Tablet computers have revolutionized the modern workplace. These handheld devices enable your team members to communicate and perform remote tasks without a hitch. Rugged models in particular, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3, are perfect for any environment due to their durable build.
In this article we’re reviewing Samsung’s take on rugged tablets, the Galaxy Tab Active 3. We’ll cover all the specs to help you determine whether it will be a good fit for you. We’ll also be comparing it against an ultra-rugged model, the newly released Sonim RS80.
- Operating System
- Data Capture
The first metric we’ll consider is the operating system, and both devices are great in this regard. Each tablet runs on Android 10, offering you a seamless and fast machine that can support even the most demanding applications. You also get tremendous privacy setting options you can use to determine all data sharing conditions, such as when the sharing takes place and how much of your information is available. Plus, there’s the Focus Mode that allows you to pause apps temporarily, limiting workplace distractions.
Another thing to consider is user experience. Android’s user-friendly interface is simple to navigate and most workers are familiar with the platform. This can drastically reduce employee training time since most will already know how to use the device.
Samsung’s Galaxy Active Tab 3 runs on an interesting model. Four of its core are Mongoose M3, whereas the other four feature Cortex-A55 and operate at 1.7GHz.
The Sonim RS80 features a Qualcomm, Octa-core processor that delivers solid performance. It operates on 2.2GHz, generating incredible speeds that let you complete advanced tasks without experiencing annoying load times. What is more, the chipset prevents your battery from emptying too soon by taking some of the burden away.
Qualcomm platforms deliver higher speeds, smoother performance, and support amazing graphics. The chipsets combine state-of-the-art features and incredible power efficiency. There are also high-assurance applications that could previously only run on external chips. The camera capabilities are also superior thanks to the Qualcomm processors, and the same goes for connectivity properties.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 features Wi-Fi 6 as well as LTE capabilities on some models.
The Sonim RS80 supports a dual-band network that can operate on both 2.4GHz and five GHz channels. You get high-speed connections and the ability to process large chunks of data without ever slowing down. It also supports 4G LTE connections, as well as FirstNet frequencies which is crucial for EMT and fire service workers.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 comes with an eight-inch display. It’s a plane-to-lane switching (PLS) model with a 1920×1200 resolution, however its performance in extreme lighting conditions is questionable.
As for the Sonim RS80, you’re also getting an 8 inch display that has the same resolution as Samsung’s device and responds to multiple touch modes, such as wet and gloved fingers. There’s the anti-fingerprint coating, and the screen provides an optimal viewing experience in any lighting conditions.
Moreover, the manufacturer opted for Gorilla Glass 3, which is a supreme solution on the market. It features a remarkable glass composition with durability advancements made at the atomic level. It provides the greatest scratch resistance, higher retained strength following a scratch, and lower scratch visibility.
A durable display is definitely something to consider, as rugged tablets are a pretty sizeable investment. In many cases, repairing or replacing a shattered device can burn a hole through your pocket.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 comes with several durability certifications. It carries both MIL-810H certification as well as IP68 ratings for resistance to water and other elements. In terms of weight it’s on the lighter side as far as rugged tablets go, weighing just under 1lb.
The RS80 is very slim and similar in size to the Galaxy Tab Active 3 though slightly heavier, at just under 1.5 lbs. As far as endurance goes, Sonim is known for their durability standards, as all their devices are classified as ultra-rugged, including the RS80. The device is designed to endure the toughest conditions in any industry, making a great option for mobile computing and data collection in various settings. The durability is pretty impressive as the tablet can survive drops from six feet directly onto concrete without damage.
In addition to MIL-810G and IP67 certifications, which gives the RS80 resistance against drops, water, and dust, it’s also protected from contact with harsh chemicals. This makes disinfecting the tablet an easy process because it can be safely sprayed with or even submerged in abrasive cleaners such as alcohol and bleach. Additionally, you can operate the RS80 in extreme temperatures without damage to the device.
Samsung opted for a pretty decent battery for their Galaxy Tab Active 3. The tablet comes with a 5050 mAh Li-ion battery that should last you through a good part of your day.
Sonim equipped their RS80 with a long-lasting 8000mAh Li-ion battery that can serve you on even the longest workdays. It comes with multi-shift power and can be easily replaced the user.
In terms of memory, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 comes with 4GB of RAM, accompanied by 64GB or 128 GB of flash memory, depending on the model you choose. You can also add up to 1TB of external memory via a microSD card.
