If there’s one advantage to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)’s weaker screen, it’s that it doesn’t burn through battery nearly very fast, and thanks in part to this the tablet has a pretty decent battery life.
The battery itself is 7300mAh, which is around twice the capacity of a typical smartphone, but because of the bigger screen size, and different ways you use the devices, it won’t necessarily last twice as long.
We were pleased by the slow rate at which the battery dropped when we were using the tablet – whether we were typing documents, scrolling through social media, or playing games, the charge indicator never took a big hit, and we felt able to rely on the Tab A for long periods of work away from a charger.
It took about three hours to fully charge the slate from empty – that’s not exactly snappy, but it felt about right for the usage we got once it was charged.
When we put the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 through our battery test, which consists of playing a 90-minute video while on full brightness with Wi-Fi on and accounts syncing in the background, the slate went from 100% charge to 81% – a roughly average drop for a tablet of its size.
The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2019) are a far cry from what you get on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or Samsung Galaxy A80, but this isn’t a device you’ll be regularly pulling out of your bag to take a quick snap, and weak camera specs is something we’ve come to expect in a tablet.
The rear camera is an 8MP f/1.9 snapper, of the kind you’d see on an old-school Samsung smartphone back when they had one camera instead of four. It’s fine for the tasks you might use a tablet camera for, such as scanning documents or capturing landscapes to sketch later, but it’s rather limited in terms of functions – the zoom is all digital, so image quality will deteriorate quite quickly as you zoom in, and the field of view isn’t massive.
The camera app does come with a surprising amount of features for a low-end tablet, including a night capture mode, a Pro mode that lets you tweak settings such as white balance and ISO sensitivity, and panorama mode.
Pictures we took with the main camera looked a tiny bit soft, but that could be down to the low screen quality as much as the camera. We did notice the white balance felt a little off in pictures, as images taken looked a little blue, and this wasn’t the case with the front-facing camera.
These are all fun features to play around with, but in general the camera app felt rather slow to use – the tablet would stutter when we changed modes, and there was a slight delay between what we saw with our own eyes and what we saw on the screen.
On the front of the device is a 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera, which again was fine for the kinds of tasks you’ll need it for, like video calls and automatic authentication in apps. When we took selfies with this camera, however, they did come out looking rather red, so you’re not going to get particularly flattering selfies (unless rosy-cheeked is your go-to look).