If past couple of years are anything to go by, the Indian tablet market is on a declining trend. The premium segment is dominated by iOS powered iPad’s. Various brands including the likes of Google and Microsoft made a failed attempt to challenge Apple supremacy. Samsung with its Galaxy Tabs had some success which kept the South Korean brand interested in this device. The South Korean giant recently launched its Galaxy Tab S3 in India at Rs. 47,990 which ensure it gets a premium Android tablet tag.
That being said, is the Galaxy Tab S3 really impressive enough that it could challenge the Apple’s iPad Pro? Well, we recently had a chance to lay our hands on the tablet and here’s our Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 first impression.
Samsung Tab S3 Specifications
|Model||Samsung Tab S3|
|Display||9.7-Inch, QXGA Display, 2048 x 1536|
|Processor||2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC|
|Internal Storage||32GB, 256GB MicroSD card support|
|Software||Android Nougat based TouchWiz UI|
|Primary Camera||13 Megapixel, PDAF, LED flash|
|Battery||6000 mAh with fast charging|
|Others||4G VoLTE, dual-band WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Fingerprint sensor (home button), USB Type-C|
Let’s start with the design the build quality first. The Galaxy Tab S3 looks and feel premium from every corner. Despite powerful hardware under the hood along with 6000mAh battery, it is just 6mm thick and weighs 434grams which is well distributed. It has a metallic frame and glass on the front and back. Looking from the front, one will notice a large display, followed by navigation buttons and fingerprint sensor embedded home button.
Rear end of the tablet is almost a clean slate. There is a primary camera, LED flash followed by Samsung and AKG logo. On the sides, it carries power button, volume rocker, microSD card slot, and pogo pins to connect accessories. It gets two speakers each on the top and bottom edge. The tab S3 certainly got looks to woo you over but its appeal requires constant wiping as it’s a fingerprint magnet.
The 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display is more appeasing to eyes when turned on. It comes with 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution and served with High Dynamic Range (HDR) support. Everything that I saw on the display at the launch event, made a positive impression on me. The screen looked sharp, crisp and vibrant. Viewing angles and sunlight legibility shouldn’t be a cause of concern for this display.
The Tab S3 display also recognises stylus and Samsung is shipping one within the box. The new S Pen is a welcome addition as it certainly adds another dimension to what can be done with the tablet. Its functionality is pretty much similar to what we have seen the Note series in the past. It does all the tricks of the past.
The S-pen in hand feels like a just another pen. It is 9.4mm thick and has a smaller 0.7mm tip with an increased pressure sensitivity. It doesn’t require charging or pairing. One can use the S-Pen to perform various actions. It comes with dedicated air commands which offer options such as screen capture, doodling option, instant translation tool and lot more. The new S-Pen comes with improved pressure sensitivity (4,096) better accuracy. However, unlike Note phones, there is no slot in the tablet for the S Pen.
Other then S-Pen Samsung also showcased an optional Tab S3 keyboard cover which is priced at Rs. 8,499. The cover gets connected to pogo pins on the left edge and works well if you have to type a quick mail to work.
The Tab S3, in well equipped on the hardware front. It depends on Snapdragon 820 CPU and Adreno 530GPU for performance. Even though it a couple of generation old, it is still a powerhouse and keep things ticking along smoothly. It features 4GB RAM which ensures apps load quickly and offer good multitasking. There is 32GB storage on board which can be expanded up to 256GB via microSD card. Samsung has added Vulcan API support in the tablet which should ensure optimum gaming performance.
It runs on Android 7.0 based Samsung TouchWiz UI. During our hands-on, it felt smooth, responsive and switching between apps was hassle free. Samsung is also pitching it a multimedia companion and for that, it has gone all out on the audio front. It features quad auto rotate stereo speakers which are tuned by AKG.
Samsung claims it determines the orientation of the tablet and accordingly adjusts the audio output. Well, apart from ringtones there was no music available in the demo units to test the speakers.
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oozes premium-ness The cameras on tablets are not our first preference when it comes to taking photos. However, the Galaxy Tab S3 does pack decent optics. It comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 aperture and 5-megapixel selfie camera. We clicked a couple of pictures to check and both seems to quick in response. Under the ambient light conditions, images turned out well. Having said that I would refrain from taking out a final call untill we review the tablet in our lab.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 seems to be a well thought out slate. With HDR supported QXGA SAMOLED screen and quad speakers it has all the entertainment marvel in it. Moreover, it whizzy hardware, well-optimized software, and premium design help it to cast a positive first impression on us. It would be interesting to see how performers when we review it in our own surroundings.