The best of the best of Android and iOS has now come for an end-all-be-all comparison. Going head-to-head is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs Apple iPad Pro 10.5.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Review – A better option to iPad…
- iPad Pro 10.5 Review – Is It Worth Upgrading To?
Design-wise, it’s more of a personal preference. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 goes for a more simplistic and minimalistic look that many may find appealing. However, the iPad Pro 10.5 too has its own glamour that the Galaxy Tab S3 doesn’t have. The more-pronounced chamfered edges that the iPad Pro has definitely is a win for me.
Even with the iPad Pro’s larger profile, I find it easier to handle even while in commute or walking. The metal unibody allows this since it provides a better grip at bare compared to the Galaxy Tab S3’s glass front and back faces.
The tried-and-tested button placements on the iPad Pro still work well in today’s standards but the same cannot be said for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. They’re meant to be handled with both hands, and the ease that the iPad Pro’s buttons give cannot be matched by the single-sided button placements of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
Speaking of the sides, both have quad speakers that are nothing short of spectacular which we’ll get to later. I’m afraid that this might be the very reason that Samsung placed the physical buttons, save the home button, on the right side.
Flipping both over presents a pleasing arrangement with a few elements. I find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3’s centered and near-flush camera more appealing than the iPad Pro’s iconic camera positioning that bulges a bit. I find this trade-off worth it because the iPad Pro 10.5, in my opinion, has the best rear camera out of all the tablets so far.
Before we get to the tablets’ individual camera performance, let me tread a bit on the display. This is where things start to get interesting. The iPad Pro 10.5 touts what is universally new on tablets – a 120Hz panel which Apple calls ProMotion. Being a PC person, this was definitely a treat to know and I was more than excited to unbox and launch it.
Do note that it wouldn’t run all applications at 120Hz, especially games. However, what I’m amazed at is the fact that in multitasking, you can run 120Hz and 60Hz apps side-by-side without any issues. I suppose that Apple implemented PBP or Picture-by-Picture to make this possible. I can also confirm that this isn’t interpolated 60Hz that is usually used for TV’s.
Color-wise, the infamous oversaturation that Super AMOLED displays provide didn’t exempt the Galaxy Tab S3. However, this also meant that the Galaxy Tab S3’s display is also customizable for a number of scenarios.
Even with the iPad Pro 10.5’s lack of such feature, it’s True Tone display is definitely a marvel. Considering that the two have similarly-dense displays in terms of pixels, the iPad Pro 10.5 manages to have sharper details and more accurate colors with a hint of saturation to not make the display bland.
On Samsung’s side of things, the Galaxy Tab S3 is officially the first tablet to support HDR content with its HDR display. HDR nowadays is still not widely-supported due to the lack of displays supporting it, similar to when 4K was still in its infant stages.
Both are definitely ahead of their time, considering that the 120Hz panel reduces input lag and frame time, effectively making it suitable for painting and drawing. I don’t have an Apple Pencil right now, but having tried one at Apple-authorized stores made me think twice about going back to making digital art again. I’m no professional or well-versed artist, but I can say that it’s near-traditional that both newcomers and experienced artists will love.
In case you missed it, I mentioned earlier that the iPad Pro 10.5 has the best rear camera out of all tablets so far. This is because that it’s also the same camera that is found in Apple’s iPhone 7. 12 megapixels of goodness with f/1.8 aperture along with Apple’s software optimization only spelled awesome, even in the lowest of lighting conditions.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3’s 13MPx rear snapper with f/1.9 and insignificantly shorter focal length doesn’t let up. Using both tablets’ auto modes, the Galaxy Tab S3 produces much more saturated images and also tends to lean towards a warmer tint in low lighting conditions.
On the iPad Pro 10.5’s side, colors are more accurate with the details more prominent in landscape shots. Both are also 4K-capable with image stabilization that the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 seems to have the better end of.
Moving to the front camera, the iPad Pro also has the same Sony Exmor RS sensor that also produces better-coloured and better-lit images out of the box. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 holds up on its own but produces lesser-detailed images, which was quite expected since Samsung has never once considered making their tablets’ front cameras stand out a bit more than the usual.
