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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 311 vs Apple iPad Mini

on September 5, 2013 – 8:14 pmNo Comment

Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone market is well-known, but the South Korean electronics giant is yet to stamp its authority on the Tablet market. Apple was the company that brought back tablets to life with their original iPad.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 311 was launched in July  while the iPad Mini was launched way back last year. The iPad Mini is almost at the end of its product cycle while the Tab 3 is quite fresh.

Both the tablets are worlds apart in terms of build quality, the software they run and the internals they feature. Lets check out how they perform.

Design, Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 follows the design language of the latest series of Galaxy phones with a full plastic build and a plastic rim running across the device. The iPad Mini on the other hand has a solid Aluminum build giving it a highly premium finish.

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In terms of dimensions, both the tablets have almost sized screens, but the Galaxy Tab is taller while the iPad Mini is very wide. In terms of the weight, despite the aluminum build, the iPad Mini weighs just 312g which is 2g less than the 314g of Galaxy Tab 3.

On the front of the tablets, we have the display above which we have the earpiece with front camera on the right side of it and the ambient and proximity sensors on the left side of it on the Galaxy Tab 3. On the iPad Mini, we just have the front facing camera right at the center.

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Below the display, we have a physical home button flanked by capacitive touch keys on either side on the Galaxy Tab 3. On the iPad Mini, we have the trademark Apple home button with no other keys.

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The positioning of keys is slightly different. The Galaxy Tab 3 has both the volume rocker and the power lock on the right side while the iPad Mini has the power lock key and a Screen rotation toggle switch on the right side.

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On the bottom, we have the microUSB port and microphone along with dual speakers on the Galaxy Tab. On the iPad Mini, we have the lightning connector and two speakers on either side of it.

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On the left side, we have the covered microSIM and microSD card slot on the Tab 3 while there is absolutely nothing on the iPad Mini.

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At the top, we have just the 3.5mm audio jack on the Galaxy Tab 3, while we have the 3.5mm audio jack, microphone and power lock key on the iPad Mini. The build quality and premium finish of the iPad Mini’s button set it way apart from the Galaxy Tab.

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Moving to the back side, we find glossy plastic on the Galaxy Tab while we have solid aluminum on the iPad Mini. The Galaxy Tab is more prone to finger prints. The camera is located at the top left corner on both the devices and there is no flash in both the devices. We have the branding and certification information at the bottom. The back cover is not removable in both the devices.

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Overall, the Galaxy Tab 3 has a little worn out Samsung design, but its ergonomics make it fit well in the hand. The iPad mini, on the other hand, has a top quality premium finish and build quality making it quite sturdy. The iPad Mini is quite comfortable to hold and use.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 has 8inch display of 1280×800 pixels (189ppi) while the iPad Mini has a 7.9inch of 1024×768 pixels(162ppi).

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In terms of brightness and saturation, both the displays are neck to neck. The contrast is also quite similar although the Galaxy Tab 3 seemed slightly over saturated in terms of colors. But when it comes to sharpness, the iPad Mini is far behind because of the low pixel density.

Overall, we liked the display on the Galaxy Tab 3 because of its relative sharpness.

Hardware and Performance

The Galaxy Tab 3 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Exynos 4212 SoC along with 1.5GB RAM and Mali400 MP GPU. The iPad Mini is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 chipset along with 512MB RAM and PowerVRSGX543MP2 GPU.

The Galaxy Tab 3 has 16/32GB variants while the iPad Mini has 16/32/64GB variants(we have the 16GB variants). Out of the 16GB, Galaxy Tab has around 10.8GB usable storage while the iPad Mini has 13.7GB usable storage. The Galaxy Tab 3, however has a microSD card slot which is absent in the iPad Mini.

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In terms of specifications, the Galaxy Tab 3 seems to out-do the iPad Mini, but in terms of performance, that is not the case. The Galaxy Tab 3 shows occasional lags and glitches when opening and switching apps while iPad Mini is very fast in opening apps and switching between them.

Camera

Both the tablets have a 5MP camera at the back and the Galaxy Tab 3 has a 1.3MP camera at the front while the iPad Mini has a 1.2MP camera on front. The Galaxy Tab3 can record just 720p videos from the rear camera and 480p videos from the front camera. The iPad Mini on the other hand can record 1080p videos from the rear camera and 720p videos from the front camera.

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The camera UI is very different on both the devices. The camera app of Galaxy Tab 3 has a lot of options that lets you shoot in various modes like Beauty face, Night mode, panorama, sound shot and sport mode. Also, you can set various options like white balance, ISO, exposure and other things. On the iPad Mini, there is nothing to play with. Tapping the object to focus shifts the focus and adjusts the Exposure based on that. That is all you get with the iPad Mini.

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In terms of image quality, the iPad Mini is ahead with better details and more contrast. The front camera of the iPad Mini is way ahead of the Galaxy Tab.

Software features

Software is where things get drastically different. The Galaxy Tab 3 runs on Android 4.2.2 Jellybean with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of it. The iPad Mini runs on iOS 6 and is upgradable to iOS 7 when it is available.

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Both the software are very different. The Galaxy Tab has a lot of options that one can find in a typical Android tablet with notification bar allowing easy access to toggles which is not there in the iPad. The Galaxy Tab has an application drawer where all the applications available are found while it is absent in the iPad Mini. Multi-tasking is there in both Android and iOS which lets you switch between apps. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has a lot of soft are goodies like Multi-Windows which lets you do two things at a time in either half of the screen. Any such customization is not present in iOS.

In terms of applications, the iOS store has a lot of tablet specific apps which is missing in the Android Play Store. A lot of apps are still exclusive to the App Store tablet market.

Overall, in terms of usability of software, the iPad Mini is very simple to use with little features. The Galaxy Tab has a ton of features, but is not the simplest to use.

Gaming

Gaming is good on Galaxy Tab 3, but excellent on the iPad Mini. The biggest advantage for iOS is the computability of the apps. Almost all the games run quite smoothly on the iPad mini, but that is not the case with Galaxy Tab. There were some occasional glitches.

Battery

The Galaxy Tab 3 has a non-replacabe 4450mAh Li-Ion battery while the iPad Mini has a 16.3 Watt hour battery. The iPad Mini has a much better battery life than the Galaxy Tab.

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In terms of connectivity, both the devices are equipped with features like 3G,WiFi(802.11 b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth; while features like NFC, WiFi Direct and microUSB(MHL) connectivity are exclusive to Galaxy Tab 3.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Tab 3 WiFi+3G version retails for Rs24,500 while the WiFi+3G version of iPad Mini retails for Rs29,900 and WiFi only version retails for Rs21,900.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is not a tablet with top of the shelf specifications, but is aimed at the budget minded and has good smartphone features for its pricing along with a big display. The iPad Mini is an Apple product and it comes at a relatively expensive price, but nothing on the iPad Mini has been compromised expect for its display.

Advantages of Galaxy Tab 3 over iPad Mini

  • Better display
  • Better software features
  • Better connectivity
  • Cheaper Price point

Advantages of iPad Mini over Galaxy Tab 3

  • Much better build quality
  • Better Camera
  • Better battery
  • Better tablet optimized applications available
  • Better performance
  • Better gaming performance
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Monish is passionate about smartphones who is also interested in User Experience and Design. He is currently using Samsung Galaxy S3. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+