Tablets are experiencing a small renaissance. One could wonder why Xiaomi, which has so many smartphone models in its offer and regularly releases new ones, has not sold a tablet so far. The situation has just changed, because the Xiaomi Pad 5 hit the market. The tablet is distinguished by a screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and quite a strong specification. Currently, the market is dominated by two extremes – tablets super cheap and very basic, and super expensive, with prices in the range of 3-5 thousand. A good example is the recently reviewed Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 + tablet, which is great, but too expensive for many. It seems that Xiaomi has offered a product with good specifications and price. In this segment, apart from the cheapest iPad, there is no sensible competition. However, it is worth looking at the details, because the manufacturer has made some unexpected decisions regarding the equipment.
The main advantages and disadvantages of Xiaomi Pad 5
Advantages of Xiaomi Pad 5 :
- High-quality workmanship, elegant appearance
- Fantastic Dolby Atmos speakers – four
- 11-inch screen with 120 Hz refresh rate
- A powerful Snapdragon 860 processor that does not heat up and does not slow down under load
- 6 GB RAM
- WiFi ac i Bluetooth 5.0
- Android 11 with a refined MIUI overlay with useful functions
- Surprisingly good rear and front camera
- 4K video with digital stabilization
- Super long battery life even with a 120 Hz refresh rate
- An unrivaled proposition in its price range
- A very good starting promotion
Cons of Xiaomi Pad 5 :
- No headphone jack
- No fingerprint reader
- No support for microSD cards
- Brak GPS
- No version with LTE (there is another Pro version)
- Relatively slow loading
Visually, Xiaomi Pad 5 looks very good. The tablet has benefited greatly from using a metal frame with a completely flat surface. The frame is also visible from the rear as it extends to the surface of the rear casing. This adds nobility and solidity to the structure. In this case, the material that constitutes the back of the device is only a filling that reaches the metal edges. The white version of the tablet shimmers slightly pearly and is slightly matte, which allows you to hide traces of touch. The camera island protrudes slightly and does not cause the tablet to wobble on flat surfaces.
On the left long edge, we find contacts for connecting an optional keyboard; on the right long edge is a magnetic pen holder, which can be purchased separately. The switch is located on the top edge. Unfortunately, the tablet is not equipped with a fingerprint reader, which, in my opinion, would easily find a place on the edge. Xiaomi Pad 5 can only be secured with face unlock or a standard PIN. There is also no headphone jack, which, in the case of a tablet, may be more crucial for some than a phone.
However, Xiaomi Pad 5 has 4 great speakers with the Dolby Atmos logo, which works well when watching movies and listening to broadcasts. Considering the device’s dimensions, the sound is spacious, balanced, and quite deep. Indeed, the quadruple configuration of speakers in tablets is not new, but so far, they could be found in devices twice as expensive as Xiaomi Pad 5. The main competitor, the basic iPad, instead of 4 speakers, has only two, and, worse, both are on the same bottom edge. In terms of space and sound immersion, Xiaomi is unrivaled in its price range.
The dimensions of the Xiaomi Pad 5 are 254.7 x 166.3 x 6.9 mm, with a weight of 511 grams. The tablet is 24 grams heavier than the basic iPad but has a larger screen diagonal.
The screen is another advantage of Xiaomi Pad 5. It has a diagonal of 11 inches and a high resolution of QHD+ 2560 x 1600 pixels, which also translates into a more practical 16:10 aspect ratio. The pixel density is 274 PPI. The panel refresh rate is 120 Hz, becoming increasingly popular today. The display supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The screen is made using IPS technology.
The only thing that could be improved in this display is the use of AMOLED technology, but with larger diagonals, it is still reserved for much more expensive devices. In my opinion, the Xiaomi Pad 5 display meets all expectations. It is pleasing to the eyes while watching movies. It offers high maximum brightness and very good viewing angles – when looking from the side, the brightness does not deteriorate, which is a common problem with IPS screens. The difference from AMOLED would only be visible when directly comparing them.
In the settings, you will find dark mode, reading mode, and the ability to select a refresh rate between 60 and 120 Hz. You can also choose a color scheme from vivid, saturated, and standard colors. There is adaptive color, adapting to ambient lighting, and the ability to correct white balance manually.
Compared to most tablets on the market at a similar price, Xiaomi Pad 5 offers narrower frames that are also fully symmetrical.
Specification and operating system
For reasons I don’t understand, most tablets (except the most expensive ones) have poor specifications, much weaker than smartphones that are half the price. Xiaomi Pad 5 breaks this deadlock and offers a Snapdragon 860 1 x 2.96 GHz + 3 x 2.42 GHz + 4 x 1.78 processor for half the price of powerful tablets. The processor supports 6 GB RAM and 128 GB for the system and user files. The memory is in the latest UFS 3.1 technology. Unfortunately, there is no support for memory cards, so we are stuck with the amount of memory we buy.
