Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e review: Brilliant sAMOLED screen & premium build quality under Rs 40K

Samsung has paid a lot of attention to small details and the Tab S5e feels and looks premium.

BCCL
Galaxy Tab S5e gives a desktop-like experience.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Price: Rs 34,999 (4/64GB, WiFi, Amazon only) | Rs 39,999 (4/64GB, WiF + 4G, Flipkart only)

Rating: 4.5


Specifications: Snapdragon 670 octa core, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (expandable, dedicated slot, up to 512GB), 10.5-inch sAMOLED display (2560 x 1600 pixels, 288ppi, 16:10, 81.8% screen-to-body ratio), 13MP f2.0 AF rear camera, 8MP f2.0 front camera, stereo sound (quad speakers), WiFi ac, BT5.0, 7,040mAh battery, 400 grams

Pros: Brilliant 10.5-inch sAMOLED display, ultra-slim 5.5mm all metal design, dedicated microSD slot, fast fingerprint scanner, slim bezels (for a tablet), AKG quad speaker, fast charging

Cons: Mid-range SD670 processor, 64GB is the only storage option, no 3.5mm audio out
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Galaxy Tab S5e has a neat trick up its sleevs: Samsung’s DeX.
Galaxy Tab S5e has a neat trick up its sleevs: Samsung’s DeX.

You won’t find the words Android and tablet used in the same sentence very often. There’s a very good reason for that - Apple holds over 70% of the global tablet market (recent numbers from June 2019). To top it off, tablet numbers are also declining because people don’t buy tablets as often as phones. But Samsung’s not ready to thrown in the towel just yet. On the face of it, this new Galaxy Tab is a brilliant move: it leverages Samsung’s expertise in displays (it has a gorgeous sAMOLED), design (the 5.5mm metal slab design is amazing) and software (Samsung Experience is smooth, fast and includes features like DeX – more on that later).

To understand why iPad is the de facto tablet, we need to understand what tablets are used for: for most people it would bea combination of media consumption, reading, web, email, gaming and sometimes work. The iPad just works smoothly for all this. And the fact that device fragmentation is low means developers have always been interested in that platform.
Samsung has used a Qualcomm processor instead of their own Exynos but the performance is optimised.
Samsung has used a Qualcomm processor instead of their own Exynos but the performance is optimised.

Samsung has paid a lot of attention to small details and the Tab S5e feels and looks premium. That sAMOLED display is just amazing: deep blacks, high viewing angles and vibrant colour. The build quality is superlative, with an aluminiumcasing that feels cool to the touch. It’s impressively thin (5.5mm) and light (400 grams) which means you can hold and carry it for long periods without an issue. You can pair it with the official keyboard case for a big boost in productivity. Although priced at Rs 7,000, you can get the keyboard case for Rs 3,500 for a limited time. The only gripe with the official keyboard case is that some keys (like numbers, cursors) are too small. But at least they are individual keys with a sufficient amount of travel and feel. You can, of course, use any other Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with it too.

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For any Android or Samsung smartphone user, the experience is familiar. The same gestures apply, the same buttons, multi-tasking, split view, app permissions et al. It even has the same apps pre-loaded from many Samsung phones. Samsung has used a Qualcomm processor instead of their own Exynos but the performance is optimised. You won’t find any slowdowns for all kinds of use except the most demanding kind of gaming. Watching video is a treat, thanks to the AKG tuned quad speaker array. We even like the camera quality which is a big step up compared to any other Android tablet.

There is one major area where the Tab S5e (for that matter, any Android tablet) will never catch up to the iPad – and that is app support. The iPad has more tablet optimized apps by a staggering margin. Some apps on large screen Android tablets still feel like a workaround. Others may not even be available for this 16:10 aspect ratio.
You can pair Galaxy Tab S5e with the official keyboard case for a big boost in productivity.
You can pair Galaxy Tab S5e with the official keyboard case for a big boost in productivity.

