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Best Android tablet 2024: Our top-rated and fully tested picks from £65

In search of a tablet but not sold on an iPad? These are the best Android tablets on the market

If you’re after an affordable iPad or Microsoft Surface alternative, you should consider buying one of the best Android tablets.

And while the best Android tablet will typically cost a lot less than its iOS or Windows counterparts, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a shortage of quality options to choose from. Samsung is usually the way to go if you’ve got a decent budget, while Amazon’s devices are a great choice if you want to pick up one of the best Android tablets for not much money.

With plenty of options to choose from, it can be tough deciding which Android tablet to buy, but we’re here to make that decision a little easier. We’ve tested countless tablets over the years and below you’ll find a list of the best tablets that run Android OS or an operating system based on Android, like FireOS.

Best Android tablet: At a glance

Best Amazon Fire tabletAmazon Fire HD 10 (2023) (From ~£150)Check price at Amazon
Best premium Android tabletSamsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra (~£1199)Check price at Amazon
Best £100 Android tabletAmazon Fire HD 8 (2022) (~£100)Check price at Amazon
Best cheap Android tabletAmazon Fire 7 (2022) (~£65)Check price at Amazon

How does Expert Reviews test Android tablets?

The first thing we do when testing an Android tablet is download the Geekbench and GFXBench applications from either the Google Play store or Amazon Appstore. These apps test the performance capabilities of the CPU and GPU, delivering scores that we can use to compare against similarly priced rivals. We then move on to the screen, using a display colorimeter and DisplayCal software to measure how accurately the colours are reproduced, as well as peak brightness and contrast.

The next step is to engage aeroplane mode and set the tablet’s brightness to 170cd/m2, allowing us to judge the overall battery life consistently across devices. We then run our standard looping video, recording the final timestamp to determine at which point the battery finally ran dry. Cameras are put through their paces in a variety of settings, including both outdoors and indoors, as well as low-light shots and selfie video calls.

As there are two main app stores that Android tablets tend to use – Google Play and Amazon Appstore – we also note any differences in app availability, as well as the general navigation and aesthetic of each tablet’s OS.

How to choose the best Android tablet for you

Why should I buy an Android tablet?

The biggest advantage Android tablets have over their rivals is affordability. The cheapest options from Apple and Microsoft will cost you well over £300, but there are numerous great Android tablets available for a fraction of that price. If you want a cheap tablet, there are no two ways about it, one of the best Android tablets is the way to go.

Another big draw of Android tablets is that Android OS is an open-source operating system and therefore far more customisable than Windows OS or iOS. Features and applications can be tailored to your own personal tastes in ways they can’t if you’re tied to Microsoft’s or Apple’s systems. It’s worth noting that Fire OS, which is exclusively used by Amazon’s tablets, works slightly differently. It’s based on Android OS but lacks Google’s apps and services.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best e-readers you can buy

What size Android tablet should I buy?

This very much depends on what you’re going to use the tablet for. The smallest option on this best Android tablet list features a 7in screen, which is fine for catching up on the news or firing off a few emails but not so hot when you want to watch a movie. If you plan on streaming a lot of video content on your Android tablet, you’ll be better served by a display of 10in or above.

How important is an Android tablet’s processor?

The processor is the driving force behind your Android tablet. The better the processor, the faster the tablet will be, though the price tag will reflect this improved performance. We won’t detail the exhaustive list of processors used by Android tablets, but a general rule of thumb is the more cores it has, the better it will perform. The best Android tablets typically house processors with eight cores (referred to as octa-core processors), while most of the others have four cores.

Does screen resolution matter?

Resolution is dictated by the number of pixels displayed on the screen and affects picture quality. It’s presented as two numbers, 1,920 x 1080px for example, the first of which relates to horizontal pixels and the second vertical pixels. If two otherwise identical 11in screens have different resolutions, the one with a higher resolution will display a higher-quality image. The difference isn’t always obvious on smaller screens, but if you’re buying a larger tablet and plan on doing a lot of streaming, aim for the highest resolution possible.

How much storage does my Android tablet need?

You get what you pay for when it comes to storage. Cheaper Android tablets generally come with 16GB or 32GB of storage, while larger tablets provide 256GB, sometimes even more. How much you need entirely depends on what you intend on using the tablet for. If you’re using it for work and need to be able to save hundreds of files or find yourself recording videos and taking loads of pictures, 16GB will get eaten up pretty quickly. If you use the cloud to save documents or only plan on using your tablet for light web browsing, a less roomy device will do the trick just fine.

Should I buy a cellular or Wi-Fi Android tablet?

