The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is an expensive option for an Android tablet but it backs it up with some hefty power and a stunning display. But how does it stack up to the best tablets on the market, including its main competitor, the iPad Pro?
Bundled in with it comes a Samsung S Pen, ensuring its price tag doesn't seem so bad compared to the competition, but you'll miss out on the convenience of a headphone jack and you'll need to buy a separate keyboard. Still, despite that, we're rather taken by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
We're not convinced it's quite as good as an iPad Pro, but when it comes to the Android tablet market, there's nothing anywhere close to the prowess of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
With an MSRP of between $549 and $629 (£619 and £689 in the UK), depending on the storage space you desire, you're talking laptop prices here, but that makes sense. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a 2-in-1 device in many ways, as we'll see when we break it down feature by feature.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review: Design
- Slim and lightweight
- Pen stylus included
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is slim. Coming in at only 0.22-inches, it's actually thinner than the iPad Pro. It's also lighter too. That's thanks to its aluminum back and reduced screen borders meaning it only weighs 0.93 lbs which is handy when you're taking it out with you. Admittedly, elsewhere, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is fairly business as usual when it comes to looks. It doesn't revolutionize a tablet design by any means, but it's dependable.
As mentioned previously, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes bundled with a S Pen stylus and it even fits in with the design of the tablet. It slots into a magnetized area below the main camera module, so it's out of the way when not in use, although not quite the most secure fit if you bump your tablet in transit. A case is a good idea here. Either way, it recharges there too, with a complete recharge taking about 90 minutes.
The tablet also has an appealing 10.5" Super AMOLED screen which looks suitably vibrant and attractive to use. It even has HDR10+ certification, and its 1600 x 2560 resolution is just right for the size. Built into the display is a fingerprint sensor too which is practical when bearing in mind security considerations.
Of course, there's no headphone jack which is annoying if you want to use older wired headphones. Headphone jacks remain versatile and practical, even if high-end equipment does continue to drop the option.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review: Performance
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
Screen: 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel Super AMOLED screen
Memory: 6GB-8GB RAM
Storage: 128GB/256GB storage
Stylus: S-Pen Stylus included
- Speedy at mostly everything
- Respectable camera modes
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor which is a fairly high-end option. That means that performance is speedy, no matter what you're doing. Throw in 6GB of RAM (or 8GB of RAM if you purchase the higher end tablet) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a good bet even when you're loading large files or opening multiple tabs in the browser.
It's also easily able to contend with any game you throw at it. Playing games on the highest graphics settings should never be an issue, with games looking smooth and stylish.
Split-screen is also great for multi-tasking making the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 a sound bet for work purposes. That's further enhanced if you purchase a wireless keyboard to go with it, although that does bump the price up to a level where a mid-range laptop might be a better bet.
Thanks to that fancy S Pen stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 also lends itself to those who want to draw on their tablet. It's not quite on a par with the Apple Pencil when it comes to accuracy, but its input lag is pretty minimal and it's comfortable to draw with for extended periods of time.
The camera also performs surprisingly admirably for a tablet. It actually has two cameras at the back, one being a normal one and the other having a wide-angle lens. Sure, it won't compete with the cameras in the best smartphones (opens in new tab) (such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (opens in new tab)), but it's a useful bonus to have for those times when you really do have to only photograph something on your tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review: Battery Life
- 14 hour battery life
- Efficient battery usage
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 uses a 7,040mAh battery which is pretty large for the device. It means you can get about 14 hours of usage out of it before needing to recharge. Obviously, this varies depending on what you're doing and how high the screen brightness is set, but with a few tweaks, it'll last you the whole day without any issue. That's in part thanks to the efficient processor which knows exactly what to do best.
There's fast battery charging support too, even despite its 15W charger which slows things down a little. That won't bother you too much though because, like we said, the battery life is pretty steady.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review: Price/Value for Money
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is definitely expensive as far as Android tablets go. With its targets set on being the Android equivalent of the iPad Pro, it seems initially overly expensive. It's worth considering though that for the price, you get a S Pen Stylus, considerable storage space, and the flexibility that the Android operating system offers. Its support for playing demanding games is an enticing one too if you want the ease of a tablet that is great for both productivity and kicking back and relaxing.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6?
That question mostly comes down to why you want a tablet. If you want a replacement to a laptop, well, you should buy one of the best laptops (opens in new tab) or a 2-in-1 device such as the HP Spectre x360 (opens in new tab) or Lenovo Yoga C940 (opens in new tab). To get the full benefits here, you need to invest in a standalone keyboard that isn't bundled in and once you've done that, it's better to buy a mid-range laptop. However, if you want an iPad style experience at a lower price and with a stylus tossed in, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is super appealing.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6's great battery life, powerful specs, and attractive display means it's a solid all-rounder. It all just depends on what you like most - iOS or Android. When it comes to Android tablets, nothing can currently beat the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.