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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 vs. Nexus 10 Comparison Smackdown
      #44998 - 07/18/13 07:05 PM

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 vs. Google Nexus 10 Comparison Smackdown

Two 10.1" Android tablets running OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with dual core CPUs, 16 gigs of storage and dual band WiFi for $399--how do you choose the right one? As always, different folks have different needs and preferences, so check our comparison points and detailed comparison video to see which tickles your fancy. And if neither does, there's always the excellent $499 Sony Xperia Tablet Z and the incumbent Asus Transformer TF300 and TF700 10" Android tablets.


The Nexus 10 is the easy winner here with its extremely high resolution 2560 x 1600 display. Text is razor sharp and movies show extreme detail. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 has a mere 1280 x 800 resolution, and though it's a pleasing PLS display that's bright with viewing angles that match the Nexus 10, it simply isn't as sharp.

Winner: Nexus 10

Creature Comforts and Software Bundle

This is the obverse of the "cleanest, leanest and meanest" Android point of comparison. Obviously, a Nexus device runs plain Android with no manufacturer apps or customizations. But those customizations can be enjoyable and familiar, especially if you're an existing Samsung smartphone or tablet owner who feels at home with TouchWiz and Samsung's selection of apps. Their video player adds codecs to support more types of video files, Smart Stay watches your face to prevent the screen from turning off when you're looking at it and Samsung includes the full version of Polaris Office that can view, edit and create MS Office documents. Samsung has even customized Android to allow installation of apps to an SD card, a feature that Google removed with Android 4.0. There are hardware goodies too, like the IR port that provides control over your TV, cable box and more so you can throw that mess of remotes in a drawer. You get both Samsung WatchOn and Peel for AV remote and content discovery. The tablet has USB host with no need to root or buy a utility on the Google Play Store to use USB mass storage devices like flash drives.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1

On the Other Hand

If pure Android is your thing and you want to work clean and light, the Nexus 10 is a better pick. It's also designed to be easily rootable and you can unlock the bootloader to install custom ROMs. It will always get the latest version of Android first (as long as the hardware is capable of supporting new OS releases). The Nexus 10 does have USB host (they just removed mass storage support for some reason), and we found it worked more reliably with USB peripherals like game controllers than did the Tab 3 10.1.

Winner: Nexus 10


Samsung cheaped out on the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 cameras- they're both lower resolution than the Nexus 10, and the Nexus 10 isn't exactly at the top of the photography heap. Still, the Nexus has a very capable 1.9MP camera up front and a higher resolution 5MP camera on the back that beats the pants off the 3.2MP rear camera on the Tab 3 10.1.

Winner: Nexus 10

Build Quality and Design

Looks are subjective, but the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 wins for being thinner, smaller and lighter than the Nexus 10. The weight difference is mere ounces and they're both slim tablets but the Tab 3 10.1 isn't as wide. The Galaxy is shiny plastic, but it's not a bad looking piece. The Nexus 10 is rugged cute-ugly with a rubbery black back that's very easy to hold onto though it manages to pick up some fingerprint oil (not as much as the Galaxy).

Winner: It's hard to call an absolute winner for this point, because the Galaxy Tab 3 wins for looks and portability but the Nexus 10 feels more robust and durable.

Battery Life

This one is a tie: they both last us 8-9 hours of actual use time.

Horsepower and Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 runs on an Intel Atom Clovertrail CPU with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz. The Nexus 10 runs on a 1.7GHz dual core Exynos CPU with MALI graphics. Their benchmark numbers aren't that far apart except in most graphics tests where the Nexus 10 strongly pulls ahead. But the Atom-based Samsung sometimes stuttered and load times for apps with big resources (like 3D games) was terribly slow even though storage benchmarks didn't show low numbers. The Exynos has been a strong player for years in the Android world, while the Intel Atom seems to be suffering newbie growing pains.

Winner: Nexus 10

There are more points to cover, so pull up a chair and watch our Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 vs. Google Nexus 10 Comparison Smackdown video.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Review

Google Nexus 10 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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