The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 offers the best overall Android tablet experience, with a big screen, high-end specs, a stylus, and support for a full keyboard. It's expensive, and not the right pick for anyone who wants a smaller and more portable tablet, but as an all-around device it can't be beaten.

Our Pick

Galaxy Tab S4

The best Android tablet for most people

This is Samsung's best-ever tablet, and a single device that can do it all. It's built extremely well, with a metal frame and glass back that looks great and feels worthy of the price. Make the most of it by bundling with the keyboard cover.

Who should buy this tablet

The most important things to have in a full-size Android tablet are a great screen, loud speakers, strong build quality, and software that makes use of the extra screen size. That's what makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 the best Android tablet.

An amazing screen from Samsung is no surprise — that's been their specialty for years. The 10.5-inch 2560x1600 Super AMOLED on the Tab S4 carries on the tradition, and it's simply the best display on any tablet. Android and Samsung mesh to provide a great software experience, and the included S Pen stylus with 4096-level pressure sensitivity makes taking notes or producing digital artwork a breeze. Add on the optional keyboard to get some typing done, or just prop it up to watch a movie with that great screen and loud speakers.

Is it a good time to buy this tablet?

Yes. The Galaxy Tab S4 came out in August 2018, and Samsung doesn't follow a strict yearly upgrade cycle for its big tablets. It has high-end specs to handle anything you could throw at it, and easily the best display of any Android tablet. There are super-loud speakers, a stylus in the box, and support for a detachable keyboard that make the Tab S4 an all-around performer for work and play.

Reasons to buy

  • Best screen available on an Android tablet
  • S Pen stylus included in the box
  • Robust and beautiful metal-and-glass frame
  • Powerful specs, including the Snapdragon 835
  • First-party detachable keyboard support
  • High-quality speakers

Reasons not to buy

  • Expensive if you're only a casual tablet user
  • Not really suited for portrait or handheld use for long periods

The Android tablet market is weak, but this one stands way above the rest

There aren't a lot of good Android tablets available today, so if you want a great one, the Galaxy Tab S4 is practically your only option. That's not so bad, though, since it's such a good tablet, and it can even be used as a makeshift laptop using Samsung's DeX desktop-style interface when paired with the optional keyboard.

Its spec sheet leaves little to be desired, with a super-fast Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of expandable storage, and well-optimized software. And because it's a Samsung product, you're getting a best-in-class display and an amazing metal-and-glass build.

Because you're spending top dollar on the Tab S4, you don't have to make any compromises — you get it all. Beyond the specs, you get extras like great quad speakers, a microSD card slot, an iris sensor, an S Pen stylus included in the box, and an optional first-party keyboard case that rivals some laptops. And despite being thin and light, it gets great battery life. If you want an Android tablet and you're willing to spend the money, there's really nowhere else to go but the Galaxy Tab S4.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on an Android tablet

Before buying an Android tablet, you need to figure out what it's primarily going to be used for. The Galaxy Tab S4 is a powerhouse that allows you to dock it into a keyboard and use it like a laptop. But many people just want an affordable tablet for browsing the web, watching YouTube, and playing games. And that's totally fine — Android tablets do a great job with that.

While many companies have abandoned the Android tablet market, others like Huawei and Amazon are still very much invested in bringing great experiences at prices much lower than the $500+ needed to invest in something like the Galaxy Tab S4. Thanks to Android's flexibility, most apps and games scale nicely to different-sized screens, so it's mainly important to figure out how you're going to use. If you want the tablet to be super light and portable so you can stick it in your bag and forget it's there, get a small tablet like the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4, or even the sub-$100 Amazon Fire HD 8.

But if your main tablet goal is to stick it on the living room table and not worry about having to charge it all the time, then perhaps go with something like the Amazon Fire HD 10, which has a bigger screen for video consumption, and a larger battery that doesn't need to be charged as often.

Alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The Galaxy Tab S4 is a wonderful tablet, but it's big and expensive, and therefore not great for every use case. Thankfully there are others that hit different size and price considerations.


Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4

Powerful, yet affordable

Huawei's MediaPad M5 series of tablets leans more towards the midrange, but that's all you need for the majority of online browsing and gaming most people do from their tablets.

The MediaPad M5 8.4 isn't going to blow you away with amazing speakers or a class-leading display like the Galaxy Tab S4, nor does it have a companion stylus or a keyboard. But it has excellent build quality and great performance — plus, a Quad HD display. Though Huawei makes a larger model (and even a Pro model that does support a pressure-sensitive stylus), the MediaPad M5 8.4 is the perfect size for comfortable, casual browsing and play.

Large budget option

Amazon Fire HD 10

Solid, budget-friendly tablet that gets the job done

Amazon's Fire HD 10 is all about giving you the basic tablet experience that's focused on media consumption on a big screen without the extra complication (and cost) of productivity features.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is one of those deals that's almost too good to pass up if you're after a device with a large screen but a small price tag. It's simply the best big Android tablet for doing the basics, from watching movies and TV shows to playing some basic games. You don't get the Google Play Store or Google's great apps and services — instead, you'll rely on the Amazon App Store — but you also don't pay much for this solid tablet.

Small budget option

Amazon Fire HD 8

Solid, budget-friendly tablet that gets the job done

A light and portable tablet well under $100 — there isn't much you can complain about in that equation. And it even comes in four fun color options.

Amazon also makes the best super-inexpensive Android tablet available, the Fire HD 8. At $80 with 16GB of storage, it's an amazing deal. Like the HD 10 it doesn't have the Google Play Store or Google apps, but you're even more likely to look past that when you're spending under $100 on a tablet. This is a great choice for media consumption, browsing, or handing to your kids.

Bottom line

For those who don't need every bell and whistle under the sun, the Amazon Fire HD 8 and 10 offer a good media experience without costing you an arm and a leg — so long as you can live without Google Play services. If you need a bit more from your tablet but still want it in a handheld package, the MediaPad M5 8.4 won't leave you disappointed either.

For someone who wants the best possible Android tablet experience, though, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the best choice for its high-end materials, great screen, capable software, and accessory options.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation's Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google's Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You'll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.

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