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The best Android tablets to spend your money on
Once you’ve ruled out iPads and decided on an Android tablet, your options are already narrowed down significantly. At this point, picking the best Android tablet for you comes down to a few key questions:
- How large of a screen do you need? Options range from eight inches up to more than 12 inches.
- How much storage space do you need? Will you be streaming or storing media?
- Will you take your tablet outside of home? How durable do you need it to be?
- What is your ideal budget?
With that under consideration, we’ve done the hard work for you and reviewed all of the top Android tablets on the market. Here are our picks for the best tablets Android has to offer.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is the best Android tablet for most
Samsung is the obvious leader in the Android world, so it should come as no surprise that the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus takes our top pick. It’s decidedly the middle child of Samsung’s flagship tablet lineup, but much like the Galaxy S22 Plus smartphone, it hits the perfect middle ground between features and price.
As one of the most fully-featured Android tablets you can buy, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus has a lot going for it. We loved the premium build, which borrows from the likes of Apple’s iPad Pro lineup with flat, aluminum edges. It’s also incredibly thin (5.7mm), although the overall weight is average for a tablet this size (567g or 1.27lbs). In other words, it’s teetering on the edge of being too large to hold comfortably on a couch, but just fine when propped up on a desk or table.
It’s worth noting that the Tab S8 Plus also comes with an Apple Pencil-esque stylus in the box, which attaches magnetically to the back of the tablet for storage and charging. We did find that it’s easy to knock off the tablet, though, so you might want to invest in a case for safer storage. It has a host of productivity features, as well as all of the S Pen features from the Galaxy S22 Ultra. That said, we still think the Apple Pencil is a bit more comfortable to use, and for digital artists, the iPad ecosystem is undoubtedly the way to go.
The Tab S8 Plus features one of the best tablet screens we've ever tested, with performance to match.
Perhaps the biggest selling point is the crisp, 12.4-inch display. As expected from a Samsung AMOLED, we found the 120Hz display fluid and bright, and it easily ranks among the best tablet screens we’ve ever tested. It isn’t necessarily the brightest at 500 nits, but we were able to read what’s on the screen even under direct sunlight.
Performance was overall good, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset largely matching the excellent performance we’ve seen on smartphones. We found everyday performance to be fantastic, with no hiccups while multitasking or editing 100MB files. Our only complaint comes in GPU performance while gaming. It tended to dip below 30fps during our testing of demanding games like Genshin Impact, likely due to the difficulty of cooling such a large device. We would have also liked to have seen a 12GB option for power users (all models have 8GB), although we didn’t necessarily get clogged up when running multiple apps in the background. Likewise for storage, but that’s an easier fix. Once you top off the internal 128 or 256GB, you can pop in a microSD card to add up to 1TB of removable storage.
We put this tablet through the ringer, using it as a laptop replacement for a number of days. The results were mostly good, but we felt held back by Android’s poor support for third-party apps on tablets. The tablet itself performed well, although battery life was a bit short at 8.5 hours. That’s with heavy productivity use though. While using it more as an entertainment device, we got closer to 9.5 hours. There’s no charger in the box, but a compatible 30W USB Power Delivery PPS charger topped it off in about 105 minutes. Samsung’s official 45W charger was a bit faster at 80 minutes.
Although we think the Tab S8 Plus is the best overall buy, the smaller Galaxy Tab S8 ($699) is also a great option. It loses a few features and has a worse screen, but the tighter form factor might be more comfortable for some. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1,099) really wants to be a laptop replacement. It has a massive 14.6-inch screen, plus slightly beefed-up specs. However, we still aren’t convinced that Android is there yet, so you’re probably better of sticking to Windows or even Apple iPads if that’s your goal.
What makes it stand out
- Gorgeous display: The crisp, bright AMOLED is everything we’ve come to expect from a Samsung device.
- Included S Pen: The S Pen adds a lot of unique functionality, and it comes in the box.
- Excellent build quality: The Tab S8 Plus leaves nothing to be desired from Apple’s premium iPad Pro models.
