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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 review

 Review: September 2013  

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The 3rd generation Samsung Galaxy Tab impresses in its 8 inch form, with a superslim design, HD screen, plenty of memory, good battery life and the latest Jelly Bean release of Android.

Today's best buy: Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" 3G ... from Quzo (£185.86)


A mid-sized tablet

The 3rd generation of the Samsung Galaxy Tab is available in 3 sizes - 7 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch. Here we review the middle size in the family - the 8 inch model.

In our review of the 7 inch tab, we complained that 7 inches is really starting to feel too small for a tablet, with smartphones edging into the 5 inch screen territory. So that extra 1 inch is welcome, pushing the screen size up by 30% and making it so much nicer to view videos and websites and to work or play generally.

We like the design of the 8 inch Tab 3 very much. It has a narrower look than the 7 inch version, and amazingly it's 2.5 mm slimmer, making it just as easy to handle as the iPad Mini or the Google Nexus 7. The 314g of weight makes it one of the lightest tablets too. It's available in White only.

The 8 inch display notches up 1280 x 800 pixels, giving it the capability of displaying HD video, although pixel density isn't up to Nexus 7 standards. Nevertheless, the number of pixels is sharp enough for this screen size, and the TFT display is nice and bright. The screen is larger enough to accommodate Dual View mode for multitasking.

Mid-level hardware

The hardware is a significant step up from that of the 7 inch Tab 3. Although the processor is still only dual-core, it runs at a faster 1.5GHz and has a larger 1.5GB of RAM to support it. Cutting edge it isn't, but it will be sufficient for most users running typical tablet apps.

The Tab 3 comes in a choice of 16GB or 32GB versions, with the option of adding a memory card up to 64GB. It's a reasonable amount of space. You also get 50GB worth of free Dropbox storage for 2 years.

The twin cameras also push the capabilities of the device forward. The front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera is suitable for video calling, and there's also a very good 5 megapixel shooter on the rear of the camera, equipped with autofocus.

Android Jelly Bean

Like all Galaxy products, the tablet runs Google's Android operating system - in this case Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Samsung's TouchWiz user interface overlay is here too. There are extra Samsung-specific features, including Samsung's Music Hub, Readers Hub, Game Hub, S Translator and others.


The Tab 3 is Wi-Fi enabled, but without 3G connectivity. It does have Wi-Fi Direct as well as full support for 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 + 5 GHz. DLNA support is included.

Battery life

The battery life of the 8 inch Tab 3 is quite respectable, with a battery rated at 4450mAh. Samsung's official figures claim up to 11 hours of continuous usage with Wi-Fi enabled.

Conclusion - an impressive mid-range tablet

Whereas the 7 inch version of the Tab 3 felt distinctly underpowered and underwhelming, the 8 inch version impresses both with its ultraslim design and with its much enhanced capabilities.

For a mid-sized and mid-priced tablet, this hits all the sweet spots. Although it's not the fastest and doesn't have a full HD display, it delivers an all-round package that ticks our boxes. First off there's the lovely lightweight, superslim design. Secondly there's the larger-than-average 8 inch HD display. Thirdly there's the fast-enough dual-core processor coupled with plenty of RAM and generous storage. And finally there's the latest version of Android and the wealth of downloadable content that offers.

If you compare the Tab3 with the iPad Mini, you'll find that it matches or beats the Apple on every score.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 features include:

Best buys
Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" 3G ...
Click for details

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Average rating from 4 reviews:

Reviewed by David tremaine from england on 24th Sep 2015
Fantastic tablet.

Reviewed by Olivia from England on 13th Oct 2014
I really couldn't ask for a better tablet for the price I paid. It does everything I need it to, and more. It's nice to hold and a nice size screen with really good displays. The speakers are of a good quality too which makes it perfect for when I listen to music. It is easy to navigate and I am very happy with it. Samsung are a very trustworthy brand and their products in my opinion are very robust.

Reviewed by Clive from UK on 13th Jun 2014
Bought one of these for 138 from pc world. My dad wanted a tablet (in his 80's) and didn't want to spend apples premium prices. What can I say. For the money, blown away. Not perhaps the very best but certainly good enough and simply amazing value.

Reviewed by Mark from UK on 21st May 2014
I love this tablet and am typing on it now. The 8 inch screen is the perfect size and with the Tab 4 due out soon this tablet is receiving some big price cuts. I got mine for 129 from Tesco which is a bargain and you get 50gb of free Dropbox storage from Samsung.

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