The Xiaomi Pad 5 is the company’s latest offering in the Android tablet landscape. Compared to its predecessor the Mi Pad 4, the Pad 5 has seen tremendous areas of improvement, and that’s what got us excited for this review. We’ll be taking a look at every aspect of the tablet, so rest assured this review will still be honest about all the pros and cons the Xiaomi Pad 5 has.
|Model||Xiaomi Pad 5|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 8 x – 3 GHz, Cortex-A76 / A55 (Kryo 485)|
|Storage||128 GB, UFS 3.1 Flash|
|Display||11.00 inch 16:10|
2560 x 1600 pixel
274 PPI, capacitive, IPS, WQHD+
500 Nits, HDR, 120 Hz refresh rate
|Camera (Front)||8MP; videos up to 1080p@30fps|
|Camera (Rear)||13MP; videos up to 4K@30fps|
|Connectivity||1 x USB 2.0|
1 x USB-C Power Delivery (PD)
Audio Connections: USB-C
|Dimensions||6.85 x 254.69 x 166.25 (mm)|
|OS||MIUI 13, based on Android 11|
What’s In The Box?
- Xiaomi Pad 5
- Charging Adapter
- USB Type-C Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
Design + User Experience
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that is the case with the Xiaomi Pad 5 taking design cues from the higher end iPads like the iPad Air 4. It may not be as slim or lightweight, but it still is very much thin and light in its own aspect. It features squared off edges, a slim bezel , a glass front, aluminium frame, and a plastic back. Because of the materials used, it’s able to achieve a lighter body compared to the other Android tablets in the market. It is also more resistant to fingerprints with the Pearl White colourway, and has a nice grip all around.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 feels really slick in the hand, weighing only 511g and measuring 6.9mm thin. It has a polished finish all around the tablet, with a plastic back instead of a glass back. And I’m actually glad they used a plastic back instead, because if it were to have a glass back, it would make it more prone to fingerprints and I’d be more wary and would succumb to getting a case to protect it. But because it’s plastic, it gives me more reassurance that I could just use it as is to still enjoy how pretty the Pearl White finish is on the back.
In terms of buttons, all you’re getting is the power button and volume rocker on two sides of the same corner of the top left of the frame. The USB-C port for data and charging can be found on the right or bottom of the tablet, depending on how you’re holding it. And there’s the POGO connector to connect to Xiaomi’s accompanying keyboard. Do note that I do not have the keyboard, so I will not be reviewing that aspect of the Xiaomi Pad 5.
As for the interface, the Xiaomi Pad 5 runs on MIUI 13 that is based on Android 11. For the most part, it offers a good experience but not as good as iOS on the iPads. Still having said that, the MIUI13 offers the same familiar experience if you’ve been using a Xiaomi smartphone. You still get a two-column settings menu – control centre on the left and notifications on the right. Enlarged multitasking menu with split-screen options. Google is reportedly working on Android 12L, which is a variant of the OS that is optimized for larger screens on foldables and tablets. If true, users will get to see revamped lock screen, columned notification and control centres, Windows style task bar, and revamped split-screen and multi-tasking functionality.
We have arrived at possibly my favorite section of this review, the Xiaomi Pad 5’s display. It’s gotten a huge upgrade both physically in terms of size, and specs. Compared to its predecessor’s 8-inch display, the Pad 5 now has a whopping 11-inch display with 2.5K resolution (2560 x 1600), and a 120Hz refresh rate. That was a mouthful, but it’s so worth it because it’s one of the aspect of the tablet that makes it a great one. On top of that, the bezels are slim to provide even better immersiveness when you’re consuming content on the tablet.
120Hz refresh rate on a tablet’s display is rare, especially at this price point. This type of spec is usually reserved for the higher end tablets, even though it’s becoming more commonplace among Android smartphones. Even though the panel is still LCD instead of OLED, it still does very well in offering excellent colour range, as well as support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Doesn’t matter if you’re working on documents and emails, or watching a movie or gaming, it’s a nice comfortable display to look at, with vivid colours and amazing viewing angles. Not the best tablet display out there, but at this price, how could I complain?
Weighing 12.2g, the Xiaomi Smart Pen comes with the Xiaomi Pad 5 as a value-add accessory. Even though I don’t use it much, it’s a great accessory to have. The more I use the tablet, the more I find myself grabbing for it and using it on the daily. On the top of the tablet, the Xiaomi Smart Pen can be magnetically attached to the tablet to ensure you don’t lose it. The magnetic connection isn’t very firm, so you’ll still need to be careful when handling it.
The Xiaomi Smart Pen has two buttons on it, holding the first button launches Swift Notes, while holding the second button takes a screenshot, then immediately allowing you to doodle, crop the screenshot as you see fit. The soft pen-tip is made out of TPE, and yes, it is replaceable.
In terms of battery life, it does support magnetic wireless charging when docked on the top of the tablet. It charges from zero to full in just 18 minutes, and a single charge allows you to use it for up to 8 hours non-stop. According to Xiaomi, even a 1-minute charge can give you 20 minutes of usage.
