Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. S6 Lite: Should you upgrade?
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE(opens in new tab)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a more expensive upgrade to the S6 Lite. Still, it will be worth it for those who aim to take advantage of its new features, including the more prominent, higher-resolution display and 5G connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
Big bucks to upgrade
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite(opens in new tab)
If you just bought a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite recently. It might be too soon to invest so much in a brand-new tablet. The Tab S6 will continue to suit most users just fine, but if you have a reason to upgrade, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a solid choice.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Still a decent workhorse
It seems like the concept of accelerated obsolescence, whereby a product becomes "old" much more quickly than before, is still rampant in the technology business. Just when you buy the best smartphone or the best Android tablet, a better product is released only a few months later. So it's no wonder why some Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite users who purchased their devices last spring might be weighing whether or not they should upgrade to the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: Power and specs
When looking at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, some marked upgrades might make the former an enticing proposition. But is it worth the likely expensive price tag just a year (or less) after buying a tablet? That will depend on if 1) you can resell the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite or hand it down and 2) the new features will truly make a difference in your productivity. Keep in mind that Samsung typically offers special upgrade pricing when you trade in an old device, so chances are you might be able to get a sweet deal by giving back your Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and paying a bit more to upgrade to the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. But should you? First, let's take a look at how the two tablets compare,
|Header Cell - Column 0||Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE||Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite|
|Screen Size||12.4 inches||10.4 inches|
|Screen Resolution||2,560x1,600 WQXGA||2,000x1,200 WUXGA TFT|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi Direct, 5G, LTE||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm Stereo|
|Speaker||Dual Stereo Speakers (sound by AKG), Dolby Atmos||Dual Speakers (sound by AKG), Dolby Atmos|
|Camera||Rear 8MP AF, Front 5MP||Rear 8MP AF, 5MP front|
|Processor||Octa-core processor (2x2.2GHzm 6x1,8GHz)||Octa-core processor (4x2.3GHz, 4x1.7GHz)|
|Colors||Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Green, Mystic Pink||Oxford Grey, Angora Blue, Chiffon Rose|
|S Pen compatibility||Yes, included||Yes, included|
|Operating System||Android 11||Android 10|
|Internal Memory||64GB, 128GB (expandable up to 1TB via microSD card)||64GB, 128GB (expandable up to 1TB via microSD card)|
|Memory||4GB RAM||4GB RAM|
|Battery Life||Up to 13 Hours||Up to 13 Hours|
|Dimensions||185 x 284.8 x 6.3mm||154.3 x 244.5 x 7mm|
|Weight||608 g||465 g|
There are some extensive upgrades with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which makes it the better option for serious productivity use, particularly for college or university students, business professionals, and creatives. It's more feature-rich, has a larger, better screen, and, as you'll see below, comes with tons of additional features that might be handy.
Both tablets are powered by an octa-core processor, though the S7 FE runs on Android 11 while the S6 Lite runs on Android 10. The Tab S7 FE has a 10,090mAh battery, and the S6 Lite has a 7,040mAh battery, but both can run for up to 13 hours per charge and support fast charging, so you can get back up and running in no time.
The most significant difference is that the Galaxy Tab S7 FE has 5G/LTE wireless connectivity along with Wi-Fi when it comes to connectivity. So, if you need to use your tablet on the go, even in spots where you don't have access to Wi-Fi (or prefer not to connect to a public network), the 5G option could be a dealbreaker. With the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, your only option is Wi-Fi. Both also have Bluetooth 5.0 for connecting to keyboards, mice, speakers, and other peripherals.
However, if you plan to use an old pair of wired headphones with the tablet, you might want to forego upgrading since the Tab S7 FE does not have a 3.5mm headphone port, whereas the Tab S6 Lite does. With that said, both have USB-C, and if you haven't yet snagged a pair of the best wireless headphones, you might want to invest in those anyway!
Since it has a larger screen, the Tab S7 FE is also, by default, more extensive and slightly heavier. However, both offer 4GB RAM and come with 64 or 128GB worth of storage space, expandable up to 1TB with a microSD card.
