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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 05/03/2017

One for everything. It has been quite a while since Samsung has upgraded its premium tablet. We were therefore eager to see how the new device, which is equipped with a lot of features and even the S Pen, performs. The tablet can convince in our review, but Samsung cannot keep its premium promise in all areas.

High-end Android tablets are quite rare nowadays, so the previous Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 is still a comparatively popular device. Samsung has now announced the new Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825) and satisfies the demand for a powerful high-end product, but has also reduced the number of products. There will not be an 8-inch model anymore and we do not expect an update for the Galaxy Note Pro models either, since the Galaxy Tab S3 is already shipped with S Pen functionality and the corresponding stylus.

Nevertheless, the new tablet offers quite a lot. It is powered by the Snapdragon 820, which is supported by 4 GB of RAM. You also get 32 GB of eMMC storage, which can be expanded by up to 256 GB via the microSD-slot. The 9.7-inch Super AMOLED screen features a high resolution and even supports HDR. A modern USB Type-C port also replaces the outdated Micro-USB. As well as a Wi-Fi only model (SM-T820); you can also get a version with LTE (SM-T825), which corresponds with our test model.

There are hardly any other expensive Android tablets anymore. Most devices are designed as convertibles by now, are often shipped with keyboards, and use Windows 10 similar to the siblings Galaxy Book 10 and Book 12. The Apple iPad Pro 9.7 is certainly the main rival for the Tab S3, but the Lenovo Yoga Book also deserves a look; you can get it both with Android and Windows. We also use the Asus ZenPad 3s 10, the Google Pixel C and the Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro as comparable devices.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825 (Galaxy Tab S Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 530, Core: 624 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
9.7 inch 4:3, 2048 x 1526 pixel 263 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, native pen support, Super AMOLED, HDR, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 23.1 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: combined headphones and microphone jack (3.5 mm), Card Reader: microSD up to 256 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, position, rotation, color spectrum, Hall, G-sensor, BeiDou, Galileo, Wifi Direct, Ant+
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (AWS (B4), 850, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20, 28 and 40), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6 x 237.3 x 169 ( = 0.24 x 9.34 x 6.65 in)
Battery
6000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Quick Charge 3.0, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12 h
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 4 stereo speakers, Keyboard: onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter, USB cable, S Pen, Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Notes, Air Command, Samsung Flow, 24 Months Warranty, USB Type-C (3.1 Gen. 1), body SAR: 0.993 W/kg, fanless
Weight
434 g ( = 15.31 oz / 0.96 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
769 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE is very slim at just 6 mm (~0.24 in), but slightly thicker than its predecessor Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 (5.6 mm/~0.22 in). Front and back are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which is fitted into an aluminum frame. The glass elements are very susceptible to fingerprints, but look very nice when they are clean. The bezels could have been a bit smaller.

The build quality of the tablet leaves an excellent impression in general. The gaps are even and the materials are sophisticated. We had some reservations in terms of stability, but there are no problems, even though there is some creaking when we try to twist it. One small issue: The frame of the card slot is only made of plastic, and there is only a combined slot for microSD- as well as Nano SIM-cards, so they can only be removed together. This was not the case for the Tab S2.

The battery is still integrated and cannot be changed by the user. Unfortunately, Samsung unfortunately has waived any protection against moisture and dust for the Galaxy Tab S3. The camera is now almost flush with the case and only a small plastic frame protects the lens against scratches. The tablet is available in black and silver.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE

Size Comparison

259.1 mm / 10.2 inch 156.4 mm / 6.16 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 461 g1.016 lbs256.6 mm / 10.1 inch 170.8 mm / 6.72 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 690 g1.521 lbs242 mm / 9.53 inch 179 mm / 7.05 inch 7 mm / 0.2756 inch 517 g1.14 lbs241 mm / 9.49 inch 164 mm / 6.46 inch 5.8 mm / 0.2283 inch 430 g0.948 lbs240 mm / 9.45 inch 169.5 mm / 6.67 inch 6.1 mm / 0.2402 inch 444 g0.979 lbs237.3 mm / 9.34 inch 169 mm / 6.65 inch 6 mm / 0.2362 inch 434 g0.957 lbs237.3 mm / 9.34 inch 169 mm / 6.65 inch 5.6 mm / 0.2205 inch 387 g0.853 lbs

Connectivity

You can expand the storage of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 via a microSD-card. All SDHC and SDXC cards are supported, and the maximum capacity you can get right now is 256 GB. As with its other products, Samsung follows its own philosophy and does not allow the formatting as internal storage or the transfer of apps to the microSD.

The manufacturer now uses the universal Type-C connector for the USB port, which supports the standards 3.1 (Gen. 1). OTG is supported as well, so you can attach external flash drives and peripherals. It is also possible to charge other devices via Tab S3.

