Home Reviews Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review. Samsung Galaxy active 3

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review. Samsung Galaxy active 3

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

With military-grade protection and IP68 water and dust resistance, the Tab Active 3 is a great option for people working outside or in extreme environments. For a pure tablet experience, though, there are better options.

As a global tech giant, Samsung produces an incredible amount of hardware each year. Its high-end TVs and flagship smartphone usually make most of the headlines, but there are plenty of devices specifically targeted to certain industries.

Among them is the Galaxy Tab Active 3, a rugged tablet that’s aimed at b2b customers and those working in extreme environments. With a host of durability features, it feels well optimised for this purpose, but does it make sense for consumers to pick one up? Read on to find out.

Design and build

The design of the Tab Active 3 feels like taking a trip back in time, with huge bezels and physical navigation buttons below the screen. Both of these have long since been upgraded on consumer-focused tablets, but they make a lot more sense on a rugged device like this.

Samsung has demonstrated the Tab Active 3’s suitability for use in extreme environments, including situations where gloves are being worn. Therefore, having a large area to hold onto without obstructing the screen is more than welcome – the 68.5% screen-to-body ratio means little on a device like this.

Even with the touch sensitivity settings changed, using on-screen buttons would also be extremely fiddly, let alone the gestures that have replaced them in some cases. The physical equivalent here are impressively tactile and responsive, and the home button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. It proved to be very reliable and impressively resistant to dust and moisture, as you might expect from a rugged tablet.

One slight inconvenience from a personal point of view was that the position of back and recent buttons couldn’t be swapped, as is usually the case when displayed on-screen. However, this is very much a minor concern, and something I quickly got used to.

The design of the Tab Active 3 also leaves plenty of room for a 5Mp front-facing camera, which also supports face unlock. I found the latter to be a great alternative to the fingerprint scanner which worked well in most lighting conditions, and it proved extremely useful in situations where I wanted to quickly unlock the device hands-free.

The screen itself is an 8in, 1200×1900 LCD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s not quite the 1440p AMOLED display you’ll find on Samsung flagships, but it feels well optimised for its intended purpose. With rich, vivid colours and excellent detail, it’s unlikely you’ll wish Samsung invested any more in what is already a very good display. It might not be the greatest for content consumption, but I doubt many people are buying the Tab Active 3 to scroll and watch Netflix.

As you might expect from a rugged tablet, the Tab Active 3 offers an excellent amount of grip. The back of the device is made from a textured polycarbonate that feels like you’re already using a case. After reviewing quite a few slippery phones and tablets recently, it’s a refreshing change. The only other design choice of note here is a camera module, which houses a single 13Mp rear sensor with flash and sits almost flush with the back of the display.

The most interesting inclusion on the sides of the device is a red ‘Active key’, which sits just below the volume controls and power button. By default, a single press will launch the camera while press and hold opens the calendar, but both can be customised in Settings. I image this will come in handy in a variety of situations, especially when you can’t afford to waste time searching for a specific app.

You’ll probably want to stay in Settings to adjust the power button (known here as ‘Side key’). A long press is set to launch Samsung’s Bixby virtual assistant instead of the power off menu, but this can easily be changed if you prefer a more traditional setup.

On the opposite side you’ll find a set of pogo pins, which can be used as an alternative to the USB-C port for charging. I couldn’t test this for myself, but it’s great to have both options here. The LTE model I tested also has a small flap on the SIM tray, meaning it can be removed without the need for a separate tool.

The downward firing speaker on the bottom of the device combines with the earpiece for an impressive stereo experience. Audio is rich and punchy, although it does lack some of the bass you’ll find on quad speaker setups. You still get the option for wired audio via the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Tab Active 3 is built to provide excellent durability, and that’s taken a step further with the rugged case included in the box. It fits snugly on the device to provide an extra layer of protection, especially round the potentially more fragile corners. It’s also where you’ll find an S-Pen, although this is much more basic than the version you’ll find with the Tab S7. It works well for navigating around with precision, but don’t expect to use it for any digital artwork.

