Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses

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Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
  • Redmi Pad starts at a price of ₹14,999.
  • The tablet features a 10.6-inch LCD with 90Hz of refresh rate.
  • Redmi Pad is powered by MediaTek Helio G99 SOC.
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Redmi today launched a new tablet - Redmi Pad - in India. Priced under ₹15,000, the Redmi Pad is the brand's alternative for a budget tablet aimed at the populated segment. This ambition can be credited to the success of the Xiaomi Pad 5, a premium tablet that is priced slightly higher and has slightly superior internals.

Redmi claims this tablet is developed with both performance and content consumption in focus. A case in point is the MediaTek Helio G99 gaming SoC and 10.61-inch screen with 90Hz refresh rate. The composition looks good on paper, but there are several such options in the market. The real question is whether it can turn out to be the best of all in its segment. Is it? Let’s find out.

Price & Availability
Redmi Pad is available in 3 configurations. There is a base variant with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage offered at ₹14,999 Then there is a variant with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage offered at a price of ₹17,999. Finally, a variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is coming for ₹19,999. All the variants are WiFi only. It is available on Amazon and Redmi’s D2C websites.

Design
Redmi Pad borrows design language from the Xiaomi Pad 5. Like the Mi Pad 5, Redmi Pad feels solid to hold, and its flat edges provide an additional grip without digging into hands. Sporting a slate design, the Redmi Pad is thin at just around half an inch and feels premium. I asked my peers to guess the price based on design; most thought it to be a more expensive tablet when they held it for the first time.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses

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Given the massive screen size, it has a considerable amount of real estate. This is taken care of with the even weight distribution that Redmi has done on the tablet. Another important characteristic when it comes to holding a tablet.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Redmi Pad 5 is easy to hold

I am using the Graphite Grey colour variant; for me, it is the best out of the options available. The tablet looks fine in this colour scheme. There is a moonlight silver and a mint green colour available as well.

The tablet comes with IP52 water and dust resistant rating, which is re-ensuring since you can travel with it without any worries.

Redmi will also be providing cover cases for the Redmi Pad. I have yet to get my hands on it, but I will update the section if I get to use them.

Other design elements include a power button on the top right of the tablet while holding it in portrait orientation. It changes its position to the top left when you put the tablet in landscape. In both cases, the power button is easy to reach.

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Similarly, there are volume rockers on the right when the tablet is in portrait orientation, meaning the top left in landscape orientation. Like the power button, they are also tactile and easily accessible.

I would like to point out that Redmi Pad 5’s power button doesn’t house a fingerprint sensor. The tablet comes with face unlock instead. Yes, this is in line with the budget tablet segment, but I would have liked Redmi to raise the bar here as well.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
There is a quad speaker setup on the tab

Moving on, the tablet has four speaker grills. You don’t get a 3.5mm headphone jack on the tablet, which is fine with me, but it could be an important feature for some. I use TWS buds and prefer them over wired earphones. But if you want to use wired earphones, you can use a Type-C to 3.5mm converter. When asked about skipping the 3.5mm jack here to the Redmi product team, they answered that it is a solvable concern.

We also see a micro SD card slot on the tablet, which supports upto 1 TB of storage. Spoiler alert, there is no SIM card slot here, I share my opinions on this in the performance section.

Display
Perhaps the most important aspect of a tablet is its display. The more common use case for a tablet is content consumption, and Redmi has taken care of it. The Redmi pad has a 10.6-inch LCD with a resolution of 2000x1200 pixels.
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Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Redmi Pad retains natural colours


I used the Redmi Pad over the weekend to binge on all my favourite content, and the display didn’t disappoint me. The massive screen size, colour accuracy, and generally favourable HDR results in the beautiful image output.

The cherry on top is that Redmi Pad supports HD content for OTT apps like Prime Video and Netflix. So, there are no major compromises on the visual quality. Watching Andor on Disney+ Hotstar was fun on the Redmi Pad. The space battles, chase sequences and low-light shots all looked great. This surprised me, considering darker frames didn’t have a milky tint to them despite it being a budget LCD screen.

The screen is also great for reading, especially with the right weight and design. I surfed through multiple web pages and read books on the tablet, the experience of which was satisfying.

Redmi Pad has a peak brightness of 400 Nits which is apt for a tablet. The screen can get really bright indoors. But it might look underwhelming on a bright day if you plan on taking it to a picnic and watching something there.

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A hit and a miss is the keyboard on the Redmi Pad. I have never been comfortable typing on a tablet; unfortunately, Redmi Pad couldn’t change that either. The situation improves if you put it flat on a table and type. But punching the screen while holding it upright is a task. Hence I avoided typing notes here and mostly relied on voice prompts.

A solution to this is using a compatible Bluetooth keyboard with the tablet. I, however, would suggest using a laptop to save time.

Another point to note is the lack of a bundled stylus with the Redmi Pad. This is not a surprise since the competition in this price bracket also skips it. However, the tablet does work with 3rd party stylus’ available in the market.

I would like to point out that the auto-brightness feature feels choppy on the Redmi Pad. It usually misses out on adjusting the brightness according to the frame on the tablet. Forcing me to shut it off altogether. I feel this can be taken care of with an OTA update.

Redmi Pad 5’s display supports a max refresh rate of 90Hz. Which I found to be useful for both reading and gaming. My only gripe with the display is the lack of an adaptive refresh rate. It would have made the transition between a web page and a game much smoother.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Redmi Pad sports 90Hz of max refresh rate

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Complimenting this display is a quad-speaker set-up, and I can gladly say that Redmi has nailed it here. The speaker set-up here is fairly loud and provides even sound distribution. In my experience, the speakers here felt louder than the ones on Xiaomi Pad 5. They do retain a certain amount of oomph to them and also retain details in the audio at low to mid-volume levels. The detail might get lost at higher volumes, but if you are watching something with your peers, you won’t complain.

