The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is an exciting middle-class tablet that will be very popular. Starting at 229 US Dollars it features a 10-inch full HD screen, a metal body, and an octa-core processor. It also is among the first tablets to ship with Android 9.0 Pie. How good is it really? That’s what you’ll find out in this Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 review.
A quick note about the different Galaxy Tab A versions: This video is about the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 with the product numbers T510 and T515. It is the predecessor to the 2016 Galaxy Tab A 10.1. In 2018, Samsung also released a Galaxy Tab A 10.5. I’ve reviewed all of them but this is about the newest one.
Design & Build Quality
Compared to its predecessor, the design has changed a lot. We don’t get any physical buttons underneath the screen anymore and the bezels are a bit thinner. And while the previous generations were made of plastic, we finally get a mostly metal body. Because of that, it does feel higher-end. However, it continues to have a plastic bar at the top for the antennas.
With 7.5mm it is noticeably thicker than premium tablets but it’s much cheaper too. It weighs 460g and that is light enough. You can get it in black, silver, and gold.
When holding the tablet in portrait mode, we get a power button, volume controls, and a microSD card slot on the right side. In the later one you can insert up to 400GB cards and if you want, you can move apps to the microSD in the settings.
The left side is empty and on the top is a standard headphone jack. It’s charged using a USB C 2.0 port which is located on the bottom. You can connect accessories like external SSDs or USB C hubs if you want.
It’s a bit disappointing that we don’t get a fingerprint scanner.
Speakers & Cameras
Next to the USB C port, Samsung placed two stereo speakers. Sadly, we just get two and they’re placed on the same side. That means you won’t get any kind of stereo separation when watching movies. Samsung is advertising big Dolby Atmos surround sound for big movies. But well, that’s just marketing. Anyways, if you consider how cheap this tablet is, the sound quality is good.
By the way, a bit pricier competitors like the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10, Lenovo Tab P10, and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 do have four speakers each.
Considering that this is a tablet, the 5-megapixel front-facing camera and the 8-megapixel camera on the back take pretty decent photos. Sure, even middle-class smartphones have better cameras. But still, videos and photos look decent and better than what I’m used to in this price range.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 has a 10.1-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10. It features a full HD resolution with 1920 x 1200 pixels. I’m always saying that a full HD resolution is high enough on 10-inches. And that’s the case here too. Sure, premium devices have a higher pixel density. But still, texts and pictures look sharp enough.
While Samsung is not mentioning an IPS screen, it seems to be one. Viewing angles are wide and stable. I also like that the screen is fully laminated. Other aspects like contrast and color reproduction are good. It is bright enough and I’d say it’s usable outside. However, it’s not as bright as an iPad Pro is.
As of now, Samsung is not offering a version that supports an S Pen yet. With some of its predecessors, the S Pen versions were released later. And there is a new 8-inch Galaxy Tab A with S Pen. But no 10-inch yet.
Hardware & Performance
Let’s check out the internal hardware and performance. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 features an Exynos 7904 octa-core processor. It consists of two 1.8GHz and six 1.6GHz cores. Additionally, we get 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with the base model. In some countries, you can also get it with 3GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. LTE 4G is an option too.
My review unit is the cheapest one with 2GB of RAM. It’s the only one available in Germany right now.
As you can see in my Geekbench and AnTuTu comparison, it gets excellent results in benchmarks. Especially if you consider how cheap it is. In both benchmarks, it’s noticeably better than the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10, Lenovo Tab P10, and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5. Those three are less than a year old and originally cost around 300 Dollars. By now, they cost about the same in many countries.
With that being said, you can see that premium tablets like the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 continue to be much faster.
These good benchmark results are reflected in real life. Android Pie itself and apps like Chrome and YouTube run very smooth. Demanding apps like Adobe Lightroom run too, but in this case, you will notice a difference compared to premium devices.
In my gaming test, it gets very good results. For example, you can play PUBG Mobile with balanced graphics settings very smoothly. And you can even set the graphics to HD. While you can play it with HD settings, you will notice some heavier stuttering in-between. Not always, but sometimes. All its direct competitors cannot play it with HD settings at all.
The tablet gets similar results in other games. If you set the graphics to high in Into The Dead 2, I’d say it is playable. But it gets smoother with medium settings. It’s like this with a lot of games. Shadowgun Legends runs great with medium settings and you can play it with high and ultra graphics too. But then you will see minor stuttering in action-heavy scenes.
Warhammer 40000 Freeblade runs fantastic with highest settings.
