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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 VS Tab S6 Lite VS Tab S7
4.8Overall Score
Name: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Price (RRP): $from1099-1499
Manufacturer: Samsung

As we had not formally reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (2019) and had reviewed the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2020) a reader asked us to do a shoot-out. Samsung kindly obliged with both products.

As it is likely the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 will be announced on 5 August it is time to look at all three, especially as there may be run-out pricing on the Galaxy Tab S6 soon.

Let’s get the ‘leaks’ for the Tab S7 out of the way. These are the key differences.

  • Likely two sizes – Tab S7 (11″ IPS, 2560×1600) and Tab S7 Plus (12.4″ OLED 2800×1752) possibly supporting 120Hz refresh (no Lite version mentioned)
  • Qualcomm SD865+ processor, 6/128GB/microSD to 1TB
  • Dual rear camera 13MP primary and 5MP Ultra-wide and 8MP selfie
  • Battery: 7040/10,090mAh and 45W fast charge optional charger
  • Wireless DeX, Wi-Fi AX, BT 5.1
  • 5G sub-6Ghz option
  • Android 11 (may ship with Android 10) and quarterly security updates
Artists impression of the Tab S7

These specs dictate prices from about $1500 compared to the Tab S6 from $1099/1499 and the S6 Lite from $549/799. See the table at the end for a detailed comparison of both. In other words, the Tab S7 will be an update of the Tab S6.

A reader wanted to know about the differences between the Galaxy Tab S6 and S6 Lite.

  • How the extra RAM helps? I am surprised that the Lite only has 4GB. Does it affect performance?
  • How the processors differ in practical performance, for average versus heavy usage levels?

Here are our findings.

Processor and RAM

BenchmarkTab S6Tab S6 Lite
SoCQualcomm SD855 7nmExynos 9611 10nm
RAM GB6/128 and 8/2564/64 and 4/128
Geekbench 5 Single Core752347
Multi-Core24401259
Compute OpenCL Score24961587
CPU Throttle over 15 minutesMax: 193,449GIPS
Av: 182,615GIPS
-8%
83° SoC
124,638
116,411
-9%
50° SoC
T-Rex470 minutes
3360 frames
497 minutes
1472 frames

The Tab S6 is closer to a 2020 Galaxy S20 (SD-855 version) for performance. It is at least 50% more powerful as evidenced by GIPS and T-Rex frames.

The Tab S6 Lite is closer to a 2018 Galaxy S8 and is not for gamers.

As for RAM, it depends on what you are doing. If you plan to have lots of tabs open in a browser, multi-task or do productivity (beyond Microsoft 365), then the Tab S6 is better.

As both have micro-SD, storage expansion is easy and cheap.

The best comparison here is a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder car. You would not tow a caravan with a 4-cylinder, but it does pretty well everything you need around town and on the highway. If you treat the Tab S6 Lite as a content consumption, email and general browsing device it is fine.

How do the Tab S6 four speakers compare with two on the S6 Lite?

Both units are 2.0 stereo and decode Dolby Atmos.

The Tab S6 has two extra speakers that allow for better landscape and portrait mode sound. The extra speakers add a little more bass and spatial emphasis.

The Tab S6 sound stage is wider than the tablet
The Tab S6 Lite sound stage is only as wide as the tablet
ItemTab S6Tab S6 Lite
Speakers2.0 – two each on short edge2.0 – one each on short edge
3.5mmNoYes
Dolby Atmos decodeYes – there is a small 3D sound stage with four speakers.Yes, but it is only remotely effective with headphones
Volume Max80+dB75+dB
BT codecsSBC, AAC, aptX/HD, LDACSBC and AAC
Deep Bass: 20-40HzBuilding quicklyBuilding slowly
Middle Bass: 40-100HzFrom 43Hz and solidly buildingFrom 86kHz then flattens
High Bass: 100 to 200HzAlmost flatflat
Low-mid: 200-400Hzflatflat
Mid: 400-1000Hzflatflat
High-mid: 1-2kHzflatflat
Low-treble: 2-4kHzflatflat
Treble:4-6kHzflatflat
High Treble: 6-10kHzSlight decline to avoid harshnessSlight decline
Dog whistle: 10-20HzDip but flat to 21HzDecline and not controlled
Sound stage – spatial widenessWide – comes from ‘outside’ the tabletNarrower – comes from the speakers on the edge
Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Tab S6 Lite – ignore the white line. Bass starts later and treble is not controlled
Galaxy Tab S6
Tab S6 – ignore the white line. Stronger Bass and more controlled treble

Both have an excellent warm and sweet sound signature. The Tab S6 is a little louder, has stronger bass and much more controlled upper treble making it more of a pleasure to listen to. The Tab S6 Lite sounds pretty good but side-by-side the Tab S6 wins.

Perhaps a little more important is that the Tab S6 has a Qualcomm processor and as such its BT supports a wider range of codecs.

 OLED versus TFT LED

Its hard to show in screenshots but the difference between OLED and TFT LED is like chalk and cheese

BenchmarkTab S6Tab S6 Lite
GPUAdreno 640Mali-G72 MP3
Res2560×1600 AMOLED2000×1200 TFT IPS
Aspect16:105:3 (15:9)
HDRHDR10/+/HLGNo – SDR 16 million colours
Nits typ/max450/500450/500
sRGB100%95%
Delta E (lower is better)2.74.4
ContrastInfinite1800:1
G-T-G6ms45ms
Daylight readableExcellentAvoid direct sunlight
GamingFrom 30-60fps and plays any modern mobile gameUp to [email protected] if you kill off all background tasks
WideVine (Netflix)L1 FHD HDRL1 HD SDR

Subjectively the OLED has truer colour, greater contrast (the difference between pure black – off and pure white – on), and sharper text. For content viewing, it is unmatched.