What is the best Android tablet right now? New devices are coming out every month and it’s hard to even know what is out there. That’s what I am for. I’m visiting almost every trade show to check out new announcements. Once an Android tablet is available, I review it thoroughly. I’ve been doing this since 2008 and used almost every tablet that has been released since then. In this guide, I’m giving you an overview of the best Android tablets you can buy right now in 2020.
To structure this guide, I segmented it into 9.7-inch to 10.8-inch devices and 8-inch Android tablets. At the top of the lists, you usually find the better and more expensive ones. Further down I’m listing cheaper but still great options. If you want to spend a lot of money, feel free to buy the best of the best. But at their prices, I can recommend all tablets on this list.
You might notice, that some Android tablets are not on this list. That’s simply because I cannot recommend them to everybody. While they might be good in some cases, they are not great enough to make it on this top 10 list. You can check out all my tablet reviews here though.
The Best 10-Inch Android Tablets
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: The Best Overall
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best Android tablet I reviewed so far. Not only is it faster than all competitors available, but it also features an excellent 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a very high-resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The Tab S6 has a lot of premium features like four good speakers, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a very premium-feeling metal body. In addition to that, it ships with an active stylus called S Pen.
Another major highlight of the Galaxy Tab S6 is its software. It runs Android 9 Pie with One UI out of the box which looks modern and runs smoothly. Additionally, Samsung has been much better with updates in the past than most brands. It’s very likely that it’ll be the first tablet to get an Android 10 update.
In my opinion, there is just one major downside. With prices starting at around 650 US Dollars, the Galaxy Tab S6 is very expensive. For many, I think it’s not worth it to spend that much. The tablets further down this list offer a bit better value. However, if you do want the best, this is the one to get.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: Outstanding Alternative
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is an outstanding alternative to the Galaxy Tab S6, especially if you want to save some money and are not into super high-end gaming. With the S5e, you get the same 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen but with a slower Snapdragon 670 chipset with 4GB of RAM. While that one is great for most things, games look better on the Tab S6.
I like the full metal design of the Tab S5e more – and it is just 5.5mm thin. We’re getting four great speakers, a fingerprint scanner, a long battery life, and Android 9.0 Pie. It should get updates as long as the Tab S6 will.
Prices generally start at just 399 US Dollars. That makes it a very good value.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10: Middle-Class With Premium Features
While the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 features middle-class hardware only, it does have tons of premium features. Because of those, I think the MediaPad M5 Lite 10 offers a great value if you don’t need a lot of gaming performance. Those premium features include four great speakers, a full metal body, an integrated fingerprint scanner, and an optional stylus. It is running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Sadly, I do not expect it to get updated to Android 9 due to the trade war between the USA and China.
As I said, it is not perfect for games. However, the HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor is fast enough to play most games with medium graphics settings. At the same time, the 10.1-inch screen offers a full HD resolution which, again, should be high enough for most.
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab: Great Middle-Class Tablet (Except For Netflix)
The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is another great middle-class tablet. While it does not feature a pen option or a fingerprint scanner, it does have a very unique design with a build-in grip and kickstand. It has two very good stereo speakers and a very long battery life. Among its highlights is support for the Google Assistent Ambient Mode which allows you to use it as a smart speaker.
Its 10.1-inch screen has a full HD resolution and the performance is good enough for most tasks and many games. Out of the box, it is running Android 9 Pie with minor additions only.
For many the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab can be the perfect entertainment tablet. With one exception. It does not support the necessary DRM standards to watch Netflix with HD resolution or higher. So, if you use Netflix a lot, this is not the one for you.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019: Budget Gaming-Tablet & Up-To-Date Android
Even though it is cheaper, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 scored noticeably better in my benchmark and gaming tests than the MediaPad M5 Lite 10 did. It is the best option if you are looking for an affordable gaming tablet. With that being said, while its performance is fantastic for its price, it does not have any of those premium features. We get two speakers only, no fingerprint scanner, and no stylus support.
The 10.1-inch IPS screen has a full HD resolution with 1920 x 1200 pixels. It features an Exynos 7904 octa-core processor, 2 to 3GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of internal storage.
While the interface is heavily customized, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 is shipping with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. Based on its predecessors, it should get at least two major software updates.
