Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
What's the best cheap Android tablet? We tested dozens, here are our top 6
Smartphone displays keep getting bigger and better, but a tablet is still the best way to enjoy a large-screen mobile experience. Shows, games, and e-books make the most of the extra real estate. You don’t have to spend anywhere near a thousand dollars to get a great tablet, either. There are plenty of good, budget-friendly options, and we’ve tried them all. Here are the best cheap Android tablets you can buy right now.
We’ve put each of our selections through real-world testing to see how it handles everything from sound quality to battery life. With that in mind, let’s get to the picks.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best cheap Android tablet
Success for a cheap Android tablet is about finding the right balance. It’s about landing at an achievable price point and pairing it with the best combination of specs and materials, and there’s one option that we feel does this better than the rest — the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8. The large-screen embodiment of Samsung’s budget Galaxy A series checks all the boxes that make the budget lineup popular and adds key improvements to the mix.
Above all else, we praised the Galaxy Tab A8’s strength as a streaming option. This tablet is designed to work well with streaming services and modern aspect ratios. Its 10.5-inch LCD panel carries a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution, but the wider 16:10 aspect ratio makes it work so well. We used it to binge the second season of Netflix’s The Witcher and didn’t find ourselves drawn to watch Geralt’s adventures on a TV instead. Dolby Atmos-tuned stereo speakers — two on each side — reinforce the streaming strength further, offering solid clarity at higher volumes.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab A8 is a great all-rounder, but the loud speakers and wide aspect ratio shine brightest when streaming movies and shows.
Samsung’s cheap Android tablet delivers in terms of battery life and configurations, too. We were able to lean on the Galaxy Tab A8’s 7,040mAh cell all day long and then some. Whether streaming, browsing emails, or playing light games. If there’s one drawback to the excellent battery life, it’s the underwhelming 15W charging. However, you have to make a trade-off or two at this price bracket. It’s easy enough to use the tablet while charging. You’re not always in as much of a rush as you are with a smartphone. As for configurations, Samsung readily offers three different storage tiers and the option for either Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity. There’s plenty of flexibility without raising the cost too much.
We mentioned trade-offs above when talking about charging. Samsung manages to avoid most of the pitfalls that tend to hamper budget-friendly devices. The Galaxy Tab A8 rocks a mostly aluminum build that feels good in the hand and should stand up to wear and tear. It’s especially noticeable when many of the alternatives on this list turn to plastic construction to save costs. Features like the headphone jack and landscape-oriented selfie camera also help to reinforce the idea that this is a media streaming tablet, first and foremost.
Of course, the Galaxy Tab A8 wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Samsung’s One UI and its update commitment. One UI has grown into one of the better Android skins over the years, and it offers an experience similar to that of a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. If you have a Galaxy S23 or Galaxy A23 in your pocket, the navigation will feel immediately familiar. Also familiar is Samsung’s commitment to updates. The Galaxy Tab A8 won’t see quite as much support as Samsung’s smartphones, but it’s set for two full Android versions and four years of quarterly software patches.
What makes it stand out:
- Wide aspect ratio: Samsung’s selection of a 16:10 panel means that modern widescreen movies and shows fill the 10.5-inch display almost perfectly with minimal bezels.
- Crisp Dolby Atmos speakers: The stereo setup gets impressively loud without sacrificing clarity, making this a tablet for streaming on your own or sharing shows with friends.
- Solid metal construction: Many budget-friendly Android options choose plastic over metal, but the Galaxy Tab A8 feels built to last as long as its update commitment does.
The best of the rest: 5 other cheap Android tablets worthy of your consideration
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 might be the best cheap Android tablet right now, but it’s not your only option. Here are a few others that we recommend:
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is the best Amazon tablet you can buy. It combines the biggest, sharpest display with the most base RAM in the Fire tablet family.
- Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a good option for media consumers who want a larger 11-inch screen. It also has a 2K display and Dolby Atmos speakers.
- Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is our pick for a good travel tablet. It has a large enough display to watch movies and shows, but it’s small enough to easily fit in a backpack or purse.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is an excellent tablet for kids. The price is low enough that you won’t worry too much about it, and Samsung’s Kids Mode offers peace of mind when you’re not looking.
