Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 : test / review
Published on: 22-09-2021 / Modified: 07-10-2022
I've tested a lot of smartphones over the past two years and had never really cared about tablets because I thought no one was interested in them anymore. I've been using a Surface Pro for years, it's a great product, and I didn't feel the need to buy an Android or iOS tablet. Fortunately, I sometimes have an uncontrollable curiosity and I let myself be tempted by a first Chinese tablet (Chuwi Hipad Plus) and as I had appreciated this product, I tested a second (Teclast T40 Plus) but now Xiaomi returns to the front of the stage with the big guns by launching the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5.
Xiaomi was no longer active in the tablet market for a few years but they surprised everyone by launching the Mi Pad 5 mi 2021. Xiaomi was inspired (not to say "copy") from Apple to design its smartphones by offering a much more aggressive price / performance ratio, they applied the same recipe with the tablet Mi Pad 5 by offering a premium tablet at a lower price than the competition. On the menu we find a beautiful 11-inch screen, performance equivalent to the iPad of 2020, UFS 3.1 and many other things!
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy the Mi Pad 5 in presale and I'm going to take this opportunity to share some great tips with you.
Good dealsI bought my Mi Pad 5 on Goboo.com for € 299 in pre-sale (normal price: € 399) . Goboo is an official Xiaomi reseller in Europe, they are based in Spain and offer two years of warranty.
To take advantage of this price: Mi Pad 5 at € 299 on Goboo.com
I found some other good deals on Aliexpress (delivery from some European countries):
France: 269 € with code MI30
Spain: 299 € with the code MIPAD45
Quantities are limited, so don't delay!
Structure of my testI test tablets according to a pre-set structure (see below) to provide you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time. Some tests like the network performance tests take several days and for the photo tests I sometimes have to wait for good weather to take pictures in good conditions. I am therefore obliged to publish the tests step by step, so I invite you to come back if the test is not complete at the time of your visit.
Price Xiaomi Mi Pad 5The list below shows the prices for the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
The above links are affiliate links from companies such as Amazon, Gearbest, Aliexpress,... If you appreciate my work, I would be grateful if you could purchase these products through these links. It costs you absolutely nothing but I get a small commission that allows me to buy the material I test. Thank you very much!
TimelineSeptember 22, 2021: purchase of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 on Goboo.com October 14, 2021: I received the Mi Pad 5 very late but Goboo apologized for it by offering a Mi Band 6, a screen protector, a protective shell and a case. They didn't have to do it but I found the gesture to be appreciable. A good point for them!
Why this tablet?Xiaomi has really shaken up the smartphone market in the last 2 years, they have also diversified with other products like connected bracelets, projectors, scooters, screens, projectors and many more but they were missing a flagship product for the tablet market. It is now done and this new tablet will be sold in very large quantities, I can already see the effect on the number of visitors to my blog.
How is this tablet different? In fact, Xiaomi is not used to revolutionizing the market with ultra innovative products. They bring some new things from time to time, but the magic formula at Xiaomi is to take what is good from the competition and produce an equivalent product for a much lower price. The Mi Pad 5 is positioned opposite the Apple iPad 2020 with similar performance but 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage where the iPad starts at 3Gb of memory and 32Gb of storage. The price will therefore be a strong argument for this tablet and it is a safe bet that Xiaomi will succeed in establishing itself in this market alongside Samsung and Apple.
The Mi Pad 5 is delivered in a large box despite its rather thin size and the box does not really give an indication of what to expect from the product. The tablet has a premium look that is absolutely not reflected in the packaging. It's not very important to me, but the first contact often plays a role. The box contains the tablet, a USB cable, a charger and a manual.
First configurationThe Mi Pad 5 runs under MIUI 12.5 like the last phones marketed by Xiaomi. The new graphical interface for the configuration adapts perfectly to a larger screen size but we can see that it was not designed for this type of screen because the space occupied by the screens is not not always correctly optimized.
The configuration therefore follows the same principle as for telephones, there is a common core with the basic configuration (backup, wifi, ...) but you then arrive on the proper part with Xiaomi where Xiaomi will try to register for its cloud and then go back to a layer from Google to activate Google Pay.
Xiaomi had not sold tablets for a few years and to return to the market, we had to design a product that would attract attention. The Mi Pad 5 has a sober but very elegant design. It does not revolutionize the world of tablets but the level of finish is impeccable. The edges are rounded, the buttons are almost fully integrated into the tablet, the back is covered in a soft and even texture while the edges are designed in a cool-to-touch metallic texture.
