Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S series is a top-of-the-range segment of the tablet universe of Samsung, hosting a third generation of slates. Like her eldest, she adopts a 4: 3 format and an “iPad” template to better go hunting on land of the latest “Pro” version of the Apple tablet. Nevertheless, its high definition coupled with HDR predispositions and a beautiful power in a remarkable casino have some reason for its endurance.


Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S series is a top-of-the-range segment of the tablet universe of Samsung, hosting a third generation of slates. Like her eldest, she adopts a 4: 3 format and an “iPad” template to better go hunting on land of the latest “Pro” version of the Apple tablet. Nevertheless, its high definition coupled with HDR predispositions and a beautiful power in a remarkable casino have some reason for its endurance.

More than a year and a half after the arrival of the Galaxy Tab S2, Samsung is updating its high-end tablet by slightly raising the tone and adding.

If the screen looks unchanged, always with a 9.7-inch 4: 3 format and a 2048 x 1536 px resolution on a Super Amoled panel, Samsung adds HDR compatibility to the menu. The Galaxy Tab S3 is the first tablet in the market to offer this feature, previously reserved for televisions and landing on smartphones (LG G6, Sony Xperia XZ Premium … and Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 +) . Below the display, there is not a Samsung Exynos mobile phone chip, but Quad-Core Snapdragon 820 from Qualcomm, clocked at 2.15 GHz. A platform that could be found on a good part of the high-end 2016 smartphones. To this, the manufacturer adds a 4 GB RAM, a storage capacity of 32 GB expandable via the addition of a microSD card and a photo-video capture provided by a 13 Mpx sensor at the rear and 5 Mpx at the front. For wireless connectivity, there are the usual Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and GPS that inhabit high-end Android tablets.

Like the Galaxy A5 or Galaxy S8, this slate also goes to the USB-C port, adds 4 speakers (sound section in collaboration with AKG, which now belongs to Samsung) and has a central physical button in which is integrated with a fingerprint reader. A battery of 6000 mAh feeds all this and the machine runs Android 7.0 Nougat, with TouchWiz interface, a custom at Samsung.

To enjoy the joys of the tablet Galaxy Tab S3, you will have to pay for the launch some 679 €. For this “iPadian” tariff, the South Korean has at least the good idea to provide the stylus, unlike Apple. On the other hand, it imitates it in the provision of the dedicated keyboard, since it will be necessary to pay an additional expense of 149 € to add it to Tab S3. The attachment tool is on the way to writing as we complete this test, we will share our observations once we have done it. Note that a 4G version is also in the pipes, for an upcoming release.



The Galaxy Tab S2 borrowed its lines from the Galaxy A5 and A3 – the “bad” offspring of 2015, not the good grain that we have known since last year. This time, the Tab S3 is very inspired by the A5 / 3 2016 and therefore the Galaxy S6. Two plates of glass connected by a beveled aluminum perimeter and a thickness of just 6 mm, unpacking, this tablet has sacred visual arguments.

The finishes are remarkable. Samsung clearly wanted to raise its level to offer a piece of choice on the segment of slates. It is a pity, however, that the firm has not yet sought to make progress on optimizing the space occupied by the screen. The deal does not change from one generation to the next, with an Amoled slab that still occupies barely 69% of the front. As for the iPad, that being. The grip does not really change, the measurements remaining globally identical to those of the old version or even those of a classic iPad. The use of a glass with the appropriate treatment even allows the product not to slip too much hands.
On the left side, there are the magnetic hangers and the intelligent connector used to associate and power the physical keyboard dedicated to the Tab S3. A system that we see as much on the two iPad Pro already launched in the trade as on the Microsoft Surface, for example.

The fingerprint reader placed in the central physical button works almost perfectly. It is not necessarily of absolute rapidity, and it happens that a finger affixed too perpendicularly – even if the system asks to record it so as to avoid any inconvenience – is not recognized, but 90% of the time unlocks the device without any problem. Good point, it is not necessary to press the button to activate the fingerprint reading.

Still a success on the part of the Amoled for Samsung. In our comparison of smartphones, the brand already trustees the first places. In the land of slates, the South Korean maker does not take off from the Top 5 with a Tab S3 which ranks third in our tablet display rankings, taking just the place of the Galaxy Tab S2. The two screens share many qualities, but the Galaxy Tab S3 pushes some further points further. On the contrary, Super Amoled obliges, we are in front of abysmal blacks and therefore an infinite contrast. It is here with an excellent brightness of more than 740 cd / m², almost double that of the Tab S2. Auspicious for HDR content! The parasitic light reflections are also rather rare thanks to a good treatment of the slab, with a reflection rate equal to that of the Tab S2, namely 9%. The iPad Pro 9.7 inches however remains master in the home with 5% only.


The color rendering is also based on that of the old generation, with an average Delta E of 2.2, a small gap between perfect colors and those displayed by the tablet and one of the best renders of the market, quite simply. A very balanced colorimetry that is only valid if you choose the “Basic” mode in the Display settings of the slate settings menu. The color temperature then follows the same path of perfection


To accompany Android 7.0 Nougat, Samsung does not appal its new interface “Experience” that can be seen on the Galaxy S8, but still continues a little the way of the untouchable TouchWiz. The interface of the South Korean nevertheless dresses of the routine applications (Gmail, Chrome, Play Store, YouTube, Drive …), but also of a software suite Microsoft because, do you understand, this tablet has a pro side. We have access to OneDrive, Skype, Powerpoint, Word, Excel and OneNote at startup.
Note that all application icons feature a “round” design (above) and rather coarse. A turn in the display settings to remove the contours breathes a much more comfortable Material Design air (below).

