The Xiaomi Pad 5 is one of the best Android tablets you can buy, and when you consider its price, it’s a bargain for tablet seekers. Our full review is here.
Xiaomi has made a fortune by copying homework from Apple. Its MIUI is a tasteful replica of iOS, while many of its flagship smartphones always resemble that year’s iPhone. The same goes for its latest tablet, which, despite all the differences in the regular MIUI ecosystem, is an unmistakable clone of the iPad. The Xiaomi Pad 5 may run on Android but in terms of its look and feel, many will wonder why it doesn’t have an Apple logo on the back!
You may think this is an exaggeration but the Xiaomi Pad 5 is really copying homework from the modern day iPad. Not a bad thing considering the introductory starting price of Rs. 24,999 for the base 128GB storage variant. And, remember – this isn’t a cheap iPad knockoff. For an iPad loyalist like me, adapting to MIUI for pad-ways was child’s play. But considering the rest of the package, is it worth buying? This is what I have learned in the last 10 days.
Xiaomi Pad 5 design
The Xiaomi Pad 5 bears a lot of resemblance to the Apple iPad Air 5th Gen, given the slim bezels around the display and the same kind of flat sides. The build quality is almost as good as the iPad, although the choice of materials is different. Unlike the all-metal body on the iPad models, the Xiaomi Pad 5 has a metal frame sandwiched between a glass display and a plastic back. The plastic may trigger some critics and fans but rest assured the Xiaomi Pad 5 is one of the best built tablets you can buy today. And, the plastics make for a fairly lightweight tablet that’s easy to toss around.
Now note that the Xiaomi Pad 5 is not a new tablet, and you can tell this from its Mi 11X-inspired rear camera hump. That camera hump houses 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, the standard black variant looks boring.
Note that as part of the package, you will get a 22.5W charger in the box. You will need to purchase the keyboard case and smart pen separately.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Display
This is where the Pad 5 beats even the most expensive tablets. The 10.95-inch display has a 120Hz refresh rate and WQHD+ resolution with support for DCI-P3 colors as well as Dolby Vision. Show these stats to any idiot and they’ll go wild. The LCD display is a bit below the iPad Air’s display in terms of color vibrancy and vibrancy but looks good overall.
What makes it the 120Hz refresh rate, which makes it the smoothest tablet display ever. Scrolling feels naturally smooth, animations look buttery, and so do games. We’ve noted that YouTube and some other apps are limited to only 60Hz, which could be a problem with app developers.
Xiaomi Pad 5 performance
With an Android tablet, you can only expect flawless performance on those high-end tablets from Samsung — the cheap tablets are all sluggish and sluggish. Xiaomi is smart here by avoiding any chip from the Snapdragon 700 series and going for the Snapdragon 860 chip. This is the same chip that powered the Poco X3 Pro, and it impressed us with its raw performance capabilities back then.
It does the same on the Xiaomi Pad 5. In terms of AnTuTu score, Snapdragon 860 is close to MediaTek Dimensity 920. Paired with the MIUI for Pad interface, it’s a fast tablet that’s eager to take commands. The interface is snappy and games take about the same amount of time as they do on an iPad or any other high-end Android phone powered by a Snapdragon 870 chip. Throughout my time with the Pad 5, this tablet didn’t crash or lag. It never lags or out of breath while doing the multi-window multitasking bits on MIUI for Pad. I haven’t seen any Android tablet that works as flawlessly as the Xiaomi Pad 5, priced at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8.
We need to talk about the MIUI for Pad interface. It had all the MIUI 13 elements we love on Xiaomi phones but all designed like iPadOS. The dock at the bottom works almost like iPadOS and you can bring it up while playing any game or running any app. Xiaomi has implemented clever gestures to bring up the dock and it all feels natural. Even in multi-window mode, the back gesture works as you’d expect. I haven’t seen this kind of convenience on other tablets, not even the iPad.
And I can also highlight the fact that there are no bloatware or adware apps in MIUI for the Pad. This is the cleanest version of MIUI I’ve seen in a long time and I wish Xiaomi would bring something like this to its expensive flagships. I wish Xiaomi introduced Android 12 instead of ancient Android 11.
At the time of writing this review, I did not have access to the keyboard cover and Smart Pen stylus. Xiaomi is selling the Xiaomi Pad 5 Cover at a price of Rs. 1,499, while the Smart Pen is priced at Rs. 4,999.
Next, let’s talk about the speakers. Quad speakers sound enticing on paper but in reality, they don’t pack the same punch as promised. Audio quality is good for a tablet of this price but the four speakers don’t pack enough punch and volume as expected from a quad speaker setup. Next to the iPad Air’s dual speaker setup, the soundstage seems limited and weak.
And yes, Xiaomi Pad 5 has a good camera. The 13MP rear camera is good enough for scanning documents and taking photos for mail or projects, but the image quality is a far cry from what’s seen on similarly priced smartphones. The 8MP front camera is good for video calls and selfies.
There are some omissions that are obvious. Xiaomi doesn’t offer LTE connectivity on the Pad 5, which means you’ll need to stay within a Wi-Fi network or carry a dongle to get things done on the go. The tablet also lacks GPS, which is another odd mistake — it makes it difficult to navigate maps. Also, the tablet comes with 6GB of RAM as standard and I think it would have been better future-proofed with 8GB of RAM, at least on the higher-end models.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Battery
On paper, the Xiaomi Pad 5’s battery is big enough to last all day on light usage. The 8720Ah battery is big on paper but not as efficient as the Android iPadOS, with regular usage the Xiaomi Pad 5 ends the day with 30-40 percent left. This usage included one hour of conference meetings, 2-3 hours of video viewing, and one hour of basic tasks (email, social media, and more). The 22.5W charger that comes in the box takes about two hours to fully recharge the battery, but the 33W Xiaomi charger can do the same in 30 minutes.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 is a much-needed refresher in the affordable tablet space. In a world where other brands only make tablets to capture a share of the emerging demand in this segment, Xiaomi comes with a brand that cares about the tablet experience. Yes, it’s an iPad clone in a mega way but it does it with taste. MIUI for the Pad is the smoothest tablet experience we’ve seen in a long time, and I honestly hope it continues to do better than ever. The hardware itself is great — the display is beautiful, and so are the speakers for the price. It is also very well built.
That said, Xiaomi is limited in the way the pad is made. With the iPad, you have the benefits of an ecosystem and some well-designed apps. The same goes for the Samsung Galaxy Tab models, which enhance the experience of having a Samsung phone. There’s no such convenience on the Xiaomi Pad 5 — there’s no corresponding benefit if you’re using a Xiaomi phone. Additionally, Android itself is not well-designed for tablet apps, and it shows despite Xiaomi’s best efforts to bridge the gap.
So, the base iPad will cost you Rs. The best tablet experience you can get for less than 30,000. The Xiaomi Pad 5, however, is a very close second and offers a great 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.
Name of the product
Xiaomi Pad 5
- Superfast performance
- Good performance
- Polished MIUI interface
- Lack of LTE, GPS
- Average battery life
10.9-inch Quad HD+ 120Hz LCD
Pad, MIUI for Android 11
13MP rear, 8MP front