 The Best Days Of Indian Consumer Internet Are Yet To Come

Image result for  The Best Days Of Indian Consumer Internet Are Yet To Come

Consumer Internet startups, the hottest ticket in Indian startup ecosystem for the last decade, appeared to have hit a massive speed breaker in 2016. Funding slowed down drastically. In the ecommerce sector alone, funding fell to $1.94 billion in 2016 from $4.7 billion in 2015, as per data from Venture Intelligence. Many were forced to shut shop. Tracxn counted over 314 consumer Internet startups which shut down in 2016 compared to 215 the previous year. Those who survived saw their valuations fizzle out; even the biggest startups were not able to get through without anguish.

This bleak scenario led to many observers questioning the legitimacy of India’s consumer Internet story. They had data to back this hypothesis as funding began shifting away from consumer-Internet startups. But there is one singular aspect of the analysis that caught my eye – a few people started questioning the very existence of India’s big consumer Internet market.

A chart published in The Economist last month said that ecommerce sales in India were flat in 2016, after doubling in 2014 and trebling in 2015. The report accompanying the chart noted that of the 200 Mn-250 Mn Indians with Internet access and credit or debit cards; only a small proportion of this were inclined to shop online. Although this part may be true.

Absolute best apps for your Android

 

You love your apps. We all do. Just think about how many times a day you tap apps like Facebook Messenger, Google Maps, Skype and so many others.

Unfortunately, you know the downside of apps. You end up clogging up your smartphone and slowing it down with dozens of apps.

The problem is, if you’re like me, you have so many apps that you never use. That’s understandable.

When you hear about hot, new apps, you download them. And, why not? It’s easy to do from the Google Play Store. Many apps are free. Plus, individual apps don’t typically take up a lot of space on your phone.Absolute best apps for your Android

At Komando.com, one of our goals is to save you time and money when it comes to everything digital. That includes apps. Here, we’ll tell you about five Android apps that you’ll love and use all the time.

These five apps are among the award winners at the recent Google I/O 2017 developers’ summit. We selected FREE apps that we use from those winners. You can download them right from the Google Play Store.

Note: Before you add more apps to your phone, delete some. The way to do that might vary a bit on your Android phone, but try this: Tap on the Apps icon on your home screen >> click on the sprocket – circle with eight points – in the upper-right corner >> tap on the little X next to apps that can be deleted.

 

Google makes the best Android apps easier to find with Android Excellence

 

Google wants you to find the best apps faster, so it’s introduced a new section to the Play Store called Android Excellence. The banner on the Editor’s Choice page will spotlight apps and games that “deliver incredible user experiences on Android, use many of our best practices, and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.”

Last month, Google spotlighted the winners of its second annual Google Play Awards. Several of the apps are, not surprisingly, represented on the Android Excellence page. Google says this list will be updated quarterly with hand-picked selections from its editorial team. Check out the first round of apps and games below:

Google Play

Google wants you to find the best apps faster, so it’s introduced a new section to the Play Store called Android Excellence. The banner on the Editor’s Choice page will spotlight apps and games that “deliver incredible user experiences on Android, use many of our best practices, and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.”

Last month, Google spotlighted the winners of its second annual Google Play Awards. Several of the apps are, not surprisingly, represented on the Android Excellence page. Google says this list will be updated quarterly with hand-picked selections from its editorial team. Check out the first round of apps and games below:

Android Excellence Apps

  • AliExpress by Alibaba Mobile
  • B&H Photo Video by B&H Photo Video
  • Citymapper by Citymapper Limited
  • Drivvo by Drivvo
  • drupe by drupe
  • Evernote by Evernote Corporation
  • Hotel Tonight by HotelTonight
  • Kitchen Stories by Kitchen Stories
  • Komoot by komoot GmbH
  • Lifesum by Lifesum
  • Memrise by Memrise
  • Pocket by Read It Later
  • Runtastic Running & Fitness Tracker by Runtastic
  • Skyscanner by Skyscanner Ltd
  • Sleep as Android by Urbandroid Team
  • Vivino by Vivino

Android Excellence Games

  • After the End Forsaken Destiny by Nexon M Inc.
  • CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars by ZeptoLab
  • Golf Clash by Playdemic
  • Hitman GO Square Enix Ltd
  • Horizon Chase – World Tour by Aquiris Game Studio S.A
  • Kill Shot Bravo by Hothead Games
  • Lineage Red Knights by Ncsoft Corporation
  • Nonstop Knight by flaregames
  • PAC-MAN 256 – Endless Maze by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
  • Pictionary by Etermax
  • Reigns by DevolverDigital
  • Riptide GP: Renegade by Vector Unit
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
  • Titan Brawl by Omnidrone
  • Toca Blocks by Toca Boca

 