The photo sensor on the back reminds me of what Xiaomi uses for its Redmi smartphone range, Xiaomi used an Omnivision sensor that I haven't had the chance to test yet. Tablets usually don't produce good photos, but using an Omnivision sensor instead of an unfamiliar cheap sensor could be a game-changer. The sensor does not allow the tablet to be placed perfectly flat on its back, but the protrusion is quite limited, so the tablet is not wobbly.
There is a magnetic sensor on the side, I think it will be used to connect a keyboard to the Mi Pad 5. The screen size and the ability to use a stylus could position this tablet as a working tool in addition to being a tablet optimized for media consumption.
The tablet has 4 sound outputs arranged at the top and bottom of the tablet. I tested the sound and would post a more detailed review further on but I can already say that this tablet produces good sound and the speaker layout offers some immersion.
The screen is quite large at 11 inches but the border is quite visible, we are far from a full screen experience but the Mi Pad 5 still offers a large screen surface.
The information below comes from the Device Info HW application. The application provides detailed technical information about the tested phone. The Mi Pad 5 tablet runs under a Qualcomm performance architecture, it is undoubtedly the most powerful tablet that I will test this year. If I dive into the data sheet, I see the following things:
- there is no GPS
- the wifi module is the same as that of many Xiaomi and Poco phones, luckily it's a good module
- the main sensor is an Omnivision sensor, this could also be good news
- 8720 mAh battery
- presence of an accelerometer, light sensor, no proximity sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope
CPU / GPU Performance
The Mi Pad 5 relies on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 CPU, I haven't tested this processor yet but it ranks more in high-performance CPUs, so I expect a good score on Antutu. For the graphics part, it is based on an Adreno 640 that I find for example in the Poco X3 Pro or in the Samsung Galaxy S10, here too I can expect a good level of performance.
Benchmark Antutu/3DMarkAs I wrote above, I expected good performance and the verdict is in, it is. I got a score of 493,132 on Antutu and it is especially the graphics part that stands out with 190,611 points. The GPU offers superior performance than a Samsung Galaxy S20, Xiaomi has designed a tablet that will appeal to gamers because with this level of performance you will be able to play with greedy games like PUBG Mobile or Fortnite with a good level of graphics. The cooling of the tablet also seems quite efficient because during the Antutu test the temperature rose by 4 ° C to reach only 29 ° C, this is an excellent performance.
To test the performance in game, I download the mobile PUBG game and evaluate the in-game experience, graphics level and depth of vision. This game is quite demanding and should help you evaluating the performance of a phone.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 is a recreational tablet designed to consume media but also to play. With the score obtained on Antutu, I suspected that the in-game experience was going to be good and it is indeed the case. PUBG Mobile runs with an excellent framerate and the 120hz screen brings a very appreciable fluidity to games. The 4 speakers produce a quality sound which adds another positive point to the gaming experience. The arrangement of the 4 speakers still makes it possible to produce a good sound despite the presence of the hands to play.
Wifi performanceTo test a phone's ability to receive the network properly, I take measurements near my router and then remotely (and always at the same place). This gives me an average in dBm where a value of -90 dBm indicates poorer performance than a value at -30 dBm.
I measured an average signal of -10dBm near the router and a signal of -56dBm at a distance, this is simply the best score I got so far. The Mi Pad 5 has very good wifi sensitivity and gets a better signal than any phone I have tested.
To test the speed in Wifi, I connect to my router in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (if available) and use the Ookla application to measure the speed.
To test the quality of the GPS signal I use the Offline Maps application and I make the same train trip in pedestrian mode. Why? In pedestrian mode, the GPS does not artificially correct the signal to stick to the road, it has no markings, so you can see the actual position. I then use an application to measure the accuracy of the signal. I was quite surprised not to have a gps signal, at first I thought it was an incompatibility of the gps application with the Mi Pad 5 but no, the Mi Pad 5 does actually has no gps chip. It's a pretty curious choice for a tablet at this price point, Xiaomi designed a tablet for purely home use. I cannot criticize this choice because I can hardly see myself using a tablet to track gps level but all the other tablets I tested had a gps chip.
The Mi Pad 5 tablet is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 8720 mAh, it is undoubtedly the largest battery that I have had the opportunity to test. It took me 215 minutes to charge the battery from 4 to 100%, it's a very long time but with such a battery capacity it's no wonder. I noticed a sharp decrease in the charging speed to around 85%, if the speed had been linear the charging time would have been around 185 minutes.
