Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab A (2019, 10.1) great tablets for different markets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab A (2019, 10.1) great tablets for different markets


Samsung Galaxy Tab s5e (L) and Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2019, 10.1). Photo by Samsung Canada

Samsung certainly had a bit of a misstep back in April when it

shuttered the launch of the Galaxy Fold

— after samples of the revolutionary foldable phone kept breaking in the hands of reviewers.

But when it comes to the more established tablet market, Samsung continues to make strides. And the technology giant has two new tablets available in Canada:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

for the high-end market and the 2019 edition of the more cost-friendly

Galaxy Tab A


A premium device, Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is a great all-around tablet. The 10.5-inch device is 245 mm tall, 160 mm wide and only 5.5 mm thick, making it the thinnest tablet the company makes. It’s actually thinner and lighter (400 g) than the 10.5-inch iPad Air, which is 6.1 mm thick and 464 g.

The 2,560×1,600 (WQXGA) Super AMOLED display provides a sharp, vibrant image. The S5e comes with four speakers and the Dolby Atmos 3D sound technology. When you’re watching a movie or playing a game with the tablet in landscape orientation, you get an almost-true surround sound effect as you have speakers on both the left and right. It’s rich, full audio.

As is becoming more common with tablets and smartphones, there is no headphone jack so you either need an adapter to plug regular earphones into the USB-C power port or listen via Bluetooth.

It’s a fast, responsive device. Running on Android 9 (Pie), the tablet uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Mobile Platform (with a 2.0 GHz dual-core processor and a 1.7 GHz hexa-core one). It comes with either 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage or 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. (It also has a MicroSD slot that can take a card of up to 512 GB.)

Like the Galaxy Note 9 and S10 lines, the S5e also includes Samung DeX, the company’s desktop environment, which appears similar to Windows. So with the purchase of a keyboard cover ($199.99), you can use it like a laptop.

You can also sync the S5e with your Galaxy phone, assuming you have one. This allows you to answer calls and send texts with the tablet.

Unfortunately, as I neither had the keyboard cover nor a Galaxy phone, I was not able to test either of these features out.

Like with many tablets, the cameras aren’t really anything special. There’s a 13.0 MP main camera with no flash and 8.0 MP front-facing one. They both take decent pictures and the rear camera is capable of shooting in 4K but the quality is inferior compared to most high-end smartphones. The mic is pretty good, though. It records reasonably clean audio.

Some reviewers have complained that the S5e loses its Wi-Fi signal, depending on how you hold it. I tried to replicate the issue.

According to Samsung fan site SamMobile

, if you’re holding the tablet in landscape orientation with the front-facing camera on the left, your hand might naturally cover the area where the Wi-Fi receiver is believed to be, disrupting the signal. So your Internet connection might slow down or stop altogether. However, as much as I tried to replicate this, I was not able to lose the signal. I can’t say no one will ever encounter this issue but there’s a good chance you won’t. And even if you do, there’s a simple solution: Just flip the device 180 degrees so the camera is on the other side.

Overall, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a good device and the price isn’t outrageous. You can pick it up the 64 GB model for $549.99 and the 128 GB model for $649.99 from Samsung and other retailers.


Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2019, 10.1).

But if you’re looking to be more economical, you may want to check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. The 10.1-inch 2019 edition, which I tested, starts at under $300. (An

8.0-inch model

is also available.)

The Tab A is a good quality mid-range tablet. While the screen is slightly smaller than the Galaxy Tab S5e, the Tab A is actually a slightly larger device (245.2 mm x 149.4 mm x 7.5 mm). At 469 g, it’s also a little heavier but its aluminum chassis makes it a very sturdy device. So it’s a better tablet to share with, say, your kids if you have any.

Unlike the S5e, the Tab A only has two speakers, located on the bottom of the device. The screen is LCD, not AMOLED, and has a lower resolution (1,920×1,200). So the audio isn’t as rich and the visuals aren’t as vibrant but video playback is still decent. And the Tab A does have a headphone jack, which is still appealing to many.

Most of the other specs are scaled back too, including the octa-core processor (1.8GHz), RAM/storage (2 GB/32 GB or 3 GB/128 GB) and cameras (8.0 MP rear/5.0 MP front). It also doesn’t have the DeX feature or the ability to answer phone calls from your Galaxy phone.

But I didn’t experience hiccups with the device. Apps and games ran relatively smoothly and the screen is responsive.

Overall, the Galaxy Tab A is good value for the money. The 32 GB model with 2 GB of RAM sells in Canada for $299.99 and the 128 GB model with 3 GB RAM is available for $449.99



Android 9 (Pie) with One UI

Dimensions and weight

245 mm x 160 mm x 5.5 mm; 400 g


10.5-inch 2,560×1,600 (WQXGA) Super AMOLED touchscreen


Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Mobile Platform (dual 2.0 GHz + hexa 1.7 GHz)

Storage and memory

64 GB ROM/4 GB RAM or 128 GB ROM/6 GB RAM

MicroSD slot


Quad speakers

Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound


Rear: 13.0 MP; f/2.0 aperture

Front: 8.0 MP, f/2.0 aperture


7,040 mAh

Ports and sensors


Fingerprint sensor

Gyro sensor

Geomagnetic sensor

Hall sensor

RGB light sensor

USB 3.1 Gen 1


64 GB model: $549.99

128 GB model: $649.99


Android 9 (Pie) with One UI

Dimensions and weight

245.2 mm x 149.4 mm x 7.5 mm; 469 g


10.1-inch 1,920×1,200 (WUXGA) TFT LCD


Samsung Exynos 7904 (dual 1.8 GHz + hexa 1.6 GHz)

Storage and memory

32 GB/2 GB RAM or 128 GB ROM/3 GB RAM*

MicroSD card slot


Dual speakers

Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound


Rear: 8.0 MP; f/2.0 aperture

Front: 5.0 MP, f/2.2 aperture


6,150 mAh

Ports and sensors


3.5mm Stereo headphone jack

USB 2.0


32 GB model: $299.99

128 GB model: $449.99