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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – tech specs, comparisons, reviews, and more

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 - tech specs, comparisons, pics, more

The new top-shelf tablet from Samsung sports HDR-ready Super AMOLED display, quad-speakers tuned by AKG, and comes with a refined S Pen.

On February 26, 2017, Samsung announced two tablets, Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book, designed to give a premium mobile entertainment.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED 2048 × 1536 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, 13 MP main camera, 32 GB memory (expandable via microSD card), and runs Android 7.0 Nougat.

It’s one of the first tablets that are ready to display HDR (High Dynamic Range) content. You’ll be able to watch on it 10-bit colored HDR videos “for true-to-life colors and vivid digital content.”

The metal frame and glass on both the front and back make the new Galaxy Tab S3 look extremely classy. There are two more features that make it truly premium.

First, to give the user an enhanced listening experience, Galaxy Tab S3 features four stereo speakers that are tuned by AKG.

There is also an improved S Pen that is included in the pack. The pen is more precise and pressure-responsive than ever before and has “the intelligence to translate, magnify, navigate and create with a full palette of brush and pen types.”

The overview is divided into a few sections. You can jump to them right now:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – price and launch details

The new Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 can be ordered on Samsung website since March 17, 2017. The official price is $599.99. It’s $100 more than the price of Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7, launched in September 2015.

On the pictures below, you’ll see the new tablet with the keyboard case. Unlike S Pen, the case, although made specifically for Tab S3, has to be purchased separately. It will ship in early April 2017. If you need it, you’ll have to spend extra $129.99.

The launch date is still not revealed on Samsung website. However, when you head to Best Buy, you’ll see Galaxy Tab S3 ready to be picked up in stores on March 24, 2017.

If you pre-order Galaxy Tab S3, either on Samsung or Best Buy website, you’ll get a free 64GB memory card.

In the UK, the launch date of Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is set for March 31, 2017.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – comparisons

Let’s start with the comparison to the earlier-generation model. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 came in two sizes – 8 and 9.7-inch. In the table below you’ll obviously see the bigger versions compared.

The price difference is $100, so it’s good to see whether the features of the 2017 Galaxy Tab S3 justify the bigger price.

When it comes to the display, the resolution and pixel density are the same. The difference is in HDR support. HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range,” a technology for reproducing a wider dynamic range of luminosity.

Galaxy Tab S3 is HDR-ready. Its screen and processor are capable of handling High Dynamic Range content. If you’re looking for the tablet with the best possible display, you should have no doubts – the new model is the one to pick up.

Next generation devices are usually thinner and lighter. While the 2017 Galaxy Tab S3 has the same width and height, its depth is bigger than the 2015 model. The difference is about half a millimeter. Not a big problem? I think so.

The problem may be the weight. Galaxy Tab S3 is heavier by 40 grams than its predecessor and weighs 15,13 oz (429 g). The increase in weight is mainly caused by using glass on the back of the tablet. Compare it to soft and thin plastic panel in Galaxy Tab S2 9.7.

In conclusion, there are several areas where Galaxy Tab S3 is a clear winner:

  • better processor,
  • more memory via microSD card,
  • bigger RAM memory,
  • display is HDR-ready,
  • better cameras, both on front and rear,
  • newer operating system – Android 7.0 Nougat,
  • comes with S Pen.

Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 vs. Galaxy Tab S2 9.7

Feature Tab S3 (2017) Tab S2 (2015)
Display size 9.7-inch 9.7-inch
Display resolution 2048 × 1536 px 2048 × 1536 px
HDR support Yes No
Pixel density 264 ppi 264 ppi
Processor Quad Core (2.15 GHz + 1.6 GHz Quad) APQ8096 Octa Core (1.8 GHz Quad + 1.4 GHz Quad) APQ8076
Internal memory 32 GB 32 GB
RAM memory 4 GB 3 GB
microSD Yes
up to 256 GB
up to 128 GB
S Pen Included Not included
Cameras Front: 5 MP
Rear: 13 MP
Front: 2.1 MP
Rear: 8 MP
Digital zoom 4x 4x
Weight 15.13 oz
429 g
13.72 oz
389 g
Dimensions 9.34 × 6.65 × 0.24 in
237 × 169 × 6.1 mm
9.34 × 6.65 × 0.22 in
237 × 169 × 5.6 mm
Body colors Black, Silver Black, White, Gold
Operating system Android 7.0 Nougat Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Release date March 24, 2017 September 3, 2015
Launch price $599.99 from $499.99

