Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite raised quite a stir when it arrived on the scene three years ago, offering a solid alternative to the ever-dominant iPad for those who preferred to stay within the Android ecosystem. While it naturally didn’t pack in everything that the more premium Galaxy Tab S6 had to offer, Samsung cut just the right corners to make it an affordable — and popular — choice.
In fact, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite was so well-received that Samsung released a refreshed 2022 edition last year, upping the specs in a few key areas to make it more attractive to folks shopping for a more wallet-friendly tablet. The latest rendition has become Samsung’s best-value tablet, and it remains a strong contender even a year later, thanks in part to Samsung’s generous software update policies.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022
The 2022 refresh of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite sits right in the sweet spot below the costly, high-end tablets that lack helpful features like headphone jacks and above the sluggish entry-level tablets that are only good for casual use. It's nearly identical to the original 2020 release, although Samsung has replaced the in-house Exynos chip with the more efficient and powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. The body, display, weight, and dimensions all make it feel like a more premium device, which isn't surprising coming from the industry leader in Android tablets.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
- 4 GB
- Operating System
- Android 13
- 7,040mAh, up to 11h
- Camera (Rear, Front)
- 8 MP, 5 MP
- Display (Size, Resolution)
- 10.4" 1,200 x 2,000 60Hz
- Starting at $350
- 244.5 x 154.3 x 7 mm (9.63 x 6.07 x 0.28 in)
- Headphone jack
- 3.5mm Stereo
- Oxford Gray, Angora Blue, Chiffon Rose
- Premium build quality
- S Pen and DeX mode included
- Solid performance for the price
- Screen isn't ideal for productivity features
- Lacks integrated keyboard support
- S Pen is limited to basic stylus features
Price, availability, and specs
The 2022 edition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite sells for $350 for a 64GB version or $430 for the 128GB model. It comes in the same Oxford Gray, Angora Blue, and Chiffon Rose color options as its predecessor.
You can buy the Tab S6 Lite directly from Samsung or at most major retailers that sell Samsung products. There’s also an LTE version available in certain international markets, but you’ll have a hard time finding it in the U.S.
The package includes a color-matched S Pen, charger, and USB-A to USB-C cable. There’s also a microSD slot on the Tab S6 Lite, although you’ll need to supply your own memory card.
The newest Galaxy Tab S6 Lite follows the design language of the original model, which has become the norm for Samsung’s more expensive S-Series tablets. The narrower 3:5 aspect ratio gives it a feel that’s more like an oversized smartphone compared to wider tablets like Apple’s iPad.
When held in portrait orientation, you’ll find power and volume buttons on one side, plus a microSD card slot that looks a lot like the SIM card trays on cellular-capable tablets. There’s a USB-C port for charging and data transfer on the bottom, plus a 3.5mm audio jack on top to connect a set of headphones.
The two speaker grilles are located on the corners of the short edges, laid out to provide better stereo separation when viewing movies and other videos in landscape orientation.
Despite its budget price, one nice bonus included with the Tab S6 Lite in the box is Samsung’s S Pen, which can be attached magnetically along the same edge as the power and volume buttons. It’s a bit of an awkward position if you’re traveling with the tablet since it’s very easily knocked off when sliding it into a bag, but it’s a convenient spot to dock the stylus when you’re actively using the tablet but want the stylus temporarily out of the way.
It’s also worth noting that since the S Pen included with the Tab S6 Lite doesn’t have a battery, there’s no charging involved here — the magnetic attachment is there merely for convenience, so you can store the stylus anywhere you like without worrying about a depleted battery.
There’s also no special pogo pin keyboard connector on the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, so you’ll have to rely on Bluetooth or USB-C for connecting an external keyboard. There’s also no fingerprint sensor here, so you’ll have to resort to the relatively insecure facial recognition or use a PIN, pattern, or password for unlocking.
The 10.4-inch display on the Tab S6 Lite provides a full HD quality 2,000 x 1,200 resolution with a 5:3 (or 15:9) aspect ratio that’s clearly optimized for watching movies and other widescreen videos that are typically filmed in a 16:9 format. These videos — everything from your favorites on Netflix to your YouTube subscription feed — will fit much more naturally on the screen without presenting unsightly black letter-boxing on the top and bottom.
