Samsung Galaxy Tab Energetic 3 Evaluate: A Wonderful Rugged Pill


As a world tech large, Samsung produces an unbelievable quantity of {hardware} annually. Its high-end TVs and flagship smartphone normally make many of the headlines, however there are many gadgets particularly focused to sure industries.

Amongst them is the Galaxy Tab Energetic 3, a rugged pill that’s geared toward b2b prospects and people working in excessive environments. With a bunch of sturdiness options, it feels effectively optimised for this function, however does it make sense for customers to choose one up? Learn on to search out out.

Design and construct

The design of the Tab Energetic 3 seems like taking a visit again in time, with big bezels and bodily navigation buttons under the display. Each of those have lengthy since been upgraded on consumer-focused tablets, however they make much more sense on a rugged machine like this.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

Samsung has demonstrated the Tab Energetic 3’s suitability to be used in excessive environments, together with conditions the place gloves are being worn. Due to this fact, having a big space to carry onto with out obstructing the display is greater than welcome – the 68.5% screen-to-body ratio means little on a tool like this.

Even with the contact sensitivity settings modified, utilizing on-screen buttons would even be extraordinarily fiddly, not to mention the gestures which have changed them in some circumstances. The bodily equal listed below are impressively tactile and responsive, and the house button additionally doubles as a fingerprint scanner. It proved to be very dependable and impressively proof against mud and moisture, as you would possibly anticipate from a rugged pill.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

One slight inconvenience from a private viewpoint was that the place of again and up to date buttons couldn’t be swapped, as is normally the case when displayed on-screen. Nevertheless, that is very a lot a minor concern, and one thing I shortly received used to.

The design of the Tab Energetic 3 additionally leaves loads of room for a 5Mp front-facing digicam, which additionally helps face unlock. I discovered the latter to be a fantastic different to the fingerprint scanner which labored effectively in most lighting situations, and it proved extraordinarily helpful in conditions the place I wished to shortly unlock the machine hands-free.

The display itself is an 8in, 1200×1900 LCD show with a 16:10 facet ratio. It’s not fairly the 1440p AMOLED show you’ll discover on Samsung flagships, but it surely feels effectively optimised for its supposed function. With wealthy, vivid colors and glorious element, it’s unlikely you’ll want Samsung invested any extra in what’s already an excellent show. It may not be the best for content material consumption, however I doubt many individuals are shopping for the Tab Energetic 3 to scroll Twitter and watch Netflix.

As you would possibly anticipate from a rugged pill, the Tab Energetic 3 provides a superb quantity of grip. The again of the machine is constructed from a textured polycarbonate that feels such as you’re already utilizing a case. After reviewing fairly a number of slippery telephones and tablets lately, it’s a refreshing change. The one different design selection of observe here’s a digicam module, which homes a single 13Mp rear sensor with flash and sits virtually flush with the again of the show.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

Probably the most fascinating inclusion on the perimeters of the machine is a purple ‘Energetic key’, which sits slightly below the amount controls and energy button. By default, a single press will launch the digicam whereas press and maintain opens the calendar, however each may be customised in Settings. I picture this may come in useful in quite a lot of conditions, particularly when you’ll be able to’t afford to waste time looking for a selected app.

You’ll in all probability need to keep in Settings to regulate the ability button (identified right here as ‘Facet key’). A protracted press is about to launch Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant as a substitute of the ability off menu, however this could simply be modified if you happen to favor a extra conventional setup.

On the other aspect you’ll discover a set of pogo pins, which can be utilized as an alternative choice to the USB-C port for charging. I couldn’t check this for myself, but it surely’s nice to have each choices right here. The LTE mannequin I examined additionally has a small flap on the SIM tray, which means it may be eliminated with out the necessity for a separate software.

The downward firing speaker on the underside of the machine combines with the earpiece for a formidable stereo expertise. Audio is wealthy and punchy, though it does lack among the bass you’ll discover on quad speaker setups. You continue to get the choice for wired audio through the three.5mm headphone jack.