- Amazon Fire 7 is the most affordable tablet we recommend at just $60. It’s the closest you’ll find to a small Android tablet, and it’s a good Kindle alternative.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is the best Amazon tablet
The Fire HD 10 Plus is Amazon’s almost-perfect answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A8, but only if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. We consider it nearly a requirement to have access to Amazon’s premium content to get the most out of the Fire HD 10 Plus — or any Fire tablet — and its unbeatable price. We’re active Prime subscribers, so it didn’t hamper our testing, but it’s worth pointing out. That Prime membership gives access to Prime Video, Amazon Music, and features like Amazon Kids Plus, which help to round out the Fire 10 HD Plus’s default set of apps. If you don’t have Prime, you won’t be able to access those video or music streaming apps and will instead have to rely on third-party services like Netflix and Spotify.
As for the Fire HD 10 Plus, the tablet is almost the same size as the Galaxy Tab A8 (10.1 inches instead of 10.5), has the same 16:10 aspect ratio, and has a similarly sharp Full HD Plus resolution. The Plus moniker also means this Fire tablet has an extra gigabyte of RAM to power through tasks — 4GB instead of the Fire HD 10’s 3GB. Although the plastic construction doesn’t feel as premium in hand, we appreciated that the rounded design is comfortable to hold for hours on end. It’s a cheap Android tablet that you could use for its full 12-hour battery life with no complaints.
However, the Fire HD 10 Plus offers a different software experience thanks to Amazon’s Fire OS instead of a standard Android skin. It skips the Google apps and Play Store that you’re probably used to in favor of Amazon’s versions. This can sometimes be a two-edged sword, but the tablet makes up for it as an excellent control center for an Amazon smart home. We loved how easy it was to set up with our various Echo speakers and Fire TV devices. You can deliver Alexa commands as you would with a speaker, and there are optional stands that turn the Fire HD 10 Plus into an Echo Show of sorts. Many of those stands also double as wireless charging pads — another perk you don’t usually find on budget-friendly tablets.
Amazon achieves all this at a price that undercuts the Galaxy Tab A8 by a wide margin. There aren’t too many 10-inch tablets available for less than $200, which makes the Fire HD 10 Plus shine just a bit brighter. It relies on ads to keep the price low, which we don’t love, but you can pay a little extra to remove them permanently.
What makes it stand out
- Amazon’s largest display: You won’t find a Fire option with a display larger than 10.1 inches, nor can you top the Full HD Plus resolution. Plus, the 16:10 aspect ratio works well for streaming, like the Galaxy Tab A8 above.
- Excellent price: Amazon might lean on ads to keep the costs low, but you can’t argue with results. This is a 10.1-inch tablet that can be had (with 32GB of storage) for just $180.
- For the Alexa user: Whether you have a Fire TV or a series of Echo speakers, adding one more Alexa-enabled device to the mix goes a long way in building an Amazon smart home.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a great Samsung alternative
Lenovo isn’t usually one of the first brands that spring to mind when discussing Android tablets, but the Tab P11 Plus is working to change that. It’s bringing impressive size and specs to the cheap Android tablet market without raising the price too much. Lenovo brought the 2K display and slim aluminum construction over from the more premium Tab P11 Pro, and the result is a budget-friendly option that looks and feels like something more.
Performance tends to vary in the cheap Android tablet segment, as it covers such a wide range of prices. However, the Lenovo Tab P11 often feels better equipped than most to handle daily tasks. It relies on a MediaTek G90T to keep the lights on and pairs it with RAM and storage options that are just a step above the rest. The base model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage model, but Lenovo also has a 6GB and 128GB version with a little more power. Either way, you can expand the storage with a microSD card, so it’s good to know you won’t run out.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus’ design lends itself almost perfectly to streaming. The wide aspect ratio and 2K resolution are a great start. It also brings Dolby Atmos tuning and impressive volume to the mix.
If there’s one drawback to the Tab P11 Plus right now, it’s software support. The tablet launched with Android 11, and Lenovo isn’t the quickest updating its devices. Despite continued security patches and current upgradeability to Android 12, we’re unsure if it will receive Android 13. On the bright side, the current Android skin is light and easy to navigate. All told, Lenovo’s Tab P11 is easily one of the best cheap Android tablets for streaming, as long as you can get past the software limitations.
What makes it stand out
- Great RAM and storage: Many cheap Android tablets stick to 3GB or 4GB of onboard RAM, but the Lenovo Tab P11 offers up to 6GB with as much as 128GB of storage to match.
- Louder, louder: Lenovo tapped four Dolby Atmos speakers to deliver premium stereo sound, and the quality is excellent even at higher volumes.
