August 10, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review

Android tablets are not as popular as before, and very few manufacturers are launching new models these days. Some companies that are still making Android tablets, such as Xiaomi, are not bringing them to the Indian market. However, Samsung is one such player which has been manufacturing and launching a variety of tablets in the country regularly for quite some time now.

We recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, and we liked it for delivering a great experience at a relatively attractive price. While the Tab S5e is a prime example of an affordable Android tablet, the recently launched Galaxy Tab S6 has been touted as the best tablet Samsung has to offer. So should you invest in a Galaxy tablet, or would you be better off with an Apple iPad? We tested it to find out.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Design and Specifications

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is not the successor to the Galaxy Tab S5e (Review), which we reviewed recently. Here in India, if you’re looking for something more powerful than the Galaxy Tab S5e, the Galaxy Tab S6 will be among the very few options you’ll find. This premium Android tablet sports a 10.5-inch AMOLED display with WQXGA resolution (1600×2560 pixels).

There are large bezels all around the display which is acceptable considering the size of the device. You need at least some bezel on the tablet to be able to hold it without touching the screen. Samsung has also added an in-display fingerprint sensor to the Galaxy Tab S6, but not the ultra-sonic kind in the Galaxy S10 series. Instead, it uses an optical CMOS sensor. You will notice that this AMOLED display lights up around the fingerprint scanner when it is in use.

At 5.7mm thick, the Galaxy Tab S6 is sleek, but its 7040mAh battery makes it heavy at 420 grams. One-handed use is very awkward due to the weight and bulk of the device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes in Wi-Fi and LTE variants, and it seems that the company has only launched an LTE option in India. Samsung has placed the power and volume buttons on the right side along with a microphone hole and SIM tray which can house a nano-SIM and a microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Stylus Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ReviewGalaxy Tab S6 comes with an S Pen stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has four AKG-tune speakers, two of which are located at the top and the other two at the bottom. These speakers are loud, and the tablet supports Dolby Atmos. There’s no headphone jack on the tablet, and you also don’t get a Type-C to 3.5mm dongle in the box. It would be best to use a pair of Bluetooth headphones with this device.

At the back, the Galaxy Tab S6 packs dual cameras. The touchscreen supports a stylus, and Samsung ships an S Pen stylus in the box. This stylus is much bigger than the one found with Galaxy Note smartphones like the Galaxy Note 10+. The stylus is chunky and comfortable to use on a tablet this large.

Unlike the Galaxy Note series, this tablet does not have an internal silo to house the stylus. Instead, Samsung has designed a groove just below the camera module on the rear, which is lined with magnets to help affix the stylus to the back of the tablet. It also has a small charging pad that charges the stylus when it’s docked.

We’re not very happy with this kind of dock as it elevates the tablet a bit when placed on a flat surface. Also, the magnet used to hold the S Pen is not strong enough, and it can easily be knocked over. We experienced this several times during the review period, and there was no indication on the screen, which could increase the chances of missing the bundled S Pen. It turns out there is a pen proximity alert setting that can be enabled for this. We would have liked it if it was on by default.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Tablet Handheld Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ReviewSamsung Galaxy Tab S6 has connectors on the side for compatible accessories

On the left side, this tablet has a 4-pin connector for compatible accessories as well as two notches that let the Book Cover keyboard case stay. You don’t get this accessory with the Galaxy Tab S6, and have to be purchased separately. Samsung sent it to us with the Galaxy Tab S6 and we spent some time using it. We’ll talk about that in a little while.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 flagship processor for the first half of 2019 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. It has 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. You have the option to expand the storage up to 1TB using a microSD card. There is support for 4G VoLTE along with dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5. This tablet packs in a 7,040mAh battery and Samsung ships a 15W charger in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Software, Book Case Keyboard Cover, & DeX

Our Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review unit was running One UI 1.5 on top of Android 9 Pie with the September security patch. The UI is similar to what we’ve seen on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which have been scaled up for the bigger screen. While the UI looks beautiful on a smartphone display, it doesn’t make full use of the real estate offered by the tablet, and could be optimized better.

We found that most of the gestures are similar to those applied to Samsung’s smartphones. There’s a multi-window tray with shortcuts that can be opened by swiping inward from the right edge of the display. It can be accessed from any screen. You also get the S Pen action, just like the Galaxy Note 10+. You can read about them in detail in our Galaxy Note 10+ review. Screen-off memos are also available, but unlike the Note 10+, where this app is launched the moment you take the S Pen out of the silo, the Galaxy Tab S6 requires you to press and hold the button on the S Pen and Must tap. first performance. Taking notes on the tablet is a breeze, and it does a great job of palm rejection.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Keyboard Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ReviewWe used the Galaxy Tab S6 with the Book Case keyboard cover

Samsung has an interesting feature called Call and text on other devices, which lets you make calls or texting to or from the Galaxy Tab S6. Yes, the Galaxy Tab S6 is capable of making and receiving calls, but these are routed through the device’s speakers by default, which is not ideal. If you want to re-route calls, you’ll need a compatible Samsung smartphone, and both devices will need to be logged into the same Samsung account.