The direct competitor of the new Galaxy Tab S3 is Apple’s top-end iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch model launched in 2016 and its performance and features were comparable to Tab S3.

With the introduction of iPad Pro 10.5, the landscape is changing. The new tablet from Apple has a powerful processor and advanced Retina display with ProMotion technology.

Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 vs. iPad Pro 10.5

Feature Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 iPad Pro 10.5
Display size 9.7-inch 10.5-inch
Display resolution 2048 × 1536 px 2224 × 1668 px
Pixel density 264 ppi 264 ppi
Processor Quad Core (2.15 GHz + 1.6 GHz Quad) A10X Fusion chip + M10 coprocessor
Internal memory 32 GB 64 GB
256 GB
512 GB
RAM memory 4 GB 4 GB
microSD Yes
up to 256 GB
Cameras Front: 5 MP
Rear: 13 MP
Front: 7 MP
Rear: 12 MP
Weight 15.13 oz
429 g
16.54 oz
469 g
Dimensions 9.34 × 6.65 × 0.24 in
237 × 169 × 6.1 mm
9.80 × 6.8 × 0.24 in
250.6 × 174.1 × 6.1 mm
Body colors Black, Silver Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold
Operating system Android 7.0 Nougat iOS 10
Release date March 24, 2017 June 12, 2017
Launch price $599.99 from $649

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – review round-up

Are you interested in reading reviews before making a final decision whether to buy or not Samsung’s latest premium tablet? Don’t look any further.

We’ve got the round-up of the most interesting passages from reviews written by top tech experts. Here they are:

Samsung didn’t deviate much from the previous Tab’s aesthetic, choosing instead to build the S3 from more premium materials. It’s not the most inspired or exciting design, but it succeeds in making the tablet feel classier and more expensive.

Don’t think of the Tab S3 as a laptop replacement and you’ll find it a perfectly capable machine that’s largely inoffensive. Whether that’s worth $600 depends on how much you want a really nice screen and loud speakers.

–Cherlynn Low, Engadget

Both the front and rear cameras on the Tab S3 are a functional but muddy mess — pretty much every photo I’ve taken looks like it’s been softened and smudged.

The stylus is one of the best things the Tab S3 has going for it. […] The S Pen’s tip has the perfect balance between gripping the tablet’s screen when you want to touch something and gliding over it when you want to write.

–Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Aside from the dearth of available and compatible HDR content, gaming performance isn’t as snappy as it should be for a high-end tablet. […] But if a sharp screen, great audio and an excellent stylus is on your must-have features list, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a top choice for indulging in binge-watching style, wherever you go.

What’s the point of buying an HDR-ready tablet if there are no HDR movies or TV shows to watch on it?

–Xiomara Blanco, CNET

The Tab S3’s 6000 mAh battery lasted an average of 448 minutes on our Wi-Fi test, or about 7.5 hours. The battery lasted 376 minutes, or just about 6 hours, on our graphics test. That’s decent for a tablet and an improvement over the Tab S2, but not the best

While Samsung did enough to set the Tab S3 apart from its predecessor, it doesn’t offer anything spectacularly different that would persuade a consumer to the Android tablet space.

–Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

The Galaxy Tab S3 is easily the best Android tablet you can buy right now thanks to its all-glass design upgrade, future-proofed HDR-ready display and included S Pen.

