Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a ruggedized model and a predecessor to the trendy Tab Active2 design. This new model comes in a compact and sleek design to meet the demanding needs of your field workforce.
When searching for an ideal tablet that can boost the productivity and performance of our mobile employees, I came across this new Samsung model. It’s built for working safely in the most challenging outdoor conditions and environments.
In this review, we will look at all the new features such as an upgraded S Pen, and the improved operating system.
Who Is This Device For?
Tab Active 3 is a tablet that’s designed for frontline workers working in harsh environments. It’s suitable for use indoors, in the field, or on the road. Its military-grade ruggedness confers this ability.
This tablet supports multi-task performance, making it a suitable tool for transforming digital operations for transportation, manufacturing, public and retail sectors. Its HD resolution also makes Tab Active 3 an excellent device for watching movies, including your favorite Netflix series.
On the downside, it may not be ideal for entertainment because of its speaker’s sound quality; you may not hear actual stereo separation.
What’s Inside the Box?
Besides the tablet, you’ll find an upgraded S Pen (Stylus), a manual, a USB charger, and a replaceable battery in the box. You can choose to purchase a detachable keyboard that’s sold separately.
Check out the best keyboard for tablets
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 9810
- Operating system: Android 10
- Display: 8 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution LCD
- RAM: 4GB
- Cameras: 13 megapixel rear and 5MP front-facing
- Video Recording: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) @30fps
- Storage: 64GB/128GB plus microSD expansion card slot
- Connectivity: 802.11ax Wi-Fi, NFC, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, and 4G LTE
- Water/dust resistance: IP68 with MIL-STD 810H ruggedness
- Battery: up to 11 hours
- Dimensions: 213.8 x 126.8 x 9.9 mm and 426 grams
- Weight: 0.93lbs (426 grams w/o protective case)
- Colors: Black
- Network: 2G, 3G, 4G
What Sets Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 from the Rest of the Devices?
This tablet brings back the core functionalities of the famous Tab Active2, such as a replaceable battery, military-grade design, and improved touch for use with gloves. In addition, it includes some additional aspects such as Samsung wireless DeX3, a programmable key, and Wi-Fi 6/MIMO connectivity.
Let’s review some of the main features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3
This tablet comes with an 8inch display at 1920 x 1080P resolution. With this resolution, I find texts and icons to be very sharp. When comparing this tablet with Samsung’s smartphones which are edgeless, I found out that it has thicker edges. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3’s display responds extremely well to touch.
Tab Active 3 is like an enhanced version of the Galaxy A 8-inch tablet. Its corners are rounded and reinforced, making it have a slightly retro appearance. This is crucial to prevent screen damage in case it hits a hard surface. Its dimensions are 126.8 x 213.8 x 9.9mm and a weight of 429g; this makes it compact and easy to maneuver. The tablet also includes an “inbox cover” that houses Samsung’s iconic S Pen.
This tablet includes a robust Exynos 9810 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. These features offer it the capability to handle the needs of modern digital businesses. It’s Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO offers extremely fast Wi-Fi connectivity for enhanced data transfer speeds.
Tab Active 3 comes with a replaceable 5050mAh battery that you can charge easily via a USB and POGO pins. It also includes a “No Battery Mode” to help businesses that work in a fixed location to operate the device without a battery. The battery is the same as what you’d find in an ordinary flagship Android smartphone. According to my experience, this battery can last you about 11 hours.
Touch sensitivity is one of the hallmark features of Tab Active 3. This functionality allows you to use the devices while wearing gloves.
Tab Active 3 comes with a 13MP camera with an f/1.9 lens on its back and a 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera. When using the camera, I found out that it takes some decent shots with an excellent amount of detail. For businesses, you can rely on Tab Active 3 for scanning barcodes or taking quick shots of documents. The tablet lets you film a resolution of up to 4K. It also supports Google ARCore to develop real experiences, which is vital for monitoring a building site or training.
The S Pen that comes with this tablet is larger than what you’d find in other tablets, Note phones, and Chromebooks. The tablet’s S Pen and keyboard attachment are must-have accessories that I’ve found useful in unlocking its full potential. This S Pen includes a fine 0.7mm tip made of rubber and a clickable side button that helps you execute common Air Command.
Below the screen, you’ll find the typical Android buttons. A fingerprint button is linked to the tablet’s home button. This scanner works extremely fast. You can unlock this scanner via facial recognition.
