flagship tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (SM-T860 / SM-T865)
Contents of delivery
Battery charger (25 watt
USB Type C to USB Type C
Paper clip to eject the
In 2019, Samsung changed its approach to the formation of model
lines, this is clearly visible in the smartphone segment, but exactly the same
thing happened for tablets. The key task was the optimal price/quality
ratio in each of the segments where the products are presented – from the
inexpensive A-series to the top models with the S index. Formally, until
recently, the Tab S4 was the flagship in tablets, it had a glass body,
aesthetics, very strong different from the current generation of tablets, such
as the S5e.Now all tablets lead to the same style, these are thin metal cases. I
like this approach, since such tablets are less covered with handprints, and it
is much more convenient to hold them in your hands. Considering that these
are either bedside devices at home, or they are used for travel, the
orientation towards lighter weight and size (thickness) is quite justified.
What does a flagship mean for Samsung? The answer is very
simple – this is the maximum capabilities out of the box. Fast charging, the
best screen available on the market, the longest-lasting battery, the presence
of the LTE version, which is the main one, normal cameras and further down the
list. That is, take the best you can add to your tablet and turn it into
your ultimate work tool or entertainment device.
Who will be interested in the Tab S6? There are several
target audiences for this tablet, as it is diverse. Firstly, these are
those who are looking for the very device, that is, they buy the flagship,
because they want to get the maximum capabilities. It is not a fact that
such people will use these opportunities one hundred percent or even fifty
percent, but their desire is this – they want the best, and this is quite
normal. Secondly, the Tab line is loved by those who use a tablet for work
and play, in these tablets the best balance of the former and the latter. Thirdly,
these are people from the corporate world (graphics, text recognition, those
who are used to writing with a pen or drawing pictures and in pictures, making
sketches) plus creative people. The fact that one product combines the
aspirations of so many different audiences is surprising in itself.
For the first time, Samsung has seriously tried not only to
promote the DeX mode, which in some ways makes the tablet similar to a
computer, but to add a keyboard cover that brings the Tab S6 closer to mobile
computers. Let’s separately talk about how it turned out, let’s leave the
intrigue until the end of the review.
Without any discounts, we can say that the Tab S6 is the flagship
not only for the Samsung line, but for the market as a whole. Today iPad
is more popular, but it is in the Tab line that Apple developers have been
copying solutions for many years, borrowing them from year to year, since they
cannot come up with something of their own. They live according to the
precepts of Steve Jobs, who bluntly said: “We were never ashamed to steal great
ideas”. And the ideas behind the Tab S6 are just that.
The tablet is available in three colors – gray, blue and dark pink
The back wall is made of aluminum, the metal is brushed, and there
are no hand marks on it, which is very pleasing. In the hollow there is a
mount for the S Pen, the pen is included. The color of the handle is made
in the color of the case, there are no differences here.
The disadvantage of the S Pen mount is that it is magnetically
attached, and if you carry the tablet in a bag, the pen will constantly fly
off, just touch other objects. In your hands, the pen will fly off only if
you turn the tablet. In transport, this can result in the loss of the S
Pen. Therefore, for everyone who uses the S Pen, the use of the case
becomes a necessity, it has a flap for the stylus, it is impossible to lose it. It
also cannot fly off.
pen is in place, the tablet lies on a flat surface slightly at an angle, which
is good, because it makes it easier to type text or browse the web. But I
emphasize that the cover is becoming a vital necessity. Alas, any
attachment without a rigid fixation for the stylus is unreliable and allows you
to lose it.
On the right side there is a coupled volume
rocker and an on / off button. In landscape orientation, this is the top
edge. On the side ends there are speakers, there are four of them, and
they are tuned by AKG engineers. Very loud, the volume margin is such that
in most cases I crank the sound by 50-60%, it is simply unnecessary and
uncomfortable to listen at this level.
There is a POGO connector on the lower wide edge,
it differs from the Tab S4, so you won’t be able to use the same accessories,
for example, a keyboard cover, they are different. There is also a magnet
for attaching a keyboard or cover. Inserts of antennas for Wi-Fi and LTE
are visible on the case, there are no problems with the signal quality,
antennas are not blocked in the hands, the signal level remains the same plus
The tablet only has a USB Type C connector, it
serves for charging and connecting a headset (it is not included in the
package). It’s a pity, but the rejection of the 3.5 mm jack is perceived
by me as a disadvantage, there are many good headphones that are especially
convenient to use at home when the tablet is lying next to the bed. I
don’t perceive adapters as something normal, it’s some kind of collective farm,
and it’s not included in the kit either. You have to use only wireless
headphones, while Samsung, as always, has the richest settings for controlling
the sound quality with a wired connection, you can fine-tune the tablet for
yourself. And this is puzzling, since the rejection of 3.5 mm does not
seem logical. But the trend is that most companies are starting to move
away from this connector. Apple began to do this in 2016, and, alas, other
manufacturers also followed this path, Sales of AirPods have become the
motivation behind breaking records. It is the rejection of 3.5 mm that
pushes up the sales of wireless headphones, and all manufacturers want to skim
the cream off this segment, Samsung is no exception, they held out for a long
time, almost three years.
