Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Xiaomi Pad 5 and Pad 5 Pro: Which one’s better?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Xiaomi Pad 5 and Pad 5 Pro: Which one’s better?

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 series has some of the best Android tablets you can buy in 2022. They can’t compete with the best iPads yet as Apple continues to widen the gap with iPadOS 16, but they still set a new standard for premium Android tablets. There aren’t too many tablets in the Android space that come close to matching the general performance and user experience of the Galaxy Tab S8. If you’re looking for alternatives, then we think Xiaomi’s Pad 5 series has some solid options. It may not be easy to get your hands on the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro / Pro 5G, but if you’re looking to buy one or if you’re simply wondering how they compare with the Galaxy Tab S8, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Xiaomi Pad 5 and Pad 5 Pro comparison to find out which one’s better.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Xiaomi Pad 5 vs Pro 5G: Specifications

Before we begin the comparison, let’s take a quick look at the specifications of each tablet to see what they bring to the table:

Specification Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Xiaomi Pad 5 Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro/ Pro 5G
Build Metal unibody Glass front, aluminum frame Glass front, aluminum frame
Dimensions & Weight
  • 253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3mm
  • 503g (Wi-Fi)/507g (5G)
  • 254.7mm x 166.2mm x 6.9mm
  • 511g
  • 254.7mm x 166.2mm x 6.9mm
  • 521g
Display
  • 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD
  • WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 11-inch IPS LCD
  • WQHD+ (2,560 x 1,600)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 11-inch LTPS TFT LCD
  • WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
RAM & Storage
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • microSD card support (up to 1TB)
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage
  • No microSD card support
  • Mi Pad 5 Pro
    • 6GB + 128GB
    • 6GB + 256GB
  • Mi Pad Pro 5G
    • 8GB + 256GB
Battery & Charging
  • 8,000mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging support
  • No charger in the box
  • 8,720mAh
  • 33W charging
  • Charger included in the box
  • 8600mAh
  • 67W fast wired charging
  • Charger included in the box
Security Side-mounted fingerprint scanner Only PIN code or password Only PIN code or password
Rear Camera(s)
  • 13MP, f/2.0
  • 6MP, f/2.2
13MP, f/2.0
  • Mi Pad 5 Pro:
    • Primary: 13MP, f/2.0, AF
    • Secondary: 5MP, f/2.4, (depth)
  • Mi Pad 5 Pro 5G:
    • Primary: 50MP, 1/2.5″, 0.7µm, PDAF
    • Secondary: 5MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Front Camera(s) 2MP, f/2.4, 120-degree (ultrawide) 8MP, f/2.0
  • 8MP,f/2,0
Port(s) USB Type-C USB Type-C USB Type-C
Audio
  • Quad-speaker setup tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos certification
Quad speakers tuned by Harmon Kardon Eight speakers, Dolby Atmos
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 5G (optional, in some regions)
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • IR Blaster
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • IR Blaster
Software
  • One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
  • Promised four Android OS upgrades
Android 11 with MIUI Global 12.5.2 Android 11 with MIUI Global 12.5.2
Other Features S Pen included in the box No stylus included in the box No stylus included in the box

It’s safe to say that all three tablets are on-par with each other when it comes to the specs. There are some subtle differences between them but the Galaxy Tab S8 isn’t necessarily too far ahead when compared with Xiaomi’s offerings. Let’s dive a little deep into this comparison to see if it’s really worth considering the Galaxy Tab S8 over the Xiaomi Pad 5 series tablets, especially the vanilla Xiaomi Pad 5.

Design and Display

All three tablets in this comparison, as you can see, have the same-sized display and almost the same footprint overall. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8, however, is the thinnest and the lightest of the bunch coming in at 6.3mm thickness and 507g weight. All the Xiaomi Pad 5 tablets measure 6.9mm in thickness but the Pro variants are slightly heavier — 511g for the Xiaomi Pad 5 and 521g for the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro/Pro 5G. All three tablets also look more or less the same from the front. One might say they all look like Apple’s modern iPads but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means you get a flat panel on the front with relatively thin, symmetrical bezels on all four sides.