Android Excellence Apps

  • AliExpress by Alibaba Mobile
  • B&H Photo Video by B&H Photo Video
  • Citymapper by Citymapper Limited
  • Drivvo by Drivvo
  • drupe by drupe
  • Evernote by Evernote Corporation
  • Hotel Tonight by HotelTonight
  • Kitchen Stories by Kitchen Stories
  • Komoot by komoot GmbH
  • Lifesum by Lifesum
  • Memrise by Memrise
  • Pocket by Read It Later
  • Runtastic Running & Fitness Tracker by Runtastic
  • Skyscanner by Skyscanner Ltd
  • Sleep as Android by Urbandroid Team
  • Vivino by Vivino

Android Excellence Games

  • After the End Forsaken Destiny by Nexon M Inc.
  • CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars by ZeptoLab
  • Golf Clash by Playdemic
  • Hitman GO Square Enix Ltd
  • Horizon Chase – World Tour by Aquiris Game Studio S.A
  • Kill Shot Bravo by Hothead Games
  • Lineage Red Knights by Ncsoft Corporation
  • Nonstop Knight by flaregames
  • PAC-MAN 256 – Endless Maze by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
  • Pictionary by Etermax
  • Reigns by DevolverDigital
  • Riptide GP: Renegade by Vector Unit
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
  • Titan Brawl by Omnidrone
  • Toca Blocks by Toca Boca

 

Best smart home system

 

Updated July 18, 2017 to include our review of the Home8 Video-Verified Home Security Alarm System. From smart light bulbs and thermostats that think for themselves to  Bluetooth door locks, wireless security cameras, and all manner of sensors, today’s home technology can sound awfully sophisticated while actually being a messy hodgepodge of gizmos and apps. Whether you call it home automation or the connected home, installing all this stuff in your house is one thing. Getting it to work together smoothly and with a single user interface can be something entirely different.

Here’s the essential gear to get you there, which we’ve separated into two categories: all-around smart home systems, which are designed to coordinate a wide variety of smart home products, and security-focused systems, which are built around sensors and sirens. You should also note that some of our picks are starter kits, consisting of a smart-home hub and a handful of devices, while others are just the hub. You’ll need to add the components you want to the latter, choosing from products certified by the hub manufacturer.

 smart home hub lead art

For breadth and depth of supported smart home products, you won’t find a smart home system that handles more than Samsung SmartThings. At its core is a small square box that plugs into your router (and Samsung’s Connect Home will soon eliminate that requirement by integrated a mesh router with a SmartThings hub). Through the SmartThings mobile app, you then start adding your various devices through its simple yet intuitive control system. These can be sensors or light bulbs that Samsung sells directly, or (more likely) you can choose from a vast number of products that boast “Works with SmartThings” compatibility.

Seemingly every major category is covered, including the Amazon Echo and Google Home, numerous major smart lighting products (including Philips and Sylvania gear), the Ring Video Doorbell, and a full 20 smart door locks. SmartThings can also integrate with your Samsung smart appliances—even the vacuum cleaner. If there’s a gap in SmartThings’ coverage, it’s a lack of (official) support for Nest products and relatively weak support for third-party security cameras (although third-party support code is often available if you’re willing to tinker). Otherwise it’s hard to find a smart market that SmartThings doesn’t play in.

 

Sony consolidating its flagships is probably for the best

 

Despite not performing as well as many of the other big brands in the smartphone business, Sony has made it clear that it will stick it out in the handset market. The latest reports suggest that the company has two more flagship models heading our way this year.

While still unconfirmed, it appears that Sony is looking to consolidate its premium tier of smartphones with its upcoming releases. A move that I believe not only makes financial sense, but is likely to help the company’s struggling brand awareness too. Even if this means that a few consumer favourites, such as the Compact range, may be sacrificed.

Xperia XYZ

Sony has long been criticized for releasing too many smartphones, and this goes right back to the days of the Z1, Z3, and Z3+, etc. Arguably, the situation has become even more confusing in the past year or so, following Sony’s adoption of its Premium and Performance branding.

400 quatloos to whoever can detail the differences between the Xperia XZ, XZs, XZ Premium, X Compact, X Performance, and the regular X model off the top of their head.

400 quatloos to whoever can detail the differences between the Xperia XZ, XZs, XZ Premium, X Compact, X Performance, and the regular X model off the top of their head. Remember, that’s just over one year’s worth of premium tier releases from Sony. While we enthusiasts have the benefit of breaking down spec sheets for fun, imagine how bewildering this range would look stacked up on a physical store display. How would you pick?

It’s no wonder that marketing seems completely absent for so many of Sony’s phones, yet a clear cut message and notable differentiation is essential when trying to market premium tier products to consumers. By cutting out its “Premium Standard” models – which includes the Xperia X and X Compact – Sony will almost certainly see an improvement to consumer understanding of its product range. This instantly helps with marketing and will importantly make its product range easier to breakdown and compare to other flagship models.

That being said, releasing four premium tier products a year is still probably a couple too many. Although if there’s a notable differentiation between some of them, such as a Compact or Phablet model released part way through the year ala LG’s V series or Samsung’s Note, then this might just fly.

