Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs. Google Pixel C

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs. Goog...
A side-by-side look at the features and specs for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Google Pixel C
A side-by-side look at the features and specs for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Google Pixel C
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Colors
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Colors
Build materials
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Build materials
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Battery
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Battery
Software
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Software
Release
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Release
Starting price
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Starting price
Speakers
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Speakers
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Data/charging port
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Data/charging port
Active stylus
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Active stylus
Processor
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Processor
RAM
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RAM
Built-in storage
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Built-in storage
Multitasking
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Multitasking
Cellular connectivity option
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Cellular connectivity option
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Docking keyboard support
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Docking keyboard support
A side-by-side look at the features and specs for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Google Pixel C
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A side-by-side look at the features and specs for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Google Pixel C
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Display size
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Display size
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Weight
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Weight
Size
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Size
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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.

Size

Size
Size

The Pixel C is a larger tablet overall, edging out the Tab S3 in height and width, but not thickness.

Weight

Weight
Weight

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).

Build

Build materials
Build materials

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.

Colors

Colors
Colors

The Tab S3 comes in black or silver; the Pixel C is available in silver only.

Display size

Display size
Display size

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.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

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.

Speakers

Speakers
Speakers

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.

Fingerprint sensor

MicroSD
MicroSD

Of these, only the Samsung tablet has a built-in fingerprint sensor for biometric logins.

Cellular connectivity option

Cellular connectivity option
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.

Keyboard support

Docking keyboard support
Docking keyboard support

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.

Active stylus

Active stylus
Active stylus

The Tab S3 supports active stylus input and even includes an S Pen in the box. No such luck with the Pixel C.

Charging/data port

Data/charging port
Data/charging port

Both devices opt for an (increasingly universal) USB Type C charging/data port.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The Tab S3's Snapdragon 820 chip handily beats the clock speeds of the NVIDIA Tegra X1 found in the Pixel C.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The Tab S3 has one more gigabyte of RAM than the Pixel C.

Storage

Built-in storage
Built-in storage

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.

MicroSD

Active stylus
Active stylus

If 32 GB isn't enough storage for you, the Tab S3 also has a microSD slot for expansion up to 256 GB.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

The Tab S3 packs in more megapixels in both its rear and front cameras.

Battery

Battery
Battery

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.

Software

Software
Software

The Pixel C launched with Android Marshmallow but has since received the Nougat update. As a Google device, it is expected to be one of the first in line for software updates, at least for the near future.

The Tab S3 ships with Android Nougat as well, though it is skinned with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

Multitasking

Multitasking
Multitasking

Both tablets' software allows for some degree of split-screen multitasking, so you can use/view more than one app at a time.

Release

Release
Release

The Pixel C has been around since December 2015, while the Galaxy Tab S3 is just starting to hit shelves.

Starting price

Starting price
Starting price

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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2 comments
TJG
FYI, 34.2 W-hr at 3.7 volts is 9243 mAh, for easier comparison.
JerryFleming
Essentially, they are similar or equal in many respects, with the major differences being minor in scope. My biggest "missed" is the lack of SD support, but with the use of an adapter, I can put a USB stick in. The BIGGEST positive with me are 1. Faster updates (6-12 months) and, 2. Minimal to NO bloatware. With Samsung, you damn near need an SD card to compensate for all the crap Samsung includes that you are unable to delete unless you root... My Pixel C is a tad over a year old, and on most of my current travels, I no longer carry my laptop...