Android option for iPad
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 LTE Detailed Review
With Android, iPad OS and mobile hardware updates getting stronger day by day, we’re in an age where one tablet could replace your laptop. If you are someone who writes in lots of documents, works on spreadsheets or presentations, chances are, you can do it comfortably on tablet. From taking notes, entertaining, transferring files and more, a tablet can be your go-to device. This is only true with multitasking like PCs where tablets are damaged. Today we have Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. The tablet costs around Rs 60,000, for the LTE variant it is Rs 10,000 less than the entry-level Wi-Fi 11-inch iPad Pro and the equivalent of 256GB iPad Air Wi-Fi. Is this the iPad alternative we’ve been waiting for? Find out.
In the box
In the box, you will find the tablet with a USB-C cable and a power adapter You will also find S-Pen in the box. For the purpose of this review, we found a case that is stuck on the tablet and is sitting flush with it. It has a kickstand that lets you support the tablet at different angles and has a dedicated housing for the S-Pen. We’ve also got the official keyboard accessory for this review.
Key specification at a glance
Display: 10.5-inch Super AMOLED 2560 x 1600 pixels
Platform: Snapdragon 855 platform
Built-in storage: 128GB
Expandable storage: up to 1TB
Single SIM: Yes (Nano)
3.5mm Jack: No.
Thickness: 5.7 mm
Battery: 7040mAh with fast charging
OS: Samsung One UI on Android 9 Pie
Rear camera: 13MP wide + 5MP ultraviolet
Front camera: 8MP
Display and audio performance
You will spend a lot of time interacting with the tablet’s display and the display is just as gorgeous as Samsung’s flagship phone. If you’re going to watch lots of movies and TV shows on the device, you’re in for a treat. We’ve used a lot of content on the tablet from Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video, and most of it looks great. The colors look vibrant and gorgeous for use on Samsung’s AMOLED panels for displays. From the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, which is very colorful for movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and even shows like Grand Tour and Young Sheldon, everything looks submerged. Switch to Netflix and you’ll miss the Dolby Vision tag on the iPad. Even without the Dolby Vision tag, Netflix content looks rich. From cyberpunk-themed modified carbon to The Spy’s busy streets, eating this tablet is a treat.
We have tried to use the tablet under direct sunlight and it works quite well. You can further increase the brightness of the device for use under direct sunlight. In addition to movies with dark sequences, the tablet was very easy to use in direct sunlight – a feature of Samsung tablets. Even with everyday tasks like reading emails, reading a book, playing games or browsing the internet, the display works without any complaints. It was reflective, but something that could not be taken care of by turning it around a bit.
Coming to audio, this is a place where the Galaxy Tab S6 surpasses the iPad Air but lags behind the iPad Pro. It has 4 speakers like The Air which has two, both firing in the same direction. With the Galaxy Tab S6, we have even better channel separation that is easily noticeable when objects flying around your screen, such as dog fights or shots are fired around during an action sequence. The Mission: Impossible Bike Chase is a good example of a sequence. The audio adds a layer of immersion to the swallowed content. The speakers are quite loud; We’ve tested it louder than some budget laptops so if you’re going to use this device as your binge-watch machine, know that it does the job well.
Overall, the audio is clear, the conversation is clear, and the speakers are loud enough that you don’t have to gather around a table to see its contents. You can show your friends a movie trailer in a little noisy environment without any hassle. Display Performance We have come to expect from Samsung’s flagship devices.
The S-Pen has standard uses that we’ve seen in Note series smartphones, but in the larger real estate of tablets, artists will really enjoy it. Add to that the fact that you can help it in different angles thanks to the cover and it can really give the iPad Pro a run for its money. Touch response shows minimal interval, has good palm rejection and sky limit for equipment on offer.
When it comes to daily performance, such as checking mail, browsing the internet, watching videos, etc. The tablet performed impressively without any stuttering. It works very well when you use apps on split-screen. With a Snapdragon 855 under the hood, no task is too difficult for this device. With the 6GB RAM with SnapDragon 855, you can expect bright fast performance from tablets, be it with games, multitasking and even gaming.
When it comes to keyboards, the touch screen keyboard isn’t as comfortable as the iPad’s on-screen typing experience. However, the keyboard accessories you can buy are much better than the smart keyboards added to the iPad. The keys have a decent amount of travel, good spacing but they can actually seem small for anything from a compact 13-inch laptop. The keyboard takes a while to get used to but it works well for long typing sessions.