Tested to the limit

Samsung has specifically designed the Tab Active 3 for use in extreme environments, with military grade protection and IP68 water and dust resistance. In fact, Samsung was so confident in its rugged credentials that it sent me a testing kit alongside the device, in order to put it through its paces.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active: Outdoor-Tablet im Test

There were six tests in total, although one involved charging to 100% and the other was to test the full range of features, both of which I’ll talk about in detail later in the review.

samsung, galaxy, active, review

From the others, it’s clear that the Tab Active 3 can stand up to the rigours of daily life for almost all business users. Submerging the device in sand was a little unusual, but offered a good insight into its dust resistance. The tablet worked just fine after removing, although the navigation buttons were a bit sticky until a few hours later.

It’s a similar story for water resistance, with the IP68 rating stating it can survive in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. Despite only submerging the device for just a few seconds and wiping it down, I had to wait quite a few minutes for it to respond to touch again. That’s fine for one-off accidents, but don’t rely on it to be fully functional immediately after a dunking.

I approached dropping the device from a measured distance of 1.5m with plenty of caution. The Tab Active 3 meets the military-grade standard which means it can withstand a drop from this height, but I wasn’t convinced until the device came out unscathed. The impact with the ground looked dramatic, but it’s reassuring to know that a fall from this height won’t damage the device.

It’s also impressive to know that the device can be used with gloves. Samsung provided some heavy-duty ones as part of my review kit, which you can use on the Tab Active 3 after adjusting touch sensitivity settings. It also worked with an everyday pair that I had at home, although as you might expect they all struggle with precision. It’s fine for occasional use, but with just an 8in screen it’s easy to tap the wrong button.

The Tab Active 3 performed well in these tests overall, but there are some caveats that you’ll have to be aware of.

Hardware and performance

Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 chip powers the Tab Active 3, and it combines with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage on the model I tested. There’s also a model with double the storage, but it’s not currently available in the UK – fortunately it supports microSD card expansion up to 1TB.

The 9810 was first introduced back in 2018 and first powered devices like the Galaxy S9 smartphone, so performance is solid but far from class-leading. It was able to handle multiple open apps with relative ease, and the physical navigation buttons meant switching between them was seamless. There was some slight slowdown when using endless scrolling apps like. and noticeable lag during demanding games such as Asphalt 9, but neither are likely to be common uses for a rugged tablet. It will run almost all the apps on the Google Play Store without too much of an issue, provided they’re up to date and optimised for tablets.

The usual benchmarks we run at Tech Advisor give an indicator of the performance you can expect, but the dearth of true rugged tablets make direct comparisons difficult.

As mentioned above, the Tab Active 3 also supports 4G LTE connectivity on the model I tested. You can call, text and use mobile data, so it could potentially be a phone replacement for some people.

However, unlike on a smartphone, the device doesn’t natively support Wi-Fi calling. If you don’t get good phone signal where you live, the best alternative is to download an app which offers similar functionality. The likes of WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo are among the most popular.

Elsewhere, there’s also Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and full GPS and NFC, making it a great device for using on-the-go.

Software and features

The Tab Active 3 initially ran One UI 2.5 over Android 10, but it can now be updated to One UI 4.1 that’s based on Android 12. Samsung’s skin is primarily designed for smartphones, but it’s far more effective here than on larger tablets like the Tab S7.

While there are a handful of Samsung-themed apps that you can’t uninstall (bloatware), all of these are optimised for larger displays with all the navigation buttons located in the bottom half of the display.

The other major UI change is Samsung Daily, the company’s answer to the Google Discover page accessed by swiping right from the home screen. I didn’t find it nearly as useful as the Google equivalent, but it can easily be disabled.

Bixby’s appearances are fleeting these days, especially if you’ve stopped it from being triggered with a long press of the power button.

Samsung is also heavily promoting the Tab Active 3’s DeX support, which allows you to connect the tablet to a compatible monitor for a desktop-like experience. I wasn’t able to test it for myself, but past DeX experience suggests it’ll be a useful addition to the device’s suite of features.

