Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review: Rugged tablet built for frontline work

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 was initially introduced in fall 2020 and is the follow-up to 2017’s Galaxy Tab Active 2 — one of the crucial fashionable rugged tablets for enterprise. Constructing on the design ideology of the earlier Tab Active gadgets, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 focuses on rugged portability and normal productiveness.

However is Samsung’s newest Active tablet well worth the $489 asking worth? Let’s dive into Android Authority’s Galaxy Tab Active 3 assessment.

About this Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 assessment: I used the Galaxy Tab Active 3 with 64GB storage on Wi-Fi solely for seven days working One UI model 2.5 on Android 10. The assessment unit was supplied to Android Authority by Samsung Canada.

What you want to know concerning the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 (4GB/64GB): $489/£539/€499

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a rugged tablet designed to satisfy the wants of cellular employees. It brings again many key capabilities of the Tab Active 2 — together with its military-grade design, enhanced contact for use with gloves, and a replaceable battery — and provides new improvements resembling a programmable key, Wi-Fi 6/MIMO connectivity, and Samsung wi-fi DeX help.

The machine ships with an included protecting case within the field permitting it to face up to drops of as much as 1.5 meters. It additionally comes with an S Pen which, just like the machine itself, is IP68 rated for water and mud safety.

Associated: One of the best android tablets of 2021

The third technology of the Galaxy Tab Active collection comes with a few key spec upgrades over its predecessor. It ships with the octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 1,920 x 1,200 LCD show. It additionally now has 64GB of beginning storage, with the choice so as to add in a microSD card for more room.

The Galaxy Tab Active 3 is obtainable in North America with a beginning worth of $489.99 for the Wi-Fi-only model and $589.99 for the LTE mannequin. It is available in a single black colorway. It’s also in the stores in Europe and choose markets in Asia.

How is the design?

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 water drops

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

Samsung targeted on utility when designing its Active collection tablets. The large display bezels and clunky plastic chassis on the Galaxy Tab Active 3 are harking back to the unique Galaxy Tab from over a decade in the past. Nevertheless, the design allows the machine to excel at its predominant goals: sturdiness and productiveness.

With the included shock absorption case connected, the machine has a navy commonplace MIL-STD-810H ranking (the extra rigorous successor to MIL-STD-810G) to outlive drops of as much as 1.5 meters. It additionally has an IP68 ranking match to outlive mud, grime, and water submersion at a depth of 1.5 meters for as much as half-hour.

The design allows the machine to excel at its predominant purpose: sturdiness.

The Galaxy Tab Active 3 additionally has a few neat options that frontline employees will respect. A hotkey button on the aspect of the machine will be mapped to rapidly launch your most necessary apps with both a single faucet or long-press. There are additionally bodily dwelling buttons on the underside of the machine and a excessive touch-sensitive mode permitting for use when sporting gloves. The S Pen suits snugly into the highest of the case, and I discovered it really works nice for signatures, filling out types, or taking notes on the go.

One potential space of concern to notice is the shortage of flaps to guard the charging and headphone ports from getting grime and moisture caught inside. This can be a staple design function of most rugged gadgets and instances, and whereas I didn’t come into any issues throughout my testing interval, it might develop into problematic for long-term sturdiness.

How highly effective is the Galaxy Tab Active 3?

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 wood log

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

You gained’t discover the most recent flagship specs on the Galaxy Tab Active 3, however it does have sufficient processing energy to make it by most on a regular basis duties. Studying the spec sheet on the Galaxy Tab Active 3 took us on a visit down reminiscence lane, with a lot of the efficiency specs resembling the Galaxy S9 that Samsung launched over three years in the past. Nonetheless, until you propose on doing actual heavy multitasking or working CPU-intensive functions, you doubtless gained’t run into efficiency slowdowns on the machine. I by no means skilled any hiccups when shopping the online, writing emails, or switching between a number of apps.