The Galaxy Tab A8 is a great budget streaming tablet
Not everyone needs or wants a laptop replacement out of their Android tablet, which is why our second pick is the Galaxy Tab A8. It’s still got that Samsung magic, but drops a lot of extras to hit a much lower price point. Frequent sales also make this an irresistible buy for anyone looking for a budget tablet.
Starting with the build quality, we’re happy to report that this feels nothing like a budget tablet. It features a combination of metal and plastic for the body, giving it a more premium look and feel than most cheap tablets. That said, we did find the seam between the plastic and metal parts of the backing to be immediately noticeable, which felt a little out of place. The size of the tablet will also be an adjustment for some, as the 10.5-inch LCD display features a very wide 16:10 aspect ratio. This is much longer than iPads or other tablets, but it plays right into the Tab A8’s biggest strength: streaming.
As soon as we booted up Netflix or any other streaming service, we understood the intended use of this device. The longer aspect ratio means black bars are kept to a minimum while streaming most video content, and the four Dolby Atmos speakers are capable of exceptional volume. We didn’t notice any distortion at high volumes, either. If wired sound is more your thing, there’s also a headphone jack, although it’s a bit too close to the corner for our liking.
We were initially concerned by the low-power Unisoc Tiger T618 processor, but those concerned turned out to be unfounded. The Tiger was able to handle everyday use with ease, although demanding games are mostly off limits. The weaker processor does translate into great battery life, though. We got two days of consistent use on a single charge, although charging speeds left a lot to be desired. The 15W charger took more than four hours to top back off. The charger is included in the box though, at least.
Ultimately, the Galaxy Tab A8 is a great Android tablet to compete with the standard iPad on the Apple side of things. If you just want a simple tablet to chill out on the couch, finish your daily Wordle, and stream some video, this is the one to get.
What makes it stand out
- Streaming-ready ratio: The 16:10 aspect ratio is built to stream, minimizing black bars.
- Good build quality: The metal and plastic built is a step above other budget tablets.
- Solid performance: It won’t win any speed tests, but the Unisoc Tiger T618 is more than enough for simple daily use.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is the best Fire OS tablet
It’s a bit of a stretch to call Amazon’s Fire OS tablets part of the Android ecosystem (the OS is based on Android 9), but Amazon’s App Store is similar enough to the Play Store for the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus to earn a spot on our list. Plus, with a little fidgeting, you can install the Play Store and get nearly the same experience.
We won’t beat around the bush here, the main thing we like about this tablet is that it’s cheap. It won’t compete with other Android tablets in terms of features or user experience, but if you just want a simple tablet to sit at home and stream video or browse the web, this is a great budget option.
The 10.1-inch LCD screen was clean and sharp in our testing, but the brightness left a lot to be desired. It’s fine for indoor use, but don’t expect to have a great experience if using this outdoors. It also features Dolby onboard, but the speakers struggled when we pushed them past mid-volume. Battery life was great, and we consistently got 12 hours, no matter how we used it. Charging was painfully slow though, with the included 9W charger taking more than four hours to top off. The tablet is capable of wireless charging as well, however.
If you’ve got Amazon Prime, the Fire HD 10 Plus is a very attractive device. This is an excellent entry-level tablet to enjoy Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Amazon Photos, and Amazon Kids Plus. You can, of course, get all of these services on iPads and other Android tablets, but they typically cost a lot more or have other notable drawbacks. Fire tablets also have tight integration with Alexa, so if you have Echo speakers around the house they can serve as a natural extension.
We think the Fire HD 10 Plus is the best overall buy, but if you want to save a bit of money, the non-Plus Fire HD 10 ($149) is very similar. It will be a bit slower and cannot charge wirelessly, but the screen and build quality are essentially the same. There’s also the smaller Amazon Fire HD 8 ($89) and Fire HD 7 ($49) models, which we’ll touch on a bit later in the list.
What makes it stand out
- Amazon Prime integration: If you are a Prime subscriber, this tablet with help you get the most out of your subscription.
- Good screen: The 10.1-inch screen is sharp and has a great resolution, although it’s a bit too dim to use outdoors.
- Long-lasting battery: Expect to get 12 hours of screen time (and excellent standby time), but you’ll want to leave it charging overnight.