Battery life

A rugged device always needs great battery life, but on paper the Tab Active 3 falls slightly short of the mark. Its 5,050mAh cell is smaller than you’ll find on many tablet, but you have to remember this is just an 8in LCD screen and not a larger OLED panel. Even so, battery benchmarks suggest it’s about average for battery life – 7hr13 and 8hr23 in Geekbench 4 and PCMark’s tests respectively is nothing special.

That’s roughly in line with my usage, too. I was able to get a full day on a single charge with moderate usage, or comfortably two with slightly less screen time. I did notice that standby time was a big improvement on many Samsung devices I’ve tested, though.

However, the Tab Active 3 does have two extra tricks up its sleeve. The battery itself is removable, meaning you can easily swap it out for another cell when you run out of charge. It’s refreshing to see a device with a removable back, considering their scarcity on modern devices.

If you’re concerned about using a battery in extreme environments, the Tab Active 3 also has a ‘No Battery Mode’. This allows it to be used without a battery when connected to the mains, although Samsung does acknowledge that this can limit device CPU performance.

Price and value for money

Considering the Tab Active 3’s dated internals and design language, it doesn’t come cheap. The 4GB/64GB model, currently the only one available in the UK, will set you back 489.99/£479 from the Samsung website.

There’s still relatively little competition among tablets at this price point, but there are some useful alternatives in our best tablet chart.

Only other Samsung devices can truly rival it in the rugged tablet space, but you’ll have to be sure that you want a device with the extra durability features the Tab Active 3 offers. For many business customers, it’s probably worth the money, especially if you’re buying in bulk. For anyone else, it’s a hard sell.


The Tab Active 3’s industrial design, huge bezels and physical navigation buttons make it quite unlike any other device Samsung makes, but with good reason. People in the market for a rugged tablet won’t have an issue with any of those things, and may even prefer them to the modern alternative.

However, it’s the Tab Active 3’s durability credentials that are the star of the show here. With military grade protection and IP68 water and dust resistance, it can withstand submersions in sand, water and drops from 1.5m. There’s even a setting which means you can use the touchscreen with gloves, while the S-Pen offers a useful alternative for navigation.

The high asking price might stop many people from taking the plunge, but the Tab Active 3 sits out on its own as the rugged tablet to beat.

Check out How we test: Tablets for more information on what goes into one of our reviews.


Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3: Specs

  • Exynos 9810 processor
  • Mali-G72 GPU
  • 4GB RAM 64GB storage
  • 8.0in 1200×1920 display,60Hz
  • Front-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • 13Mp,f/1.9 rear camera
  • 5Mp, f/2.2 front-facing camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • LTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • MIL-STD-810H compliant
  • IP68 water and dust resistance 5,050 mAh battery (removable)
  • 15W wired charging
  • 3.5mm headphone jack 285 x 185 x 5.7 mm
  • 575g

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 Review

The Galaxy Tab Active 3 is the very definition of a niche device, and one that lacks the performance and refinement for most people. For those who value robustness above all else, however, it’s a pretty tough tablet to beat.

Key Specifications

We take it for granted that the iPad is the best tablet on the market. But really, it’s only the best for some of the people some of the time.

For delivery drivers, manual labourers, construction workers, and those undertaking the kind of home projects that would have your average Apple Store employee scurrying for the microfibre cloth, no iPad is up to the task.

The Samsung Tab Active 3 reckons it’s tough enough to take all the knocks and scrapes you can throw its way. The following review will try to figure out whether that’s true, and just as importantly, whether it can perform the even tougher task of being a decent tablet.

Design – Chunky and suitably utilitarian

Even without the hard-wearing shell case that ships with the Galaxy Tab Active 3, this is a tough, no-nonsense piece of kit. Its all-plastic build sports reinforced corners and a removable, flexible, hard-wearing rear panel.