All tablets come with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks, but if you want to be able to get online when you don’t have network access, you’ll have to buy a cellular version. These allow you to insert a SIM card into your tablet as you would with your smartphone and use data to access the internet. Cellular tablets typically cost more than Wi-Fi models, and you also have to factor in the extra money you’ll be spending on data. So, unless you’re desperate for internet access wherever you are, we recommend you stick with a Wi-Fi-only model.

READ NEXT: The top online retailers of refurbished iPads

The best Android tablets you can buy in 2024

1. Amazon Fire 7 (2022): Best cheap Amazon tablet

Price when reviewed: £65 | Check price at Amazon Best Android tablet - Amazon Fire 7 on a bench

Amazon’s most affordable Fire tablet has long been the place to go if you want decent enough functionality for a ridiculously low amount of money, and the latest refresh further cements that status. Costing £10 more than its predecessor, the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) more than justifies the price increase with better stamina, more features and faster performance.

The new processor delivered more than double the speeds of the previous model in our tests, helping to bring the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) more in line with the competition. Battery life also received a nice little boost, now stretching into double figures. This still isn’t amazing, and the 7in screen is woefully in need of modernisation, but for what you’re paying here, the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is an absolute steal.

Read our full Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8168; Screen: 7in, 1,024 x 600; Storage: 16GB or 32GB; Size: 118 x 181 x 9.67mm; Weight: 282g; Operating System: FireOS 8

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Best premium Android tablet

Price when reviewed: From £1199 | Check price at AmazonBest Android tablet - Close up of Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra rear

If you want the biggest possible screen and have the money to spare, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is really the only way to go. It has a big and beautiful 14.6in Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, one we’ve praised as stunning. It excels at HDR content and makes all your movies and TV shows from Netflix and Prime Video look gorgeous. It gets pretty bright so you can expect it to perform well outdoors, and that large screen makes this tablet a candidate for a laptop replacement (just add a keyboard for £340 and you’re already there). Samsung didn’t send us the keyboard to review, so we can’t comment on that, but we did have a look at every other aspect of the tablet. 

It’s also a very powerful device, backed by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. In other words, you can run all the apps your heart desires and store all the documents or files you want without needing to opt for cloud storage or a microSD card slot (though both options are there, naturally). 

The app support for tablets of this size isn’t as good as you’d get on a comparable 12.9in iPad Pro. However, if watching TV and films is your priority, this is certainly worth a look.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra review 

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; Screen: 14.6in, 2,960 x 1,848px; Storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB; Size: 326 x 209 x 5.5mm; Weight: 732g; Operating system: Android 13 (ONE UI 5.1)

Also consider: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus 

Samsung also sells a slightly smaller 12.4in tablet in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus. With an excellent display that’s just as good as the one on the larger Ultra, a powerful processor that’s been battle-tested across different devices at this time, and pretty much the same software experience as the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, it’s a cheaper option we can enthusiastically recommend.

The size is a downgrade for those who want the biggest screen possible, and you’re also getting a weaker pair of front-facing cameras which means your Meet or Zoom calls won’t be as good. Still, it’s a great substitute if you want to save some cash.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus review for more details

Check price at Amazon

3. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023): Best Amazon tablet

Price when reviewed: From £150 | Check price at Amazonbest android tablet Amazon Fire HD 10 2023 on a wooden surfaceIt’s no longer the top-shelf of Amazon’s tablet range (see below), but the Fire HD 10 has long been our pick of the bunch, and the 2023 refresh is no different. Improvements are fairly light, but the best thing about the Fire HD 10 (2023) is that it breaks Amazon’s trend of bringing a price increase with each new generation.

So for the same price, you’re getting improved performance that competes with £200+ tablets, battery life that takes a minor hit but remains competitive and support for the new Amazon Stylus Pen – making this the cheapest tablet yet to support the stylus. The display is a bit of a mixed bag, with the brightness dropping slightly from the last generation, but improved contrast and a lower black level help to keep things looking clear.

Issues around the FireOS software remain a problem, with Google apps completely absent and an outdated launcher, but otherwise, this is a fantastic cheap tablet that’s perfect for casual everyday use.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8186; Screen: 10.1in, 1,920 x 1,200; Storage: 32 or 64GB; Size: 246 x 165 x 8.6mm; Weight: 434g; Operating system: Fire OS 8

Also consider: Amazon Fire Max 11

Amazon’s trademark software flaws very much persist here, but if you want the most high-end of the retail giant’s offerings, the Fire Max 11 is it. The 11in display gets bumped up to a crisp 2K resolution and achieves the highest peak brightness of any Fire device so far. Better still, both performance and battery life are some of the best in this price range.