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But, the S5e also has a neat trick up its sleevs: Samsung’s DeX. This is a desktop-like experience that some Samsung phones like Note 9 & S10 have. Unlike the phones though, you don’t need to connect the tablet to an external display for DeX – it works on the tablet display too. If you like, you can always output the display to a TV too, using a USB C to HDMI. Finally, the 7,040mAh battery is more than enough to power through the day (12hrs) with fast charging thrown in for good measure. If you think you’ll be able to manage with all the built in apps and and a handful of the usuals (which work great), the Tab S5e does well. Ultimately, we really like it for the screen and affordability and think it’s a viable alternative to iPad.

Android may be the king when it comes to number of smartphones sold, but it needs a fighting chance when it comes to tablets. The Tab S5e is giving it that chance.

A Tablet For Every Room And All The Tasks At Home
1/7
Tabs are all about portability. But that doesn’t mean they are all great multitaskers.

Here are the ones that specialise in functions suited for any room or place in your house.
Tabs are all about portability. But that doesn’t mean they are all great multitaskers. Here are the ones that specialise in functions suited for any room or place in your house.
iPad Pro 10.5

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iPad Pro 10.5 Sure it is one of the best tablets in the market. And why should it be anything less when it is expected to be your smart home controller and sit pretty in your living room? It has a s..
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Alcatel Xess

This huge 17.3-inch slate is not exactly meant for multimedia consumption, but designed to stand on your kitchen counter and guide you with Amazon shopping list and recipes, calendar, weather, and more. The tab has an integrated IP camera, say, to help you keep an eye on your little one from the kitchen while you are trying your hands at a new recipe.
Alcatel Xess This huge 17.3-inch slate is not exactly meant for multimedia consumption, but designed to stand on your kitchen counter and guide you with Amazon shopping list and recipes, calendar, w..
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Xplore XSlate B10

Here’s a rugged tablet (IP65 rating) that can withstand the elements and can be your most trustworthy gadget beyond the comforts of your home. The B10 comes standard with the Intel Core i5 vPro CPU or can be upgradeable to i7 vPro CPU to provide top speeds to process data. It is lightweight and is designed to meet the needs of customers across vertical industries, from frozen tarmacs to oil rigs.
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Sony Digital Paper DPT-RP1

The 13-inch letter-sized digital paper (DPT-RP1) offers a comfortable way to read and mark up big stacks of large-format digital documents. It includes a stylus to mark up your documents or to take notes, and opens up when you are reading sheet music, textbooks, graphic novels or travel guides. The tablet has no cloud connectivity, so getting documents onto it requires a PC/Mac software downloaded from Sony’s site.
Sony Digital Paper DPT-RP1 The 13-inch letter-sized digital paper (DPT-RP1) offers a comfortable way to read and mark up big stacks of large-format digital documents. It includes a stylus to mark up..
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Amazon Fire HD 10

Tech experts recommend leaving tablets and smartphones out of the bedroom. But with the Amazon Fire HD 10, you need not look at the screen every time you wish to switch the lights on/off, adjust the room temperature or check the morning weather. Following a latest update, the tablet is set to get an AI update which will turn it into a fully functioning Echo Show, Amazon’s Echo device with a screen.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Tech experts recommend leaving tablets and smartphones out of the bedroom. But with the Amazon Fire HD 10, you need not look at the screen every time you wish to switch the lights ..
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Xperia Tablet Z

Our love for bathroom reading has expanded to the world of tablets too. And if you have some added smarts, the Xperia Tablet Z is all you need to control your water temperature, programmable shower, and more. It is slim and water-resistant, flaunts an impressive display and packs enough bells and whistles to impress you.
Xperia Tablet Z Our love for bathroom reading has expanded to the world of tablets too. And if you have some added smarts, the Xperia Tablet Z is all you need to control your water temperature, prog..
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