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The best Android tablets to spend your money on
There are plenty of smartphones out there with massive displays. So many, in fact, that they have an entire phablet category. However, there are still advantages to grabbing a genuine tablet for your large screen needs. We’ve tracked down just a few of the best Android tablets to show you what we mean.
Locking down your perfect tablet is easier said than done. Especially considering the list has been getting smaller every year. However, we believe there’s still a healthy market for a good Android tablet. Let’s jump right in and find out what Samsung, Amazon, and more have in store for you.
Buying the best tablet for your needs
We can’t promise that it’s easy to choose the perfect tablet in just a few minutes. Picking your operating system is a great place to start, though, and it means we don’t have to worry about iPads later on.
Your operating system is only the start — size and build are just as important.
Since you’ve already landed on Android, it’s time to move to the finer points of your tablet. That means locking down how much real estate you want. For example, the Amazon Fire HD 8 has an 8-inch screen, while Samsung’s premium Galaxy Tab S7 Plus sports a massive 12.4-inch display.
You’ll also have to narrow down your storage choices. For example, if you want to scroll through social media or catch up on Netflix, you may not need as much storage. On the other hand, those of you hoping to download movies, games, and more will want extra space and possibly an expansion slot.
One final thing to look for is build quality. Many of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs come with aluminum bodies, which can usually handle wear and tear. Yet, the cheaper tablets on the market opt for plastic builds to save weight and cost.
See also: The best cheap Android tablets
The best Android tablets
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus: This is our top Android tablet, with a premium build and plentiful storage space.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: Here is a more affordable option if you want Samsung’s power without the price.
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus: This tablet offers a large display and Amazon apps at a comfortable cost.
- Amazon Fire HD 8: This pad packs Fire OS into the smallest and cheapest tablet on the list.
- Lenovo Tab P12 Pro: It packs impressive specs for Lenovo’s return to the big leagues.
The best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
Samsung’s premium tablet holds down our top slot, and it’s not hard to see why. It checks off all of the boxes you could ask for, and our own Eric Zeman hailed the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus (and its Tab S8 sibling) as hitting the sweet spot for Android tablets.
Samsung packed premium hardware everywhere it could behind the 12.4-inch display. The tablet is ready for action with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, 8GB of RAM, and as much as 256GB of storage. If that’s still not enough, you can tap into the microSD slot for even more storage. There’s even a considerable 10,090mAh battery to keep the lights on for hours on end.
Samsung's premium tablet lands right in the sweet spot of power and value.
The inside of the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus isn’t the only way it earns points — the outside is pretty good too. You get an aluminum build, a crisp Super AMOLED display, and an S Pen for good measure. As a result, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is by far the best Android tablet on the market, even if it has a high price tag to match.
If the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus isn’t enough size or power for you, there’s also the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It jumps to an 11,200mAh battery with up to 512GB of onboard storage. You also get a massive 14.6-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the most expensive of the trio by far.
- Excellent hardware inside and out
- Capable performance
- Soldi speakers
- Below-average battery life
- Haptics aren’t excellent
Check out our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus review to learn more.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: Samsung’s power without the price
Samsung doesn’t just stop at the premium tablets, as is evident with the Galaxy Tab A8. It skips a few of the top-end bells and whistles in favor of a more affordable price. Don’t worry, though, this Android tablet still packs more than enough power and a streaming-friendly design.
The Galaxy Tab A8 runs on a UniSoc Tiger T618 chipset with 3 or 4GB of RAM to back it up. You can also grab up to 128GB of storage without jacking the price too high. Samsung’s sacrifices keep the cost significantly lower, but you still get a hefty 7,040mAh battery. Just be ready to spend a while at an outlet with 15W wired charging.
You get another one of Samsung’s brilliant displays with a sharp resolution and great color reproduction. It’s not a top tablet for gaming with its limited RAM and storage, but the Galaxy Tab A8’s four Dolby Atmos speakers are perfect for catching up on your favorite shows.
- Solid construction
- Excellent display
- Long-lasting battery
- Weak cameras
- Limited base RAM and storage
Check out our Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review to learn more.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus: Plenty of screen at a great price
If you prefer Amazon’s Alexa as your smart assistant of choice, these next two tablets may fit your needs perfectly. You won’t find any of Google’s apps at home on Fire OS, but you’ll find all the Amazon services you can ask for. Better yet, these are some of the most affordable tablets on the market.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is brand-new for 2021, and it kicks off at a very low price with ad support. You’ll get the same 10.1-inch display you know and love from previous generations, but Amazon has added an extra gig of RAM and wireless charging to the mix. However, those of you who simply can’t stand ads will have to shell out an additional $15 to get rid of them.
Perhaps the Alexa integration is the best reason to choose one of Amazon’s tablets as your next display. If you have an Echo speaker or smart display, the tablet should integrate just about seamlessly. You can even use it to control your smart lights, thermostat, or coffee maker.
- Incredible price
- New wireless charging
- Great Alexa integration
- Plastic construction
- Lack of Google apps
Amazon Fire HD 8: Fire OS on the go for under $100
The Galaxy Tab A7 came with some sacrifices compared to the Tab S7 Plus, and the Fire HD 8 does the same. As the name suggests, you get less screen to enjoy, but you’ll also get just half of the RAM too.
You can still choose from ad-supported or ad-free versions, which means that this Android tablet can set you back as little as $89.99. It offers just 32GB of base storage, but you can spring for 64GB as well. As another Fire OS tablet, you won’t find Google apps, but there are plenty of ways to make do without.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 isn’t a premium tablet, but it’s not trying to be. Instead, Amazon is all about getting Alexa into your hands for the least amount of money it can.
- Starts at under $100
- Fits in any bag or backpack
- USB-C charging and 12-hour battery
- 2GB of RAM isn’t enough
- Ad-support isn’t great
Check out our Amazon Fire 8 HD (2020) review to learn more.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro: Chasing Samsung’s tablet crown
The last of our best Android tablets marks Lenovo’s return to the premium tablet market. We previously highlighted its Smart Tab M10 HD, which doubles as a smart display, but the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro offers all of the bells and whistles.
Lenovo’s premium new tablet offers excellent hardware with a gorgeous display that you can happily use all day long. It measures 12.6-inches across and offers a 120Hz refresh rate complete with Dolby Vision support. Under the hood, you’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 chipset powering away. While it’s not the newest chipset, it offered plenty of punch throughout our testing — especially when paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM.
You shouldn’t have a problem making Lenovo’s Tab P12 Pro last all day, either. It carries a 10,200mAh battery complete with snappy 45W wired charging speeds. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 help to round out the powerful package, too.
- Premium hardware
- Excellent battery life
- Solid wireless support options
- Modest cameras
- Lack of OS updates
- Keyboard costs extra
Check out our Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review to learn more.
iOS vs. Android: Which OS is right for you?
The Android vs. iOS debate is a long and complicated one. To further make matters tricky, there’s a big difference when you’re talking Android vs. iOS and Android vs. iPadOS. While Android and iPhone OS have a lot in common, the reality is that Android tends not to be the best optimized for tablets. Many apps don’t quite translate well to the big screen. The experience works, but many would argue the iPad makes for a better tablet experience than Android.
Of course, if you’re used to the Android ecosystem, you might not care. There might be more iPad-optimized apps, but there are enough big hitters on Android that many are okay with small concessions.
For more on the iOS vs. Android debate, check here.
Picking the best tablet apps and accessories
Now that you have a feel for the best Android tablets, you might want to check out some accessories to complete the setup. Here are our current favorite apps as well:
Other 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 8 or Fire 10.
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.