Supported wireless standards include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi Direct as well as ANT+. It is also possible to stream media contents to suitable receivers within your local network.

Right side: Microphone, card slot, microphone, volume, power
Right side: Microphone, card slot, microphone, volume, power
Top: Two speakers
Top: Two speakers
Left side: POGO pins
Left side: POGO pins
Bottom: Speaker, stereo jack, USB, speaker
Bottom: Speaker, stereo jack, USB, speaker

Software

Samsung ships the Galaxy Tab S3 LTE with Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat in combination with its own Grace UX, which is already familiar from the Galaxy Note 7. The system is equipped with Android security patches as of February 1st 2017. 

Besides feature apps from the Galaxy app store, there are also preinstalled Office apps from Microsoft. The latter cannot be deleted, but only deactivated. You can easily import notes from other Note models via backup function if you have a Samsung account. This worked perfectly with notes from a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

Communication and GPS

The Galaxy Tab S3 can also be used to make calls.
The Galaxy Tab S3 can also be used to make calls.

The Wi-Fi module of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 supports all common IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac in 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks. You also get the 2x2 MIMO antenna technology, which not only does promise a better signal quality, but also higher transfer rates. The test model manages very good results in our measurements with our reference router Linksys EA8500. The range is also good and the Wi-Fi signal quality is still sufficient to stream HD videos, even in 2.4 GHz networks (at a distance of around 12 meters/~6.5 ft to the router, one wall in-between).

The LTE model is equipped with the X12 modem from Qualcomm, but it is limited to LTE Cat. 6 by Samsung. All required bands and a few more are supported, so even frequent travelers should not have any problems.

The two microphones of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 work well, but the recorded voice quality is pretty dull and ambient noise is not suppressed. Occasional calls are okay, but you should use a headset if using the function frequently.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
615 MBit/s ∼100%
Apple iPad (2017)
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, 128 GB NVMe
465 MBit/s ∼76% -24%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
254 MBit/s ∼41% -59%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
209 MBit/s ∼34% -66%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
569 MBit/s ∼100%
Apple iPad (2017)
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, 128 GB NVMe
389 MBit/s ∼68% -32%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
246 MBit/s ∼43% -57%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
209 MBit/s ∼37% -63%
GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Outdoors
GPS Test: Outdoors

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE supports the satellite navigation systems GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo to locate the position. It takes a while indoors to get a clear signal. It is a bit quicker outdoors, but the accuracy could be rather better.

We took the Tab S3 on a short bicycle ride to check the everyday performance and compared the results with the bicycle navigation system Garmin Edge 500. The tablet performs well, but is not quite as accurate as the Edge 500. We can see occasional shortcuts, but the performance is perfectly adequate for car navigation.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825)
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500

Cameras

Picture with the front camera of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Picture with the front camera

The front camera (f/2.2) of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a fixed focus and takes pictures at up to 5 MP. The performance is sufficient for video calls or selfies in good lighting conditions, but sharpness and details are just average. There is also a Beauty Mode for selfies and the maximum video resolution is Full HD (1920x1080 pixels, 30 fps).

The main camera of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a 13 MP sensor (4:3) with auto focus and an aperture of f/1.9. The latter is supposed to ensure good pictures in low-light situations. An image stabilizer is not available. A quick look at the specifications shows that Samsung (unlike Apple) has not equipped its premium tablet with a great camera, but only an average model. The results are decent in good lighting conditions, but they lack dynamic range, which is not changed by the automatic HDR mode either. The autofocus also has problems focusing from time to time. Pictures are rather dark in low-light situations and details are blurry, but the picture noise is not too bad.

The maximum video resolution is Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels, 30 fps) and the clips are limited to ten minutes. The sound of the recordings is okay, but the auto focus still reveals some weaknesses especially with fast camera pans. Colors also appear very pale.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
ColorChecker Passport: The target color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.
ColorChecker Passport: The target color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.

Once again, we checked the color accuracy under controlled lighting conditions and compare the results with the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. Colors are relatively natural, but the red shades are a bit too pale and the grayscale too dark.

The picture of our test chart also reveals some weaknesses. The sharpness could be better, even in the center of the picture, but at least it stays on the same average level towards the edges. Many small details are lost and just look like a gray surface. Dark fonts on dark backgrounds also look very pale and thin.

Accessories and Warranty

The box of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE includes a modular quick-charger (9.0 V, 1.67 A; 5.0 V, 2.0 A), a USB cable (Type-A to Type-C), a SIM-tool, the S Pen as well as  a corresponding tool with three replacement tips to change them. There are also several leaflets for the warranty, security information, and a quick-start guide.

