The Xiaomi Pad 5 reveals itself in our hands as the false twin of Apple’s tablets. Does the Chinese brand succeed in its bet to offer an almost equivalent tool for much less? Answer in this test.
After more than 5 years of absence on the tablet market, Xiaomi is back in force with the Pad 5. In its sales pitch, the promises are numerous both in terms of its versatility and in terms of performance. Regulars of the Apple brand will surely have noticed a striking resemblance between the Xiaomi Pad 5 and some of the iPad models.
By taking these prestigious tablets as a model, it is clear that Xiaomi is trying to do as well, while playing on the fact that the Pad 5 costs a fraction of the price of its competitor. So, does this dupe live up to our expectations? The answer in this test of the Xiaomi Pad 5.
Xiaomi Pad 5 at the best price
Base price: €349
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Technical characteristics of the Pad 5
Before getting to the heart of our test of the Pad 5, here is the technical sheet of the tablet from the manufacturer Xiaomi. There are very attractive features that are reminiscent of some more high-end models available on the market.
|Screen||– 11 inch screen
– 2560 x 1600 definition
– WQHD+ and 120Hz
|Design||– Plastic back
– Anti-fingerprint coating
|SoCs and GPUs||-Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
– Qualcomm Kryo 485
– Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU
|Memory||– 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM
– 6GB RAM + 256GB ROM
|Colors||– Cosmic Gray
– Pearl White
|Camera||– 8 MP front sensor
– 13 MP rear sensor
|Audio||– 4 speakers
– High-Res Audio
– 22.5W fast charge
– USB-C port
– Wi-Fi 5
– compatible with Xiaomi Smart Pen
– MIUI 12
|Height and weight||– 254mm x 166mm x 6.85mm
|availability date||September 28, 2021|
After a long absence in the tablet segment, we could only expect a strong comeback from Xiaomi. This is why we were pleased to welcome the Pad 5 and its luxurious look… which is reminiscent of the flagship product of a certain Apple brand. The tablet has a plastic back and a gray or white metal frame, which gives the whole a sober and premium look thanks to its excellent quality of finish.
This undoubtedly places the tablet as a direct competitor to the most high-end brands like Apple and its iPad Pro (or iPad Air). It is a bias of the brand that reveals its desire to attract loyal users of iOS tablets, leaving originality on the sidelines – both in terms of colors and in terms of design.
Regarding the arrangement of buttons and ports on the edges, we find almost feature by feature the arrangement of Apple iPads. If we take it in portrait mode, we find at the top the unlock button, 2 speakers and a microphone. On the bottom, there are two other speakers, a microphone and the USB-C port. Finally on the right, we have two other microphones which complete the collection. No 3.5mm jack on the horizon, which means that an adapter, USB-C compatible headphones or Bluetooth are required.
We also regret the somewhat thick borders which clash with the rather premium appearance of the Pad 5 tablet. Its format, meanwhile, is both comfortable enough to perform a whole host of activities and also act as a pass- everywhere since it even fits in a handbag or a medium-sized satchel.
Finally, the Xiaomi Pad 5 remains in the light weight category with its 500 g on the scale, spread over a diagonal of 11 inches. In fact, it is pleasant to use and has a comfortable grip thanks to its medium size. For unlocking, the touch pad does not have a fingerprint reader but does have facial recognition – which is always good to take.
Screen and Audio
At the screen level, the Xiaomi pad 5 incorporates a WQHD + panel, which offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz coupled with a definition of 2560 x 1600, which looks like the characteristics of a high-end tablet. range. This is also an impression that was reinforced by the daily use of the tablet during our test.
What really stood out to us in the Pad 5 test was the fluidity with which it performs actions, and how comfortable that makes it for demanding activities such as a game session on a cloud gaming service. Note, however, that the colors are a little too saturated, which indirectly darkens the screen and sometimes makes it difficult to use in direct sunlight.
Everything is supported by an effective audio part that convinces us both in video and in listening to music. Due to their location on the tablet, the speakers offer a clear sound that is almost never muffled, and have good bass so as not to turn in the treble in an exaggerated way when the volume is increased a little.
On the back of the tablet, a single 13 MP sensor is visible, reminiscent of the design of the sensor present on Xiaomi’s 11 series. This one is rather discreet and is barely effective for taking more or less decent photos of documents, as long as there is enough ambient light. For more advanced use, you will have to turn to a real device or your smartphone.
Performance, Software and Autonomy
As efficient inside as it is outside, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is equipped with high-performance components, starting with a Snapdragon 860 SoC from Qualcomm. There is also a Qualcomm Kryo 485 and a Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU. This gives the tablet more than adequate performance which never caused us any problems during the entire test period.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 also establishes a more than honorable score in the benchmarks to which we submitted it. Admittedly, this clearly does not reach the scores of Apple devices equipped with the M1 chip, but it still ranks at the top of the Android tablet basket, at a price once again ridiculously low compared to its target competitor.
To this, Xiaomi adds an 8720 mAh battery – which is average but lasts at least a day depending on use. No noticeable overheating on the horizon, the tablet also supports demanding games very well, compensating for the slight rise in temperature thanks to its materials.
In addition, the Xiaomi Pad 5 also benefits from the latest version of Android 11 and therefore from its new buttonless controls as well as an in-house MIUI Global overlay in version 12.5.1. The latter is rather interesting, although it is not necessarily in a good way.
Indeed, the general appearance of the overlay is more “iOS” than Android in some respects and in particular at the level of icons and shortcuts such as in the taskbar. It is also more complicated to manage than on other Android tablets since it only opens on the right side, the left side being reserved for notifications. If this is not embarrassing in itself, it is rather confusing and regulars of Android devices may have some difficulty finding their way around this tablet which is clearly aimed at customers on iOS.
Finally, the directly integrated WPS professional suite is a useful feature that allows the tablet to transform from an entertainment tool to a productive all-rounder thanks to its many free options. For example, you can scan your documents using the main camera, change the nature of your PDF documents, even record your PowerPoint oral presentation using the tablet’s microphone.
All this touch pad really lacks to make it a true workstation is the inclusion of a stylus and a detachable keyboard. However, Xiaomi has thought of everything since these two accessories are indeed compatible with the tablet, although they do not come with it for obvious budget reasons.
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Pad 5 has been officially available since the end of 2021 at a price of €399 for the version with 128 GB of internal storage, and €449 for the 256 GB version. It is however quite difficult to find, and you sometimes have to know how to jostle . Below, before concluding our test, the prices of the Pad 5 at the various retailers.
Xiaomi Pad 5 at the best price
Base price: €349
See more offers