The lack of Google apps make the Fire Max 11’s use as a laptop replacement questionable, but if you decide to go that route, the keyboard case is satisfying to type with and the Amazon Stylus Pen proved surprisingly accurate during testing.

Read our full Amazon Fire Max 11 review

Check price at Amazon

4. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022): Best £100 Android tablet

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Amazon Best Android tablet - Amazon Fire HD 8 on a table with candles and flowerAmazon has a knack for making solid, affordable tablets and the Fire HD 8 (2022) is no different. While a lot of the hardware is the same – 32GB of base storage, 2GB of RAM – there are two key areas that offer enough of an improvement to justify the £10 price increase. First is the upgraded hexa-core processor, which delivers a decent leap in performance over the 2020 model, while the battery life shows even greater advances, lasting for over 19 hours in our video rundown test.

Not everything gets an upgrade, however, with the 8in display still offering the same outdated 1,280 x 800 resolution. While perfectly functional, especially if you’re after a cheap tablet for your kids to use, this display doesn’t look great compared to modern smartphones. There’s also the issue of Amazon’s app store, which is more restrictive than its Google and Apple counterparts, meaning that certain games and applications can’t be downloaded on this tablet.

If you can put up with these minor drawbacks, the Fire HD 8 (2022) is the best Android tablet that you’ll find for £100. You also have the option to pay an extra £20 for the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022), which offers 1GB more RAM, wireless charging support and a 5MP rear camera.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022) review

Key specs – Processor: Hexa-core MediaTek MT8169A; Screen: 8in, 1,280 x 800; Storage: 32GB; Size: 202 x 137 x 9.6mm; Weight: 337g; Operating system: Fire OS 8

5. Nokia T21: Best Android tablet under £200

Price when reviewed: £199 | Check price at AmazonBest Android tablet - Nokia T21 on a wall in front of plants

If you’re put off by the software restrictions of the Amazon Fire range, the Nokia T21 is a terrific alternative in the sub-£200 category. Running Android 12 straight out of the box, the T21 takes everything that worked about its predecessor, the T20, and fixes the things that didn’t. For example, the DRM restrictions have been wisely excised – allowing you to actually enjoy that gorgeous 2K HD display to the fullest – and the battery life has received a small, but much needed, boost.

A new processor wouldn’t have gone amiss, as the performance is essentially identical to the T20, but the Nokia T21 is an otherwise impressive tablet at a great price, and a solid alternative to Amazon’s affordable tablets.

Read our full Nokia T21 review

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Unisoc T612; Screen: 10.4in, 2,000 x 1,200px; Storage: 64GB; Size: 248 x 157 x 7.5mm; Weight: 466g; Operating system: Android 12

6. Lenovo Tab P11 Pro: A great-value laptop alternative

Price when reviewed: £380 | Check price at Amazon Best Android tablet - Lenovo Tab P11 ProA lightweight and highly portable package of tablet, keyboard, stand and pen, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro makes a solid argument for the laptop alternative. Featuring an 11.5in OLED panel that produces exquisitely reproduced colours and purportedly reaches a peak brightness of 500cd/m², the P11 Pro is equally equipped for a workday or watching a movie.

Whatever you choose to do with it, the P11 Pro can handle it swiftly. The Snapdragon 730G processor sits in the middle of Qualcomm’s range, but was beefy enough to produce respectable scores in our series of benchmark tests. The results don’t match up to the iPad Air – the obvious Apple competition for this machine – but suffice to say that the P11 Pro never felt slow to use.

If there’s one final flourish that makes the P11 Pro worth considering, it’s the battery life. Put through our standard video-rundown test, with flight mode on and the screen set to a brightness of 170cd/m², it lasted for a total of 17hrs 28mins. In context, that’s a whole five hours longer than the iPad Air. If all-day use is important to you, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an excellent choice for an even better price.

Read our full Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G; Screen: 11.5in, 2,560 x 1,600px; Storage: 128GB; Size: 171 x 264 x 6mm; Weight: 485g; Operating system: Android 10

Prefer Microsoft? The Surface Go or Pro may be the way to go

Best Android tablet - Microsoft Surface tablet on floral bedspread

If you’re not sold on any of the Android tablets listed above, then perhaps you’d like to consider some Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrids.

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a tried-and-tested hybrid that functions extremely well as a secondary device, though it’s rather dear, especially when you factor in the cost of the detachable keyboard and stylus pen. Those seeking greater power from their portable device will want to check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. This latest iteration of the Surface line finally has a USB-C port and packs either an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 10th-generation processor.

And if neither of those tickles your fancy, there’s always our pick of the best Apple iPads on the market.

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