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Best Android tablets of 2021: which should you buy?

Included in this guide:

The best Android tablets including Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, Lenovo Tab P11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, Lenovo Tab P11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (Image credit: Samsung, Lenovo)

If you’re looking for one of the best Android tablets then we're here to help, and there’s no shortage of choice, with Samsung, Huawei, Amazon, Lenovo and others all making excellent slates.

These include the top-end Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, the more affordable Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020), and many others, and you’ll find all the best options below, with choices to fit most needs and budgets.

While the best Android tablet for you won’t necessarily be the best one for everyone else - or maybe you'd prefer one of the best iPads - we have ranked our selections, so you can see which our very favorite is. But we’ve also said what we do and don’t like about each, along with including a specs list, so you can easily decide for yourself which of them is the best fit for you.

You should consider the size - tablets are by nature a lot bigger than phones, but do you want one that's still somewhat portable for taking out with you? Or a larger one for use mostly at home? Price is a key concern too, and while most of the best ones are on the expensive side, there are some more affordable options.

So consider all that when browsing our selections, and also think what else you personally need from a slate. If you’re still in doubt then make sure to click through to our full reviews of each slate too, where we go much deeper into what you can expect from them.

Make sure to check back frequently as well, as we’re keeping this article regularly updated, and with new tablets always on the horizon, this ranking could get shaken up at any time.

Or, for more tablet options, head to our best tablets or best cheap tablets guides.

Best Android tablets: which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best Android tablet

Specifications
Weight: 575g
Dimensions: 285 x 185 x 5.7mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 12.4-inch
Resolution: 1752 x 2800 pixels
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
Storage: 128GB/256GB
microSD slot: Yes
Battery: 10,090mAh
Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous OLED screen+Premium design
Reasons to avoid
-Android lacks quality tablet apps-High price - but it justifies it

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the best tablet Samsung has ever made, and a serious rival to the iPad Pro range.

In fact, its screen arguably has those slates beat, as it’s a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPad Pro range can match much of that, but those slates have LCD screens, which aren’t quite as good - we were seriously impressed with this screen.

You also of course get a whole lot of power from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, enough that we found it the smoothest Android tablet experience we've come across. Plus, it has a premium metal build that’s incredibly slim at 5.7mm thick.

There’s also a 5G model for speedy mobile data, and Samsung’s S Pen stylus comes bundled with the slate. Chuck in a keyboard (sold separately) and this is a serious productivity machine. But even without that this is a top-end slate and great for media.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The best Android tablet for media

Specifications
Weight: 485g
Dimensions: 264.3 x 171.4 x 6.9mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 11.5-inch
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
CPU: Snapdragon 730G
Storage: 128GB
microSD slot: Yes
Battery: 8,600mAh
Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 8MP + 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Lovely OLED display+Loud quad-speakers
Reasons to avoid
-Weak camera-Middling power

Samsung has long been ruling the high-end Android tablet world, but it now faces an unlikely challenger in the form of the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro. Lenovo isn’t well-known for Android tablets, but with the Tab P11 Pro it’s delivered a real rival to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus.

This slate has an 11.5-inch 1600 x 2560 OLED screen, so it’s big, sharp, and packs punchy OLED tech. It also supports HDR10, so it’s a joy to view content on, with the only slight let-down being its conventional 60Hz refresh rate.

Coupled with loud quad-speakers, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro makes for an accomplished media machine, and with its long-lasting 8,600mAh battery it’s a great travel companion.

The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro packs an attractive metal build too, and it supports both a keyboard and a stylus, transforming it into a capable productivity device – though one that’s still no match for a typical laptop. Its performance is middling and its cameras aren’t up to much, but with its surprisingly reasonable price tag, those are sacrifices we can live with.

Read our full Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best affordable Samsung Android tablet

Specifications
Weight: 476g
Dimensions: 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 10.4-inch
Resolution: 1200 x 2000 pixels
CPU: Exynos 9610
Storage: 64GB/128GB
microSD slot: Yes
Battery: 7,040mAh
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+Robust design+S Pen as standard
Reasons to avoid
-Can be a little sluggish-Some issues with S Pen

Happy to sacrifice a few of the features of the Galaxy Tab S6 in trade for a cheaper tablet? If yes, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the product you want to consider.

The chipset isn't as powerful as its sibling, the cameras aren't as impressive, and the screen isn't as beautiful... but it's around half the price, and all of its specs are still quite impressive for a slate at this price.

It's a remarkably good product considering how much you're spending on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. It isn't particularly smaller than the Galaxy Tab S6 - and ironically, it's actually heavier too - but if you don't want to spend top-dollar you may love this.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best Android tablet for flagship buyers on a budget

Specifications
Weight: 420g
Dimensions: 244.5 x 154.3 x 7mm
OS: Android 9 (upgrade to Android 10)
Screen size: 10.5-inch
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
CPU: Snapdragon 855
Storage: 128GB/256GB
microSD slot: Yes
Battery: 7,040mAh
Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful AMOLED display+S Pen as standard
Reasons to avoid
-Samsung's One UI not perfect-No headphone jack

While it's not the newest model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is still a great Android tablet, with a plethora of brilliant features.

