Best Android Tablets to Buy in 2020

The Android tablet market has started shrinking with Google giving up on its tablet business and a lot of developers focusing on the Apple iPad and iPad Pro. However, not everyone needs or can afford the iPad, which still leaves some space for Android tablets, especially when it comes to media consumption.

Samsung and Huawei are the most prominent players, with designs that get regular updates every year. They also offer enhanced productivity with optional keyboard and pen support. Amazon is another famous player on the Android tablet market, but its offers are tailored more towards those into the Amazon ecosystem.

While you can make do with basically any modern Android tablet, if all you do is media consumption, the Android OS itself is not really well-optimized for tablet screens. This means some apps don’t scale well and can be a bit irksome to use.

With that information, here are the 7 best Android tablets to buy in 2020, including budget and flagship options.

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Offer
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Display: 10.5-inch AMOLED 1600 x 2560
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 6 / 128; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 13 MP + 5 MP; Front – 8 MP
  • Battery: 7,040 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.27 x 9.62 x 0.22 in

If you are hunting for the best Android tablet currently on the market and money is no issue, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the only option you have. The Galaxy Tab S6 is a direct competitor to the iPad and offers a lot of productivity features for professionals on the move. The Tab S6 is compact, and the 10.5-inch AMOLED display has slim bezels that increase viewing immersion. There is also a 13 MP + 5 MP dual-camera setup at the back and a capable 8 MP selfie shooter. The Tab S6 can be configured with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. A dedicated microSD card slot allows for another 512 GB of expansion. While the Tab S6 offers a good set of features, it does not come with a headphone jack, which is a major omission. However, the onboard AKG-tuned speakers provide decent sound output, considering the slim dimensions of the tablet.

The Tab S6 is all about increased productivity, so you also get a magnetic keyboard and the S-Pen to help you both write and draw. The S-Pen is the same as that you get on the Galaxy Note series, which means it is highly responsive with almost no input lag. The keyboard even includes a trackpad for laptop-like navigation. The higher amount of RAM and the fast Snapdragon 855 SoC mean the Galaxy Tab S6 can handle quite heavy workloads without issues. The large 7,040 mAh battery aids all this with quick charge support. With regular use, you should be able to get a day’s worth of work done with the Tab S6 without having to reach for the charger. Professionals will also appreciate that the Galaxy Tab S6 can switch to DEX mode — a desktop UI that pops-up when you connect the tablet to an external display. DEX mode allows for increased productivity and offers a familiar PC-like experience.

  • Pros: Excellent display; Powerful SoC; Keyboard and S-Pen; DEX mode
  • Cons: Expensive

2. Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10
  • SoC: MediaTek MT8183
  • Display: 10.1-inch LCD 1920 x 1200
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 2 / 32; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 2 MP; Front – 2 MP
  • Battery: 6,300 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.26 x 10.31 x 0.39 in

Those heavily invested in the Amazon ecosystem will find the Amazon Fire HD 10 is a perfect choice. Amazon offers several Fire tablets, with the Fire HD 10 being the most powerful of them all. Compared to other tablets on the market, though, the Fire HD 10 possesses modest specs, and it reflects in the price as well. This model is an Android tablet at its core but runs Amazon’s custom Fire OS UI. It puts all Amazon apps front and center and offers a neat carousel based navigation experience. Android APKs can be sideloaded, but some Google apps may not work. The Fire HD 10 can also be turned into a showcase display with the built-in ‘Show’ Mode. Essentially, this turns the Fire HD into an Alexa smart display that shows you the required information. The Fire HD 10 is powered by a MediaTek MT8183 SoC and has just 2 GB of RAM, which should only be suitable for enjoying music and video or reading books in the Kindle app. Anything more, and the experience will be sluggish.

The 10.1-inch display has an FHD resolution and is okay for daily use, as long as you have your expectations in check. Outdoor visibility is just about tolerable. The Fire HD 10 offers great battery life. That is aided partly by the 6,300 mAh battery and partly by the highly power-efficient SoC. Amazon claims a battery life of 12 hours with mixed-use, and it is not too improbable to get more hours with regular usage. The onboard front and rear cameras are strictly just for the sake of it, so don’t expect them to wow you with detailed photos. The front camera is okay for the occasional video call, but that’s about it. The 32 GB internal storage can run out quickly, so you may want to pop in a microSD card for additional storage. The included speakers are acceptable, but you are better off using the headphone jack. If you are looking at a budget Android tablet that offers the best of Amazon services, the Fire HD 10 makes for a great purchase if you can live with some of its shortcomings.