- Ready for the big screen: This is our largest cheap Android tablet recommendation, offering a full 11 inches of real estate for streaming and games.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) is the best tablet for travel
Not everyone who wants a cheap Android tablet is after the largest device on the market. The 2022 Fire HD 8 Plus offers many of the perks of the Fire HD 10 Plus, just in a slightly more portable package. While we loved its larger sibling for movies and shows, the Fire HD 8 Plus shines a little brighter for ebooks and mobile games.
It’s also a good reminder that Amazon’s design apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It stuck to the same rounded plastic design we saw on the Fire HD 10 Plus, and it’s just as comfortable to hold. We can appreciate that the smaller design didn’t come with any hardware sacrifices, either. You still get a headphone jack, a microSD slot, and stereo speakers on the left side. The selfie camera placement hints that this cheap Android tablet is meant to be used in landscape orientation. However, for obvious reasons, we found that portrait orientation is more comfortable when using the Kindle app.
Mentioning the Kindle app, the same Amazon Prime restrictions apply to the Fire HD 8 Plus as a whole. You’ll need to be a subscriber to get access to Prime Video and Amazon Music, which make up a good chunk of the content that the Fire HD 8 Plus promotes. If you don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll still see the same set of ads; they’ll just encourage you to sign up first. Even though Fire OS isn’t the same as a standard Android skin, it still packs most of the top third-party apps like Netflix and Hulu, so there’s always something to watch. Plus, with a bit of fidgeting, you can install the Play Store on it, too.
We chose the Fire HD 8 Plus for our list over the standard Fire HD 8 for a few reasons. For starters, this version has wireless charging. That’s not always a given in the budget realm — even on smartphones that cost three times as much, so it’s great to see on a cheap tablet. This version also picks up an extra gigabyte of RAM, offering 3GB to the Fire HD 8’s 2GB. We feel like 3GB still isn’t enough at times, but it’s a step in the right direction.
As always, the biggest selling point for the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is that it nails the price point of a cheap Android tablet. It starts at just $119.99 (with ads), and the 64GB version tops out at $164.99 if you skip the ads.
What makes it stand out
- Size does matter: While bigger tablets might be better for video streaming, the Fire Tab HD 8 Plus is just right as an e-reader or a light gaming tablet with its 8-inch display.
- Battery beast: The Fire Tab HD 8 Plus offers excellent battery life thanks to a large cell and a power-sipping processor. It’s a great travel companion
- Kindle who?: Support for the Kindle app (and the rest of the Fire OS platform) means that the Fire Tab HD 8 Plus can easily replace your e-reader and comes with a full-color display.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the best cheap tablet for kids
Tablets aren’t just for adults — there’s plenty for kids to enjoy with the larger display and long-lasting battery life. Of course, you probably don’t want to invest too heavily in a premium tablet, as kids have been known to put tech through the wringer, but that makes a cheap Android tablet fit so well. Mix in Samsung’s dedicated Kids Mode, and you have a low-stress, affordable way to entertain your kids.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite makes our list not only for the kid-friendly options but also because it can grow out of them over time. You’re not restricted to Kids Mode on the tablet, so you can easily switch to the full Android experience. Samsung has also promised to keep its budget tablet current longer than most competitors. It’s offering three years of Android updates with four years of security patches. It’s already received Android 12, but we’ll be happy to see Android 13 and 14 further down the pipeline. Sticking with longevity, we’re happy to see a microSD slot for up to 1TB of additional space. You can keep as many Kids Mode games and downloaded streaming titles as you want.
We have to applaud Samsung for its choice of materials, as the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite feels more premium than a comparable Amazon tablet while staying at a familiar price point. Most of the case is made from sturdy aluminum, with thin plastic strips across the top and bottom. In our testing, we also found that the slightly wider 5:3 aspect ratio works well for mobile gaming. Most titles are optimized for the slightly taller display rather than the wide 16:10 setup of many budget tablets.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite isn’t marketed as a processing powerhouse, and our testing revealed as much. It might struggle under the load of heavier titles like Genshin Impact or Call of Duty Mobile, but it can easily handle browsing and video streaming. While it’s a top-tier option for kids, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite could work well for grandparents, too. The 8.7-inch display is large enough to read emails and play crosswords, and the optional LTE connectivity could make it an easy phone replacement for the visually impaired.
What makes it stand out
- Making connections: Wi-Fi and optional LTE means that you can keep this cheap Android tablet connected. Whether at home or on the go.
- Material world: The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite sports a partially metal construction, which feels solid and well-built.
- Software superiority: Samsung’s update commitment shines at even the most affordable tiers, with multiple Android versions and years of quarterly security patches.