The Tab Energetic 3 is constructed to supply glorious sturdiness, and that’s taken a step additional with the rugged case included within the field. It matches snugly on the machine to supply an additional layer of safety, particularly spherical the doubtless extra fragile corners. It’s additionally the place you’ll discover an S-Pen, though that is far more fundamental than the model you’ll discover with the Tab S7+. It really works effectively for navigating round with precision, however don’t anticipate to make use of it for any digital paintings.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

Examined to the restrict

Samsung has particularly designed the Tab Energetic 3 to be used in excessive environments, with army grade safety and IP68 water and dirt resistance. In truth, Samsung was so assured in its rugged credentials that it despatched me a testing equipment alongside the machine, with a view to put it by means of its paces.

There have been six assessments in whole, though one concerned charging to 100% and the opposite was to check the complete vary of options, each of which I’ll discuss intimately later within the evaluation.

From the others, it’s clear that the Tab Energetic 3 can stand as much as the rigours of each day life for nearly all enterprise customers. Submerging the machine in sand was slightly uncommon, however supplied a great perception into its mud resistance. The pill labored simply nice after eradicating, though the navigation buttons have been a bit sticky till a number of hours later.

It’s the same story for water resistance, with the IP68 score stating it might survive in as much as 1.5m of water for as much as half-hour. Regardless of solely submerging the machine for only a few seconds and wiping it down, I needed to wait fairly a couple of minutes for it to reply to contact once more. That’s nice for one-off accidents, however don’t depend on it to be totally purposeful instantly after a dunking.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

I approached dropping the machine from a measured distance of 1.5m with loads of warning. The Tab Energetic 3 meets the military-grade commonplace which implies it might face up to a drop from this peak, however I wasn’t satisfied till the machine got here out unscathed. The influence with the bottom appeared dramatic, but it surely’s reassuring to know {that a} fall from this peak received’t harm the machine.

It’s additionally spectacular to know that the machine can be utilized with gloves. Samsung offered some heavy-duty ones as a part of my evaluation equipment, which you need to use on the Tab Energetic 3 after adjusting contact sensitivity settings. It additionally labored with an on a regular basis pair that I had at residence, though as you would possibly anticipate all of them battle with precision. It’s nice for infrequent use, however with simply an 8in display it’s straightforward to faucet the mistaken button.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

The Tab Energetic 3 carried out effectively in these assessments general, however there are some caveats that you just’ll have to concentrate on.

{Hardware} and efficiency

Samsung’s personal Exynos 9810 chip powers the Tab Energetic 3, and it combines with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage on the mannequin I examined. There’s additionally a mannequin with double the storage, but it surely’s not at the moment obtainable within the UK – happily it helps microSD card growth as much as 1TB.

The 9810 was first launched again in 2018 and first powered gadgets just like the
Galaxy S9 smartphone, so efficiency is stable however removed from class-leading. It was capable of deal with a number of open apps with relative ease, and the bodily navigation buttons meant switching between them was seamless. There was some slight slowdown when utilizing limitless scrolling apps like Twitter, and noticeable lag throughout demanding video games reminiscent of Asphalt 9, however neither are prone to be frequent makes use of for a rugged pill. It should run virtually all of the apps on the Google Play Retailer with out an excessive amount of of a difficulty, offered they’re updated and optimised for tablets.

The standard benchmarks we run at Tech Advisor give an indicator of the efficiency you’ll be able to anticipate, however the dearth of true rugged tablets make direct comparisons troublesome.

As talked about above, the Tab Energetic 3 additionally helps 4G LTE connectivity on the mannequin I examined. It provides full calling and texting performance, however the cellular web connection is prone to be probably the most helpful providing. There’s additionally Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and full GPS and NFC performance, making it a fantastic machine for utilizing on-the-go.

