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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 vs. Nexus 7


May 1, 2013

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Nexus 7

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Nexus 7

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Samsung was the first Android phone maker to take a stab at tablets. Released in 2010, the Galaxy Tab was a 7-inch slate that cost more than the bigger and better iPad. But Samsung kept chipping away, making tablets in all shapes and sizes, and is now gaining on Apple’s shrinking lead. How does Samsung’s latest – the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – compare to the Google/Asus Nexus 7?


It’s not often that two tablets with identical screen sizes have this big of a difference in overall size. But the Galaxy Tab 3’s smaller bezel makes it about six percent shorter and eight percent narrower than the Nexus 7.


Both tablets are rocking plastic chassis. The Tab’s backside is smoother, and it also has a removable battery cover. The Nexus 7’s rear has a grippy texture to it, and can’t (easily) be opened.


As we’ll soon see, the 7-inch Tab 3 has some pretty middle-of-the-road components. But one thing it can hang its hat on is its weight. This is one light tablet.


The Nexus 7 is growing a little long in the tooth, and could soon be replaced by a newer Google mini-tablet. Its display reflects that, with pretty mediocre resolution (by 2013 standards).

But the Galaxy Tab 3 – a brand new tablet – manages to outdo it. And not in a good way. Its 1024 x 600 resolution is pretty underwhelming, and will look relatively fuzzy.


The Tab 3 sports a mystery processor, but we do know that it’s a dual core chip clocked at 1.2 GHz. The Nexus 7’s Tegra 3 is a known quantity and will almost certainly be faster than whatever mid-grade chip Samsung squeezed into this new Galaxy Tab.


RAM is all tied up, at 1 GB a pop.


Nothing special in the storage department for the Tab either. But at least it has a microSD slot. It can make that 8 GB go a lot farther – adding up to an additional 64 GB.


The Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Tab 3 starts shipping in May. In June, the mobile data version starts shipping ... but forget LTE. Like the Nexus 7, it maxes out at HSPA+ 21 speeds (that typically means between 4-8 Mbps in real world speeds).


Well, it isn’t much, but the Galaxy Tab 3 does give you a rear camera. Its 3 megapixels might give you some flashbacks to the phone you owned in 2009, but it’s more of a rear camera than you’ll get from the Nexus 7.


There probably isn’t much to worry about here. Crappy display + mid-range processor + decent sized battery should mean plenty of uptime for the Tab 3. Ditto for the Nexus 7, only with better speed and a better (but not exactly mind-blowing) display.


Both slates run Android. Samsung gives you its TouchWiz UI slapped on top, but you still get Google Play, and all the fun stuff that goes along with it.

The Nexus 7’s big advantages are that it runs a newer version of Android, and it will always be more up-to-date than the Tab 3. One of the joys of running pure Android.


So which do you choose? The Nexus 7 or the brand new Galaxy Tab 3 7.0? The correct answer is c) none of the above. Wait for the 2nd-gen Nexus 7, which might be announced at Google I/O 2013 in a couple weeks.

Okay, so maybe that isn’t the answer for everyone. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about the Tab 3. Specific regional availability? Price? Actual hands-on time with the dang thing? These are all mysteries. And by the time we do know, there will probably be something much better ... like, you know, that Nexus 7 2G.

Just going by what we know now, it’s hard to recommend the Galaxy Tab 3. It’s very much mid-range. And since Samsung makes its money 100 percent on hardware (unlike Google or Amazon), it’s unlikely we’ll see some ridiculous sub-$200 price tag. Even if it’s cheap, it probably won’t be cheaper than other superior tablets that are either already here or in the pipeline.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

Remember "Way" Back in 2005 when 1024x768 was considered high resolution on a 14 inch screen?


Hate to say it but the much-maligned HP Slate out specs the Galaxy Tab 3 with a 1.6Ghz processor and Beats audio. The rest of the specs are almost identical. The Galaxy has Touch Wiz however and the HP appears unskinned, so that may be another consideration


Please-please stop just saying microSD slot lets you expand/solve low initial memory problems and VERIFY whether the microSd slot in a reviewed device actually expands system memory (i.e. you can run apps from the card) or it only allows for data storage (music, photos, etc) by apps that permit saving to external storage. Recent Samsung offerings -including the Galaxy Note 2 DO NOT LET YOU MOVE APPS TO-OR RUN THEM FROM the microSD card. Offhand comments like yours really confuse the issue. If you can't verify it, include some kind of caveat like, "...although you can add extra storage via a microSD card, it may not expand the system memory to allow for more applications. Check details with the manufacturer."

John Driggers

Samsung galxay tab 3 price is $190

Jory Franks

Wasn't the Evo view 4g the first Android tab? Just asking.

James Logan

KRC1023 - "Remember "Way" Back in 2005 when 1024x768 was considered high resolution on a 14 inch screen?"

That 14" display mentioned is a Laptop screen display,a display viewed from over 2 feet distance. Tablets need higher resolution since we read from way close. More ppi=clearer the text while reading and reading is basically 90% of what we do on Tabs.

Mikael Chuaungo

Mediocre? what a biased review this is. oh, well. So be it. but nexus 7 2012 still outdos Samsung Tab 3 especially in performance. Do the math. Quad core vs Dual core? Give me a break. Even the Nexus 7 2012 blows this tab 3 away. and the 1280x800 resolution is quite good. atleast i can play HD Videos with it. Maybe this site is a Samsung fanboy to call a powerful tab mediocre. Sure, Nexus 7 2013 is loads better than the 2012. obviously it is. Doesn't need a geius to figure that out. but even so, you call Samsung Tab 3 "newer" but an old tab like the Nexus 7 is way better than this. Tab 3 and still dualcore? it could've been quad core.

Takumi Fujiwara
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