacturers left that bother to make flagship-level slates for public consumption. Samsung is still in the tablet game though, and today they’re launching their new flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S3 to the Philippine market. But with the focus shifting to smartphones and phablets, is there still an audience left for a top-of-the-line tablet?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Pro

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display with HDR technology, 1536 x 2048 resolution display
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9, 27mm lens, AF, LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, f/2.2 aperture lens
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, Quad speakers
  • Android Nougat
  • 6000mAh battery

Initial impressions: the most gorgeous Android tablet we’ve seen to date

Samsung’s didn’t hold back when they made the Tab S3, and threw almost every trick in the book (aside from a curved display, of course) at the design of the tablet. The tablet uses a metal frame and a glass-encased back, and it’s thinner than most tablets currently out in the market today. It’s also incredibly light – coming in at a mere 429g.

Since the Tab S3 is roughly the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it’s not hard to see who Samsung is targeting with the top-end slate. The black exterior looks elegant and fits the overall aesthetic of the tablet well. Speaking of aesthetic, the Tab S3 looks a little like a blown-up Galaxy S7, and the design isn’t accidental – traces of the Galaxy S7 design language can be seen in size and positioning of the front-mounted fingerprint scanner, as well as the volume rocker and power button.

The tablet uses a USB Type-C connector for charging and data transfer, and there’s 4(!) speakers embedded around the chassis of the tablet to give the best sound possible when watching content on the 9.7-inch QHD display.

While Samsung’s managed to wow us with their Super AMOLED panels before, the one on the Tab S3 is truly one for the books. Aside from sporting essentially 2K resolution, the 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display also has HDR tech built into it. This bumps the display’s contrast ratio and highlights when watching HDR content on video services like Netflix and Amazon Video.

The Tab S3 comes packing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor paired with an Adreno 530 GPU4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with an option to expand it higher to 256GB. Those specs are pretty much flagship-level hardware last year, and it’s more than enough to take care of most Android apps you’ll be running on it.

Along with the tablet, Samsung is also including an S Pen stylus with every purchase, a big blow to Apple’s iPad Pro whose pencil accessory is an optional purchase. Even better, Samsung says that the S Pen stylus is four times more sensitive than Apple’s Pencil, which makes it the perfect choice for creatives and professionals, or even just the occasional doodler.

What’s a big tablet without multitasking, right? The Tab S3 is able to pop out an app and even allows you to place two apps beside each other if need be – like if you need to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite YouTube star but also need to get your expense report done.

While the Galaxy Tab S3 sure does have a lot of bells and whistles, there’s fewer and fewer buyers of tablets, let alone premium flagship tablets in the market today. As awesome as the Galaxy Tab S3 is, it’s difficult to justify handing over Php 37,990 to buy one when buying a high-end phablet like the Galaxy S8+ is a better compromise.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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