The tablet has a system of two microphones, this
allows you to use noise reduction when talking in messengers or on a cell phone
(in the LTE version, the tablet does not differ from a smartphone, you can use
it as a phone).
Tablet dimensions – 244.5×159.5×5.7 mm, weight –
420 grams. Very lightweight, it is easy to hold it in your hand even for a
long time, and it does not matter, with or without a case. Also, the
tablet is very thin, which does not cause any hassle. But you look at it
and wonder how miniature the electronics have become, the thickness of the
device makes an impression.
With the Tab S4, I didn’t like the lack of a
fingerprint sensor, only face unlock. I had to either bend over the
tablet, or lift it, and this was not a convenient way, I set up unlocking with
a graphic key. The fact that the Tab S6 has an in-screen fingerprint
sensor is just a breath of fresh air. It is exactly the same as in Note10
/ 10 + or S10 +, that is, it has different levels of protection, it is
impossible to deceive it with a photo or a three-dimensional cast.
A little advice for those who first set up such a fingerprint
sensor on a tablet. Since you can hold the tablet both vertically and
horizontally, put your fingerprint in two orientations, this will eliminate the
need to twist the tablet when unlocking and makes this moment painless.
The technical characteristics of the screen are as follows: 10.5
inches WQXGA Super AMOLED, 1600×2560 pixels, 287 ppi pixel density, 16:10
aspect ratio. This is an excellent display, simply the best in its class,
it has no direct competitors. Adaptive brightness, color temperature and
other settings let you choose how the colors on the screen appear for you. Samsung
doesn’t call this screen Dynamic AMOLED, as it does on the latest generation of
smartphones, but in fact it is. A separate RGB sensor adjusts the
brightness of the screen to the lighting conditions, this is a Samsung
proprietary chip, which was adopted by Apple and called TrueTone, but they did
it much later.
Subjectively, the screen is very similar to those of the S10 +,
Note10 / 10 +, it belongs to the same generation. There are no alternatives
for such a screen today, it behaves equally well both in the sun and indoors,
you see exactly the same picture. The color gamut is maximum, the color
rendition is accurate. When shooting with the camera, exactly the same
approach, you see what you get, no color distortion.
For a tablet, it is the screen that becomes the key
characteristic, this is where you constantly look, and there are no problems
with it. This is simply the best you can get on the market right now. Apple
has IPS screens, they are not bad, but they will start to install AMOLED much
later than Samsung, although they realize all the advantages of the technology,
but the prices for such devices will become even higher and even more
The responsiveness of the screen, the speed of the interface – all
these are the advantages of this model, and it is impossible to say that here
it can lose in something and in something to someone. It is the flagship
with the best technology you can buy. No screen maker other than Samsung
has similar components at the moment.
The tablet is built on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon ™ 855 chipset
(1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 4 x1.78 GHz Kryo
485 Silver), Adreno 640 graphics, 7 nm process technology. The top
chipset, which has no flaws, its performance will be more than enough in the
The amount of RAM – 6 GB, built-in – 128 GB, memory cards can be
installed up to 1 TB (in some countries there is an option for 8/256 GB). Look
at the results of synthetic tests below, I will note on my own that no
slowdowns in the menu and interface are observed, including when working with
DeX mode and
It doesn’t matter if you have an HDMI cable or a keyboard case,
you can still directly connect a wireless keyboard, mouse to the tablet and
turn on DeX mode. In fact, this is the use of a tablet with a DeX
interface, which is as much like a computer as possible and allows you to work
comfortably in different windows, a kind of work mode. My phones are used
in my DeX station, and this is very good, since they provide ample
opportunities, in particular, I connect different peripherals this way. And
this tablet is no exception, you can get exactly the same features in it. It’s
a workhorse, but only for those who need it.
keyboard is not bad, I like the key travel, it is comfortable to work on. I
analyze in great detail what the keyboard can do in the video, at the same time
I compare it with the Tab S4 keyboard.
The tablet has a 7040 mAh battery that supports
fast charging (no difference from the Tab S5e in terms of battery size). A
full charge from scratch takes about 2.5 hours (in the Tab S5e it is three
hours, which is surprising given the same battery size).
In my opinion, battery life is the strong point
of the gadget. If you turn on the video at maximum brightness and volume,
you can get at least 15 hours of screen. It is clear that this is video
playback, but how much the tablet can work in different tasks, how much it
pulls the load. Take a look at the screenshot of the running times below.
