Review Galaxy Tab S5e: Scared for iPad! - VnReview
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Review Galaxy Tab S5e: What to fear iPad! – VnReview

The appearance of the Galaxy Tab S5e is an affirmation that Samsung is not only abandoning the tablet market, but also willing to compete fairly with the iPad or any rival.

As smartphones get bigger and bigger, tablets are becoming less and more popular. “iPad and the rest,” is how a user would describe the tablet market today, when Apple products are still trusted by users. However, there is a name that does not accept that, not ready to give up the tablet market, which is Samsung.

In February of this year, Samsung released not one but three new Galaxy Tab tablets at the same time, including Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and Galaxy Tab A Plus 8. In particular, Galaxy Tab S5e is a Highest products. With a list price of 12.49 million, Galaxy Tab S5e is positioned like the Samsung Galaxy S10e smartphone launched earlier this year: bringing the experience of a high-end product but not making users have to “rice” vegetables through the day “.

Design: Slimmer, lighter and more beautiful

The first impression of the Galaxy Tab S5e is that it is significantly thinner and lighter than previous generations of Samsung tablets. At only 5.5mm thick and weighing 400g, the Galaxy Tab S5e is thinner than Samsung’s 2018 flagship, the Tab S4 (7.1mm, 482g) and the 11-inch iPad Pro (5.9mm, 468g). Thanks to that, holding Tab S5e with one hand is very easy. Thin and light, but the aluminum material of the Tab S5e still feels solid.

Overall, the Tab S5e has some similarities with Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro, from the curved edges, the screen border to the antenna array. The product has 2 color options: pink (Rose Gold) and silver.

The screen border of the Tab S5e has been significantly reduced and evenly spaced on all 4 sides, giving a sense of proportion. As a 10.5-inch tablet, in fact, the Tab S5e is smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad. However, the thin bezel also makes it easier for me to touch the edge of the screen.

The S5 S5e has only one main camera on the back, slightly protruding (about 1mm) so it can be scratched when placed on a flat surface. This camera cluster does not have a LED flash, but this is not a problem because the rear camera is not so important to tablets as on smartphones.

Tab S5e is significantly upgraded in terms of sound with a 4-speaker system that AKG – Samsung audio brand acquired in 2017 – refined, divided equally on the top and bottom sides and placed close to the corners so that it is not covered by user hands. To make the device slim and lightweight, the 3.5mm headphone jack had to be sacrificed, but Samsung has included a 3.5mm dongle to Type-C in the box, a small thing that shows that the company has thought User experience.

Tab S5e no longer has a fingerprint sensor on the front, instead we have the power button and fingerprint sensor is located on the right side like the Galaxy S10e. Practical experience, this fingerprint sensor is sensitive, fast unlocking speed, accurate identification. It’s a pity that the in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor used on the Galaxy S10 series does not appear on the Tab S5e, perhaps Samsung is “saving” for the Tab S5 flagship?

Tab S5e supports a nano sim for calling and 4G / LTE connectivity. Besides, you can also increase the storage capacity with microSD card slot up to 1TB.

The left side of the machine is the pins connected to the charger base, which you have to buy on the outside.

Overall, the Tab S5e has made significant design improvements. Being thinner, lighter, and using unibody metal, these are the right first steps if you want to overthrow Apple’s dominance.

The screen and sound for the experience are impressive

Tab S5e is equipped with 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, QHD + resolution (1600 x 2560 pixels), screen / front ratio of 81.6%. Display quality is always something Samsung does well, and the Tab S5e is no exception. The eye-catching colors are suitable for entertainment needs, deep black, high contrast, which are the typical advantages of Super AMOLED screen. Pixel density of 288 ppi for sharp images is enough, you have to look carefully to see the pixels.

The 4-speaker system of the Tab S5e is really a bright spot, with clear sound quality and well-reproduced sound bands. Combined with Super AMOLED screen, experience when playing games, watching movies of Tab S5e is very good, during the experience I almost no longer use laptops.

However, the Tab S5e’s screen has a problem: when scrolling vertically, the screen on the left has a delay compared to the right, causing a distortion effect, also known as a “jelly effect”. A quick search on Google has some users reporting this problem. This phenomenon only occurs when scrolling the page vertically, so when playing games or watching movies will not be affected, but users who often read the newspaper or text will feel a bit uncomfortable.