Honestly, I find myself using the iPad Pro 10.5 more even for games because of its A10X Fusion chipset. Besides the 120Hz panel, I was also excited to get my hands on the iPad Pro 10.5 because of this. The Snapdragon 820 in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is quite dated but still kicks ass paired with an Adreno 530.
Even though there were already benchmarks online by the time I was writing this, I couldn’t help but have my own metrics. Using AnTuTu and 3DMark Slingshot, the iPad Pro 10.5 came out on top with no exceptions.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 – 185,889
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – 143,544
3DMark Slingshot Extreme
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 – 3488
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – 2543
The performance difference is huge when viewing them side-by-side as the benchmarks are being run. Also, with those AnTuTu scores, the iPad Pro 10.5 actually stomps on older Macbook models and even modern entry-level desktops. However, it wouldn’t be wise to say that the iPad Pro 10.5 is essentially better than the aforementioned since its multitasking capabilities are still limited. Even the newly-introduced drag-and-drop feature is still a drag, but it’s a start for Apple. The same can be said for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 too despite its faster multitasking processing.
Storage-wise, the iPad Pro 10.5 falls short because of its non-expandable storage. However, I don’t find it that much of a disadvantage considering the iPad Pro 10.5’s storage options.
Peeling back to responsiveness, I’ve mentioned that the 120Hz panel allows for a more responsive use because it produces faster frame times.
With both having quad speakers, the only difference there would be are the max volume and clarity that either provides. The AKG/KARDON-tuned quad speakers of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 sounded drowned with also less room volume. Even though the mids are definitely overbearing, vocals still sound less impressive than how the iPad Pro 10.5 does it.
Having similarly-sized batteries, their battery lives depended on how optimized their OS’s and apps are.
Since cross-platform battery testing applications were out of the equation, I had to be creative. Leaving both WiFi and GPS on from a 100% battery status, I did the following:
- 3 hrs of a 1080p YouTube video (Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro vs Oppo F3)
- 3 hrs of audio playing
- 3 hrs of gaming (Vainglory)
The iPad Pro ended up having 28% left in the battery while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 had 20%.
For someone like me who doesn’t even do professional work on a tablet, I favor the iPad Pro 10.5 because of its well-rounded ‘personality’. It does well on a lot of aspects, especially in multimedia consumption. I believe that the 120Hz panel is a better investment than an HDR panel since it boosts productivity and responsiveness altogether.
For a laptop replacement – I’d actually choose neither. Multitasking is still a drag but basic office apps would do well.
As for pricing? The iPad Pro 10.5 goes from PhP 36,990 while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is flat out at PhP 37,990. Do mind that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 already comes with an S-Pen out of the box whilst the Apple Pencil can be bought separately for PhP 5,590.
|SPECS||Samsung Galaxy Tab S3||Apple iPad Pro|
|Display||[1536 x 2048 pixels]
9.7-inch Super AMOLED, ~264ppi
| [1668 x 2224 pixels]
10.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, True-tone display, 120Hz
|Size||237.3 x 169 x 6 mm, 429g||250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm, 469 (WiFi)/477g (LTE)|
|Design||Metal Body, Glass Back||Metal unibody, Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating|
|Colors||Black||Space Gray, Rose Gold, Gold, Silver|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820||Apple A10X Fusion|
|Processor||Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo)||A10X|
|Memory||4GB RAM, 32GB + up to 256GB microSD||64/256/512 GB, 4GB RAM|
|Rear camera||13 MP, f/1.9, 27mm, autofocus, LED flash||12 MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Multimedia||2160p@30fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 1080p@120fps, 720p@240fps|
|Front camera||5 MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1080p||7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Connectivity||WiFi ac, Bt 4.2, A2DP, A-GPS, BDS, GLONASS||WiFi ac, BT 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC|
|OS||Android 7.0, Touch||iOS 10.3.2|
|Battery||Non-removable 6000mAh||Non-removable Li-Ion battery (30.4 Wh)|
|Ports||USB 3.1 Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack||Lightning port, 3.5mm audio jack|
|Official Price||PhP 37,990||From PhP 36,990|
|Availability date||June 2017||June 2017|
|Where to buy||Samsung Stores and Authorized Retailers||Apple Stores and Authorized Retailers|