Samsung has been making is Galaxy Tabs for a while now and those hit the sweet spot. And this gave rise to expectations with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, which recently launched in the Indian market. I have been using the Galaxy Tab S5e for a while now and have formed a decent idea about it. Here’s my Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: Design, look and feel
What I really must mention at the outset of my Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e review is that this is one of the most attractive tabs I have seen yet. It has a clean design that is yet to be seen in any of the previous Samsung tabs. This is the thinnest tab yet from Samsung with a thickness of only 5.5mm. It is among the lightest as well at only 400grams. It is extremely thin and comes with a clean metal and glass mesh frame that is only highlighted by the antennae lines on the back and sides. The Samsung logo is bang on center on the back of the device and the single rear-camera is in the top left corner.
If held in the portrait mode, the right side panel houses the fingerprint scanner that doubles up as the power button. On this edge you also see the volume rocker and the SD card slot. The left hand side of the panel features the connectors for the keyboard. The top is rather plain with two speaker grilles on each end, and a mic hole in the middle. Lastly, the bottom holds two speaker grilles along with the Type-C port for charging and connecting other devices.
The front of the device houses a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED WQXGA (2560×1600) display with 16:10 aspect ratio. It has thin bezels that are absolutely necessary for a tablet and it meshes into the solid metal frame that uniformly curves into the back. Samsung did not go for the Infinity Display design with this and rightly so. In my opinion, tabs need some bezels to hold on to without touching the screen.
Display and audio
Moving on to a couple of the most impressive features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. We can definitely say that the display and the audio performance of the device itself makes it worth the price tag. The Super AMOLED display makes any visual experience on it a unique one. The colors and the textures of shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime pop-up with distinction. The display helps clearly view dark scenes even in sunlight. The display ratio at 81.8 percent is slightly better than the pervious generation Galaxy Tab S4 (79 percent).
Samsung has put in premium audio options with AKG and Dolby Atmos options in the Galaxy Tab S5e. The quad-speaker setup truly offers a stereo audio experience when viewing from the front. The Dolby Atmos feature kicks in its best form when headphones are plugged into the device. A point of contention for many here would be that it is missing the 3.5mm audio port. This seems to be in line with the policy Samsung is taking with its newest devices.
The Galaxy Tab S5e has seen some cost-cutting with its specs which is evident considering its price. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor and has two variants with 4GB and 6GB RAM options. Consequently these come with options for 64GB and 128GB storage. We received the base configuration with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and had no issues with any of the regular tasks we performed on the device. The tab can handle regular actions like browsing the web, sending emails, creating some docs, and watching videos with ease. It can even play heavyweight games like PUBG Mobile with ease.
I also tried to use the device instead of my laptop as the daily driver at work, but it just could not keep up. Things started freezing up with nine tabs open on Chrome and Photoshop open in the background. But performing such tasks is not expected of this device, and I would genuinely have been surprised if it was able to pull it off. The DeX mode just can’t keep up with multiple apps and tabs open, which begs the question, if it would have been better to outfit the base variant with 6GB RAM.
Software and camera
The Galaxy Tab S5e runs Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box, and has the newest One UI skins on top of it. It comes with QOL features like Digital Wellbeing and Bixby 2.0, Night Mode and Kids Home mode. The software experience is identical to the rest of the One UI smartphones.
Coming to one of the least used features on tabs, the camera. I can confirm that Samsung didn’t bother much with optics on this device. The Galaxy Tab S5e comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front camera which just barely does the job. The rear camera does not have most of the features that the Samsung smartphones do, and even the ‘Pro’ mode is missing on it.
Samsung has designed the Book Cover keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S5e in a manner like never before. It does not come with any clasps in the corners, but snaps in place using magnets. But at a price of Rs 3,500, and without a touch-pad, the keyboard does not seem worth the price.
The battery life is one of the most essential features of any smart device out there right now. The Galaxy Tab S5e features a 7,040mAh battery, which is slightly less compared to the 7,300mAh of the Galaxy Tab S4. Some might think that this is not sufficient for a device with a 10.5-inch display. But it is not as inefficient. The device usually survived through the day for me with medium to heavy usage that would see me watching Netflix, browse the internet, social media apps, sending some mails, and playing a bit of games. It’s best to turn on adaptive brightness, which would save battery on display brightness in ow light conditions.
It does come with fast charging, which quickly charges the device to full. But this is no the 25W option that Samsung is touting on some of its costlier devices this year. Our variant didn’t have the LTE options, and it is needless to say that it would definitely have a less efficient battery backup.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Review: Should you buy it?
At a price of Rs 35,999 the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is a device that has been priced to wedge itself into a gap of costly and cheaper tabs on the market. To achieve this, Samsung has cut down on the internal specs of the device, while keeping the glitz and glam on the outside. It could definitely do with more RAM, which would have helped with the DeX mode.
But Samsung truly makes up for all that with the brilliant display and audio on the device. The Galaxy Tab S5e can elevate the media viewing experience with these two features to flagship levels. This is definitely a device of some sacrifices and extravagances at the same time. That being said, The 40k price tag in India is still a little on the higher side. But those people who loved the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 last year but didn’t purchase it out of price concerns can definitely go for this one.