Software program and options

The Tab Energetic 3 comes working One UI 2.5 over Android 10, with Android 11 not anticipated to reach on the machine till June. Samsung’s pores and skin is primarily designed for smartphones, but it surely’s far more practical right here than on bigger tablets just like the
Tab S7+.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 review

Whereas there are a handful of Samsung-themed apps that you could’t uninstall (bloatware), all of those are optimised for bigger shows with all of the navigation buttons positioned within the backside half of the show.

The opposite main UI change is Samsung Each day, the corporate’s reply to the Google Uncover web page accessed by swiping proper from the house display. I didn’t discover it almost as helpful because the Google equal, however it might simply be disabled.

Bixby’s appearances are fleeting as of late, particularly if you happen to’ve stopped it from being triggered with a protracted press of the ability button.

Samsung can be closely selling the Tab Energetic 3’s DeX assist, which lets you join the pill to a suitable monitor for a desktop-like expertise. I wasn’t capable of check it for myself, however previous DeX expertise suggests it’ll be a helpful addition to the machine’s suite of options.

Battery life

A rugged machine at all times wants nice battery life, however on paper the Tab Energetic 3 falls barely in need of the mark. Its 5,050mAh cell is smaller than you’ll discover on many pill, however it’s important to keep in mind that is simply an 8in LCD display and never a bigger OLED panel. Even so, battery benchmarks counsel it’s about common for battery life – 7hr13 and 8hr23 in Geekbench 4 and PCMark’s assessments respectively is nothing particular.

That’s roughly in step with my utilization, too. I used to be capable of get a full day on a single cost with average utilization, or comfortably two with barely much less display time. I did discover that standby time was a giant enchancment on many Samsung gadgets I’ve examined, although.

Nevertheless, the Tab Energetic 3 does have two further methods up its sleeve. The battery itself is detachable, which means you’ll be able to simply swap it out for an additional cell if you run out of cost. It’s refreshing to see a tool with a detachable again, contemplating their shortage on fashionable gadgets.

In the event you’re involved about utilizing a battery in excessive environments, the Tab Energetic 3 additionally has a ‘No Battery Mode’. This enables it for use with out a battery when related to the mains, though Samsung does acknowledge that this could restrict machine CPU efficiency.

Value and worth for cash

Contemplating the Tab Energetic 3’s dated internals and design language, it doesn’t come low cost. The 4GB/64GB mannequin, at the moment the one one obtainable within the UK, will set you again
US$489.99 from the Samsung web site.

There’s nonetheless comparatively little competitors amongst tablets at this value level, though you’ll be able to choose up the
2020 iPad Air for simply £579. On the Android aspect, Samsung’s personal
Tab S7 is simply barely costlier at £619, whereas there are many different nice choices in our
greatest pill chart.

Nothing can rival it within the rugged pill house, however you’ll need to make sure that you need a machine with the additional sturdiness options the Tab Energetic 3 provides. For a lot of enterprise prospects, it’s in all probability well worth the cash, particularly if you happen to’re shopping for in bulk. For anybody else, it’s a tough promote.


The Tab Energetic 3’s industrial design, big bezels and bodily navigation buttons make it fairly not like another machine Samsung makes, however with good motive. Individuals available in the market for a rugged pill received’t have a difficulty with any of these issues, and will even favor them to the fashionable different.

Nevertheless, it’s the Tab Energetic 3’s sturdiness credentials which are the star of the present right here. With army grade safety and IP68 water and dirt resistance, it might face up to submersions in sand, water and drops from 1.5m. There’s even a setting which implies you need to use the touchscreen with gloves, whereas the S-Pen provides a helpful different for navigation.

The excessive asking value would possibly cease many individuals from taking the plunge, however the Tab Energetic 3 sits out by itself because the rugged pill to beat.

Take a look at
How we check: Tablets for extra data on what goes into considered one of our critiques. 


Samsung Galaxy Tab Energetic 3: Specs

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


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