Samsung also offers optional accessories such as a keyboard cover (130 Euros/~$142) as well as the S Pen (90 Euros/~$98). Unfortunately, there is no Book Cover yet, which was common for the previous model. The S Pen from Staedtler with a pencil design, which was announced at MWC in Barcelona, will not be available in all regions. Samsung also offers generic accessories for its products.

The warranty period for the Galaxy Tab S3 is 24 months, twelve months for the battery and six months for the remaining accessories. Samsung also offers Mobile Care Packages, which covers battery or display and liquid defects for two years. Customers have to pay an additional 10% of the retail price in case of a damage.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Handling

TThe capacitive touchscreen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It provides very good gliding capabilities and is both responsive as well as precise. The display supports inputs via Samsung's S Pen, which was developed in cooperation with Wacom. It is also compatible with other Samsung devices. It works perfectly on a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and has even improved compared to the old S Pen, but the S Pen of the Tab S3 is even noticeably better compared with the test model, because Samsung has implemented a better digitizer layer into the panel.

Compared to the Note Pro 12.2, the new pen is bigger and therefore more comfortable to use. However, it cannot be stored inside the case anymore. At least, the optional keyboard cover offers a latch for the pen. The writing experience is totally different compared to older Pro-devices and much improved. As with the Galaxy Note 7, notes can now be taken directly on the standby screen without activating the device. The other S Pen features are similar as well. The S Pen is still not equipped with its own battery.

The physical buttons have crisp and well-defined pressure points, are very responsive and firmly integrated into the aluminum frame of the chassis. The fingerprint scanner also works conveniently and unlocks the device pretty quickly.

The optional keyboard cover is unfortunately limited to 2 different stand angles and is secured by magnets. It is not perfect for the use on the lap. The keyboard layout, however, is very good and all the 64 keys have convenient travel with a good typing experience, even though the surface is a bit squeezed due to the form factor. We also miss a background illumination for the keys. The cover is attached to the Galaxy Tab S3 via magnets and connected via POGO pins.

Onscreen keyboard Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Onscreen keyboard Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Display

Subpixel arrangement Super AMOLED panel Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Subpixel arrangement
PWM behavior at the minimum luminance.

The 9.7-inch Super AMOLED screen features 2048x1536 pixels and also supports the playback of HDR content. This is particularly good news for users of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video.

Our test model manages only an average brightness distribution, but this is no problem in practice. The display of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 reaches up to 452 nits at the center on a pure white background with the activated ambient light sensor. We can even measure up to 633 nits in the more realistic APL50 measurement, but only up to 302 nits with the manual control.

Clouding is not an issue for the Galaxy Tab S3 thanks to the OLED technology. The tablet can also produce absolute black, which ensures brilliant contrast levels that tend toward infinite. However, the tablet uses pulse-width modulation to control the luminance. It is active on every brightness level and fluctuates between 220 and 240 Hz. It seems Samsung has not used its rates AMOLED generation, but an older version, maybe even the panel from the predecessor.

433
cd/m²
438
cd/m²
472
cd/m²
442
cd/m²
452
cd/m²
488
cd/m²
476
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
526
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 526 cd/m² Average: 468.2 cd/m² Minimum: 1.56 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 452 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.8 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 1.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
99.06% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 82.32% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.11
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Super AMOLED, 2048x1526, 9.7
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Super AMOLED, 2048x1536, 9.7
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
IPS, 1920x1200, 10.1
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
IPS, 2048x1536, 9.7
Google Pixel C
LTPS, 2560x1800, 10.2
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
IPS, 2048x1536, 9.7
Apple iPad (2017)
IPS, 2048x1536, 9.7
Screen
-11%
-94%
11%
-145%
-141%
-0%
Brightness middle
452
358
-21%
392
-13%
523
16%
487
8%
489
8%
514
14%
Brightness
468
357
-24%
385
-18%
500
7%
510
9%
443
-5%
485
4%
Brightness Distribution
82
86
5%
91
11%
93
13%
91
11%
86
5%
88
7%
Black Level *
0.59
0.52
0.39
0.43
0.46
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.8
1.78
1%
4.5
-150%
1.1
39%
5.24
-191%
5.5
-206%
1.4
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4
7.8
-95%
1.9
52%
11.6
-190%
2.9
27%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.2
1.38
-15%
4.8
-300%
1.4
-17%
7.95
-563%
6.7
-458%
2.1
-75%
Gamma
2.11 104%
2.24 98%
2.47 89%
2.11 104%
2.16 102%
2.06 107%
2.22 99%
CCT
6500 100%
6366 102%
7426 88%
6662 98%
6565 99%
7457 87%
6647 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
82.32
62.97
-24%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.06
99.55
0%
Contrast
664
1006
1249
1137
1117

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 221.2 Hz ≤ 100 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 221.2 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 100 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 221.2 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9370 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We check the color accuracy of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with a spectrophotometer and the analysis software CalMAN. As with its predecessor, there are different picture modes. The adaptive settings are active by default, which is supposed to select the right settings based on the content. There are also three selectable color profiles, and we had a closer look at them.

