Xiaomi Pad 5 review: Winning a bunch of iPad polish and Android versatility

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is among the best Android tablets that you can easily buy, and when you consider its price, it is a bargain for tablet seekers. Here is our full review.

Xiaomi has made a fortune copying Apple’s homework over the years. Its MIUI is an exact replica of iOS, while many of its notable smartphones have always looked like the iPhone of that year. The same applies to the latest tablet, which, despite all the differentiation from the regular MIUI ecosystem, is an unmistakable copy of the iPad. Xiaomi Pad 5 may run on Android but in terms of looks and feel, many will be wondering why there is no Apple logo on the back!

You might think it’s an exaggeration but the Xiaomi Pad 5 actually copies the homework from the modern iPad. This is not a bad deal considering the introductory starting price of Rs. 24,999 for a 128GB base storage variant. And, keep in mind – this isn’t a cheap iPad imitator. For an iPad loyalist like me, adapting MIUI for the Pad -ways was a child’s play. But is it worth buying considering the rest of the package? This is something I’ve discovered over the past 10 days.

Xiaomi Pad 5 Design

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is very similar to the Apple iPad Air 5th Gen, considering the slim bezels around the display, and the same kind of flat sides. Build quality is almost as great as the iPad, although the choice of materials varies. Unlike the all-metal chassis on the iPad models, the Xiaomi Pad 5 has a metal frame sandwiched between the glass screen and the plastic back. The plastic may excite some critics and fans but rest assured that the Xiaomi Pad 5 is among the best tablets you can buy today. The plastic also makes for a fairly lightweight and manageable tablet.

Now note that the Xiaomi Pad 5 is not a completely new tablet and you can tell by the Mi 11X-inspired rear camera hump. The camera hump has a single 13MP rear camera. The tablet also has a set of quad speakers and a USB 2.0 port. I wish Xiaomi had offered more color options on the Pad 5, considering that the standard black variant looks a bit dull.

Note that as part of the package you get a 22.5W charger in the box. You will need to purchase the keyboard cover and the smart stylus separately.

Xiaomi Pad 5 screen

This is where the Pad 5 beats most tablets at a much higher price tag. The 10.95-inch screen features WQHD+ resolution with 120Hz refresh rate support, DCI-P3 color support as well as Dolby Vision. Show these stats to any nerd and they’ll go wild. The LCD screen is a small part of the iPad Air display in terms of color vibrancy and vibrancy but it looks good overall.

What makes up for it is the 120Hz refresh rate, which makes it one of the smoothest screens out there for tablets. Scrolling looks naturally smooth, animations look buttery, and so do the games. We noticed that YouTube and a couple of other apps were only limited to 60Hz, which could be a problem from app developers.

Xiaomi Pad 5 Performance

With Android tablets, you can only expect flawless performance on those high-end Samsung tablets – the cheapest ones are all slow and dreary. Xiaomi was smart here by avoiding any of the Snapdragon 700 series chipsets and going for the Snapdragon 860 chip. This is the same chip that powers the Poco X3 Pro, and at the time it impressed us with its raw performance capabilities.

It does the same on the Xiaomi Pad 5. In terms of AnTuTu scores, the Snapdragon 860 beats the MediaTek Dimensity 920. Combined with the MIUI for Pad, this is a fast tablet eager to take commands. The interface is fast and gaming takes about the same time as it does on an iPad, or any other high-end Android phone running on the Snapdragon 870 chip. Throughout my time with the Pad 5, this tablet didn’t show stutter or lag. Never be late, or run out of breath while doing multi-window multitasking on MIUI for Pad. I haven’t seen any Android tablet that works as flawlessly as the Xiaomi Pad 5, except for the exorbitantly priced Samsung Galaxy Tab S8.

