Redmi Pad SE is a new entry-level Xiaomi tablet device that was priced at $220 (for a model with 128 GB of storage). Is it worth it? In short, yes – a tablet for $220. But you will have to come to terms with compromises – for some, they may be unacceptable.
Let's explore the Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE to see if it's worth your money.
Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE Review
It’s difficult to blame the Pad SE for low-quality materials or an overly massive body. The tablet is made of aluminum, is 7.4 millimeters thick, and weighs 478 grams. For comparison: an ordinary Redmi Pad (without the SE prefix in the name) weighs 465 grams, and a 10.9-inch Apple iPad weighs 477 grams. Industry standards are met in the new product, and that’s good.
In addition, the tablet supports storage expansion with microSD cards (another obvious advantage) and is equipped with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. In my opinion, is no longer so relevant today, but the fact is encouraging. Although there are no problems with TWS headsets either – checked.
One of the main disadvantages of the device is the missing fingerprint scanner. And the point is not only or even not so much in unlocking the tablet itself, but in confirming the user’s identity. This is understandable: authentication follows a simplified scenario. Calculate by checking the photograph entered into the database. There is no IR emitter for volumetric face tracking in the Pad SE.
But it’s worth noting: the front camera (5 MP) was placed on the horizontal edge of the tablet – a modern approach. The camera itself is suitable for video conferencing, but nothing more is required from it. You are unlikely to take selfies with your tablet often, but the quality of the photo module is sufficient to maintain communication, at least in normal lighting.
In addition to the cable, a 10W charging adapter was added to the kit (we’ll talk about the autonomy and charging speed of the Pad SE separately). You can also buy a case that covers the tablet on all sides (as in the photo below).
It’s a pity that the Pad SE cannot work with the company’s proprietary stylus (in any case, there is no mention of the opposite on the Redmi official website). This makes it more difficult to recommend a tablet as an electronic notebook for students.
Sound & Display
First, about the pleasant things – four built-in speakers. Thanks to them, the Pad SE creates a full-fledged stereo effect; the speakers are located on both sides of the tablet (two per edge). I’ll be honest: it’s difficult to call the sound a reference; for this, there are not enough low frequencies and a more developed midrange.
On the other hand, keeping in mind the price of the device, I don’t really want to find fault with the speakers: they are sufficient for movies, YouTube videos, and games. The volume is also okay; I didn’t raise it above 70% indoors. No defects such as crackling were noticed. And one more thing: the Dolby Atmos software add-on is enabled by default and makes the range a little wider. But, obviously, it does not radically change the sound quality (but does not interfere either).
Unfortunately, the 11-inch display leaves a slightly less pleasant impression. It is built on an IPS matrix that can refresh at up to 90 Hz. In this regard, again, remembering the price of the Pad SE, there are no comments. The frequency depends on the specific application; you should not expect higher Hertz in games. But when scrolling through lists (for example, messages in a messenger or a page in a browser), the effect is felt.
The resolution of 1200 by 1920 pixels, in my opinion, the screen is a little lacking. Due to the density of 207 ppi, individual dots are visible from an arm's length distance, but you can get used to it. But dealing with obviously mediocre viewing angles is more difficult. Even at a minimal tilt, when the device is just lying on the table and you are looking at it from above, the panel fades (it’s good that it does not invert the colors).
And this is not to mention the already not the highest maximum brightness, around 400 nits. For comparison: the display of the MacBook Air 15 laptop (on an IPS matrix) can glow up to 500 nits, and the screen of the Redmi Note 12 smartphone (OLED) can glow up to 700-1200 nits, depending on the specific scenario.
Xiaomi, unlike Apple, does not hide the battery capacity: the Redmi Pad SE is equipped with an 8000 mAh battery. I did not measure the exact operating time of the screen, in hours, but in two days (Saturday – Sunday) the tablet did not manage to land at zero. And this despite the fact that on Saturday morning the charge was about 80%.
During this time, I activated the gadget, installed the necessary applications, and watched videos on YouTube – in general, I used the device for its intended purpose, as a “bedside” tablet. In general, the battery of the Pad SE did not disappoint – everything was within normal limits. The discharge rate depends on how actively the gadget is used. Games, as expected, consume battery faster.
But there were some downsides. The tablet supports a maximum of 10-watt power adapters – and the limitation is clearly artificial, the hardware is capable of more (Redmi Note 12 with a similar processor has 33-watt charging). It takes more than three hours to replenish from 0 to 100% Pad SE – a long time.
They did not forget to install the main 8-megapixel (f/2.0) photo module with autofocus in Pad SE, the device can shoot videos in resolutions up to 1080p and at speeds up to 30 frames per second. For the sake of appearances, I took a few photos, but let's be honest: you're not going to use a tablet as a camera all the time, right?
In my opinion, it’s obviously not worth it to conduct a serious dialogue about the quality of frames from an entry-level tablet – during the day or in a well-lit room, Obviously, the pictures are quite decent. But under such conditions, most smart devices will show an acceptable result today.
Overall, the tablet doesn't perform at its worst in this aspect, especially for a $220 device. Pad SE is based on a chip from Qualcomm – Snapdragon 680 (6nm process technology). There is also enough RAM, 6 GB. Moreover, it is quite fast, a standard LPDDR4X. The storage format is a little disappointing, eMMC 5.1, which is inferior in speed to more modern analogs. Thus, last year's Pad SE used UFS 2.2 memory.
Again, I expected the worst. Basic applications launch without problems (for example, CoD Mobile) too. Although you will probably have to say goodbye to high graphics settings for a more stable frame rate. Something more complicated – the notorious Genshin Impact – also works, but then the fps is around 20-30 frames. In short, the device is clearly operating at the limit of its capabilities. But the good thing is that there is practically no heating. This is facilitated by both the processor itself, which is little subject to throttling, and the extensive rear panel, which dissipates heat.
More interesting is how the Pad SE performs when working with several applications at once. The tablet received Android 13 with the MIUI Pad 14 shell. The allows you to run two programs in a split screen. Moreover, their scale can be changed – make both the left and right windows narrower (in this case, the ratio changes from 1:1 to 1:2).
In addition, on top of such a bundle, it is possible to display a window with another program. It turns out that you can interact with three applications at the same time (but no more, verified). The solution with the lower dock is a good one, although it is clear where it came from.
True, in the described scenario, the performance of the tablet is not enough – this is noticeable, for example, by the “twitching” animation with minimizing programs and exiting to the desktop. In addition, there is no way to save a bunch of two applications – there was no such option here, unlike Samsung devices.
Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE
For $220 (perhaps the device will soon be found even cheaper online), the Redmi Pad SE is a good choice for “bedside” use. Although the minus in the form of a screen with not the widest viewing angles spoils the overall impression: it is better to look at the display directly so that the panel does not fade. But the system of four speakers, two on each side of the device, pleased me: this creates a full-fledged stereo effect, with enough volume to spare. Could the speakers be of better quality? Obviously yes. They lack a little bass and a little more midrange development. But I don’t want to find fault, especially considering the cost of the Pad SE. The speakers are more than enough for movies and games. Performance is far from record or even average, but overall it does not raise any questions. AAA games work, albeit with low graphics settings. The fact that the tablet is operating at the limit of its capabilities is noticeable only when two or three applications are launched simultaneously - the animations begin to “twitch”. It’s a bit of a pity that the Pad SE was not equipped with a fingerprint scanner. An additional advantage would also be support for a proprietary stylus, as for the Mi Pad 5 series.