With the RS80 you’re getting the same amount of RAM (4GB) which contributes to fast operations and limits slowdowns. The tablet has 64 GB of internal memory with the ability to add and additional 256 GB.
As far as scanning capabilities go, the Galaxy Tab Active can capture barcodes and QR codes from the camera or you can add a scanning accessory like a Bluetooth pistol grip.
The RS80 offers a more streamlined approach to data capture with an integrated 1D/2D scanner capable of capturing as many as 45 barcodes each minute. Some key benefits of the tablets scanning abilities include:
- No extra hardware necessary – The RS80 directly downloads your scans, meaning you don’t need to purchase a dedicated scanner.
- Multiple data transmission channels – You can insert barcodes into text fields, applications or broadcast them for better integration with other workforce apps.
- Customizable alerts and tones – Sonimware features a wide range of alerts and tones to clearly notify you about successful scans.
- Continuous scanning – You only need to press the scanning button once to capture multiple barcodes in quick succession. The scan rate is exceptional and stands at 33 milliseconds. Plus, you can capture barcodes anywhere between two and 15 inches away.
- Red, Yellow, and PTT buttons – Complete scans by pressing a floating widget or button that’s highly responsive even when wearing gloves.
Samsung offers several helpful features compatible with their Galaxy Tab Active. Wireless DeX allows the user to connect the device to a monitor or smart tv. In addition, the Programmable Active key can be customized to launch critical applications with on click, such as Push-to-Talk. Another handy feature is the mPOS compatibility which lets the tablet process payments from NFC enabled contactless credit cards without additional hardware.
In terms of added software, the Galaxy Tab active is compatible with Enterprise Edition, Samsung’s suite of mobile management apps and it comes with a one year free subscription to Knox Suite.
Sonim also includes a suite of proprietary management apps with their RS80 tablet. The toolbox called SonimWare features a wide array of configurations and applications that make your device easily manageable and amazingly functional. Controlling other screens remotely is effortless, and there are remarkable safety settings, too.
Key features include the ability to disable any applications users can access that are irrelevant to actual work, Twitter or Netflix. By specifying the features available to your employees, administrators can make sure their workforce is productive and focused solely on their jobs.
Other settings like Kiosk Mode and MDM helper allow business owners to tailor the device to their employees specific needs.
The RS80 also comes with noise-canceling technology and front-facing speakers with more than 100dB in output that help eliminate any noise interference. Additionally, the tablet supports Push-to-Talk applications and features several programmable buttons, which makes for an easier user experience in the field.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 features a wide range of accessories. You can get useful items, such as an S pen and charging cradle.
Sonim has several useful items compatible with the RS80 that facilitate fieldwork and allow your team to perform faster. Accessories include, a hand strap (included in box), utility series latch, vehicle mounts, dispatch gear, and additional batteries.
Samsung’s price point for the Galaxy Tab Active 3 is pretty reasonable. Depending on the amount of memory and whether you choose a cellular or wi-fi model, the price will range from about $500 to $600.
The Sonim RS80 comes at a higher price bracket, with a MSRP of $1,249 however the price reflects the capabilities and incredible build of the device. The outstanding durability contributes to a significantly longer lifespan than the average consumer tablet resulting in a lower total cost of ownership. Additionally, the integrated barcode scanner is far more powerful and eliminates the need for separate hardware. Also consider that you get a better processor, a more durable display, and a longer-lasting battery.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 comes with limited coverage for up to a year.
Sonim offers extensive two-year coverage against any manufacturing defects. There’s also an optional three-year coverage.
It really comes down to what you need and expect out of your device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is a great option for average work operations that don’t involve heavy amount of data capture. It also makes an ideal choice for someone looking for a durable tablet, such as parents purchasing for children who tend to break their devices frequently.
If your business operations are on a larger-scale, performed in rugged environments, or involve heavy-duty data capture, the Sonim RS80 is probably a better choice. The processor and battery can handle consistent use across extended workdays and the durable build ensures reliable performance in any environment. The RS80 has a wide variety of application across multiple industries including manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, emergency services, and construction.
Get Help with Your Purchase
Want to find out more about which rugged tablet is right for you? Reach out to an Energy Electronics sales representative for a personalized rugged tablet recommendation and to receive a quote for bulk orders.