The screen is LCD rather than AMOLED, but at this price, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Even Samsung’s cheapest Galaxy Tab S8 went with an LCD screen. That means you’re not going to get those rich, deep blacks you’ll find on Samsung’s smartphones and more premium tablets. Thankfully, the screen does get remarkably bright for an LCD panel. I had no problem browsing and reading on it while sitting out in my backyard on a moderately bright day, although your mileage will vary when it comes to video content.
The colors on the display pop nicely at normal brightness levels, but they get a bit washed out when you crank it up too high. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, especially in a tablet at this price, but the difference is noticeable when compared side-by-side with other tablets.
Nevertheless, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite offers a very satisfying experience for most streaming video content and everyday surfing and browsing. If there’s one place where the display starts to show its limitations, it’s gaming, where the basic 60Hz refresh rate and lower resolution are more noticeable.
Perhaps the most significant change in the 2022 edition of the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is its improved Android support. The original 2020 Galaxy Tab S6 Lite shipped with Android 10, which was decidedly not a tablet-friendly version of the operating system. Later upgrades improved that, and although the original Tab S6 Lite benefits from those changes thanks to Android 13, that’s likely the end of the road for it. Plus, as you might expect, performance isn’t exactly stellar on the three-year-old tablet.
By comparison, the new 2022 Galaxy Tab S6 Lite shipped with Android 12 last year and is now running Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1. Thanks to Samsung’s recent promise of four years of OS upgrades, there’s every reason to believe this slate will receive Android 16 someday.
This also means that the newer Galaxy Tab S6 Lite supports more advanced features out of the box, like Samsung’s desktop-like DeX interface. Although that arrived on the original Tab S6 Lite with Android 11 and One UI 3.1, it’s great to see it here by default. DeX mode can be engaged even when working in normal tablet mode, with no additional accessories required, but it particularly shines if you want to work with an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad.
Where the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite really stands out is in the included S Pen, which is something you won’t commonly find among tablets in this price range. This makes it a great pick for budding digital artists or students who like to scribble notes in classes or meetings. The 60Hz screen means the experience is a bit less smooth than some of Samsung’s and Apple’s more premium tablets, but unless you’ve become accustomed to working on 120Hz screens, it’s not particularly noticeable while remaining fairly accurate. Even switching from using an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro to the S Pen and Tab S6 Lite, it took me only a minute or two to adjust to the slight increase in lag.
As noted earlier, the S Pen for the Tab S6 Lite isn’t battery-powered, so you won’t get more advanced features like using it as a remote control. However, the upside is you also don’t ever need to worry about charging it.
The 2022 Galaxy Tab S6 Lite gets a performance boost thanks to its new Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. While that’s far from a new chip — it was considered state-of-the-art among lower-range chips in 2020 — it’s a meaningful upgrade from the Exynos 9611 used in the original model.
That bump is crucial in powering a smoother Android 13 and One UI 5.1 experience, not to mention the major Android updates to come over the next few years. This also allows more demanding features like DeX mode to work surprisingly well for a tablet in this price range; as with the Galaxy Tab S8, it’s the smaller 10.4-inch screen that’s the biggest knock against trying to use this for productivity.
Further, while I think it would be a stretch to consider the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite a gaming tablet, the Snapdragon 720G chip delivers a playable experience for most of what you’ll find on the Play Store — so long as you don’t try to push the graphics settings too high. If gaming is your primary focus, there are other tablets in this price range that will serve you better, including Apple’s entry-level ninth-generation iPad or even the older 2021 Galaxy Tab S7 FE with the Snapdragon 778G.
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite packs in a 7,040 mAh battery that should easily get you through a couple of days of typical use. In stress-testing the battery with continuous video streaming from YouTube and Netflix, I got just under eight hours of run time on a single charge.
