Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) review

Samsung’s newest budget tablet

(Image: © Future)

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If it sounds as though we’ve been rather down on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 (2018), that’s because it’s not a particularly impressive tablet – and its low price tag doesn’t do enough to offset its weak specs. 

The tablet’s lack of processing power, bulky and cheap-feeling design, and awkward operating system all contribute to a tablet that isn’t great to use, as you’re often frustrated by stutters and freezes when performing functions, and the whole interface just feels slow to use.

Instead of giving the Galaxy Tab 10.5 a genuinely budget price tag, as Amazon has with its budget tablets, Samsung’s asking price doesn’t feel justified – a snappy and intuitive iPad won’t cost you a whole lot more, and even a mid-range smartphone would be better for many of the tasks you’d want a tablet for.

(Image credit: Future)

Who's it for?

If you’re looking for a cheap tablet but have some aversion to Amazon, which provides genuinely budget slates, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 (2018) is basically your only option – and its screen size is well tailored to watching content or playing games on the fly, so if this is why you want a tablet, you could do worse.

Should I buy it?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 sits at an awkward place in the market, so that whatever you want a tablet for, there’s probably a better option – and you can read all about these contenders in our Competition section below.

Unless there are very particular reasons you can’t get a tablet from Apple, Amazon, or any of the smaller competitors, you’re better off avoiding the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 (2018) unless, as the sacrifices Samsung makes to fit the budget price tag make the slate simply not worth the price


iPad 9.7 (2018)

(Image credit: Future)

For a small amount more (or the same price, depending on the region) than the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018) you could get one of Apple’s cheapest iPads. They look better, they’re more powerful and snappy to use, and iOS is a superior tablet operating system (especially since it’s soon to be replaced by the new and dedicated iPadOS, which promises to be even better), so you’ll be getting a better device all round.

Read our in-depth iPad 9.7 (2018) review

Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10

(Image credit: Future)

If you want a big yet portable screen for streaming content, and actual specs or performance are a secondary concern, you’ll want the Amazon Fire HD 10, with its 10-inch screen. Many find Amazon’s bloatware annoying, and the interface isn’t great, but you’re getting a big screen for a fraction of the price of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018).

Read our in-depth Amazon Fire HD 10 review

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.