Samsung also sells a separate keyboard cover for the Galaxy Tab S6 for Rs. 10,999 which was sent to us for this review. Unlike the Galaxy Tab S5e’s keyboard case that we used during its review, the new Book Case keyboard cover comes in two pieces. The one piece itself is the keyboard, which snaps onto the left side of the Galaxy Tab S6. The other is for attaching to the back of the tablet and serves as a cover as well as a kickstand. We found that the magnet used for the back cover was weak, and it did not stay securely attached. We couldn’t use the kickstand at wide angles, as the back cover would slide off easily instead of propelling the tablet. The keyboard, on the other hand, stayed in place. It also has a trackpad, which can be used in OneUI as well as apps.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Rear Camera Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ReviewThe Galaxy Tab S6 has a dual camera setup at the back

Snapping on the keyboard enables Samsung DeX Mode, which allows apps to run in Windows. It allows multiple apps to run at the same time and multitasking between them was a breeze. We were happy with the trackpad’s performance but we found the keyboard to be too tight for our liking. We typed part of this review on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and found that we could get used to the keyboard after a few days. The Book Case keyboard cover also has magnets near the trackpad so it stays closed when folded.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 packs in a powerful processor, and that’s evident when putting this tablet through its paces. We can multitask with ease, and having 6GB of RAM helps keep apps running in the background. This model is much more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, which only had 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 670 SoC.

We enjoyed watching content on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, as the 10.5-inch AMOLED display had great colors and great viewing angles. We streamed videos from various streaming platforms and found the tablet to be great for media usage. The quad-speaker setup adds to the overall viewing experience. The speakers were so loud that we didn’t need a Bluetooth speaker. Switching to Dolby Atmos also improved the audio output.

Yes, the Galaxy Tab S6 packs a dual-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. It also has an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies. We found the camera performance to be average for a tablet, but we don’t see people using this bulky device to take photos. The selfie camera captures good details and can be used for video calling.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is not the ideal size or shape for playing games like PUBG Mobile. We tried it anyway, and the Tab can play it on the highest settings without lag. Asphalt 9: Legends and Clash Royale are games that are more suitable for tablets. Both of them were running fine without any problem. We can also play Asphalt 9: Legends by using keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Stylus Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 ReviewThe S Pen stylus sticks to the back of the tablet and charges wirelessly

We ran our standard benchmarks to measure performance. In AnTuTu, the Galaxy Tab S6 managed to score 4,38,177 points. The Galaxy Tab S6 scored 9,858 in PCMark Work 2.0. As for graphics, the device managed to clock 24fps in GFXBench’s car chase scene and 39fps in the Manhattan 3.1 scene. The Galaxy Tab S6 managed to last for 11 hours 46 minutes in our HD video loop battery test. With our usage, which included watching a few videos on YouTube, trying out the Samsung DeX, and running a few benchmarks over a period of two days, the tablet still had 57 percent in the tank. The bundled charger is capable of charging it to 25 percent in 30 minutes and up to 50 percent in an hour. It takes a little over two hours to fully charge the tablet.

Decision

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the current flagship tablet from Samsung and is priced at Rs. 59,900. It has the best hardware in terms of performance of an Android tablet. We like the vivid AMOLED panel, and the quad speakers make it a fine device for consuming media. Thankfully, there isn’t much competition for Samsung, as manufacturers have largely stopped making Android tablets. If you absolutely must get an Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab S6 is your best bet.

However, when you consider Apple’s iPads, things change drastically. The Wi-Fi only version of the latest iPad Air model is available at a reduced starting price of Rs. 40,000, and you can still buy an Apple Pencil and keyboard case. If you want cellular connectivity, Apple iPad Air offers that too for Rs. 55,900. Alternatively, the iPad Pro 11-inch, which is a smaller version of the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch we reviewed, is a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. It has some advantages in the form of a 120Hz display and more powerful processor, as well as its more polished iPadOS software that has been refined over the years. However, you’ll have to pay a considerable premium for the LTE variant, and add another buck if you want a compatible Apple Pencil stylus. 10,000 for your budget. If you want to get most things done without breaking the bank, the Galaxy Tab S6 might be the way to go.

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