We need to talk about MIUI for the Pad interface. It had all the MIUI 13 stuff we love on Xiaomi phones but all designed to resemble iPadOS. The dock at the bottom works almost the same as the one on iPadOS, and you can bring it up while playing any game or running any app. Xiaomi has implemented smart gestures to bring up the dock and it all feels natural. Even in multi-window mode, the back gesture works just the way you’d expect. I haven’t seen that kind of convenience on other tablets, not even the iPad.

Let me also highlight the fact that MIUI for Pad absolutely does not contain bloatware or adware. This is the cleanest version of MIUI I’ve seen in a very long time, and I wish Xiaomi would offer something like this on their expensive flagships. I also wish Xiaomi would offer it with Android 12 instead of the old Android 11.

At the time of writing this review, I did not have access to the keyboard cover and the smart stylus pen. Xiaomi sells the Xiaomi Pad 5 cover at Rs. 1499, while the smart pen will cost Rs. 4,999.

Next, let’s talk about the speakers. Quad speakers sound alluring on paper but in reality they don’t pack the same punch as promised. Sound quality is good for a tablet at this price, but the four speakers don’t pack as much as you would expect from a quad speaker setup. Next to the iPad Air’s dual-speaker setup, the audio theater feels limited and weaker.

And yes, the Xiaomi Pad 5 has a decent pair of cameras. The 13MP rear camera is good enough for scanning documents and taking pictures for email or projects, but the image quality is far from what you see on similarly priced smartphones. The 8MP front camera is good for video calls and selfies.

There are some glaring omissions. Xiaomi doesn’t offer LTE connectivity on the Pad 5, which means you have to stay within Wi-Fi networks or keep a dongle handy to get work done on the go. The tablet also lacks GPS, which is another weird omission – that hurts while doing your map search. Also, the tablet comes with 6GB of RAM as standard and I hope it comes with 8GB of RAM for a future improvement, at least on the high-end model.

Xiaomi Pad 5 battery

On paper, the Xiaomi Pad 5 has a battery big enough to keep it going for days when using the light. The 8720Ah battery is big on paper but given that Android isn’t nearly as efficient as iPadOS, the Xiaomi Pad 5 with regular use ends the day with 30-40 percent left. This usage included an hour of conference meeting, 2-3 hours of video watching, and an hour of basic tasks (emails, social media, and more). The 22.5W charger that comes in the box takes nearly two hours to fully recharge the battery, but the Xiaomi’s 33W charger can do the same 30 minutes faster.

to rule

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is the much-needed refreshment in the affordable tablet space. In a world where every other brand makes a tablet in order to capture a share of the emerging demand in this segment, Xiaomi comes with one that cares about the tablet experience. Yes, it’s an iPad clone in a huge way but it does so with flair. MIUI for Pad is easily the most refined tablet experience we’ve seen in a long time, and I sincerely hope you keep improving it more than ever. The hardware itself is great – the screen is nice and so are the speakers for the price. It is very well built.

However, the Xiaomi Pad is limited in the way it is made. With an iPad, you’ll enjoy the benefits of the ecosystem and some well-designed apps. The same goes for Samsung Galaxy tab models, where owning a Samsung phone enhances the experience. There is none of that convenience on the Xiaomi Pad 5 – there are no benefits associated if you are using a Xiaomi phone. In addition, Android itself is not very well designed for tablet apps and it shows, although Xiaomi is trying its best to bridge the gap.

Thus, the basic iPad is still the best tablet experience you can get for less than Rs. 30,000. However, the Xiaomi Pad 5 comes second and offers a great overall experience, especially for creative users. As long as you want a feature-packed tablet for doing basic tablet things like watching movies, playing games and doing basic productivity tasks, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a great recommendation.

product name

Xiaomi 5 . pad

Positives

  • Ultrafast performance
  • good offer
  • MIUI polished interface

Negatives

  • Lack of LTE and GPS
  • Average battery life

to specify

  • an offer

    10.9 inch Quad HD + 120Hz LCD

  • Slices

    Snapdragon 860

  • Operating System

    MIUI for device, Android 11

  • battery

    8720 mAh

  • cameras

    Rear 13 MP, Front 8 MP

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