That last point matters, because it means that you can remove and replace the Tab Active 3’s battery. The optional SIM and microSD cards fit into a pull-out try on the left edge, so you won’t have to rip the back off every time you need to access it – though you will have to remove the case. This represents an improvement over the Galaxy Tab Active 2.

samsung, galaxy, active, review

At just shy of 430g without that case, it’s pretty hefty for an 8-inch tablet (the iPad Mini is 300g. It’s also pretty thick at almost 10mm.

The front of the tablet is notable for the provision of three physical hardware buttons just below the display. It feels rather like a relic from a bygone era, a sensation that’s only enhanced by a sizeable chin and forehead.

Remember, though, that this tablet has been designed for use in inhospitable conditions where bulky gloves may be worn. It makes perfect sense to have physical buttons over wishy-washy gestures, and you do at least get a solid fingerprint sensor under the central home button.

The sides of the Galaxy Tab Active 3 hold some interesting elements. To the right there’s an extra red button that can be assigned to open any application with a press or hold.

In a working environment, there’s often that one app that you need constant speedy access to. This button can get you to that app, even from the lock screen, and it doubles as a camera shortcut and shutter button.

The opposite edge holds a pogo pin connector, which will only really be useful for certain business use cases. But again, that’s what this hard-working tablet is meant for. On the bottom you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a single speaker.

Ruggedness – Truly hard to beat

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a pretty ordinary tablet with an extraordinary level of ruggedness. To that end, Samsung sent along a simple test kit to help put the tablet through its paces.

I buried the Galaxy Tab Active 3 in a couple of inches of sand and immersed it in a bucket of water for several minutes to help put its IP68 water and dust resistance rating to the test. It came through both trials relatively unscathed, though some lingering grit did seem to jam up the multitasking and back buttons for a brief while, before a combination of water and use worked it loose.

When it came to the water immersion, the Tab Active 3 worked perfectly both during the test (when I kept the PUBG lobby running) and immediately after, once I’d towelled it down.

It’s also possible to delve into the settings and increase the screen sensitivity, enabling you to use the tablet with gloves on. I tested this out with a set of heavy duty work gloves that Samsung provided, and it worked well, with the odd missed input. Together with those physical fascia controls, it’s genuinely viable to use the Tab Active 3 without removing your mitts – warehouse workers and campers rejoice.

Finally, the drop test saw me releasing the Galaxy Tab Active 3 (in its case, I should add) onto a hard concrete floor from a height of roughly 1.5 metres. Except for a slightly scuffed case, the tablet emerged unmarked and totally functional. Samsung’s claims of military grade MIL-STD–810H ruggedness seem to be accurate.

Screen and S Pen – Improved display with a clean writing experience

I’d hesitate to call the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 a truly compact tablet – it’s too tank-like for that – but it does pack a smaller-than-average 8-inch display. This places it in similar territory to the iPad mini.

This is a decent PLS TFT panel, which is Samsung’s IPS equivalent. At 1200 x 1920 it’s plenty sharp enough, and it gets pleasingly vibrant for an LCD. Outdoor visibility is good, as you’d expect, even if it does wash out a little in bright light. It’s a big step up from the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2, at any rate.

Samsung also supplies its S Pen here. This plastic stylus doesn’t slot into the tablet itself, like with Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phones, but rather into a large and tight-fitting slot on top of the protective case.

The up side to this is that the S Pen here is much thicker and, well, pen-like than the skinny stick that comes with the Note 20 Ultra (for example). It’s much easier and more comfortable to use, especially with cold or gloved hands.

Otherwise the writing experience is very similar to the Note, with the same 4,096 levels of pressure allowing for convincing, natural handwriting and sketching. You also get that familiar button for bringing up the pen menu and quickly starting notes.

Specs and Performance – Outdated silicon achieves the bare minimum

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 packs Samsung’s own Exyno 9810 CPU. This is an old flagship chip, which previously powered the Samsung Galaxy S9 from early 2018.

It should be clear that this is far from a star performer. Average Geekbench scores of 329 (single-core) and 1290 (multi-core) really aren’t too hot, and trail well behind even your average £300 smartphone.

Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 isn’t meant to be a multimedia powerhouse. Even so, I put it through its paces with PUBG, where it ran adequately on medium settings. The main thing is that general navigation is nice and smooth, though I did start to note major pauses when flicking back to older open apps in the app switcher menu – doubtless thanks to a mere 4GB of RAM.

Elsewhere you get 64GB of storage, which as mentioned can be augmented via a microSDXC slot.

There’s also a 13-megapixel f/1.9 camera here. That’s hardly a spectacular set-up by modern smartphone standards, but then no one is buying this for their holiday snaps (hopefully). It will do a good enough job with practical applications like scanning barcodes, documenting deliveries and the like.

Meanwhile, an 8-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera should see you through those Zoom meetings just fine.

Software – Samsung’s usual box of tricks

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 runs on Android 10 with One UI 2.5. You’ll probably have your own clearly defined feelings about Samsung’s custom Android skin by now.

It’s a love it or tolerate it effort, with big bright icons, lots of customisation potential, and the Samsung Daily news and notice board to the left of the home screen rather than Google Feed. It’s not as egregious with the bloat as it used to be, and it’s slick and fluid to navigate through.

You also get Samsung’s DeX UI, which lets you connect to compatible TVs and displays for a more PC-like experience, even using the tablet itself as a trackpad. I found that it worked reasonably well with my 2020 LG TV, despite the fact it technically isn’t supported.

From a more general perspective, the Android tablet experience continues to trail Apple’s iPad platform by a considerable distance, especially when it comes to third party app optimisation. Sadly, that’s something that Samsung can’t do much about.

The company’s S Pen software, however, has gotten really good, especially the wonderful Notes app that can read your handwriting and convert it to digital text. It’s got genuine productivity chops.

Battery Life – Large battery can be removed from the equation

Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy Tab Active 3 with a 5050 mAh battery, which is way bigger than its predecessor’s rather weedy 4450 mAh cell.

It’s good for a claimed 11 hours of video playback or internet time, and 81 hours of audio playback. You’ll comfortably get through a couple of days of the kind of mixed, functional usage that it’s been designed for. Though obviously, if you’re hammering the LTE connectivity and consuming a lot of video content, your experience may vary.

samsung, galaxy, active, review

I’ve already mentioned that the Galaxy Tab Active 3 battery can be removed and replaced, which is rare enough these days. But the really interesting new feature is the ability to use the tablet without the battery even installed.

I discovered this by accident, having assumed that the battery was merely flat. Sure enough, I plugged in the tablet and it booted up fine sans cell, which felt somehow magical.

In terms of practical applications for this feature, I can well imagine hot-swapping batteries or keeping the Galaxy Tab Active 3 as a constantly running, permanently plugged in warehouse workhorse.

You also get a 15W charger, which isn’t exactly lightning quick, but it gets the job done. The Galaxy Tab Active 3 will detect when the port is wet and remind you to dry it before charging.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 really is a specialist tool for a very specific set of scenarios. If you need a large-screen device that can stand up to the rough and tumble of a particularly physical job, it’s ideal.

For literally any other tablet use case scenario, you’re better off with one of Apple’s products. The latest iPad Air 4 costs just £40 more, and ruggedness aside, it’s vastly superior to the Tab 3 in every way. The value proposition here is highly questionable if robustness isn’t of paramount importance.

Unless you really need the precise super-tough credentials of the Tab, it would be tempting to suggest buying the iPad Mini and investing the extra £140 in an Apple Pencil and a ruggedised case.

But for those who need their tablet to stand up to the (quite literal) daily grind without worrying about a few scratches, it’s one of precious few options.

How we test tablets

We test every tablet we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the tablet as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

A compact, hardwearing Android-based tablet that clearly focuses on the B2B market

TechRadar Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 should be near the top of your list of rugged Android devices if you’re looking for one. It brings together everything that you’d expect from a durable tablet and a slew of compelling features like Samsung Dex, the removable battery and physical buttons.