I got a battery life of 526 minutes with the screen on at 100% and a battery life of 1398 minutes with the screen on at 50%. Autonomy is not linear because at 50% the screen consumes 2.6 times less than at 100%. If I compare this battery life to other tablets I have tested, the Mi Pad 5 ranks first. Battery capacity obviously plays a role, but energy efficiency seems to be better controlled than with Teclast or Chuwi.
Photo camera testTo test the quality of photos, I do a technical test (resolution, sharpness, chromatic aberration,...) in studio (identical conditions) to evaluate the technical part objectively. From the second half of 2020, I built my own laboratory to take completely objective technical measurements. I then take pictures in real conditions to see how the camera performs. I then evaluate these photos according to my criteria but I publish the photos so that you can evaluate the result according to your criteria.
Photo test / studio
For this first part of the photo test, I took my usual studio photos and I was surprised by the brightness of these photos. On the same terms, most smartphones produce underexposed photos in automatic mode in the studio, while the Mi Pad 5 is doing really well. The photo is much brighter than what I usually see on a smartphone and the color saturation is quite strong (but not necessarily correct). I have done other tests with other brightness levels and I see that the Mi Pad 5 does well up to a certain level. There is a kind of threshold below which this tablet falls into the same trap as phones and when that threshold is crossed, photos are underexposed.
The test photo with the banknotes shows the sharpness of the photos produced by this tablet. Here too I am surprised by the quality of the photo, tablets usually don't produce good photos, the Mi Pad 5 is by far the best photo tablet that I have tested so far. The sharpness in the center is excellent, you can read the small print on the Canadian banknote but the sharpness does not degrade too much on the periphery because the Israeli and Hungarian banknotes are always sharp. The colors seem a little too saturated to me.
Photo test / sunny
The photos I took outdoors will lead me to draw the same conclusion as in the studio. When the light is good, this tablet is able to take good photos that can compete with a mid-range smartphone. On the other hand, beyond a certain threshold of brightness, the photos are underexposed. I took all these photos on the same day and there is maybe a 20 minute difference between the first and the last, the brightness was variable because the weather was quite cloudy. Even though some photos are underexposed, I think this Mi Pad 5 does a very good job. I obviously can't compare it to good smartphones but in the tablet world and in this price range, the Mi Pad is doing very well.
The AI mode tends to exaggerate the colors, the scenes where the colors are very saturated were taken with the AI mode. The HDR mode allows you to recover a little detail on the sky but the combination of the images is not enough to really bring out all the details.
The sharpness is good as long as you do not zoom in beyond 80% because we start to observe a loss of details but at the scale of the tablet screen, this does not happen. not see. I observed chromatic aberrations on some parts of the photo but here too, you have to start seriously zooming in to notice it.
Tablets are not designed to take the place of a camera and most of the time they do not produce a good level of photos (at least in the entryway and the middle of the range). The Mi Pad shakes it all up a bit by offering a higher level of photo quality than most tablets in this price range.
Not yet available / tested
Video normale conditions
The Mi Pad 5 is capable of filming in 4k 30fps like most smartphones, the size of the screen offers undeniable comfort for making videos but the brightness and quality of the screen can be misleading because in the end, the video may be of lower quality. As with the photo, I find the Mi Pad 5 doing very well for video, the sharpness is good and the colors are nicely saturated (but not always correct). I just find that the exposure jumps are still too visible and it's quite astonishing for such a powerful tablet, there is a jerk effect in the movement. Here too, if the brightness drops, there is a threshold beyond which the tablet will produce very dark videos.
The Mi Pad 5 is equipped with four external speakers and these speakers are capable of producing medium power sound but the quality of this sound is clearly superior to other tablets that I 've tested. The sound produced by the external speakers is often too high-pitched, this is not the case at all for this tablet. The sound is warmer and the difference between highs and lows is much more noticeable. If you turn the sound to maximum and run your fingers over the speakers, you will feel a little wind blowing out of the speakers. The design of this tablet is a premium design, the sound has nothing to do with the screaming sound of most entry-level and mid-range tablets. With headphones the sound quality is of course even better, the sound is not very powerful but it is of good quality and I did not notice any distortion.
