Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 full review

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.

Samsung said the tablet will launch ‘at a unique price point’, which means nothing aside from hinting it should be cheaper than the Tab S4.

With no UK price confirmed, it will cost from $399 in the US a lot less than the Tab S4 that starts at $649. It’ll ship in Q2 2019 in the UK after going on pre-order in March 2019.

The Tab S4 struggled to sell in number thanks to its relatively high £599 / $649 price tag in comparison to the entry level iPad at £329 / $329.

Head to head

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
Display 10.5in AMOLED, 287ppi 10.5in AMOLED, 287ppi
Processor Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 670
RAM 4GB 4/6GB
Storage 64/256GB - expandable up to 512GB 64/128GB - expandable up to 512GB
Cameras 13Mp rear, 8Mp front 13Mp rear, 8Mp front
Operating system Android 8 Oreo Android 9 Pie
Connectivity USB-C, Pogo USB-C, Pogo
Biometrics Iris scanner Fingerprint scanner, Face recognition
Speakers Four Four
Headphone jack Yes No
Battery 7300mAh 7040mAh
Dimensions 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm 245 x 160 x 5.5mm
Weight 482g 400g

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.

Splitting hairs

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.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Specs

  • Android Oreo
  • 10.5in, SuperAMOLED, 2560x1600, 287ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, octa-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/256GB storage
  • MicroSD (400GB)
  • S Pen, 4096 pressure levels
  • 13Mp rear camera, f/1.9 with auto focus
  • 8Mp front camera, f/1.9
  • Wi-Fi 11ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB 3.1 gen 1
  • Quad speakers with AKG tuning and Dolby Atmos
  • 7300mAh battery with Fast Charging
  • Up to 16 hours video playback
  • 249x164x7.1mm
  • 482g (Wi-Fi) 483g (LTE)
  • Black or Grey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: Specs

  • OS: Android 9.0
  • Display: 10.5in WQXGA Super AMOLED, 287ppi
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Octa-core processor (2×2.0 GHz & 6×1.7 GHz)
  • Memory: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB + microSD up to 512GB
  • Cameras: 13Mp rear, 8Mp front
  • Ports: USB3.1 (Type C), POGO (Type-C headset connector Provided)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5GHz, VHT80 MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v5.0 GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo
  • Audio: 4 speakers sound by AKG, Dolby Atmos
  • Battery: 7,040mAh, Fast Charging, 14.5 hours video playback
  • Dimensions: 245.0 x 160.0 x 5.5mm
  • Weight: 400g
  • Accessories: Book cover Keyboard, POGO Charging Dock, Slim cover, Book cover (not included)

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