It comes with an S Pen stylus in the box that you can use to take notes, draw and much more on the tablet's display. You can also buy a smart keyboard to make it an experience that is close to a laptop.

The 10.5-inch AMOLED display on the Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the highlights with an impressive resolution of 1600 x 2560. This tablet also comes with two cameras on the rear which we were fairly happy with by tablet standards, so you can get better photography than on many other slates.

It's not the perfect device - there isn't a 3.5mm headphone jack and the user interface has its own quirks - but it's still a top Android slate.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review

Huawei MatePad Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

The best Android tablet for productivity

Specifications
Weight: 460g
Dimensions: 246 x 159 x 7.2mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 10.8-inch
Resolution: 1600 x 2560
CPU: Kirin 990
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 7,250mAh
Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Powerful hardware+Robust lightweight design
Reasons to avoid
-Limited software functionality-No headphone jack

The Huawei MatePad Pro is Huawei’s attempt at taking on the iPad Pro range, and in a lot of ways it’s a very strong rival, from its high-quality 10.8-inch screen, to its top-end power and its long-lasting battery.

The Huawei MatePad Pro also has a stylish, slim, and lightweight design, plus an optional stylus and keyboard, so it’s premium and built for productivity. However, in our tests we found that those accessories were simply okay, and the big problem faced by the MatePad Pro is its lack of Google services – meaning no access to the Google Play app store, and no Google apps, such as Maps.

That’s going to be a major issue for a lot of people, but if you can live without that then this comes closer than most Android slates to matching the iPad Pro experience.

Read our full Huawei MatePad Pro review

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best big screen, budget Android tablet

Specifications
Weight: 468g
Dimensions: 247 x 166 x 9.2mm
OS: Fire OS
Screen size: 8-inch
Resolution: 880 x 1280
CPU: quad-core
Storage: 32GB/64GB
Battery: up to 12 hours
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Well priced+Good quality screen
Reasons to avoid
-Looks dated-Could be faster

It might not be the best of the bunch for Android tablets but the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021) has a lot going for it thanks to its attractive 10.1-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. That means it's ideal for watching your favorite movies or shows with 12 hours of battery life meaning you won't run out of juice at a pivotal moment.

Storage is limited at either 32GB or 64GB and we'd like speedier performance in an ideal world, but at this price, it's not bad at all.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021) review

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best affordable Android tablet

Specifications
Weight: 355g
Dimensions: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm
OS: Fire OS
Screen size: 8-inch
Resolution: 880 x 1280
CPU: quad-core
Storage: 32GB/64GB
Battery: up to 12 hours
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Super-low price+Great front camera placement
Reasons to avoid
-Poor screen quality-Locked to Amazon’s ecosystem

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) is - along with the Fire HD 8 Plus - the latest version of Amazon’s 8-inch tablet, and by opting for this rather than the Plus model you get slightly less RAM and no wireless charging, but an otherwise near identical slate at a lower price.

It’s an upgrade on its predecessor thanks to 30% more power, improved battery life, double the storage, and the presence of a USB-C (rather than micro USB) port, but that aside this is familiar territory if you’ve used an Amazon slate before.

We weren't big fans of the screen quality, and you’re locked in to Amazon’s ecosystem, which isn’t quite as rich as full-fat Android, but if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber then much of your content will be front and center, and you’re paying a lot less than you would for most comparable Android tablets.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best super-cheap Android tablet with a large display

Specifications
Weight: 465g
Dimensions: 247 x 166 x 9.2 mm
OS: Fire OS
Screen size: 10.1-inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
CPU: Octa-core
Storage: 32GB/64GB
Battery: up to 12 hours
Rear camera: 5MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Crisp display+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Bit slow-Limited software

The Fire HD 10 (2021) isn't the speediest but at a low price, it creeps into our best Android tablets list for good reason. For the price, you get a good quality and large screen with a 1920 x 1200 resolution which is ideal for watching films or your favorite YouTube videos.

The software is a bit limited and the processor a tad slow meaning there are better options out there. However, if you're on a budget and don't mind making some compromises, you could do a lot worse than the Fire HD 10.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review

How we tested

Every tablet included in this guide has been reviewed in full, so we've spent a lot of time with each of them working out what's good, what's bad, and how they compare.

With that experience we've also considered how they're priced and whether there are newer models in the range, to come up with this ranking.

What should I look for when buying?

Size and price are the two biggest considerations when buying a tablet. Consider whether you want the biggest screen possible - which is great for media and productivity, or something smaller and therefore more portable. Consider how much you want and need to spend too. If you don't need top-end power then you can usually save some money.

Is mobile data important?

Some tablets come with the option of 5G or 4G, but getting a data plan adds to the cost, so consider how much you'd need data when away from Wi-Fi - and remember that you can always tether your smartphone to your tablet to share your phone's connection instead.