By the way, you cannot play Fortnite at all. It’s not supported.
Are 2GB Of RAM Enough?
Let’s talk about the 2GB of RAM: Those are a low amount of memory for 2019 but still standard in this price class. And there is no Android tablet with more than 4GB of RAM right now. Well, with single apps, you don’t need much memory and Android has a good memory management built-in.
You will notice those 2GB of RAM if you switch between apps or use them at the same time. Because we don’t get a lot of memory, apps get closed faster in the background. For example, if you play one or two demanding games and then switch to the browser, previously loaded tabs might have to reload. It always depends on which apps and games you’re using. If you care about fast multitasking, 2GB of RAM might be too little. But I think it’s alright for most.
Android 9.0 Pie & One UI
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 runs Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. In fact, it is the first tablet to ship with this version of Android. And Samsung has been very good with updates in the past. Much better than all its competitors. For example, the 2016 Galaxy Tab A 10.1 shipped with Android 6. It got updated to Android 7 and Android 8. And who knows, it might get Android Pie soon.
I don’t know any other brand that releases at least two major updates for their middle-class tablets. Sure, often we have to wait a bit. But at least Samsung is releasing updates. I can’t promise anything regarding the 2019 model. But again, based on the past, it should be updated for several years.
As usual, we don’t get vanilla Android here. Instead, it’s customized quite heavily with Samsungs One UI. That’s the new name for their interface. Compared to the Samsung Experience UI not much has changed though. The design is customized a lot and even the settings look different than vanilla Android.
I like One UI. It looks modern and runs smooth. It’s much better than early versions of TouchWiz which always seemed overloaded. And we still get a lot of pre-installed apps. Among those are Samsung Notes, a files manager, the Galaxy Store, and even their own browser. We also get Office Mobile and OneDrive from Microsoft, as well as Google apps like Chrome, Gmail, and YouTube.
Typical features of Android 9 Pie are not missing. For example, in the settings, you can access a new menu called Digital Wellbeing. With that one, you can see how much time you are spending with which apps. If you want, you can also hide the navigation bar and navigate Android with gestures instead. And you can activate a kids mode too.
We still get a split screen view. With that feature, you can open two apps next to each other. Samsung did not include their Dex desktop mode though. However, you obviously still can connect a keyboard and a mouse if you want.
In the beginning, I wasn’t able to watch Netflix in HD. Samsung fixed that with an update though. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 has a Widevine Level 1 now. You can watch Netflix and Amazon Video in HD. If you used Netflix before the update, you might have to reinstall it before you can watch it in HD. That’s what I had to do.
Samsung is shipping the Galaxy Tab A T510 with a battery that has a capacity of 6150mAh. However, the battery life is not outstanding but alright. In my battery test, it got a runtime of 10 hours and 30 minutes. For this, I’m always looping the same HD video at medium brightness.
In real life, the battery life is a bit better than my artificial test shows. It’s not losing much energy in standby which is great. You probably have to charge it every two or three days if you just use it to watch movies or surf the web a bit at night. But if you play PUBG Mobile constantly, the battery will be empty in a couple of hours.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 Review: Final Verdict
That’s my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 review. Overall, I really like this tablet. We get a solid metal body, a pretty full HD screen, and especially when considering its price, the performance is very good. I also like that we’re getting Android 9.0 Pie and it should get updates longer than all competitors.
Sadly, the speakers are located on one side only. And while the battery life is alright, it could be better. It would be nice to get 3GB of RAM for all versions to make it more future-proof. But well, those 2GB of the base model are still usable.
You’ve seen that I’ve noticed some downsides of the Galaxy Tab A 10.1. However, when considering that prices start at just 229 US Dollars, those almost don’t matter at all. For this price, I think it is a very good tablet. Usually, I complain that the suggested prices from Samsung are way too expensive. This is the first time that I think the pricing is fair.
As usual, let’s check out some possible alternatives.
I must mention the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 which was released in the summer of 2018. While it originally cost much more, you can often get it for a similar price now. With 10.5-inches it’s a little bit bigger and the performance is weaker. However, it has 3GB of RAM out of the box. While it has a plastic body, it also features four speakers. Obviously, the software of Tab A 10.1 is newer. With this one, it depends on which features you prefer.
A much better alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. It is the fastest Android tablet you can get right now, and it features a Super AMOLED screen. We also get four speakers, an iris scanner, and the S Pen is included at no extra charge. But it costs more than double the price of the Tab A. Another pricier and better alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. I didn’t review it yet though.
- 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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