In addition to its traditional duplicates of Google apps, such as emails, web browsing or the app store (Galaxy Apps), Samsung also incorporates applications of its own rather useful. Notes, the well-known, allows to capture multitudes of notes handwritten, tapped, drawn, by hand or via the stylus; Flow offers the ability to sync a Samsung smartphone to the slate and be able to take over the notifications from one to the other (in the way of Apple’s Hand Off of iOS); Pen.up is a social network of designers; Secure folder, Knox’s new name, allows access to be locked and hide sensitive folders and contents; the Child mode, inducted on the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, is offered and passes the device into playful and educational tool for toddlers.

As it has done in the past, the brand also offers a real multitasking, with the possible display of two applications simultaneously via screen sharing. The execution is almost immediate, but requires to open each application first, to go through the multitasking tab (in drop-down menu) and then to enter a window to fix it on one side of the screen. Same with her neighbor. You can also exit this mode to return to a classic use, then return to the dual display via a tactile interaction in the left corner of the screen. Practical in itself, but deserves a little more work still on the ergonomics.

The score could have been higher for this section, but some uses are still very frustrating, especially when Samsung sells a “Pro” integration and flexibility to compensate for the lack of PC in the user’s lap . The most emblematic of these frustrations is the impossibility, quite simply, to transfer photos of the gallery in a doc Word or even in an e-mail via a simple drag / drop when the apps are side by side. The action is feasible, but the same error message returns tirelessly. Pity.

Performance Ray, with a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM to report, the Galaxy Tab S3 necessarily ranks among the most powerful slates of the circuit. Just behind the iPad Pro 9.7, actually. Apart from the opening of some games that skates a little, the Tab S3 is of remarkable velocity, with clear, fluid and fast transitions, even with two heavy apps open simultaneously. Nice work optimization.


By downloading the Samsung Video application for free via the Galaxy Apps store (not loaded at the first startup anymore), you get one of the best mobile video players on the market, in terms of speed and depth of options , such as the ability to pass a video thumbnail to continue using the tablet. However, there is still no support for .AVI container files. To do this, you will have to opt for a third-party application from the Play Store, such as VLC.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a good student on the audio level. Its headphone output is both powerful and without audible distortion. It also offers good dynamics and a reproduction of the stereo image above the average of the tablets. It is important not to activate the different options present in the parameters. These have only one noteworthy effect: they deteriorate all measures and listening, in fact.

There are 4 loudspeakers placed on the side slices (in landscape mode) of the tablet. These are pretty good and deliver a comfortable power to watch a movie, or even listen to some music. Their default stereo rendering is very good and, again, it will not be necessary to activate the “surround” function so as not to spoil the party.

With a Snapdragon 820 in the belly and its graphics chip Adreno 510, the Galaxy Tab S3 leaves with one of the best assets of the world to offer a game of quality videoludic. All the Android games available on the Play Store will run at full speed without ever suffering slowdowns. On the other hand the launches can sometimes drag a little, for no apparent reason. Note that this tablet wins in passing the function Game Tool, appeared on the Galaxy S7 in the first place. Tools that make it possible to bring up a menu in superimposition in full play to record video parts extracts, make screenshots, manage notifications …


The first two generations of Galaxy Tab S opted for 8-megapixel main photo sensors. The Tab S3 goes to 13 Mpx and is a good idea since the tablet offers a photo capture very honest for what one can expect from a touch tablet.

The details are a good white balance and a flash that can be useful if you want to capture moments in the evenings with a slate … Samsung even thought of integrating shooting modes, “Pro” light (exposure, white balance, ISO sensitivity) and HDR.
The front sensor does not miracle compared to other modules of the market, but it offers a most correct and rather clean, even with a fleeting ambient light. Nothing to fear for the good reception of your face during a video conversation, in short.



Has Samsung seen it too good to want at all costs a product so fine involving a battery of only 6000 mAh while being able to contain the power of the Snapdragon 820 and a gourmet screen? Without a doubt. This was already one of the almost unsatisfactory points of Tab S2 and this is all the more so here. Although a little more endurance than its elder, the Tab S3 offers a little more than 11 hours of operation, 2 hours longer than the Tab S2. However, the autonomy crumbles slightly when it comes to entering the heart of the multimedia subject: 9:30 am in video playback (12:30 pm for the Tab S2, more than 11 hours for the iPAd Pro 9.7) . At stake, the sentence falls after less than 5 hours of leisure. Performance that may be forgiven for a mid-range product or just less promising, but still it is that the Galaxy Tab S3 lacks assurance in a key criterion.

As for the previous day, the same screen off, the Tab S3 continues to erase the battery points, with an average loss of 10% in a big day of inactivity. The filling of the battery benefits from the fast charge. In less than 3 hours, the complete cycle is completed.

The Galaxy Tab S3, like the iPad Pro, will certainly not replace a laptop, too limited and still in its interactions between applications. Ready for the future of display with an HDR screen orphaned of any content, the tablet imposes on many points, including multimedia and a note system to the mature stylus, but autonomy would have deserved a more particular care.