Ten hours of screen work, of which I watched
video for almost six hours (Wi-Fi was on all the time), and four hours were
spent on toys, Chrome and other traditional tasks (the screen brightness is
enough for me by 40-50%, this is very comfortable, the maximum brightness is
not needed). Please note that it took me about 5 more hours to play music,
I listened to it on connected wireless headphones, when I worked, the screen
was turned off. It is amazing how economically the tablet uses energy when
connected wirelessly, the declared operating time in this mode is up to 105
hours! Think about this figure, it’s almost five days of non-stop work.
But there is one small nuisance with the battery
that is worth knowing about. If you use the S Pen and it bounces off the
magnetic mount, the tablet starts looking for it. The search continues
indefinitely, and it takes a lot of energy. I was interested to see how
many. Therefore, I set the movie to play in MX Player and just went for a
walk, and took the S Pen with me. And here’s the result.
It turns out a sad picture, if the S Pen is not
turned off in the menu, but it flew off, then the power consumption will be so
merciless, the autonomy has almost halved. If you don’t use the S Pen,
turn it off in the menu, the autonomy will increase dramatically. Those
who use it should choose a case with a holder, this is another reason in favor
of this accessory.
In general, I like the autonomy of the tablet, it
is durable and provides up to nine hours of games (Clash of Clans as an
example), while a similar iPad Pro died for me about 5 hours of work in this
game. On vacation, children played non-stop during the day, so it was not
difficult to measure the time. There are many power saving modes in the
settings, so you can squeeze more out of the tablet.
In total, at the moment this is the most hardy
tablet in terms of operating time, and at the same time you do not lose in the
least in the brightness of the picture, its quality. I also note that I
often hear complaints about the operating time, but after a detailed
examination it turns out that there is always a program / service that is
eating up the battery, and the user does not find this zhor in time. If
your device does not work well for you, then look for a problem in the
software. The Tab S6’s battery life is a strong point, just like the Tab
S5e. In the bedside device mode, the tablet lasts a week, and charging is
not difficult, it quickly recharges and you can both play and just watch
The presence of cameras in the tablet does not
seem to me to be a strong point, although they may be needed in a corporate
device, and the front camera is quite applicable to video calls in instant
messengers. The Tab S6 has a front-facing camera with a resolution of 8
megapixels, there is Live Focus, that is, blurring the background when taking
pictures of a face, plus you can use a wide angle. The picture quality is
lower than on smartphones, but this is understandable.
The camera interface is familiar from OneUI,
there are no special features here. Dual main camera, one 13 megapixel
module, the second five. There is also “Live Focus”, different
modes of operation. In my opinion, the camera for a tablet is not bad,
video can be recorded in both FullHD and 4K. Take a look at the interface.
And this is how sample photos and videos look
For a tablet, the cameras are not bad, but
smartphones still win over them, and much.
S Pen modes, what you can do with a pen
The key feature of the Tab S6 is support for the
S Pen out of the box, you don’t need to buy a separate “pen”, as
Apple suggests to do it and asks for some 11 thousand rubles. Everything
is included here, and this is how it should be.
To begin with, because of the desire to magnetise
the S Pen to the body, it was made relatively flat, there is no comparison with
the stylus in the Tab S4, it was noticeably better there.
I had to adjust before learning how to use this S
Pen, as accidentally pressing a key while writing or drawing caused unnecessary
commands. Not ideal, a compromise, but you can use any S Pen with this
tablet, another thing is that control gestures will not be supported.
Similar to the Note10 / 10 +, this S Pen has a
new type of battery, it charges in less than a minute, after which you can use
the stylus for about 10 hours for Bluetooth commands. Control gestures
were still in the Note9, but first appear in a tablet. Using gestures, you
can, without touching the tablet, flip through photos in the gallery, rewind
music or videos, stop playback, take photos, switch cameras and so on. Samsung
has created an SDK that allows third-party developers to use gestures in their
apps. Interestingly, when using the S Pen, you see hints if you try to use
gesture control in the application.
In the S Pen settings, you can reassign gestures,
choose your actions, while standard applications and the Chrome browser are
supported, but this is quite enough. In my opinion, remote control is
interesting during presentations, as you can flip through slides. Plus, it
is interesting to take photos when you have installed a tablet somehow and do
not want to take them from the screen. You can find many scenarios, but
for now this is an additional feature that is not as important as everything
Let me remind you that, unlike conventional
devices, all Samsung models that support the S Pen have an additional touch
layer. The pen supports 4096 degrees of depression, different writing
tilt. Let’s take a look at what you can do with the S Pen in the Tab S6.
As soon as you take the S Pen in your hand when
the screen is locked, it becomes possible to create a quick note, on a black
background you can write or draw something, and immediately save this
information in Samsung Notes.
