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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5: Battery Life & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5: Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 scores another big win here. We ran the same, high-quality BBC iPlayer video on loop as we did on the Tab S 8.4. It lasted a good 10 hours, but the Tab S 10.5 went on for an outstanding 14.2 hours.

Increasing the brightness a little will bring this down, but we had it at 50% and at it was clear in a bright office environment. Moreover, we left Wi-Fi on for this test. Turning it off would help add a little more life, making this a great tablet for long flights and other journeys.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 12

Other things to consider

Like the 8.4, the Tab S 10.5 has an 8-megapixel camera on the back and 2.1-megapixel camera on the front. The rear camera has an LED flash as well, which is handy. We couldn’t detect any different in image quality between the two, so look at the Tab Pro 8.4 camera section to see how it performs. The short version is it’s an above average camera for a tablet, but a 10-inch tablet isn't a practical camera.

The Tab 10.5 also uses the same speakers, which is a little disappointing. They’re stereo speakers and they create a decent stereo image, but they lack the mid and low-end punch of better tablets. They’re good enough for dramas as dialogue is crisp and clear, but we hoped for better.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 6

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5?

If you want a 10-inch Android tablet, yes. This is the best there is by a comfortable margin. Choosing between it and an iPad Air is trickier, but if you’re not interested in the iPad then this is best alternative.

We recommend taking a long hard look at the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 as well before deciding. It can’t match the incredible battery life of the 10.5 and its screen isn't quite as good, but it’s cheaper and just as good in every other way. Its 8.4-inch size also creates a nice balance between portability and comfortable viewing.

Whichever you choose, though, you can’t lose.

Verdict

This is the best 10-inch Android tablet available. If that’s what you want, go buy it.

Next, read our Tablet Buyer's Guide or pick from our best tablets round-up

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 10
  • Build Quality 8
  • Design 7
  • Performance 8
  • Screen Quality 10
  • Software & Apps 7
  • Sound Quality 6
  • Value 8

Person chap

June 14, 2014, 3:40 am

What's the point in an expensive bluetooth keyboard if it's not a serious typing tool? No thanks! I'll stick to my laptop!

Also, thin and light, we expect from Samsung. We also expect the devices not to last the entire day. Great, for a phone, because who needs their phone after 6pm when the battery is flat?

I found a proper smartphone that can last 2 days of intensive use, 3 days light use. 4,000mah battery, 5" screen. Who's interested?

Frank

June 15, 2014, 5:19 pm

I was at future shop on June 14th doing some more "research" for my impending purchase. I checked out the iPad airs (again). Pretty much convinced that this was the route I would go down. Pretty happy with my older iPad 2 -- so staying with Apple for a tablet seemed practical. I checked out the display model of the 10.5 Samsung Tab S --- frankly, I was blown away with the display. The battery will typically go upwards of 16 hours on a charge & it sounds like Samsung had corrected the "long" charging time to under an hour from near dead to full charge. The other features that render it a as a nice blending of recreational and business device was a bonus! It can use my charger from my Samsung Galaxy and they "like" each other - so I can seamlessly integrate them.

In our home we have an iMac 27 and a pretty decent Microsoft PC. We have iPods and iPads living along side android tablets. So we are a "blended" family without any significant preferences. I am using my "old faithful" iPad 2 to write this review and I likely will never completely retire it!

In Canada I could pre order the Samsung Tab S for delivery for June 27th.

I am a very careful shopper - I pre-ordered the new Samsung Tab S 10.5 last night with complete sense of confidence and excitement I haven't had for a new product for a very long time!

My nickels worth!

Frank

Dinsy Jones

July 7, 2014, 1:05 pm

According to Anandtech, battery life on these new tablets is quite bad unless you're using them for video. So it all really comes down to what you're going to use your tablet for. For video, the 16:10 aspect ratio and external storage means the Samsung is the clear winner. For everything else, well, I'm unconvinced. The iPad is much more natural for portrait use, for instance.