All profiles manage very accurate color and visible deviations for the human eye are limited to individual colors. We can see the highest deviation for blue with the profile Simple at a DeltaE value of 4.8. The grayscale never exceeds a DeltaE of 2.6 in any case. We noticed the biggest differences in terms of color gamut. While the profile Simple is using the smaller sRGB, Photo is targeting AdobeRGB and Cinema P3. The color gamut is also comparatively wide.

Grayscale (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
Grayscale (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
ColorChecker (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
ColorChecker (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Photo, target color space: AdobeRGB)
Grayscale (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
Grayscale (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
ColorChecker (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
ColorChecker (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
Saturation Sweeps (profile: Cinema, target color space: P3)
vs. sRGB (99.06%)
vs. sRGB (99.06%)
vs. AdobeRGB (82.32%)
vs. AdobeRGB (82.32%)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
3.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 1.2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Sunlight is not an unsolvable challenge for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. The high luminance and the good contrast, ensure the visibility of content even in very bright environments. Only the panel surface can create strong reflections depending on the viewing angle.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE outdoors
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE outdoors

The viewing angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is on par with the previous model. The luminance drop from flat angles is small and we can notice a green cast when the angle exceeds 90 degrees, which is typical for many OLED panels.

Viewing angles Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is not the latest high-end SoC anymore, but the performance is still very good. The graphics adapter Adreno 530 shares the designation with the GPU from the 821, but the clocks are slightly lower. The components are rounded off by 4 GB of RAM.

