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Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5G Review – NewForTech

Exploring the Features, Performance, and Value of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5G

Into Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g review. This device is an intriguing blend of substantial computational capacity, a petite power source, and a camera of inferior resolution. Given the anticipated add-ons, it could prove to be a practical gadget, yet the cost demanded is excessively steep for the memory and storage provisioned by Samsung.

Advantages

  • Weighs less than numerous robust mobiles
  • Battery can be swapped
  • Samsung Exynos 1380 SoC
  • 5G

Disadvantages

  • Cost is exorbitant for limited RAM and storage
  • Camera performance is disappointing
  • Power source is comparatively small

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Brief Overview

Samsung introduced its Galaxy Tab S5e predecessor in 2019, hence the debut of the Galaxy Tab Active5 5G has been eagerly awaited. As indicated by the ‘Active’ label, this is a smaller Galaxy Tab design modification to deliver a compact and potent tablet in a 9-inch format.

The array of features this gadget possesses is remarkable, and it’s marketed as Samsung’s most resilient tablet to date. Constructed around the Samsung Exynos 1380 SoC, it’s a formidable device that makes many of the MediaTek-powered rugged tablets we’ve encountered in the previous year appear notably inactive in contrast.

Equipped with Wi-Fi 6e and 5G communications, the Active5 can seamlessly stream video and data. It also boasts a 13MP rear camera for capturing still images and videos.

Nonetheless, the unique feature that sets Active5 apart from most alternatives is its user-replaceable battery. This allows the restricted capacity of the internal battery to be enhanced, and this design will even operate without a battery if powered directly by a vehicle or another power source.

This allows the Active5 to present a relatively lightweight design that can operate over consecutive working days with enough additional batteries or an appropriate power source.

The limitations of this design are that the 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage appear modest for a tablet that is priced over $500, although you can extend that storage using a MicroSD card up to 1TB. There isn’t a model with more memory or space, and at the moment, Samsung hasn’t launched any accessories or spare batteries.

For the Active5 to be genuinely practical, it necessitates these plus an external charger and a power cradle when Samsung decides to make these accessible.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Cost and Availability

  • What’s the price? Starting from £510/$550
  • When is it available? Presently
  • Where can it be purchased? Via online retailers

What sets this Samsung tablet apart is that, for some reason, it’s not currently available through the direct Samsung portal.

It’s solely available through third-party sellers, who also happen to be the only accessories providers.

As per Samsung, this tablet is available in Green, but the shade is so faint that we perceived it as black on the bottom, similar to other areas.

In Europe, only a single variant of the Active5 is accessible, and that’s the model capable of 5G, which retails for £509 directly from Samsung in the UK and for £515 from Amazon.co.uk.

Customers in America have the choice of a WiFi-only model and the 5G variant, presumably because most of the country doesn’t have 5G connectivity.

The US pricing is $547.29 for the Wi-Fi model directly from Amazon.com, and $639.77 for the 5GB variant.

For comparison, Ulefone offers the Armor Pad 8 for approximately $180, Oukitel the RT6 for $300, and Doogee the R10 for $290. Hence, if a rugged tablet is what you’re after, there are considerably more affordable options.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Characteristics

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 1380
  • Graphics: Mali-G68 MP5
  • Memory: 6GB LPDDR4X
  • Capacity: 128GB UFS 3.1
  • Display(s): 8.0-inch IPS 120Hz 450nits
  • Pixels: 1920 x 1200
  • SIM: Nano SIM and MicroSD
  • Mass: 433g
  • Measurements: 213.8 x 126.8 x 10.1 mm (8.42 x 4.99 x 0.40 in)
  • Durability: IP68/IP69K, MIL-STD-810H compliant
  • Back cameras: 13MP Main
  • Selfie camera: 5MP
  • Connectivity: 5G/4G, WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Software: Android 14, One UI 6
  • Power Source: Li-Po 5050 mAh (Max charge 33W)
  • Shades: Green

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Structure

  • Sophisticated
  • Detachable battery
  • Pogo connectors.