- Antutu 9 – 582007
- Geekbench 5 – 779/2783
- Androbench sequential read/write – 1450/528 MB/s
As you can see, the benchmark results are very good. There are indeed two higher models above the Snapdragon 860 – 870 and 888, but the most powerful one heats a lot and drains the battery faster, so if we omit it, there is only one more powerful option left. For most users, this power is enough to play and work. What is very important, despite running the benchmarks multiple times, I did not notice any throttling. So, there is no need to worry that after some gameplay, the tablet will unexpectedly start to slow down.
The communication package consists only of WiFi AC and Bluetooth 5.0. Xiaomi Pad 5 does not come in a version with LTE, nor does it have NFC. Much more surprisingly, there is no GPS either. So if someone plans to use Xiaomi Pad 5 as a car navigation, in this case, they will not have such an option.
The sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, and digital compass.
Xiaomi Pad 5 runs Android 11 with security as of July 1, 2021, with MIUI 12.5.2 overlay. This is the first tablet with the MIUI overlay to hit the market, and you can see some modifications compared to MIUI on phones.
The settings have an additional section regarding the optional keyboard and stylus. I didn’t have the opportunity to test these accessories; they must be purchased separately, independently of the tablet.
The MIUI overlay is mature and is both readable and visually attractive. During the tablet tests, everything worked smoothly, stably, and completely.
While most tablets offer cameras much weaker than smartphones in the same price range, I must admit that Xiaomi Pad 5 offers a basic set of rear and front cameras with surprisingly good quality. The only compromises here concern certain simplifications – fewer modes and no additions such as a wide-angle or macro camera.
- 13 MP, f/2.0 – rear camera with LED flash
- 8 MP, f/2.0 – front camera
Interestingly, the main camera has an LED flash, rarely found in tablets. So you can take photos with lighting or turn on the flashlight on the shortcut bar and reflect on it.
The photos have saturated and clean colors, good tonal range, and look attractive. They are of better quality than many smartphones at this cost. The main camera can also record both 1080p and 4K 2160p video, both digitally stabilized, although stabilization is a bit more effective at lower resolutions.
The camera application includes night mode, short videos, and documents. The application supports HDR mode, filters, and AI.
The front camera we use for video conferencing is equally important in a tablet. The Xiaomi Pad 5 also has good quality, far better than webcams purchased for desktop computers. The only thing I would like to change is the layout – instead of the phone at the top in portrait mode, it would be more convenient if it were in the middle of the longer side, just like in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ – it’s much more convenient. The symmetrical frames still offer the same amount of space on each side of the tablet. When we connect a keyboard to the tablet, the tablet will always stand on the desk horizontally. Then it would be more convenient if the camera was in the middle, not on the side.
Xiaomi Pad 5 has a battery with a capacity of 8720 mAh. The set includes a 22.5W charger.
When testing YouTube video playback with the brightness set to half and the refresh rate set to 120 Hz, the tablet discharged to 6% after 18 and a half hours. This is a fantastic result. The screen is most often responsible for the battery discharge rate, so with a diagonal of 11 inches, achieving a result, as in a few smartphones, is quite an achievement.
Charging, on the other hand, is of average speed, and when charging for half an hour, we will not even reach the full 30% of the battery, and it takes two hours to charge fully. The tablet supports charging up to 33W, so if we have a faster, compatible charger at home, we can fully charge it in a little over an hour and a half, and in 30 minutes, we will reach a maximum of less than 40% of the battery. However, such results are not achievable “straight out of the box.”
Xiaomi Pad 5 is currently a unique proposition on the market. The specification and quality are much closer to top devices, thanks to a great screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, almost the most powerful processor, UFS 3.1 memory, and four speakers with the Dolby Atmos logo. This is half of what the cheapest top models cost. In other words, Xiaomi Pad 5 meets most needs and is attractively priced simultaneously. There is no direct competition among Android tablets yet. One direct competition is the basic Apple iPad 2021, which costs the same. The iPad is still a better choice for users of the Apple ecosystem, but if we have mainly used Android, the Xiaomi Pad 5 will be better for us.
However, it is worth remembering that Xiaomi Pad 5 unfortunately does not have GPS, a headphone jack and does not allow you to expand the memory using microSD cards. If we use the tablet mainly to browse the Internet, play games and watch movies, it is not important. Still, if we plan to use the tablet for specific applications, such as navigation or storing larger amounts of data, it may not be effective in these specific cases.
We love: 11-inch screen with 120 Hz refresh rate
We don’t like: no GPS
Who is Xiaomi Pad 5 for :
- For people who like to watch movies on a tablet
- For mobile gamers looking for a larger screen
- For those looking for a great mid-range tablet at a reasonable price
Who is Xiaomi Pad 5 not for :
- Not for people who need GPS or memory card support
- Not for people who want to use a fingerprint scanner