You can snap photos using the 8MP rear camera with autofocus and use the 5MP front camera for selfies and video calls. With the S7 FE, however, a neat feature will ensure you remain in the center of the screen when you flip the tablet to landscape mode during a video call. The three microphones that surround the display will allow your voice to remain crystal clear, too. Both come equipped, by the way, with dual AKG speakers and Dolby Atmos support for a more immersive audio experience.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: Looks and usability
The Galaxy Tab S7 FE comes in more "professional" color options like Mystic Black and Silver, versus the playful colors available for the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, which includes Angora Blue and Chiffon Rose (though the Tab S7 FE comes in pink, too!) The Tab S7 FE has a much larger screen at 12.4 inches versus the Tab S6 Lite's 10.4-inch screen, and it boasts better resolution, so you'll get a much more crisp and vibrant image. While the screen resolution might be a dealbreaker for creative types, others who mainly access text-based documents and take notes might not even notice the difference since both are generous with the pixels.
But when it comes to usability and doing things like taking notes, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE has a leg up. They both come with the magnetic S Pen in the box, which seamlessly works for jotting down notes and navigating web pages, and more. But the S7 FE includes Samsung Notes, which can convert handwriting into text. It can even automatically tag the content and intelligently search for the right place to save and file it, whether you're writing down ingredients for a recipe or taking notes in a budget meeting.
The S7 FE also has tons of features that make multitasking simple, like Multi-Active Window, which lets you keep three apps open at once without having to flip back and forth among screens. With App Pair, you can instantly launch a favorite combination of apps simultaneously, a small but appreciated convenience feature that will save you a few extra taps.
The S7 FE also works with Samsung DeX, so you can combine it with Book Cover Keyboard to transform it into a full-fledged laptop. The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite can work with an optional mouse and keyboard, but it doesn't offer DeX support. With the S7 FE, you can do things like using the tablet as a secondary display alongside a compatible computer.
The S Pen can also be used with S7 FE for various creative applications, like Clip Studio Paint and Canva Pro — you even get a six-month trial of the latter. You can also use Noteshelf for free, an app for taking colorful notes using the S Pen.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: What else you should consider
At the time of this writing, both tablets come with various freebies that you might be enticed to try out. Both will include a free trial of YouTube Premium. The Galaxy Tab S7 FE also affords unlimited access to Samsung TV Plus, with more than 160 channels.
With the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, you can send content wirelessly from the tablet to a compatible Samsung TV using the SmartView app. It also includes features like multi-device sync to use it as both a phone and monitor, an instant hotspot for automatically syncing apps to compatible Samsung devices, and Quick Share for one-touch connection to other devices for sharing files.
As noted, both can be used with an optional keyboard and mouse, but the Galaxy Tab S7 FE works with Samsung DeX, which gives you seamless access to apps and files, which you can open using a simplified taskbar.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: Should you upgrade?
From a productivity perspective, particularly for business professionals, students, and creative types, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the better option. However, the suspected price differential might make it a tough pill to swallow if you already forked over money for the S6 Lite not that long ago. When considering the Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, the former will likely cost twice as much as the latter once it's officially available in the U.S., making it only a worthwhile upgrade if you could really use the features.
Otherwise, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is still a solid tablet with plenty of great features to keep you productive. If you're using the tablet for a mix of fun and work, the Tab S6 Lite will continue to suffice. But if you're doing a lot of note-taking, creative work, recording videos, and need to stay connected while on the go even without a Wi-Fi connection nearby, the S7 FE will be worth the extra dough to upgrade.
Better, faster, stronger
The Galaxy Tab S7 FE is, without a doubt, better, faster, and stronger than the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. However, if you won't use the add-on features or truly realize the benefits of the upgrades, it might not be worth forking over more since this tablet likely won't come cheap.
Work and play
Work, fun, and more
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a solid tablet that, if purchased new, can be had for a decent price. It isn't as powerful and feature-rich as the S7 FE, but if you already invested in it recently, it might not be in the budget to upgrade unless you really need a bigger screen, Samsung Notes, and other features.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.