  • Android 10
  • Very well built
  • Great performance
  • Customizable buttons
  • Physical buttons
  • Can make calls (4G version)
  • Dex
  • Bundle inbox cover with S Pen


  • – A bit on the expensive side
  • – No status LEDs
  • – No flaps on connectors
  • – Entry level camera sensors

Why you can trust TechRadar

We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Samsung’s meteoric rise to becoming a global powerhouse has been fuelled by its popular Galaxy Android smartphone and tablet range. Alongside the seemingly unstoppable flow of consumer devices, Samsung has grown a small but profitable ruggedised portfolio of devices of which the Galaxy Tab Active3 rugged tablet is the newest member. This product targets companies looking for a compact, hardwearing Android-based tablet to be used by field-based operatives and outdoor employees.

Pricing and availability

The UK version which we are reviewing here is the SM-T575NZKAEEA and carries a suggested retail price of £539 although it sells for cheaper at Amazon. We couldn’t find the Active3 for sale in the US.


The Galaxy Tab Active3 looks like an enhanced version of the Galaxy A 8-inch tablet although truth be said, there’s not much that they share other than the form factor and parent company. The corners on the Active3 rounded and reinforced giving it a slightly retro look; that is necessary to prevent screen damage when hitting a hard surface on the said corners. Ditto for the large bezels that make it look more like a photo frame than a tablet.

At 126.8 x 213.8 x 9.9mm for a weight of only 429g, it is surprisingly compact and maneuverable albeit with two hands. A 5,050mAh battery accounts for a big portion of the weight; it is removable and hides behind a toolless backplate. That’s not the only removable accessory though; there’s also what Samsung calls an “inbox cover” which houses the dust-and water resistant S Pen, Samsung’s iconic stylus.

The 8-inch screen is a WUXGA PLS TFT LCD with a 16:10 aspect ratio (and a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution) and is fairly bright, with good readability even in bright sunshine. There’s also a microSD card slot with a single SIM card holder on the left above POGO pins. At the front is a 5-megapixel front facing camera as well as three physical navigation buttons. great for when you use gloves. while there’s a 13-megapixel camera at the back.

On the right hand side side, there’s a dedicated button called the “Active Key” which gives instant access to the apps or programs used most often; that comes handy great for emergency calls, scanning or Push-to-Talk and much more. Note that Samsung has the volume rocker, the active key and the power button on the same side.

The bottom hides a speaker grill, a Type-C connector and an audio jack, the last two are not protected by any flap which can be a problem if there’s dust, lint or water ingress. Note that there’s no status LEDs, so you won’t know when the tablet is fully charged.

As expected, the tablet is MIL-STD-810H certified, great for most extreme environments; Samsung says that its enhanced shock absorption will withstand drops of up to 1.5 meters with the bundled inbox protective cover. It is also IP68 rated which makes it dustproof and water resistant.

Here are the full specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3:

CPU: Exynos 9810

GPU: Mali-G72 MP18

Storage: 64GB

Screen size: 8-inch

Resolution: 1920×1080

Ports: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, audio jack, charging port

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with EMV Level 1

Weight: 426g

samsung, galaxy, active, review

Dimensions: 213.8 x 126.8 x 9.9 mm

Rear camera: 13MP

Front camera: 5MP

OS: Android 10

Battery: 5.05 mAh


At the heart of the Active3 is the 2018 Samsung Exynos 9810, an 8-core processor that was also used by the Samsung Galaxy S9 (at least some versions) and Galaxy Note 9. It is still a very capable processor that supports 4G and is paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

Alongside Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with MIMO, there’s the user replaceable battery that supports fast charging through USB (up to 15W) and POGO pins, Bluetooth 5.0. The Tab Active 3 also supports NFC with EMV Level 1 for payment.

Performance and in use

Don’t expect miracles with the Active3, Samsung hasn’t pulled all stop to produce a flagship tablet. That means that you get the level of performance you’d expect from an entry level smartphone but with souped up storage. If there’s one thing that Samsung didn’t skimp on, that’s the storage; read/write speeds, on sustained and random benchmarks, are very good.