The tablet performs well in the benchmarks, only PCMark determines a score on par with the predecessor Galaxy Tab S2, and even the Galaxy S8+ is only a tad faster. The comparison with the modern high-end smartphone from Samsung still shows that the CPU and GPU performance could have been better with a current top-tier SoC. The iPad (2017) is also faster than the test model in the system as well as GPU benchmarks. This does not make a big difference in practice right now, but might change in 1 or 2 years.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
168840 Points ∼58% +17%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
165382 Points ∼56% +15%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
144426 Points ∼49%
Apple iPad (2017)
128706 Points ∼44% -11%
Google Pixel C
90568 Points ∼31% -37%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
88989 Points ∼30% -38%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
86735 Points ∼30% -40%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
74177 Points ∼25% -49%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
29823 Points ∼10% -79%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
117.1 fps ∼1% +27%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
104 fps ∼1% +13%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
92 fps ∼1%
Apple iPad (2017)
80.8 fps ∼1% -12%
Google Pixel C
69 fps ∼1% -25%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
38 fps ∼0% -59%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
31 fps ∼0% -66%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
29 fps ∼0% -68%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
29 fps ∼0% -68%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
14 fps ∼0% -85%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
59.4 fps ∼2% +1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
59 fps ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
58 fps ∼2% -2%
Apple iPad (2017)
56 fps ∼2% -5%
Google Pixel C
39 fps ∼1% -34%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
31 fps ∼1% -47%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
29 fps ∼1% -51%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
23 fps ∼1% -61%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
23 fps ∼1% -61%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
13 fps ∼0% -78%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
51 fps ∼9% +6%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
50 fps ∼9% +4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
48 fps ∼9%
Apple iPad (2017)
40.6 fps ∼7% -15%
Google Pixel C
40 fps ∼7% -17%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
17 fps ∼3% -65%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
14 fps ∼3% -71%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
14 fps ∼3% -71%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
13 fps ∼2% -73%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
5.6 fps ∼1% -88%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
38 fps ∼10% +12%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
35.1 fps ∼10% +3%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
34 fps ∼9%
Apple iPad (2017)
28.7 fps ∼8% -16%
Google Pixel C
22 fps ∼6% -35%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
15 fps ∼4% -56%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
12 fps ∼3% -65%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
9.7 fps ∼3% -71%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
9 fps ∼2% -74%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
5.2 fps ∼1% -85%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
42 fps ∼1% +31%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
39.5 fps ∼1% +23%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
32 fps ∼1%
Google Pixel C
31 fps ∼1% -3%
Apple iPad (2017)
28.5 fps ∼1% -11%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
7.7 fps ∼0% -76%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
7.2 fps ∼0% -77%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
26.9 fps ∼1% +42%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
23 fps ∼1% +21%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
19 fps ∼1%
Apple iPad (2017)
18.5 fps ∼1% -3%
Google Pixel C
13 fps ∼0% -32%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
7 fps ∼0% -63%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
4.2 fps ∼0% -78%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
fps ∼0% -100%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
25 fps ∼6% +32%
Google Pixel C
24 fps ∼6% +26%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
19 fps ∼5%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
4.8 fps ∼1% -75%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
13 fps ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
13 fps ∼8% 0%
Google Pixel C
12 fps ∼7% -8%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
3.1 fps ∼2% -76%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
fps ∼0% -100%
PCMark for Android
Storage score
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
4585 Points ∼14% +59%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2884 Points ∼9%
Work 2.0 performance score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
5432 Points ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5195 Points ∼43% -4%
Work performance score
Google Pixel C
6858 Points ∼35% +22%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5830 Points ∼30% +4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
5608 Points ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
5565 Points ∼28% -1%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5204 Points ∼27% -7%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
4504 Points ∼23% -20%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
3898 Points ∼20% -30%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
3536 Points ∼18% -37%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Apple iPad (2017)
1213 Points ∼60% +20%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
1185 Points ∼58% +18%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
1163 Points ∼57% +15%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
1086 Points ∼53% +8%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1022 Points ∼50% +1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1007 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
973 Points ∼48% -3%
Google Pixel C
884 Points ∼43% -12%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
648 Points ∼32% -36%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
9 Points ∼0% -99%
Graphics
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
6485 Points ∼22% +31%
Google Pixel C
6355 Points ∼22% +29%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
6126 Points ∼21% +24%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4941 Points ∼17%
Apple iPad (2017)
4569 Points ∼16% -8%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
2035 Points ∼7% -59%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
1385 Points ∼5% -72%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1302 Points ∼5% -74%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
1185 Points ∼4% -76%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
729 Points ∼3% -85%
Memory
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3135 Points ∼42% +62%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2212 Points ∼29% +15%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
2185 Points ∼29% +13%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1931 Points ∼26%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
1887 Points ∼25% -2%
Apple iPad (2017)
1341 Points ∼18% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
1270 Points ∼17% -34%
Google Pixel C
868 Points ∼12% -55%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
750 Points ∼10% -61%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
590 Points ∼8% -69%
System
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
6098 Points ∼37% +74%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5319 Points ∼32% +52%
Apple iPad (2017)
4680 Points ∼28% +34%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
3581 Points ∼22% +2%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
3505 Points ∼21%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
3071 Points ∼19% -12%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
2867 Points ∼17% -18%
Google Pixel C
2724 Points ∼17% -22%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
2047 Points ∼12% -42%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
1250 Points ∼8% -64%
Overall
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3301 Points ∼39% +37%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
3181 Points ∼38% +32%
Apple iPad (2017)
2441 Points ∼29% +1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2409 Points ∼29%
Google Pixel C
1909 Points ∼23% -21%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1800 Points ∼21% -25%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
1652 Points ∼20% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
1506 Points ∼18% -37%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
1103 Points ∼13% -54%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
283 Points ∼3% -88%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
6375 Points ∼21% +64%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5277 Points ∼18% +36%
Apple iPad (2017)
4432 Points ∼15% +14%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
3884 Points ∼13%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
3324 Points ∼11% -14%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
3118 Points ∼10% -20%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Apple iPad (2017)
2550 Points ∼42% +53%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
1952 Points ∼33% +17%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1726 Points ∼29% +3%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1668 Points ∼28%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
1592 Points ∼27% -5%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
1025 Points ∼17% -39%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
6695 Points ∼12% +60%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4187 Points ∼7%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
2015 Points ∼32% +15%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1745 Points ∼28%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
1280 Points ∼24% +108%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
1206 Points ∼23% +96%
Apple iPad (2017)
1061 Points ∼20% +73%
Google Pixel C
764 Points ∼14% +24%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
615 Points ∼12%
ANDEBench PRO
3D
Google Pixel C
104.7 fps ∼80% +75%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
60 fps ∼46%
Platform
Google Pixel C
268.9 Points ∼4% +20%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
224.2 Points ∼3%
Storage
Google Pixel C
6135 KB/s ∼6% +51%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4069 KB/s ∼4%
Memory Latency
Google Pixel C
6624 KOps/s ∼82% +63%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4056 KOps/s ∼50%
Memory Bandwidth
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
18870 MB/s ∼90%
Google Pixel C
9465 MB/s ∼45% -50%
CoreMark-PRO/HPC (Base)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
5299 Points ∼83%
Google Pixel C
3617 Points ∼56% -32%
Device Score
Google Pixel C
13745 Points ∼53% +11%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
12353 Points ∼47%
Epic Citadel - Ultra High Quality
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
59.7 fps ∼97% +15%
Google Pixel C
56.6 fps ∼92% +9%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
52.1 fps ∼85%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPad Pro 9.7 Apple A9X, Apple A9X / PowerVR Series 7XT, Apple 256 GB (iPad Pro 9.7 NVMe)
 
