Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Tab S4: Should you upgrade?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 on table
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 on table (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Galaxy Tab S6

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 includes many features and specs that power users have been hoping for. This includes the option for 8GB of RAM, expandable storage up to 1TB, and the same processor found in many flagship handsets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

All of the power

Available with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM
Starting base storage of 128GB
Fingerprint scanner and face recognition
Storage expandable up to 1TB
Includes S Pen
No headphone jack
Smaller battery
Must purchase keyboard separately

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 With Book Cover Cropped

When it launched, the Tab S4 was Samsung's best attempt to provide the ultimate Android tablet experience. It fell short in some areas but is still a solid option, provided that you are ready to miss out on better specs and the lack of Samsung Dex Mode.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Old reliable

Headphone jack built-in
Larger battery
Iris scanning biometrics
Includes S Pen
No fingerprint scanner
Difficult to find new
Must purchase keyboard separately

Let's face it. Finding the best Android tablet is rather tough, except the regularly released Samsung tablets. At the time of its launch, the Galaxy Tab S6 was the true successor to the Galaxy Tab S4. Now, it's time to decide the battle of the Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S4, and whether you should upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S4 New and shiny or old and reliable?

Samsung is great at throwing in a bunch of new specs into its iterative upgrades to devices year after year. But it seems that the tide is changing a bit, as there is a considerable difference when looking at the Galaxy Tab S6 compared to the few-years-old Galaxy Tab S4.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 in-hand

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Both tablets have the same 10.5-inch Super AMOLED with the same resolution of 2560 x 1600. However, Samsung trimmed the bezels on the Tab S6 even more to give you a lighter and thinner device.

Part of the lighter weight comes in the battery department, as the Tab S6 sees a smaller 7,040mAh battery. Compared to the Galaxy Tab S4, which has a 7,300mAh battery, this may seem like a bit of a disappointment. However, Samsung still claims the Tab S6 will last the same 15-hours as its predecessor.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Display10.5-inch AMOLED (2560 x 1600)10.5-inch AMOLED (2560 x 1600)
ProcessorSnapdragon 855Snapdragon 835
Storage128GB/256GB; expandable64GB/256GB expandable
Rear Camera13MP13MP + 5MP
Front Camera8MP8MP
Headphone JackNoYes
Dimensions245 x 160 x 5.7mm249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm

Both of these tablets are equipped with an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 13MP primary rear camera. But Samsung opted for the dual-camera setup on the Tab S6 and threw in a 5MP secondary camera so you can get good pictures if that's your kind of thing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S4 Minor Similarities, significant differences

Another commonality between these two is the four AKG-tuned speakers, offering somewhat of a surround sound experience. This makes media-playback amazing, as you'll hear more details than you would from other tablets and even computers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with S Pen

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

For some folks, the Tab S4 may hold the key to the castle, as it still includes the 3.5mm headphone jack. Samsung finally omitted this from the Tab S6, as the decline of the headphone jack slowly continues.

Samsung played it smart with both tablets and has included its S Pen with both the Tab S4 and the Tab S6. Although, the Tab S6's S Pen has been updated and even can attach magnetically to the tablet for charging and to keep it from getting lost.

Samsung Tab S4 Corner Up Close

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Another big win for the Tab S6 comes in the RAM and storage department. The base model of the Tab S6 comes equipped with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Meanwhile, the Tab S4 was limited to just 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.

Samsung realized more is better, and there is now an 8GB/256GB variant available for the Tab S6. This is probably overkill at first glance until you look deeper into what the software has to offer. As for the Tab S4, it just can't keep up with 4GB of RAM in 2020.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 hero

Source: Hayato Huseman (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman)

Speaking of the storage, both tablets offer a microSD card slot, but the Tab S4 loses this category. You can only use up to a 400GB microSD card, whereas the Tab S6 can take up to a 1TB card, offering a lot more on the storage front.

Despite all of the similarities, there are enough major differences between the Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S4 to warranty the upgrade. The Tab S6 is much more powerful, has the same amount of battery life despite a smaller battery, and is easier to find in "new condition" compared to the older Tab S4.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.