Hands on Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: this portable powerhouse is a glass-backed doozy

The new S Pen has a thinner 0.7mm tip, while the tablet takes cues from the Galaxy smartphone lineup

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Our Verdict

Samsung's new Android tablet is a stunning

For

  • Beautiful AMOLED display
  • Powerful specs
  • Decent audio performance

Against

  • How much will it cost?
  • The Galaxy Book is better

Samsung’s announced two tablets at Mobile World Congress (MWC) – the new Android 7.0 Nougat-packing Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book – a Windows 10 convertible 2 in 1. 

The Galaxy Tab S3 boasts a 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED display which supports HDR content (Samsung has partnered with Amazon Instant Video and says the device is designed with entertainment in mind) and a new S Pen with a smaller 0.7mm tip. 

In use, the S Pen is super (we don't think you can tell that it's even more sensitive, it was extremely sensitive before). It slides into a loop on the case, but we do prefer it when stylii are magnetic so they can attach to the side of the screen. There will also be a special edition S Pen - a Staedtler Norris special edition, designed to look like the famous pencil.

The Galaxy Tab S3 release date is 31 March, with a pre-order beginning on 17 March. As you can see, it's available in black and silver. 

We had a sneak preview of the Galaxy Tab S3 earlier today and were genuinely impressed by the look and feel of the tablet, which Samsung says is designed to be similar to the Galaxy smartphone series. 

Our verdict on how powerful it is (on paper, very) will have to wait until we can review it properly. The tablet is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820. 

The 13-megapixel rear camera includes auto focus, while there’s a 5-megapixel front camera for high-quality photos. The battery life is long enough for 12 hours of video playback, apparently. 

The Tab S3 also has a separate keyboard that uses a pin interface like the iPad Pro (and Surface Pro before it). 

Also like the iPad Pro there are four speakers, this time tuned by Harman’s AKG (its logo is even on the back), The speakers change the way stereo is outputted depending on orientation and the device is rated at 0.64W. USB Type-C is used for charging. 

We were surprised quite how powerful they were although, naturally, it's hardly room-filling sound. 

The Galaxy Tab S3 is also compatible with Samsung Flow – a cross-platform app that enables you to push information, pictures and links between your devices. It's rather like Pushbullet, if you've ever used that. It'll be very useful for Galaxy owners (of any device) to push stuff across to their PC and vice versa. 

App-wise, there's plenty pre-loaded, with all the key Google apps as well as Samsung's key app suite like Samsung Notes. And if you have Office 365, then the Microsoft Office apps are also pre-loaded. 


T3 Early Verdict

We're big fans of what the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 offers - and we can't wait to review it properly. There is just one problem though - how much does it cost? Do tell us Samsung...

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