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE Samsung Exynos 5433 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP6, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Pixel C Nvidia Tegra X1, NVIDIA Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch HiSilicon Kirin 950, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M Mediatek MT8176, PowerVR GX6250, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F Intel Atom x5-Z8550, Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPad (2017) Apple A9, Apple A9 / PowerVR GT7600, 128 GB NVMe
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

We use the preloaded Samsung Browser 5.2 for the browser benchmarks. The results are good, but cannot compete with Apple’s iPads and also reveal some weaknesses in terms of the Java applications you can use within the browser. Subjectively, however, we could not determine any limitations in everyday applications and websites are completely and quickly loaded on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
225 Points ∼28% +70%
Apple iPad (2017)
205 Points ∼25% +55%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
154 Points ∼19% +17%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
136 Points ∼17% +3%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
132 Points ∼16%
Google Pixel C
128 Points ∼16% -3%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
115 Points ∼14% -13%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
98 Points ∼12% -26%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
79 Points ∼10% -40%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
56 Points ∼7% -58%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
19621 Points ∼37% +106%
Apple iPad (2017)
18148 Points ∼35% +90%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
14050 Points ∼27% +47%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
11404 Points ∼22% +20%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
9531 Points ∼18%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
8060 Points ∼15% -15%
Google Pixel C
7563 Points ∼14% -21%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
6885 Points ∼13% -28%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
3596 Points ∼7% -62%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
2672 Points ∼5% -72%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
14064 ms * ∼24% -527%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
6483.2 ms * ∼11% -189%
Google Pixel C
5533.1 ms * ∼9% -147%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
4419 ms * ∼7% -97%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
3001 ms * ∼5% -34%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2822.9 ms * ∼5% -26%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2244.4 ms * ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
2236.7 ms * ∼4% -0%
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
1546.3 ms * ∼3% +31%
Apple iPad (2017)
1457.7 ms * ∼2% +35%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
143 Points ∼41% +235%
Apple iPad (2017)
128.6 Points ∼37% +201%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
62.198 Points ∼18% +46%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
57.4 Points ∼16% +34%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
53.7 Points ∼15% +26%
Google Pixel C
47.4 Points ∼13% +11%
Lenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90F
44.84 Points ∼13% +5%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
42.73 Points ∼12%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
41.12 Points ∼12% -4%
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
18 Points ∼5% -58%

* ... smaller is better

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is equipped with 32 GB of eMMC storage, but you can only use 23.1 GB after the initial set-up. The flash storage is slightly faster compared to the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7, but far from being fast by modern standards. Samsung could at least include 64 GB if the storage is so slow.

It is also possible to expand the storage via a microSD-card. The performance of the slot is on a combatively good level, but it cannot utilize the full performance of our reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (THN-M401S0640E2, UHS-1 Class 3, up to 95 MB/s read, up to 80 MB/s write).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTEHuawei MediaPad T2 10.0 ProGoogle Pixel CHuawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inchAsus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500MLenovo Yoga Book Android YB1-X90FSamsung Galaxy S8 Plus
AndroBench 3-5
-32%
-52%
-25%
9%
-27%
-34%
80%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
58.56
13.98
-76%
23.52
-60%
26.9
-54%
30.6
-48%
57.24
-2%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
76.39
17.57
-77%
61.65
-19%
45.15
-41%
48.9
-36%
71.12
-7%
Random Write 4KB
13.13
9.82
-25%
9.86
-25%
10.08
-23%
31.35
139%
6.8
-48%
11.7
-11%
15.27
16%
Random Read 4KB
45.82
25.56
-44%
14.59
-68%
19.96
-56%
32.04
-30%
24.85
-46%
23.5
-49%
127.18
178%
Sequential Write 256KB
87.6
49.37
-44%
78.2
-11%
109.38
25%
117.15
34%
136.5
56%
80.6
-8%
194.18
122%
Sequential Read 256KB
288.58
248.24
-14%
131.04
-55%
154.29
-47%
249.68
-13%
209.3
-27%
143.4
-50%
787.6
173%

Games

The Qualcomm Adreno 530 in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a powerful GPU, which supports modern graphics interfaces such as OpenGL ES 3.2 or Vulkan. It is powerful enough for smooth gameplay in all games from the Google Play Store, even at the highest settings.

This is supported by the benchmarks. It does not matter if you play “Asphalt 8” or “Dead Trigger 2”, both games can be enjoyed without stutters. The loading times, however, are slightly longer due to the slow storage. It also looks as if Samsung has installed a frame limit, because both games are capped at 30 fps, which is sufficient for smooth gameplay. The frame rates in “Asphalt 8” are steady, even after one hour.