It’s time to cut costs

Furthermore, eliminating the diversity of its top-tier products could be a sensible cost cutting measure for a company whose mobile division pulls in considerably less revenue than the likes of Apple and Samsung. We know that Sony Mobile has been underperforming financially for a while now, so this is a much needed move.

Even if Sony doesn’t actually cut down the number of high-end products it releases each year, it’s still looking like four, manufacturing phones with more components in common saves hugely on costs. Component stock can be shared between models, meaning that Sony won’t get caught out holding a lot of mid-tier processors if a phone doesn’t sell. Similarly, software development and support costs and times are lowered, as chip and hardware feature implementations can be shared.

Currently, across Sony’s Premium Standard and Flagship models you’ll find a Snapdragon 650, 820, and 835, combined with a selection of 4K, 1080p, and 720p panels and various Quick Charge implementations. Distilling this down to a single core specification but packaged in different sized units, as Samsung is does with the S8 and S8 Plus, would be more cost effective. But we’ll have to wait and see if that’s actually what Sony has planned.

The drawbacks

Of course, such a move makes it inevitable that some of Sony’s more interesting products will disappear. The Compact range remains a favourite of those who want a powerful phone in a small form factor, but it’s always been a more niche product than more profitable phablets. It’s likely that the Compact range will be a casualty if Sony follows through with this plan, unless the company makes an unlikely move and releases a sub 5-inch flagship as one of its two releases reportedly planned for later in the year.

The Compact range remains a favourite of those who want a powerful phone in a small form factor, but it’s likely to be a casualty of Sony’s reshuffle.

Similarly, the value proposition of the Xperia X also looks set to disappear. While this diversity is part of Sony’s problem, there’s something to be said about offering a cost competitive alternative to the big players in order to gain market share. I don’t know how well this would work out for Sony as a Plan A, but the overshadowed Xperia X didn’t exactly seem like a solid commitment that we could use to gauge consumer appetite from. Sony would clearly rather view itself competing at the premium tier rather than fighting it out in the bargain bin.

These and other interesting products, such as the Z Ultra, have previously helped Sony stand out, and there is a risk that simply copying the a formula used by others could cause Sony’s Xperia handsets to become further lost in the crowd, especially if the hardware isn’t all that different between generations.

Could Sony consolidate further?

Perhaps then, simply reshuffling its flagship models doesn’t go far enough to revamp the company’s image and portfolio in a way that will make a meaningful difference. In reality, it looks like Sony is essentially going back to its previous method of two major announcements a year, which will probably be just as infuriating as it was with the Xperia Z series.

Instead, I think Sony could do with being bolder, releasing yet fewer products but with a clearer purpose to each. Really, only one major flagship per year is required, with perhaps a secondary product released to maintain momentum. Apple, Samsung, LG, and to a lesser extent Huawei have done quite well using this model.

I would quite happily take a bells and whistles flagship Xperia launch at the start of the year, followed up by a compelling aggressively priced S or Compact model part way through the year to cater to those who didn’t fancy splashing the cash on one of the year’s flagships. Two meaningful handsets that don’t cannibalize each other and that could be marketed with a suitable budget to finally give the brand some much needed recognition. But what do I know?

 

The 10 best Android apps for Chromebooks

 

Running Android apps on Chromebooks is still a dream—a dream in extended beta, that is. After promising the feature earlier this year, Google has pushed out the release date.

While a select number of Chromebooks can access Google Play right out of the box, more adventurous Chromebook users will need to run the developer beta of Chrome OS to experience Android apps. After spending time with a number of Android apps that have become Chrome-friendly, I actually prefer some Android versions on Chrome over the web-based versions, as mobile apps can be refreshingly simple and uncluttered.chromebook chrome os

To get into the beta channel, go to your Chromebook’s Settings page and click About Chrome OS. Next, click Detailed build information, then click Change Channel. There, you can switch from the stable channel to the beta channel. You should steer clear of the developer channel, however, as that will definitely be unstable.

The 10 Android apps below represent how good it could be on Chrome once everything becomes official. Just remember, this is beta software, so tread carefully. If things go awry, you can always go back to stable channel or Powerwash your Chromebook and start over.

Microsoft Outlook

android apps chromebook outlook

Derek Walter/IDG

Sure, Gmail is great and all, but like many you might have an Office 365 email address assigned by your company. If that’s the case, you’ll want to grab the Microsoft Outlook Android application for your Chromebook. Unlike the web app, you can use Outlook to manage multiple accounts and access your messages offline. It even handles Gmail accounts if you want to use Outlook as your all-in-one email application.

Newton Mail

android apps chromebook newton mail

Derek Walter/IDG

Perhaps you want to extend the capabilities of your email app by connecting it to your favorite services. Newton Mail (formerly CloudMagic) has several built-in plugins for common services like Trello, Todoist, OneNote, and Salesforce. You can quickly zap emails over to those apps with just a couple of taps.

Newton Mail is clean and works well, but don’t get too attached unless you want to pay the $50-per-year fee for full access.