The entrance and rear cameras on the machine carry out nice for scanning gadgets or taking fast photographs on the go. The tablet additionally helps Google ARCore to allow augmented actuality experiences and companies. 4G LTE can be appreciated by anybody who wants web connectivity on the go, though the shortage of 5G help is a bit noticeable for a cellular machine on this worth vary in 2021.

The three-year-old Exynos 9810 CPU exhibits its age when you’ve gotten a number of tabs on the go however it’s a wonderfully succesful performer for on a regular basis duties.

The software program expertise isn’t too far off from inventory Android, with Samsung One UI including some extra productiveness options. You gained’t get entry to desktop-class functions on an Android tablet such as you would on a Home windows different, although there are loads extra cellular functions accessible within the Google Play retailer. An extended-standing problem with Android tablets is the shortage of app optimization for the bigger display measurement on tablets, although most main functions ran easily on the Galaxy Tab Active 3.

The Galaxy Tab Active 3 additionally has Samsung DeX help, which allows customers to attach the tablet to a keyboard and monitor for a PC-like setup. This function works nice for showcasing content material out of your tablet on a bigger show, however don’t anticipate the tablet to interchange your predominant laptop for any critical work. That three-year-old Exynos 9810 CPU with solely 4GB of RAM actually begins to indicate its age when you’ve gotten a number of tabs on the go.

How is the battery life?


Chase Bernath / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 has a few tips up its sleeve so that you’ll by no means have to fret about working out of energy. The tablet ships with a 5,050mAh battery, which is sufficient to almost energy the machine by an eight-hour shift with typical use. Happily, you may pop off the again cowl of the tablet to rapidly swap out the battery for a completely charged one when wanted. There’s additionally 15W quick charging accessible by way of the USB-C port or POGO connector. If you happen to plan on utilizing the machine all day away from an influence outlet, I might suggest selecting up a spare battery so you may swap it on the go. Be mindful although that taking the protecting case off the machine each time you need to swap the battery is a little bit of a ache.

If you happen to plan on utilizing the tablet in a hard and fast place and related to a charger, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 can operate and not using a battery put in. Whereas I personally didn’t discover a use for this function, I might see it being worthwhile for enterprise with a number of Galaxy Tab Active 3 gadgets, as you possibly can take out the batteries in stationary gadgets to make use of as spares for ones out within the discipline.

The rest?

  • Biometrics: The Galaxy Tab Active 3 comes with face detection and a front-facing fingerprint reader. The face detection solely makes use of the entrance digital camera with out an extra 3D sensor, however collects a number of frames to confirm. A “sooner recognition” mode solely checks for one body, permitting for simpler unlocks on the danger of much less safety.
  • Safety: Samsung Knox permits companies to set software program restrictions and controls on the machine.
  • Show: Whereas not as vivid because the OLED panels on flagship Samsung gadgets, the 8-inch LCD show is vivid sufficient for use in most outside environments.
  • Audio: The audio system on the Galaxy Tab Active 3 are underwhelming, each quieter and with much less bass than even most smartphone audio system. Fortunately, there’s a 3.5mm headphone on the underside to hook up with audio system or different audio gadgets.
  • Software program updates: Samsung just lately began rolling out Android 11 with One UI 3.0 to Galaxy Tab Active 3 gadgets in Europe, with availability increasing to extra international locations quickly. Samsung additionally introduced that every one Galaxy gadgets launched since 2019 will obtain a minimal of 4 years of safety updates.

