Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review
Product Name: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Product Description: The Galaxy Tab S6 tablet uses the mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor to run the engine, improve and speed up graphics and more importantly, increase the tablet's performance. Taking advantage of the power under the hood from its Qualcomm processor, Samsung introduces what they call the DeX mode. It basically gives the user a computer-like experience by connecting the tablet to a monitor using a DeX cable. Now, you can have access to an on-screen keyboard, edit photos, or multitask on a split-screen mode in a bigger and wider screen. We tested this and we were really impressed by how well implemented it was and it is definitely a thumbs up.
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Easy to Use
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a great Android tablet and definitely an improvement from previous models. It’s great for media and entertainment and surprisingly just as good for productivity. It is expensive, there is no way around it, but way cheaper than its main rival, the iPad Pro 12.9. However, it is still not in the same league as the apple line up of high-end tablets. It is reducing the distance but not quite there yet. Ideal if you are already in the Android ecosystem.
Excellent 10.5-inch AMOLED screen display
Strong and fast performance
S Pen support
Keyboard has a built-in trackpad
Long battery life
Samsung DeX is not perfect
Buggy One UI software
Unreliable fingerprint sensor
The keyboard is quite expensive
No headphone jack
User Review( votes)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review
The best Android Tablet
Since 2010, Apple has dominated the world of tablets with the introduction of its first-ever iPad. And up to this moment, the company never has failed to release powerful and high-quality devices. Ever since too direct competitors like Samsung have tried to raise up to the challenge and outdo Apple in creating better and faster iPad-like tablets. Samsung has been creating professional-grade and user-friendly tablets for years now but in all fairness, nothing so far has come close to the iPad. However, all those years of R&D, experience, success and disappointments have led to the development of their newest and latest Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. Have they done enough to go finally head-to-head with an iPad?
With more Android tablets available in the market today that you can count, choosing the right one is a tough call. Big brands in the industry such as Microsoft, Huawei, Lenovo, Asus, and of course, Samsung have been fighting their way up to kick Apple out on the top spot. They continuously develop new features with the aim of getting consumers to switch from iOS to Android.
The Galaxy Tab S6 tablet uses the mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor to run the engine, improve and speed up graphics and more importantly, increase the tablet’s performance. Taking advantage of the power under the hood from its Qualcomm processor, Samsung introduces what they call the DeX mode. It basically gives the user a computer-like experience by connecting the tablet to a monitor using a DeX cable. Now, you can have access to an on-screen keyboard, edit photos, or multitask on a split-screen mode in a bigger and wider screen. We tested this and we were really impressed by how well implemented it was and it is definitely a thumbs up.
Along with the newly improved Snapdragon 855 processor, you get either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, flexible storage with 128 GB or 256 GB that can be extended to 1 TB using a micro SD card. Performance is flawless, even with the entry model of 6GB RAM and 128GB storage and multitasking heavily. A fingerprint scanner and two-tap gestures wake up the 10.5 inch AMOLED screen display and it terms of design, its thinner lightweight bezels and curved corners give the tablet a simple yet smart look. Battery life in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is decent, packing inside a 7,040-mAh battery that lasts for 15 hours on stand by. We tested the battery by watching 3 movies back to back at full brightness and there was enough juice left to do a little online browsing.
You do get a brilliant screen and speakers, and what stands out is its thin design and lightweight design, which is ideal for when you binge-watch YouTube or Netflix.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
- Android 9.0 Pie and Samsung’s One UI
- 10.5-inch super AMOLED screen display
- 2560 x 1600 screen resolution
- 287 PPI
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- 9.63 in x 6.28 in x 0.22 in dimensions
- 420 g weight
- 6 GB, 8 GB RAM
- 128 GB, 256 GB storage with up to 1 TB micro SD card
- 8 MP wide-angle front-facing camera, 13 MP ultra-wide, and 5 MP wide-angle rear camera
- 7,040-mAh battery that lasts up to 15 hours
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Quad speakers
- S Pencil included
- Available in colors of blue, pink, and silver
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a beautiful 10.5-inch super AMOLED screen with 2560 x 1600 pixels of resolution and 287-pixel density. It displays excellent contrast, thanks to HDR10+, giving you deep blacks and vivid colors. We need to highlight this because we were impressed by the quality of the screen. It is a beautiful tablet in which images and videos seem to come to life with its sharp and vibrant colors. However, taking an iPad as the benchmark, if you compare it to an iPad’s screen, the Tab S6 lacks the brightness and variable refresh rate that eliminate artefacts due to inconsistent frame rate.
The screen’s aspect ratio is 16:10 which fits perfectly in videos but it is a bit awkward when looking at images. For most it won’t be an issue, we just found it a little odd, why not going for 16:9 and avoid this small but potentially annoying issue? In order to match Apple’s Touch ID, Samsung has incorporated a fingerprint sensor near the USB-C slot as an alternative for the password entry system. We put it through its paces with all sorts of silly tests and we have to say, it works fine but somewhat it feels a little slow. This is because you need to power the screen first before activating the scanner and one wishes that the process would have been implemented better, and by default, faster.
The S Pencil
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Android tablet comes with a stylus, meant for drawing, taking notes, editing photos, and more. This is very much the same as Apple’s Pencil and in the Galaxy Tab S6 is definitely a great all-around tool and very well implemented. It might not be as fancy as Apple’s stylus but functionality wise it has nothing to envy, it has the right level of resistance and accuracy to get the job done. It is similar to the S Pen that you get with a Galaxy phone, but a little thicker, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a specific storage slot but charging it is super easy, just clip it magnetically to the back of the tablet and it will charge wirelessly, similar to the iPad Pro’s Pencil.