In the settings, you can specify that the device
will tell you when you move away from the S Pen, which is good if you have
forgotten the pen somewhere and leave. Most importantly, you can unlock
your tablet by pressing a button on the S Pen if you want to. If you are
not afraid for safety, then set up the tablet so it is very convenient.
The context menu that may appear when using the S
Pen, you customize for yourself as you like, choose programs and features that
interest you. The S Pen’s charge level is displayed at the top.
You won’t be able to press your finger or other
object on the context menu icon, the device responds only to the S Pen, and it
can be any pen, including from another smartphone. Multiple S Pens can be
connected to the device, this is also the first time. In fact, we can
assume that Samsung is counting on third-party pens. So far, they are
produced only to order, and it is impossible to find them on free sale.
start with the Quick Note mode, where you can draw or write something. But
the main thing is that the window can be made transparent, it is placed on top
of other windows. Samsung did not call this operating mode in any way, but
I called it tracing paper. Remember the transparent sheets of paper onto
which we transferred drawings as children? Something similar can be done
here. Or you can make notes, and in the background, you will have a photo
or video, and the latter will be played. That is, you will not only work,
but you can immediately take notes.
Notes has several new modes, besides the fact that you can draw, write and type
texts, now it is possible to recognize what you have written (support for about
60 languages, recognition was done by a Russian team). Of the minuses, it
has been noticed so far that the recognition of texts in two languages works
poorly, one, the main language, is determined. But it was about the same
with Google with voice recognition, it is a matter of time and maturation of
algorithms, the latter, by the way, based on AI, so fashionable in recent
chicken handwriting is recognized by the tablet quite successfully. You
can keep your notes as they are for convenience. Or you can recognize
text, then a search by notes appears. For lawyers, students and everyone
who has not yet lost the habit of writing and loves it (and there are many of
them in the world, look at Moleskine sales), such a tablet is a godsend.
Recognized text can be saved in different formats, including PDF
or MS Word, and immediately sent anywhere. And you shouldn’t underestimate
this opportunity, it is unique and someone will have to come to court.
Select and Save mode allows you to select any piece on the screen
(rectangle, lasso, free-form – and it’s very easy with a pen!), Then you can
save it as a graphic file or GIF-animation. But what I like and help in my
work is the ability to recognize text in a photo or a screenshot, select the
desired piece, and you have a text in any language in front of you. Cool? Not
that word. While you are working with such clippings, you can place them
on the screen, they will be in front of your eyes. For those who create
collages, this is a unique tool.
A screenshot is a regular screenshot, you can immediately write or
draw something on it. No differences from regular screenshots.
Live messages are old, but no less interesting opportunity to
create an animated video in which you draw or write something, and then send an
mp3 file to a person. The animation is pretty, especially if you can draw.
AR-sketching is the ability to attach some drawings to a person’s
face (any camera, even frontal, even the main one). Interesting? For
young people, yes, everyone else will just miss this opportunity.
Translation – hover the S Pen over a word, and with the help of
Google’s translation service, a translation appears immediately, the number of
languages is huge, you can listen to how the word sounds.
Now about the section that many people love, this is PENUP. A
kind of social service for those who love to draw and do it on their Note
devices. When you look at what pictures people create, you are amazed at
their skills, envy with white envy. Every two weeks contests are held in
which you need to draw a certain plot.
There is also an opportunity to see how certain pictures are
drawn, and, accordingly, to learn how to do it. For those who are learning
to draw, they simply did not come up with anything similar, this is an
acquaintance with the technique. My child with great pleasure
“spies” on certain works, it helps her to master the techniques. There
is something similar on YouTube, but here you can launch a quick note and
repeat what you see in tracing paper mode.
Finally, there are coloring pages. A popular topic in order
to calm the nerves, and here it is very well organized. You can not only
color these pictures, but see how others have done it. And sometimes it
allows you to look differently at the very process of creativity, there are
These are not all the pre-installed features for the S Pen, but we
will consider them as the main ones. Of the additional, but no less
important things, I note the support for the S Pen in most professional Adobe
programs, as well as AutoDesk. In a word, you can use this pen anywhere
and in any way, your possibilities are not limited by anything, today it is the
best solution there is, the only question is how and for what you will use it. To
be honest, at meetings I began to write down thoughts in my notebook again,
only now it’s the screen of my Tab S6.
There is no NFC in the tablet, which you can survive, after all,
you are unlikely to pay for something from the tablet at the checkout, this is
a fantastic use case. And you can connect Bluetooth accessories with
On the market, including in Russia, two versions of the tablet are
available, only Wi-Fi and also LTE, by default the main one is with LTE
support. There is an aggregation of frequencies, up to 2 Gbit / s the speed
that in theory a tablet can give.