Amazon Fire HD 10: Great Value For Your Money
If you don’t need a super powerful tablet, I think the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the best value for your money. Yes, unlike the previous ones it has a full plastic body. And it does not feature a fingerprint scanner. But the performance is good, and the 10.1-inch full HD screen is nice too. The speakers are decent and there is a micro SD card slot as well. All this at a much cheaper price and you can use Alexa hands-free.
While I think the Fire HD 10 is the best value if you are on a budget, it has some downsides. It is running Android but not Google’s Android. There is no Play Store installed and none of Google’s apps like YouTube or Gmail. Instead, you’re living in the ecosystem of Amazon with a deep integration into their services. That’s great if you’re a prime member but can be annoying at times.
The good thing: You don’t have to be stuck in Amazon’s world. Instead, you can install the Google Play Store and all of its apps yourself. That is fairly easy. And, with the Play Store, I love the Fire HD 10.
The Best 8-inch Android Tablets
These are the best 8-inch Android tablets I can currently recommend.
Huawei MediaPad M5 8: The Best 8-Inch Android Tablet
The Huawei MediaPad M5 8 is the little brother of the MediaPad M5 10 and even a little faster. As of now, it is the best 8-inch tablet you can buy. Not just running Android, but it is also faster than the iPad Mini. As you can read in my review, its performance is outstanding and the build quality with its full metal body is excellent.
In addition to a powerful processor, we get a nice and high-resolution 8.4-inch display with 2560 x 1600 pixels. Other specifications include 4GB of RAM, a 32GB internal storage, and optional LTE. It also features two good speakers, nice cameras, a decent battery life and a great fingerprint scanner. However, it has one downside. There is no headphone jack included. Instead, you have to use an adapter which is provided by Huawei at no extra charge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 With S Pen (2019)
While the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen is not as fast as the MediaPad M5 8, it is the only good 8-inch Android tablet with a stylus. In fact, the S Pen is included at no extra charge and works fantastic. You can use it just like the pen of a Galaxy Note or the bigger Galaxy Tab S4. It fits inside the body, so you won’t lose it as easily.
The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) offers an 8-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. It’s powered by an Exynos 7885 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and a 32GB internal storage. Out of the box, it is running Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung’s One UI on top. Based on the past, it should get updates longer than most competitors.
Even though the S Pen is included, it is cheaper than the MediaPad M5 8. That also means that it is lacking some premium features. Yes, it has a plastic body, no fingerprint scanner, and just one speaker.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 SM-T290: Cheap & Good Value
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 SM-T290/SM-T295 is much cheaper than the first 8-inch tablets on this list. Don’t confuse it with the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen – even though both names are very similar, this one is much weaker. However, I think it’s a good value if you want to save some money. It features an 8-inch HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. While I think that is alright, texts won’t look as sharp as with higher-resolution screens.
Among its other specifications are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and a 32GB internal storage. While the performance is good enough for most things, don’t expect to do any high-end gaming with this tablet. Many games run, but demanding ones are not playable at all or playable with the lowest graphics settings only.
Its major highlight compared to the Amazon Fire HD 8 below is its software. The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is running up-to-date Android 9 Pie with Samsung’s own One UI. And, as is common for Samsung in recent years, chances are that it’ll be kept up-to-date for around two years.
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018): The Best Value
The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the cheapest tablet on this list. However, it is a great value for your money. It is very inexpensive, offers a good enough performance, a decent screen, and a very good battery life. You can use Alexa Hands-free and get an optional Show Mode Charging Dock to convert it into an Echo Show.
Now, as with the Fire HD 10, the only downside is Amazon’s heavy customizations. The Fire HD 8 is running Android but there is no Google Play Store installed and, out of the box, you have to use the services from Amazon. Again, you can install the Play Store yourself easily and that’s what I recommend.
- This article was originally published on June 21st 2018.
- On May 10th 2018 I added the Huawei MediaPad M5 10.
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10, and T5 10 were added on September 26th. They replace the ASUS ZenPad 3S, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, and Lenovo Tab4 10 Plus.
- I removed the old Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and added the Lenovo Tab P10 on November 26th.
- On May 10th 2019, I removed the Huawei MediaPad T5 10, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2017, and Lenovo Tab4 8. I replaced them with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen, and Chuwi Hi9 Pro.
- Added the Galaxy Tab S5e on June 7th and removed the Lenovo Tab P10.
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 replaced the Galaxy Tab S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-T290 replaced the Chuwi Hi9 Pro on October 7th 2019.
- I added the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab and removed the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 on Januar 21st 2020. And I replaced the old Fire HD 10 with the new one.
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