Google may have officially given up on Android tablets, but Samsung and a few other companies continue to make them as there is still some demand for them as media consumption devices. Though Samsung has reduced the number of tablets in its portfolio, it still makes the best tablets on the Android side of things.
The latest tablet to come from the Korean company’s stable is the Galaxy Tab S5e, which, despite its odd name, is not actually a successor to the flagship Galaxy Tab S4 from last year. It’s a midrange tablet whose main selling point is its impressively thin and lightweight design, making it an ideal device for media consumption.
Measuring 245 x 160 x 5.5 mm and weighing 400g, the Galaxy Tab S5e is the lightest and thinnest tablet ever made by Samsung. It sports a metal body which makes it feel both premium and sturdy. On the right side of the device, there’s a power button with an integrated fingerprint sensor, below which there is a volume rocker and a microSD slot (or a hybrid slot if it’s an LTE variant). On the left, there are POGO pins for connecting the optional Book Cover keyboard. There are two speaker grilles at the top and two more at the bottom along with a USB Type-C port. The front of the device is occupied by the large display with small bezels and a selfie camera at the top.
On the back of the device, there is a single rear camera at the top-left corner, Samsung branding in the middle, and AKG branding along with regulatory information down below. Overall, the device looks great and feels comfortable in hand. Unfortunately, the sleek design comes at a cost as Samsung had to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack.
With all that said, the tablet has a major design flaw – one that is big enough to dwarf all its strengths. Holding the Tab S5e in a certain way can cause the Wi-Fi connection to drop out. You can read our review of the device to know more about this issue.
The Galaxy Tab S5e is a midrange tablet with a couple of high-end components. It comes with a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 CPU, Adreno 615 GPU, 4/6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB internal storage, microSD slot, 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP selfie shooter, quad speakers with AKG optimizations, side-mounted fingerprint reader, optional LTE, 7040mAh battery, 18W fast charging, and more. It runs Android 9 Pie with Samsung’s One UI 1.1 on top. For the complete list of specifications, you can go to our device specifications page.
As evident from the specifications, the Tab S5e sports weaker internals than the Tab S4. It is not meant to be a successor to the last year’s flagship tablet. Those who are looking to buy a flagship have to either wait for the Galaxy Tab S5 or go with the Tab S4.
Apart from the sleek design, the display is the other main attraction of the Galaxy Tab S5e. It’s a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1600 x 2560 resolution which gives it a pixel density of ~288 PPI. It has an aspect ratio of 16:10, making it perfect for watching videos. The ~81.6% screen-to-body ratio may not sound impressive when compared to smartphones, but it is better than that of the Tab S4.
Though Samsung offered Super AMOLED displays on its low and midrange smartphones, they were mostly restricted to flagships devices on the tablet side of things. With the Tab S5e, the company seems to be rectifying that and making it non-flagship tablets more compelling and competitive.
Tablets are not known for their camera capabilities, and the Tab S5e has no ambition to change that. It comes with a basic, at least by today’s smartphone standards,13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera and an 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera. The rear camera has autofocus and can record 2160p videos @ 30fps. The front camera, meanwhile, is limited to [email protected] It is clear these cameras are meant for occasional document scanning and video calls and will not match the imaging capabilities of your smartphone.
The Galaxy Tab S5e is the first Samsung tablet to come with Android 9 Pie out of the box. As with any Samsung device running this OS version, it features One UI on top. What you find here is the version 1.1 of One UI which adds new features such as Digital Wellbeing and Bixby Routines to the already long list of features included in the previous version. You can read our One UI (Android Pie) Feature Focus series to learn about all these new features and changes.
One noteworthy change One UI brings to Galaxy tablets is Night Mode. It is particularly important since Samsung’s tablets, unlike its smartphones, lack any kind of support for themes. Previously, tablet users were left with no option but to suffer the bright default theme. Though the Good Lock app offered a workaround, it was never an elegant solution.
Despite its less powerful internals, the Tab S5e supports DeX Mode. It works both on the device display as well as on an external screen, although for the latter you need a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab S5e in February, but it went on sale only in April. The Wi-Fi version is priced at $399 for the 4GB/ 64GB variant and $479 for the 6GB/128GB variant. Obviously, the LTE version costs more than that, but it is not yet available for purchase in the US. Samsung will also sell you a Book Cover keyboard for $129 if you are a bit more serious about using this device for productivity. The Tab S5e is available in black, gold, and silver color options.
Downloads and Resources
You can download firmware, Samsung APKs, and wallpapers for all Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Tab S5e, for free from our website. We also offer optional premium plans that provide additional benefits such as expert support, faster downloads, giveaways, ad-free browsing, dark mode, etc.
Do follow our coverage of the Galaxy Tab S5e to learn more about new software updates, features, tips, deals, etc.