UPDATE: Huawei’s MediaPad T3 (8-inch version) has been added to our list of the best Android tablets of 2018. Find out why below!
If you’re looking for a tablet and don’t fancy an iPad, then Android is currently the way to go.
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 big differences in battery life, processing power, RAM and price.
In our search for the best Android tablet that the market has to offer, we’ve gathered together the seven best options currently available. Read on to see which Google-powered slates you should be considering in 2018.
7. Huawei MediaPad T3 (8-inch)
Weight: 350g | Dimensions: 211.1 x 124.7 x 8mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 8-inches | Resolution: 800 x 1280 | CPU: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4650mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP
Available exclusively in Australia through Vodafone on contract, the 8-inch version of Huawei’s MediaPad T3 is a nice option for those who want a compact tablet without paying a whole lot upfront.
Its 8-inch Full HD screen could be a little brighter, but it does a good job of displaying video content like movies and TV shows with nice colours and sharp picture quality. Along with its handbag-ready size, it’s a great tablet to whip out on public transport.
What’s also quite impressive about the Huawei MediaPad T3’s display is its 178-degree viewing angle, allowing you to get practically side-on with the device without losing brightness or quality.
Admittedly, viewing angles aren’t as much of an issue for personal tablets, especially when it’s only one person using it the majority of the time. Still, it’s nice to know that people can gather around to view something without it looking terrible.
Huawei’s products are known for boasting impressive battery life, and the MediaPad T3 is no exception — its sizeable 4650mAh will keep the tablet going through a whole day of browsing the internet and watching videos.
While the T3 itself only holds 16GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot allows for up to 128GB of additional space.
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S
Weight: 467g | Dimensions: 247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 10.5-inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Quad-core 2.3GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 7900mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
The exterior design of the Tab S is nothing to write home about but it’s thin and it’s light and that counts for a lot when it comes to tablets. It helps the frame get out of the way of the screen, which is the real winner here.
Available in 8.4- and 10.5-inch variants, the Tab S range packs in a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, microSD slot, 8MP rear camera, 2.1MP front snapper and Android 4.4 KitKat.
Both tablets have fingerprint scanners for added security, but the plastic body may put a few off with Apple’s slates sporting a more attractive design.
There’s a new Tab series on the block, in the form of the Galaxy Tab S2, but the original S duo are still a great buy – especially now they’re a little bit cheaper.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S
5. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage:16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
When it comes to watching video or playing games, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact excels with a decent slug of power and its eye-pleasing display.
Add in the thin, light, waterproof body and you have a great tablet for long trips and boring work commutes which can be happily slid into a bag without taking up too much space or weighing you down.
The components inside the Z3 Tablet Compact are getting on a bit now, and it doesn’t have the slickness of the 8-inch iPad mini 4 or Galaxy Tab S2 – but it’s certainly still worth considering.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
4. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 167 x 254 x 6.1 mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: 2GHz Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
We’d like to see a 64GB option, but 32GB plus the inclusion of a microSD slot will suit most people, and while the cameras don’t cover themselves in glory they’re more of a vanity feature on a tablet.
The Xperia Z4 is a great tablet, and it’s one of the genuine alternatives to the iPad. Android is still not the perfect ecosystem for tablets, but with a 2K display on the front and such a nice-looking design Sony has made something rather lovely.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Weight: 256g/389g | Dimensions: 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm/237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 8.0-inch/9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery:4000mAh/5870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – especially if you’re after the best Android tablet on the market.
It’s reading and web surfing-friendly, while the new 4:3 screen and general size and shape is better suited for most things. Videos work better on its predecessor thanks to elongated aspect ratio – but they don’t exactly look bad here.
You can pick the Tab S2 up in 8-inch and 9.7-inch variants, to challenge Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini ranges, with the smaller option being more portable and cheaper.
Almost impossibly thin, pumped full of power and with a slicker version of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on board the Galaxy Tab S2 gives the iPad Air 2 a real run for its money.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Weight: 525g | Dimensions: 254.2 x 155.3 x 8.2 mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: octa-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 7,300mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
If media watching is your main reason to pick up a tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is a terrific option that is also surprisingly affordable. If you shop around, you can find the Tab A 10.1 for less than $200, which is an absolute steal.
It’s got a large 10.1-inch display which is vibrant and clear, yet doesn’t feel huge in your hands. A hefty 7,300mAh battery should keep the tablet going all day, too.
If you’re after a gaming tablet, this probably isn’t the one for you, as it’s not the strongest performer on this list. That said, its beautiful display and even more attractive price point make it pretty difficult to pass up.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6 mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB (microSD to 256GB) | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Finally available in Australia, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet yet, and it’s built to last with 2-in-1 S Pen and keyboard capabilities, a beautiful HDR-ready screen and four thumping stereo speakers.
Samsung can technically still claim that the Tab S3 is thinner and lighter than an iPad Pro, with dimensions of 237.3 x 169 x 6mm and a weight of 429g (the iPad Pro is 6.1mm thick and weighs 437g).
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 touts a small but likeable design upgrade over the Galaxy Tab S2, even if it’s easy to mistake it for Samsung’s year-and-a-half-old tablet from the front.
The real difference is seen and heard in the HDR display, which pumps up the contrast ratio, and the four speakers, which pump out the volume better than a tablet with a mono speaker.
It’s also got an increased focus on productivity, with its S-Pen compatibility and included drawing and note-taking apps, as well as its redesigned optional keyboard, which now feels sturdier than its predecessor, but lacks a touchpad. Still, when the whole screen is touch-based, a touch-pad isn’t all that important.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3