The market for tablets has been continually shrinking, but Samsung is still registering growth in the segment and sporadically keeps addressing the need for portable extra-large displays. (Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) review हिंदी में पढ़े)

The South Korean giant recently launched a new A-series tablet, the Galaxy Tab A, which is a mid-range option primarily focused on delivering a captivating multimedia experience. It’s more of a fun tablet and not the kind that you’d attach a keyboard to or use as a laptop alternative.

While tablet options are definitely scarce, will it be worth it to invest your money on the new Galaxy Tab? Let’s answer that and more in our detailed Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) review!

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) Specifications

Model Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)
Display 10.5-inch Full HD
Processor 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450
RAM 3GB
Internal Storage 32GB, Expandable up to 512GB (dedicated slot)
Software Android 8.1 Oreo-based Experience 9.5 UI, Bixby Voice, Bixby vision
Primary Camera 8MP
Selfie Camera 5MP
Battery 7300mAh, adaptive fast charging
Dimensions 260 x 161.1 x 8 mm; weight- 526 grams
India Price Rs 29,990

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 Review: Design and Build

The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is expectedly huge but it’s also slim enough (just 8mm thick) for comfortable handling. The modest weight of 576 grams feels well balanced, and the matte finish polycarbonate back ensures a firm grip.

We wouldn’t want our tablets to be bezel-less as of today, and reasonably narrow trimming around the Tab A screen seems perfect. Samsung says that it has removed the home button and branding from the fascia in order to provide a more immersive, distraction-free experience. That makes sense (more so if you plan on docking it in a smart home).

With the home button gone, there is no room for the fingerprint sensor. Taking the large size into account, placing it on the rear isn’t an option. Samsung thus resorts to Face Unlock for convenient unlocking.

However, the Face Unlock isn’t very fast and more often than not we found ourself using Pattern/Pin to unlock the Tab A. The power button and volume rocker are near the top-right corner which makes them a tad more accessible while you are using the Tab in landscape mode. The option to double tap and wake the display is also turned on by default.

Navigation buttons are on-screen. Navigation gestures would have made more sense considering the large canvas since navigation buttons scattered along edge simply aren’t as accessible. There are good chances Samsung will add navigation gestures in the next UI upgrade (Experience UI 10.0).

Along the periphery, you will also find an SD card slot and a SIM slot for 4G connectivity. For obvious reasons, the tablet isn’t meant for calling and there is no earpiece. There are four speakers – two each on top and bottom – and together they can get very loud (more on that later). Thankfully the charging port is Type-C.

The right edge has pogo pins and holes where a Pogo charging dock or stand would clip. Once docked on the stand the Tab A can be used as a digital picture frame or as a smart screen for connected homes.

Unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t bundle one in the box. At the time of writing, we can’t see any accessory for Galaxy Tab A 10.5 being sold on Samsung store, Flipkart or at any third party retailer.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 Review: Display

The display is the one part that obviously matters the most on a tablet. Samsung uses a 16:10 ratio panel which is fine because most existing video content fits well on the tablet in the full-screen mode (which is to say, Broad black strips are rare). The full HD+ display resolution is sharp enough on an IPS LCD panel. Of course, QHD would have been ideal considering the large size, but the Full HD+ screen didn’t leave us wanting for more.

Colors are vivid and punchy, and contrast is reasonably high. White point feels closer to neutral too. There is an option for Auto brightness and it works well.

We are not sure what sort of display protection is present on the screen, but the display has a decent oelophobic coating and can resist smudges fairly well. Since most of us would be using the tablet without a screen protector, it’s a good thing Samsung isn’t skimping on the basics.

The display, however, doesn’t have any option to switch between color profiles (Samsung reserves that only for its AMOLED screens). If you plan on using the large screen for reading purposes, you can (and should) make use of the Bluelight filter.

At the end of the day, we did quite relish running social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and other content streaming apps like YouTube on the Galaxy Tab A 10.5. Big pictures look better and you don’t have to scroll as much.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 Review: Performance and Software

The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) employs Snapdragon 450 octa-core paired with 3GB RAM. While the chipset is decidedly entry-grade and might feel outrageous on a smartphone that costs as much, it shouldn’t be a problem on the tablet.

This isn’t a productivity-oriented or gaming machine (you can still run casual games) and the mobile platform is certainly powerful enough to drive decent multimedia experience and, in more than a week of extensive testing, we didn’t find ourselves wanting for more.

The 32GB storage, however, is a compromise. Granted there is dedicated card slot, but 32GB is paltry by 2018 standards and could have an impact on the overall performance in the long run.

The software running on the tab is Experience UI 9.5 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It’s an agreeable skin and Samsung has made a few optimizations keeping the large screen display in mind. Bixby Voice and Bixby Vision have been integrated too in order to help the tab fit in better in smart home environment.

As always on Samsung devices, extensive multi-tasking options are present to make full use of the extra large screen. You can also add app pair shortcuts on home screen for a pair of apps that you frequently run in split-screen mode.

Another interesting software addition is the reinvented Kids mode. The Tab A comes with exclusive content and apps for toddlers and has elaborate parental control options. Tab A owners get to download 8 paid apps from Lego and Warner Bros, Filimundus, and Toca Boca for free.

The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 has the required DRM L1 Widevine certificate for HD streaming but it still can’t stream HD content on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Since the entire experience here is tailored around multimedia, this is a major peeve point. Also, since the required certification is in place, this could be fixed with a software update.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 Review: Camera, Battery, and Audio

For a phone, we’d have covered camera under a separate sub-head, but on a tablet this big, the camera is only as important as calling. Or maybe a little more than that.

Most probably you’ll only be using the front 5MP and rear 8MP shooter for video calling and to that effect, the cameras are good enough. Samsung is definitely not overstretching itself as far as camera performance goes.

The 7300mAh battery can last really long, which serves the primary use case brilliantly. You won’t be using the tab throughout your day and you won’t have to charge it very often. The tablet takes around three and a half hour to charge completely.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review – Noteworthy Workhorse

And there are 4 speakers with Dolby Atmos support on the Tab A. The cumulative audio output quality is great and gets delectably loud. The software adds an equalizer and you can also choose between different Dolby Atmos profiles (Movies, Music, etc.). The tablet retains the audio jack as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) Review: Should you buy it?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is a great tablet for multimedia consumption. The display is sharp and well calibrated, the audio from quad-speakers is loud and immersive, and the generous 7300mAh battery lasts really long. We really relished the experience of running social media apps and watching multimedia content on the big screen. In fact, before we started using it, we hadn’t anticipated that we’d take to the form factor so instinctively and ardently (It’s been a while since tablet used to be a part of our daily gear).

At the same time, we’d have expected HD streaming support, more storage and some sort of case cover/ stand bundled at this price point. It’s not strictly a ‘Value for money’ option but then again there isn’t an Android alternative that comes to mind.

So, if you don’t mind spending some for a reasonable tablet for multimedia consumption or for the convenience of a big screen in general, the Tab A 10.5 (2018) is an option you may consider.

Pros

  • Display quality
  • Rich quad-speaker audio
  • Long lasting battery
  • Elegant design, comfortable handling
  • 4G and Dedicated card slot

Cons

  • Only 32GB storage
  • No HD streaming on Netflix and Prime

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