Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Best Android Tablets Android Central 2020

The best Android tablet available right now is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. 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 beat. 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 Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 PlusSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

The most important things to have in a full-sized 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 S7+ the best Android tablet — it has a combination of everything.

Its spec sheet leaves little to be desired, with a super-fast Snapdragon 865+ processor, 6GB of RAM, plenty of storage, and well-optimized software. Since it's a Samsung product, you're getting a best-in-class display — coming in at 12.4 inches with an ultra-smooth 120Hz refresh rate — and a fantastic metal build. You also get an in-display fingerprint sensor, which was missing on prior models.

Beyond the specs, you get extras like excellent quad speakers, a microSD card slot, and an S Pen stylus included in the box that attaches to the back of the tablet for charging when not in use. Despite being thin and light, it gets great battery life, as well. 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 S7+.

Pros:

  • 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 available
  • High-quality quad speakers

Cons:

  • Expensive if you're only a casual tablet user
  • Too large for extended portrait or handheld use

Best Android Tablet Overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

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.

Smaller Form Factor: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7Source: Joe Maring / Android Central

The Galaxy Tab S7+'s size — and price — are a bit overkill for most people. That's why Samsung makes the Galaxy Tab S7. It's built on the same tenets as the Tab S7+, but takes small, strategic cuts back to be more affordable — and that makes it quite enticing.

You get a much more manageable 11-inch LCD display, which feels dramatically better for handheld use compared to the S7+ and still features a 120Hz refresh rate, as well as the same 6GB of RAM, 128GB to 512GB of storage, and high-quality quad speakers. The battery is a little smaller, but at 8,000mAh, it's still plenty large enough to deliver reliable battery life.

The entire body has a sleek aluminum design that feels extremely high-end and impossibly thin and light, at just 6.3mm thick and 498 grams. That makes it great for media consumption and handheld use in ways that even the Tab S7+ 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.

Pros:

  • Super light for its size
  • Large, high-quality screen
  • Quad speakers
  • Optional hardware keyboard cover
  • Productivity features including DeX Desktop

Cons:

  • Can feel cramped when using as a laptop
  • Smaller battery

Smaller Form Factor

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Get a high-quality tablet with productivity features for less

The Tab S7+ is appealing, but expensive. The Tab S7 offers a nearly identical experience in a smaller, more affordable package.

Productivity for Less: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Last year's Galaxy Tab S6 is still an excellent tablet with most of the same features as the newer Tab S7. It's easy to find for cheap these days thanks to sales and refurbished models, and with it you get a similarly thin, lightweight 10.5-inch tablet with support for both the S Pen and a first-party keyboard, which automatically enables DeX mode when connected.

You won't get a 120Hz refresh rate on the Tab S6, but the display is otherwise gorgeous, with fantastic color reproduction and a sharp 2560x1600 resolution. Like the Tab S7, this tablet's smaller form factor makes it great for both handheld use and media playback.

Pros:

  • Widely available at discounted prices
  • Fantastic, high-res display
  • Quad speakers
  • Optional hardware keyboard cover
  • Ultra-thin and lightweight

Cons:

  • No 120Hz refresh rate
  • Keyboard doesn't have as much travel as the Tab S7's

Productivity for Less

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Buy it when it's on sale

The Tab S6 is easy to find on sale, and offers much of the Tab S7's best features in a similarly slim, light form factor.

Midrange Option: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Galaxy Tab S5e HeroSource: Samsung

Ever wonder why Samsung seems to have a stranglehold on the Android tablet? Part of it is that there's just not much competition from other manufacturers, but another big reason is that Samsung caters to all different price ranges — both by keeping its older devices in production, and by offering more affordable offshoots to its standard models. The Galaxy Tab S5e exemplifies both of those business models, standing as a cheaper alternative to the company's once-top-end Tab S5.

Like the other Samsung tablets on this list, the Tab S5e features a premium metal design, with a 10.5-inch display at the same 2560x1600 resolution as the Tab S7, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and quad speakers tuned by AKG. Unfortunately, the Tab S5e doesn't support Samsung's popular S Pen stylus, but unless you plan to draw or take handwritten notes regularly with your tablet, this may not be a huge sacrifice given the money you'll save by picking the S5e over other Galaxy Tabs.

Pros:

  • Great specs and performance for the price
  • Bright, sharp 10.5-inch display
  • Quad speakers
  • Storage expandable via microSD
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor preferable to some

Cons:

  • No S Pen support
  • Not likely to receive much further software support

Midrange Option

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

An even more accessible tablet for tighter budgets

The Galaxy Tab S5e sacrifices S Pen support, but makes few other compromises to achieve its lower price point.

Low-Budget Android Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

Samsung Galaxy Tab ASource: Walmart

if you're looking to buy a tablet for the first time and don't have any stringent needs, the Galaxy Tab A series is an excellent option for a fraction of the Tab S7+'s cost. While you likely won't be blown away by its specs or features, the Tab A manages to still offer a metal body and, unlike Amazon's Fire tablets, a fully functional version of Android, complete with Google services like the Play Store — meaning you can download whatever apps you want.

The Galaxy Tab A is available in both 8-inch and 10.1-inch configurations, but I think the former is a perfect starting point for first-time tablet owners. The smaller display and overall design makes the Tab A extremely portable and comfortable to hold in one hand, all while still being large enough to consume media from streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Disney+.

Pros:

  • Small, comfortable display and size
  • Thin and lightweight metal design
  • Runs standard Android software with Google services
  • Also available in larger 10.1-inch size
  • Extremely affordable

Cons:

  • Larger bezels than on other Samsung tablets
  • Not the most powerful specs

Low-Budget Android Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

A great option for first-time tablet buyers with basic needs

This budget-friendly tablet won't blow you away with its screen or specs, but it offers full-fledged Android software at an unbeatable price.

Big on a Small Budget: Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10Source: Phil Nickinson / Android Central

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 more limited app selection. But for this price and what you're likely to do with it, that's an okay trade-off for most.

Pros:

  • Exceptional value for this size
  • Solid display
  • Amazon's apps get the basics done
  • Fun color options available

Cons:

  • No access to Google Play apps
  • Cheap-feeling plastic body

Big on a Small Budget

Amazon Fire HD 10

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 Fire HD 8Source: Amazon

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Low-quality screen
  • Cheap-feeling plastic build
  • No access to Google Play apps

Cheap as it Gets

Amazon Fire HD 8

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

Amazon Fire Hd 10 LifestyleSource: Amazon

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.

Pros:

  • Great warranty
  • Lots of content for kids of all ages
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Fantastic display
  • Great sounding dual speakers

Cons:

  • Can be a bit large for some children
  • On the expensive side
  • No Google services built-in

Best for Kids

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

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.

Bottom line

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 S7+ with its high-end materials, great screen, capable software, hardware keyboard support, and stylus.

The Tab S7+ may be a bit too expensive for many tablet buyers, but Samsung also makes a great alternative in the Galaxy Tab S7. For hundreds less, you're getting the same core experience and productivity features in a smaller overall package, with 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 S7+ 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

Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman. Got a tip or inquiry? Drop him a line at hayato.huseman@futurenet.com.

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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