Now let’s come to some problems. When using the device in tablet mode, you can disconnect the keyboard and this is the ideal way to use it. Because, if you fold the keyboard on the back of the tablet, you will face some problems. Starting with the grip can be annoying because you have to press the “button” whenever you adjust your grip, and it’s just as bad as a poorly designed convertible laptop. Second, there are times when keys are registered on the display (when the keyboard is folded and you’re using the device as a tablet) and this can be annoying. Until the end, the onscreen keyboard refused to work normally as long as the keyboard dock was attached but the fold managed to get us somewhat struggling to get the onscreen keyboard. These are niggles in the grand scheme of most things, but they are quite noticeable if they are on your primary work device.
When it comes to gaming, the tablet will let you play any game easily. From graphically heavy games like Asphalt, Call of Duty Mobile and even PUBG Mobile to simple puzzle and shooting games, it all worked like a charm. Aside from the fact that a tablet can be a bit unexpected when playing Call of Duty Mobile (at least for me), the gaming experience on the tablet is good.
You can switch between DeX and normal tablet mode with the tap of a button in the drop-down notification. While in DeX mode, you get a desktop-like experience that works much better than Dex’s functionality on previous tablets. Windows resizing, multitasking, watching videos while typing emails, everything can be done. You can open a bunch of apps on the display before noticing a form of slowdown. The keyboard’s trackpad gives the device a more PC-like experience. While using Dex, the form factor may feel compressed for users even after coming from a 13-inch laptop or Surface Pro, but with a few days of use, one must be accustomed to it.
You also have PC-like features like two-finger taps for right-clicking on the trackpad, alt + tabs for switching tabs and other desktop keyboard shortcuts that work well on the device. Overall, DEX has come a long way since we first saw it. It’s not perfect yet, but its performance is much better than what we’ve seen on the Galaxy Tab S5e (read our review here) and the Galaxy Tab S4 (read our review here).
Construction and design
When you look at the Galaxy Tab S6, slim, elegant and well-made things come to mind first. The tablet doesn’t have an all-glass back like the Galaxy Tab S4 and I personally like it. It has a metal back instead but once you attach the back cover to the kickstand, you won’t see the back. Premium is the first thing that comes to mind when you hold the device and really, it has a very good feel in the hand, which was previously reserved only for iPad Pro. It seems durable and it looks like it could survive a few drops. Kickstand is the biggest addition. It doesn’t just have a housing for the S-Pen (where the S-Pen is charged) but the Kickstand lets you support the iPad at all angles. If you want to use the tablet as a drawing table, you can push it all the way down to get that little height which is the perfect pose – obviously a page in the Surface Pro book and we love it. The 10.5-inch form factor is a tried and tested one so as far as ergonomics is concerned, you will feel just right at home. When playing games or watching videos, the device is comfortable to use.
Moving to port placement, (putting the tablet in portrait mode) you have a power button and a tray for volume rocker, SIM card and microSD card slot on the right. On the left, we have the keyboard dock connector. The headphone jack has disappeared, so it’s a bummer. Below, you have a USB-C port The tablet also has 4 speakers (2 on either side when placed in landscape mode) which is a great boon for entertainment as we discussed above. On the back of the tablet is the camera in the upper right corner and on the front it is banged in the middle of the upper bezel. Overall, it’s much better than what you would expect from a tablet. The fingerprint sensor is an in-display fingerprint sensor and it works quite well.
The build of the tablet is good and premium. It’s thin and without investing in a case to help it at an angle, typing in landscape mode is a bit annoying. The size is good enough for playing games and watching videos. In fact, I did not encounter any problems while watching the video on the device during a cab ride with the tablet in my lap. The back cover with adjustable hinges only adds comfort in such situations.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a 7040mAh battery – which is compatible with what we saw on the Galaxy Tab S4 and S5e. With our battery benchmark at full brightness, the tablet dies in just over 7 hours, an hour better than the S5e. In real-world use, it can last for many days. Playback from the streaming service has dropped by about 10 percent in one hour based on the streaming service. Local playback is down about 8 percent per hour. Automatically maintain brightness, and you have a device that can last about 10 to 12 hours while using the content. Battery life will vary depending on usage and in some productivity situations it may drain quickly.
Should You Buy Samsung Galaxy Tab S6?
The Tab S6 is the perfect alternative to the iPad. It has great performance for content creation and content usage, the back cover ensures that you can help it with different angles which adds ergonomics and the battery life is consistent with what tablets offer nowadays. Some ergonomic niggles and android hiccups have more than one standard, but if you don’t want to go for the iPad Pro, this is the best in the world of Android.