The 6 Best New Android Apps And Games

 

The phone you have now might be more powerful than a supercomputer from the early 90s, but that won’t do you any good unless you have cool software for it to run. You need good apps and games. The problem, though, is figuring out which of the many new titles in the Play Store are worth your time. Well, here they are. After many hours of toil and testing, these are the best new apps and games you can get on Android right now.

Firefox Focus (Free)

The trend lately has been for browsers to do as many things as possible, but that’s not what Firefox Focus is about. This browser runs on the same engine as other versions of Firefox, but it eschews things like extensions, tabs, and even bookmarks in the name of privacy.

Firefox Focus

Ryan Whitwam

Firefox Focus

When you open Firefox Focus, all you have is a search/address bar. That opens a single tab, and that’s all you get. You can use the floating action button at any time while browsing to close the page and clear data. There’s also a notification that does the same.

Focus defaults to blocking all ads and most trackers. You can shut this feature off in the menu if that breaks a page, but most of the time it just makes pages load faster and use less data. And of course, there’s the privacy aspect. Firefox Focus is free to download.

Neon Chrome ($9.99)

There have been plenty of top-down shooters on Android, but I think Neon Chrome is the best one yet. This comes from the developers of the fantastic Crimsonland, and it takes the twin-stick shooter genre to a new place with randomly generated levels, amazing replayability, and deep customization.

Neon Chrome

Ryan Whitwam

Neon Chrome

Your goal in Neon Chrome is to fight your way through 20-something levels to take out the Overseer. This is a tough game, so expect to die a lot at first. Each time you die, it’s game over. However, you can use the credits earned to improve your character for the next run. The game doesn’t get stale, either. All the levels are randomly generated, and various character classes and perks encourage you to try different approaches to victory.

Neon Chrome has a rad cyberpunk style with lots of neon colors (duh), lighting effects, and cool character design. It’s an expensive game at $10, but it’s so worth the price.

Adobe Scan (Free)

You don’t need a scanner anymore, you have a phone. Well, you need an app to make your camera act like a scanner, too. There are several good apps that do that, but the new Adobe Scan might be the best one yet. To scan a document, just set it down and point your camera at it. Adobe Scan automatically finds the edges and captures the image.

Adobe Scan

Ryan Whitwam

Adobe Scan

You can add as many pages as you want to a document, and the app is very good about flattening, sharpening, and transforming the images into something vaguely page-shaped. You can manually re-adjust the crop if you want, but Adobe Scan is extremely good at doing it all automatically.

The documents you create with Adobe Scan can be instantly exported as a PDF, or you can upload them to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The app also runs text recognition on the documents you scan, making them searchable via the Acrobat app. Not bad for a free app.

Spaceplan ($2.99)

Clicker games are usually good for a few minutes of mindless fun, but Spaceplan manages to make a clicker game fun by dressing it up in a sci-fi package and tossing in some excellent writing. So what is the strange animal? As the description says, it’s  “based partly on a total misunderstanding of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.”

Spaceplan

Ryan Whitwam

Spaceplan

Spaceplan follows the exploits of a lone human (you) and the AI of the spaceship you find yourself stranded on. You’re orbiting an odd planet, and the only way to get home is to generate enough power to scan the surface, investigate your surroundings, and maybe travel through time a little. Amusingly, all the power comes from various forms of potatoes and tapping on the “kinetigen.” That’s the clicker aspect.

Spaceplan has simple geometric graphics, but the game feels very well-crafted. The dialog is witty and you’ll actually care about the story, wacky though it may be. This is the perfect game to play for a few minutes while you’re waiting in line someplace. The $2.99 price tag is a real bargain.

Audvel (Free)

Interested in some auditory entertainment? Podcasts are a good, free way to pass the time. The apps for listening to them often cost a few bucks. The new podcast app Audvel is completely free, though.

Audvel

Ryan Whitwam

Audvel

You need to log into Audvel with either your Google account or another email, but it automatically syncs your subscriptions between devices. That’s one of the essential features of a podcast app for me. No one wants to lose all their subscriptions when they switch phones. You can add new subs from the app’s discovery section, or search for your favorites.

You can stream new episodes or download them for offline playback. When listening, Audvel includes built-in support for increasing playback speed. It also compensates for the increase speed by lowering the pitch. It’s not the most full-featured app, but it’s still very new and completely free. There are supposed to be ads in Audvel, but I haven’t see any yet. A future in-app purchase to remove such ads seems likely.

Card Thief (Free, $1.99 upgrade)

As the name implied, Card Thief is a card game. However, it’s also addictive and hugely intense. That’s not usually something you’d say about a card game. In Card Thief, you play the role of a thief on a heist, and the only way to make off with the loot is to knock the other cards off the board until you reach the end of the deck.

