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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 vs. iPad mini

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June 3, 2013

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the iPad mini and 8-inch Samsung Galaxy ...

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the iPad mini and 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

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When it comes to mobile devices, Samsung has never been known for its restraint. Just a few months after showing us the Galaxy Note 8.0, and a month after the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Korean company just pulled back the curtain on yet another tablet: the 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3. It isn’t the highest-end tablet ever made. But, for that matter, neither is Apple’s hot-selling iPad mini. Let’s compare the specs (and other features) of the two mid-range mini-tablets.

Size

Both tablets are extremely thin, and sport overall compact designs

The 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is five percent taller than the iPad mini. The iPad mini, though, is almost nine percent wider. You can chalk that up to the screens’ different aspect ratios (more on that in a minute).

Both tablets are very thin, with the Tab 3 coming in at a mere three percent thicker than the svelte iPad mini.

Weight

Both tablets are extremely light

No worries here. Both tablets are extremely light. The iPad is slightly lighter though (by about two percent).

Build

Plastic or aluminum?

The iPad mini has a unified aluminum build, while the Galaxy Tab doesn’t do anything to change Samsung’s affinity for plastic.

Both tablets borrow from the design language of their phone counterparts. The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 from the Galaxy S III (and just about every Samsung phone or tablet from the last year), and the iPad mini from the iPhone 5.

Display

Don't be fooled by those diagonal measurements: the iPad mini's screen is actually slightl...

If you’re measuring diagonally, the Tab 3 8.0 looks to have a slightly bigger screen. But those diagonal measurements are deceiving. If you look instead at screen area, you’ll find that the iPad mini’s screen is actually slightly bigger: by almost three percent.

Neither tablet’s pixel count is going to blow you away. If you already use a 1080p phone or a Retina Display iPad, your eyes will notice a big drop in sharpness on these two.

Processor

Neither processor is going to break any records either

Nothing mind-blowing here either. The A5 chip in the iPad mini first debuted about 27 months ago, in the iPad 2. Hardly cutting-edge.

The same goes for the Tab 3’s nondescript dual core processor. When Samsung doesn’t tell you the make of the chip, you know it isn’t pushing any boundaries. Though, to its credit, it is clocked a bit higher than the iPad mini's A5.

RAM

RAM is a big advantage for the Galaxy Tab

A nice bonus for the Tab 3, as it has three times the RAM of the iPad mini. The relatively tiny amount of RAM in Apple’s tablet leads to some annoying experiences, like browser pages sometimes needing to refresh after only briefly switching to another app.

Storage

The iPad comes in a 64 GB model, but the Tab supports SD cards

Shouldn’t be much to worry about here. The iPad mini comes in one larger storage option (64 GB), but the Tab 3 also supports microSD cards – where you can move your pictures, videos, or other media (no apps though).

The iPad mini will actually give you a bit more usable storage. The 16 GB model leaves you with around 13.7 GB to use, while the Tab 3 only ships with 11.26 GB of available storage.

Wireless

Another similarity: both are solid in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + LTE models

Both slates ship in both Wi-Fi only and (more expensive) Wi-Fi + LTE models.

Cameras

Don't expect anything mind-blowing in the camera department

In terms of pixel counts (hardly a perfect measurement), the tablets’ rear cameras are equal. We’ll need to get our hands on the 8-inch Tab 3 before drawing conclusions, but we wouldn't expect anything amazing from its rear shooter. Ditto for the last-gen camera in the iPad mini.

But since tablets make for awkward cameras anyway, we aren’t too worried about their rear cams. Front-facing shooters might be more important on tablets, and both of these will let you video chat in HD.

Battery

The Tab's battery has a hair more juice

On paper, this is a very small advantage for the Tab 3. Lots of factors can influence actual battery life though. But since the Tab 3 has a pretty low-res display (and no other juice-draining red flags), it’s probably a safe bet that, like the iPad mini, it'll give you good-to-great battery life.

Software

Both tablets run the latest versions of their respective operating systems

We’ll leave the heated Android vs. iOS debates for another time and place. But the nice thing to note here is that both tablets run the latest versions of their respective operating systems.

The other big item here is that the 8-inch Tab 3 runs the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. So you can expect most of the wacky bag of software goodies from the Galaxy S4 to return here.

Apple's App Store still has an advantage in tablet apps. Android's Google Play is improving in that respect, but we'd still like to see more tablet-optimized apps there, and less stretched-out smartphone apps. The good news for potential Galaxy Tab owners is that more people are buying Android tablets, so development should continue to improve there. Just know that, for now, this could be an important consideration.

Wrap-up

On paper, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 holds its own against the iPad mini. In fact, it's quite possible that Samsung used the iPad mini's strengths and weaknesses as guidelines here. Both have extremely light and thin form factors, but pretty mid-range specs in every other area ... with a few areas (RAM, processor speed) slightly favoring the Galaxy Tab.

Samsung hasn’t yet announced pricing for the new Tab, and we also don’t have solid release dates. All we know is that it will be available globally, beginning in June. The iPad mini is a much more known quantity: it starts at US$330, and is available now.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. 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
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3 Comments

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 will be $329.99 U.S. dollars. How do I know, well the Note 8.0 came out for $399.99 and was with higher specs and this device is a bit of a stepdown so i am going to be correct. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is going to be $399.99.

Hartley Mervil
4th June, 2013 @ 05:51 pm PDT

2 things.

1. Regardless of specs, the mini will sell more. Doesn't mean I like it, but it just is.

2. Lameness from Samsung for "matching" the mini. The illusion of choice.

Here's what Samsung. Why not just make a Miniesque like product to completely blow Apple out of the water?

Retina display OLED, magnesium body, super long battery, and a really nice swivel camera on one corner so you can point it ever which way.

Then add some nice stereo speakers like the "One", and give people a choice of colors.

Then, like Apple, let wholesalers and aftermarket product manufacturers know the body dimensions and camera location won't change significantly for the next couple of years, so they can begin to design weird and wonderful accessories for it (which Samsung products lack, unlike Apple who've conceived everything under the sun)

I tell you why it won't happen. If Samsung does this Apple will be pushed to release the equivalent within the year, then both vendors will be stuck for appealing ideas for several years to come. While this will benefit consumers as both products become cheaper and commonplace, it won't benefit them because they can't justify ripping people off with 'new' product revisions.

Vehicle manufacturers pull the same stunt. Radar cruise control is just now starting to creep into the higher end hatchback and family car market. Its been around in $200k Mercedes and BMW since 2000. The technology behind the radar has not improved any great degree during the decade.

Nairda
5th June, 2013 @ 05:30 am PDT

IMO; Nairda seems like an Apple fanboy (IIRC on the term).

I think Gizmag did an excellent job in the comparison. I find it very informative.

I guess (in a way) that I am a Samsung fanboy. :) I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7inc and find it really great. I bought the student edition that came with an adapter and keyboard for $250. I think the 8 inch will probably cost about $300; my guestemit. :)

BigWarpGuy
25th June, 2013 @ 06:16 am PDT
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