I just noticed you wrote your comment 22 days ago. Have you received your new tablet yet? :)

Frank

July 9, 2014, 5:53 am

Hi,
Sorry it took so long to Get back to you!

Yes! I have been playing and working with the new Tablet for about a week. It is pretty much what I had expected. The only critique at the moment is feel Samsung oversold the battery life expectations. I find it dosen't typically last as long as my older iPad 2. I get maybe 7 or 8 hours of surfing the net or watching Netflix. Less - if I start to make it work harder and do some office work.
I have no regrets on the purchase and I remain thrilled with the purchase - but, I feel a little gipped on the Battery life.

I had it at work and compared it side by side with a fellows iPad Air -- we watched the same video and some pictures we downloaded - We agree that theSamsung simply has nicer colour rendition and better resolution -- but, it wasn't a slam dunk. The iPad Air Retina display is still a pretty impressive tablet and you really need to have them side by each before you notice the subtle differences. Some of which might be attributed to each persons settings preference - we played around a bit and with a few adjustments --- The iPad was getting close -- but the colours are still better on the Samsung.

Dinsy Jones

July 15, 2014, 11:20 am

Thanks for your impressions. Yes, the screen is definitely the selling point for these new tablets. I have a Tab Pro and I usually get around nine hours out of it so the reduction in battery size seems to make a difference.

I'm quite happy with mine as well but I really like the iPad's format much better, I don't usually watch that much video on mine. I prefer Android and I really appreciate external storage so that's why I went for the Samung. Oh well, there is no perfect device I guess.

iFrank

July 28, 2014, 7:51 pm

What is the issue with battery life, if you're mainly using the tablet at home?

Surely (assuming sufficient chargers/sockets) you will keep them plugged in for 24/7 100% charge?

Ma8

August 21, 2014, 8:41 pm

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Book Cover - Review

http://youtu.be/WHORAtUeiO8

James

November 25, 2014, 11:08 pm

For some time now, I have been looking for a
tablet to kick around the house that not only let me read all my favorite books
on my downtime, but also controlled things around the house like light switches
and the TVs. I have been in this home automation kick as of late, so that of
course was a must have feature. I was reading around and almost bought a Nexus
until I read in one mag that the new Samsung destroyed it in performance. After
reading a few more online (ie, http://pocinc.net/blog/product... for one example or the
one right here, or the one at Cnet), I wound up getting sold on it. Let me tell
you…..yeah baby! This thing rocks my world. I even take it to work with me when
possible. It’s like my new best friend }:) Also good with games and
Netflix....oh I needs me my Netflix!

Justin Myers

November 28, 2014, 6:54 am

I was just reading that. I think I might get one. Home automation sounds fun, but I need one for mostly video and music on the run as well as a few addicting art programs.

David C.

January 25, 2015, 8:56 am

Pros: Has excellent screen, light and slim, takes good pics and videos, fast.
Cons: Samsung could remove some apps, expensive accessories, takes more than 2 hours to charge to a 100%.

Ugly Con: I was using the tablet, about 40% - 20% charge and put it aside. Few minutes later, not working. It wasn't over charged, so what could it be? (this unit I am talking about is the second one, because we had another issue with it and the retailer gave us another one.)

Now, this may not have happened to a lot of people, but it happened to me.

Graham

September 17, 2015, 3:48 pm

I have had no problems with the finger print reader and now with Android Lollipop it works even better, you just have to read the manual on how to swipe your fingers in different directions for the 8 swipes when you set it up.

d1g1t4l_nrg

April 27, 2016, 10:41 pm

It has no S-Pen, It has no flash, Camera's are not nearly as updated as they should be, Batteries also have to be better. O/S upgradeability should be in for at least a couple of versions of Android, not just the most recent/ previous version of Android. I am talking full upgrades as well not 5. to 5.1 or 4.4 to 4.6. When they name it they should have an upgrade for it. As long as it meets the requirement for the update/upgrade.
... Something that Google and MFGs both need to work on!

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