Card Thief

Ryan Whitwam

Card Thief

Card Thief comes with a lengthy tutorial, which a good thing as the rules are somewhat esoteric. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to move your thief around the board, taking out guards, disarming traps, and eventually snagging the treasure chest before beating a hasty retreat. You remain alive as long as you have stealth points, but each actions like extinguishing lights and taking out guards use some of them. The key to success is understanding how to move strategically to maximize your stealth points and avoid the light.

Card Thief has a distinctive hand drawn “gothic” art style, and the animations are more elaborate than you’d expect from a card game. For example, the guard cards emote and change based on their alert status. Card Thief is an extremely well-made game, and you can try it free. If you like it, the ads can be removed for $1.99.

 

The best laptops of 2017: Ultrabooks, budget PCs, 2-in-1s, and more

 

Choosing the best laptop can be difficult these days. With companies like Dell, HP, Acer, and Asus continually launching updates of popular notebooks and expansions of product lines, we’re all but swimming in options right now.

Summer has pushed even more convertibles, 2-in-1s, and traditional notebooks onto store shelves. The most interesting ones poke holes in existing assumptions about certain categories. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, for example, is an attempt to revive the company’s battle with Chromebooks, while Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming—our “Best budget gaming laptop” pick—offers 1080p gaming for just $850. Vendors also are serious about squeezing AMD’s new CPUs into their lineups, with Asus recently debuting the first Ryzen laptop at Computex.laptops

Given the number of choices out there, we’re hard at work evaluating more laptops. For our latest update, we’ve added “Best MacBook” as a category, in order to better help you compare the full range of laptops available.

Dell might be sticking to the adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it comes to the XPS 13, but that strategy keeps producing the best ultrabook of the bunch. The Kaby Lake XPS 13 shares the same design as its predecessors: a quality aluminium exterior and carbon-fiber top, and that wonderfully compact, bezel-free 13-inch screen.

Dell actually released two updates to the XPS 13 in 2016: The one at the start of the year swapped in a Skylake CPU, added a USB Type-C port that served as an alternative charging port, and offered upgraded storage options. The most recent refresh—and our new pick for Best Ultrabook—keeps the same chassis changes as the Skylake XPS 13, features a jump to Intel’s new Kaby Lake processor, and sports a slightly larger battery. You get improved performance across the board, with a nice bump of an extra half-hour of battery life during video playback.

Kaby Lake Dell XPS 13Gordon Mah Ung
The Kaby Lake version of the Dell XPS 13 maintains that balance between portability, compact size, and performance that we like so much.

Our only lingering complaint is the small keyboard, but overall, you can’t lose with the newest XPS 13. It’s a truly compact ultrabook that punches out of its class.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: The best Android tablet you can buy

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: It is a high-end tablet with a stunning display, and superior build quality.

A few years ago, tablets were looked as the next big thing in computing. I still remember how difficult it was to get the third-generation iPad. People were queuing up all day to get Apple’s swanky gadget. But tablets haven’t really made that huge dent on the laptop industry as large smartphones have been able to. In fact, the big screen smartphones have taken away the thunder of a lot of tablets. Despite this, Apple and Samsung have continued to release new models. Apple has recently updated its iPad Pro lineup and released an iPad Pro 10.5, while Samsung has a rival tablet to offer in the Galaxy Tab S3.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a high-end tablet with a stunning display, and superior build quality. But the Galaxy Tab S3 isn’t pitched as a mere tablet device. The idea is to support an optional keyboard so that you can quickly edit documents or send a presentation without any delay. The tablet also comes bundled with the S Pen like the Galaxy Note series to enhance productivity on a mobile device.

However, the question remains whether or not you need to invest in a tablet that’s going to cost Rs 47,990. Samsung may be bragging about the Galaxy Tab S3, but is it up to the job? I’ve tried to find the answer after testing the device for more than week, and here’s my verdict.Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 specifications 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED (2048 x 1536) | Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (quad-core, 1.5GHz + 1.6GHz) | 4GB RAM | 32GB storage| 13MP rear camera + 5MP front camera | 6000mAh | 4G LTE | Android 7.0 Nougat

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 price in India Rs 47,990

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Design, display

Ever since Samsung introduced the Galaxy S6, the company’s emphasis on design and build quality has improved a lot. Pull the Galaxy Tab S3 out of the box and the first thing you might observe is its metal and glass unibody design. The Galaxy Tab S3 seems to be a bigger version of the Galaxy S7. It looks and feels premium in every sense. My review unit came in a silver colour, but the Galaxy Tab S3 is also available in Black.

The device has no sharp edges, and with rounded corners, it is easy to hold the tablet for an extended period of time. It measures 6mm in terms of thickness and weighs 434 grams, which means this has an advantage when it comes to portability.

But the glass back is not as durable as the aluminum, making the tablet more fragile. Also, the glass back is more prone to fingerprints and scratches. Which means you might end up cleaning the tablet several times a day. This is why you need to invest in a case the day you buy the Galaxy Tab S3.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletThere’s a dedicated port for the keyboard, which comes as an optional accessory.

