“The Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2018) 10.5 comes with the Snapdragon 450 SoC and 3GB RAM”

It seems like tablets are a dying breed in today’s era where smartphones are getting bigger yet manageable. However, Samsung and Apple are trying to keep it from extinction with their Galaxy Tabs and iPads, respectively. The Chaebol offers impressive Android tablets with top-end specs under its Tab S series. However, if you are someone who uses tablets for multimedia or casual gaming, it has a more affordable range in the form of the Galaxy Tab A series. The latest in the line-up is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2018) 10.5-inch. If you are looking for an Android tablet for casual use, the Tab A (2018) could be worth a look. The tablet recently landed in our labs and here are our first impressions.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2018) 10.5-inch comes in a bright yellow box with branding on the top and core specs listed at the bottom. Upon lifting the lid, you are greeted by the gorgeous display of the tablet with its narrow bezels. Under the tablet, you will find the documentation, a wall charger and a USB Type-C cable in their respective compartments. Unfortunately, you will have to buy your own earphones as Samsung doesn’t include a pair in the box. This is quite surprising and an inconvenience, as while the tablet comes with LTE support and can make calls, there’s no earpiece so you will have to plug in your earphones to receive calls.

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Coming to the slate, the Galaxy Tab A (2018) boasts a sturdy unibody design. The rubberised finish on the back feels quite premium and lends a good grip to an otherwise gigantic tablet, which could otherwise get unwieldy in one hand. The glossy display creates an attractive contrast with the matte back panel. There are four Dolby Atmos supported loudspeakers in the four corners on top and bottom. The 3.5mm audio socket and USB Type-C port can be found on the top and bottom edges, respectively.

The right edge is home to the power button, volume keys, and a SIM tray. On the left edge are the dock connectors and grooves to fit into the keyboard dock (not provided with the tablet).

As for the display, the Galaxy Tab (2018) has been equipped with a 10.5-inch TFT LCD panel featuring 1,920 x 1,200 pixels screen resolution. Samsung has not added any bells and whistles like night mode on the tablet. We found the display to be a bit dark even at the brightest setting, so the sunlight legibility goes out of the window (pun intended). However, the viewing angles are decent on the tablet. Moving on to the performance, the Galaxy A7 (2018) is powered by the Snapdragon 450 chipset mated to 3GB RAM. And the tablet boots Android 8.1 Oreo with Experience UI on top. In our experience, usual tasks and smaller games run fine, though PUBG runs in the lowest graphics settings.

It is, therefore, our advice is to not use the tablet for more extensive and resource-hungry apps. Moreover, the animations on Experience UI are slow, making it appear laggy. 

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Moving on to the camera department, tablets are not meant to be imaging devices and as such Samsung has equipped the Tab A (2018) with the bare minimum. The tablet comes with an 8-megapixel shooter at the back and a 5-megapixel snapper at front. You get options like HDR, Night mode, Pro, Beauty and live stickers in the camera app. The front shooter gets Selfie Focus (for bokeh) and wide selfie options. The images taken using the tablet are below average as expected. It’s recommended to rely on your smartphone for imaging and not the tablet.

Probably the only silver lining in the whole package is the massive 7,600mAh battery, which should last a couple of days easily on a full charge.

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It’s now evident that the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2018) 10.5-inch is a pure-bred slate meant for families and kids. However, we feel that it’s priced a bit on the higher side. In case you are looking for a tablet just for a large display and normal multimedia consumption, the other options include slates like the Lenovo Tab 4 and Apple iPad 6th Generation.