This year’s Mobile World Congress is well underway in Barcelona and at its press conference on Sunday February 26, Samsung announced a brand new member of the Galaxy tablet family.
Called the Galaxy Tab S3, this high-end tablet is naturally going to be compared to Apple’s market leading iPad Pro. We’ve been at Samsung’s launch event getting hands on with Samsung’s new tablet and we’ve taken the opportunity to draw some early comparisons between this new Android heavy-hitter and the iPad Pro.
We’ll be doing a more in-depth comparison between the two at a later date but for our initial early impressions check out the video below and for our full hands on review of the Tab S3, click here.
There are some obvious similarities between the two that make them natural rivals: both have 9.7 inch displays, both have similarly positioned fingerprint scanners, both come with a stylus, and Samsung has even launched its own Samsung pencil (though it’s distinctly more pencil-like than Apple’s having been developed with Staedtler).
There are also, however, notable differences between the two. In terms of materials, the back of the Tab S3 carries the glossy glass around from the screen whereas the iPad Pro has a more metal ceramic feel. This makes the tablets feel different in your hands and we think with its glass back the Galaxy Tab S3 feels lighter and thinner, but just slightly less premium as a result.
The iPad definitely has the benefit of being part of the Apple OS ecosystem with apps designed to suit it – it makes it feel more like a tablet experience than Samsung’s Android system which is essentially a scaled up Galaxy smartphone.
Though neither tablet comes with a keyboard in the box, a big plus for Samsung is that the Tab S3 comes with its pencil whereas the iPad Pro doesn’t.
Battery life is a close call: Apple’s battery is slightly larger so while the iPad Pro can get around 10 hours of battery life we’re expecting a full charge on the Tab S3 will yield around 8 or 9 hours.
We expect both tablets to be similar in terms of price, with Samsung perhaps undercutting Apple ever so slightly.
Really, it comes down to the operating system. If you’re an Android fan with an Android smartphone, you’re naturally going to be drawn to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, but if you prefer to be fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem it’s going to be hard to resist the iPad Pro.
- MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.