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is the best Samsung alternative
Samsung might dominate the Android tablet space (and phone space, for that matter) but the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro proves that there are excellent alternatives out there. We found that the premium build and excellent screen allow it to compete with the big guys, and it even bests Apple’s iPad lineup in certain respects.
Starting with the screen, the speedy 120Hz AMOLED was our favorite part of the device in our review. The Dolby Vision and HDR10+ capable display featured great contrast, brightness, and color accuracy in our testing. At 12.6-inches, it can also serve as a light laptop replacement or media-centric device, although we did find that the viewing angles were too limited to share the screen with someone on the sofa.
Unlike Samsung’s offering, Lenovo didn’t opt for the latest-and-greatest processor for the Tab P12 Pro. Instead, it packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 system on a chip and an Adreno 650 GPU with 6 or 8GB of RAM. In our extensive testing, we found that to be more than enough power. It won’t compete with Apple’s custom silicon, but it felt fast and fluid in everyday use.
One area where the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro has all others beat is battery life. We got an incredible 14 hours of battery life when streaming video, and 11 hours of battery life when browsing the web over Wi-Fi. That’s better than any comparable tablet we’ve tested. Charging was relatively speedy as well, taking roughly two hours using the included 30W charger. The tablet is compatible with 45W chargers too, so you can further reduce those times with an additional charger.
We did wish that Lenovo had committed to more than just one year of Android version updates, but overall, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is a great buy. The included stylus is just the icing on the cake.
What makes it stand out
- Gorgeous screen: Crisp, high-res, with great contrast, this is one of the best tablet screens in its price range.
- Great performance: It’s not the fastest, but it’s more than fast enough for anything you can throw at it.
- Best-in-class battery life: The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro lasts for a full day of use and then some.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is perfect for media lovers
The Tab P12 Pro isn’t the only tablet Lenovo makes, as there are plenty more options in its Yoga lineup. These have built-in kickstands or hand holds to make them a bit more comfortable to use. Of them, our favorite is the larger, more premium Yoga Tab 13, which really excels as a media consumption device for more demanding users.
As the name implies, the Yoga Tab 13 features a massive 13-inch display, which is the largest of any tablet outside of the Tab S8 Ultra. It’s an LTPS LCD panel limited to just 60Hz, but we found it to be more than adequate for watching movies or other media. Brightness was sufficient for indoor or outdoor use, and the 2,160 x 1,350-pixel display was nice and sharp. The trademark kickstand is also very sturdy, making it one of the most comfortable tablets to watch any kind of media on. Speakers were also great, although we were slightly disappointed by the lack of a headphone jack.
Like the other Lenovo tablet listed above, this one runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, which again, is great for everyday use. This is the right level of power for an Android tablet, offering the best tradeoff of performance for battery life. Speaking of which, we got 10-11 hours of juice in our testing, which is average for tablets at this price point. Again, there’s a 30W charger in the box, which tops the tablet off in just over two hours. There is not, however, a stylus in the box, so you’ll have to pay extra if you want one.
Another nice feature is Kids Space, which creates a dedicated safe space for kids to use the tablet, with age-appropriate books, videos, and pre-installed apps for them to use. There are also excellent parental controls that work via the Google Family Link app. You will have to create a Google account for each kid, which might put off some privacy-conscious consumers.
Again, the lack of software support is a bit of a concern, as this is only set to receive one version update. We also would have liked to have seen additional models, since there’s only one 8GB/128GB SKU on offer, and it doesn’t feature expandable storage. Still, this is a very compelling tablet that’s great for entertaining the whole family.
What makes it stand out
- Huge screen: The 13-inch LCD panel is the largest we’ve tested, and it’s great for media consumption.
- Useful kickstand: In addition to a convenient handhold, the kickstand is sturdy in a wide variety of viewing angles.
- Solid performance: The Snapdragon 870 is great for a tablet this size, offering the best combination of power and battery longevity.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the cheapest Android tablet we recommend
If you want a dirt cheap Android tablet, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 8. Coming in at just $90, you’ll have to temper your expectations a little, but overall we were pleasantly surprised by what we found. Coming out back in 2020, it’s a little long in the tooth, but the price is still right.
