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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review

The best Android tablet on the market

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
(Image: © Future)

Battery life

  • 7,040mAh battery offers very good stamina
  • Samsung estimates 14 hours of usage on a single charge

Samsung has gone with a smaller battery for the Galaxy Tab S6 than it did with the Galaxy Tab S4, just 7,040mAh versus 7,300mAh.

But this is still very large, and indeed is the same size as the Galaxy Tab S5e's battery. Add in the benefits of the efficient Snapdragon 855 chipset, and there seems to be no reason to worry.

This is proven by our regular battery test, which involves running a 90-minute looped video with the screen brightness turned up to full. With the Galaxy Tab S4 this task ate 12% of a full charge. With the Galaxy Tab S6, it sapped just 9%.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung has estimated that the Galaxy Tab S6 is good for 14 hours of usage. In our experience it will comfortably stand up to a pretty intensive day, and it’s certainly competitive with the iPad Pro 11 (2018).

The Tab S6 also supports fast battery charging, though the fact that it only ships with a 15W charger - not the 25W unit that ships with the Galaxy S10 5G smartphone - is a minor disappointment. The iPad Pro 11 ships with an 18W charger, by way of a comparison.

Camera

  • 13MP and 5MP dual-camera with Night Mode
  • 8MP selfie cam

A dual-camera might not sound like a particularly noteworthy feature in a world where we’re seeing quad-camera smartphones. But the Galaxy Tab S6 is the first Samsung tablet to feature a multi-camera setup.

That entails a 13MP f/2.0 main sensor paired with a 5-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide back-up. That would be pretty unremarkable sounding in a mid-range smartphone, but it’s fairly advanced for a tablet, where photography really isn’t a priority.

(Image credit: Future)

The secondary camera, in particular, opens up the possibility of some interesting wide-angle shots, as well as enabling exaggerated bokeh Portrait snaps.

What sounds reasonably decent on paper turns out to be just so in practice. The shots we obtained were perfectly fine, in a mid-range phone kind of way. Some of the colors did seem to be artificially ramped up to our eyes, but then Samsung is a sucker for punchy colors.

Overall, Samsung’s fine camera software bolsters things significantly, with auto-HDR evening out the extremes nicely on any bright landscape shots. The company has also brought its Night Mode across from its top-end smartphones, so you’ll be able to take usable shots in extremely dark conditions.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

You’ll need to hold the tablet still for several seconds in order to do this, and you’d better ensure that your subject is similarly stationary. But the results are pretty decent all things considered.

There’s an 8MP camera around front, though we suspect this will be used mostly for video calls. Or at least, we’d hope so. If there’s one thing more ridiculous than someone using their tablet for a camera it’s someone using their tablet for a selfie.

Camera samples

Image 1 of 6

In normal mode, shooting in this kind of lighting is a no-go.

In normal mode, shooting in this kind of lighting is a no-go. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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Image 2 of 6

With Night Mode on, you can get usable results if subject and camera are still.

With Night Mode on, you can get usable results if subject and camera are still. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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Image 3 of 6

The S6 balances things well, but the red flowers seem a little false.

The S6 balances things well, but the red flowers seem a little false. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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Image 4 of 6

Another reasonably well-balanced shot.

Another reasonably well-balanced shot. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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Image 5 of 6

The hanging decoration is nice and sharp while the background light source isn’t too washed out.

The hanging decoration is nice and sharp while the background light source isn’t too washed out. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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Image 6 of 6

Sharp focus and fine detail on this pink flower.

Sharp focus and fine detail on this pink flower. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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