If you own the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e tablet, you must heed Steve Jobs' warning

If you own the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e tablet, you must heed Steve Jobs' warning
You might remember that back in 2010, after the launch of the Apple iPhone 4, some users complained that when they held the phone a certain way, the device would lose connectivity and drop calls. This came after Apple redesigned the iPhone, and the whole affair became known as "Antennagate." The late Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO at the time, chided iPhone users for holding the device wrong and said that every phone will lose signal bars if held in a certain manner. Eventually, Apple sent out rubber bumpers to iPhone 4 owners that prevented the user's hand from interfering with the phone's connectivity. Apple changed the location of the antennas on future iPhone models.

What brings on this journey down memory lane is news about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. Yes, this is an Android tablet that Samsung unveiled in February, and at 5.5mm it is much slimmer than the Galaxy Tab S4. But it also seems to have an issue with connectivity when the lower left corner is covered with the user's hand; in this case, it is the tablet's Wi-Fi connection that is disrupted by human contact. According to SamMobile, it doesn't appear that a software update will be available to fix what is essentially a hardware issue. The user's hand blocks the Wi-Fi signal from reaching the slate's integrated receiver, which is most likely located inside the lower left corner of the device.

The good news is that there is a rather simple workaround. When holding the device in landscape, hold it with the front-facing camera on the right. That will place the receiver on the right side where it won't be blocked by your hand. Also, note that this problem does not come into play when the tablet is held in portrait orientation because the receiver will be too far up to be blocked by flesh and bones. Using the 'left-hand death grip' on the Galaxy Tab S5e doesn't always completely block Wi-Fi signals. SamMobile found that it lost 50% of its signal strength, which it noted is enough to negatively impact a streaming movie or a mobile game.

Galaxy Tab S5e holders will have to heed the words of the late Steve Jobs


You can find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e at several retail locations in the U.S. including Best Buy and B&H Photo. Both of those outlets have the 64GB version of the tablet priced at $399.99. If you want to save a little more than a buck, Walmart will sell it to you for $397.99. Samsung's website also has the 64GB model for $399.99, but will also sell you the 128GB variant for $479.99. An optional keyboard is available for $129.99.

The tablet is equipped with a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display carrying a 1600 x 2560 resolution. The Snapdragon 670 Mobile Platform is under the hood along with 4GB of memory. A 13MP camera (with an aperture of f/2.0) is on the back and there is a front-facing 8MP camera. There is a 2D facial recognition system (not as secure as the 3D system used on the iPhone and on other devices) and the fingerprint scanner is found in the tablet's power button. Keeping the lights on is a 7040mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie is pre-installed. We should also point out that the tablet comes with Samsung's new OneUI, which places most of the important elements near the bottom of the screen to make it easier to tap. The device is available in Black, Gold, and Silver.


If you happen to have this issue with your Galaxy Tab S5e, don't even bother asking Samsung for a replacement. Those that did quickly discovered that their replacement unit suffered from the very same problem. So for now, all you can do is heed the words of the late Steve Jobs and learn to hold your tablet the right way.

Related phones

Galaxy Tab S5e
  • Display 10.5" 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 7040 mAh

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19 Comments

1. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 643; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

That's unfortunate.

2. Jason2k13

Posts: 1451; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

What a joke, I would never buy a phone or tablet with this kind of issue.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yep and If I bought it before the problem was widely known I'd return it.

4. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Samsung f**ked up again. Who buys Samsung tablet?

8. Charlie2k

Posts: 118; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

https://pts.se/globalassets/startpage/dokument/icke-legala-dokument/rapporter/2016/radio/mobilephonetest2016-augusti-2016.pdf You should read this governmental report :) Still think Apple is good at designing phones? :D :D :D

15. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Android tablets sucks that is why google not making an effort with tablet software

20. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I’m not so sure you actually read that report. I would peruse it again because it basically says that every phone except for HTC has antenna problems.

9. Krjal

Posts: 423; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I've happily owned a Tab 7.7, Tab S 8.4 and now a Tab S4 primarily for the best screens you can get on a tablet and now with the added bonus of taking notes, sketching and markup on my design work with the integrated Wacom digitiser. That being said, I'd love them to go back to an aluminium enclosure for the top end tablets but I'll be watching the reviews more closely after this news.

5. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Samsung should really start testing their devices outside of controlled environments where only robots interact with their products. This isn't acceptable for a media consumption device, and definitely not in 2019.

6. OneLove123

Posts: 886; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Have no problems with mine.

16. surethom

Posts: 1635; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

No problem with mine either although slower Wifi than other device, UK 64gb Version. I have Uploaded a few examples to You tube.

7. Robboy18

Posts: 1; Member since: May 01, 2019

Another tab s5e owner here and have had zero issues with mine. Utterly gorgeous tablet and I'm very impressed with it for the price.

10. japkoslav

Posts: 1465; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Come on, this is a basic issue you can find with proper internal testing.

11. MrMalignance

Posts: 213; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

This might be a flub on Samsung's part, but did we need to drop apple and "Steve" into this? The article could have come off like you really cared about providing a solution for people. Alan... You're killing us. Just stop working apple into every article for a minute. Let us breathe.

19. OneLove123

Posts: 886; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Hey, he has to get paid by Apple.

12. surethom

Posts: 1635; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

I have the Tab S5e & am not experiencing this problem.

14. geordie8t1

Posts: 279; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

I have just tried this on my s5e after reading this story, i have held it multiple ways to try and make it disconnect, like the image posted and there is no issue on mine, it retains signal throughout, perhaps the owner just has a faulty one, can other people post their findings? Im sat one floor up and about 60foot away from my router and no issues yet in any orientation through 360 degrees

17. surethom

Posts: 1635; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

No same no problems, i have even uploaded a video to you tube demonstrating no problem. Samsung Tab S5e Wifi Issues.

18. sachouba

Posts: 264; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

I own the Tab S5e, the Wi-Fi signal strength indeed gets lower when I hold it as described in the article. However, as much as I've tried, I've not managed to make the signal lose any more than 1 bar in the status bar. It doesn't translate to any meaningful impact in real life, unless you already have extremely low signal (0 bar remaining) before putting your hand on the antenna.

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