The best Android tablets are well-designed, powerful enough to run apps and games with minimal slowdown, and power-efficient enough to last a long time on a single charge.
Samsung is the current market leader, with offerings that run pure Android and aren't lacking in apps. However, if you're a dedicated Amazon user seeking a portable device to enjoy your favorite Prime content on the go, Fire tablets are a great choice.
To help you make an informed purchase, we've put together the following buying guide. This list covers all of the Android tablets worthy of your consideration, from Samsung's excellent Galaxy Tab line to Amazon's Fire tablets, which run a more limited variant of Android.
In our path to help you find the right Android tablet for you, we test them all in the lab, measuring battery life and performance, as well as screen quality. (We can also share our own experiences about switching from the iPad to an Android tablet.) When it comes to app quality (something of a lingering question for even the best Android tablets) we've found that your decision might start with how many apps you want — and not all of these Android tablets get the same apps.
Without further ado, here are the best Android tablets, based on our hands-on testing and review of dozens from Amazon, Samsung, Nokia and more.
What are the best Android tablets?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is our current top pick for the best Android tablet you can buy for a variety of reasons, not least of which that it's a speedy, long-lasting Android tablet that looks great and feels comfortable to hold. With a starting price of $649 it's not cheap, but it does set a new standard for what we should expect from a premium Android tablet. If price isn't an issue, its massive older sibling the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a powerful Android tablet that can double as a laptop.
If you want something a little more affordable, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, which you can get for under $300. It's a little older than the Tab S8 but still plenty capable -- and unlike the hyper-affordable Amazon Fire 7 (more on that later), it's got all the apps you could ask for. Plus, it's got super-thin bezels that make most other tablets at this price look chunky.
That being said, it's hard for many to argue with the value-level pricing of the Amazon Fire tablets. The Fire 7 is snappier than any $50 tablet has any right to be, and it's got the added value of supporting Alexa, for those who want access to Amazon's assistant at all times. I'd personally recommend people spend almost twice as much, though, as the Fire HD 8 has amazing endurance, the likes of which beats practically every tablet up and down the list.
The best Android tablets you can buy today
The Galaxy Tab S8 is good at a lot of things, but it's best at being a premium Android tablet. You can use it to get work done in a pinch, but in my experience it's best enjoyed as a speedy all-purpose device for making work and play a bit more enjoyable. On the couch its great for gaming or reading comics, and at work it's nice to have as a note-keeping device or secondary display, especially if you go to the trouble of investing in the Galaxy ecosystem and making your workspace DeX-friendly.
If you absolutely must have the biggest, baddest Android slate possible you probably want the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, but if you just need a great premium Android tablet the Galaxy Tab S8 delivers — and in the process, sets a new standard for what we should expect from the category.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review.
This is the budget Android tablet that fans have long deserved. In the history of iPad alternatives, the Galaxy Tab A7 stands out with its lower $219 price, $100 less than the iPad. On top of that, it's got thinner bezels than the 10.2-inch iPad and crazy 13+ hour battery life — so you can enjoy more of what you're watching and reading for a lot longer time. And even at this price, you get facial recognition to unlock the device.
It's also got USB-C charging, so you can use the same cable you charge modern phones and laptops with. And while we wish it was a tad brighter or faster, it's got the real, unadulterated Android experience — with the Google Play app store and Google apps — so you're not confined to web-only Gmail and YouTube.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is an entertainment-focused Android tablet with an impressive 13-inch display and quality speakers. It makes you feel like you’re watching movies and shows on a proper TV instead of a bulky tablet. Playing games is a delight too, thanks to the speedy Snapdragon 870 processor and 8GB of memory. The slate can even act as a secondary monitor for your laptop or tablet, giving its 2K screen a bit of extra versatility.
Though great at what it does, it’s not the most portable device out there. It’s also all but impossible to find a protective cover due to its unusual design. The lack of 5G support is also a letdown, as is the lack of a headphone jack. Still, if you’re looking for an entertainment-focused tablet that you don't plan to cart around much, the Yoga Tab 13 is a good choice.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 review.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) takes an already-good tablet and applies incremental upgrades, such as a slightly brighter screen, 1GB more RAM and a smaller, lighter design. While it probably isn't a must-have for anyone who bought the 2019 model, it's a good demonstration of Amazon's ability to put out a value-driven slate that's good enough for many.
If you think you'll be irritated by slight lags in performance, you should consider spending an extra $30 to get the $179 Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus, arguably the best Amazon tablet ever. That said, the Fire HD 10 (2021) is still going to be great for the folks who are looking for a device to casually peruse the internet, read e-books, and watch videos. This keeps the Fire HD 10's spot among the best Android tablets out there, and one of the best tablets you can buy — especially if you're on a budget.
Its biggest flaws, though, are nothing new. Most notably, Amazon's Fire OS is still app-challenged, missing the Google Play app store — which means you can't get the full YouTube experience, for example, and you'll miss out on a lot of great apps not available on Amazon's app store.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review.
If someone asks me for tablet recommendations and they're on a budget too tight for the iPad, I likely ask if they're an Amazon Prime subscriber. The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the best Android tablet for those folks who love a good bargain because it gets a lot right for only $90.
