Redmi Pad SE Review: Budget Tablet With Good Battery Life

While a huge chunk of the tablet market share has always belonged to Apple, there are plenty of other options in the market, especially if you’re looking for something affordable. The Redmi Pad SE is a budget Android tablet that launched in China back in August 2023 but finally made its way to the Indian market in April this year. This tablet is a great option for people looking for something simple, small, and pocket-friendly. You get an 11-inch display, a large battery, and a metal build.

After several weeks of using the Redmi Pad SE, I think this is an excellent option for someone looking to buy a budget Android tablet. However, I’d suggest reading my full review to understand why I say that.

Redmi Pad SE price in India

The Redmi Pad SE is available in India in three RAM + storage options. The base variant, which gets 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, is priced at Rs. 12,999. I’d honestly avoid this option, as 4GB RAM isn’t enough if you’re going to do some multitasking on the tablet. The 6GB + 128GB variant is the better option at Rs. 13,999, but the best option would be the 8GB + 128GB option priced at Rs. 14,999.

The tablet is equipped with a Snapdragon 680 SoC

 

Coming to the colour options, the tablet is available in Graphite Grey, Lavender Purple, and Mint Green in India. We received the Graphite Grey option with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The tablet comes with a 10W charger in the box, a USB Type-C cable, some paperwork, and a SIM ejector tool.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Design

The Redmi Pad SE has a very minimalist design. It’s flat on all sides with chamfered edges and uses an aluminium unibody construction that’s only 7.36mm thick. The tablet looks and feels premium despite its price tag and is also comfortable to hold in hand. The edges don’t dig into your skin so you can use the tablet for a long time without any discomfort. It also weighs just 478 grams, which adds to the comfort level. Redmi has also done a good job of distributing the weight.

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The 11-inch display supports full-HD+ resolution

 

On the front, you get the 11-inch display that’s protected by glass, although not of the Gorilla Glass variety. The display is surrounded by uniformly sized bezels on all sides that are not too thick or too thin. You can hold the tablet without your fingers accidentally touching the display.

When holding the tablet in portrait mode, the power button is at the top with two speakers, and the bottom frame houses the USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone port, and two more speakers. The volume buttons and a microphone are available on the right frame.

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The tablet offers a quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos

 

The tablet doesn’t have an official IP rating, and the microSD card slot has no rubber seals. Definitely do not use the tablet while having a shower or in the rain.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Specifications and software

Although this is a budget tablet, the specifications are decent. The Redmi Pad SE is equipped with a 6nm Snapdragon 680 processor, which is paired with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The chipset offers 4 Kryo 265 Gold cores clocked at 2.4GHz and 4 Kryo Silver cores at 1.9GHz. You also get an Adreno 610 GPU to handle the graphical tasks.

For connectivity, the tablet offers dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. There’s no cellular option, unfortunately. There’s no fingerprint scanner available on the Redmi Pad SE, and you’ll have to make do with a pin or pattern lock. Redmi has packed a large 8,000mAh battery in the Pad SE, but unfortunately, there’s no fast charging support. You get a 10W charger in the box.

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The tablet recently received an update to HyperOS based on Android 14

 

When I received the tablet, it ran MIUI Pad 14 based on Android 13. However, in the following weeks, the Pad SE received an update to Xiaomi’s new HyperOS based on Android 14. Xiaomi hasn’t provided any details regarding tablet software support. However, it’s good to see that it is currently running Android 14.

As for software features, Xiaomi’s HyperOS is similar to what’s on the phones, but you get some extra features designed for the larger screen on the tablet. There’s a Split Screen and Floating Windows, along with support for a stylus. A tablet-style dock at the bottom shows the most recently used apps on the right side. Swiping to the right on the home screen takes you to Google Discover.

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You can run up to 4 apps simultaneously

 

You can open the task manager to run apps quickly in split-screen mode. The tablet lets you use two apps on a split screen, but you can also use two apps in floating window mode. The Redmi Pad SE will let you use up to 4 apps simultaneously. Redmi has also included a Features for Tablets page in the Settings app that shows you all the multitasking tricks available at your disposal. There’s also a Conference tool feature that brings up a bunch of features during audio and video calls.

