When it comes to searching for the best Android tablet, there are fewer options compared to a few years ago where Google’s operating system was popping up on slates from almost every major manufacturer.
The tablet market slowed down since, and those still producing Android tablets have reduced the frequency of launches, but that means quality has improved as new devices are no longer being rushed out.
While the selection of new Android tablets isn’t as large as it once was, and nowhere near as large as the selection of Android phones, there’s still some great ones to choose from.
Android is one of the main rivals to Apple’s tablet range which includes the new iPad Pro 11 (2018), iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and iPad (2018).
Some Android tablets have 10-inch screens, others seven, some land somewhere in between and a handful even push the boundaries past 10 inches. There are also big differences in battery life, processing power, RAM and even the software each slate is running.
And even once you know what specs you’re after there are plenty of not so great options, so to help you avoid buying a dud we’ve put together this list of the best Android tablets around.
They cover a range of options and we’ve included a rundown of the specs, the pros and the cons, so you can see at a glance what’s right for you.
However, if none of these taking your fancy you can always look towards new tablet launches in 2019.
Amazon is likely to give its Fire tablet range another reboot, Samsung will continue to try and provide an Android answer to the iPad and a few surprising launches for other firms could spice up our best Android tablets list in the next 12 months.
- Check out our other guides: best tablets | best cheap tablets | best iPad
Best Android tablets: which should you buy?
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The ‘money’s no object’ best Android tablet
Weight: 482g | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/256GB | Battery: 7,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the best Android tablet available right now. It’s not exactly cheap, but it comes packing a whole hosts of features to ensure you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck.
Unlike Apple’s iPad Pro range, the Galaxy Tab S4 comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus included in the box, while under the hood you get the powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset alongside 6GB of RAM ensuring Android runs super-smoothly on screen.
That’s only half the story though. Pair the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with a keyboard and mouse and it’ll transfer from Android into a desktop-like experience as it attempts to replace your laptop as well as your tablet.
The desktop aspect of the tablet is limited for the time being, but we fully expect it to improve with future software updates. In short, the Galaxy Tab S4 is the most versatile Android tablet around.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Samsung’s former flagship Android slate is super
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is our favorite Android tablet in the world right now.
This tablet is the second best Android slate in the world thanks to a powerful processor and an excellent display that’s prepped to show you HDR content.
There’s an S-Pen stylus in the box and you’ll also have the option of buying a keyboard too, but that will cost quite a bit extra.
The price of the Galaxy Tab S3 is high, but it’s worth it when you look at all of the power and amazing features you’ll get for that amount of money.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review
3. Asus ZenPad 3S 10
One of the best Android tablets out
Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Nope, that’s not an iPad you can see just above. That’s the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 – and it’s our third favourite Android tablet you’re able to buy right now.
There’s decent power inside this slate as well as a super bright and beautiful display to look at on the front.
The battery life and build quality aren’t the best on the market, but considering the lower price point than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and Tab S3 above, we’d recommend picking this up if you’re looking for something a touch cheaper.
Read our Asus ZenPad 3S 10 review
4. Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
A great Android alternative to the iPad Mini 4
The Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 is a strong Android slate and the combination of its small size and metal shell makes it a real alternative to the iPad Mini 4.
This has more than just good looks though, as the MediaPad M5 8.4 also has impressive stereo speakers, and coupled with its sharp 1600 x 2560 screen that ensures it lives up to its name as a media machine.
It’s less good for gaming, and there’s no 3.5mm headphone port – so you probably will be relying on those internal speakers a lot, but if you want a very portable slate that’s great for movies and music then the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 is a top option.
Read our Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 review
5. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
Taking ‘Netflix and chill’ to the next level
Weight: 665g | Dimensions: 246.9 x 179.1 x 4.6mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Intel Atom quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 10,200mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is packed full of media-focused features and sports a unique, distinctive design.
There’s a built in stand to take the heft off your hands, while the integrated projector means you can enjoy big screen entertainment away from your TV, though the screen is sharp enough that you won’t always feel the need to use a projector anyway.
All that tech does make it less portable than most tablets on this list and the UI could be better, but it’s a fairly unique option.