Launched alongside the high-end Galaxy Tab S4, the new Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018 edition comes with a lower price tag while retaining a large display and contemporary design. Also designated as the SM-T595, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is primarily made up of a matte black fingerprint-resistant plastic that has a grippy texture to it. The entirety of the backplate is made up of the aforementioned plastic save for a monogrammed Samsung logo in silver and a single 8-MP selfie camera with a lone LED flash.
The left of the tablet, which would be the bottom if you use it landscape style, comes with a set of POGO connectors for use with other compatible Samsung accessories.
The top and bottom come with speaker grilles for the quad-speaker array that has been tuned by AKG though the base also has a USB Type-C connector to charge the tablet while the top also includes a 3.5mm audio jack. The right side of the tablet comes with a volume rocker and power button. Based on the orientation of its buttonry and interface, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is primarily intended for use in landscape mode.
Up front, the tablet lacks a home button of any sort and primarily consists of a 10.5-inch , 1,920 x 1200 pixel resolution display with a 16:10 aspect ratio that has a lone 5-MP selfie camera perched in the corner. The bezels are relatively thin save for the top and bottom portions. While the backplate is fingerprint resistant, the glass on the display itself is a fingerprint magnet that needs frequent wipedowns.
The more astute among you will wonder what security measures the tablet would have. Unfortunately, it lacks a fingerprint reader as well as other niceties we’ve come to appreciate like facial recognition or an iris scanner though you can still make do with the usual PIN numbers and pattern unlock.
In general, the design is evenly balanced and fairly light as tablets go on account of the mostly polycarbonate construction and can be held one-handed for short periods of time. A protective casing is still advised as a preemptive measure to prevent it from getting nicks and scratches.
Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018 tablet performance
The hardware running the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 makes for a rather quaint feature set. Unlike the more powerful Galaxy Tab S4, the Tab A 10.5 pares the processor down to a midrange Snapdragon 450 1.8GHz octacore processor running Android 8.1 with 3GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. On the bright side, the tablet has the ability to make phone calls should you ever have the need to do so.
On closer inspection, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 runs on Samsung’s latest user interface, dubbed as Samsung Experience version 9.5 that also enjoys refinements seen on the higher end Galaxy Tab S4.
Unfortunately, Samsung DeX mode is not available on the Tab A 10.5 2018 though it still has the Daily Board notification screen that lets you get an animated screensaver when docked to their POGO Charging Dock as well as a smattering of weather reports and other personal notifications. You also have the more practical ability to simultaneously fire up and run two apps side by side in a Multiwindow mode with the ability to adjust the size of each window as needed. You also have a Kids mode that restricts available apps to a more child-friendly selection.
One particular app that has the potential to be useful is Samsung Notes which lets you type down text and, more importantly, lets you jot down handwritten notes, sketches and whatnot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ship with a stylus unlike the Tab S4 so you’ll have to make do with your digits to sketch anything.
As expected of a tablet, the front and rear cameras of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) are serviceable with fair detail if used under bright daylight conditions though they falter under low light with grainy images that lack detail. They’re fine for the odd snap or two to remember where you parked your car but the unwieldy nature of a tablet for taking photos and its average cameras means you’re less likely to use it except under dire circumstances.
When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the Tab A 10.5 offers modest results. In Geekbench, it got a single-core score of 691 and a multi-core score of 3,211. In Antutu 3D, it got a score of 69,561. Under PCMark’s Work 2.0 test, it got a score of 4,166. In 3DMark, it got a rather low score of 440 in Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 and 361 in Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan. This set of scores is in line with its modest hardware which is usually seen in service on more affordable phones.
Under practical field conditions, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) proved to have a modest performance envelope in keeping with its Snapdragon 450 processor. Browser tabs, games and the like opened after a slight delay. Gaming, in particular more popular stuff like Player Unknown Battleground was handled in a lackluster fashion as the tablet was only able to handle the game at low resolution. On the bright side, the display was very serviceable with fair colour rendition and detail for web browsing though the lower pixels per inch mean that it isn’t as sharp or as crisp as what the Galaxy Tab S4 has to offer though to be fair, it also costs half of what the Tab S4 does.
Where the tablet truly excels is in its role as a portable movie watching device where its quad speakers were able to work their magic along with the large display. You’ll still need to shell out for a casing to suitably prop it up though as holding it throughout the entirety of a feature-length movie may result in cramped hands. Of note are its quad speakers which were able to deliver some seriously good audio quality with a fair amount of detail and enough volume to fill a good sized living room, making them handy as a means to run through your Spotify playlist.
Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018 Battery Life, Price and Conclusion
To keep the lights on the tablet has a huge 7,300mAh battery that can easily offer nigh on to two days of casual use with light web browsing, social media and several hours of video with light gaming thrown in for good measure. Charging it from dead zero takes about three hours which is quite reasonable seeing the size of the battery.
As it stands, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018 proves to be a good looking tablet that is optimised primarily for media consumption on the go with a large display, a set of quad speakers and exceptional battery life though it comes at a significant premium. If you pop in a SIM card with a fairly extensive data quota, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 makes for a very handy portable video player that can let you catch up on your Netflix backlog on the go.Those looking for something more capable for work and other tasks may be best served with the better specced Galaxy Tab S4.
What we Liked Can make phone calls, large and vibrant display, good battery life, excellent quad speakers
What we Didn’t Average cameras, not cheap, display is a fingerprint magnet
We say The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018 proves to be a good looking tablet that is optimised primarily for media consumption on the go with a large display, a set of quad speakers and exceptional battery life though it comes at a significant premium.
Display 10.5-inch TFT LCD, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels
Processor Snapdragon 450 1.8GHz
OS Android 8.1 Oreo
Memory 3GB RAM/32GB + microSD card
Camera 8-MP w/ F/1.9 (rear) / 5-MP (front)
Size/Weight 260 x 161.1 x 8 mm /529g
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia