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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a classy, all-glass, HDR-ready Android tablet

The 9.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 features a stylish all-glass back and comes with an S-Pen stylus.

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Xiomara Blanco
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Xiomara Blanco

Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors

Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.

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Whoever said Android tablets are dead must not work for Samsung. The company just announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 at Mobile World Congress 2017.

The 9.7-inch Tab S3 is one of the first HDR-ready tablets, meaning its processor and screen are both up to spec for showcasing HDR material (although Samsung has yet to say which HDR standard it supports). It also comes with the S Pen -- a stylus that's usually packaged with Samsung's Note series -- and has a new modern, all-glass back that's a significantly stylish update from the previous model's all-plastic back panel.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is an upscale, HDR-ready Android tablet

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The Galaxy Tab S3's glass back combined with its metal frame looks impressively elegant and feels lux. Unfortunately, the glass easily attracts smudges. And if you were hoping for a pocket-sized version, don't hold your breath. Unlike the older Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, which came in 9.7- and 8-inch variants, the new model only comes in a 9.7-inch version.

The tablet features a beautifully crisp AMOLED display and quad-speakers tuned by Harman Kardon and AKG. Samsung claims that the "auto-calibrated" speakers can recognize the orientation you're holding the tablet in and will always transmit the closer sounds to the top two speakers for a theater-like experience.

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It's a classy and elegant design in contrast to the Galaxy Tab S2's plastic design.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung offers an optional keyboard case for the Galaxy Tab S3 that's sold separately. It's similar to the one that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Book, a new Windows 10 tablet that Samsung also just announced at MWC.

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The screen was bright, vibrant and visible while watching video on an outdoor patio.

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Overall tablet sales have been on the decline over the past few years, even as tablets with detachable keyboards hit an all-time high last year. Giving the Galaxy Tab S3 productivity potential by offering both a stylus and optional keyboard accessory make it more than just a tablet for binge-watching the latest Netflix original series.

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Detachable keyboard not included.

Josh Miller/CNET

Even though this is one of Samsung's flagship MWC 2017 products, the company did not yet have price and availability details for the Tab 3, or the Galaxy Book, a sleek Windows 10 hybrid that similarly comes with a stylus and keyboard.

Specs-wise, the Galaxy Tab S3 is easily one of the best Android tablets we've seen in a long time. It's unsurprising, though, since the Galaxy Tab S2 was also one of the best slates on the scene during its tenure. Seeing anything less from the next-in-line would be disappointing.

  • Android 6.0
  • 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution
  • 2.15GHz+1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • microSD expandable up to 256GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB Type-C
  • Comes in silver or black
  • LTE model available

MWC 2017: All the gadgets announced so far

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