The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is more compact than its predecessor, measuring 10.9 x 187.9 x 99mm. Its weight has been reduced too, to just 300 grams, making it really easy to handle even with one hand.
The looks of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 have nothing to do with the previous generation of the tablet. The company is known for following a consistent design scheme across its range of devices, and the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is no exception. It's styled after the company flagship, the Galaxy S4.
Samsung has seen to it that the third generation of Galaxy tablets uses the company's latest design language. The edges have been straightened and the bezels are slimmer than before - though the seven-inch tablet cannot rival the Galaxy Tab 8.0 on that. The sides are done in a faux-aluminum finish, which looks really nice, especially against the tablet's white body coating.
Speaking of the body, it's made entirely out of plastic. While it doesn't feel bad to the touch, it's not as nice as the rubberized back of the Nexus 7, for example, or the aluminum body of an iPad mini. While the Galaxy S4 boasts a nice looking pattern of its plastic, that's not something that the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 can boast with.
The dual speaker grilles at the bottom are a nice touch - the fact aside that this obviously isn't the best location. Not as big a deal though on a seven-incher, as it is on a bigger tablet.
The US version of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is said to offer an IR blaster on the side, but our unit didn't have it. Overall, this design is getting a bit overused - it's what you get across the Samsung Android lineup, from the smallest screens (Galaxy Young) to the largest 10.1" slates.
Thanks to its narrow bezels and fairly slim waistline, the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is probably one of the most portable 7" tablets, and that earns it some bonus points.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has a 7" TFT display of a rather low resolution, 1024 x 600 pixels working out at just 169ppi. Rivals such as the Nexus 7 and ASUS Memo Pad HD pack 1280 x 800 pixel screens at the same real estate.
You have to take into account that bigger screens are usually held further from the eyes, which partially makes up for the lower pixel density. However, even at some distance, you'll still spot the lower sharpness, especially when looking at text. Other than that, image quality is reasonable for the price range.
The LCD screen is has decent brightness and pretty decent contrast with very good black levels. Sunlight legibility is tolerable, but the high reflectivity of the screen certainly takes its toll.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0||0.15||160||1067||0.39||428||1098|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0||0.29||266||912||0.47||464||989|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1||0.29||266||906||0.56||515||917|
|Google Nexus 10||0.26||223||859||0.50||443||878|
|Sony Xperia Tablet Z||-||-||-||0.53||531||996|
|Sony Xperia Tablet S||0.35||334||947||0.67||526||783|
|Apple iPad mini||0.25||208||838||0.51||458||812|
|Apple iPad 3||0.21||167||809||0.6||477||779|
|Apple iPad 4||0.21||163||797||0.63||476||762|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7||0||200||∞||0||328||∞|
|Asus Google Nexus 7||0.25||244||954||0.36||327||908|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1||0.27||223||832||0.49||406||821|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1||0.31||257||826||0.55||502||915|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus||0.17||196||1141||0.34||424||1236|
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 features a standard set of sensors on its front (proximity and ambient light), along with a 1.3MP camera clustered around the earpiece.
On the other side of the screen is the traditional trio of a hardware Home button and capacitive Menu and Back keys. Stock Android has moved away from this arrangement, but Samsung insist on it.
There's nothing at the top but the 3.5mm audio jack. There's no secondary microphone for stereo audio recording or noise cancellation.
There's no dedicated camera shutter key either, but the volume rocker can be set to act as a zoom lever, still or video camera shutter key. The power/lock button is above it, both located on the right side. Above them is a secondary microphone used for noise cancellation.
On the opposite side there are the microSD and SIM card slots. Both are covered with plastic flaps to protect the slots from filling with dust.
The bottom of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 features a microUSB port with MHL functionality, so you can output HD video with the appropriate dongle. The mic pinhole is next to the USB port. On the left and right sides sit the speaker grilles.
Around the back of the device there's the 3MP autofocus camera lens, centrally placed at the top. It protrudes from the 8mm thick body and the device rests on it when placed on its back, which makes it unstable and means you should be careful not to put it on a surface that can scratch the lens glass.
Below the camera there isn't a LED flash, as it'd be both unnecessary for this type of camera and an expenditure considering the tablet's price bracket.
The battery can't be accessed, as the back cover isn't made to be user-removed. It's a 4,000 mAh battery, which is about right for a tablet of this size (although the Ascend Mate has a larger juice pack in a 6.1" device).