Accuracy wise, it does have 4,096-level of pressure sensitivity, as well as a 240Hz sampling rate. In my experience with it, navigating through the tablet with it, I had no issues. It was fast to recognize taps and gestures, but when it comes to drawing, I did notice a bit of stuttering, although nothing too severe.
Xiaomi made a great decision when it comes to choosing the components that go into the Xiaomi Pad 5, still offering great performance while keeping the price affordable. With the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860, an overclocked version of an older Qualcomm flagship chipset, the tablet was able to churn out more than enough performance for everyday productivity tasks and casual entertainment usage.
Tablets have a different use case, so it’s considered okay to not be using the latest processor out there in the market. It is a Wi-Fi only device, so you don’t need to pay for a 5G chip. There’s no need for the latest machine learning upgrade, or features optimized for those high end camera sensors in flagship phones.
Paired with 6GB of RAM and 120Hz refresh rate, the Xiaomi Pad 5 handles everything with a breeze. I have never once experienced any lag or felt that the tablet was sluggish. It has 128GB of storage, but unfortunately no expandable storage. After installing several of my favourite games, the tablet’s storage has gone down to 30% remaining, so do keep that in mind.
In terms of benchmarks, the Xiaomi Pad 5 manages to beat last year’s premium flagship Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, and of course all the cheaper Galaxy Tabs before it. Experience wise, it may not beat the new iPads, but for the Android tablet scene, it’s one of the most powerful around, especially with that price tag.
Connectivity wise, this is one part where Xiaomi cut some costs to keep costings low(er). Users will get Wi-Fi 5 instead of 6, and as mentioned earlier, there is no 5G connectivity either as only Wi-Fi is available.
Here are the benchmarks we ran on the Xiaomi Pad 5:
3DMark + PCMark
Gaming on the Xiaomi Pad 5 has been a nice experience, it being able to handle most of the games out there on the Google Playstore. I’ve tried more demanding games like COD Mobile, and LoL: Wild Rift, as well as simpler games like Candy Crush and Rummy Pop. They all performed well, but when I threw Genshin Impact at it, it’s a different story. I was still able to run the game at highest settings, but obviously graphics performance took a hit. It became powerpoint gaming at one point, but tweak it down to low/medium settings, and it’s still playable.
The more demanding games did rack up a bit of heat on the back of the tablet, with Genshin Impact getting the tablet up to higher temps. But they were all still bearable and not scalding levels of heat. On normal usage, the tablet doesn’t heat up much even when watching video.
The camera isn’t the main point of the Xiaomi Pad 5, but it gets the job done. If you need to take a quick photo or capture a quick document, the Pad 5’s 13MP rear camera does it well. If for some reason you use tablets to take selfies, the 8MP needs a bit more work in post-processing where quality tanks due to the lower resolution. If you’re in poor lighting, the quality drops even further. But when it comes to video calls, it gets the job done.
Here are some samples we took with the Xiaomi Pad 5:
The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a quad speaker system, and usually when I hear that, I’m expecting full on loud, rich audio coming out of the device. And good news, that’s exactly what I get. The volume is loud enough to fill the entire room, and it’s amazing to use as an audio player for some background noise at home. When you’re watching movies or shows up close, the quad speakers does a great job of providing surround sound effect, with decent highs and mids, and very convincing lows.
For those who still prefer wired audio, you’re out of luck as there’s no 3.5mm audio jack, so you’ll have to use TWS earbuds or a USB-C headphone/earphone. When you want to share the audio, these quad speakers will do an amazing job. Supporting Dolby Atmos, the quad speakers on the Xiaomi Pad 5 is something you’ll have to experience to truly believe what I’m saying.
Using the Xiaomi Pad 5 as my semi-work and semi-play device on the daily, my tasks include:
- Zoom Calls
- Writing Articles
- Social Media Scheduling
- Content Creation (Canva)
- Checking/Replying Emails
During my downtime:
- Playing Games
- Watching Netflix
- Online Shopping
- Social Media Surfing
- Editing Photos (Snapseed)
Everyone’s use case for a tablet is different, some may use it for work, while others would use it for entertainment purposes. Either way, the Xiaomi Pad 5’s 8,720mAh battery is capable of offering all-day battery life, and then some. On PCMark’s battery test, the device lasted about ten and a half hours before giving in.
The tablet does support 33W fast charging, but it only comes with a 22.5W charger in the box. If you happen to have the charger from the Redmi Note 11, then using that would hasten the charging process on the Xiaomi Pad 5. On the provided charger, a 30 minute charge would give 25% of juice. Charging it from zero to full would take about 2 hours with the USB-C port. Needless to say, the tablet doesn’t come with wireless charging, and it’s a feature that can be done without for a tablet of this price.
In conclusion, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is arguably one of the best affordable Android tablets in the market, priced from just RM1,399 for the 6GB + 128GB variant, and RM1,599 for the 6GB + 256GB variant.
It offers a myriad of flagship features like an 11-inch 2.5K resolution screen with 120Hz refresh rate, a decent Snapdragon 860 chip, an all-day battery life, and an aesthetic casing to boot. Truly, for the price, there’s not much you can complain about the Pad 5, I’d recommend it to anyone who wants an affordable everyday Android tablet that won’t break the bank.