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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Review: Samsung Continues To Fight The Tablet Battle For Android

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Review: Samsung Continues To Fight The Tablet Battle For Android

There are two variants of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite which are on sale in India at this time. There is the Wi-Fi only variant which is priced at Rs 27,999 while the Wi-Fi + Cellular option is priced at Rs 31,999.

Vishal Mathur
  • Last Updated: July 23, 2020, 12:01 PM IST
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It seems as if Samsung has the rather lonely task of keeping the Android tablet space alive. While everyone else who potentially could have made good tablets that run Android and given the Apple iPad line-up some competition, that really hasn’t happened. If you follow motor racing, you would probably have noticed it is just Aston Martin Red Bull Racing that are valiantly taking the fight to what look like runaway leaders, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship. That is what Samsung is doing, in standing up to the dominance of the Apple iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S series is critical in that regard, since this is where power, productivity and a premium personality come into play. The latest, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is just another capable addition to its arsenal, though you shouldn’t set any preconceived notions because of the word “Lite” in the naming scheme.

There are two variants of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite which are on sale in India at this time. There is the Wi-Fi only variant which is priced at Rs 27,999 while the Wi-Fi + Cellular variant is priced at Rs 31,999. You can get these in Oxford Gray, Angora Blue or Chiffon Pink colour options. Yes, genuinely, the pink colour option is listed as well. As for the variants, we always recommend spending that little bit more to get the 4G connectivity option as well, because that flexibility and convenience can come in handy in the long run. And you save a lot of money too in comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6—which is priced around Rs 59,900 for the LTE version.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite-3

It is perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite’s strongest point that no corners have been cut as far as the build and the visual appearance is concerned. In fact, it’ll be very easy to mistake it for its more expensive sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Not Everyone Wants A Transforming Tablet

Not everyone wants complication. Not everyone wants a tablet that can double up as a convertible computing device and whatnot. Sometimes, it is all about simplicity. It may be a revolutionary idea in these complicated times, but people may just want to buy a tablet for using it as, well, a tablet. No keyboard attachments, no docking systems and the whole ecosystem that screams productivity yet isn’t very convincing at the same time. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite keeps it simple. It is a tablet. What you see if what you get.

It is perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite’s strongest point that no corners have been cut as far as the build and the visual appearance is concerned. In fact, it’ll be very easy to mistake it for its more expensive sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. The same thin bezels, the same very handy form factor and the same sleek lines remain intact. The mix of metal and glass, as it sits in your hand, feels good. This genuinely feels like a great tablet to hold, to use and to even scribble on. It is just 7mm thick and for a 10.4-inch screen size, feels quite compact to hold too.

It Won’t Win On The Spec Sheet, But Does The Job

Speaking of which, the 10.4-inch display has a 2,000 x 1,200 resolution. This is an LCD display instead of an AMOLED, but to be very honest, it doesn’t feel like a compromise or a step down in any way. Yes, contrast will not be as good and the blacks aren’t as deep, but this still does very well on vivid colour reproduction and brightness levels. This is perhaps the biggest usability difference that you’ll notice between the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. That being said, this will work well for most users across a variety of usage scenarios—reading, Netflix binge watching, web browsing and more. On that note, you will probably realise soon enough how loud and clear these dual speakers are. They are tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos as well.

There’s Performance, Within Android’s Boundaries

This runs the Exynos 9611 processor paired with 4GB RAM. At present, you get the 64GB storage option with a microSD slot that lets you add up to 1TB more storage. This isn’t going to be a powerhouse, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite does not fall short either. Apps open quickly enough every time while it can handle quite a few apps in multi-tasking before you notice the odd stutter on the interface, and it is just very responsive in general. This runs One UI 2 wrapped around Android, which means that if you are a Samsung Galaxy smartphone user, everything just feels all too familiar, which is good.

What the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite doesn’t have in comparison with the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the DeX mode, which gives Android a more desktop-oriented feel (something very similar to how Windows 10 behaves). Perhaps rightly so too, since this doesn’t also package a keyboard accessory in an attempt to get you to replace your laptop. But what you get are the complete S Pen capabilities that let you scribble, annotate, draw, take notes and do more on this fairly large real estate of a screen.

There will be the inevitable comparison with the Apple iPad, the 9.7-inch standard version which has been the unflinching workhorse for a long time now. The iPad just feels a bit faster and more adept at multi-tasking—though it is important to point out that iPadOS is very different from Android and therefore the apps also have performance differences as a result. Blaming the hardware for any comparative differences will be unfair.

Battery life is quite good too. This will, for most users, last days before you need to plug this in again. The massive 7,040mAh battery surely does well on the stamina front, and you really won’t have any battery anxiety while using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite-2

Well, you don’t get the Apple Pencil as standard accessory with the iPad, which is a big positive mark for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

S-Pen Is The Secret Ingredient

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with the S-Pen as part of the box, which means you don’t have to spend extra to get the accessory. It makes the tablet pretty much scribble ready from the outset. For good measure, the colour of the S-Pen matches the colour of the tablet, at least on the blue review unit which Samsung shared with me. Built into One UI 2.1 is the detailed S-Pen suite which gives you controls for Air Gestures which are basically hand gestures to control some of the tablet functionality. There is also the transparent Notes app that can be dragged on top of any other app so you can quickly jot down whatever needs remembering later. Basically, the full range of functions that you get on a Samsung Galaxy Note phone or even the more expensive sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. Well, you don’t get the Apple Pencil as standard accessory with the iPad, which is a big positive mark for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

You Really Use Cameras On A Tablet? Yes And No

Not entirely sure how many folks would use the 8-megapixel camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite to take photos, but if you still do, the resulting photos will be just about acceptable in terms of detailing and colours. What will matter is the front facing camera, for the times we live in perhaps demand more hours are spent on video calls and video meetings. This 5-megapixel camera just about gets the job done, though everyone else will see you in a grainy avatar if you don’t have enough ambient lighting around you.

The Last Word: The Only Android Option Puts Up A Brave Fight

The thing is, your choices are limited. If you need a tablet around the Rs 30,000 price point and don’t want an Apple iPad for some reason, you really don’t have the luxury of choice or options. Which is why the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes as a rather pleasant whiff of fresh air. It isn’t a compromise, and within what Android can offer on a tablet-esque form factor, it delivers in terms of the experience. For what is in Samsung’s control, they have ticked off the performance, battery life, design and usability boxes on the checklist. And then there is the S-Pen, which adds versatility, widens the use cases and brings genuine value as a standard accessory. While the iPad still reigns supreme in the world of tablets at this price point purely for raw performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is an option that would be worth considering too if Android is the direction you choose to take.

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