Under the display is the home button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. There are four speakers on board as well, which I will talk about later in the review. A 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls is placed on top of the screen, a power and volume button on the right side, and a dedicated port for the keyboard. Meanwhile, the headphone jack and the USB Type-C port are placed at the bottom of the tablet. The rear houses the Samsung logo and a 13-megapixel camera with LED Flash.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletThe rear houses the Samsung logo and a 13-megapixel camera with LED Flash.

Overall, I liked the Galaxy Tab S3 for its design, but it lacks a slot to hold the S Pen which will be crucial for the Pro user Samsung is targeting. This could be a big miss.

Samsung packs the Galaxy Tab S3 with a 9.7-inch QXGA (2048 x 1536) Super AMOLED display. No doubt, the tablet’s vibrant screen is also its biggest highlight in my opinion. The display is extra bright, colors are vibrant and vivid, and black is black. When viewing a 1080p trailer of Spider-Man: Homecoming on the Galaxy Tab S3, I could easily make out a range of colours which I otherwise don’t see on my iPad Air. If you watch a lot of movies or play games, the Galaxy Tab S3 might be the perfect option for you. Samsung has been touting the Tab S3’s HDR video playback capabilities, but unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t offer HDR playback on a mobile device.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 audio performance

Unlike most other tablets (barring Apple iPad Pros), Samsung has placed a total of four speakers, two at the top and two at the bottom on the Galaxy Tab S3. So essentially, no matter how you place the tablet, you’ll always end up getting good volumes. I do watch a lot of movies and shows, especially after I come back from office. Having four speakers on a mobile device is always an advantage. In theory, this placement should have resulted in a better audio performance too. But the quality of the sound, however, is not that impressive, even though Samsung worked with AKG (a premium audio brand by Harman Kardon) for an immersive audio experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 hardware, battery

On the hardware front the Tab S3 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 GPU , along with the 4G LTE connectivity. Even though the chipset isn’t new, in everyday use, the tablet was zippy and switched quickly between apps. The tablet also has 4GB RAM, which I think is good enough for an everyday use.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has no trouble in running games, or streaming videos over the YouTube, thanks to 4GB RAM. However, I did notice that the tablet’s processing capabilities fell short when it comes to running high-quality games like the Batman: The Telltale Series. Sometimes I do wonder that the Samsung could have packed in more RAM for an added boost.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletOn the hardware front the Tab S3 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 GPU.

It’s surprising to see that the Samsung is not offering the choice of different storage configurations for the Tab S3. The tablet only comes with the 32GB standard storage, which you’ll quickly fill up if you’re downloading movies or lots of apps. However, there is a microSD card slot for memory expansion. I’d have ignored this, had the tablet cost Rs 10,000. A tablet like the Galaxy Tab S3 should have come with more storage, especially since the company has been talking a lot about the tablet’s multimedia prowess.

A long battery life is needed, if you intend to use the tablet as your go-to device. In case of the Tab S3, it features a 6,000mAh battery, which the company claims should last up to 12 hours on a single charge. In my testing, it lasted somewhere around 9 hours over Wi-Fi. Gaming will surely shorten the average battery life, but I mostly used the tablet to watch videos, edit documents, scroll through Facebook, browse the web, and streaming music. On the other hand, recharging the battery is extremely fast. I was able to recharge the battery in an hour from 0 to 100 per cent.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 camera performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3’s 13-megapixel camera on the back captured colorful and detailed shots in a natural light. However, the performance dips in low light conditions. A 5-megapixel front shooter looks okay for video calls, which I think should be your purpose.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletSample shot from Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. (Image resized for web).Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletSample shot from Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. (Image resized for web).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 software, S Pen

I have a mixed feeling whether Android is the right choice or not for a tablet device. Android works so well on a smartphone, but the same cannot be said on tablets. The Galaxy Tab S3 can handle everything because it’s being promoted as entertainment device. But when it comes to productivity, Android isn’t the best option I can think of.

The Galaxy Tab S3 runs Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung’s UI over the top. The software experience largely replicates what you get on the Galaxy S8 or any Samsung Galaxy smartphone for that matter. Logically, the user interface should have been tailored for a 9.7-inch screen, but unfortunately, it always reminds me that I’m using a smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletThe tablet also comes bundled with the S Pen like the Galaxy Note series to enhance productivity on a mobile device.

And that’s where the problem starts. I wish Google had more apps optimised for tablets beyond a few. In fact, many of of these apps simply look like a blown-up offering of the phone version.

Apple have been facing the same problem in the past , but iPad owners will find the iOS 11 to be a significant upgrade. Although iOS 11 is a continuation of iOS 10 than an all-new version, it does introduce some noteworthy changes that can expand what your iPad can achieve. In case of Samsung, this doesn’t apply because Google controls the software, the South Korean company is just a hardware partner.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S3 review, Galaxy Tab S3 price in India, Galaxy Tab S3 Android tabletThe S Pen has been one of the favourite features of the Galaxy Tab S3. And I’m glad it comes bundled in the box this time.