New Programmable Key
This programmable key is one of the striking features of Tab Active 3. It’s found on the side of the tablet. Tab Active 2 doesn’t have this programmable key, but it’s present in premier tablets such as Galaxy XCover and Tab Active Pro. You can configure this key to open commonly used applications, including push-to-talk capabilities and scanning barcodes.
Pros and Cons
- Programmable key
- Used with gloves on
- Powerful S Pen
- You can use it without a battery
- Limited Android experience
- Somewhat pricey
- Inadequate sound quality
Comparing Tab Active 3 to the Previous Model
|Model||Tab Active 3||Tab Active 2|
|Screen||8 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution LCD||8.0 inches Super AMOLED Screen (1280 x 800 Pixels)|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 9810||Samsung Exynos 7870|
|Storage||64GB/128GB plus microSD expansion card slot||16GB with microSD card slot up to 256GB|
|Camera||13 megapixel rear and 5MP front-facing||8.0MP AF + 5.0MP, Flash|
|Operating system||Android 10||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Weight||426 grams w/o protective case||419g|
Comparing Samsung Tab Active 3 with Tab Pro
We tested and compared the two tablets based on the following parameters:
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is 8-inch with a screen resolution of 1200 x 1920 pixels, while Tab Pro is 12.2 inches and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. If you’re looking for a gadget with a bigger screen and better screen resolution, then the Tab Pro is your go-to solution.
Tab Pro would be better for gaming due to its superior functionalities. However, Samsung Tab Active 3 can also play games but the performance is a bit slow.
Tab Active has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, while Tab Pro includes an 8MP back camera and a 2MP front camera. If you fancy clear photos to post on your social platforms then the Tab Active 3 fits the bill.
Verdict after testing both devices
Having tested both tablets, the Tab Pro is better based on its superior features and performance.
Is Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 worth buying?
If you’re in search of an ideal tablet for your field or business operations, Tab Active 3 would be an excellent choice. Its water and dust resistance capabilities make it a great tool to use in the field. But if you’re looking for a tablet for entertainment, this model may not be perfect.
Does this tablet have an in-built GPS?
Yes! Tab Active 3 includes a built-in GPS. This makes it suitable for field workers. Its GPS helps you get the exact real-time coordinates of the user.
Can I use Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 as a cell phone?
Yes. You can turn this tablet into a makeshift phone (especially the LTE version) and make calls from anywhere. Tab Active 3 can come in handy to help you communicate with other people in case your phone fails in the field. You only need to insert a SIM card and you’re ready to make calls.
What to Consider When Choosing a Tablet of This Nature
When looking for a tablet of these specifications and price, you need to consider the following:
Tablets come in different sizes and can be categorized into three primary groups:
Small: 7-9 inches
Medium: 9-11 inches
Large: 12 inches or bigger
Those with bigger screens are more expensive, although this may not be the case always. Choose a tablet that meets your specific needs. Samsung Tab Active 3 isn’t really made for entertainment, but for the work environment and smaller screen only means it’s more convenient and easier to use/navigate.
It’s also crucial to consider the tablet’s processor since it reflects its performance. Most modern models have an A7, A8, A8X, or A9X processor. A tablet with a more powerful processor will offer better performance. The processors also differ from one manufacturer to another. For instance, most Samsung tablets will have a Snapdragon or Exynos processor.
RAM (Memory) and Storage
Most tablets in this category will have RAM ranging from 4GB to 16GB. Also, consider the storage capacity and expandability. Most tablets in this category will range from 8GB internal storage to 128GB and can be expanded to 256GB to 1TB.
When choosing a tablet, it’s essential to consider its battery capacity. Choose one that can last at least 7 hours on a single charge; the longer the battery life the better.
Size and Weight
A tablet is a mobile device. That’s why you should consider its size and weight. Its dimensions determine its size. If you’re choosing a tablet to use in the field, it should be compact and lightweight.
To watch full HD, you need a tablet with 1080p resolution. Besides, you need to consider the tablet’s rear and front cameras. Most tablets will range 8MP to 16MP for the rear camera and 2MP to 5MP for the front MP.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is designed to handle core tasks for workers in retail, manufacturing, and field service sectors among others. Its military-grade ruggedness and other functionalities make it a suitable device to use in the field and in the office. Users can also use the tablet for gaming, listening to music, and watching movies. But if you want a more powerful tablet for entertainment, you can consider purchasing Tab Pro or Galaxy XCover.