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Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Review: Compact, Smooth, And Affordable
As absurd as it may sound, Samsung believes that the previously launched Galaxy Tabs are still in the game, thanks to their lower price and powerful specifications. And, the company has its own research to back these claims. Well, to make it even more convenient for people still looking for a tablet sans hefty pricing, Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab S5e. And the company might have hit the right chords again.
- Slim Profile
- Brilliant Display
- Dex And Bixby Support
- Tremendous Audio Quality
- No S Pen Support
- Lacks 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Underwhelming Gaming Performance
The latest offering borrows a few traits from its predecessor, but in a much slim form factor. The tablet is priced at Rs 35,999 (Wi-Fi) and Rs 39,999 (Wi-Fi + LTE) for the Indian market. You'll have the buy the detachable keyboard separately, but we recommend you to buy it.
The basic idea of this tablet seems to build a foundation for people who seek a normal Android tablet for basic tasks. But we managed to push the device to its limits and put it through some heavy work. Let's see whether it managed to keep up with our pace or not.
- 10.5-inch AMOLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- 512GB expandable memory
- Android 9 Pie
- Samsung Dex support
- Bixby voice assistant
- 13MP rear camera
- 8MP front-facing camera
- 7040mAh battery
Super Compact Form Factor
One of the biggest plus points of this device is its super sleek form factor. Since it's the thinnest (5.5mm) and lightest (400g) tablet that the South Korean giant has ever produced, it's really convenient to carry it around.
The company has managed to squeeze in all the components under the striking metal casing. The right side holds the power key, which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Below the scanner are the volume rockers, and both the keys are relatively easy to hit. The left side houses the magnetic pins for attaching a keyboard. Rounding off the design are two speakers on the top and bottom (which BTW are excellent), and a Type-C port to fuel your tablet.
I carried the device with me almost all the time but hardly noticed its weight in the bag. It can easily fit into your bag, and with the keyboard casing, you don't need to worry about handling it. Thanks to the perfectly balanced design, holding it for long durations for watching movies won't fatigue your arms.
Besides, the tablet comes sans the 3.5mm audio jack and is also the first device in the line up to do so. We understand that the company is pushing users to purchase its truly wireless Galaxy Buds, but the Galaxy Tab 5Se doesn't seem like the right device for such antics. Since this is a tablet for the budget-conscious market, it would be hard to justify the removal of the functionality as many would prefer their old school headphones rather than buying a new pair.
Though Samsung does offer a Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, it's just another accessory you'll have to carry along in order to make use of your 3.5mm earphones.
Overall, the Galaxy Tab 5Se scores really high in terms of design. There are a few giveaways; however, none of them are deal breakers and might only bother the querulous users.
That Colorful Display Though
The display that the Galaxy Tab 5Se is exactly what you'd want on a tablet. It's a 10.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1600 x 2500 pixels, which becomes even more immersive, thanks to the narrow bezels running along the edges.
On top of that, you get HD playback for video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The 2K display might not be perfectly suitable for graphics-heavy games, but it's surely a great tool for multimedia consumption.
Speaking of the quality, the colors look true to the eye and the transitions feel smooth and vivid. The color reproduction is up to the mark and the sunlight legibility is satisfactory as well.
However, the device loses out on functionalities such as the Always-On display which lets users check the notifications and time without having to wake up the device.
Dex And Bixby Make Job Easier
The Galaxy Tab 5Se runs on the company's latest OneUI wrapped around the Android 9 Pie OS. But there are certain things that could hamper the overall experience. Not all apps support the landscape mode and are only extended phone apps which are a bottleneck at the software front. But that's about it. Let's get to the fun part.
Samsung Dex is one of the best features you'll find on any tablet. It could make your laptop look redundant at times. And, if you have a wireless mouse to connect with, then you are in for a treat. I often found myself using the Dex mode instead of the regular tablet mode. It helped me finish my office work swiftly without any hassle. Dex fused with Samsung Account feature also lets you remotely access a paired Samsung smartphone.
Moreover, the Galaxy Tab 5Se is also the first tablet to get support for Bixby voice assistant. It uses the tablet's far-field microphones for listening to voice commands.
The Bixby Routines allows you to set routines such as automatically turning on the DND mode during the nights, or change lock screen shortcuts depending on the most used applications.
Overall, both these features bet heavy on productivity and drive most of the Galaxy Tab 5Se's appeal against the already renowned tablets like the Apple iPad and the Microsoft Surface Go.
Smooth Performance With Few Compromises
The Galaxy Tab 5Se has a Snapdragon 670 processor at its heart, backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 512GB. During my time with the device, I didn't notice any lag or stutter even during heavy usage. I used the device mainly for streaming content online, social media, mild gaming, and mostly during long typing sessions. Most of my office work was done through the Tab 5Se, but there are times when a tablet can't do what laptop is capable of.
You shouldn't expect an iPad-grade performance here, but for its price it does a fairly good job. You get features like the Dex that takes the productivity quotient to another level.
But, I can surely say that the Galaxy Tab 5Se isn't meant for high-end gaming. It might run low-end games easily but, firing up graphics-intensive games such as PUBG or Fortnite might not do justice to the games. After firing up a few heavy games, I noticed that the device struggled to keep up with the pace of the game.
Speaking of the cameras, the tablet comes with a 13MP rear and an 8MP front-facing camera. The sensors are average at best, but you shouldn't expect much from tablet cameras anyway. They are good enough for video calling and some time for normal photography.
The brilliant AMOLED display is accompanied by superb audio performance. The tablet has four stereo speakers, tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos, placed on either end of the tablet. The speakers were loud enough and we never used an external source for audio.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 5Se, however, misses out on the S Pen support, which is bit of a letdown. It would have been a great addition to the overall functionality, amplifying the productivity and attracting creative users.
The tablet is juiced by a 7040mAh battery which delivers some serious backup. The company claims it to be 14 hours, but that wasn't the case for us. The device lasted for around 10 hours after a whole day of heavy usage. Charging the device completely took over two hours.
Does the Galaxy Tab 5Se makes sense?
It surely does. The tablet doesn't compromise on performance and feels snappy and easy to navigate. However, it does have a few shortcomings, but none of them will affect your experience in a drastic manner.
All this complemented by the company's well-optimized OneUI makes it an even better deal. You get to take advantage of all these features at a cost that isn't heavy on your wallet.
If you are someone seeking a well-balanced Android tablet with respectable features, than there's hardly any competition against the Galaxy Tab 5Se in this segment.