Great | Differentiating Features
Best performance in an Android tablet. Gorgeous screen. S-Pen included.
Good | Most Have It
Great battery life, cameras, and speakers.
Average | Competitors May Be Better
Android OS still isn’t the best for tablets. Pricey.
There are a ton of Android tablets on the market, many of which aren’t worth your money – no matter how inexpensive they are. But Samsung’s devices are an exception: they’re neither cheap nor nasty. And the best the company offers right now is the Galaxy Tab S6.
While no Android tablet can challenge the iPad yet, the Galaxy Tab S6 is the top alternative for those who are happy to use Google’s ecosystem. Like Apple’s product, it carries a stylish design and a gorgeous display. The screen is the S6’s standout feature. The 10.5-inch super-AMOLED has a 2560 x 1600 resolution (288 ppi) that’s so bright and vibrant it can be read outdoors on a sunny day.
Boasting a Snapdragon 855 SoC, the Tab S6 is among the most powerful Android tablets you can buy. It comes with either 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage or 8GB with 256GB of space, which can be boosted to 1TB via microSD. It’s also great for gaming, thanks to the Adreno 640 graphics and four Dolby-Atmos speakers.
The Galaxy Tab S6 comes with an upgraded S-Pen (included in the price) that in addition to the usual stylus abilities, includes remote control functionality, allowing you to take selfies or control multimedia remotely. Other specs include 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras on the rear and an 8MP front-facing shooter, as well as a 7,040mAh battery that Samsung says allows 15 hours of video playback.
At around $549, the Tab S6 is more expensive than most other Android slates, but you get what you pay for. If you’re after a premium Android tablet, this is it, unless you want to wait some more as the Galaxy Tab S7’s release in just around the corner.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
If you really like the look of the S6 but won’t or can’t pay full price, opting for the Galaxy Tab S5e gets you something somewhat similar, albeit with a less-powerful processor and no S-Pen support, for several hundred dollars less.
Do note that recently Samsung released a more affordable option that aims to compete with the base iPad, however the Tab S6 Lite is not a good replacement for the S5e. The S5e offers better value for money, it’s more lightweight, with a better display, battery life and camera quality.
Huawei MediaPad M5 10.8 Pro
For something a bit cheaper than the Galaxy S6 but with similar specs and features, there’s Huawei’s MediaPad M5 10.8 Pro, which is usually available from Amazon for ~$450. Like the S6, the MediaPad has a 2560 x 1600 (280 ppi) resolution on its slightly larger 10.8-inch IPS screen. It’s powered by Huawei’s Kirin 960 SoC, which is more powerful than the non-Pro M5, but can’t match the Snapdragon 855 found in Samsung’s tablet.
You get four Harman Kardon speakers, 13MP and 8MP cameras, a long battery life, and quick charging. It also supports LTE cat 6. While the MediaPad M5 10.8 Pro might not match the S6 in some areas, the near $100 saving makes it a worthy consideration.