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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: What’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: We delve into the technical specs of the Galaxy Tab S3 Android tablet and its Galaxy Tab S2 predecessor to see how they compare in terms of camera, display and media performance.

It has been around two years since Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 landed and finally we can reveal its successor, the Galaxy Tab S3. Well, what else was it going to be called, eh?

The Galaxy Tab S3 has undergone various improvements. To save you the hassle of going through them with a fine-tooth comb to find out what they are and see how it compares with the Galaxy Tab S2, we have written a handy comparison.

Related reading: Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6 vs Galaxy Book 12

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: Specs

Device Galaxy Tab S3 Galaxy Tab S2
Display 9.7″ Super AMOLED (2048×1536) 9.7″ Super AMOLED (2048×1536)
Weight 429g WiFi, 434g LTE 389g
Memory (RAM) 4GB 3GB
Memory (storage) 32GB + MicroSD up to 256GB 32/64GB
OS Android 7.0 Nougat Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera 13MP rear + 5mp front 5MP + 2.1mp rear
Ports USB 3.1 (Type-C) USB 2.0
Processor Snapdragon 820 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz Snapdragon 652/Exynos 5433

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: Design

When it comes to appearances, Samsung has done little to change the formula. Like the Galaxy Tab S2, it features smooth, rounded corners that sit in the hand nicely while the home button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor for security purposes.

There are some key differences, though, such as the addition of a USB 3.1 port for connecting a mouse or other device. It also gets a refined S Pen in the box, complete with a 0.7mm tip and improved touch sensitivity, and a keyboard port for Pogo keyboards.

Sadly there is nowhere to store the S Pen, unlike the smaller and more portable Galaxy Note devices, so you are more likely to lose it.

Another new addition are quad-stereo speakers, which are said to have been tuned by AKG by Harman to make them sound better although this will mean nothing if you typically use headphones or external speakers.

As for physical dimensions, the Galaxy Tab S3 is fatter albeit the difference is a paltry 0.4mm. The Galaxy Tab S2 was available in two different sizes, the smaller of which has been ditched, so we have focussed solely on its bigger brother.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm, 429g WiFi / 434g LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: 237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm, 389g

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: Screen and media

The Galaxy Tab S3 has a 9.7-inch display, mirroring that of the Galaxy Tab S2. Yes, that means there is no eight-inch display option as before. The resolution is identical, at 2,048×1,536 pixels, meaning detail should be on a par.

With that said, the Galaxy Tab S3 benefits from HDR support (of the 10-bit flavour) and support for 4K video playback so you can make likes of The Grand Tour really look its best. Assuming you have access to Amazon Video, that is.

To be specific, media playback on the Galaxy Tab S3 includes recording 4K at 3,840×2,160 pixels at 30 frames per second and playback at the same resolution but at up to 60 frames per second, meaning it will be silky smooth.

Then there is the Galaxy Tab S3’s storage space of 32GB, which can be expanded by up to 256GB using a MicroSD card. The Galaxy Tab S2 offered either 32 or 64GB.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: Performance and battery life

The benefit of time is reflected in the potential performance of the Galaxy Tab S3, which has a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and a healthy 4GB of RAM.

That means it should blitz the Galaxy Tab S2’s Snapdragon 652 or Exynos 5433 processor (it’s a region thing) and 3GB of RAM, although it will take a hands-on to see how big the real-world difference actually is.

On the subject of battery life, Samsung promises up to 12 hours of video playback on the Galaxy Tab S3. The battery capacity is 6,000mAh, which has the Galaxy Tab S2’s 5,870mAh bettered by 130mAh, or 2,000mAh in the case of the eight-inch version.

Fast charging is available on the Galaxy Tab S3, meaning you can plug it in for a relatively short period of time and see a big battery life gain. But hopefully not a fire, as in the case of the Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: Cameras

At the front of the Galaxy S3 tablet is a 13-megapixel camera that should outclass the eight-megapixel offering of the Galaxy Tab S2, while it is a similarly easy fight for the front camera ─ five-megapixel versus 2.1-megapixel. Definitely more suited to taking photos, then.

For our extensive MWC 2017 coverage, point your browser towards the Recombu Mobile MWC 2017 hub. Expect our Galaxy Tab S3 impressions soon.


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