Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S6 Lite: Which tablet is right for you?

From a strictly-design standpoint, there's not much of a difference when comparing the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs. S6. However, once you start diving deeper, the differences are apparent and obvious. But there are a few reasons why both of these rank as two of the best Samsung tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs Tab S6: Why the Galaxy Tab S6 is superior

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung pretty much has the Android tablet market cornered. Google has seemingly given up for the time being or is working on something in the background. Even other options from the likes of Huawei and Lenovo just can't hold up. That makes the Tab S6 one of the best, if not the best, Android tablet available.

Despite launching back in 2019, the Tab S6 is still powerful where it counts. You get a larger 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2560x1600 resolution. Under the hood, the Tab S6 is equipped with the same Snapdragon 855 chipset that was included in the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 lines.

The Galaxy Tab S6 presents the best that Samsung has to offer in the tablet market.

Samsung paired this with the choice between 6GB or 8GB of RAM, along with up to 256GB of expandable storage. Speaking of that storage, the Tab S6 gets another leg up over the Lite, as you can put up to a 1TB microSD card compared to the Tab S6 Lite, which is limited to just 512GB of expansion.

As for the design, the Tab S6 is lighter, bigger, and has four AKG-tuned speakers. You get all of this in a simple slab of glass and aluminum with a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. There's even a dedicated magnet to hold your S Pen into place on the back of the S6.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Display10.5-inch Super AMOLED10.4-inch LCD
Resolution2560x16002000x1200
ProcessorSnapdragon 855Exynos 9610
Memory6GB / 8GB4GB / 6GB
Storage128GB / 256GB64GB / 128GB
MicroSD Card SupportExpandable up to 1TBExpandable up to 512GB
Front Camera8MP5MP
Rear Camera(s)13MP / 5MP8MP
SpeakersFour AKG-TunedTwo AKG-Tuned
Battery7,040mAh7,040mAh
Reported battery life18 hours12 hours
Dimensions244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7mm244.5 x 154.3 x 7.0mm
Weight420g467g
Fingerprint ScannerIn-displayN/A
Headphone JackN/AYes
S Pen SupportIncludedIncluded
LTE VariantYesYes

Speaking of Samsung's wonderful S Pen in the box, there's no need to go the Apple route and pay more for the stylus, and you'll still get access to all of the features that the S Pen has to offer. In fact, Samsung opted to take the time to slightly redesign the S Pen to be more comfortable for users. There's a finer tip on the end for more precise inputs, and Samsung has even improved the latency. This will feel great when writing out notes or making some sketches with the Tab S6 or the S6 Lite.

The final major difference between these two in terms of specs comes from the cameras. There's a dual-camera system on the back of the Tab S6 with a primary Ultra Wide 13MP lens and a standard Wide-angled 5MP sensor on the Tab S6 Lite.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs S6: What about productivity?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Folded out Keyboard Cover

(Image credit: Android Central)

When it comes to productivity, if you want the "full experience" you'll definitely want to consider the standard Tab S6. While the Tab S6 Lite has a new Book Cover that magnetically attaches, it seems that you won't be able to use the same Keyboard Cover. Instead, that's still reserved for the Tab S6 and adds another notch for being a "workhorse" tablet.

Both of these tablets come with an S Pen in tow, but what if you want to sit down and get some "real work" done? That's exactly what you can do with Samsung DeX on the Tab S6, which also features Samsung's One UI 2.5 software. With Samsung DeX you can turn your Tab S6 into a laptop with full mouse support, along with the Keyboard Cover and S Pen.

Multi-tasking is a breeze, allowing you to quickly and easily swap between windows and applications. The interface itself looks like a traditional desktop with Samsung's own icons, but still provides access to any apps that you have downloaded onto the tablet itself. This is great for the Galaxy Tab S6, but not so much for those on a budget who were looking for a new productivity tool with the S6 Lite.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs S6: Where does the S6 Lite excel?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Samsung)

Although it's clear that the Tab S6 is geared for those who want one of the most powerful Android tablets, the Tab S6 Lite is no slouch, at least compared to other Android tablets on the market. On the front, you'll get a slightly smaller 10.4-inch LCD panel, with a lower resolution of 2000x1200. This should still be sharp enough to enjoy some Netflix or YouTube, but the LCD panel leaves much to be desired in terms of overall quality.

The Tab S6 Lite is for those who don't want the "kitchen sink."

Surprisingly, Samsung opted to include its self-made Exynos 9610 chipset instead of something like the Snapdragon 660. However, popular Samsung devices like the Galaxy A50 are powered by the same processor and are surprisingly solid, so you may not see a difference.

Additionally, the Exynos 9610 has been paired with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. As for storage, you'll get either 64GB with the 4GB model, or 128GB with the 6GB variant. As mentioned previously, the Tab S6 Lite does include a microSD card slot, which supports up to a 512GB card.

While both the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs Tab S6 have the same 7,040mAh battery, it's no secret that AMOLED displays are power-hogs. With the inclusion of a slightly smaller LCD panel, you'll be able to squeeze just a little bit more juice out of your tablet.

Another huge benefit for potential Tab S6 Lite owners is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. It's been predicted for years, and the writing was on the wall, but the headphone jack is a thing of the past. But not everyone has jumped on the Bluetooth train just yet, so including a headphone jack is a welcome addition.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite vs S6: Which Tab S6 is for you?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 S Pen Holder

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Android Central)

We've not-so-slightly hinted at the fact that the Tab S6 is just a beast in every way. You'll get the same sleek design, a fingerprint scanner, a better camera system, and better performance across the board.

That's not even taking into account the various features such as Samsung DeX, which can practically turn your Tab S6 into a laptop. Even with the same 7,040mAh battery being used in both, the Tab S6 has better optimization to squeeze out up to 18 hours of usage.

The Tab S6 Lite is for those who are either coming from something like the Galaxy Tab S4 or those who don't want the "kitchen sink." It's budget-friendly, includes an S Pen, has a few useful accessories (i.e. Book Cover), and will perform well-enough for media consumption. With 12 hours of battery life, this should be more than sufficient to get through the day. With the LCD panel, this won't consume as much power, but you'll sacrifice quality in the process. Nonetheless, the Tab S6 Lite is a solid tablet for those who just want the basic Android tablet with an S Pen.

However, If you want the best Android tablet that money can buy, get the Tab S6. And it's the no-brainer option if you want to try and get some work done without reaching for the laptop or going to your desktop computer.

Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.