Apart from multitasking and Conference tools, there are not a lot of other features available on the Pad SE. Even the support for the stylus doesn’t boast any interesting features.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Performance

Moving on to performance, the Snapdragon 680 SoC on the Redmi Pad SE is decent enough for all your content consumption needs. It can also handle some light multitasking with up to 2 apps, but if you need anything more, you’ll see the software lag. Animations aren’t very smooth throughout the UI, and the benchmark results aren’t that great either. In Geekbench, the tablet scored 407 points in single-core CPU tests and 1,351 points in multi-core tests. I wasn’t able to install AnTuTu on the tablet.

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You get up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage

 

You also can’t game on the tablet, especially if you’re planning to run titles such as BGMI. I tried BGMI on the Redmi Pad SE, and I was only able to play it on the most basic HD graphics settings with a low frame rate. Touch sensitivity is also not great in games. Less demanding games shouldn’t be a problem, though, and I was able to run some puzzle games with ease.

Let’s talk about the display. The Redmi Pad SE has an 11-inch IPS panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and full-HD+ resolution. You can choose between 60 and 90Hz or let the tablet auto-adjust the refresh rate based on what’s shown on the display. You also get two colour modes – Saturated and Standard. The colours are decent, with deep blacks, and the panel also offers up to 400 nits of brightness, which is plenty for indoor use. However, the tablet doesn’t fare well under direct sunlight. Watching movies and YouTube videos on the Redmi Pad SE is enjoyable.

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The front camera on the tablet is good for video calls in good lighting

 

The speakers on the tablet also offer a good experience when watching content that supports Dolby Atmos. You get a quad-speaker support, and there’s enough separation between them. The speakers can get quite loud and perform well, even at full volume, with decent bass.

In regular usage, I did notice some lag when switching apps and scrolling through the Settings menu. Animations were also not super smooth. The Snapdragon 680 SoC is only good for basic tasks but begins to show its age under stress. Luckily, I did not face any heating issues on the tablet.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Cameras

While cameras aren’t really the selling point on a tablet, you do sometimes end up using them, especially for video calls. The Redmi Pad SE comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 and a 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.2.

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You get a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel camera at the back

 

Photos from the rear camera are alright in daylight conditions, but I don’t think users will be taking photos with their tablets. The front camera is what’s more important here, and it does well when there’s plenty of light. It’s got an ultrawide lens, which lets you include more people in those video calls or selfies. Both front and rear cameras let you shoot videos at 1080p, and the results are also not great. Overall, the front camera is good enough for video calls in good lighting conditions.

You also get a document reader mode in the Camera app, which is useful for scanning documents and works well.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Battery Life

The Redmi Pad SE, however, performed well in our tests. The tablet lasted 14 hours and 55 minutes in our HD video loop test. With regular usage, the tablet should last almost two days if your primary use case is watching videos, taking notes, and playing casual games. The tablet would be a great companion on those long flights or cross-country train journeys.

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The Redmi Pad SE comes with a 10W charger in the box

 

I cannot say good things about the charging speed, though. The 8,000mAh battery on the tablet took more than 2 hours to charge with a 30W charger. The Pad SE comes bundled with a 10W charger that’ll take at least 4 hours to charge the tab fully. The tablet offered better battery life than the Xiaomi Pad 6 in our battery tests.

Redmi Pad SE Review: Verdict

At a starting price of Rs. 12,999, the Redmi Pad SE doesn’t have a lot of competitors. You can either go for Lenovo’s offerings, but those offer lower specifications. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 also provides a better display but features a slower processor and lesser RAM.

However, you can go for the Honor Pad X9, which offers much better hardware, albeit at a slightly higher price tag. Finally, there are similarly spec’d tablets, such as the Oppo Pad Air (Review), which offers a better display but a slightly smaller battery and a Snapdragon 680 SoC.

The Redmi Pad SE is a really well-built, budget Android tablet that is of good value for money. The display is good, the sound is excellent, and the large 8,000mAh battery can easily last you a couple of days. You also get the Android 14 update on the tablet. However, the charging speed is too slow, and the Snapdragon 680 chipset isn’t the fastest around. Buy it if your primary use case is streaming content and some light gaming; otherwise, spend a little extra and get one of the alternatives.

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