Before the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, "Google Pixel" meant the Google Pixel C, a high-end Android-running tablet. Samsung has just released an Android tablet of its own, the Galaxy Tab S3, with a similar price point and a few extra perks. Here's how their specs and features compare.
The Pixel C is a larger tablet overall, edging out the Tab S3 in height and width, but not thickness.
It makes sense that the Pixel C is heavier as well. It's about 17-percent heavier than the lightest Tab S3.
Note that both the dimensions and weights given are for the tablet only, and do not take into account the optional keyboard accessories (see below).
The Tab S3 has a glass back panel, which is classy, but might not be the most practical option for a portable device that often gets held in one hand. The Pixel C has a no-nonsense aluminum body.
The Tab S3 comes in black or silver; the Pixel C is available in silver only.
The Pixel C has a larger diagonal measurement and an unusual 1:1.4 aspect ratio. It offers about 8 percent more overall screen area than the Tab S3, which has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The Pixel C's display has more tightly-packed pixels, which could mean a sharper viewing experience. However, pixel density alone does not determine the quality of a display.
Samsung has said its Tab S3 supports HDR (high dynamic range) which should mean a more realistic contrast ratio and/or greater color gamut. However, Samsung has not specified its exact HDR standard, so it's wise to take that HDR designation with a grain of salt.
The Pixel C has standard stereo speakers, but the Tab S3 adds a second pair. In a nod to multimedia needs, Samsung's quad speakers are designed to rotate sound output based on the orientation of the tablet.
Of these, only the Samsung tablet has a built-in fingerprint sensor for biometric logins.
Cellular connectivity option
You can pay extra for a Galaxy Tab S3 with LTE connectivity (though it won't launch until some unknown future date), so you'll be able to use it on your cellular data plan instead of a Wi-Fi network. There's no LTE option for the Pixel C.
Both makers have created optional keyboards that dock into place. Unlike Bluetooth accessories, these keyboards draw power from the tablets, so they require no additional charging of their own.
Keyboards are sold separately. The Tab S3 keyboard is US$130. Google has two Pixel C keyboard options, which vary in appearance, materials and screen angle options. They cost $149 each.
The Tab S3 supports active stylus input and even includes an S Pen in the box. No such luck with the Pixel C.
Both devices opt for an (increasingly universal) USB Type C charging/data port.
The Tab S3's Snapdragon 820 chip handily beats the clock speeds of the NVIDIA Tegra X1 found in the Pixel C.
The Tab S3 has one more gigabyte of RAM than the Pixel C.
Originally, the Pixel C was available in 32 GB and 64 GB sizes. Nowadays, the 32 GB version is difficult to find. In the US, the Google Store is only offering the 64 GB option.
If 32 GB isn't enough storage for you, the Tab S3 also has a microSD slot for expansion up to 256 GB.
The Tab S3 packs in more megapixels in both its rear and front cameras.
The Pixel C's battery is a little larger overall, but battery life has many factors, and Samsung's estimate is a little higher than Google's. Of course, actual results may vary.
The Tab S3 ships with Android Nougat as well, though it is skinned with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.
Both tablets' software allows for some degree of split-screen multitasking, so you can use/view more than one app at a time.
The Pixel C has been around since December 2015, while the Galaxy Tab S3 is just starting to hit shelves.
These tablets sit at essentially the same entry price point. In the US, the Tab S3 starts at $599.99. The Google Pixel C, in its 64 GB size, retails for $599 through the Google Store. These prices do not include the optional keyboard accessories.
The 32 GB Pixel C originally retailed for $499, but since it's no longer readily available, we're referring to the 64 GB price exclusively.
At this point, it does seem as if the Tab S3 offers more compelling features – quad speakers, a stylus, microSD, a better camera – and is therefore a better value. Stock Android purists, however, may still find a place for the Pixel.
We'll post more thoughts once we complete our Tab S3 review in the near future. In the meantime, check out our hands-on impressions from MWC 2017.
Correction: The original version of this article misstated the dimensions of the Google Pixel C. We regret the error.
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