Screen qualityTo test the screen, I use a colorimetric probe that measures the color accuracy of a screen, as well as other parameters to see if a screen is able to correctly reproduce an image. I also test the brightness level to determine if the screen will be able to display an image in full sunlight.
Xiaomi has a habit of configuring its screens to increase color saturation and this results in the colors not being quite correct. I was surprised to find that this is not the case with the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5, the screen is just perfect, it may even be the best screen I have been able to test so far. Without changing anything in the configuration, I get a delta E of 1.1, so the colorimetry is perfect. The screen of the Mi Pad 5 can easily compete with the screen of an iPad.
The temperature of the white is 6730 Kelvin, it should have been closer to 6500 Kelvin but the difference is imperceptible to the naked eye. The color performance is even quite linear, I do not notice any weakness on a particular color.
The screen of the Mi Pad 5 has a refresh rate of 120 Hertz, the transitions are therefore perfectly smooth, it is particularly visible for games and all applications requiring a fast display .
Brightness / Contrast
I measured a brightness of 448 cd / m² with my probe, this is a very good score and it will allow you to use the Mi Pad 5 in just about any light condition. I think it is possible to increase this brightness even higher but I did not find the light sensor that would have allowed me to force this measurement a little.
The Mi Pad 5 is equipped with an IPS LCD screen, it's a pretty amazing choice compared to the positioning of this tablet, an amoled screen would clearly have been more appropriate. The contrast is therefore quite average, I measured a contrast around 1100: 1.
The Mi Pad 5 runs under MIUI 12.5 and those who use recent Xiaomi / Redmi / Poco will quickly find their marks but they will also run into some problems. MIUI is designed to run on smartphones and although I haven't encountered any blocking issues on the Mi Pad 5, some menus are clearly designed for a phone and end up taking up a small part of the tablet screen. The most obvious is the screen with the shortcuts (swipe down from the top right corner), the icons are very small and stuck in a corner of the screen while the rest is completely empty. There are several screens like this where you feel that MIUI was not designed for a screen size of this type.
I also found it quite a shame that the screen sharing feature cannot allow applications to be placed as desired, it is possible to place them on screen halves or free windows but a horizontal cut would have been very interesting on a screen of this size.
There is nothing here that should stop you from buying this tablet, these are things that can be improved upon and since this tablet is selling really well, I guess Xiaomi will pay a little more attention to it for the coming months.
Encoutered bugsNot yet available / tested
Test / Review conclusion
I mainly test smartphones and I therefore have reflexes linked to this type of device but the world of tablets is not very far away and this allows me to recover a large part of the smartphone tests to apply them to tablets. I had so far only tested entry-level Chinese tablets, the Mi Pad 5 is more aimed at the high-end and therefore the comparison with the entry-level is not very fair. I therefore fall back on criteria for evaluating smartphones at an equivalent price.
I bought this tablet for € 299, it is an ultra aggressive price for such a successful tablet. Xiaomi applied the same recipe as on its smartphones, they were freely inspired by the high end of the competition (mainly Apple and Samsung) to market a tablet that can stand up to them with a much lower price. The Mi Pad 5 is a large tablet with a very nice 120 hertz screen that borders on perfection in terms of colors, I just find it a shame that the screen is just an LCD screen. An Amoled screen would have further enhanced the qualities of this tablet.
I was also positively surprised by the photo / video quality as tablets generally don't produce good photos but this Mi Pad 5 manages to produce good photos when conditions are good, I could almost compare the photo performance with the mid-range Xiaomi.
For performance, the Mi Pad 5 does not stand in the way, it upsets the established order and shakes up iPads to offer a very comfortable performance for games and multimedia in general . This tablet is clearly designed for multimedia consumption. The screen is good, the wifi sensitivity is good, the battery life is good, the sound is good and the handling is very pleasant too. This tablet really ticks all the boxes.
Everything is not perfect, however, but the small flaws are not important enough to darken the picture. The operating system is not always very suitable for a tablet, I am missing an unlocking system (eg: fingerprint sensor or facial recognition), there is no gps, there is no audio output jack, no memory card and no 4G. Unless you absolutely need these features, the Mi Pad 5 will surely conquer a very large audience and offer a credible alternative to iPads and Galaxy Tabs.
- screen quality
- wifi sensitivity
- sound quality
- good battery life
- photo / video quality when the light is good
- no gps
- some screens unsuitable for tablets
- no fingerprint unlocking
- no jack output
- no 4G
- expensive accessories (ex: the stylus costs almost 100 €)