This is how the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Geekbench: 706 (single core); 2095 (multi core); 4130 (compute)

PCMark (Work 2.0): 5877

Passmark: 9126

Passmark CPU: 24714

Androbench (sequential): 872MBps (sequential read); 247MBps (sequential write)

Androbench (random): 137MBps (random read); 139MBps (random write)

My phone is BROKEN!!! (Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review)

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan: 2307

3DMark Slingshot: 3021

3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 3947

Samsung has added a new feature to the tablet called a “No Battery Mode” for power without a battery which is useful for example, when powering an interactive kiosk. Also part of the package is Samsung Dex, a proprietary technology which allows PC-like experience when plugged into a compatible (or even non-compatible) docking station, enabling dual-screen functionality.

Knox by Samsung is also a welcomed addition; this defense-grade security platform can also be customized by IT administrators to manage the programs and apps used across a business, running alongside existing MDM services.

The Galaxy Tab Active3 can make phone calls (for the LTE version) and is also optimized for camera-based barcode scanning, an add-on that will help retailers easily manage inventory and scan products for purchase.

Another useful feature is Touch Sensitivity which allows professionals to continue using the Tab Active3 while wearing gloves. Beyond the hardware, Samsung has confirmed that it will support up to three generations of Android OS upgrades, from Android 10 to Android 12, the latter being expected to land in September 2021.

The competition

Rivals to the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 will be rugged by default with a new Android OS, 4G connectivity and a fairly decent hardware setup (eight cores, at least 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage).

The Panasonic Toughbook A3 is perhaps the most potent rival albeit with a much higher price point and although it runs on Android 9.0 and is bigger (at 10.1-inch), it has a number of features that make it a better choice for larger enterprises. Features such as dual hot-swappable batteries for uninterrupted work, a wide range of accessories (1D or 2D scanners, smartcard reader) and three-year warranty.

The Zebra ET56 is an 8.4-inch alternative to the Active3 with a much higher screen resolution and battery capacity. However, it offers IP65 only and its onboard storage capacity is only half that of the Active3. Like the aforementioned Panasonic tablet, it targets large scale deployment by offering a more versatile set of accessories and a deeper level of support.

Final verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is an unrivalled rugged device if you’re looking for an Android tablet that will be operated by field personnel or anyone looking for an outdoor, durable slate powered by Google’s ubiquitous operating system.

It is as close to perfection as you will probably get. Thin and light with 4G connectivity, Android 10, the sort of support you can expect from a global company like Samsung and little touches like a fingerprint sensor, Dex, Knox, the removable battery and the customizable button.

There are some weak spots: the lack of flaps for the connectors, the absence of status LEDs, the rather poor camera sensors and, given what the tablet has inside (essentially a Samsung Galaxy S9 Active with a bigger screen), it is rather expensive.

However they are minor cons compared to the overall value for money that the Active3 procures.

Switch on and off Galaxy Tab Active3 and take screenshots

Press and hold the Side key for a few seconds to turn on the device.

Turning the device off or restarting

  • To turn off the device, press and hold the Side key and the Volume down key simultaneously.
  • Tap Power off.
  • To restart the device, tap Restart.

Alternatively, open the notification panel (slide down twice) and tap.

You can set the device to turn off when you press and hold the Side key. Launch the Settings app, tap the Advanced features → Side key, and then tap Power off menu under Press and hold.

Forcing restart

If your device is frozen and unresponsive, press and hold the Side key and the Volume Down key simultaneously for more than 7 seconds to restart it.

Taking a screenshot

To take a screenshot you have to press and immediately release the Volume down and Side key. Wait until you hear the characteristic sound and see the screen flashes.

You can find the screenshot photo in the Gallery app.

If you need further assistance, you can find the official manual on the following link: Samsung Tab Active3 manual.



| Denial of responsibility | Contacts |RSS