The S Pen has been one of the favourite features of the Galaxy Tab S3. And I’m glad it comes bundled in the box this time. The S Pen has a diameter of just 9.4 mm, while the pen tip measures only 0.7 mm, which makes handwriting feel natural. It supports 4,096 pressure sensitivity levels. Thankfully, Samsung has made a slew of apps which takes advantage of the S Pen capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 verdict

The Galaxy Tab S3 is no doubt a great entertainment device. It get many things right, especially when it comes to consuming content. For example, the 9.7-inch display is simply the best I’ve ever seen on a tablet. I also really like the implementation of the S Pen; and yes, it comes in the box, so you won’t have to pay extra to get it. The overall performance and the quality of sound from the quad speakers is okay, if not the best.

In my opinion, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet you can buy right now. Clearly, the company’s intent is to make an iPad Pro rival, not a Surface Pro 4 competitor. That distinction should be remembered when you consider the Galaxy Tab S3.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S3 REVIEW: ANDROID’S BEST FOE TO THE IPAD PRO

 

m in productivity hell. For the past week, I’ve been using Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 to read Twitter, correspond on Slack, and write articles for this website. The Tab S3 is capable of doing all these things — in some cases, it’s even capable of doing them quite well — but it’s not capable of doing them anywhere near as well as a proper laptop. And in the week I’ve had it, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I’d use this tablet as a portable work device instead of a cheaper, more functional computer like a Chromebook.


The Tab S3 is a direct shot from Samsung at Apple’s latest iPad Pro. On description alone, the two match up beat for beat: they have 9.7-inch, high-resolution displays (both 2048 x 1536), nearly top-of-the-line processors, 32GB of internal storage, fingerprint sensors, four speakers, measure 0.24 inches deep at their thickest, weigh just shy of one pound, sell for $599, and support both a stylus and keyboard case.

That means that, like the iPad Pro, the Tab S3 is pitched as more than just a tablet. It’s good for laying in bed and watching Netflix, of course, but it’s also supposed to be great for bringing to the coffee shop, propping up on a tray table, or firing off a quick email while you’re on the go. That’s a much more challenging task. And it’s one that, combined with the full $730 asking price for this tablet and its keyboard case (sold separately), Samsung has a fairly challenging bar to meet.

Galaxy Tab S3

But first, let’s talk about the Tab S3 as merely a tablet, because that’s where it shines the most. On hardware alone, this is a really nice device. It’s thin and light. The back has a seamless design that looks like some futuristic sheet of paper. And while the front is plain, it’s the AMOLED display at the center of this thing that you’re here for: it’s sharp, vibrant, and gets bright enough to hurt.

I’ve found the tablet’s performance to be quite good, too. The Tab S3 was able to run casual games like Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers without issue, and I was able to pull up two apps at once without seeing either start to lag (though there are other problems with multitasking, which I’ll get to later). I’ve only had the tablet for a week, and performance may deteriorate with time. But I’m not seeing any immediate cause for concern, and the tablet’s relatively modern specs should keep it running smoothly for a while.

One of the Tab S3’s weaker points is its cameras. Both the front and rear cameras on the Tab S3 are a functional but muddy mess — pretty much every photo I’ve taken looks like it’s been softened and smudged. It’s kind of surprising given how nice some of Samsung’s recent smartphone cameras have been. These’ll do for video chatting, but that’s it.

The bigger disappointment for me was the tablet’s four speakers. The speakers are located on the top and bottom of the tablet, so when you position it in landscape to watch a YouTube video or a movie on Netflix, all the audio gets blasted way out to the left and right of you. In some cases, this creates a really exaggerated stereo effect, where it can sound like people are only talking out of one side of the tablet, and in the worst cases, well off to the side of where they ought to be.

The speakers get plenty loud, and the issue isn’t always that noticeable — during a fight sequence in Captain America: Civil War, the effect almost came off as immersive — but films’ quieter sequences and, really, most YouTube clips I’ve watched have been kind of annoying to listen to. The fact that the speakers are directed to the side of you is clearly part of the reason this is happening, but I also suspect that Samsung is being too aggressive in the way it splits up audio channels, resulting in sounds that should be coming from a center channel ending up shifted way off to the side.

Galaxy Tab S3

One of Samsung’s big differentiators for years now has been its styluses. A stylus is included in the box with the Tab S3 (which is notable, since Apple’s Pencil costs an extra $99), though you’ll need to buy a case to find a place to store it — unlike the Note line, there’s no slot to slip this S Pen into when you’re not using it. But, fair enough. This is a full-size stylus and not one of those short, skinny ones that comes with Samsung’s Chromebooks and phones.

The stylus is one of the best things the Tab S3 has going for it. I’m not usually a huge fan of them, but Samsung has integrated the S Pen into Android enough that it feels like a natural extension of the tablet, rather than some grafted-on poking device. You can use the S Pen just for navigating around the operating system and tapping through apps — which is nicer than it sounds, especially when you have the tablet propped up in Samsung’s keyboard case. Or you can use it for drawing and note taking.