Starting with the build quality, this isn’t likely to win any design awards, but it’s sufficiently sturdy. We found the back to be a bit of a scratch magnet, although we never found it was in danger of bending or breaking. There are a lot of color options to choose from, but the design is mostly minimalist.
Apart from this, the screen is pretty weak and performance limited, but battery life did manage to impress us, lasting for several long sessions over a few days. While the hardware is all pretty standard (or perhaps below-standard) budget affair, what makes the Fire HD 8 shine is its integration with Amazon’s services. Like all Fire tablets, it features Amazon Prime shopping, ebooks, Prime Video, and other Amazon services front and center. If you’re a subscriber who likes to shop, this tablet is a great option for you.
If not, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. We found performance to be pretty lacking, with noticeable input latency when typing in simple social media apps. Browsers are also slow, so you’ll need to either be patient or spend a bit more. For 90 bucks though, it’s hard to complain too much.
At the end of the day, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is by no means an amazing Android tablet, but the price and value are unbeatable. If you’re already invested in the Amazon ecosystem, you’ll find no shortage of things you can do with the Fire HD 8. If you want a little extra punch, the Fire HD 8 Plus ($110) is just a bit more, and the Fire HD 10 Plus ($120) listed above will offer a better experience. We don’t, however, recommend going for the Fire HD 7 ($79), which trades just a little too much for that extra $10.
What makes it stand out
- Unbeatable price: The Fire HD 8 is incredibly cheap, although it makes many concessions to get there.
- Amazon integration: If you’re a Prime subscriber, you’ll have no shortage of content to consume on this tablet.
- Good battery life: With moderate use, this can get you through the better part of a week on a single charge.
What to look for in an Android tablet
We’ve spent years testing and reviewing Android phones and tablets, but most of the important buying decisions can be summed up in a few simple points.
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to Android tablets. If you want something to chill out and watch on the sofa, larger devices will really start to tire your hand unless it has a kickstand. Books will also display poorly on large devices. On the flip side, if you want to stream Netflix or YouTube videos, small screens won’t allow you to capture as much detail. Think about what you’ll use the tablet for and decide from there.
Files and storage
Storage space is a major selling point on phones, since you’re probably snapping a lot of pictures and videos. The same is not necessarily true for tablets. Generally you can get by with far less storage. If you like to load up your device with downloaded videos and large, storage-heavy apps, many tablets support microSD cards to make this an easy upgrade.
Metal vs plastic
Build quality is a bit subjective, but no one doubts that a nice aluminum build feels great in the hand. That said, plastic can perform fine too, and it won’t get as cold in winter months. Premium aluminum builds also generally feature more resistant glass on their screens, which is something to look out for if you plan on taking your tablet out of the house.
To 5G or not to 5G
5G support is nearly ubiquitous on Android phones at this point, but the same is not true for tablets. However, for most people, we recommend sticking to a Wi-Fi-only model. They are far cheaper and offer better battery life. If you need to connect in a pinch, you can simply tether your tablet to your phone.
Samsung is the undeniable king of Android devices, and that holds true for tablets. However, Lenovo makes a variety of options that can easily compete, some of which surpass Samsung’s offerings in certain aspects. Amazon’s Fire tablets are another option if you’re on a budget, although Amazon’s software is far more limited than standard Android. Beyond that, it’s slim pickins.
Frequently asked questions
The average price of a tablet varies depending on features and functionality. You can find tablets as cheap as $20 and as much as $1000, but the key is understanding what’s not worth it. Generally, those no-name brand tablets for sub-$100 prices aren’t worth buying! So instead, if you want to save money and get a basic tablet, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 8.
We have a list that goes further into the answer, but generally, an Amazon Fire (or specifically the Fire Kids tablet) is a great starting point. If your kids prefer iPad, we recommend the iPad Mini.
Technically, nothing. An iPad is one type of tablet. Officially most people just call iPads by that brand name, while Android and Windows tablets get lumped into the more generic “tablets” label.
Amazon’s Kindles are primarily designed as e-readers, while tablets offer more access to apps and games.
No. While Android tablets tend to come and go more than iPads, they are not being phased out. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line is as good as ever, and Google is planning to re-enter the tablet market.