Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Tab S5e: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with Keyboard from Side
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with Keyboard from Side (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Galaxy Tab S6

The true successor to the Galaxy Tab S4 has arrived. The Tab S6 provides a flagship-tablet experience for Android lovers. With up to 8GB of RAM, coupled with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, the Tab S6 will fly through your daily tasks. This even includes more power-intensive ones like photo or video editing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Get everything done

Updated processor
S Pen support
Up to 8GB of RAM
Dual-rear cameras
Weighs more
More expensive

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is one of the most impressive "budget" tablets that money can buy. With up to 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and up to 15 hours of battery life, the Tab S5e can handle many of your daily tasks. You just won't be able to take advantage of Samsung's magic with the S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Budget powerhouse

Lighter weight
Same display size and type
Limited to 6GB of RAM
No S Pen support
Limited to 128GB of built-in storage
Keyboard cover does not include trackpad

When it comes to Samsung tablets, there are quite a few options, and the same can't be said for other manufacturers in the tablet space. For some time, there was concern that Samsung would be stepping away from flagship Android tablets after the release of the Galaxy Tab S5e. However, that's no longer the case. The most obvious question now is how the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S5e competition plays out.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S5e Similar in many facets

Galaxy Tab S5e Hero

Source: SamsungPictured: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

At first glance, you may not notice much of a difference between Samsung's Galaxy Tab S5e and the GalaxyTab S6. Both devices have similar features, such as the 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, with the same 2560x1600 resolution. You will also find an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, quad AKG-tuned speakers, and even the same 13-megapixel primary rear camera.

Even the weight is surprisingly similar, with the Tab S5e coming in at just 0.9 pounds (400g) and the new Tab S6 weighing just 20g more. This is even more impressive, considering that Samsung has included the same 7,040mAh battery, which supports a 15W fast charger.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
Display10.5-inch Super AMOLED10.5-inch Super AMOLED
ProcessorSnapdragon 855Snapdragon 670
Rear Camera(s)13MP + 5MP13MP
Front Camera8MP8MP
Dimensions244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7mm245 x 160 x 5.5mm
Fingerprint ScannerIn-displaySide-mounted
S Pen SupportYesNo

On the productivity front, both have a big display that can be combined with a detachable keyboard cover. This makes it easy to triage emails or get some actual work done without needing to be in front of a "true" computer. Even with a budget option like the Tab S5e, this option is surprising and extremely welcome.

For those concerned about privacy, there's no reason to be alarmed; both the Tab S6 and S5e both have a fingerprint scanner. The scanner in the S6 is embedded in the display, while the S5e's scanner is on the side of the tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S5e The differences make this easy

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 hero

Source: Hayato HusemanPictured: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman)

However, once you dive a bit deeper into the specs and functionalities, the differences begin to make themselves known. When it comes to RAM, the battle between the Galaxy Tab S6 vs. S5e is not really there as both have configurations with 6GB of RAM, this is the base option for the former, and the top-of-the-line option for the latter. The Tab S6 can be bumped up to 8GB of RAM, coupled with either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Comparatively, the base configuration for the S5e pairs 4GB of RAM with 64GB of base storage, along with a 6GB/128GB model.

Before, we mentioned that both of these have a 13-megapixel primary camera, but the Tab S6 has an extra lens. On the rear of the S6, you will find a secondary 5-megapixel wide-angle lens, if you like taking pictures with the enormous and unique viewfinder.

We've already touched on the specification differences, but there's another big difference between these two tablets. To keep the Tab S5e as a budget pick, Samsung opted not to include S Pen support. This leaves you looking to other stylus options, which can be rather frustrating if you were trying to use the Tab S5e as a notebook.

Galaxy Tab S6 with S Pen

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

In the case of the Tab S6, Samsung includes an S Pen in the box, removing the need to make an additional purchase. Plus, you'll get added benefits such as the ability to use it as a remote control and the new Air Gestures to control your tablet without touching it.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the Galaxy Tab S6 is the pick for those who need the full productivity powerhouse. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab S5e is still a fine option if you don't care about S Pen support and just want a solid Android tablet without breaking the bank.

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.