Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review: Best Android Tablet 2019

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best Android tablet of 2019. And don't look back the way technology works, making it the best Android tablet.

Ready for reservations? That's not to say that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best choice for everyone, or that it outshines the iPad Pro. It's not, and it's not like Samsung's £619 asking price is sure to make it somewhat responsive, as they would be on a car service bill. It's always more than you expect.

Buy an iPad Air and an Apple Pencil and you get similar skills for similar money. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e offers a huge amount of the same highlights for $379. But if you're a top-end Android tablet if you want, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is it.


  • Cloud blue/pink blush/mountain gray
  • 244.5 x 159,5 x 5.7mm / 420g

Why you pay so much for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 isn't initially all that obvious. It is very similar to the Tab S5e, which costs about $250 less.

Both have aluminum backs, they have even slimmer screen surrounds than the iPad Pro. The metal finish looks and feels great, and doesn't feel as brittle as the glass of the earlier Galaxy S4.

Flip over the Samsung Galaxy S6 and you'll see that one reason this more expensive tablet isn't on the Tab S5e: there are magnetized shallow grooves where the new S-Pen stylus can rest.

Much like the Galaxy Note 10+ pen, it is a wireless stylus with Bluetooth and battery, allowing it to interact with the tablet from a few meters away. What can he do? Plenty but sane options you can actually use is limited like drawing, annotating without interrupting the music or using it as a remote camera shutter.

We can't imagine many people using air gestures to swirl around like a discounted explorer to change the playback volume (as flicking up can increase the volume). And you really want to use it to set a stopwatch timer or flip through photos in the Gallery app if you're torturing your loved ones with holiday photos like he did in 1997. Of course, it's very easy for Samsung to be Samsung, packing in more features than you ask for; you show what he can do that other less skilled makers cannot.

The drawing is a real treatment with a pen. He's great for this. The pen has a nib that makes sketching feel natural, and while the pre-installed pen app is better for kids than actual budding digital artists, Google Play now offers some great drawing/drawing apps.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 S Pen isn't quite as good as the Apple Pencil though. There's no hint of lag, and it's not Apple's smart stylus tilt detection. But you don't have to pay £119 extra cash for it - this Samsung is coming to the S6's box.


  • 10.5 inch helps to reproduce the finest details flawlessly (1600 x 2560 = 287ppi)
  • Super AMOLED panel with

On a C6 tab, the 10.5-inch screen is well suited for sketching, as it's not too far from an A4 sheet of paper in shape and size. It's a widescreen, like most Samsung tablets over the years, but not quite like the doggy iPad of the air. It fits instead of the iPad Pro line, with a 16:10 ratio.

Many people prefer the iPad approach for apps. But widescreen is better for most videos. We've used both the classic entry-level iPad and Galaxy S6 while working out at the gym recently. Fire up Netflix and iPad leaves you with much thicker black bars whether you should be watching a movie or a series. Haven't shot anything with the 4 original iPad:3 all these days. Perhaps that's the reason why Apple has been using the 16:10 aspect in the iPad Pro since 11.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has other benefits as well. It's an OLED screen that delivers very rich colors, incredible blacks, and super-spectacular contrast. The top brightness is great for a tablet and the image looks sharp. It's even better contrast than the iPad Pro, although Apple's pro tablets basically close the picture quality gap in just about any setting.

Samsung removed the main mode for color calibration seen in the Galaxy S5e tab, most likely because few people used it. But that's only really a problem if you want super-calm color without the OLED punch that many are after.


  • Google Android 9.0 OS
  • Samsung one user interface
  • Samsung Dex

The 10,5 inch display tab of the Samsung Galaxy S6 is close in size to a small laptop. And Samsung wants you to use this replacement laptop.

The S6 model has a feature called Dex, which turns Android into a system that looks like Windows 10 or macOS. You can run applications in Windows to make multitasking feel less awkward. And there is a mini-key navigation bar to put more things in your hands.

Add £159 keyboard and efficient machine operation. However, it's worth considering what Dex really is before throwing your old Dell XPS 13 into the fire. This is the front end for Android. It changes how multitasking looks, but not how it works that much, since some apps do enter a parked state when you leave a window.