User Experience

Redmi Pad 5 runs on Android 12 out of the box paired with MiUI. As we observed on the Xiaomi Pad 5, the MiUI skin here is optimised to work for a tablet. For instance, you won’t find an app drawer by default; instead, the apps remain on the home screen. Widget optimisation also adds to the experience since it adds to productivity.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Redmi Pad runs on Android 12 out of the box

I have set my Google suite on the Redmi Pad. And since then, it has been my primary device for setting up calendars. Given the real estate on the screen, the split screen functionality works like a charm.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
MiUI is optimized for productivity on the Redmi Pad

The MiUi allows you to open upto two apps simultaneously along with two floating windows. A general consumer might rarely use it, but it’s always better to have a feature of this nature on board.

Over the years, Xiaomi has refined the MiUI, and this product keeps up with the tradition. There is no unnecessary bloatware on the tablet, a surprising sight. It’s clean and easy on the eyes as well.

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The animations are classic Xiaomi, but I am not complaining since they look good on this screen.

However, there is one area where the Redmi tablet suffers from the same problem as the Xiaomi Pad 5. The lack of a fingerprint sensor. The Redmi tab uses face unlock or pin, but it is not a fancy mechanism. It employs the front camera to unlock, and as expected, it doesn’t work 100% of the time. And I found myself punching in my password more often than not.

Performance
Redmi Pad 5 runs on MediaTek Dimensity G99 SoC. Indeed a fresh chipset in the tablet space, it delivers a fiery performance on the tablet. In my six days of usage, I am yet to see lags or ugly app crashes.

The variant with me packs in 6GB of RAM, which is more than enough to handle the applications on board. Considering most of them are, in fact, OTT apps. But beyond that, switching between web pages or multi-tasking with multiple apps in the background was also not a problem.

The RAM is also able to hold applications for longer periods. I would generally hop between Netflix and Youtube. And even with the constant switching, I would land up on the exact frame where I had left.
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Now Redmi claims that the Redmi tab can handle gaming as well. I gave it a shot, and the experience was just about okay. Yes, the tablet can handle games like COD Mobile, with respectable graphic settings of HD. But the form factor, by default, limits the experience of truly enjoying a game. This isn’t a complaint but a fact, Tablets of this size are not meant for gaming. Or at least serious gaming.

I also ran a Geekbench 5 computing benchmark test on the tablet to check the gaming prowess. It did fairly well for a tablet with a single core score of 551 and a multi-core score of 1894.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Geekbench score for the Redmi Pad

Frankly, the game I enjoyed playing here was Hill climb racing since I could place the tablet over a table and enjoy it. Another fun game to play with my peers was Ludo. Yes, these are basic, boring games, but playing them on a big screen adds to the fun.

The storage on my variant is 128GB. It is enough to store around 20+ movies in Full HD resolution across apps and games. If you are planning to go for the Redmi Tab, I would also suggest going with 128GB.

Now the Redmi pad doesn’t have an option for a SIM card slot. Yes, there are certain benefits of having a SIM on board, primarily data connectivity. It allows you to watch or download content on the go. Yes, you can also make phone calls, but tablets have never been the best option to dial up a number, in my opinion.
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To me, skipping on the option entirely shows the priority here. Redmi Pad has all the features to make it a content consumption device. Hence you can download all your movies or TV shows and go about your day. Also, I feel the majority of the usage for the Redmi Pad will be indoors.

This doesn’t mean skipping the SIM card slot on Xiaomi Pad 5 was justified.

Before closing this section, it’s important to talk about battery life. The Redmi Pad features an 8000 mAh battery. And in all fairness, it is very difficult to kill it. For the last five days, it is my primary device to watch content, and I have plugged it in only twice. If you are a light user, the mileage can come up to 3 days. The tablet supports 18W fast charging but considering it is a big cell, it takes about two and a half hours for a 0-100% charge.

Camera
Cameras are never a strong point in a budget tablet, and the case here is no different. The Redmi tab has an 8MP primary camera on the back, which reads super camera on the module.

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Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Images from the primary camera are undersaturated

Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
Indoor shots from the Redmi Pad are oversaturated

The camera by itself is not very impressive. The shots lose out on details with the colours generally oversaturated. The performance does improve a bit in natural lighting conditions, but in no means are they worthy of being posted on your social media.

The primary camera can record 1080P videos at 30fps. The footage lacked detail, and the colour tones were warmer. However, the audio quality was clear.

All’s not bad here, though. The camera app comes with an in-built scanner which can be used to scan documents. Considering we do use our tablets to store files and documents, this comes in handy.

The front camera is an 8MP sensor as well. The images also lack detail, and the colours are cooler. Opposite to the primary camera, here, the images are under-saturated.
Redmi Pad Review: A decent tablet for the masses
The 8MP wide sensor upfront is great for video calls

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However, if I strictly talk about video calls, then it is definitely better than most webcams that we find on laptops.

Verdict
Circling back to the title of this review, the Redmi Pad is indeed the tablet for the masses. Aggressively priced and packed in just about the right features you seek in an entertainment device. If you are looking for a tablet to watch content on strictly, then this can be a great choice. It’s a good alternative for kids or students to watch videos or for home studies. However, if you are a creative looking for a device for editing pictures or creating illustrations, then this isn’t the right choice for you.



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