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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is the greatest mid-range Android tablet around, especially if you stream video a whole lot. It’s roughly the same price as the brand new 10.2-inch iPad but includes a more complex screen with a movie-friendly widescreen aspect. Its speakers are better too.

The Tab S5e is an excellent tablet sold at an excellent price that does everything 95 percent of folks need. We’d still pick an Apple tablet for gaming and drawing, but if Android if your jam then this Samsung tablet may be the perfect balance of price and features. Here’s why.

Design
Gold, silver or black aluminium casing
245.0 x 160.0 x 5.5mm / 400g
You need to be just a little out of touch to call the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e an inexpensive tablet. That is no Kindle Fire. Drop it and you will oftimes be sad or angry for a long time. But additionally, there are hardly any signs this the S5e is any lower-end compared to the £600-plus Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.

Both Samsung tablets are roughly the same size and both have delightful aluminium shells. Which means the S5e is super-slim, fairly light, and has screen surrounds slimmer than those of an iPad 10.2. And this is the other tablet you’re probably to consider for those who have only £400 to spend.

Pocket-lint
Even though you look somewhat further, there are just a couple of bits of exterior tech to split up the S5e from Samsung’s top-end tablet. The fingerprint scanner is one: the Tab S6 comes with an in-screen scanner, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e includes a pad privately.

This can be less trendy compared to the in-screen kind, but there’s actually a good argument this one is way better in practice. It really is portion of the power button, and brings the Tab S5e out of sleep even without pressing the depressing the button itself. Sure, it isn’t quite as fast as that of a high phone, nevertheless, you still get from black screen to home screen within a second.

The Galaxy Tab S5e’s speakers are great too. You get four AKG-tuned drivers, effectively an iPad Pro-style array for the cost of the typical iPad, which only has two. These speakers are unusually loud and beefy, particularly useful if you wish to view some YouTube while cooking. That extractor fan is no friend to meek-sounding tablet drivers.

Pocket-lint
We’re still slightly baffled by Samsung’s choice to omit a headphone socket, though. Sure, we miss it inside our phones a lot more, but if you are using a tablet in order to avoid needing to watch something your lover really wants to see without you needing to leave the area, a 3.5mm headphone jack is a godsend. Exclusively use wireless headphones? Maybe it isn’t such a huge issue. Samsung also contains a USB-to-3.5mm adapter in the box.

Screen
10.5-inch Super AMOLED (2560×1600)
No stylus functionality
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e sticks out as a tablet for video. It includes a 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio, matching the iPad Pro models and, like the majority of mid-range Samsung tablets, great screen tech.

That is a 10.5-inch AMOLED screen, so it is bright, bold and rich-looking. In addition, it has more customisation potential compared to the Tab S6.

Pocket-lint
There will be the same four colour modes observed in the Galaxy S10 phone, from the sober Basic to the almost sickeningly saturated Adaptive Display, which maxes-out the color depth of the OLED panel. But it’s a lttle bit much in the event that you ask us.

This is not the fanciest OLED around. It gets the standard 60Hz refresh rate and what sort of panel doesn’t look black at an angle lets you know it generally does not have the innovative architecture around. It can’t utilize the S-Pen stylus of the Galaxy Tab S6, either. That is a shame, as drawing on that top-end tablet will be a lot of fun.

But this is most likely the best tablet screen you can aquire at the purchase price. Apple’s iPad 10.2 includes a nice LCD, but it’s non-laminated so lacks a few of the pop of the iPad Air models or more.

Software
ANDROID OS 9 operating system
Samsung One UI
Samsung DeX
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e runs Google’s Android 9 operating-system and looks as being a blown-up Samsung phone. There are home screens and software pages, instead of a major vertical scroll of most of your installed apps.

Pocket-lint
Flicking around the interface feels almost as quick as a high-end tablet. On a few occasions we noticed a little pause getting between menus soon after bringing the tablet out of standby. But there are no glaring lag issues.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e also offers DeX. Here is the software Samsung made to cause you to think its tablets will be ready to replace your laptop.

