Samsung left many surprised when it launched the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 barely six months after the 2018 Galaxy Tab A 10.5 was announced. The successor actually has a lower starting price and makes a few tradeoffs to reach that price. On the other hand, Samsung also blessed it with a few improvements.
Apart from these two models, the Korean company still retails its Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 tablet in certain markets. Being an older model, it is often found retailing at a cheaper price than its original tag. All the three tablets from Samsung differ on multiple grounds and you must understand those before making the final call.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 vs. 2018 vs. 2016: Differences
While you may expect the newest model to cost the highest, this isn’t the case with the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019. It starts at 200 USD which is a full $100 less than what the 2018 and 2016 models were priced at. That price cut is also responsible for a handful of changes that the 2019 variant comes with, such as the lower base RAM capacity of only 2GB against 3GB of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018.
Despite being priced lower, the latest edition of the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 features a metal body while both its predecessors settled for a plastic build. On the flip side, Samsung chose to ditch the 4-speaker stereo setup found on the 2018 tablet to give the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 speakers only on one side. Furthermore, the two newest devices house a USB Type-C port with the 2016 model having a micro USB port.
On the software front, the newest tablet of the three comes pre-installed with Samsung’s latest Android 9 Pie-based One UI with the 2018 model getting the same update only recently. Right now, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 is running the Android Oreo-based Samsung Experience UI and it is unlikely to go any further from here. Interestingly, the oldest tablet of these can be purchased with an S Pen, which neither of the other two supports, in a handful of markets.
Samsung also decided to reduce the battery capacity of the 2019 model to 6150mAh from 7300mAh found inside both the older tablets. This brought an obvious drop in its running time as per our standard battery review process. Unlike last year’s tab that came with the Snapdragon 450, Samsung this time reverted to using an Exynos processor, like the 2016 device did, albeit a new one— octa-core Exynos 7904.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 vs. 2018 vs. 2016: Similarities
All the three tablets have been maintaining their overall display size, with only last year’s model shooting a bit up to 10.5 inches, while also keeping their full HD resolution. In addition to this, the devices seem to have kept their connectivity configuration intact with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth included across the board along with an optional 4G LTE variant for each model.
The other and rather disappointing thing these Samsung tablets share is the lack of a fingerprint scanner, which is mainly because of their focus on the budget segment. No matter which memory configuration you go for, you will have the option to expand the storage using a microSD card slot. All the models we’re talking about here sport 8MP rear-facing cameras which have consistently performed decently. The front camera has been upgraded since 2018 to 5 MP from the basic 2 MP found on the 2016 device.
Even though all these models get varying software versions for being launched years apart, they offer a familiar software that will make you feel right at home if you’re an avid Samsung user. Their design language also shares a similar story where they differ only marginally to give a very Samsung-esque outline. In all the three models, the performance has been one aspect that remained steady no matter which processor was used.
They are meant to be used as entertainment devices at your home and they do serve that purpose very well. Having said that, the performance may simply not be adequate to support any higher demand.
Specifications: A Comparison
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019||Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018||Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016|
|Android 9 Pie (One UI)||Android 9 Pie (One UI)||Android 8 Oreo (Experience UI)|
|10.1-inch IPS (1920 x 1200)||10.5-inch IPS (1920 x 1200)||10.1-inch IPS (1920 x 1200)|
|octa-core Samsung Exynos 7904||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450||octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870|
|microSD up to 400GB||microSD up to 400GB||microSD up to 256GB|
|8 megapixel||8 megapixel||8 megapixel|
|5 megapixel||5 megapixel||2 megapixel|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, optional LTE||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, optional LTE||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, optional LTE|
|USB Type-C||USB Type-C||Micro USB|
|No fingerprint scanner||Facial recognition using front camera||No fingerprint scanner|
|245 x 149 x 7.5 mm||260 x 161.1 x 8 mm||254.2 x 155.3 x 8.2 mm|
Which One Is A Better Offering?
In a normal scenario, the newest device will be touted as the best offering but this ain’t a normal scenario at all. This is particularly since the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 was launched just a few months after the 2018 Galaxy Tab A 10.5. If you are looking for absolute value, then there aren’t many tablets that can beat the 2019 model at its price. Plus, it flaunts a metal build which none of the other two come with.
However, if you want to make use of that extra 1GB of RAM and a pair of stereo speakers, then the 10.5-inch model from 2018 makes more sense—and it now runs the latest OS too. Moreover, you will be able to get it a lower price given it was announced quite a few months ago. The budget Samsung tablet from 2016 is the only one among these three to support S Pen stylus, so you should consider the device if the said feature is in your checklist.
- Solid metal body
- Pretty screen
- Powerful processor
- Android 9.0 Pie
- Good cameras
- Decent speakers
- Base model with 2GB RAM
- Speakers on just one side
- No fingerprint scanner
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