Samsung and Huawei are two of the few major brands continuing to make Android tablets with their own unique take on the software. Their high-end tablet offerings for 2019—the Galaxy Tab S6 and the MediPad M6 10—are already out and are being touted as computer replacements. This audacious claim is made factoring in their support for physical keyboards and software additions like desktop mode.
The two devices may share the basics of a particular feature, but they stand far apart in several departments which could ultimately make or break the deal. This comparison addresses all the differences and similarities of the Galaxy Tab S6 and the MediaPad M6 10 for you to decide if either can fit your workflow.
Note: We have based this comparison on the preliminary information available about both the devices and our experience with their previous iterations.
Both Samsung and Huawei have positioned these two tablets in the premium segment and their build quality reflects that. The devices have their casing made from metal while most of their front is covered with glass. The Galaxy Tab S6 has visibly thinner bezels surrounding its display leading the company to include an in-display optical fingerprint scanner. The MediaPad M6 10, on the other hand, has slightly thicker bezels, one of which houses a capacitive fingerprint sensor.
Huawei’s tablet bears a thicker body measuring 7.2mm against 5.7mm of the Galaxy Tab and similar is the case with their weight. The former weighs 498 grams versus 420 grams of the latter. Both high-end devices come with four speakers for a stereo effect. For charging and data syncing, a USB Type-C port stays common between the two slates. However, it’s only the MediaPad which has retained the headphone jack while Samsung ditched it this time.
The two tablets from Huawei and Samsung have nearly identical specifications for their displays. You will get a negligibly larger 10.8-inch display on the MediaPad as compared to the 10.5-inch one of the Tab S6. Both of their displays feature a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels in 16:10 aspect ratio. Having said that, the starkest difference surfaces when their panel types are compared. Samsung has used its trademark AMOLED display—which facilitated the use of an in-display biometrics sensor—while Huawei’s device sports an IPS LCD panel.
Despite the fact both tablets come running Android 9 Pie out of the box, they bring entirely different software experience to the table with their extensively customized skins. Samsung recently overhauled its skin bringing a ton of improvements while getting rid of some bloat. Huawei too has an equally heavy skin loaded with tiny but essential features. The EMUI doesn’t have an app drawer by default but the recent versions allow you to enable it. Our reviews of some newer Samsung and Huawei tablets will give you in-depth information about all their software tidbits.
Coming to their eagerness to replace your laptop, both the Galaxy Tab S6 and the MediaPad M6 10 come with their own version of desktop modes. Samsung DeX is a more popular name in the industry, but Huawei also has a very similar offering. Both the versions take inspirations from Windows OS for their basic UI. Certain popular apps work well in these desktop modes with a few also having multi-window support. Both suffer from minor compatibility issues and either of the solutions isn’t flawless when put against a Windows or Mac device.
Performance is one aspect where both the high-end tablets stand neck and neck. Huawei has used its own HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor while the Galaxy Tab S6 comes with a Snapdragon 855 chip on the inside. The two chipsets are based on the 7nm process and are known to offer nearly identical performance on devices they’ve powered so far. For day-to-day, and even demanding, use, the chances of you noticing a performance dip are low for both devices.
However, the Tab S6 and the MediaPad M6 do differ when it comes to their memory options. The Huawei tablet can be purchased with either 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage which can be further expanded by up to 512GB. Its 4GB of RAM stays standard across both the models. The Galaxy Tab comes in two variants—one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM and another with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You will have an option to insert a microSD card of up to 1TB.
Camera & Battery
The Huawei MediaPad M6 series includes a 13MP camera on the back along with an 8MP selfie camera. The Samsung tablet takes this configuration a step ahead and includes a secondary 5MP camera on the back. Speaking of their batteries, the former packs a 7500mAh battery while the latter has a slightly smaller 7040mAh unit. Both these aspects of a device warrant thorough review to determine their real-world performance. We’d be coming up with more insights about their cameras and battery life once the two tablets have gone through our review process.
Having such intense focus on productivity, these tablets cannot simply do without a keyboard. Huawei sells a rather conventionally designed keyboard that doubles up as a case and lets the tablet stay upright at a single angle. The South Korean brand went for a more refined approach by separating the back support and the keyboard deck. Its back cover flips out from the bottom to form a Surface Pro-like stand which you can adjust as per your convenience. This approach has also helped the keyboard deck make some room for a trackpad, which could be a strong selling point for the Tab S6.
Samsung’s cover also flips out from the top to reveal the magnetically attached S Pen. This year’s Galaxy Tab has an indent on its back to house the S Pen where it can also charge wirelessly. The stylus now has an oval barrel possibly for improved ergonomics and supports 4096 pressure levels. On the contrary, the MediaPad M6 10 works with the M-Pen Lite from Huawei that supports 2048 pressure levels and doesn’t attach to its host magnetically. The M-Pen also needs to be purchased separately while the S Pen comes bundled with the device.
Pricing & Availability
Huawei has yet to launch its MediaPad M6 line of tablets in markets outside China and based on its Chinese pricing, the M6 10 should starts at around 334 USD for the base Wi-Fi-only model with 64GB ROM. The priciest model with 4G LTE and 128GB storage comes in at 508 USD. The M-Pen Lite and the keyboard cover are sold separately. You can import the device from Chinese retailers like AliExpress and Gearbest but the model will ship without Google Play Store preinstalled.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 will set you back a lot more at 649 USD for its base model with the higher-end model costing 729 USD. This doesn’t include the cost of the keyboard case which will retail separately for 179 USD. The Samsung device will witness a wider rollout in its early days with the shipments starting in most western markets from early September.
Specifications: A Comparison
|Tablet||Samsung Galaxy Tab S6||Huawei MediaPad M6 10|
|Operating system||One UI (Android 9 Pie)||EMUI 9.1 (Android 9 Pie)|
|Display||10.5-inch Super AMOLED (2560 x 1600)||10.8-inch IPS (2560 x 1600)|
|Processor||Octa-core Snapdragon 855||Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980|
|Expandable||microSD card slot (up to 1TB)||microSD card slot (up to 512GB)|
|Main camera||13 Megapixels + 5 Megapixels||13 Megapixels|
|Front camera||8 Megapixels||8 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 2.0, Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Security||in-display fingerprint scanner||front-facing fingerprint scanner|
|Dimensions||244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm||257 x 170 x 7.2 mm|
With budget no bar, the Galaxy Tab S6 definitely triumphs over the MediaPad M6 10 for all its extra perks. It has an excellent AMOLED display and a more ergonomic, thin-and-light design. Its keyboard and kickstand are better designed while the S Pen has the convenience of attaching to the tablet itself. It has more RAM, storage, and an extra camera while also being readily available (soon) across major markets.
Costing almost half of the Tab S6, the MediaPad M6 10 has very few tablets that could beat its value proposition. It is a feature-packed device that doesn’t cost a fortune and can do almost anything that you could possibly do on an Android tablet. It has an equally sharp display, four speakers, and a robust desktop mode for working on the go. The larger battery it sports should ideally last longer and it has a great selection of accessories to choose from.
Anyone on a tighter budget can pick the M6 up without ever regretting the decision, considering our fantastic experience with the MediaPad M5 series.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Topping 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.
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