Samsung took to the stage during MWC 2017 in Barcelona to showcase the next generation Galaxy tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Book. But what makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 so special (and why does it cost so much)? In this article we discuss the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 UK release date, pricing, design, features and spec. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2017.

You should read our hands-on Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review to find out why you should care about the Tab S3.

When is the Galaxy Tab S3 release date?

The Galaxy Tab S3 is now officially on sale in the UK, priced at £599 direct from Samsung or via Currys.

The tablet has been available to pre-order since 19 March, with those pre-ordering before the end of the month receiving a free keyboard book cover worth £119. A great deal as the tablet is much better with it.

How much will the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 cost in the UK?

As mentioned above, you can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 from Samsung on 17 March 2017.

We had expected it to fall in line with the £399 Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7in launch price, but according to John Lewis, which has just added the S3 to its website, the 32GB tablet will cost a whopping £599.99. Stock is expected in early April.

Samsung confirmed that prices will start from £599.

Over in the US customers will pay an equally expensive $599.99 if this Best Buy pre-order page is anything to go by.

What does the Tab S3 look like?

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is similar in design to its predecessor, albeit more refined than the 2016 variant with a matte metal unibody. Measuring in at 237.3 x 169 x 6mm and weighing only 429g (or 434g if you opt for the LTE-enabled variant), the Tab S3 is sleek and lightweight – in fact, it’s thinner, smaller and lighter than Apple’s 9.7in iPad Pro despite featuring the same size display, at 9.7in.

What is new for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the addition of quad-stereo speakers around the edges of the tablet, specially tuned by AKG by Harman for what Samsung calls a premium listening experience. This should improve not only music playback, but should also provide a more immersive gaming experience with crisp, stereo audio.

In terms of colour options, Samsung hasn’t done a Huawei and offered a range of colourful products. Instead, the company offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 in two rather standard colours: Black, or silver.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 also comes with what Samsung calls a “refined” S Pen. Why? The pen features a smaller 0.7mm tip with increased pressure sensitivity for a more natural writing experience, while also coming with new features like the ability to quickly scribble notes on the display while it’s off using Screen Off Memo.

Also see: Best tablets 2017

What are the features and specifications?

So, what does the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 offer that sets it apart from the sea of tablets available in 2017? Let’s first start with the gorgeous display. In true Samsung fashion, the Tab S3 sports a 9.7in Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 that’s bright and crisp – but that’s not all.

According to Samsung, the Tab S3 offers a “cinema-like experience” that offers not only 4K playback (although faux-4K, as the display itself isn’t 4K), but support for 10bit coloured HDR from the likes of Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services. That should provide users with vivid, true-to-life colours, although we’ll hold our judgement until we’ve had eyes-on with the product ourselves.

Beyond the impressive display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU comprised of two 2.15GHz cores and two 1.6GHz cores along with 4GB of RAM. The tablet should be incredibly responsive, and thanks to the inclusion of the Vulkan API, gaming on the Tab S3 should be a joy. On the storage front, there’s only one option: 32GB, although that’s expandable up to 256GB thanks to the inclusion of a microSD card slot.

Tablet snappers should be happy with the camera offering of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 too: it features a rear-facing 13Mp camera with auto focus and flash, along with a 5Mp front facing camera for those high quality selfies and video calls.

There’s also a whopping 6,000mAh battery inside to keep it powered for longer than the Tab S2, and with support for fast charging, you can stay untethered from the wall for longer periods.

On the software side of things, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will feature Android 7.0 Nougat along with Samsung Flow. Samsung Flow uses biometric authentication (thanks to the built-in fingerprint scanner of the Tab S3) to tether compatible devices to share not only documents but also texts, allowing you to stay connected whether using a tablet or a smartphone. We assume that Flow will be a flagship feature of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone, which is rumoured to launch in late March, or early April.

Read next: Best Android tablets 2017.

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