  • Pros: Good for Amazon services; Affordable
  • Cons: Fire OS may not appeal to all; Low RAM and storage

3. Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro

Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro
  • SoC: HiSilicon Kirin 960
  • Display: 10.8-inch LCD 1600 x 2560
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 4 / 64; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 13 MP; Front – 8 MP
  • Battery: 7,500 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.76 x 10.19 x 0.29 in

There aren’t too many Android tablets that can compete with the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro. The MediaPad M5 is an excellent productivity tablet and offers features similar to the ones seen in the Samsung Galaxy range. However, Huawei has been forced to use alternate app stores, which means no access to Google Play services. That being said, there are workarounds to install your favorite Google apps, and they work just fine. If you are okay with that, you should consider the MediaPad M5 as the tablet has some good hardware. The MediaPad M5 can be paired with an optional keyboard, and the UI transforms into a desktop-like UI for enhanced productivity. An in-house HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC powers the tablet, giving you 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. While that is not too much, you can expand the storage space using a microSD card. An LTE version is also available for mobile warriors. The MediaPad M5 does not win any awards for its design — it is as bland-looking as a tablet can get, with thick bezels. The 2K screen with a 280 PPI pixel density offers good colors and adequate brightness. It is not OLED, but it is not bad either.

The 7,500 mAh battery lasts quite a long time, and you should have no issues in completing your typical workday without having to look out for the charger. The cameras are just about average and are okay for the occasional photo or two. The tablet ships by default with EMUI 8 based on Android 8. An update to EMUI 9 is available, as are regular security patches. It is not known at the moment whether Huawei would care to offer EMUI 10 for this device or not. Those used to stock Android might find that it may take some to get used to EMUI. Huawei ships the M Pen with the MediaPad M5 and it does an outstanding job with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. While the software experience of handwriting isn’t really at the same level as that of the iPad Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the pen is very good, and those using third-party software may actually benefit from it.

  • Pros: Good display; Long battery life; M Pen
  • Cons: Average cameras; Pen software can improve

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Offer
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
  • SoC: Exynos 7904
  • Display: 10.1-inch LCD 1200 x 1920
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 3 / 64; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 8 MP; Front – 5 MP
  • Battery: 6,150 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.88 x 9.65 x 0.30 in

If the Galaxy Tab S6 is out of bounds, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 offers nearly the same experience for much less dough. The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 gets a design refresh this time, and comes with relatively slim bezels and weighs less than previous iterations. Of course, with the lower price, there are inevitable compromises in the specs. You will be missing features such as biometric unlock, QHD resolution, S Pen, and you get only a mid-range SoC. While the compromises seem significant, the tablet is actually great for daily media consumption. Build quality is surprisingly good for a cheap Samsung tablet, and it can easily withstand everyday rough use. Watching movies on the FHD LCD is okay. Although the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has dual speakers, there is no proper stereo effect. Storage should be adequate at 64 GB, but if not, you can always go for microSD expansion.

The pain point of the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is with the RAM and GPU power. The tablet maxes out at 3 GB RAM, which is low by today’s standards. The Mali-G71 GPU is actually slower than the Mali-G73 in the Amazon Fire HD, which means gaming on this tablet is limited to only less graphics-intensive titles. Samsung has endowed this tablet with a 6,150 mAh battery that, which, given the low specs, should be adequate for an average day’s use. If you are more into binge-watching YouTube or Netflix, the battery can easily last at least 12 hours. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is one of the best budget Android tablets on the market as long as you can live with some of its glaring compromises.

  • Pros: Affordable; Good display; Good battery life
  • Cons: Mediocre specs; No biometric unlock

5. Google Pixel Slate

Offer
Google Pixel Slate
  • SoC: Intel Core m3-8100Y
  • Display: 12.3-inch LCD 3000 x 2000
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 8 / 64; option for removal storage using USB-C
  • Camera: Rear – 8 MP; Front – 8 MP
  • Battery: 48 Wh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 11.45 x 7.95 x 0.28 in

The Google Pixel Slate is actually a Chrome OS tablet. If you are wondering why it is being featured here, it is because you can now install Android apps on Chrome OS as well. Moreover, the Pixel Slate offers much more powerful processing abilities compared to any other non-iPad tablet available. The Pixel Slate provides a new version of Chrome OS that brings biometrics and pen support. Google offers the Pixel Slate in several configurations, including a Core m3, Core i5, and Core i7 versions. If you are just looking for an enhanced table experience, the Core m3 versions should suffice as long as you don’t run any intensive apps. Those looking for additional horsepower will have to part with more cash for the Core i5 and Core i7 options. We recommend one of those only if you are going to use your phone as your primary computing device. You can also use the Pixelbook Pen and the Pixel Slate keyboard, but they are optional and cost extra. The Pixel Slate offers two USB Type-C ports for connectivity. An advantage over the iPad is that the ports can be used to mount USB storage devices — something that the iPad does not allow.