The design of the Active5 is a testament to Samsung’s extensive experience in tablet manufacturing.

If this were a typical Android tablet, we would highlight its standard power button and volume control setup, along with a USB-C charging port that meets industry standards. The only deviation from the norm is the inclusion of a SIM card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a customizable button for the user.

The SIM card slot accommodates a single Nano SIM and a MicroSD card, and the device also supports eSIM technology, eliminating the need to physically access the tray.

A thoughtful feature is that both the 3.5mm jack and the USB port are not covered by a rubber plug, meaning their internal electronics are designed to withstand water ingress.

However, these environmental safeguards have their limitations. The Active5 has a removable battery, but it’s shielded by a slim panel that incorporates a rubber seal to prevent water or dust from entering.

Battery replacement is generally beneficial, but the cover panel appears somewhat fragile, and it has multiple retaining clips around its perimeter that could potentially break under repeated stress. This panel cannot be removed when the tablet’s protective rubber bumper is in place. Removing and reattaching this can be challenging, but it conveniently offers a storage spot for the included passive stylus.

A minor surprise is the lack of wireless charging for the battery, but there are Pogo connectors on one side that seem designed for a docking station, allowing charging without a physical connection.

In summary, despite a few minor inconveniences, the Active5 is a tablet that most individuals will quickly comprehend and be able to use. The only problem we encountered was the proximity of the custom button to the power button, which made it easy to confuse when handling the device.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Equipment

  • Samsung Exynos 1380
  • Average battery
  • Battery-free mode

The equipment in this tablet is divided into two unique groups. One we’ll label as excellent, and another that is quite the opposite.

The Samsung Exynos 1380 tops the list of features we cherish about this tablet. It’s a remarkably robust SoC that makes the majority of MediaTek chips utilized by Chinese phone and tablet manufacturers appear decidedly low-end.

We’ll delve into the capabilities of this chip in the performance segment, but it’s a game-changer for most tablet users. With its integrated 5G communications, it’s undeniably the highlight of this device.

What doesn’t even make the supporting cast is that Samsung equipped this device with a mere 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Moreover, that 128GB of storage is reduced to just 105GiB before the user installs their first application. Given the price of this tablet, it should come with more RAM and storage as standard.

Another aspect where the tablet appears to be lacking is its battery life. While a Li-Po cell with 5050 mAh might be adequate for a phone, it’s relatively small for a tablet.

This model is intended for outdoor use, where not every tree comes with a power outlet. The battery life provided here might not last long without some external charging solution.

The sole positive feature of powering the Active5 is its support for a battery-free mode. It can be powered by an external source, such as a vehicle, eliminating the need for a battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g Review: Imaging Devices

  • Rear imaging device: 12.8MP f/1.9
  • Front imaging device: 5MP f/2.2

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5G is equipped with a pair of cameras:

It remains unclear why manufacturers of tablets have concluded that tablets should be fitted with markedly fewer camera sensors compared to mobile phones, despite being equipped with advanced features like 5G.

The Active5 is not an outlier, and Samsung has arguably outdone most by equipping this gadget with decidedly mediocre cameras.

The device is fitted with a mere pair of sensors, one each for the front and rear. The back sensor is a mere 12.8MP, while the front is equipped with a 5MP selfie camera. These specifications mirror those of the 2016 Galaxy A5 phone, an economical model that was superseded in 2017 by a newer version that Samsung continues to retail for approximately £80 or $70.

While it’s possible to delve into the minutiae of the shortcomings of both these cameras, it’s rather uninteresting. The key takeaway is that without the pixel-binning capabilities offered by contemporary sensors, the low light performance of these sensors leaves much to be desired.

However, under adequate lighting, the device is capable of capturing images of acceptable quality, even if the resolution falls short of what is typically deemed ideal.

A few redeeming qualities of these sensors include the ability of the rear 12.8MP camera to record 4K video at 30fps, and the video subsystem’s Widevine L1 encryption, which enables it to achieve optimal streaming quality from platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+.

Most mobile phones currently on the market boast superior cameras and a wider array of shooting modes, and it’s puzzling why Samsung chose not to equip the device with better hardware.

