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The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 was launched alongside the Galaxy Tab S4, which is probably why it doesn’t get much attention. Where the Tab S4 is a premium tablet, the Tab A 10.5 is decidedly mid-range. It packs some notable features, however, such as four speakers, a high-resolution display, and a large battery. We had a chance to test the tablet thanks to Samsung India, and this review will tell you whether the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is worth your hard-earned money.
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With a 10.5-inch display, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is naturally a large tablet. There is also a lot of bezel around the screen, with the lack of a physical home key offering no benefits in terms of size reduction. But thanks to the soft rubber back, the Tab A offers an excellent grip and doesn’t let you worry about its safety like a tablet with a glass back (eg, the Galaxy Tab S4). It gives a feeling of high quality in general, with the weight feeling right.
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The placement of the physical buttons is the same as we have seen on other Samsung tablets. The volume and power buttons are on the right (and also the SIM slot on the LTE version), four speakers are placed on the upper and lower corners, and four pins POGO are on the left for connecting to the charging dock.Samsung. sold as an accessory. The back is simple as expected, with the camera, flash, and the Samsung logo only in the top half. The blue back on our review unit looks classy, and it’s the color we recommend if you’re tired of the black or gold color options.
The 10.5-inch display on the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 isn’t huge. It’s an LCD panel, and while that wouldn’t be a big deal on its own, this particular panel is slightly above average. First of all, it is not strong enough, neither inside nor outside. And while colors aren’t exactly dull, they don’t pop as well on an AMOLED screen. The 16:10 aspect ratio and the 10+ inch screen size are pretty much the only good things about it. The screen is also very bright thanks to the 1920 × 1200 pixel resolution, but other than that, the display is not really better than what you will find on, say, the Galaxy Tab A (2017).
The Tab A 10.5 has software navigation keys instead of Samsung’s traditional physical home button and capacitive back and recent apps keys. This means there is no fingerprint sensor, so you can only use facial recognition along with the usual Android security options on this tablet. Please, can you enable the option to double tap the screen to wake up, which is useful now that there is no hard home button.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 also packs four speakers like the more expensive Galaxy Tab S4. These are not replaced by AKG, but you have Dolby Atmos support. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the sound quality coming out of these speakers. When you are watching movies on Netflix, they do not distort even at the highest volume levels, but a little more bass could have made the experience much better. The speakers aren’t exactly loud, but the beats aren’t as loud as you’d expect, especially when playing music.
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What about Dolby Atmos? Also, sound levels remain mostly the same with Dolby Atmos enabled, but it allows for better sound isolation for a more surround sound effect. Speaking of volume, the Tab A 10.5 is loud enough for use in your bedroom, but you might want to switch to headphones in the living room. As expected, headphones are not provided with the tablet, but if you have good ones, just turn on Dolby Atmos for the best experience.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is nothing short of amazing when it comes to performance. It has a Snapdragon 450 SoC with 3 GB RAM, and when I saw it in games like
At the highest graphics settings, the basic user interface was a bit stiff in animations. But this does not mean that the tablet is slow in daily use. Apps launched quickly enough and browsing was the smoothest experience in both Google Chrome and Samsung Internet.
Frame rates were low, so I think it’s more about how smooth a game is for the Snapdragon 450 and the Adreno 506 GPU inside. Even something as simple as changing walls took longer than it should have, and it also seemed to have poorer connectivity to Wi-Fi networks in problem areas of my house. Other devices have had problems with these spots, but the Tab A was more prone to disconnecting from the same Wi-Fi network where the signal wasn’t strong enough.
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Facial recognition is also too slow to be useful unless lighting conditions are favorable. Part of the reason for this is probably the mediocre front-facing camera (more on that in the camera section below), but it still means you don’t really have a good replacement for a fingerprint sensor. here. Overall, I feel that the performance of the device is good enough for most tasks, but it may not be so after a few months.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.5, but lacks many of the features you’ll find on the Galaxy Tab S4 or a mid-range or flagship Galaxy phone (like theme support or Dual Messenger ). The new feature here is the Daily Board, which shows you the time, your gallery photos, weather information and calendar events when the tablet is loaded. But it doesn’t work with regular charging, only with the charging dock that Samsung sells as a separate accessory. Samsung is basically asking you to spend extra money to use the Tab A 10.5 as an always-on display of daily information, thus rendering it completely useless.
It has basic features like blue light filter, Secure Folder, and Multi Window compatibility. The tablet can be slow when you’re choosing which apps to use in a Multi-Window configuration, but once the apps are up and running, performance isn’t an issue. And, like other tablets in the Tab A series, the Tab A 10.5 comes with Kids Mode. You can set up your child’s profile by entering their name, date of birth, and gender, then add apps and games, emergency contacts, and photos and videos they can access. Kids Mode offers various recommendations for children’s games on the main screen, and you can also set a daily usage limit.
The software’s navigation buttons are customizable – you can change the background color of the navigation bar and reposition the recent apps and back buttons. But, as we said in our Galaxy Tab S4 review, it would be great to be able to access the navigation buttons by swiping from any part of the screen. Fortunately, the notification shade expands to the left, right or center of the screen depending on where you scroll down.
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Thanks to the internal battery of 7,300 mAh, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is very good in battery life. Samsung claims 14.5 hours of video playback, and I think that’s pretty accurate. I was able to watch Netflix for about four hours on a Wi-Fi connection at full brightness, and I lost about 30 percent of the battery. So that’s at least 12 hours of video playback and you’ll still have a 10 percent battery. Impressive, although not entirely surprising given the combination of modest features and large battery size. I didn’t even have a SIM card inside, but unless you use it frequently on mobile data, battery performance should be similar. And thanks to fast charging, the Tab A 10.5 can recharge to 100 percent in three hours.
The Tab A’s cameras are, in short, pretty average. The front camera is particularly bad and takes selfies with the quality you’d expect from a $100 Android phone. Video calls don’t look good if the other party is also using a large screen, but if you’re on a video call with someone using a phone, it’s not so bad. In fact, even photos from the rear camera look poor considering how large the Tab A 10.5’s display is. Overall, this tablet is good for video calls with your friends and family, but that’s about it. At least the camera interface is the same as the Galaxy S9’s, although that’s not great unless you’re one of the few people who take regular photos on a tablet.
If the definition of an average device is that it neither excels nor fails in any particular aspect, then the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is it.
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