It has a finely crafted design, powerful AV capabilities and high-end tablet specs, even if they’re the guts of many 2016 smartphones.

–Matt Swider, Tech Radar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – pictures

Take a closer look at Samsung’s latest top-end tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 with a revolutionary S Pen

Black Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 with S Pen - front view

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 comes with S Pen and two colors: Black and Silver

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 with a keyboard

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 has powerful Quad speakers

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 comes with 32GB memory expandable by 256GB

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 supports Samsung Flow

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 with White Cover

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – official video introduction

Samsung has released the official video that lets you take a closer look at the company’s new tablet.

Don’t expect too many tech details – the video simply shows off how glossy the Galaxy Tab S3 is.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – full tech specs

Check out the full technical specifications of the 2017 9.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

Screen 9.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, HDR-ready
Screen resolution 2048 × 1536 (QXGA) px
Pixel density approx. 264 ppi
Storage capacity 32 GB
microSD card Yes, add up to 256 GB via microSD slot
RAM memory 4 GB
Processor Quad Core(2.15 GHz + 1.6 GHz Quad), Qualcomm APQ8096
Body colors Black
Battery Li-Ion 6000mAh, non-removable
Battery life Up to 12 hours on a single charge
Charge time 3 hours of Adaptive Fast Charging
Weight 15.13 oz / 429 g
Dimensions 9.34 × 6.65 × 0.24 in / 237.2 × 168.9 × 6.1 mm
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2, profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, DI, HFP, HID, HOGP, HSP, MAP, OPP, PAN, PBAP
Ports USB Type-C (3.1)
microSD card slot
3.5 mm stereo jack
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
Sound Quad DSL Type 1709 3.0t speakers, tuned by AKG
Supported audio formats MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Supported video formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
Sensors Accelerometer, fingerprint sensor, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor, hall sensor,RGB light sensor
Cameras Main / Rear: 13 MP AF with Flash, f/1.9
Secondary / Front: 5 MP FF, f/2.2
In the box Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7
S Pen
Quick Start Guide
Power Adapter
USB Type-C cable
Release date March 24, 2017
Prices Black, 32 GB – $599.99
Silver, 32 GB – $599.99

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – product info

Here are the highlights from the official Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 (2017) page on Samsung website.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 2017 thumb

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 with S Pen

Black / 32 GB

HDR-ready Super AMOLED display
Featuring High Dynamic Range on a Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy Tab S3 delivers cinematic vividness, detail and deep contrast to a screen that fits in your hands.

Powerful processor
A Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor gives you more power and speed for gaming.

S Pen – the pen nature intended
The revolutionary S Pen has true-to-life pressure and angle sensitivity with the intelligence to translate, magnify, navigate and create with a full palette of brush and pen types. And just like a real pen, it never needs to be charged.

Detachable keyboard – perfect pairing
Easily switch from touch to type with a featherlight keyboard that auto-pairs, attaches on contact and never needs charging.

Powerful Quad speakers
Powerful Quad speakers, tuned by AKG, calibrate with your movements as you rotate the Galaxy Tab S3, and intuitively reflect what’s playing on-screen.

Lightning quick charging
Groundbreaking charge speed powers you through up to 12 hours on a single charge. Then you can get back up to a full charge with three hours of Adaptive Fast Charging.

Expandable memory
Store all your photos with built-in 32GB of storage that expands up to an extra 256 GB.

⇢ Galaxy Tab S3 $599.99

Original Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Keyboard Case Cover

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 Keyboard Cover


Stylishly efficient
Start typing in a flash. With its sophisticated texture design and intuitive POGO pin connectors to simplify setup and speed up usage time the Galaxy Tab S3 Book Cover keyboard is equally practical as it is pleasing to the eye.

Type confidently
Manage your workflow with better proficiency. The Galaxy Tab S3 Book Cover keyboard features a sensible, user-friendly key placement with longer pitch and stroke to significantly improve overall accuracy and boost productivity.

⇢ Keyboard Cover $129.99

• • •

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