Best Android Tablets Android Central 2020
The best Android tablet available right now is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. It has a big screen, high-end specs, tons of features, 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. For those who have different needs (or budgets), there are a few other picks that work well as media consumption devices and won't break the bank.
- Best Android Tablet Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
- Productivity for Less: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
- Big on a Small Budget: Amazon Fire HD 10
- Cheap as it Gets: Amazon Fire HD 8
- Best for Kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
The most important things to have in a full-size Android tablet are a great screen, loud speakers, robust build quality, and software that makes use of the extra screen size. That's what makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 the best Android tablet — it has a combination of everything.
Its spec sheet leaves little to be desired, with a super-fast Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, plenty of storage and well-optimized software. And because it's a Samsung product, you're getting a best-in-class display — coming in at 10.5 inches — and a fantastic metal build. You also now get an in-display fingerprint sensor, which was missing on prior models.
Beyond the specs, you get extras like great quad speakers, a microSD card slot and a stylus included in the box that attaches to the back of the tablet when not in use. And despite being thin and light, it gets great battery life. You can add a tremendous first-party keyboard cover to get some work done, and then jump into the DeX desktop-style interface for a more laptop-like experience.
If you want a do-everything Android tablet and you're willing to spend the money, there's nowhere else to go but the Galaxy Tab S6.
Note: Samsung is set to announce successors to the Galaxy Tab S6, the Tab S7 and S7+, in early August. If you can wait and see what they bring, you're best off waiting.
- Best screen available on an Android tablet
- S Pen stylus included in the box
- Robust and beautiful hardware
- Long battery life
- First-party detachable keyboard support
- High-quality quad speakers
- Expensive if you're only a casual tablet user
- Not suited for portrait or handheld use for long
Best Android Tablet Overall
The best all-around Android tablet for most people
It's Samsung's best-ever tablet, and it can do it all. Solid specs, a great display and long battery life are all selling points.
Productivity for Less: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
The Galaxy Tab S6's capabilities — and price — are a bit overkill for most people. That's why Samsung makes the Galaxy Tab S5e. It's built on the same tenets as the Tab S6, but takes strategic cuts back to be more affordable — and that makes it extremely enticing.
You get the same 10.5-inch AMOLED display, which is a huge plus, as well as 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and high-quality quad speakers. The battery is a little smaller, and the Snapdragon 670 processor isn't going to blow you away with performance, but those are fine trade-offs for a solid price drop.
The entire body is a sleek metal rather than glass. It may not feel quite as high-end but helps the Tab S5e be extremely light for its size at just 399 g (0.88 lb). That makes it great for media consumption and handheld use in ways the Tab S6 isn't. But you can still attach a hardware keyboard and jump into DeX desktop mode to get some serious work done just as well.
- Super light for its size
- Large high-quality screen
- Quad speakers
- Optional hardware keyboard cover
- Productivity features including DeX Desktop
- Not as powerful as Galaxy Tab S6
- No stylus support
Productivity for Less
Get a high-quality tablet with productivity features for less
The Tab S6 is appealing but expensive. The Tab S5e gets the basics done, and trims in the right places to be a great value.
Big on a Small Budget: Amazon Fire HD 10
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 browsing and playing some casual games.
The big caveat to keep in mind with an Amazon Fire tablet is that you don't get the Google Play Store or Google's great apps and services. Instead, you'll rely on the Amazon App Store, which has a dramatically limited app selection. But for this price and what you're likely to do with it, that's an okay trade-off for most.
- Exceptional value for this size
- Solid display
- Amazon's apps get the basics done
- Fun color options available
- No access to Google Play apps
- Cheap-feeling plastic body
Big on a Small Budget
Solid, budget-friendly tablet that gets the job done
The Fire HD 10 is all about the essential tablet experience without the extra complication and cost of productivity features.
Cheap as it Gets: Amazon Fire HD 8
Amazon also makes the best super-inexpensive Android tablet available, the Fire HD 8. And it was just refreshed in June 2020 to provide a great value at what is still an excellent price. You're still getting an 8-inch HD display, but now 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and this new version has a 30% faster processor and finally charges with USB-C.
It still comes in a variety of neat colors, which can keep things interesting for kids and adults alike. You can spend a little more to get 64GB of storage for apps and video, and also opt to spend a little more to remove Amazon's "Special Offers" lock screen ads.
Like the Fire 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 this little on a tablet. This is an excellent choice for media consumption, browsing, or handing to your kids.
- Small enough for kids to use
- Fun color choices
- Gets all of the basics done
- Now has 32GB storage and USB-C
- Almost unbelievable price
- Low-quality screen
- Cheap-feeling plastic build
- No access to Google Play apps
Cheap as it Gets
Solid, budget-friendly tablet that gets the job done
A light and portable tablet at a great price — there isn't much you can complain about in that equation.
Best for Kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is filled with the best hardware and software you could ask for as a parent. Amazon took its top big tablet and loaded it with parental controls, child-specific content, and wrapped it in a durable and functional case. While the screen size could be difficult for young children, the provided case includes a kickstand for viewing.
The 1080p display provides solid colors and clarity for content. This is important when your child is learning to read since text can be clearer, and it's what you want for video too. The HD 10 Kids Edition also has the same awesome dual-speaker setup. However, for those times when you'd like to limit the noise, there's a standard headphone jack.
Since this is a kids edition from Amazon, it gets a free year of Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited software. This provides parental controls for you and over 20,000 age-specific titles for your kids. Not only that, but the tablet also gets two years of "worry-free" guarantee — if the tablet breaks, Amazon will replace it. That could be the most important feature of all.
- Great warranty
- Lots of content for kids of all ages
- Excellent parental controls
- Fantastic display
- Great sounding dual speakers
- Can be a bit large for some children
- On the expensive side
- No Google services built-in
Best for Kids
Top-notch experience for kids
With up to 12 hours of battery life and over 20,000 titles of kid-approved content, your kid will have plenty of entertainment.
Now that a lot of us are working from home, you might be looking for a tablet for productivity or just fun around the house. The number of great Android tablet options is limited, but there are a few that are worthy of recommending. The best possible Android tablet experience comes from Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with its high-end materials, great screen, capable software, hardware keyboard support, and stylus.
The Tab S6 may be a bit too expensive for many tablet buyers, but Samsung also makes a great alternative in the Galaxy Tab S5e. For much less, you're getting the same core experience and productivity features, in a lighter overall package, but with a few shortcomings in specs and frills. For those who don't need every bell and whistle under the sun, the Amazon Fire HD 10 and HD 8 offer a excellent media experience without costing you an arm and a leg — so long as you can live without Google Play services.
There are plenty of different use cases for tablets that might influence which one you should buy. Yes, the Galaxy Tab S6 is the best overall option with the most horsepower and even the capability to replace your laptop, but you don't need all of that if you just want to stream videos and play casual games on occasion. Know your needs and don't overpay for a tablet that does more than you need.
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 email@example.com 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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