Galaxy Tab S3 S Pen
Galaxy Tab S3

I’m not much of an illustrator, so I can’t say how well the S Pen works for drawing (my guess is: fine for sketching, not so good for anything detailed), but it’s great for jotting down notes and making goofy doodles to send people. Samsung has some fun and useful features built in to help with this, including an option to mark up screenshots, automatically pull people or objects out of images, and create GIFs by dragging a box over a video that’s playing.

Samsung has been doing styluses long enough to really nail the correct feeling when using one. The S Pen’s tip has the perfect balance between gripping the tablet’s screen when you want to touch something and gliding over it when you want to write. It makes note taking far more pleasant than on other tablets — though, a word of warning, it only goes so far to improve already-illegible handwriting like my own.

The Tab S3’s keyboard case sells for an extra $129.99, but you’re really not getting the full experience of this tablet without it. The case makes the tablet a little more heavy and a lot more ugly, and it picked up smudges quickly; but it works well as a case, a pen holster, and a stand for the tablet.

As far as the actual keyboard goes, I’m not as much of a fan. While I’ve been able to type this entire review on the Tab S3’s keyboard case, I have to tell you that my hands are feeling a little cramped and uncomfortable at this point. This is only a 9.7-inch device, after all, and it can’t fit the kind of keyboard we expect from a 13-inch laptop.

Galaxy Tab S3
Galaxy Tab S3

It’s too bad. Samsung made a mostly good keyboard here, but it’s largely held back by its size. The keys have great travel and are easy to type on — they make a nice, soft clicky sound, too, which I see as a bonus — and after several days of use, I don’t even make all that many typos. But the keys are just too close together to be comfortable unless you have particularly small hands. And honestly, it’s starting to hurt.

Samsung doesn’t do itself any favors with some strange key and shortcut placements, either. There’s a search key right next to the Control key, which has made me accidentally call up Now on Tap every other time I try to italicize something. And for some reason, you can’t hold Shift at the same time that you press the space bar, which it turns out is a thing I do pretty often. Samsung seems to have mapped this to be a shortcut for switching languages, which is frustrating, since the keyboard also has a dedicated language key.

Galaxy Tab S3

Samsung’s keyboard case would be perfectly fine for limited use: writing an email, responding to tweets, filling out a spreadsheet. But all of those things can be done just fine with an on-screen keyboard, too. And I have to wonder, if you’re writing something longer, why you wouldn’t just switch to a laptop.

Galaxy Tab S3

Because the real frustration of this tablet is just how close it gets to a “real” computing experience, and just how far away the gap still is. Even though Android still doesn’t have the tablet app selection that iOS does, I was able to run basically everything I needed to on the Tab S3, including work apps like Trello and Slack to more powerful sketching apps like Adobe Draw. I was able to keep up two apps at once. And I was able to research and publish articles to this website without major issue.

But unfortunately, multitasking is still far from elegant, and it’s what separates this device the most from a “real” computer. One issue I ran into immediately: even though Slack supports multitasking, the app only pulled in new messages when I was engaged with it; if I tapped on the other app I was running alongside it, Slack would sit idle and refuse to show new messages that were added to the conversation until I tapped on it. That made it impossible for me to write an article and keep up with our busy newsroom chats at the same time.

Other apps just don’t play nice with multitasking yet. Facebook’s app, for some reason, falls to pieces when you try to run it in split-screen. And others, like Instagram, Dark Sky, Snapchat, and Uber, don’t support landscape layout at all, let alone multitasking. (In fairness to those developers, Google hasn’t made Android’s initial setup screen work in landscape mode either, which makes for an unpleasant introduction to a new tablet.)

Even when split-screen works, it still feels clear that you’re trapped in something that’s not quite a computer. Basics like copy and paste are still designed for a keyboard and mouse more than a touchscreen and stylus — why do I still have to drag tiny little markers around each character I want to highlight instead of being able to drag the S Pen around something and have it magically carry over to another app? Samsung has some features that begin to get at this, but they don’t work with much consistency.

Galaxy Tab S3

That all leaves the Tab S3 in a pretty awkward position. It’s a good tablet, but the iPad Pro is a slightly better one, particularly thanks to its app ecosystem. And while the Tab S3 is a decent little laptop replacement, it’s nearly twice the price of Chromebook — say, this one made by Samsung — that can do all the same things while being more comfortable to type on.

So that puts the Tab S3 in the same place that tablets have always been: stuck awkwardly in between. Good at a lot of things, but great at few.

If you want a tablet, this is a good one. But if the goal of making tablets more like laptops was to make them more useful, the Tab S3 doesn’t meaningfully get there. As the best tablets have always been, the Tab S3 is a good tablet and nothing more.

Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S3

7.5VERGE SCORE

GOOD STUFF:

  • Tight stylus integration
  • Bright, vibrant screen
  • Super small and light

BAD STUFF:

  • Keyboard is cramped
  • Multitasking is still limited
  • Photos look like 2000s webcam images