Both the sensors and the touchscreen work flawlessly and the Galaxy Tab S3 is compact enough for the hands, despite its size. The sound is comparatively good, not only because of the four speakers, but you can also never completely cover them with the hand.

Dead Trigger 2 on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Asphalt 8 Airborne on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The surfaces of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 are never lukewarm, not even under sustained workloads and most areas do not exceed 30 °C (~86 °F). The highest recorded temperature while idling is just 28.9 °C (~84 °F).

We had a closer look at the performance under sustained workloads with the GFXBench Battery Test Manhattan 3.1. The Tab S3 can maintain its performance for 16 runs of the demanding test, before the results drops by almost 50%. Our sustained gaming test with “Asphalt 8” in the Games section, however, shows that this does not affect the gaming capabilities in practice.

Max. Load
 31.6 °C
89 F
34.4 °C
94 F
28.3 °C
83 F
 
 29.2 °C
85 F
28.5 °C
83 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
 27.3 °C
81 F
28.3 °C
83 F
29.7 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 34.4 °C = 94 F
Average: 29.4 °C = 85 F
26.8 °C
80 F
30.2 °C
86 F
31.1 °C
88 F
26.7 °C
80 F
26.4 °C
80 F
28.8 °C
84 F
26.9 °C
80 F
26.5 °C
80 F
26.9 °C
80 F
Maximum: 31.1 °C = 88 F
Average: 27.8 °C = 82 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.6 °C = 87 F | Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.4 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 34.8 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.2 to 51.8 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 31.1 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.8 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 thermal image under load with a Flir thermal camera
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 thermal image under load with a Flir thermal camera

Speakers

Pink Noise diagram Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Pink Noise diagram

The four stereo speakers of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 were developed in cooperation with AKG and Harman and work similar to the modules in the Apple iPad Pro 9.7. They automatically adjust to the orientation of the tablet and provide an even sound experience; it does not matter if you use the Tab S3 in portrait or landscape mode. This works very well in practice.

The quality of the speakers is comparatively good and the performance for mids and high tones is pretty linear; only the iPad Pro is better within the comparison. The Tab S3 can be really loud at more than 86 dB(A), but will sound a bit tinny in this case. The result is decent when you use average volume levels. We cannot hear background noise, even with a very quiet playback.

Samsung is using a Qualcomm SoC, so Bluetooth supports the playback of audio contents via aptX HD (24-bit, high-res). We did not experience any issues with the connection. The output via 3.5 mm stereo jack is also possible and the playback is subjectively clear and without any static.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.639.82525.430.73125.330.64032.933.55033.632.26331.630.38028.425.91002726.612520.826.81602236.220021.346.325020.861.331521.27240019.475.350019.573.863017.780.880017.980.5100017.879.2125017.373.4160017.474.1200016.772250017.268.5315018.267.7400017.970.7500017.672.8630017.769800017.873.51000017.970.31250018.167.71600018.264.4SPL3086.5N1.371median 17.9median 70.7Delta1.38.339.631.432.735.235.439.635.230.636.927.629.735.227.530.127.224.829.527.527.828.428.227.129.727.834.845.632.435.439.734.831.934.833.53733.931.931.633.628.530.328.531.63437.733.527.828.2344345.529.434.126434650.636.736.520.64650.854.239.840.120.750.855.560.842.342.820.655.561.363.246.147.42161.359.266.746.447.118.459.26368.445.44618.76359.166.447.74817.959.164.770.950.752.918.664.768.173.853.254.817.568.173.178.65860.416.973.175.178.859.259.317.475.169.575.854.455.716.269.569.378.954.559.416.969.371.776.556.656.317.571.770.378.953.858.317.270.369.481.452.960.917.769.472.482.955.862.517.472.469.48253.160.317.669.461.678.345.15617.661.65875.239.851.617.85848.868.73145.717.948.882.490.666.970.529.882.453.28520.625.51.353.2median 63median 73.8median 47.7median 52.9median 17.8median 638.49.37.27.31.68.43730.934.43725.629.328.925.628.931.523.728.929.331.830.929.33935.937.23933.535.130.533.52730.928.52722.432.722.322.423.534.522.923.530.438.92030.434.443.420.434.440.649.719.840.644.255.620.344.247.158.619.247.152.265.917.952.257.172.616.357.15770.417.65758.472.41858.46176.917.66163.779.21763.760.376.717.260.359.275.717.759.256.977.717.356.963.181.917.463.166.688.517.766.664.584.81864.553.975.617.753.947.569.518.247.542.164.217.942.133.357.317.833.373.392.829.873.329.588.31.329.5median 53.9median 70.4median 17.9median 53.99.411.71.39.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSamsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825Apple iPad Pro 9.7Google Pixel C
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.51 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 32% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple iPad Pro 9.7 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (90.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 23% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 22% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Google Pixel C audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (92.79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 65% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 68% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Battery Runtime

Power Consumption

Samsung has reduced the power consumption of the Galaxy Tab S3 significantly compared to the previous model; it is only beaten by some rivals while idling at the lowest luminance. Good news for the battery runtimes.