The S5 S5e also does not support the S-pen. This is a pretty unfortunate absence when the Tab A Plus 8 in the lower price segment has support. S-pen is an interesting feature of the Samsung family, especially when used on tablets.

Software and performance: enough for both gaming needs

The Tab S5e has been running Android 9 Pie since its release, wearing the new OneUI interface we’ve seen on the Galaxy S10 series and Samsung’s mid-range devices in 2019. The advantage of OneUI on smartphones is that all tasks are Optimal for one-handed use, but with the Tab S5e’s 10.5-inch size, this is obviously no longer feasible.

The biggest highlight of OneUI is the system-wide dark mode (Dark Mode), which not only makes using the device more comfortable at night but also saves battery thanks to the nature of the Super AMOLED panel. The OneUI version on the Tab S5e doesn’t have an Always-on Display feature, but it’s understandable because a large screen can affect battery life.

Tab S5e also supports a very useful feature, Samsung DeX, which transforms Samsung tablets into a laptop with a windows-like multitasking interface like Windows and Mac.

In terms of performance, Tab S5e is equipped with mid-range Snapdragon 670 chip manufactured on 10nm process, along with 4GB RAM / 64GB of internal memory. This configuration is not bad, meets the needs of the majority of users, but it is difficult to compete with the iPad Air 2019 in the higher price segment with the “giant” A12 Bionic chip.

Through familiar benchmarks, Tab S5e has a score almost equivalent to the mid-range smartphones that VnReview has previously evaluated. In performance tests, the only noticeable problem with this tablet is that the high screen resolution will be a burden for the graphics processor. Specifically, the test of graphics processing ability on the GFX Bench application, the machine only reached 17 frames per second (fps) at the actual resolution of the screen (onscreen).

Although I was a bit concerned about the performance of the Tab S5e’s game, in fact, the machine has performed well in the tested games, from light like Lien Lien Mobile to “heavy capital” rather than Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade and PUBG Mobile. Most notably, PUBG Mobile, when at the highest graphics settings (HDR, very high fps, anti-aliasing), Tab S5e still has an average fps of up to 37, quite impressive when high-end smartphones like Galaxy The S10 + also only achieved 39 fps in this game. This is clearly shown in the actual frame rate measurement results when playing games using the GameBench ( application below.

Tab S5e achieved 56 average FPS, 91% frame stability in the game Mobile Union.

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade does not make it difficult for Tab S5e, average fps reaches 60, frame stability is 94%.

PUBG Mobile is a surprise Tab S5e game with an average fps of up to 37, 90% frame stability

Battery enough, about 2 days for normal needs

Tab S5e has a 7,040 mAh battery, smaller than its elder Tab S4 (7,300 mAh) and direct rival iPad Air 2019 (7,812 mAh). This is one thing that Samsung has to sacrifice for the Tab S5e to have a slim body.

In the familiar measurements of VnReview, Tab S5e gives good battery life, thanks in part to Snapdragon 670 chip manufactured on 10nm process to help save energy. Specifically, the continuous movie player is 15 hours 10 minutes; surf the web for 10 hours 42 minutes or play the game for over 7.5 hours. Note that these activities, VnReview are calculated from the time the battery is full until the remaining 10% is stopped. With daily use, the machine can meet 1-2 days depending on the intensity of use.

* Measurements are performed with 70% screen brightness, from full battery charge to 10%.

The S5 S5e supports 18W fast charging, but Samsung’s bundled Adaptive Fast Charge charger only has a capacity of 15W. Use this charger to fully charge the tablet will take about 2 hours 55 minutes.


Cameras have never been and will never be something that tablet makers really care too much, because whether they take photos or record videos, smartphones do it much better and more efficiently. The biggest use of cameras on tablets is video calling. Perhaps so Samsung did not invest much in this amount for the Tab S5e. The quality of photos taken in both bright and underexposed conditions is only average, far from the mid-range smartphones. However, the comfort is that the machine also has the ability to capture fonts and adjust the effect of removing fonts.

Photo taken from the front camera

Selfies remove fonts from the front camera


In appearance, the Tab S5e is an impressive tablet. Not only is it thinner than its rivals and seniors, the symmetrical design and high quality finishes are also plus points of the Tab S5e. Samsung’s screen is still as beautiful as expected and the 4-speaker system makes me feel impressed. The battery has a good life time.

The performance of this tablet is sufficient to meet the needs of normal use and gaming. However, this is the detail that Samsung needs to do better if they are really serious in wanting to overthrow Apple in this market.

Hoan Dang

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