Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – Battery life
Whenever you mention batteries and Samsung, the exploding Note 7 will probably come into the conversation. And considering the Tab S3 is one of the first big releases since that phablet was pulled from sale, it’s very important for Samsung that nothing goes wrong here.
That whole battery controversy might be one of the reasons why the Tab S3 has a slightly conservative 6000mAh cell inside, which is much smaller than the 9000mAh cell that keeps the Pixel C motoring along. It’s still larger than the Tab S2’s, but that display and all those speakers are power hogs.
Considering the size, I am actually quite impressed by the stamina of the Tab S3 and in my tests it managed to just about match the 12 hours of video playback Samsung is advertising. This could all change when HDR content becomes more prominent, though.
Related: What is HDR?
A 45-minute video stored on the device, with the brightness set to 50%, eats through about 5-6%, while an hour of Netflix streaming takes it down by around 11-12%. Standby time is great, something that’s very important on a device you might go a few days without using.
Samsung has included one of its USB-C adaptive fast chargers in the box, and it charges up the tablet in around two hours – about half the time it takes to fully charge an iPad.
Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3?
If you have a spare £599 and want a tablet solely for getting the best video-watching experience around, then there isn’t a tablet better than the Samsung Tab S3. I could happily watch videos on the AMOLED HDR screen all day long. The included S Pen is great, too.
But it feels like Samsung is pushing the limits of Android on a tablet too far here. The software is unfinished and the multitasking capabilities are buggy and limited. I can forgive Android apps lacking the polish of their iOS counterparts when I’m paying £300 or less for a tablet, but when this is the same price as an iPad Pro, it’s harder to stomach.
Related: Best Android tablets
A desirable tablet ultimately let down by its software and high price.
How we test tablets
We test every tablet we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the tablet as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Software & Apps 5
Sound Quality 6
Screen Quality 10
Battery Life 8
Build Quality 8