Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review

November 23, 2019 at 9:19pm
By Jason Stettner

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a premium and very thin tablet option from the company that sacrifices little to deliver something that’s comfy yet perfectly light. This is seriously thin at just 5.7mm and it weighs around 420 grams. That’s really great considering the quality it provides, especially if you’re looking for something comfortable to use while lightly browsing, video viewing or generally bringing it along with you anywhere you’d like to.

The outer shell is aesthetically pleasing having a nice touch to it which I personally find rather important for devices. It comes in Cloud Blue, Rose Blush and Mountain Gray for which I had the latter. It’s hard to balance cost with materials, and this feels great when handling it. I’ve used it for video usage or even just reading from and it’s very nice. It’s a smooth sort of metal, definitely pleasing. It should also be noted that this isn’t waterproof, and being a tablet I wouldn’t expect it to be. With phones more commonly having this feature of water resistance I thought it was worth noting in case there was an expectation involved with this one.

This is a 10.5 inch sAMOLED screen, with a bit of a bezel around it. I felt they could have went thinner when it comes to the bezel around the actual screen as it does feel somewhat large, it’s not a big deal though still noticeable.

The resolution for the screen is 2560x1600 with 287 ppi providing a 16:10 screen ratio. The playback is up to 8k UHD (7680 x 4320) at 30fps, and of course lower resolutions as well which is nice. A good future proofing quality here, at the same time 60fps playback should always be a target even if it is a high resolution. It does support HDR, but lacks Dolby Vision support which is becoming more of a standard in terms of down the road content. Not a huge problem, glad HDR is supported.

This model also comes with a pen that I didn’t notice until after recording a video review on it, it sort of slipped out of the packaging when I was moving it. Keep in mind that loaners are sent over differently than boxed market products. Anyways, it’s nice to use yet at the same time the precision of just regular finger based touch is good enough. The stylus has accelerometer and gyroscope features, and full support for air gestures. They’re somewhat minimal and a bit niche quite honestly in usage, but neat for gesturing I guess. It’s a nice addition, but I didn’t necessarily find it too useful overall. There’s also a keyboard that’s sold separately, I did not get to try that out, but thought it was worth mentioning.

I was very impressed by the audio quality of the Galaxy Tab S6. It presents four speakers, one at each corner so it’s loud and clear. The sound is by AKG and it provides Dolby Atmos though you need to turn it on just so you know. This support is carried through if earbuds and Bluetooth speakers are attached. No headphone jack, which is expected due to how thin it is. Generally I was very pleased with the audio capabilities presented. Some of the best I’ve heard from a tablet line, perfect for video, music or games.

If you’re into voice based commands, Bixby is integrated into this and connects with other Samsung devices. Speaking of Samsung based content, you get choices for some apps from the company upon start-up. If you’re not interested in those, this is running Android 9 Pie so you can select others from the Play Store as well. I did play a number of games and tried some standard apps. It played the games fairly well, at the highest resolution options available.

This included titles such as PUBG Mobile, Minecraft and Call of Duty Mobile. The examples ran well, offering high visual options and I didn’t notice any performance issues. I was more than satisfied with the stable performance and you could certainly use this as an option for mobile Android gaming. When it comes to other types of performance this includes a Qualcoom Snapdragon 8150 (1x2.8GHz, 3x2.4GHz, 4x1.7GHz). The Ram memory options are either 6GB or 8GB, which is plenty for this type of Android device. The storage options are 128GB or 256GB with the option to expand it further to 1TB via microSD card which is appreciated. There’s a single SIM model, one Nano SIM.

There’s Wifi 802.11, LTE Cat.20 with DL up to 2Gbps and Bluetooth 5.0 support. Finally port wise there’s a USB type-C option for charging and connection. The battery is 7040mAh so it lasts a fairly long time. I was sent a cord so I was able to test out the power better this time around. I do wish they would be able to fit more battery on this as it’s the same as the lower S5e model. From there, we move onto the camera. This isn’t quite as important considering it’s somewhat strange to take pictures or videos from tablets, but it’s a feature that you’d expect more from considering this is a high end tablet.

Here we get a smart AI infused rear dual camera with 13MP ultra wide featuring a f2.2 Aperture and a FOV of 123 degrees. The second part of this is a wide camera 5MP featuring a f2.0 Aperture and a FOV of 80 degrees. The resolution for the video camera is 4k UHD (3840x2160) at 30fps and it’s disappointing they couldn’t have had it capable of 60fps as frame rates are important tech wise in my opinion and this is a high end model.

The front camera is 8MP featuring a F2.0 Aperture and a FOV of 80 degrees. Sadly the front camera maxes out at FHD (1920x1080p) at 30fps which is incredibly disappointing.

The cameras do take some fairly quality pictures, and provide decent video capture at lower frame rates. If you are taking pictures with this, it definitely is a good enough option. I took a number of snow based photos with the tablet and was pleased with what it was able to capture. I’ll also mention that the camera offers many filter, and other options for tweaking how you take photos.

Sensor wise there’s an accelerometer, gyro sensor, fingerprint sensor and a geomagnetic sensor.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review Screenshot

The Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a quality premium Android tablet that provides an excellent device for many situations and usages. It plays games very well which is great, and offers solid performance for regular work based situations. It has a number of future proofing features which is appreciated, at the same time some elements could have been pushed further. I would have liked to see Dolby Vision, a larger battery and a high FPS max playback. The camera looks great for the most part and it’s nice to see a better focus on this.

At the same time capping things at a 30fps capture at 4k for a rear camera in this year isn’t a great look and 1080p 30fps at the front is honestly pitiful. You won’t likely take much video or pictures with this being a tablet, but at the price in case you do it should be able to perform at that level of quality. Again, good for pictures on both sides just lacking in the video department. It has a number of great features, and the inclusion of the pen is neat yet not necessarily something for me specifically. This feels great to hold, I loved using it for watching videos or browsing.

The games were great on it, it definitely hits the mark for its class of tablet being among the best of Android tablets out there. I have to say that the audio was particularly incredible on this, they absolutely nailed that aspect. They fully use the whole of the device to provide immersive audio whether you’re listening to music, gaming or watching video content. If you’re in that Galaxy ecosystem it also syncs between your devices which I imagine is rather nice.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Review
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review product loaned by Samsung.

Rating Overall: 8.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner