Xiaomi Pad 5 Review: Incomplete Features but Amazing Performance

The tablet market is booming again, after only being “controlled” by Samsung and Apple. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, world smartphone manufacturers (especially China) are busy releasing the latest product segments to support user productivity in the pandemic era.

One of them is Xiaomi which brought the latest tablet Pad 5 globally, including Indonesia. This tablet is the successor of the Mi Pad 4 which was launched 4 years ago, to be precise in June 2018.

The comeback of the Xiaomi tablet series in Indonesia feels very special, because the Pad 5 immediately relies on high-end specifications, jumbo battery capacity, high-quality screens, premium designs, and of course sold at affordable prices.

Well, our team has been using this tablet for about two weeks as a daily driver and supporting work activities. Here are the results of our review of the new Xiaomi device in the Xiaomi Pad 5 review.

Design

When we received this tablet at the editorial desk, we felt that the Xiaomi Pad 5 was quite similar to the iPad Pro with an 11-inch screen. We call it similar, because the side of the tablet’s frame is made flat with almost angled edges.

We think it’s quite natural that the Xiaomi Pad 5 is inspired by the latest iPad Pro design. This proves that a tablet with a low price can look as elegant and premium as a tablet with a higher price reaching tens of millions of Rupiah.

There is no doubt that the Xiaomi Pad 5 is one of the top-class Android tablets. Of the several tablet devices we’ve reviewed , the Xiaomi Pad 5 has an appearance that’s just as expensive as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, which in fact is sold at a higher price.

The body is made of aluminum with thin dimensions, a wide screen with slim and balanced bezels, and the rear body is wrapped in an elegant matte finish.

Its weight is also light, only 511 grams. That makes it convenient to carry anywhere for mobile work anywhere and anytime.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 unit that we reviewed is wrapped in Cosmic Gray color which has a fairly dark color touch. This color coat the body glastic alias plastic with a finish like glass which makes it look a little luxury.

Why a little? Because this type of body is very easy to get dirty with fingerprints attached. If we are not lazy, we quite often wipe the body after using it for work or just enjoying multimedia.

On the back, too, pinned the camera module with the most striking design for a tablet. How not, this camera frame is large and quite prominent.

Even though it only stores one camera, Xiaomi designed it to be similar to the camera module from the Xiaomi Mi 11 which we have also reviewed . In this camera module, there is an LED Flash and the words “AI Camera” which confirms that the Xiaomi Pad 5 camera is “not cans”.

Talking about the screen, the Pad 5 already carries an 11-inch screen. The bezel around it is fairly thin and balanced, thus making the view of the screen much more leverage.

If the bezels are thin, our attention is focused on the screen’s ability to overcome mistouch or mistouch in some areas of the screen that are covered by hands.

But fortunately, it is very rare for us to experience the wrong touch when wearing it everyday. Fingers are comfortable getting a “little area” resting between the bezel area and the screen.

Xiaomi puts the front camera at the very top if the tablet is positioned vertically. This camera position is quite strange, because vendors usually store the front camera on the left side to fit the horizontal usage scheme.

Our experience using a tablet, quite rarely use it with a vertical or portrait scheme. As users, we want to make the most of the tablet and want to get the best possible visual experience by rotating it horizontally or landscape.

This “wrong” camera placement has an impact on our experience when using the front camera for online meetings via Zoom. The position of the face on the camera becomes tilted, and out of focus in the center area.

Questioning the position of the buttons and ports throughout the body of the Pad 5, we position this tablet in the actual usage scheme, namely landscape or horizontal.

On the right, there are two speakers joined by the power button and microphone. While on the left side, there is a USB-C port, microphone, and also two other speakers.

While at the top, there are two other microphones combined with volume buttons and a magnetic area to store the Smart Pen. This area also serves to charge smart pens wirelessly.

While at the bottom, there are pogo pins to connect the tablet to the magnetic keyboard case. Like high-priced tablets, installation is also very easy, just plug it in and type right away. Cool, right?

All over the body, too, are stored antenna lines to maximize the WiFi signal it receives. Just so you know, Xiaomi Pad 5 does not support cellular network via SIM card.

Screen and Audio

There must be something “sacrificed” by Xiaomi to reduce the price of the Pad 5. One of them is the screen which is only an IPS LCD type with a size of 11 inches.

