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Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se: The Good, The Bad, And The X Factor
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se is the company's latest attempt to cater to the more affordable Android tablet segment. Well, according to Samsung's research, tablets are still popular among many consumers. This could be because they could be purchased for a lower cost and offer good performance and battery.
To fulfill the needs of such users, Samsung has introduced the new Galaxy Tab 5Se for the Indian market at a price of Rs 35,990. The tablet is ridiculously lightweight and compact and packed with specifications like a 10.5-inch AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, 4GB RAM, Android 9 Pie, 7040mAh battery, 13MP rear and an 8MP front-facing camera, among others.
The new tablet does share a few traits of its precursor but with a much slimmer form factor and a much lower price. The Galaxy Tab S5e will retail in India for Rs 35,999 (Wi-Fi) and Rs 39,999 (Wi-Fi + LTE) respectively. But does this make the Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se an ideal buy for this segment? Let's break it down for you.
Super Sleek Design
The most striking feature of the Galaxy Tab 5Se is its metal design - and how tightly Samsung has managed to squeeze it. The tablet measures a mere 5.5mm in thickness and weighs around 400 gram, which makes it perfectly balanced.
On the right side, the device holds the power key, which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Below the scanner is the volume rocker, and both keys are relatively easy to hit. The left side houses the magnetic pins for attaching a keyboard. There are two speakers on the top and bottom, and a Type-C port to fuel your tablet.
Thanks to the large body, there is no problem holding the thin chassis. The perfectly balanced design makes it easy for your arms to hold the device for long durations without your arm feeling fatigued. Also, the tablet can easily fit into your bag, so no need to worry about handling it. Overall, the Galaxy Tab 5Se scores really high when it comes to design.
Colorful AMOLED Screen
The front side of the Galaxy Tab 5Se holds a QHD Super AMOLED screen that takes up 10.5-inches of the real estate. Well, there's no doubt that a Samsung product will have a bad display.
The display features 1600 x 2560 resolution and we were impressed by the quality. Additionally, the display also supports HD playback from all the video streaming services like Netflix. The 2K display might not be apt for graphics-hungry gaming but it still makes for a great viewing experience.
The colors and transition look really vivid and the reproduction is brilliant. The display is bright enough to use the tablet outdoors. The screen also has Always-On functionality letting users check time and notification without waking up the device.
Dex and Bixby Support
The Galaxy Tab 5Se runs on Android 9 Pie with OneUI on the top. Well, the issue with tablets has always been the software. Not a lot of apps support the larger layout and you get extended phone apps which don't look that great. But to make this better, the company has made some clever tweaks.
As far as productivity is concerned, Dex is one of the best features. The feature offers side-by-side app view. Dex along with Samsung Account feature allows for remote access to a paired Samsung smartphone. These features drive most of the tablet's appeal against the Surface Go and iPad.
The company also touts the Galaxy Tab S5e as the first tablet to feature Bixby voice assistant. The feature uses tablet's far-field mic for voice commands. You also get to try the Bixby Routines, which sets routines like automatically turning on the DND mode during the nights, or change lock screen shortcuts according to the apps that are most used.
Brilliant Audio Performance
The beautiful display is complemented by four stereo speakers tuned by AKG, two placed at either end of the tablet. We are totally impressed by the audio performance of the tablet. The speakers are powerful enough to churn out clear audio with a surround sound effect, thanks to the Dolby Atmos support.
We haven't used any external audio source for playing multimedia, because the speakers were loud enough to make for a good listening experience. But we are yet to test out the speakers in a noisy environment. So we'll be testing them out in our review.
No S Pen Support
Being a tablet user, you'd want your device to support the stylus. Unfortunately, there's no S Pen support on the Galaxy Tab 5Se. This would have been a really good addition to the spec sheet and enhanced the productivity quotient of the tablet. The stylus support would have also amplified the artistic capabilities of the device making it an even better deal.
Lacks Headphone Jack
Samsung has finally cut ties with the 3.5mm audio jack on its tablet line up. This is a bold move from the company, but this might not be the right device to pull off this antic as the budget-conscious users still inclined towards the traditional headphones.
The company does bundle a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter to make up for the loss. But, that's just another accessory you'll have to carry to use your traditional 3.5mm headphones.
Not For Gaming
One thing is for sure that the Galaxy Tab 5Se isn't built for gaming. The device might be able to handle low-end games but, firing up graphics-intensive games might not be a good idea. We tried a game or two of PUBG, and we noticed that the device struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. We will surely be testing out the tablet further and push it to its limits.
The X Factor
The Galaxy Tab 5Se is powered by a Snapdragon 670 chipset backed by 4GB of RAM. All this is complemented by a well-rounded Android experience. In our brief time with the tablet, it seemed to run seamlessly without any lag or stutter.
You would notice a performance drop if you compare it with the iPad lineup or the Galaxy Tab S4, but it still managed to perform all the day to day tasks with ease. It has 64GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 512GB offering plenty of flexibility.
You get features like Dex and Bixby which makes the device more productive. There are two cameras on the device, but as is often the case with cameras on tablets they're average at best. You get a huge 7040mAh battery which should be capable of delivering a solid backup on a single charge. The company claims it could last up to 14 hours, but we'll have to test it out.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se doesn't compromise on performance. During our usage, it felt zippy and easy to navigate. However, we will be spending more time with the device to pass a final judgment.
Hit Or A Miss?
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se comes with a good design, a brilliant display, and tremendous audio quality. And, all this for a price that won't burn a hole in your pocket. The company might have finally produced an Android tablet worth shelling out money.
If you're someone looking for a well-balanced and decently powered Android tablet, then there's nothing that stands close to the Tab 5Se. It offers a good set of specifications and better than other Android tablets in the segemnt.
However, if you're okay with missing on the Android experience, you can opt for the iPad 9.7 (2018), which also packs an attractive design and offers a smooth experience.