You are also limited to Android applications. If you just need a browser, word processor, and Netflix or YouTube when the work gets too much, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 will do the trick. But we found it too hard to abandon apps like Photoshop CC, Steam and Ableton on a tablet for daily computer use.

Features & Performance

  • Optional 4G module
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner
  • CPU Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM

You can't knock the Samsung Galaxy S6's section for an easier job, though. For example, its carriers are extremely good for a tablet, outperforming some much heavier, thicker laptops. There are four AKG drivers, two on the left and two on the right when you hold the C6 tab in front of you to watch a movie.

They are noisy, have meat on the mids and even a hint of bass. You will probably block one or two of the ports when playing a console-style game. It won't ruin the sound, but it did feel a little weird. The speakers move enough air to make it feel like there's something buzzing under your fingers if you're partially covered by the grilles.

The Galaxy Tab S6 also lacks a headphone jack. Samsung wants to buy some galaxy buds, which is a bit annoying when you're just spending over £600. This tablet is definitely thick enough to fit a headphone jack, and it looks like Samsung is just copying the strategy it uses in its latest high-end phones.

The tablet shares quite a few bits of tech with phones too. There is 128 GB and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. It's not quite as fast as the fastest pads used in mobile phones, but most of us don't wake up our tablets a hundred times a day.

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You can also make tabs on the Samsung Galaxy S6 4G, for (almost) all the features of a 10,5-inch smartphone. This version costs £689. You can upgrade storage instead of 256GB for the same price if that's more attractive (full model/256GB on 4G is $759).

The Tab S6 also has the same processor as some of the leading phones: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor. It's bliss for gamers, as there aren't any new Android games out there right now that are anything better.

You can play PUBG with settings as overdue as the game allows. It runs as smoothly as we've seen Android games. ARK: Survival Evolvedwhich is even more demanding, this is a similar case. Of course the game looks better on the PS4 PRO and doesn't actually run native 2560 x 1600 resolution on the tablet. But you will get the Android gaming experience at its current peak. This is not the case with the Galaxy Tab S5e, which is significantly less powerful.


  • 13MP f/2 and 5MP f/2.2 rear cameras
  • 8-megapixel f/2 front camera
  • 4K 30fps video

Samsung even adds a bit of smartphone polish to the cameras on the S6's tab, traditionally in an area where tablets sit far behind phones. There is a standard camera view and an ultra-wide-angle lens. The wider view is handy for one of the classic tablet camera situations: having a portrait of a bunch of clumsy family members.

But none of these cameras will bother the Samsung Galaxy S10. Or even the Galaxy S8. The main section of the S6 has a 13-megapixel sensor, ultra-wide-main 5-megapixel. The best phones have sharper images, faster focusing and lower light. But this pair is the best you'll get in the Android tablet world.

You can actually take a couple of decent photos with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, though we feel so stupid about using this camera to shoot in public. Both rear cameras can shoot video, while the main one can be captured in 4K (30fps) with stabilization software. You get little more than the barebones basics we expect from a camera tablet.

The selfie camera has an 8-megapixel sensor. One could argue that this is the most important camera in a tablet, if it is to be used in a completely unashamed fashion. Face-changing AR applications will have even greater impact on the big screen. But it's just a good selfie, not close to the job of the Google Pixel 3 XL's, which has the same cameras.

But again, that's good enough. A selfie in public with a huge tablet, as usual, raise your eyebrows as you wandered around London tourist-style with it, going down the other side of the escalators with a bum-bag bouncing around your waist.

Battery Life

  • 7040mAh battery
  • 15W charging
  • Up to 14 hours battery life

The cameras in the tablet are important in which, and will go almost unused by others. But everyone wants a good battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has 7,040 mAh - just like the Galaxy Tab S5e does. That's a little less power than the 11-inch iPad Pro (with 7812mAh), but the screen size and shape are also different.

Real battery life for Samsung is very good. In our experience, it lasts just over 12 hours for video playback at medium brightness. This tablet matches the iPad's endurance in some ways, but falls short of the iPad's pros in others. But it still reaches the gold standard of tablet endurance.

You also get a fast charger in the box. But the battery is so big it will take hours to recharge anyway.

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