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Although not a high-quality AMOLED, Xiaomi inserts the typical capabilities of a flagship tablet on the Pad 5. Among them, WQHD + resolution (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) aka 2K, 120Hz refresh rate , and the ability to display content with high visuals thanks to the Dolby Vision and HDR10 features.

We like the quality of the IPS LCD screen of the Pad 5. What’s more, this screen is capable of delivering 10-bit or 1 billion colors. Usually these capabilities are only found in high-end phones with prices above the average.

It really feels good when juxtaposing it with an IPS LCD sailing device with standard color coverage. The quality of the colors displayed is very clear, bright, and uninterrupted by sunlight when used outdoors in hot light conditions.

The amazing screen of the Xiaomi Pad 5 is also very suitable for users who like to watch Netflix movies or just watch interesting videos on YouTube. Both of these formats are supported by Netflix, while HDR content can be easily watched on the YouTube platform.

Talking about the refresh rate , this tablet screen does not support an adaptive refresh rate . There are only two options, namely 60Hz and 120Hz. If you install the 120Hz setting, the transition between menus, scrolling on social media, to opening the default application will feel very smooth.

However, the refresh rate will be forced down to 60Hz when we run non-supporting apps or games and play videos.

Discussion on review Xiaomi Pad 5 switches to the audio portion. This device carries four speakers supported by the Dolby Atmos feature. All these speakers are the same size and deliver loud sound too.

For our ears, the sound produced sounds just right, but the treble sound is more dominant than the bass. What’s great, the audio won’t crack even if we set the volume to the highest level.

Well , the presence of Dolby Atmos here does not affect the loudness of the sound emitted by the speakers. This feature keeps the audio quality maintained and at the best level, even though it has not yet entered the best of the best class in our opinion.

Be grateful for the many microphones in every corner of the body of the Xiaomi Pad 5. More microphones are available, which means that the captured sound will be much better, detailed, and less distorted. Perfect for use during video conferences or just taking videos in a crowd.

The drawback, there is no 3.5mm audio jack here. As an alternative, you as a user can use a USB-C headset or TWS earphones that are connected via Bluetooth.

Operating system

Xiaomi users certainly know MIUI 12.5 which runs on the latest cellphone used. Well, Xiaomi Pad 5 also runs on the same operating system as Android 11. So, is there a difference?

In experience, it’s more or less the same. MIUI 12.5 on smaller phone screens has exactly the same UI and UX as large tablet screens.

However, the interface of this operating system has been adjusted by Xiaomi in order to meet the needs of users who often use it in landscape orientation.

The rest, really the same experience we had with MIUI 12.5 on Xiaomi phones. Right bar to access Control Center, left bar to view notification bar.

There are also floating windows and split screen options to open two application windows at the same time. Oh yeah, during our review of the Xiaomi Pad 5, we actually used it as an everyday device for work.

We are “desperate” to replace the laptop we usually use with this tablet from Xiaomi for work. MIUI 12.5 on an 11-inch wide screen with a fast refresh rate provides a good experience.

Smooth multi-tasking , comfortable typing, entertainment continues. Incidentally, we don’t have a keyboard accessory and a Xiaomi Smart Pen, so we choose to use a wireless keyboard and mouse when working with this tablet.

Smartly, the tablet instantly detects keyboard and mouse input devices automatically. We can also directly operate the two accessories to support daily work.

However, there are some shortcomings that we feel. Firstly, Xiaomi has not maximized their OS and device ecosystem. Xiaomi Pad 5 is not like tablets made by Huawei and Samsung which can collaborate between devices easily.

As a result, if we want to transfer data from a tablet to a laptop or vice versa, we have to connect the device using a USB cable. Maybe in the future Xiaomi can further improve the integration between their devices in the next OS update.

Another drawback, the UI of MIUI 12.5 is too simple and there is no difference with other Xiaomi’s latest cellphones. The App Drawer is like Poco Launcher which divides apps by category.

Even so with the absence of tablet-specific features on the Pad 5. There are indeed new tablet-specific features that Xiaomi has inserted on this device. However, the feature can only be activated if the user has paired the device with the Pad 5’s built-in accessory.

The accessories we mean are the Smart Pen stylus and also the wireless keyboard. As long as we use the Xiaomi Pad 5 for review purposes , we can only take advantage of the keyboard features on this tablet.

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This feature can make it easier for us to set keyboard shortcuts, mouse pointer speed (if connected), and also options to make scrolling feel more natural.