The 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution display is a treat to watch, with beautiful details and excellent color reproduction. Touch response is good, and the Pixelbook Pen works wonderfully too. The optional keyboard works well and is good enough for typing, although not all may find the round and super-quiet keys to their liking. The Pen draws with almost zero latency and offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is suitable for the occasional drawing or two. An essential aspect of the Pixel Slate is that it supports Android apps from the Play Store. However, they do not run natively and are emulated. Not all apps work, though, and those that do may not scale well to the native resolution. Still, it somewhat alleviates the lack of powerful apps in the Chrome Web Store. There’s one more catch — Google has decided to stop making tablets, so this is the last Pixel Slate you can find. Nevertheless, this is still one of the best versatile tablets available, and you will continue to get software updates and servicing.

  • Pros: Good display; Good pen support; Long battery life
  • Cons: Not all Android apps work well

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
  • Display: 10.5-inch AMOLED 1600 x 2560
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 4 / 64; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 13 MP; Front – 8 MP
  • Battery: 7,040 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.30 x 9.65 x 0.22 in

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e offers a lot of the features that the next generation Galaxy Tab S6 has, at a lower price. The Galaxy Tab S5e is designed for productivity and comes with an optional Book Cover keyboard. It is a highly portable device, and it’s thinner than even some of the iPads out there. The bezels are still prominent but do not affect the design, and actually help with a proper hold. A fingerprint sensor is built into the power button, but the thin design means there is no adequate space to place your finger on properly. The Tab S5e uses a 1600 x 2560 AMOLED display that looks great and makes watching movies a pleasure. Black levels are excellent, and brightness is high both indoors and outdoors.

The Galaxy Tab S5e uses the same One UI found in the Galaxy phones. While it tries to overcome some of the limitations of Android on tablets, Samsung offers the DeX mode to mimic a typical PC desktop-like UI. It works well as long as you have two apps side by side. Some apps do not play well with DeX mode either, so your mileage will vary. However, you should keep in mind the mid-range specs of the device – as the Snapdragon 670 with 4 GB RAM – mean you really cannot do any CPU-intensive work on this model, and you may also have to deal with background apps closing when running out of memory. Ideally, the Galaxy Tab S5e is best suited for multimedia purposes. The quad speakers tuned by AKG also nicely complement movie watching. Gaming is good, but don’t expect it to run games at the maximum settings. If you need the best Android tablet for watching movies or relaxing with an eBook, the Galaxy Tab S5e will get the job done without issues.

  • Pros: Good display; DeX mode
  • Cons: Poor fingerprint sensor placement; Mediocre chipset

7. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
  • SoC: MediaTek MT8183
  • Display: 10.1-inch LCD 1920 x 1200
  • RAM / Storage (GB): 2 / 32; expandable up to 512 GB
  • Camera: Rear – 2 MP; Front – 2 MP
  • Battery: 6,300 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 8.23 x 11.5 x 1.02 in

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is pretty much similar to the Fire HD 10, except that the Kids Edition is geared for rough use by kids, and comes with pre-installed kid-friendly apps and parental controls. Additionally, Amazon also offers a two-year complimentary warranty to cover for any damage to the tablet. Due to these additional features, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition costs $50 more than the standard Fire HD 10. The case is available in multiple colors to appeal to kids, and it is made of rubbery material to survive the inevitable drops. The case also comes with a useful kickstand. That being said, the cover does lend a hefty weight to the tablet, and handling it for more extended periods may cause strain.

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition offers a great display that makes viewing a joy. With a brightness of 411 nits, it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, except under harsh sunlight. As with the Fire HD 10, Amazon uses a custom OS tailored for the needs of children. It comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime, a parental control platform that offers a wide selection of children-focused content from major content creators and production houses. Parents can also block in-app purchases, set a bedtime hour to shut off the device, and adjust web browsing habits. The OS does not offer any ads, which is a plus. Battery life on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is excellent, and you should be able to get more than a typical day’s use. The extra $50 paid for what is basically the same spec device as the Fire HD 10 may put off some users. But the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the best Android tablet you can gift to kids, and the bundled features and complementary warranty more than justify the price difference.

  • Pros: Kid-friendly UI; FreeTime parental controls
  • Cons: Somewhat bulky

That was our take on some of the best Android tablets to buy in 2020. Despite not many OEMs offering tablets, the existing ones have some nice configurations at affordable prices, which will appeal to many. Just remember to pick one that provides the best setup for the price and your consumption needs.