Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

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Samsung’s excellent hardware is let down by sloppy software.

Android tablets are on life support. The iPad has run away with the consumer tablet market, and where it has left some scraps, Amazon’s line of Fire tablets has picked them up. Even Google is done trying to compete with premium Android tablet hardware.

But that isn’t stopping Samsung. The  Galaxy Tab S6 is the company’s latest attempt at a device that can be used for both consuming content and productivity. And yes, it runs Android. The Tab S6 is an excellent content consumption tablet. It has a great screen and speakers, and it’s thin and light enough to hold for extended watching sessions. It even has enough battery life to last through at least three Marvel movies. On the flip side, Samsung’s attempts to make the Tab S6 a productivity device fall short, there are a number of annoying bugs in the software, and it’s not a great enough device to replace your laptop.

  • Gorgeous display
  • Loud, clear speakers
  • Sleek design
  • Fast performance
  • Stylus comes in the box

Samsung makes excellent hardware, and, as the company’s flagship tablet, the Tab S6 is no exception. It’s a thin metal-and-glass slab that weighs less than a pound, and it’s easy and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. The star of the show is the 10.5-inch OLED HDR (HDR10 and HDR10+, but not Dolby Vision) display. This screen is really a treat to look at: colors pop, blacks are inky deep, and it gets bright enough to use outdoors. It’s an excellent screen for watching movies or YouTube videos, and it has enough resolution for text to look sharp at a comfortable viewing distance. It’s basically the same pixel density as the iPad Air or iPad Pro.

SKU: SM-T860 Category:


The display isn’t perfect, however. Like the Galaxy S10, the Tab S6 has a fingerprint scanner embedded in the screen. Samsung is using an optical scanner here, as opposed to the ultrasonic one found in its phones. On top of being slow and unreliable, the scanner just doesn’t work at all when the blue light filter activates in the evening. Other manufacturers that use similar optical scanners on their phones, such as OnePlus, force the screen to disable the blue light filter for the second it takes to scan the fingerprint, but Samsung hasn’t enabled that on the Tab S6.
The screen’s 16:10 aspect ratio is great for watching video, and it doesn’t feel terribly awkward when holding the tablet in portrait orientation for reading. But it’s quite cramped for productivity work when using the attached keyboard or browsing the web in landscape. Though the screen has the same size screen as an iPad Air on paper, the differences in aspect ratio (the iPad uses a 4:3 screen) mean Samsung’s screen is considerably smaller in practice. 
There are cameras on the front and back, including a dual-camera setup on the rear with a standard camera and an ultrawide option. Strangely, there’s no LED flash, which is something that comes in handy when using a tablet to scan documents.
For battery life, the Tab S6 is able to last all day while in use, even if I’m hammering it with productivity apps and playing video all day long. It has poor standby time, though: on more than one occasion, I left the tablet for a couple of days without using it, and it was dead when I picked it back up.

  • Display: 10.5-inch WQXGA 16:10 HDR OLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, with microSD expansion
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel front, 13-megapixel standard rear, 8-megapixel ultrawide rear
  • Battery: 7,040mAh
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Quad Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Weight: 14.8 ounces (420 grams)
  • Dimensions: 9.63 inches (244.5mm) x 6.28 inches (159.5mm) × 0.22 inches (5.7mm)
  • Colors: blue, silver, pink
  • Includes S Pen stylus

Additional information

Weight 1.4 lbs
Dimensions 9.63 × 6.28 × 0.22 in

NETWORK Technology
LAUNCH Announced 2019, July
Status Available. Released 2019, August
BODY Dimensions 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm (9.63 x 6.28 x 0.22 in)
Weight 420 g (14.82 oz)
Build Glass front, aluminum back, aluminum frame
Stylus support (Bluetooth integration; magnetic)
DISPLAY Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 10.5 inches, 321.9 cm2 (~82.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1600 x 2560 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~287 ppi density)
PLATFORM OS Android 9.0 (Pie); One UI
Chipset Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)
CPU Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485)
GPU Adreno 640
MEMORY Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
Internal 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM
UFS 3.0
MAIN CAMERA Dual 13 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF
5 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm
Features HDR, panorama
Video 2160p@30fps
SELFIE CAMERA Single 8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/4", 1.12µm
Video 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers (4 speakers)
3.5mm jack No
Tuned by AKG
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
Radio No
USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector; magnetic connector
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Samsung DeX
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 7040 mAh battery
Charging Fast battery charging 15W
MISC Colors Mountain Gray, Cloud Blue, Rose Blush
Models SM-T860, SM-T865
SAR 0.70 W/kg (body) SAR EU 1.22 W/kg (body)


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