Specification

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is powered by the same engine as the “price buster ” Poco X3 Pro . This tablet uses the Snapdragon 860 processor which is the successor to the Snapdragon 855+, the flagship SoC of 2019.

Getting to know a little about the Snapdragon 860 processor, this chipset is designed with TSMC’s 7nm architecture and uses an octa-core CPU configuration consisting of 1-core Cortex A76 2.96 GHz, 3-core Cortex A76 2.84 GHz, and 4-core Cortex A55 1.78 GHz.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 unit that we reviewed has 6GB LPDDR4x RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage that can’t be expanded with a microSD. The devices that we review and use also only support WiFi only, so that their use will be maximized when connected to a WiFi network.

Xiaomi Pad 5 recorded a score of 568 thousand points. When compared to the two tablets with high-end specifications that we have reviewed, this Xiaomi tablet lags behind the score with the Huawei MatePad 11 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7.

Naturally, because the Huawei tablet is powered by Snapdragon 870 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 uses the Snapdragon 865+ processor. Both of these chipsets on paper are indeed faster than the Snapdragon 860.

But interestingly, this score turned out to be above the Poco X3 Pro with the same processor. From the previous review we did, the Poco X3 Pro scored 530 thousand points.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is indeed very comfortable for multi-tasking . Running two applications simultaneously or more than one application alternately, is very smooth on this tablet thanks to the combination of a large and smooth screen and a powerful runway.

The positive experience was also proven by our testing through the PCMark application. This tablet won a score of 11,720 points. Compared to the two tablets we reviewed, the Xiaomi Pad 5 gets the highest points.

The Snapdragon 860 engine on this tablet is really rushed, and the MIUI 12.5 system doesn’t limit the performance of this chipset. It can be seen from the PCMark chart, almost all of the test schemes penetrated the highest clock speed of 2.96 GHz, although the average was below 2 GHz.

Gaming

Because it runs on MIUI 12.5, of course, this tablet is equipped with a gaming feature called Game Turbo. You could say, this feature is hidden in the Special Features section.

Game Turbo serves as a tool to improve performance and keep it at the maximum level. Here’s what’s interesting, Xiaomi still provides the ability to improve the visual quality when users like us play games.

Combined with a 120Hz 2K resolution screen, the visuals of the games we played had better detail and color contrast than without the Enhanced Visuals feature turned on.

Screen responsiveness can also be tweaked via Game Turbo. This feature can also display various information needed by the user, such as the FPS Counter and the percentage of CPU usage.

To measure its gaming capabilities, we tried three games, namely, COD Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Forza Street.

All three games have high graphics and require large resources. However, the Xiaomi Pad 5 was able to crush all of these games during the review .

PUBG Mobile can be broadcast in Ultra HD or 4K quality, while COD Mobile can be run with Very High graphics with a Max frame rate.

Even though the graphics are right-aligned, both games we played at high and stable FPS. PUBG Mobile is featured with 40 – 51 FPS gameplay without a significant drop. Meanwhile, COD Mobile is stable at 60 FPS.

However, both games cannot be displayed at 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates . Both PUBG Mobile and CODM are played at a refresh rate of 60Hz only.

Naturally, because both games do not support 120Hz display. Different things with Forza Street which can penetrate 100 – 110 FPS. This heavy game feels very smooth when played, just great!

Battery

Xiaomi Pad 5 is supported by a battery with a capacity of 8,720 mAh. Interesting here, this tablet supports fast charging up to 33W, but Xiaomi only provides a 22.5W adapter.

To test its capabilities, we also tried to charge this tablet with Xiaomi’s original 33W adapter. From the tests we did by charging the battery from 1% to full it was completed in 1 hour 41 minutes. What a fast time for this sejumbo battery.

Fast charging, strong battery. At least that’s the right word for this Xiaomi tablet. During the review, we used the Xiaomi Pad 5 for various activities, from work, gaming, watching movies, and so on. During that time, we only charge it once to use it all day.

Well , that ‘s for use in real life . While testing using PCMark Battery Test, this tablet recorded a time of 14 hours 52 minutes with 20% remaining battery.

Meanwhile, to play YouTube Full HD non-stop, the battery only lasts 15 hours 55 minutes with only 1% of the battery remaining. Thus, we can claim that the Pad 5 tablet can indeed last all day for normal usage scenarios.

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Camera

The Xiaomi Pad 5 review turns to the camera. This tablet has one front camera and one rear camera that is supported by dual LED flash.

