Most Android tablets are just overgrown smartphones sharing the exact same operating system. But brands like Samsung and Huawei set themselves apart by featuring desktop modes to tout their tablets as laptop replacements. The newly launched Galaxy Tab S6 does the same with support from its DeX mode, redesigned keyboard cover, and the S Pen. Apple has been marketing its iPad Pro line as a portable computer, but its iPhone-first iOS has always felt lacking. With iPadOS now revealed, we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
With (arguably) two of the best tablets on both the platforms now out, the time is right to put them against each other. This comparison should help you get over that dilemma and make the right choice. Let’s get started.
Read: The Best Samsung Tablets You Can Get In 2019
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Differences
Design & Display
With thin, all-black bezels surrounding their displays, the two tablets may look identical at a glance. But their distinct aspect ratios ensure you can identify them the minute you pick either up. The Apple tablet is a bit wider than the Galaxy Tab S6 making the latter more suited for watching movies. The Galaxy Tab S6 flaunts a 10.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED display in 16:10 aspect ratio with the iPad Pro using a high-res 11-inch LCD panel.
The S6’s display has an optical fingerprint scanner built into it, similar to the Galaxy S10 phones. Apple, on the other hand, introduced the Face ID biometrics system to its tablet lineup with the iPad Pro models. Notably, the Apple Pencil sticks to the iPad’s side while the Samsung device has a place for the S Pen on its back. The iPad Pro 2018 is a hair thicker than the other device and is also a tad heavier but that shall go unnoticed by most.
Buying either product will demand your commitment to an ecosystem that is governed by entirely different rules. The Galaxy Tab S6 comes running One UI over Android 9 Pie while the iPad Pro currently runs iOS 12 and will soon get iPadOS—a productivity-focused feature update for Apple’s entire tablet range.
The Samsung device tries to offer a desktop-esque experience with its DeX mode. On the other hand, the iPad has some intelligent multitasking features coming its way. Apple not only supports its products with software updates for longer than its Android counterpart, but its App Store is also amassed with a host of for-iPad apps.
Both the tablets include current-gen flagship processors from Qualcomm and Apple, but the iPad here takes the cake with its A12X Bionic chipset. The said processor was able to crush even the mainstream Intel Core processors in benchmarks. In day-to-day use, the chances of you noticing any performance difference between the Tab S6’s Snapdragon 855 and the A12X Bionic are nothing but negligible.
One of the biggest advantages of a Samsung tablet is the option for memory expansion. The Galaxy Tab S6 supports a microSD card of up to 1TB to expand its internal storage of 128GB or 256GB. In contrast, the iPad Pro doesn’t allow memory expansion, but it has more memory options—64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB—to choose from. Furthermore, only the 1TB storage variant of the iPad Pro comes with 6GB of RAM while all others are paired with 4GB RAM. The Samsung tablet couples 6GB of RAM with its base 128GB storage model with the 256GB variant getting 8GB of RAM.
Cameras & Battery Life
A pair of cameras is placed on the Galaxy Tab’s back, making it one of the first mainstream tablets to have a dual-camera setup. On the opposite side, an 8MP camera is placed to let you make video calls. We haven’t yet reviewed the Tab S6 to give an opinion on its camera quality. But we did review the iPad Pro 11 and its optics turned out to be good.
Actually, the iPad shares its front camera with the iPhone X, so it is excellent for a tablet. The rear-facing 12MP camera has been borrowed from some older iPhone models leaving nearly nothing to complain about. In our review, we also found the Apple tablet to be a battery champ with a running time of 18 hours which still stays unrivaled.
As previously said, a thorough review of the Tab S6 is due, but it is safe to say its 7040mAh battery isn’t likely to beat the iPad, considering our experience with the Galaxy Tab S5e which has the same battery capacity.
Both the tablets hover in the premium segment but they do have a significant price difference which further widens when their accessories are considered. The Apple iPad Pro 11 starts at 799 USD for its base 64GB variant with higher-capacity and LTE variants costing even more. The Apple Pencil 2 comes in at 129 USD while the Smart Keyboard Folio, compatible with the 11-inch model, costs 179 USD.
The Galaxy Tab S6 is announced to start at 649 USD for its base model with 128GB storage. The S Pen stylus comes bundled within the box while the keyboard case is sold separately for another 179 USD. Like the iPad Pro, you will have to shell out even more for 256GB storage and 4G LTE connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Apple iPad Pro: Similarities
Finally, it’s time to discuss their similarities! The two tablets may differ on numerous points, but they do share similarities, albeit only a few. To start with, both the iPad Pro and the Galaxy Tab S6 support a stylus from their respective brands. The Apple Pencil 2 and the S Pen now magnetically stick to their host device to charge wirelessly. A major difference here is that the S Pen comes bundled with the tablet, but you must purchase the Apple Pencil separately.
The keyboard cover is another accessory that both Apple and Samsung offer to boost their device’s productivity. Samsung’s offering for this year is more robust with the inclusion of a trackpad which the iPad Pro cover lacks. Both the premium tablets house four speakers inside their wafer-thin chassis in a stereo arrangement and have a USB Type-C port. Their variants with 4G LTE are also available to allow seamless internet access while on the move.
Read: Top 10 Tablets With Keyboards In 2019
Specifications: A Comparison
|Tablet||Samsung Galaxy Tab S6||Apple iPad Pro 2018|
|Operating system||One UI (Android 9 Pie)||iOS 12|
|Display||10.5-inch Super AMOLED (2560 x 1600)||11-inch IPS (2388 x 1668)|
|Processor||Octa-core Snapdragon 855||A12X Bionic|
|Expandable||microSD card slot (up to 1TB)||No|
|Main camera||13 Megapixels + 5 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Front camera||8 Megapixels||7 Megapixels|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, optional LTE||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, optional LTE|
|Ports||USB 3.1, Type-C||USB 3.1, Type-C|
|Battery||7040mAh||7812mAh, up to 18 hours|
|Security||in-display fingerprint scanner||Face ID facial recognition|
|Dimensions||244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm||247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm|
Which Tablet Won?
None. Your preferences are what will ultimately pick a winner. There is no denying that both the tablets are excellent performers in their own space. Android appeals to a certain set of customers who need more control over their device while iOS has a more straight-forward approach of not confusing an average consumer with too many options and settings to fiddle with. Choosing between the two becomes easy if you prefer one platform.
If you are looking to buy a high-end tablet, then you must’ve figured out your needs to justify that overhead in performance and the extra dollars you’ll be spending. Go for the iPad Pro (review) for its much more evolved app ecosystem, better performance, longer battery life, and its longevity with years of software updates. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 should be your pick for its superior AMOLED display, keyboard cover with a trackpad, Android customizations, memory expansion, and two rear cameras.
Read: The Best Apple iPads In 2019
P.S. Repeating what’s already stated, the Galaxy Tab S6 has yet to be reviewed at MyNextTablet. We’ll update this comparison should we find any discrepancies post a thorough review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Topping all other tablets from Samsung, the Galaxy Tab S6 offers the best of everything the maker has to offer currently. That AMOLED display stays unrivaled while Samsung has refined the DeX software and the accompanying accessories to improve the productivity experience. The S Pen now has a more convenient magnetic spot and the back now houses two cameras. Four speakers complement that display when watching movies.