Xiaomi Tab 5.

The back is where you’ll see a major difference when it comes to the design. There’s not a lot going on at the back of each tablet but you’ll definitely notice the difference thanks to a different finish, their colorways, and the camera modules. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 features a black-colored magnetic bar at the back, running straight from the camera module. The company tried to color match this particular bar on the Galaxy Tab S7 but it’s just a black bar on the Tab S8, regardless of the color you pick. The dual-camera module stacks the sensors one below the other vertically along with the LED flash. The S-Pen stylus that’s included in the box with the Galaxy Tab S8 also attaches magnetically to this black bar, so keep that in mind. As for the color variants, the Tab S8 is available in three colors — Graphite, Silver, and Pink Gold.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 and the Pro models also have a clean look at the back. The plastic back comes with a matte or a gloss finish depending on the color variant you pick. All of them have pretty much nothing at the back except the camera island and some branding for a very minimal look. The vanilla Xiaomi Pad 5 only has a single sensor at the back while the Pro variants have a dual-sensor setup. The LED flash is placed on the side as opposed to the bottom, and there’s no black bar to be seen on the Xiaomi Pad 5 models. The stylus, in case you’re wondering, attaches magnetically on top of the Xiaomi Pad 5. The vanilla Xiaomi Pad 5 is available to purchase in Cosmic Gray, Pearl White, and Green, whereas the Pro variants come in just black and white colorways.

The Xiaomi Pad 5.

Moving over to the front, you get an 11-inch LCD panel on all three tablets. They all support a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600 and up to 120Hz refresh rate. The overall panel quality is going to be quite similar but the Xiaomi Pad 5 tablets have a slight edge with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10. You’ll have a great time using these tablets for media consumption as they all have powerful stereo speakers. The Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro/ Pro 5G models step things up further with an eight-speaker setup, whereas the others including the Galaxy Tab S8 have quad-speakers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with an S Pen

On the durability front, none of these tablets have an IP rating. The Galaxy Tab S8 uses a Gorilla Glass 5 panel on the front to protect the display while Xiaomi’s offerings just have normal glass. Another notable omission on the Xiaomi Pad 5 models is the biometric sensor. The lack of a fingerprint scanner means you’ll have to rely on just a PIN code, password, or the not-so-reliable face unlock for authentication. Meanwhile, Samsung gets the basics right by adding a side-mounted fingerprint scanner to the Galaxy Tab S8.

Hardware and Performance

All the tablets in this comparison pack enough grunt needed to drive a fluid experience. As Samsung’s flagship tablet offering, the Galaxy Tab S8 features Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. In comparison, the Xiaomi Pad 5 and the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro models may seem relatively less powerful, but they’re still capable of offering enough punch to drive a smooth everyday use. The Xiaomi Pad 5 is powered by the Snapdragon 860 SoC while the Pro models get the Snapdragon 870 5G chipset. The base variant of the Galaxy Tab S8 comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. In comparison, both the Xiaomi Pad 5 and the 5 Pro come with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You’ll have to step up to the Xiaomi Pad Pro 5G to get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

The Galaxy Tab S8 has an obvious advantage in the storage department thanks to its support for microSD cards up to 1TB. This is yet another omission from Xiaomi which sticks out like a sore thumb in this comparison. Moving on to the battery department, we think all three tablets are on-par with each other. The Galaxy Tab S8 packs an 8,000mAh battery with support for up to 45W fast charging. The Xiaomi Pad 5 and Pad 5 Pro models have a slightly bigger battery in comparison, but only the more expensive Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro model supports charging speeds that are faster than the Galaxy Tab S8. You get an 8,720mAh battery inside the Xiaomi Pad 5 with support for up to 33W charging. The Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro models, on the other hand, pack an 8,600mAh battery with support for up to 67W charging. It’s worth making a note that the Galaxy Tab S8 — even though it’s capable of fast-charging — lacks a charger inside the box. Meanwhile, Xiaomi bundles a basic 22.5W charger with its tablets.

