Few manufacturers launch tablets regularly. Companies like Google, LG or Sony seem to have lost interest in tablets and today only a handful of manufacturers bet on these devices. Samsung is one of the few that maintains a good number of tablets in its catalog. This year, the company has launched a couple of interesting high-end Galaxy Tab S series models: the most affordable Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e and, recently, the most powerful, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. Along the way the Galaxy Tab S5 has been lost, which never saw the light.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is Samsung’s most advanced tablet. It has a 10.5 ″ Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855 processor, 6/8 GB of RAM, 128/256 GB of storage, dual 13MP rear camera (wide angle) and 5MP (ultra-wide-angle), 8MP front camera and battery 7,040 mAh with fast charge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Design and Screen
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Design and Construction
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the lightest and thinnest tablets you can find in the market. With a thickness of only 5.7 mm, Samsung’s new tablet is thinner than almost any smartphone and tablet we know.
Its weight of 420 grams is also quite small, so you hardly notice that you carry it in your backpack or bag. Nor is it uncomfortable when you hold it in your hand or carry it under your arm.
The Samsung tablet is entirely made of metal with finishes in Cloud Blue (blue), Mountain Gray (gray) and Rose Blush (pink) colors.
In my opinion, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the most attractive tablets that we can find in the market. Its metallic surface with a matte finish is kept fairly clean and hardly attracts fingerprints.
On the right side of the tablet, we find the power button and just below is the elongated volume button. Somewhat below is the slot for the micro-SD memory card and the nano-SIM card if you have opted for the model with cellular connectivity.
On the left side, we find POGO pins that allow you to attach the BookCover keyboard case that we will talk about later. These connectors also allow you to charge the tablet with a charging accessory.
On the upper side, there are two speakers and, on the lower side, two other speakers, so in total, we have four speakers.
At the bottom, we also find a USB Type-C connector but there is no trace of the headphone jack, which is not present.
The front of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is dominated by its large screen surrounded by fairly narrow frames, around 9 mm. wide, which allows you to hold the tablet comfortably. The tablet offers a good use of space, with a screen-to-body ratio of 83% according to GSM Arena.
The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, a somewhat old version of the well-known glass protection, so I would have liked to see a more recent variant. In any case, a tablet is usually not as exposed as a smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is compatible with the S Pen pointer and, in fact, in the back, we find a slit where we can place it and it is magnetically held. While supported, the S Pen charges wirelessly. Above this slit, there is the rear double chamber, which protrudes slightly from the surface.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 does not have dust and water resistance, so we must be careful not to get wet. A tablet is not a device that has as much danger of falling into the water as a smartphone but it would be interesting protection to be able to use the device in the pool or in the bathtub to watch videos, read or browse the Internet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Screen
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a Super AMOLED screen of 10.5 ″ with WQXGA resolution (2500 x 1600 pixels), which means a pixel density of 287 dpi, slightly above the 264 dpi of the iPad’s Retina screen although you will not notice the difference.
Although in a mobile we usually demand a somewhat higher pixel density, a tablet is seen at a greater distance, so this density is more than enough.
The 16:10 screen ratio is longer than we usually find on other tablets. This ratio allows you to enjoy movies and videos better but is less practical for productivity tasks, surfing the Internet, etc.
Samsung Super AMOLED panels are the best we can find in smartphones, so it is wonderful to have such a screen on a 10.5 ″ tablet.
OLED screens offer deep black colors, very high contrast, and a wide-colored range. In addition, its power consumption is lower than that of LCD panels, especially with the dark mode of Android 10.
The sub-pixel matrix of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a Pentile type, as is usual for OLED panels. In this type of screens, the red, green and blue sub-pixels are arranged in geometric shapes instead of being one after the other in an aligned manner as occurs in RGB panels.
The screen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the first tablet that supports HDR10 +, the format that improves the dynamic range of the HDR standard and is mainly driven by Samsung itself, but does not support Dolby Vision.
The HDR10 + format competes with Dolby Vision, which is currently the most widespread HDR format with dynamic metadata. HDR10 + is only available on Amazon Prime Video, while Dolby Vision is supported by Netflix, Amazon, and others.