Through the Device Info HW application that we use, the rear camera of this tablet uses an OmniVision OV13B10 sensor with a 1.12µm pixel area coverage and f/2.2 lens aperture. While the front camera uses the OmniVision OV8856 sensor with the same pixel area as the rear camera.

This camera configuration is pretty good in our opinion. Moreover, it is supported by the camera application UI which is quite complete, although not as complete as the camera application on the latest Xiaomi mobile phone .

In the camera app, there are Photo and Video modes. If you go to More, there is Night Mode as well as Documents. The last mode is very useful, because it allows us to scan documents easily with great results.

Interesting here, the Xiaomi Pad 5 camera is also supported by Auto HDR and AI or artificial intelligence features to adjust camera settings depending on the shooting scenario.

Talking about the quality, the 13MP camera from this tablet gives good results thanks to the shrewdness of the AI-based feature that can adjust the color composition so that it doesn’t look too big or too much. We feel guilty when we think that this affordable tablet camera is mediocre.

When taking in good light conditions, the photos we capture are detailed with sharp colors. The dynamic range is also wide and has good contrast, but the colors are still fairly natural.

Likewise with the front camera. Indeed, the results are not as good as mobile phones in general with a larger resolution. But for a tablet, the selfie camera is quite enjoyable.

The color is still natural if the light intensity is right. However, the camera system still can’t handle the excess light when shooting.

The appearance of the face when used for meetings on Zoom or Google Meet also looks detailed and clear. No more blurry face stories when holding meetings or taking lessons online.

Powered by a high-end processor, this tablet can record 4K or Full HD 1080p video at 30 FPS. Amazingly, there is a Movie Frame that is activated so that the captured video looks cinematic.

There is no EIS ( electronic image stabilization ) indeed, let alone OIS. But the video results are quite good for a tablet with a price of under Rp. 6 million.

Conclusion

No debate, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is indeed a low-priced tablet with crazy specifications. The screen is large with a resolution of 2K and a refresh rate of 120Hz.

The processor is nimble thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 860. The storage memory is not only large, but also fast in the UFS 3.1 type. Likewise with the battery that lasts all day on a single charge.

Although the price is only IDR 5 million, this tablet is also packaged very well by Xiaomi. Indeed, inspired by the 11-inch iPad Pro. But at least it proves that Xiaomi doesn’t want their comeback in the tablet industry, marked by standard and mainstream style tablets.

We actually like the design of the Pad 5. The price is affordable, but the design is not cheap.

The body frame is flat with almost angled angles, a light and thin body, an elegantly styled rear body with the use of plastic materials , a large screen surrounded by slim bezels, and a camera module similar to the Mi 11.

However, there are indeed some shortcomings that we feel. This deficiency may be caused because Xiaomi is “forced” to reduce the price of this tablet.

Among them, the IPS LCD type screen, the ordinary MIUI 12.5 operating system and feels “Poco-centric”, there is no ecosystem between the OS and other Xiaomi devices that are still lacking, and the front camera position is not in the “proper place”.

Also keep in mind, this tablet does not support cellular networks. So you can use it to its full potential by connecting to WiFi. Can be tricked by turning the smartphone as a hotspot, but do you want to be complicated?

Not to mention the charger adapter which is only 22.5W. You may need to buy a 33W charger to make the charging process even faster. Another drawback, there is no 3.5mm audio jack and also a microSD slot as an additional storage option.

However, with all the advantages and disadvantages it brings, the Xiaomi Pad 5 remains the best tablet choice at a price of IDR 5 million.

Pros of Xiaomi Pad 5

  • Premium design
  • Slim and light body
  • The back body looks elegant
  • Mi 11 inspired camera module, and it’s good
  • Already carrying quad-speakers Dolby Atmos
  • Many microphones around the body
  • 11-inch display with 1B or 10-bit color coverage
  • Display supports 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10, Dolby Vision
  • Supports Smart Pen, there is also an area to store and charge it.
  • Support keyboard via Pogo pin
  • Powerful Snapdragon 860 processor
  • UFS 3.1 . type storage memory
  • Jumbo battery with long life
  • 33W fast charging
  • Good quality camera

Disadvantages of Xiaomi pad 5

  • The screen is still IPS LCD
  • No jack addui 3.5mm
  • No cellular network option
  • No microSD slot
  • Standard MIUI 12.5 operating system, minimal features for productivity
  • The charger adapter is only 22.5W only