Cameras

In terms of the optics, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 sports a dual-camera system at the back which includes a 13MP, f/2.0, and a 6MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor. The vanilla Xiaomi Pad 5 sports a single 13MP, f/2.0 sensor at the back whereas the Pro models get dual sensors. There’s some disparity between the Xiaomi Pad 5’s Pro models too in the camera department. Only the 5G models get a 50MP primary sensor. The Wi-Fi-only Pro model sports a standard 13MP primary sensor. The secondary sensor is the same on both models, though — a 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor. We couldn’t take all these tablets on a Photowalk to take samples for a side-by-side comparison, but we’ll leave some samples captured using the Xiaomi Pad 5 below to give you a better understanding of what to expect.

As far as the front cameras are concerned, the Galaxy Tab S8 comes with a 12MP, f/2.4 ultra-wide sensor with 120-degree FOV. All models of the Xiaomi Pad 5 house an 8MP, f/2.0 selfie shooter on the front. The front-facing cameras are located on the bezels surrounding the display, so you don’t have to deal with an awkward punch-hole cutout. On the video front, the Galaxy Tab S8 can record up to [email protected] videos using both its rear and front cameras. The Xiaomi Pad 5 tablets can only record [email protected] videos using the rear camera, and only [email protected] using the front-facing camera.

Xiaomi Pad 5 camera samples:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Xiaomi Pad 5 vs Pro 5G: Which one should you buy?

Now that we know what to expect from each of these tablets, it’s time to figure out the best option for you. This particular decision largely comes down to the availability of these tablets. While Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 is readily available to purchase in most regions, the Xiaomi Pad 5 series has very limited availability outside China. In fact, the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro models are exclusive to the Chinese market, leaving only the vanilla Xiaomi Pad 5 within our reach outside. The Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro, however, offers excellent value for a starting price of just CNY 2,499 (roughly $385). Even the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 5G at CNY 3,499 (roughly $540) is a solid deal. But you’ll have to spend more on shipping and customs while importing one. So unless you can fetch one of the Pro variants from China, we doubt if it makes financial sense to ship one to your location.

That leaves us with the Galaxy Tab S8 versus the regular Xiaomi Pad 5 variant. It’s not available to purchase in the US, but the Xiaomi Pad 5 costs €349 (around $412) for the base variant, which is cheaper than the Galaxy Tab S8’s $599 starting price. In India, the Galaxy Tab S8 starts at ₹58,999 which is significantly more than the starting price of just ₹26,999 for the Xiaomi Pad 5. Sure, the Galaxy Tab S8 offers more bells and whistles for the price, but the Xiaomi Pad 5 offers the most bang for your buck in the Android tablet space right now. It offers a great display with a good set of speakers, a decent amount of RAM and storage along with a capable SoC in the form of Snapdragon 860. It’s arguably one of the best mid-ranged tablets on the market, with little to no competition.

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a great option to consider if you don't mind splurging to get a superior tablet experience in the Android space.
    The Xiaomi Pad 5 comes with a decent selection of internals and a good software experience overall to offer the most bang for your buck.

But if you don’t mind shelling out more money, then the Galaxy Tab S8 is definitely the better pick here. On top of all the hardware advantages, you also get One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 out of the box with Samsung’s promise of four Android OS upgrades and five years of security patches. The Xiaomi Pad 5 ships with Android 11 with MIUI Global 12.5.2 out of the box, which means it’s already a version behind. Long story short, the Galaxy Tab S8 is a great option to consider for those who don’t mind splurging for a superior tablet experience in the Android space. The Xiaomi Pad 5, on the other hand, offers a great value for money for economical shoppers. The Pro models promise better performance and overall experience, but their limited availability makes them a tough sell.

If you’re leaning towards buying the Galaxy Tab S8, then be sure to take a look at our best Galaxy Tab S8 deals page to see if you can save some money on your purchase. While you’re at it, be sure to stop by our collection of the best Galaxy Tab S8 cases too, and get some protection for your new tablet.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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