The tablet also supports Quick Charge 3.0, but it is only shipped with the usual quick-charge adapter from Samsung, so the possibilities are not fully utilized. A full recharge takes about three hours; the charge is 13% after 15 minutes and 23% after 30 minutes. 80% is available after 103 minutes.

The provided power adapter is very efficient and only pulls 0.0005 watts from the socket.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.29 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.08 / 3.5 / 3.58 Watt
Load midlight 6.97 / 7.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
6000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
5870 mAh
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
7306 mAh
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
6600 mAh
Google Pixel C
 mAh
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
5900 mAh
Apple iPad (2017)
8.827 mAh
Power Consumption
-31%
-59%
-5%
-32%
-25%
-64%
Idle Minimum *
2.08
2.3
-11%
1.71
18%
1.58
24%
1.82
12%
1.59
24%
2.06
1%
Idle Average *
3.5
4.5
-29%
7.55
-116%
4.12
-18%
4.26
-22%
4.14
-18%
7.42
-112%
Idle Maximum *
3.58
5
-40%
7.62
-113%
4.15
-16%
4.33
-21%
4.23
-18%
7.47
-109%
Load Average *
6.97
9.4
-35%
8.39
-20%
6.2
11%
9.82
-41%
10.89
-56%
9.45
-36%
Load Maximum *
7.4
10.4
-41%
12.08
-63%
9.27
-25%
13.99
-89%
11.58
-56%
12.31
-66%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Maximum power-saving options Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Power saver

The battery of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a capacity of 6000 mAh and is only slightly bigger compared to the Tab S2 9.7 (5870 mAh). The battery runtimes, however, are significantly longer, thanks to the reduced power consumption.

The Galaxy Tab S3 performs well among the comparison group and even beats the two iPads. The tests at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits are perfect to compare the rivals. Samsung’s tablet is basically on par with the Apple competitor in the Wi-Fi test, but the video runtime is much shorter. The runtime of 6:33 hours in the PCMark for Android Work 2.0 Battery Test is also only an average result.

Samsung has implemented several power-saving features to increase the battery runtime of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. They have an effect on the luminance, processor performance, and the background activities of apps.

We refer to this article if you want to know the right way to charge lithium-ion batteries to maintain their capacity and extend their lifespan.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
31h 43min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
12h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 15min
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
6000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
5870 mAh
Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro
6600 mAh
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
5900 mAh
Apple iPad (2017)
8.827 mAh
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
7306 mAh
Battery Runtime
-26%
-27%
-22%
-2%
-6%
Reader / Idle
1903
918
-52%
1230
-35%
1453
-24%
1496
-21%
1850
-3%
H.264
551
651
18%
593
8%
600
9%
845
53%
708
28%
WiFi v1.3
760
393
-48%
416
-45%
518
-32%
764
1%
779
3%
Load
375
291
-22%
248
-34%
225
-40%
225
-40%
186
-50%

Pros

+ high-quality and slim case
+ expandable storage
+ USB 3.1
+ long runtimes
+ powerful SoC
+ fast Wi-Fi
+ great display with HDR
+ S Pen included
+ decent speakers
+ call functionality

Cons

- only LTE Cat. 6
- slow storage
- weak cameras
- no NFC
- no high-end feeling

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE (SM-T825). Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany.
In review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 LTE (SM-T825). Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 LTE is a very good tablet, which does not rely on modern high-end hardware across the board (as with the Apple iPad 2017), but the overall package is very compelling.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 might not offer many superlatives, but it is currently the best Android tablet.  

Besides a great display with HDR support, good speakers, improved battery runtimes and S Pen support, the Wi-Fi module in particular is very fast. The integrated Snapdragon 820 is certainly not the latest SoC from Qualcomm, but the performance is still very good. Only the small and slow eMMC storage is not a good fit for a premium multimedia tablet. Samsung has not included very good cameras either, so there is no real premium feeling.

We really like the S Pen support though. It is shipped with every Tab S3 and leaves an excellent impression. 770 Euros (~$839) is still a lot of money for a tablet, and there are not many reasons to switch if you already own a Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and can do without the pen.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825 - 04/26/2017 v6(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
77 / 80 → 96%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
51 / 65 → 79%
Weight
84 / 40-88 → 92%
Battery
93%
Display
90%
Games Performance
61 / 68 → 90%
Application Performance
58 / 76 → 77%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
76 / 91 → 83%
Camera
61 / 85 → 72%
Average
79%
91%
Tablet - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2017-05- 3 (Update: 2019-04-13)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.