Announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is meant to compete directly with the iPad Pro. Most customers are aware that long gone are the days when each new tablet release introduced a plethora of innovative features and pushed performance to new highs. The differences between flagship tablets are subtle and sometimes easy to miss.
Galaxy Tab S3 vs iPad Pro
We have created this comparison review guide to help you decide whether you should buy the Galaxy Tab S3 or the iPad Pro. If you’re impatient, you may skip to the verdict located at the end of this article, but we firmly believe that you would greatly benefit from drawing your own conclusions based on the information in this article.
Design and Build
Both Apple and Samsung have been borrowing small design elements from each other for a long time, and the Galaxy Tab S3 and the iPad Pro are the results of all the years of design refinement. The tablets are sleek, thin, and decidedly premium.
Both are about the same size, but the Galaxy Tab S3 sports a glossy back that attracts both the eye and fingerprints. Keep it clean and polished, and you will be rewarded with a lovely tablet; neglect it, and your precious device will become the target of scornful remarks. At 6.1mm, the iPad Pro is as thin as tablets get. Some may feel that Apple devices are starting to look rather old, but we appreciate the minimalist design language.
Even though the concept of converged devices has never really taken off as much as some manufacturers would like, there’s no doubt that mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way we work and relax. Both the Galaxy Tab S3 and the iPad Pro are trying to be even more useful by including a handy stylus. Samsung calls it the S Pen and Apple calls it the Apple Pencil.
They both work mostly the same, although the Apple Pencil is geared more toward traditional drawing, and the S Pen is meant for productivity and office tasks. The one thing that really separates the two pens is the fact that Samsung includes their pen in the box. Apple charges $99 for the Apple Pencil, which is far from cheap.
Winner: While looks are something that can’t be objectively measures, the inclusion of the S Pen with the Galaxy Tab S3 gives Samsung an edge over Apple.
The iPad Pro and the Galaxy Tab S3 both feature the same screen size of 9.7” as well as the same resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Despite these similarities, the two displays are noticeably different. Samsung uses their signature AMOLED display technology, which is characterized by deep blacks and vibrant colors. Apple, on the other hand, has a more traditional IPS LCD screen, albeit one of the best we’ve ever seen.
If multimedia consumption is your thing, you should go with the Galaxy Tab S3. Its superior contrast and black levels make movies look more life-like and immersive. That being said, the difference isn’t huge, and both displays represent the very best of current tablet technology.
Winner: The appeal of AMOLED displays is undeniable. The technology makes colors pop out, giving movies and online videos a very distinct immersive look. iPad Pro’s IPS display is great as well, but Samsung is slightly better.
As any seasoned user will tell you, performance benchmarks and hardware specifications never tell the full story. The iPad Pro features Apple’s A9X chip backed by 2 GB of RAM, and the Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by the Snapdragon 820 and 4 GB of RAM. The higher amount of RAM alone might suggest you that the Samsung would be much better when it comes to multitasking, but that’s not the case.
Apple’s total control over their operating system and a high degree of optimization and polish push the hardware to its limits, making the most out of every last megahertz available. Apps load quickly, multitasking is a breeze, the system never freezes, and scrolling is buttery smooth. The Galaxy Tab S3 doesn’t do badly at all, but, depending on which apps you use, you may encounter the occasional lag.
In the camera department, there’s a difference of just 1 MP in favor of Samsung. The 12 MP sensor found in the iPad Pro records 4K resolution video, takes sharp pictures, and comes with an LED flash. The Galaxy Tab’s 13 MP sensor does the same—only sometimes slightly better and sometimes slightly worse. As far as tablet cameras go, both devices are perfectly acceptable and well above the average.
Samsung wins with the addition of a MicroSD slot, allowing users to add up to 256 GB more storage space. Apple customers have to pay up for models with larger storage capacity, and Apple is charging quite a lot of money for every extra GB of space.
Just how much do customers mind limited storage space in the day and age of cloud storage services is anyone’s guess, but everyone hates running out of battery power. At 7,306mAh, compared to just 6,000mAh on the Galaxy Tab S3, the iPad Pro lasts significantly longer than the Samsung.
Winner: Regarding performance, Apple wins thanks to its excellent optimization and a large battery, which can keep it running for around 20% longer compared to the Galaxy Tab S3.
No matter which device you choose, you’ll end up with and excellent tablet suitable for both productivity and leisure. The main deciding factor is which ecosystem you prefer. If you already own an Apple device or two, the ability to log in with your existing Apple ID and continue iMessage threads on the go is extremely useful.