What is the best Android tablet right now? There are new devices coming out every month and it’s hard to even know what is out there. That’s what we are for. I’m visiting almost every trade show to take a look at the newest tablets and review them thoroughly once they’re available. I’ve been doing this since 2008 and in this guide I want to give you an overview over the best Android tablets you can buy.
Android Tablets: The Best
There are a lot of interesting Android tablets out there but which one is the best? I’ll show you three tablets in different price classes that I liked the most in my reviews.
Value for money: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Why: It comes with pretty good hardware but is relatively inexpensive.
Features: 9.7 inch FullHD display, OctaCore CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage.
Highlights: Android Marshmallow, FullHD display, solid build quality.
Disappointed: Speakers are placed at one side only.
Price: 189 USD
Design winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Why: Very nice design, good build quality, very good hardware.
Features: 9.7 inch display, OctaCore CPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage
Highlights: Nice Super AMOLED display, S-Pen is included
Disappointed: Very expensive – not everybody need additional features.
Price: 499 USD
Cheap but awesome: Amazon Fire HD 8
Why: Very inexpensive and very good performer for the price.
Features: 8 inch display, QuadCore CPU, 1.5GH RAM, 16GB to 32GB storage.
Highlights: Deep integration of Amazon services, very long battery life.
Disappointed: Interesting for Amazon Prime members only.
Price: 79.99 USD
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1: Best value for money
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is not the best tablet out there but it offers good features for its price. For under 200$ we’re getting a 10.1 inch FullHD display, Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a likely update to Android 7.0 Nougat and a solid build quality. All competitors I tried at this price were lacking at least one of those features.
With the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 you get enough performance to play most Android games without any problems. It’s a joy to watch videos over Netflix or YouTube, the display has a nice resolution and is very bright for the money. In my battery test it got a runtime of 10 hours and 45 minutes while watching an HD video at 50 percent brightness.
On top of Android runs Samsungs TouchWiz UI which offers nice features including a split screen view, battery saving mode and features for the S-Pen stylus. The S-Pen stylus is not available in all countries though.
The only negative point I could find with the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 are the speakers. While they offer a decent quality they’re placed at one side only. That way you don’t get a nice stereo feeling while watching movies. My recommendation: Get used to it or buy a Bluetooth speaker.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: Best display, nice design
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet I reviewed so far. One major plus point with it is the 9.7 inch Super AMOLED display. It offers a high resolution at 2048 x 1536, has good viewing angles, is pretty good readable outside and has a high contrast with excellent black levels. In my opinion it is the nicest display in a tablet out there.
We’re getting a nice design here with a bezel made out of aluminum and a glass back. That looks and feels quite high end but obviously attracts fingerprints easily.
One of its main features is the included S-Pen stylus which is very nice if you want to do some handwriting or drawing. It’s the best stylus in an Android tablet right now with a support of 4096 pressure points.
The performance is very good as well, in benchmarks like AnTuTu it gets better results than the Huawei MediaPad M3 or ASUS ZenPad 3S 10. Inside runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, we’re getting 4GB of RAM and a 32GB internal storage. You need more? There’s a microSD card slot as well.
Amazon Fire HD 8: Very cheap but very good
The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the cheapest Android tablet on this list but it offers very good value for its money. It comes with a plastic body and does not feel very high end but the build quality is solid. I also liked the 8 inch display which offers an HD resolution at 1280 x 800. Sure, it is not the nicest display out there but for 80 dollars it is very good.
Amazons Fire HD 8 offers a surprisingly good performance as well. While it’s not comparable to the Galaxy Tab S3 you will be able to run most games on here. The battery life is excellent as well – in my battery test it got a runtime of 15 hours while watching an HD video at 50 percent brightness.
On the Fire HD 8 runs Amazons own Fire OS which is based on Android. You won’t be able to install apps from the Google Play Store though, instead you have to use Amazons app store. The UI offers a deep integration into Amazons services so it’s very easy to watch their videos or read Kindle books. The US version also supports Alexa. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not a prime member though.
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