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 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 - Hardware and Battery
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Hardware and Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 arrives with a Snapdragon 855 processor, the most powerful Qualcomm chip to date without the recently announced Snapdragon 855+.
This chip integrates four high-performance Cortex-A76 cores - one that can reach 2.84 GHz and three cores that can reach 2.4 GHz - and four efficient Cortex-A55 cores that can reach 1.8 GHz.
The Snapdragon 855 offers up to 45 percent superior performance in a single core and up to 35 percent in multi-core compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 845. In addition, Qualcomm highlights its processor’s ability to maintain sustained performance.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes with 6 or 8 GB of RAM depending on its storage configuration: 128 or 256 GB. In both cases, it is a sufficient amount of RAM to move Android fluently.
In the time of using the Galaxy Tab S6, you will not suffer any break or performance problem. The interface moves freely, the apps open quickly and the change from one task to another is instantaneous.
In the demanding 3D games - Asphalt 9, Dead Effect 2 and PUBG Mobile - the performance of the Galaxy Tab S6 has been excellent.
The devices tend to get hot when subjected to a high workload, especially in 3D games. However, in the case of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, the temperatures of only is 30ºC on its surface, so it is not annoying at all.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is sold with 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. If you need more capacity, this storage is expandable by micro-SD up to 1TB.
Samsung has chosen to disable “Adoptable Storage”, one of the most interesting features of Android, so it is not possible to format the micro-SD card as part of the internal storage.
The reason Samsung gave to disable this function in its day is that users use the micro-SD card to exchange files with the computer, especially photos and videos, and that is not possible if the card has been formatted as internal since it is encrypted
In the connectivity aspect, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands (but not WiFi 6), Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi Direct.
It does not incorporate FM radio or NFC chip, but it has location hardware compatible with BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS and, of course, GPS.
The Galaxy Tab S6 has a USB Type-C connector that offers theoretical speeds of up to 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and OTG support but does not have MHL support.
The variant of the Galaxy Tab S6 also has LTE / 4G cellular connectivity, which allows you to connect through mobile networks without relying on a WiFi network.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Fingerprint
Samsung has incorporated a fingerprint reader under the screen, which allows you to unlock the tablet by resting your finger on an area of the screen near the USB-C connector. This area is quite small, so be careful to place your finger on it or the unlock will fail.
While Samsung’s latest smartphones use ultrasonic sensors, the Galaxy Tab S6 uses an optical sensor. Ultrasonic sensors capture the 3D reliefs of the fingerprints, but the optical sensors capture a 2D-only image and therefore are not so safe.
The optical fingerprint reader of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is slower than a traditional sensor and the ultrasonic sensor of the Samsung Galaxy S10 or Note10. It is also more sensitive to dirt, so you cannot easily unlock the tablet if you have wet or sweaty fingers.
One aspect that does not convince me is that to unlock the tablet you must first turn on the screen, either by pressing on the power button or by double-tapping on the screen. I would have liked to simply place your finger on the screen turned off to unlock.
Samsung has also added facial recognition, which works quite well both vertically and horizontally, although you should be careful not to place the tablet too close to the face so that it captures you well and not to cover the camera with your hand when holding it horizontally.
Although this system is not as secure as the fingerprint (it captures a 2D image of your face and, therefore, it is easier to fool it with a photograph), I find it more comfortable than placing your finger on the screen.
Surprisingly, facial recognition works quite well in low light conditions, which is an important advantage since these systems usually fail if the face is not well lit.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Battery
The Galaxy Tab S6 comes with a 7,040 mAh battery, which Samsung says offers 15 hours of video playback.
This capacity is somewhat low if we compare it with other tablets such as the recent iPad Air 2019, which with the same screen size has a battery of 8,134 mAh.
In the tests, with the screen calibrated to 200 nits, the tablet has obtained a good (but not spectacular) result of 6 hours and 58 minutes.
In practice, the battery of the Galaxy Tab S6 is good and, in my experience, it endures without problems a full workday, although it gives me the feeling that it consumes a lot of battery in standby.
If you want to improve battery, you can use one of the two energy-saving modes that Samsung incorporates: medium and maximum.
The medium saving mode limits the maximum CPU throughput to 70%, reduces the maximum brightness to 90% and, optionally, limits the use of background networks. The maximum saving mode goes further and changes the appearance of the interface.
In any of the two modes, we can customize the following aspects: reduce the brightness up to 90%, limit the CPU speed to 70% and disable WiFi and 4G connections in the background.
By default, an option called Adjustable Battery is activated that limits battery usage by apps you don’t use frequently. The tablet learns over time what your application usage patterns are.
Samsung also allows selecting individually those applications that we do not want to consume battery in the background, as well as the possibility of putting unused apps when they have not been used for a while.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a fast-charging at 18W, and Samsung has incorporated a charger compatible with this technology in the box. In tests, the entire charging process has taken a total of 2 hours and 25 minutes with the charger included.
As a novelty, Samsung offers the possibility of charging the tablet through the side connectors using a POGO charging base that sells for € 59.90. I haven’t had a chance to try this charging base, so I can’t share my impressions.
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