Its impressive 13+ hours of battery life stands out in a sea of tablets we already complement for endurance, and, yes, you can get the reversible USB-C port at this wallet-friendly price. Even its selfie camera is pretty decent, beating the webcams in more expensive laptops.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 comes without some of the other basics you might expect when you hear "Android tablet." The Google Play store, along with many great podcast apps, is nowhere to be found. Yes, that means the YouTube and Gmail apps can't be used on this tablet, and you're pushed to access the web browser versions of these standard services, in Amazon's mostly-acceptable Silk web browser.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 review.
As I tested the Amazon Fire 7, I kept thinking "A $50 tablet shouldn't be this good." And while it's not perfect, Amazon's cheapest slate got a recent update that put a lot more kick under the hood with a snappy quad-core 1.3 GHz processor.
The latest Fire 7 also fixes a mistake of previous updates, allowing you to summon the Alexa digital assistant with your own voice. Yes, it should have been there since day 1 (Alexa wasn't meant to be clicked into existence), but a $50 tablet can get away with a lot of cut corners.
Its low-low price should be a good indicator to shoppers that they shouldn't expect iPad level features. Its sub-HD screen is good enough for younger children streaming kids' shows on Prime, but their older siblings (who've seen a few tablets in their time) might ask for something a little sharper.
Read our full Amazon Fire 7 review.
Android tablet lovers have needed the Samsung Galaxy S7 before they even knew it existed. This beautiful slate is thin, light and packs slim bezels for an all-screen aesthetic that Apple's given users for years with the iPad Pro. The Tab S7's screen is so bright and colorful that you'll love to use it for your next Netflix binge-watch. Oh, and it put in a time of over 13 hours on our battery life test. On top of that, you get a windowed Android app experience in DeX mode (which could use some polish) but is pretty decent for getting work done.
We want more from the Tab S7's Book Cover Keyboard (a $199 extra add-on) though. Its number keys will be too small for some and assembling its two-piece design is a little annoying if you transition from laptop to tablet mode often. Also, we wish the Snapdragon 865+ had a bit more pep in its step, as benchmarks show Intel Core i5 and Apple A12Z chips running circles around it. So while some will opt for the cheaper (and still good) Android tablets, the Galaxy Tab S7 is the high-end tablet that Android users deserve.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 review.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1,099) is the first tablet that casts a literal shadow over the iPad Pro. With its ginormous 14.6-inch OLED display, this Android slate makes the 12.9-inch iPad Pro seem cute by comparison. And with the optional keyboard attachment and improved multi-window mode, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could potentially replace a laptop.
Samsung is clearly targeting hybrid and at-home workers with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, as it packs dual front cameras with support to up to 4K resolution for video calls as well as auto framing for keeping you in the frame as you move around. Plus, there's advanced noise reduction to make sure you come through loud and clear.
Other highlights of the Tab S8 Ultra include a fast Snapdragon 8 Gen-1 chip, a low-latency S Pen experience, 45W fast charging and improved integration with Galaxy S series phones.
At $1,099, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra commands a heck of a premium. But it delivers an intoxicating blend of size, speed and versatility that makes it one of the best tablets on the market.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review.
How to choose the best Android tablet for you
When it comes to picking the best Android tablet for you, start by thinking about the apps you want. Yes, battery life and performance are so similar across many of these tablets that you can easily cross off half of this list by thinking about if you need your next Android tablet for more than just Netflix and Spotify.
Those who want every single application on their Android phone should probably look away from the Amazon Fire tablets, as those require jumping through hoops (and disabling security protection features) to get Gmail or any of the Google apps as apps. If you don't need those apps on your tablet, or could stand to use older, less-than-stellar versions of those applications in a web browser, then you can consider the Fire tablets.
If you want all of the apps, you have three questions, each with its own answer. Are you mainly going to be consuming content? Get the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Looking for a machine where you can crank out a Word document and possibly replace your laptop? The Galaxy Tab S6 is right for you. Looking for a tablet to share with the family? Huawei's MediaPad M5 Lite is your best bet.
Those OK with the limitations of Amazon tablets should grab a Fire 7 for less demanding uses, and the Fire HD 8 if they're shopping for folks with slightly higher standards. And if you're looking for the best of the budget bunch, the Fire HD 10 is right for you.
How we test Android tablets
The first thing we do to separate the great tablets from the jokers is to test all their different facets. Our web-surfing based battery test times how long a tablet can browse the internet for, with its display set to 150 nits of brightness. But in order to figure out what percentage of brightness equals 150 nits, we perform a series of display tests to measure how colorful the panel can get (measured with its sRGB output number) as well as how bright it can get. Then, we run benchmark tests on said tablet, including the latest version of the Geekbench general performance benchmark.
Another thing we do to evaluate Android tablets is check out the app store to see if you're getting a true Android experience or some company's vision thereof. The latter is a major disappointment — though we don't expect anything different from Amazon at this stage. On tablets with parental controls settings, we try and find the loopholes in said limitations, to find red flags before your kids can.
Then, we just use the tablets like we would if we owned them. Opening tab after tab and app after app to see if we can multitask without hiccups. We also watch YouTube videos because the color output (sRGB) and brightness (nits) measurements don't tell the whole story. Only through all of these tests, can we be sure that we're giving you a complete assessment of a tablet's value.