Update:The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has been certified by a US regulatory agency, suggesting it’s almost ready for launch and giving a glimpse at its design.
Android tablets may feel like a dying breed but the latest rumors suggest Samsung hasn’t given up on them just yet.
Samsung is set to make a follow-up to 2015’s Galaxy Tab S2 with the – you guessed it – Galaxy Tab S3. We gave the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 four stars, citing a lighter design, the 4:3 display ratio and improved TouchWiz software as the highlights.
It wasn’t without issues though, as the spec upgrade was only small and we weren’t all that impressed by the battery life. But the Galaxy Tab S2 is still in second place in our best tablets list – so if Samsung gives it some impressive upgrades for the Tab S3 it may be ready to take the top spot.
Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2Cut to the chaseWhat is it? Samsung’s latest flagship Android tabletWhen is it out? Maybe MWC 2017What will it cost? Expect it to start at $399, £319, AU$499. It’ll be more for higher storage versions.Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 release date
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab S2 in July 2015, but didn’t release the tablet until September.
An official listing on the support section of Samsung’s website referenced the Galaxy Tab S3 suggesting it would be ready to be released in September 2016 – but there was no official news. We even thought it might appear at IFA 2016 but in the end there was nothing.
The tablet has also received its official Bluetooth certification, and FCC (Federal Communications Commission – a US regulatory agency) certification, both of which suggest it’s almost ready for launch.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 specs and rumors
There doesn’t seem to be much agreement on what specs the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will have.
The latest rumors, coming from Naver News, suggest it will have a 9.6-inch 2048 x 1536 display, which is the same resolution as but marginally smaller than the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2.
The same source adds that we’ll see a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 12MP camera, both Wi-Fi and LTE models, Android 7 Nougat and a thickness of just 5.6mm.
That thickness is the same as the Galaxy Tab S2, suggesting the Tab S3 could have a similar design, with a metal frame and plastic back. Though we can’t be sure yet, as our only real look at the slate is a basic sketch on an FCC document.
But an earlier leak out of China doesn’t entirely line up, claiming that the Galaxy Tab S3 will have 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, fast charging and an Exynos 7420 chipset.
It’s the chipset bit that’s at odds with the latest rumor, and while it’s possible that Samsung will use different chipsets for different regions, as it has with the Galaxy S7, the Exynos 7420 isn’t in any way an equivalent of the Snapdragon 820, as the 820 was a flagship 2016 chip, while the 7420 is from 2015.
And that’s not the only conflicting leak. The earliest rumors suggest it’ll boast an upper mid-range Snapdragon 652 chipset with 3GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and 32GB of storage. While another rumor points toward the Galaxy Tab S3 coming with an 8MP rear camera and 2MP on the front for your selfies.
While we doubt it will have a mid-range spec, leaked benchmarks gave the tablet a multi-core score of 4,275, which is lower than the Galaxy S7, but still impressive.
The tablet has also received its official Bluetooth certification, so we can pretty much guarantee the tablet will come with the wireless tech on board. And although the rumors only mention one size, it’s likely that the Tab S3 will launch in a roughly 8.0-inch variant too, as the Galaxy Tab S2 did.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 price
The price of the Galaxy Tab S3 will come down to a lot of factors. The Galaxy Tab S2 cost $399, £319, AU$499 for the smallest storage size and 8-inch version of the tablet.
It was $499, £399, AU$599 for the 32GB 9.7-inch version of the tablet. We’d expect similar pricing this year, but there may be a few differences and it’ll likely be even more if you go for a larger storage size model.
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