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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 vs Tab 3

Updated on August 15, 2014

If you are on the market for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, you are probably wondering what's the difference between Tab 2 and 3. Why pay the price difference, is it really worth. On Amazon the price difference between Galaxy Tab 2 and 3, for the 10.1 inch version is not that consistent. You would think that Samsung would drop the price for the older version, but they didn't.

Let's see some of the differences between the two, and see if it's worth paying the extra money.

OS and Storage

Both of the devices reviewed here come with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, 16 GB internal storage memory, expandable with an microSD card. Some other devices might still have older OSs installed, but that it's easily fixed by installing Samsung's desktop application Kies. Kies is a PC application that allows end users to upgrade their Samsung device to the latest firmware, sync the device with the PC, organize photos, and other files from your tab, and back-up you device. There are also Galaxy tabs that come with 8 GB internal storage.


The screen size is obviously the same size 10.1, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

The dimensions are about the same, except the Galaxy Tab 3 is consistently thinner, 0.31" vs 0.38", and slightly lighter 510 grams vs 581 grams the older tab. The new version has a slightly narrower bezel, which helps for a better grip, and looks nicer.


Although the camera is not one of the best, is probably worth mentioning that the rear camera has a 3.2 Megapixels resolution on the Galaxy tab 3, vs 3 Megapixels on tab 2, so no major upgrade.

The CPU is an improvement, which shows in speed tests. I did not perceive the speed difference in daily use though, most of my regular tasks perform about the same. It could show up maybe in the speed it loads a video, or in running more CPU intensive apps. The new CPU is a 1.6 GHz, Atom dual core, vs 1 GHz dual core the old tab 2.

The memory is the same 1 GB RAM, which is enough for a fair use of the tablet. However, sometimes you need to manually shutdown open applications. I wish the'd put more memory on this unit...


The battery is a little disappointment in the tab 3, with 6800 mAh, vs 7000 mAh for the Galaxy tab 2. This, and the slightly higher power consumption, make the new unit to run out of juice faster than the old model, ( approximately 7 hours operation vs 9 hours).


This is where Samsung tried their best to impress a new buyer. (Many criticized them for the minimal hardware upgrade...) The Galaxy tab 3 comes pre-loaded with 10$ Google Play credit, so you can buy your apps, with unlimited Boing Wi-Fi access in all North America for 1 year, (over 100$ value), and Hulu Plus membership for three months.

What Can You Do With a Tablet?

If you are still wondering if a tablet is the most appropriate thing to buy as a gift for yourself, or for someone else, maybe you should think at what can a table do. What are the tasks that can be performed with a tablet? Can it be used as a laptop? A tablet can be used for many of your computing needs, and for most of the tasks there will be no difference from a laptop. The most obvious uses are:

  • As a reader, (read PDF documents, or install kindle for Android and buy books from Amazon).
  • Watch movies on YouTube, Netflix, or any other online video website.
  • Write documents, (buy a Bluetooth keyboard, or use the integrated dictation feature).
  • Browse the Internet wherever you want in the house.
  • Socialize online on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, (I am huge fan of Google+)

My daughter uses hers for:

  • Taking notes in class, (Audio notes and text notes).
  • Gaming, there are so many free games for Android, and so many cheap apps, that the Tab turns easily into a gaming device.
  • Study, she uses it to watch videos for her sciences classes.
  • Write her assignments sometimes, although she prefers the laptop for this.

My favorite uses for my Tab are:

  • Control the TV and watch shows on the tablet.
  • Type my online writings when I am away from home. (use either a free office app, or Google Drive)
  • Connect via VPN and Remote Desktop at work when I am away from home.
  • Video chat.
  • Google Maps for driving instructions.
  • Take notes of my ideas, so I don't forget them.

When I bought my Galaxy Tab 2, I also bought a Bluetooth Keyboard, and pouch. The keyboard is almost a must have for anyone that types a lot, it's so much easier when you type a lot like I do. And the pouch is a great way to protect the screen from scratches.

Samsung EFC-1B1LBECXAR Leather Carrying Case (Pouch) for Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung EFC-1B1LBECXAR Leather Carrying Case (Pouch) for Galaxy Tab 10.1

There are many hard cases with an included keyboard, however, during my research, I found out that many of them are generic, and they won't perfectly fit you device, pressing on your tablet, or the keyboard. Others had a bad keyboard. So for me the obvious choice was a good keyboard, and a separate pouch. This leather pouch is elegant, and will protect your tablet from scratches.

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Windows 8, Windows RT and Android3.0+
Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Windows 8, Windows RT and Android3.0+

I bought this keyboard because I don't like typing on a touchscreen for a long time. I find it way slower than typing on a traditional keyboard, and since the main purpose of this tablet is to allow me to type my ideas with ease, the touch keyboard was a no go. Of course, when I have a great idea and want to just record it on "paper" so I don't forget it, the voice typing feature on Android is perfect. It works great even for my thick Eastern European accent. I just dictate, and the tablet records everything on a document.


This video is an extensive review of the Samsung Galaxy tab 3, and its features. It shows how to operate, the tab, how to create shortcuts, perform various task, and some tips and tricks.

If you are new to Samsung galaxy, this is a great tutorial.

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Playing Angry Birds on my Galaxy Tab.My Internet apps.All apps on a Galaxy tab - screenshot.Me typing on my tab.Me again, typing on my tab.
Playing Angry Birds on my Galaxy Tab.
Playing Angry Birds on my Galaxy Tab.
My Internet apps.
My Internet apps.
All apps on a Galaxy tab - screenshot.
All apps on a Galaxy tab - screenshot.
Me typing on my tab.
Me typing on my tab.
Me again, typing on my tab.
Me again, typing on my tab.


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    • Taranwanderer profile image


      3 years ago

      The Galaxy Tab S is now the big man on campus. I would get a Tab 2 or 3 for the kids, though.

    • samsung-galaxy lm profile image

      samsung-galaxy lm 

      4 years ago

      great lens!!! i actually have the samsung s4. I think i see the s5 in my future!


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