Charging speeds are capped at 15W, which is a little on the slow side these days, especially considering how much longer it takes to top up the larger battery in a tablet. This isn’t a device that’s designed for quick top-ups; you’re better off charging overnight or running it plugged in whenever you can.
While smartphones have redefined the way we take photos, cameras on tablets have always felt a bit more out-of-place. Granted, there’s always that one person holding up an iPad or Galaxy Tab to take pictures or record videos at a school concert. However, just about any smartphone on the market will do a better job even than most of the best cameras found on tablets.
As a midrange tablet, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is no exception to that rule, and the cameras on the 2022 edition have received precisely zero upgrades from the original model. You still get an 8-megapixel (MP) wide rear camera and a 5MP selfie camera on the front, both of which offer 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
That’s not to say these cameras aren’t competent in a pinch. The rear camera is fine for scanning documents, and it will do for casual photos if you don’t have your smartphone with you. The pictures it takes are a bit undersaturated, and it’s all but useless in lower-light situations as it leans on the darker side, and there’s no flash. The front camera is much more useful for video calling; it also powers the facial recognition unlocking features, albeit somewhat inconsistently.
There's no shortage of options when it comes to budget Android tablets, but the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite sets itself apart by skimming the higher end of that category and blurring the line a bit with more premium picks.
As much as Samsung tends to dominate the world of higher-end tablets, it's Amazon that's presided over the midrange tablet market for years, and the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is going head-to-head with the new Amazon Fire Max 11, which features near-identical similar display specs — right down to the 5:3 aspect ratio, 2,000 x 1,200 resolution, and 60Hz refresh rate — with a significantly lower price tag.
Like the rest of Amazon's tablet lineup, the Fire Max 11 still seems like it's made more for content consumption than creation and still lacks native support for the Google Play Store. That's not surprising from a company that's primarily in the business of selling content, although the Fire Max 11 does offer keyboard support with a pogo pin connector — something that Tab S6 Lite conspicuously lacks despite its DeX productivity features. Still, Amazon's tablets have never been stellar performers, the Fire Max 11's Mediatek MT8188J can't quite keep up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G found in the Tab S6 Lite.
Then of course there's Apple's entry-level ninth-gen iPad. For slightly less than the base model of the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, you're getting Apple's much more powerful A13 Bionic chip, which runs circles around any other tablet in its class, clocking in at more than twice the CPU and gaming performance of the Snapdragon 720G. There's also a 2,160 x 1,620 display with a 4:3 aspect ratio that, while less ideal for watching videos, offers a much more spacious canvas for most other apps.
Of course, the downside here is that you're diving into the Apple ecosystem, not only on the software side with iPadOS and the App Store but also Apple's now-anachronistic Lightning connector. Apple finally switched to USB-C last year with the 10th-generation iPad, but that didn't quite replace the prior model since it has a higher price tag; the older 2021 model remains available as the traditional budget option and delivers better value for anyone in the market for a basic tablet.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite?
Although some users might want a tablet to replace their laptop, it's surfing the web, checking email, and streaming where the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite particularly shines. Coming in at a very affordable price while also packing in an S Pen and advanced features like DeX mode makes it one of the best value tablets you can buy — as long as you don’t plan to push it too hard. It can handle higher-end games as long as you keep the graphics settings dialed down, and the smaller screen and awkward aspect ratio are the most significant drawbacks when it comes to using it in DeX mode or with more serious productivity apps.
Still, it’s one of the best tablets for kids and families, with more than enough power to handle any of the educational apps you’ll find on the Play Store, plus the S Pen to encourage creativity in younger kids and help older ones take notes at school. It’s also a great tablet for media consumption, both at home and on the go, and is capable enough to handle everyday household tasks. Like its predecessor, the 2022 Galaxy Tab S6 Lite remains one of the best alternatives to Apple’s entry-level iPad, which has long been considered the gold standard among tablets in its price range.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022
The 2022 refresh of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite sits right in that sweet spot, below the costly, high-end tablets that lack helpful features like headphone jacks and above the sluggish entry-level tablets best for casual use. With a Snapdragon 720G, performance is better than ever, so unless you're looking to play more demanding games, this is a great buy.