Galaxy Tab Active 3 specs

Galaxy Tab Active 3
Show 8.0″ 1920 x 1200
Chipset Samsung Exynos 9810
Octa-core 2.7GHz + 1.7GHz
RAM / Storage 4GB / 64GB
Safety Knox Suite Biometric Authentication (Face Recognition, Fingerprint Scanner)
Digital camera Rear: 13 MP
Entrance: 5 MP
Ports USB 3.1 Gen 1
Pogo Pin
Sensors Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Corridor Sensor, RGB Gentle Sensor, Proximity Sensor
Wi-fi Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM Wi-Fi Direct
OS Android 10.0
GPS GPS + Glonass + Beidou +Galileo
Dimensions and Weight 126.8 x 213.8 x 9.9mm, 426g(Wi-Fi) / 429g(LTE)
Battery Capability 5,050mAh, Person Replaceable
Sturdiness IP68 Water and Mud Resistance, 1.5m Anti-shock with inbox protecting cowl, MIL-STD-810H

Worth and competitors

Samsung Tab Active3 PR main1F

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a rugged tablet designed to satisfy the wants of a cellular employee. It options MIL-STD-810H and IP68 safety, in addition to an enhanced contact mode for use with gloves and the flexibility for use and not using a battery.

At a beginning worth of almost $500, it could be onerous to name the Galaxy Tab Active 3 a worth purchase based mostly solely on the specs listed above. Nevertheless, this tablet suitably fills a really particular position for a distinct segment market of frontline employees and is available in at an affordable worth in comparison with the competitors.

If you happen to’re within the Galaxy Tab Active 3, then the Galaxy Tab Active 2 and Galaxy Tab Active Professional are price a glance. The gadgets share a virtually an identical design to the Galaxy Tab Active 3, with the Professional providing a bigger 10.1-inch show for a better beginning worth of $599.99, whereas the older Tab Active 2 can now be discovered on sale for as little as $300.  Nevertheless, each tablets are much less sturdy and highly effective than the newer Active 3, and miss out on some efficiency options such because the programmable key and the flexibility for use and not using a battery.

See additionally: One of the best low-cost Android tablets

Whereas Samsung is the largest participant within the Android tablet area, there are another rugged tablet choices that will higher fit your wants. Vanquisher provides an 8-inch tablet with an built-in barcode scanner for $599.99, however it lacks biometric safety sensors and the battery flexibility of the Galaxy Tab Active 3. On the high finish of the market is the Panasonic Toughbook A3, which provides a configurable gadget space with a twin hot-swap battery design, however at a hefty worth of over $2,000.

Outdoors of Android, the iPad Mini 5 from Apple provides extra widespread third-party help and integrations in an analogous kind issue and worth level because the Galaxy Tab Active 3. For desktop-class applications and functions, try a Home windows-based rugged tablet choice such because the MobileDemand Flex 10B. Any of those gadgets can be utilized with a stylus, although none provide the mixing of the S Pen with Samsung One UI.

If you happen to’re wanting for a rugged tablet for youngsters, you’re higher off selecting up an Amazon Hearth Tablet for Youngsters for a fraction of the value. Because of the work-centric options, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 simply isn’t an ideal match for little ones.

Galaxy Tab Active 3 assessment: The decision

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 Straight On 1

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

Sturdiness and productiveness are the cornerstones of the Samsung Tab Active collection, and the Galaxy Tab Active 3 continues to excel in these areas. The improved military-grade safety, programmable key, and talent for use and not using a battery add spectacular versatility and performance to the machine.

Though its specs develop into extra outdated with every passing day, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 has sufficient energy to ship on a lot of the day-to-day duties you possibly can demand of it. In comparison with different tablets in its class, it provides good worth for your cash, particularly should you can decide it up at a bulk or discounted charge.

Sturdiness and productiveness are the cornerstones of the Samsung Tab Active collection, and the Galaxy Tab Active 3 continues to excel in these areas

The Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a worthy successor to earlier technology rugged tablet gadgets from Samsung. The military-grade toughness, S Pen, and battery versatility assist the machine to face out as a real workhorse. Likelihood is you already know whether or not or not this tablet is for you. If you happen to’re a frontline employee, enterprise proprietor, or if any of the distinctive professional options of the machine made you go “I want that,” then don’t hesitate to choose up the Galaxy Tab Active 3 — you gained’t be dissatisfied.

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