Xiaomi Pad 5 Review: Bang For Your Buck

The Xiaomi Pad 5 packs a whole lot into a tablet and makes an appealing case for serving you in your productivity and entertainment needs. And you know what, serve they did.

First, let’s dive into the design, it comes with a flat edge aluminium chassis with a matte plastic back. But despite that, it can still get a little smudgy. You get two colour options here, which are pretty standard - Cosmic Grey and Pearl White. At 511 grams, it’s also slightly heavier compared to other popular tablets like the iPad 2021 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. It can be a bit heavy to hold onto for too long, so it just depends on how you usually use it. Despite the weight, its slim and pleasing build at 6.9mm thin makes it comfortable to hold on to and compact enough to slip easily into most bags.

Unlike the Pad 5 Pro which comes with Bluetooth 5.2, the Pad 5 only comes with Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi only and no cellular connectivity. You’ll have to use your phone's hotspot or connect to Wi-Fi in the interest of keeping costs down, otherwise, you might wanna opt for the Pad 5 Pro. The Pad 5 has its shining moments, aiming to deliver a higher-end experience when it comes to your entertainment. The main display has now expanded to an 11-inch Wide Quad HD+ LCD display with Dolby Vision support, a wide colour gamut and boasts a 120Hz refresh rate. It's bright, even in sunlight with vivid colours. Just keep in mind this is a static rate. The software doesn't help you manage the refresh rate so you might wanna manually switch down in the interest of stretching your battery life during your productivity hours. The bezels are slim, giving you more screen real estate. But while this is usually a good thing, I sometimes find it a little too slim when trying to grip it with one hand. There isn’t a fingerprint reader, but you can set up Face Unlock, which is practically instant. It’s common knowledge that Face Unlock is less secure than a fingerprint reader, and they do warn you of the fact beforehand - so if this is a concern, we’d suggest manually unlocking as always.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 and Adreno 640 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, operating on MIUI 12.5 for Pad. It's a little underpowered, but not to a noticeable extent in your day to day use, scoring a single-core score of 732 and a multi-core score of 2402 on our Geekbench tests. Similarly, it scored 3380 on our 3D Mark test; not the fastest, but just a little faster than its peer, the MatePad Pro 10.8 running on the Kirin 990 4G. There’s bound to be a little give with its affordable price starting from RM1,399, but no dealbreakers here. The option for bigger storage on a tablet is definitely welcome, especially if you download videos or songs for offline consumption. We weren’t kidding when we say Xiaomi aims to impress when you unwind for the day. The Pad 5 features quad speakers with a large speaker size of 16 x 20 mm and supports Dolby Atmos. It gets loud. The sound is rich and immersive and gives you a pretty enjoyable experience watching movies. Let’s move on to cameras. At first glance, you might think you have a dual-camera setup at the back, but no, that bump is a decoy. But that’s okay. After all, cameras aren’t really a huge consideration for a tablet, because really how awkward is it to take pictures with a tablet?

So we have a single 13MP camera at the back and an 8MP camera on the front. The camera bump protrudes quite a bit, and this can be quite noticeable when placed on a flat surface, so we wish it was more subtle. This front camera serves well enough for what would probably be your main use - video calls - at 1080p. For video recording, it’s nice that the back camera can record up to 4K at 30fps. Footage has good detail for casual moments but it’s unlikely you’d be using it often anyways.

Xiaomi goes big with the battery at 8,720 mAh, big enough to last you a day of casual use. It does support 33W fast charging, but the charger that comes in the box tops out at 22.5W, so you might need to buy another one if you want that full 33W. We have the Xiaomi Smart Pen here, but you’ll have to purchase it separately - it doesn’t come with, so just keep that extra cost in mind. But unless you use it for drawing, getting the Smart Pen may not be absolutely necessary. To get the full extent of a tablet as a productivity tool, however, you may want to consider getting the external keyboard. As much as most of us can get used to typing on a screen somewhat, arguably it would be more conducive for long-form writing and emails, especially if you're trying to stay mobile without lugging around another laptop.


At RM1,399 or S$449, packing premium features like the 120Hz display and incredible speakers, you can’t really go wrong with this versatile model if you’re in the market for a tablet.

If you’re more used to Androids or even if you're an Apple fan, then this is pretty much one of the better bets you can make in terms of tablets right now, because honestly there aren't many popular options and it's been a long while since Xiaomi's last tablet. Overall, we quite enjoy Xiaomi tablets and they are affordable so it's worth a look.

 

Content by Fitri Aiyub

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