Samsung quietly announced the Galaxy Tab S5e just before MWC 2019. Here we compare it to the existing, expensive Galaxy Tab S4 to see how they differ and which of the Android tablets is best for you to buy
There’s not much between the two tablets. They have the same quad-speakers, the same excellent 10.5in AMOLED and looks pretty identical save for slimmer bezels on the S5e. Oddly the S5e has more memory, less storage and swaps an iris scanner for a fingerprint reader.
For most the S5e will be a much better deal as a Netflix machine running Android. The processor will be able to handle light gaming, it’s super thin, will cost less. It’s odd that both products exist, really.
Weird flex Samsung, but OK.
Price When Reviewed
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: From $399
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: From $649
Samsung has struggled to compete with the might of the iPad to say the least when it comes to tablet sales. The Galaxy Tab S5e was quietly announced late on a February Friday afternoon via a press release to no fanfare – a marker of how Android tablets are compared to Apple’s iPads in 2019.
But for a certain niche and use case, Android tablets can be preferable, particularly if you use an Android phone. Here, we compare the newer Galaxy Tab S5e to the older Galaxy Tab S4 to see what the differences are and which of the two is best for you. Also check out our dedicated
Galaxy Tab S5e review.
Price and availability
At the time of writing the Tab S5e has no price confirmed but given its ‘e’ branding it looks to be a Lite version of the S5. Odd then that no S5 has been announced. Branding be damned, eh.
Let’s take a look at the specs of both tablets side by side to discern if there’s a winner in that sense:
Galaxy Tab S4
Galaxy Tab S5e
10.5in AMOLED, 287ppi
10.5in AMOLED, 287ppi
64/256GB – expandable up to 512GB
64/128GB – expandable up to 512GB
13Mp rear, 8Mp front
13Mp rear, 8Mp front
Android 8 Oreo
Android 9 Pie
Fingerprint scanner, Face recognition
249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm
245 x 160 x 5.5mm
Interestingly a lot is the same. Both have 10.5in AMOLED displays with the same ppi, yet the newer S5e has smaller bezels in a smaller overall body. At an insane 5.5mm thin, the S5e is nothing if not impressively svelte. It means there’s no headphone jack but does make it a fair bit lighter.
Opting for the S5e gets you Samsung’s take on Android 9 Pie, a Snapdragon 670 processor and most impressively (if legit) 14.5 hours of video playback. If the battery is that good in a tablet this slim, then colour us interested.
That processor will mean that you’ll be slightly more limited when it comes to multi-tasking, but the S5e is being pushed more as a slick entertainment device, and given it has the exact same display as the dearer S4 it looks like a good deal.
If it’s storage you need than the Tab S4 will be more suitable, offering up to 512GB. That’s double the S5e but both allow you to add up to 512GB via the microSD card slot.
Continuing with small tweaks, the S5e has a fingerprint scanner tucked away in the power button rather than the Iris scanning capabilities of the Tab S4.
Both tablets have the same pogo pin connectors for the optional (non Bluetooth, hooray!) keyboard accessory that while not essential does turn both devices into more productivity focussed laptop-style set-ups.
The Tab S4 is still the technically more powerful tablet with a Snapdragon 835, though it doesn’t have the option for 6GB RAM (outside of Korea) unlike the newer Tab S5e. Both tablets have four speakers, a 13Mp front and 8Mp rear camera.
There’s a slightly larger battery in the Tab S4, but the S5e has a more svelte design which is nice but means losing the headphone jack.
The lower powered processor in the S5e might be a way to rehash the Tab line and get the price down. It’s certainly a very good looking tablet – as is the S4 – but it all depends how much the S5e costs as to how much of a difference these changes can really make to you the buyer.
Henry is Tech Advisor’s Phones Editor, ensuring he and the team covers and reviews every smartphone worth knowing about for readers and viewers all over the world. He spends a lot of time moving between different handsets and shouting at WhatsApp to support multiple devices at once.