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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung unveiled its next iPad-rival during Mobile World Congress 2017 on 26 February. The new tablet will hit shelves on 31 March, with pre-orders starting from 17 March.

Here is how the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 compares to 2015's Galaxy Tab S2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Design

  • 6.0mm slim metal build 
  • S Pen comes with the Tab S3
  • USB Type-C expected for Tab S3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a very similar design to its predecessor, offering a lovely solid metal build, rounded corners and a fingerprint sensor within the home button on the front of the device.

The new model brings USB Type-C, a keyboard port for Pogo keyboards, and S Pen functionality, as well as the S Pen in the box though no dedicated slot for it within the tablet, as there is on the Note range of smartphones. The Galaxy Tab S3 also has quad-stereo speakers tuned by AKG by Harman.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes, rather than just one, and it too has a metal build with rounded corners and a fingerprint sensor within the home button on the front of the device. The smaller Tab S2 measures 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm and weighs 265g, while the larger model has a footprint of 237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm and weighs 389g.

By comparison, the Galaxy Tab S3 has 237.3 x 169 x 6.0mm build, meaning it is slightly thicker than its predecessor but it has the exact same footprint elsewhere. The LTE model weighs 434g, while the Wi-Fi model weighs 429g, making it a little heavier than 2015's model.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Display

  • Tab S3 has 9.7-inch display, like larger Tab S2
  • HDR on Tab S3
  • Both models have Quad HD resolution

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 comes in just one screen size at 9.7-inches, rather than two like the Tab S2. The former model came in 9.7-inch and 8-inch options.

Super AMOLED technology is on board the Tab S3, like its predecessor, along with a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, meaning the sharpness and crispness of both tablets should be identical.

The Tab S3 also introduces HDR and 4K video playback to the party though, which means support for HDR content and a partnership with Amazon offers users will have easy access to it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Hardware

  • Tab S3 has faster processor
  • Tab S3 has more RAM
  • Better camera on Tab S3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, supported by 4GB of RAM and a 6000mAh battery. It is available with 32GB of internal storage, microSD support for storage expansion and it comes in Wi-Fi and LTE variants.

The new slab also comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera. As mentioned, USB Type-C is also on board, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 comes with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor or the Exynos 5433 chip, depending on the region. Both have 3GB of RAM and they both come in 32GB or 64GB storage options with microSD support.

The larger Tab S2 model has a 5870mAh battery, while the smaller model has a 4000mAh capacity, both of which are charged via Micro-USB. Both models also have an 8-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front camera.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Software

  • Android Nougat on Tab S3
  • S Pen features for Tab S3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 launches on Android Nougat from the box, while the Tab S2 launched on Android Lollipop and will eventually get updated to Nougat in the first half of 2017.

There are several new features on board the new Tab S3, especially with the advantage of the S Pen included in the box. Users will have access to Off Screen Memo with the newly improved S Pen, as well as Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Notes, Air Command, Samsung Flow.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Price


  • Tab S2 starts from £399 for 9.7-inch Wi-Fi model
  • Tab S3 starts from £599

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 starts from £599 and will be available from 31 March, with pre-orders starting on 17 March in the UK.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 starts at £329 for the 8-inch model and £399 for the 9.7-inch model. The 4G models cost a little more but the Tab S3 is still quite a bit more expensive. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Tab S2: Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 brings a number of updates compared to the Tab S2, including processing power, camera improvements and software experience.

The inclusion of the S Pen is a big bonus, while the support for HDR and the introduction of quad-stereo speakers will also appeal to some. It does come with quite a significant price jump though, so budget will be more of a consideration with the new model.

On paper, the Galaxy Tab S3 is the clear winner but that's not always the same when it comes to the real world. We will update this feature when we have reviewed the Tab S3 to let you know how it compares to the Tab S2 based on experience.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.