First of all, it is worth knowing that Samsung offers only two color modes: Natural and Intense. The Natural mode is the one that reflects the colors more naturally in both the standard sRGB range and the wider DCI P3 range, while the Intense mode is designed to produce more vibrant but more unreal colors.
Samsung’s previous tablets provided fixed color modes for various color ranges. However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 offers automatic color management.
This means that it automatically switches to the appropriate color range when displaying an image content that has an ICC profile that is within the wide color range supported by the OLED screen so that the images are displayed with the correct colors, or over-saturated or under-saturated in the Natural mode.
In Natural mode, the color fidelity is excellent since the average error when displaying sRGB contents is very low, 2.2 dE (a value below 4 dE is considered excellent and above 9 is considered unacceptable), and the Maximum error turns out to be 5.9 dE, a value also adjusted.
The color temperature of the screen in Basic mode is 6,322ºK, quite close to the reference level of 6,500ºK, which implies a pure white color with hardly any color tint.
The intense mode shows supersaturated colors. Although the colors are unreal, many people prefer to see more intense colors, even if they are not true to reality. This mode also has the advantage that it allows you to use the tablet in the sun more comfortably since under intense light the colors lose strength.
Due to the excess saturation of the colors, we have mentioned, the color fidelity of the Intense mode with respect to the sRGB range is lower. The average error turns out to be 6.2 dE and the maximum error is also high, 15.6 dE, compared to sRGB.
The color temperature is 6,781ºK, somewhat above the reference level of 6,500ºK, which implies a certain bluish tone. There is a certain tendency of manufacturers to make their screens blue because, naturally, warm colors are associated with old things (like old paper) and cold colors with modern things.
Luckily, Samsung has added a white color setting called Color Balance that allows you to alter the level of red, green and blue on the screen. In this way, we can reduce the level of blue and get close to the ideal value of 6,500ºK.
The maximum brightness of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with automatic brightness off is about 306 nits. But when activating the automatic brightness mode, you have access to the high brightness mode that has allowed measuring the brightness of 492 nits under intense light. This value is somewhat above the 450 nits of the Galaxy Tab S5e.
The maximum brightness value with the 100% illuminated screen is high for a tablet, even more so in the case of an OLED screen. These panels do not stand out in brightness compared to LCDs when the screen is completely white, but they do in mixed environments with white, black and other colors.
The black color is very deep, to the point that the colorimeter has been unable to measure any level of brightness. This means that blacks are really black and the contrast is theoretically infinite. An advantage of such a deep black color is that, when watching a movie, the black stripes around the image look completely black. In addition, black pixels do not consume battery.
OLED screens have a peculiar behavior when viewed from an angle. On the one hand, the light emitters are closer to the surface, and this makes the contrast and brightness change less when we move from the center, but on the other hand, the Pentile matrix causes the colors to distort.
In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, the viewing angles are wide and the colors only look slightly green when you look at the screen from a very extreme angle.
A feature that is not present on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6‘s screen is the Always On Display function. This functionality is present in many smartphones and permanently displays relevant information on the screen.
What is present is the blue light filter functionality that reduces eye fatigue by limiting the amount of blue light emitted by the screen. It is possible to set a schedule for when you want to use the filter or set it to activate from dusk to dawn.
Although we have read that the blue filter interferes with the fingerprint reader under the screen, this seems to have been fixed in some software updates.
Samsung has also added a Night mode that activates a dark mode in Samsung’s interface and apps. However, third-party apps are not affected by this mode, so the result is not as good as we would like. We will have to wait for Android 10 to get a really dark mode.
Read Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth:
- Part 01: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Design and Screen
- Part 02: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Hardware, Fingerprint, and Battery
- Part 03: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Software and Functionalities
- Part 04: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – S Pen Pointer and BookCover
- Part 05: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Applications, Multimedia and Camera
- Part 06: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Review in-depth – Price and Competitors
All Image credits and Reference is Galaxy Tab S6