I usually make time to write a review for smartphones and I love doing just that. This time, I get the chance to review one of the latest Galaxy Tab A 10.1 device that I think is good enough for every day use and great on entertainment.
Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 Design and Specifications
Let’s start with the obvious (according to the name). Yes, it is a Galaxy Tab. Yes, it is a 10.1″ in display size and yes, it is the 2019 version. My first impression of the Tab is that it feels slim, or rather thinner than the older Tabs. It is about the same size as the Galaxy Tab S5e, only about 0.4″ smaller in screen size.
Speaking of screen, the display is an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen instead of AMOLED but it is vibrant enough to give that punchy colours. It comes with a 1200 x 1920 pixels resolution and at 16:10 ratio with ~224 ppi density, which is not bad. Since the screen size is 10.1″, I mostly use this Tab A as a reading device and for entertainment. It is really nice to do some reading on this Tab without straining my eyes. And as for entertainment, I had countless hours of movie time with this device which I think is awesome. The speakers are loud and “bassy”, giving the full immersive sound experience without having to use a headphone. That is a plus point for me.
The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 7904 Octa-core (2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A73 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53) SoC and supported by Mali-G71 MP2 GPU. The review unit that I received came with only a 16GB of internal space and 2GB of RAM. But no worries, you can add on additional storage up to 1TB via MicroSD slot. Even with 16GB of storage, I can still install and do many things with it. But it is advisable to go for bigger space.
Android Pie 9.0 with One UI is ready for you as soon as you turn the Tab on. The new OS is suitable to use with this Tab as how I’ve experienced while using it. Everything works well despite some rumours that I heard about it being wonky and unstable. As far as I know, it works perfectly.
Quick look at the overall design. Those who are used to using a Tab, would know that older Galaxy Tabs are quite thick. Good to know that the newer Tabs are getting thinner and thinner over the years. This Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is no exception. I like it being this thin because I can simply slip it in my backpack pocket easily.
The volume rocker, power button and the SIM/SD card slot is located on the right side of the device while there is nothing on the left. This is because we tend to tilt the Tab to the left when using it in landscape mode. So having nothing on the left side of the Tab is all about the design aesthetic and so that we don’t hit any buttons accidentally.
At the top, there is the audio jack and at the bottom is where two speaker grilles are located sandwiching the USB type-C port in the middle. At the back you can find the single camera module at the top left of the device. But don’t let this camera turn you off. More on that later. The front camera is located at the usualy place which is in the top middle part of the Tab. No front earphone can be seen anywhere here. But this Tab support calls. Guess you have to use the speakerphone while making calls or at least a Bluetooth earpiece.
Performance and Usage
In terms of performance, I don’t have any high expectations for this Tab. Usually I will install my favourite game on any review device that I received but I did not bother installing PUBG Mobile on this one after knowing that the internal specifications are quite low. I did a quick benchmark to gauge the usage for work and entertainment performance only.
So this will be a short written review on this section under performance but for the usage part, I do have more to say. The battery last me a good 3 days under normal usage thanks to its huge Li-Po 6150 mAh battery. Charging time is quite fast at just over an hour. When I said it last for 3 days, I was only using it for reading and some YouTube channel surfing on the go. When I fully using it for entertainment like movie watching and light gaming (Angry Bird, Fun Run), it can last me about 2 days. Which is still quite good. So that is another plus point for me.
Don’t be surprise when I said that the camera is able to perform quite well here. Although it is a single camera setup, the image quality is somewhat impressive. It is not awesome, but it’s usable, especially when shooting outdoors or in places with good lighting. But it fails in darkness, sadly.
Firstly, the camera is an 8MP with AF and f/2.0. 8MP is pretty much a standard for a lower end and cheap smartphones but most of them have moved on to at least a 12MP sensor. Meanwhile the front camera is a 5MP, f/2.2 setup but I feel good about it somehow. Okay, the main camera is able to shoot a decent photograph when in good light. And to show what I mean, I will let the photos do the talking.
In the end, it is all about your personal preferences. Whether the Tab is able to take good decent shots or not, it all depends on how you use it. Me being a photographer, I know how to at least take some clear shots and giving many plus points for the low 8MP camera setup. By the sample shots that I took, it does look decent. The only qualm that I have with the camera is that the inability to shoot during low light and it failed badly. Photos turned out grainy and unusable, therefore I didn’t post it here to show that sample.
So for photography in the Galaxy Tab A 10.1, it will be a hit and miss to some people. But a Tab is not meant for photography anyway. The camera is there only when you need to use it when your smartphone ran out of battery. Basically, you will use it only in emergency cases. But to me, I kind of okay with it.
A Tab is basically a companion to your existing smartphone device, not a replacement. They both will compliment each other when you know how to divide the usage between the two. If you have a higher specification for a Tab, you can use it for gaming because I’m sure it will be more fun to play it on a bigger screen. But this Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is only enough for normal use such as reading, movie entertainment and for doing some work when you need to see it on a larger display.
The new Galaxy Tab A 10.1 here is a made for everyone and it is fun to use in my opinion. I enjoyed the time reviewing this device and I will recommend it if you’re looking for a simple companion to your current phone. That way you can have more internal space in your phone for better purpose like taking photos and videos. This Tab can just be your secondary device.
Bottom line in this humble review of mine, the new Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is a simple and fun Tab to have with you as a secondary companion. It is now available in stores for RM1,299.00 (32GB version).