Xiaomi Pad 5 review

GSMArena Team, 16 Sept 2021.

Design, build quality, handling

Without a doubt, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is one of the most elegant tablets we've seen in a while, and it's quite likeable. It has a flat and thin aluminum frame with a brushed finish; the front is all screen with balanced and slim bezels, while the back has this flat and eye-catchy matte piece of plastic covering the rest of the aluminum chassis.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

We love the Xiaomi Pad 5 sleek design, but also its light and properly balanced weight, as well as the reasonable size. The Dolby Vision screen and powerful Snapdragon 860 chip also add up for the overall attractiveness.

We have the Pearl White version, which looks all-white, but when bright light comes into play, well, everything changes. The light is caught, and then reflected within the rear panel - it radiates from the camera in a cool mystic way.

There are no visible fingerprints and smudges on the back of our white tablet. The Pad 5 is also available in Cosmic Gray and a limited Green version (China-exclusive for now).

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

Plus, the front is all black and a massive fingerprint magnet. The good news is that you can clean the screen with a couple of wipes with the back of your shirt, or even the side of your palm. But the fingerprints will be back in minutes, of course.

Speaking about the screen, its exact diagonal is 10.9-inches. It uses an LCD panel with high resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and Dolby Vision and HDR10 support. There is also support for the optional Smart Pen - the screen reads the stylus input with 240Hz sampling and can recognize up to 4,096 pressure levels, while the connectivity itself is handled via Bluetooth.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

The pen is nicely solid, made of plastic with a matte finish. It has a replaceable head and two keys with pre-defined functionality. The bottom key is for quick notes or brush type change/eraser when writing, while the top key is for quick screenshots or brush color changes.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

Back to the screen - its bezels are even across all sides, thin, yet enough to rest your fingers on them without covering the screen. If you hold the Pad 5 in portrait mode, you can spot the 8MP front camera above the screen. Not visible to the naked eye is an ambient light sensor hidden under the right bezel.

The back is striking, and you've probably noticed already that we like it a lot. What we don't like is the jutting-out two-step piece for the camera. There is a single 13MP camera on the back with a dual-tone LED flash, and we can't imagine it required that much space. We can understand Xiaomi designing this piece after the 11th smartphone series, but a flush camera would have been so much better as it would have prevented wobbling.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

Anyway, we are nitpicking here, and we are sure few people, if any, will have a beef with that camera. Plus, spoiler alert, it is really good.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a flat frame with rounded corners, just like most of the recent tablets. The frame is brushed aluminum, and you can spot a couple of antenna strips here and there. There is no card slot anywhere - the Pad 5 is a Wi-Fi-only tablet and doesn't take memory cards.

We'll go through the sides now, and for the sake of this tour, we will talk as if the Pad 5 is operated in portrait orientation.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

The left side has three small pogo pins where the optional magnetic keyboard case is attached.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

On the right, you can spot the volume key and two microphones. That white strip you see in the middle is a magnet holder and wireless charger for the optional Smart Pen. If you purchase the stylus, it magically clicks here and recharges - just like the S-Pen on the Galaxy Tab S7 series.

There are four symmetrical speakers on the shorter sides of the Xiaomi Pad 5. These are large 16mm x 20mm pieces, and they support Dolby Atmos to go with your Dolby Vision screen. There are two dotted grilles on each side - top and bottom.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

The top side also houses the power/lock key and a third microphone.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

Finally, the bottom has a fourth microphone and the USB-C port.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 fits and sticks really well in hands, and we think it is of a perfect size. It provides a solid grip and enjoyable work/multimedia experience, looks cool, and the magnetic pen attachment is surely a nice touch.

Xiaomi Pad 5 review

We liked Xiaomi's attempt to make it look like the Xiaomi 11 smartphone series, and if you are familiar with these phones, you will appreciate the reminiscent camera design for sure. If only it didn't jut out, though.

Reader comments

  • Tsai

Chinese versions for xiaomi Pad 5 do to give a free charger at the level of 33W,but xiaomi do it separately.It means the adapter/charger will be sent along with the pad itself,but be packed separately and deliveried together.

  • ano

Does it comes with a screen protector attached?

  • Anonymous

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