The Amazon Fire 7 is the most affordable Android tablet we recommend
If you’re not sure you need a cheap Android tablet, the Amazon Fire 7 might be for you. It’s larger than the biggest smartphone displays. Yet it’s cheap enough that you won’t regret the purchase if you don’t use it all that often. However, you might find that the extra real estate and focus on entertainment go a long way after you spend your $60. In our testing, we decided that it’s a great travel tablet for killing time at an airport or on a rainy day at the beach.
Let’s get it out of the way — the Fire 7 won’t win a specs race against, well, anything. It’s an entry-level tablet with just 2GB of RAM and a simple 2.0GHz MediaTek processor. The base storage isn’t great, but you can expand it by up to 1TB with the microSD slot. Despite all of that, it’s still an enjoyable tablet for light use. We’d rather carry around a tablet loaded with our favorite Kindle titles than try to fit one more book inside a carry-on. Have you figured out that there’s a very specific use case here? Right now, it has a pretty solid hold on the small, cheap Android tablet segment.
When we started testing, we were nervous about the small tablet’s battery life, but Amazon seems to have figured out the right formula. The lower-resolution display and modest processor sip power rather than chug it, and the cell makes the most of its limited footprint. Amazon’s wired charging is slow at just 5W, but we were comfortable using the tablet while charging without overheating.
It’s always worth a reminder that the Fire tablet runs Fire OS. That still means no Play Services or Play Store and a load of Amazon-first content. It’ll do the trick if you’re on vacation and want to leave Google Drive and Gmail behind, if nothing else. What it lacks in Google support, it makes up for in Amazon integration. If you already have a selection of Echo and Fire devices, the simple, low-res Fire 7 can act as a portable control panel. It answers to hands-free Alexa commands and has all the important Amazon ecosystem apps already installed.
What makes it stand out
- Budget friendliest: You won’t find another Android tablet — or any tablet — at this price. Seriously, with ads, it’s cheaper than a PlayStation 5 game.
- Storage for days: No, 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage isn’t that impressive. You can expand it up to 1TB with the microSD slot. That’s enough room for quite a few Kindle titles.
- Keep it simple: The Fire 7 is a no-frills, no-fuss tablet for those who want to occasionally read an ebook or watch a movie but not much more.
What to look for in a good cheap Android tablet
If you’re shopping for a cheap Android tablet, you’ve already made an important first decision. Settling on Android means that you won’t have to complicate your choice with iPads of any kind. However, there are still quite a few things you’ll want to consider. Here are other key factors in choosing a tablet:
- Ecosystem: Choosing a cheap Android tablet that integrates with your already existing tech is a great idea. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab lineup is a natural choice for Galaxy smartphone users. Amazon’s Fire tablets make sense for those with Echo devices in their homes. You can, of course, choose another tablet if you’re the type to switch devices often. Or if you’re not worried about smooth integration.
- Display size: There aren’t too many small Android tablets. The difference between an 8-inch display and a 10.5-inch display is no joke. Smaller tablets might excel as e-reader replacements as they’re closer in size to books. Larger tablets make more sense in place of small laptops when streaming from Netflix or Hulu.
- Storage options: Cheap Android tablets often start with less storage than their smartphone counterparts. Though many make up for it with expandable storage. It’s usually a good idea to find a tablet with 64GB or even 128GB of base storage. Regardless of whether you plan to use a microSD card.
- Software support: Just like cheap smartphones, cheap tablets are still playing catchup when it comes to software support. Samsung has started to offer multiple Android versions and longer security coverage. It’s a bit of an exception, though. You should be aware that not all budget-friendly options will stay current long into the future.
- Hardware: Many cheap tablets opt for plastic constructions and lower-quality displays to save costs. You probably won’t mind if you just plan to use your tablet as an e-reader, but you may want to look for a sharper display if you plan to stream movies or videos. Aluminum construction will also handle the wear and tear better than plastic over time.
You may want an LTE-enabled tablet if you plan to travel frequently without access to Wi-Fi. However, most users will have access to Wi-Fi in their homes and in public places. You can always tether it to your phone, too. Generally, it’s probably not worth the extra cost.
Yes and no. Most of the tablets on this list are more affordable than the base iPad. However, there are also Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra that approach $900.
You don’t have to. Leaving a tablet idle overnight won’t damage it, nor should it let the battery drain too much.
Out of all the Android tablets, Samsung seems to fare the best in terms of updates. The promise of two Android updates and four years of security support is second only to Apple with its iPad lineup.