The most affordable Samsung Galaxy phone model, the Galaxy A05s, features a 50MP primary sensor and two additional macro and ultrawide shooting sensors. However, the Active5 falls short of even this $150 phone.

Performance of Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g

  • Rapid System on a Chip (SoC)
  • Restricted battery duration
Benchmark TestActive5 5G by Samsung PAD P1 by AGM
GFX Car Chase28
GFX Aztec Vulkan Normal33
Geekbench Single-core785
3DMark Wildlife2991
GFX Aztec Open Normal33
3DMark Slingshot OGL5897
Geekbench Multi-core2668
Battery9h 38m
Passmark Score13884
Geekbench Vulkan3203
CPU Score6601
3DMark Slingshot Ex. OGL4750
Geekbench OpenCL3149
GFX Manhattan 3.151
PCMark Score 3.012066
SoCSamsung Exynos 1380 MediaTek Helio G99
Memory6GB/128GB 8GB/256GB
3DMark Slingshot Ex. Vulkan4758

Despite its small battery and old-school camera, the Samsung Exynos 1380 SoC is the standout feature of this tablet.

To illustrate the prowess of this chip, we compare it with the MediaTek Helio G99, an SoC that’s common in many rugged tablets. In a nutshell, it’s a significant difference.

In the majority of processing tests, the Exynos SoC outperforms by at least 50% and nearly doubles the speed in some cases. In terms of graphics, it’s over twice as fast.

This makes the Active5 a perfect fit for regular gamers or those with graphically demanding tasks, like drone piloting.

However, there’s a weak spot, and that’s the battery life. Although the system is power-efficient and manages over 9 hours of operation time using the PCMark Work 3.0 battery test, it falls short of the AGM Pad P1 and all the rugged tablets we’ve recently tested.

Even though the battery can be replaced and the tablet can operate directly from the main power, a larger internal capacity could have reduced the need for these measures.

Samsung, one of the few manufacturers of tablets and phones that support Widevine L1 encryption, emphasizes the quality of this build. Thanks to this feature, the Active5 can display the highest quality streams from Amazon, Netflix, and Disney+, a feature often absent in rugged tablets made in China.

Final Thoughts

The Active5 boasts some commendable features, notably the Samsung Exynos 1380 SoC and the interchangeable battery. This chip renders the tablet an ideal choice for those requiring additional computational power for local image and data processing.

The ability to replace the battery is a convenient feature, although the constant removal of the back cover may eventually compromise its robustness.

Nevertheless, several concerns are hard to overlook. The first is Samsung’s decision not to include wireless charging, which would have been a logical solution for charging the internal and spare batteries. Regarding accessory support, the Active5 was introduced in January. However, many official Samsung websites do not list this model, making it difficult to source replacement batteries or charging cradles that are compatible with the Pogo pins. The reason for this remains unclear, and when we sought clarification from Samsung, we received the following response,

“There is a wide range of accessories available for the Tab Active5. In terms of power, we offer a spare battery and a 5-slot battery charger, as well as docks for charging a single tablet or up to 5 tablets using the Pogo PIN charging system. We also provide stands/stations for retail use and vehicle mounting docks. The device can also function in a ‘no battery mode’, allowing you to remove the battery and power the device directly from the mains.”

Priced at nearly $640 for the 5G model in the US, the Active5 is more than twice as expensive as some competing models and three times the price of others. It offers less RAM and storage than most, and its full ruggedness is only achieved when a provided bumper is fitted—a bumper that must be removed to replace the battery.

If the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5G were closer to $400, some of these issues might be less problematic for certain customers.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design and Build Quality
7
Performance
8
Display
8
Battery
6
Camera
5
Storage and Memory
6
Price
5
Connectivity
9

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Into Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5g review. This device is an intriguing blend of substantial computational capacity, a petite power source, and a camera of inferior resolution. Given the anticipated add-ons, it could prove to be a practical gadget, yet the cost demanded is...Samsung Galaxy Tab Active5 5G Review - NewForTech