Another unique feature of the S Pencil is what they call Air Action, whereas you can control, activate, or make a gesture command by waving the stylus in the air. This is super cool. Additionally, you can also customize the button on the pen to perform different actions like searching through web pages, taking pictures, or browsing images in your gallery. Charging the pen usually takes around 90 minutes but one almost forgets that you are charging it as you leave it magnetically attached at the back of the tablet and continue to use the tablet. Very convenient.
Android 9.0 Pie OS and Samsung’s One UI
The combination of Android 9.0 Pie OS with Samsung’s OneUI interface gets you a very clean, easy to navigate and efficient operating system experience. It is the same software that runs on Samsung’s phones and as such integration between devices is great. You can answer calls and respond to messages on the Tab S6 which can be a very helpful feature when you are in one room and your mobile who knows where! The interface looks smooth and simple whether you look at the home screen, the notification menu and/ or app tray.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 doesn’t come with a keyboard, you need to buy an optional folio keyboard case. The implementation is great but you will need to add that to your budget. The keyboard comes with a trackpad, to mimic the functionality of a laptop (should you want it) when used in Samsung’s DeX software mode.
However, we felt it was a bit of a step backwards to use a trackpad when the whole point of a tablet is to use the touch screen. We didn’t feel comfortable using it and it always felt clunky. However, the typing was spotless as long as it is on a sturdy and stable surface (typing on the lap is a no go as the connection to the tablet is not rigid enough). Positioning the tablet at various angles for watching content was really nice, rather than holding it on your hands or propping it against something behind it.
Saying that, Apple’s keyboard doesn’t feel any more stable than Samsung’s so we didn’t feel it was a deal-breaker. This is not a laptop so anything you add to mimic a laptop’s behaviour and functionality is always going to feel like a compromise.
A lot of smartphones have multiple cameras but the Galaxy Tab S6 is the first of its kind to feature this setup. The 13MP ultra-wide rear camera is paired with a 5MP wide-angle makes a great dual set up and the 8MP wide-angle front-facing camera is ideal for selfies and video calling. Overall, it is safe to say that Samsung did a good job with the cameras as they take sharp, bright and colorful pictures through the day up. The Night mode effect makes sure images at night or in the dark look gorgeous.
Annoyingly, there is no flash with the cameras which can be a real pain in some situations. We find it odd when scanning documents as sometimes one needs that extra bit of light to get things in focus.
Having four AKG-tuned Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers positioned at the corners ensure the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 provides brilliant overall sound. It really a pleasant surprise to listen to the sound coming out of those speakers, one would never think you could get so much out of those speakers. So much so that we think it can go head to head with the new iPad Pro 12.9 and possibly end up on top. But just with the iPad Pro Range, you get no 3.5mm headphone jack, so you need to get used to using Bluetooth headsets or a USB-C adaptor if you want private listening
There is nothing to be crazy or ground-breaking about the Galaxy Tab S6 design. It is definitely a big improvement from previous models such as the Galaxy Tab S4 but it certainly cannot compete with the sleek and stylish iPads. Some things have to be called by what they are, you can’t sugarcoat this, although Samsung does make an effort and you can’t say either that the tablet is ugly because it is not. It has nice softer edges, a thinner body than any previous Galaxy Tablet, and a lighter frame with its signature S Pen slot at the back. From the top edge of the tablet, you will see the power, volume, and SIM tray while at the opposite end you get the connector for the optional keyboard cover. Let’s give Samsung credit too, it is all very nicely done and integrated and in all fairness, the tablet is stylish and smart.
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We tried testing the 6GB RAM tablet and its cutting-edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and as a whole, it performed very well. Running multiple windows and switching multiple apps at the same time in DeX mode was fast, smooth, and stable. We never felt it was lagging behind, slow or choppy. When playing games at maximum settings, full brightness and all-out sound was not be a problem either.
With the Galaxy Tab S6, Samsung has chosen a smaller battery of 7,040mAh compared to the Tab S4’s 7,300mAh. But before you put your hands up in despair, let me tell you that you don’t need to worry because with a Snapdragon 855 chipset inside and fast charging technology the tablet can stay on all day, even when we throw the kitchen sink at it Heavy video and apps use all day long).
We were, however, disappointed at its performance on standby mode. You would expect it to last for a couple of days but more often than not we would leave it for a day and a half or two days and when we picked it up it was dead. Our advice would be, use and abuse it for a day (rest assured it can take it) but recharge it every 24 hours cycle, whatever battery left that you have at the end of the day.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the finest Android tablet in the market, without a doubt. Its beautiful display, excellent sound, and the powerful operating system only reinforce that statement. With great features such as the S Pen support and DeX mode, it is a great tablet in which you can actually get things done. It is especially attractive for watching videos and doing anything “entertainment” related. Although it is still a no-match for the sheer power of the iPad Pro 12.9, it is the best Android tablet and slowly chipping away towards catching up with Apple’s iPads.
We are confident over time with future firmware updates Samsung will increase the tablet’s functionality and you will be able to do even more things. If you have a budget and you are already part of the Apple devices’ ecosystem, an iPad will make more sense. If you are in the android world, you won’t find a better tablet.
If however, this tablet is not what you are looking for and want something different, maybe a little more oomph, why don’t you check out other tablet reviews in our Tablets Reviews section? We’re sure that there is something for you in there.