Samsung announce new Galaxy Tab S3 and limited edition S Pen at MWC 2017 and tease upcoming S8
A teaser of the Galaxy S8 isn’t all we got at MWC 2017, Samsung took the opportunity to show off two high-powered premium devices in the form of the Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book. Samsung’s SurfaceBook challenger will be available in 10.6 and 12-inch flavours, but we don’t have much more in the way of detail, so for now, let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
The Galaxy Tab S3 update is the most premium approach that the company has taken to its tablet line-up to date and as a result, it’s pretty damn powerful on paper. We didn’t get too long to play with it at MWC, but the brief time we had gave us a good to see the Tab S3’s main strengths; build, screen quality and power. The Galaxy Tab S3 has 4GB RAM and uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset, with the Adreno 530 graphical processing unit, bolstered by the 3D-graphic rendering might of the Vulkan API. The Adreno 530 is the same GPU featured in the new LG G6 and Sony XZs flagship smartphones, which provides beefier and more efficient processing power for displaying high-resolution content, such as HDR video streamed via the Amazon app.
The screen resolution of the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S3 is 2048 x 1536, giving it a pixel density of 264 ppi, which makes it almost identical to the iPad Pro on paper. But the critical difference is the fact that the Samsung tablet uses an AMOLED screen, as opposed to the backlit LCD screen on the iPad, which should give the Samsung the edge in terms of contrast and colour depth. The content we viewed on the Galaxy Tab S3 was crisp and bright, ideal for viewing graphically rich movies and games, despite not being 4K. It’s also packing four high-quality speakers, designed by audio engineers from AKG Harman further boosting the immersive qualities of content enjoyed on the Galaxy Tab S3.
Form and function
Measuring 237.3 x 169 x 6mm and weighing 429g (Wi-Fi), 434g (LTE), the Galaxy Tab S3 features a premium-feel glass back and it’s thinner than the iPad Pro, as well as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S (both 7.1mm). But despite being a “slim ting”, it’s comfortable to hold and also seems ideal for note taking thanks to the inclusion of an updated S Pen. The all-new S Pen measures 9.4mm in diameter and sports a narrower 0.7mm tip with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and it worked accurately and gave a natural pen-on-page feel when we had a play with it. We also loved the advanced functionality of the S Pen, such as the ability to isolate a section of video playing on the screen (from YouTube for example) and use it to create your own GIFs.
Under the hood there’s a 6000mAh battery with fast charging via USB-C 3.1 that’s rated to provide 12 hours of video playback. The battery isn’t the biggest, but the fast-charging capabilities, efficient chipset and running Android N OS out of the box should make it sufficient for most people’s needs.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 can be pre-ordered from Samsung directly now and is expected to drop at retailers in early April for around £599 (32GB), head here for more info. As for the S8, we’re expecting to see the official release of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone at an ‘Unpacked’ launch event on March 29. Be sure to heDD back here for details.