What’s Samsung DeX and how does it work?
You can access DeX from the settings drop-down menu, and it offers several visual factors of a laptop. There’s a Start menu, toolbars in the bottom, and icons become much smaller than they are in the typical Android view.

You’ll need to choose the £109 keyboard accessory to get anywhere near a laptop-like feel. Samsung didn’t send us among these to try out, but it isn’t hugely exciting anyway. It generally does not have a trackpad, which means you have to utilize the touchscreen for almost any navigation. It’ll make the S5e far better for long-form typing, but we’re not likely to trade inside our laptop.

Performance
Snapdragon 670 CPU (2x 2.0GHz + 6x 1.7GHz), 4GB RAM
Then there’s the question of performance. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e includes a mid-range Qualcomm CPU, the Snapdragon 670. This processor is powerful enough to accomplish just about anything you might need, regardless if it’s the absolute quickest for the reason that series.

The S5e can be ideal for gaming. We likely to see some slow-down in Android’s toughest games when the graphics are maxed-out. Affirmed, we do, but it isn’t quite as pronounced as we expected.

Pocket-lint
Ark: Survival Evolved isn’t smooth at epic graphics settings, since it is on the Tab S6, but it isn’t a juddery mess. You merely have to scale the resolution slider back somewhat to increase the frame-rate a bit. The overall game uses dynamic resolution scaling to match exactly what is a PS4 game onto Android.

PUBG Mobile runs perfectly, even at the very top selectable graphics setting. The 10.5-inch screen really showcases that it generally does not run at the tablet’s native resolution. But that isn’t Samsung’s fault.

Thankfully, Netflix does stream at 1080p. Not absolutely all Full HD (or more) tablets support this because they must be certified by Netflix to get above SD quality.

So could it be worth upgrading to the Tab S6 for gamers? This partly will depend on how long you’ll think you could keep the tablet before upgrading. Want to keep it choosing a long time? A Tab S6 will age somewhat better, as its graphics chipset is 3 x as powerful. However, according to graphics test iphone app 3DMark, the Snapdragon 670 is a bit more powerful compared to the Apple A10 Fusion found in the iPad 10.2. Therefore the spend-to-power trade-off is practical.

Cameras
Single 13MP 1/3.4in f/2 rear camera
4K 30fps video (non stabilised at 4K
8MP 1/4in f/2 front camera
We wouldn’t advise worrying an excessive amount of about the Tab S5e (or Tab S6’s) cameras, though. The Tab S5e includes a single 13-megapixel on the trunk, of quality much like that of a decent entry-level phone.

It advantages from Samsung’s software processing, which does a good job of bettering dynamic range to create image exposure look more consistent. Even shots taken with indoors lighting look OK. Nevertheless, you don’t get anything just like the ability of the greatest phone cameras at the purchase price, just like the Google Pixel 3A.

You also overlook the ultra-wide angle view of the Galaxy Tab S6’s secondary camera. The Tab S5e will shoot video at up to 4K resolution, but you may well be better sticking with 1080p as 4K loses image stabilisation. That’s where the tablet crops in to the image and uses the outer the main sensor’s “vision” to buffer movement. 4K footage looks shakier given having less this ability.

The S5e’s main camera produces photographs of similar quality to the Tab S6. They aren’t identical, though. We found the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e’s pictures tend to be slightly sharper, however the Tab S6’s generally have better dynamic range. This can be right down to a generational shift in the processing algorithms used instead of a huge disparity in hardware, because they sound similar in some recoverable format.

The S5e’s selfie camera does seem to be a downgrade despite, again, having similar specs to the Tab S6’s. It’s an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/2 lens, both respectable specs. But details is softened away to a smear in lower light, detail isn’t that great in good lighting, and handling of light level variance isn’t great. You often wrap up with skin tones that look just a little off.

Use your phone for selfies, however the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e continues to be simply perfect for those face-changing software that keep carefully the kids entertained

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