There’s no question that Google’s biggest Android partner is Samsung. Over the years, Google has remained mostly withdrawn from heavily competing in the Android tablet market, allowing third-party hardware partners to duke it out for your hard-earned cash. South Korea-based Samsung currently reigns as king in both the Android smartphone and tablet markets, and for good reason: The products are simply well-made, reliable and attractive. That all said, we provide a list of the best Samsung tablets you can buy right now.
Our list includes an overall favorite along with a tablet for each screen size class, such as 9- to 9.9-inches. Our choices are based on a variety of elements, such as feature lists, hardware components and overall value. How long is the battery life? Does it support the S Pen? Does it provide a Micro SD card slot? Is there a 4G LTE version? We dig through the company’s massive portfolio to unearth the best Samsung tablets you can buy right now. Note that some of these also appear in our list of the best Android tablets you can buy in 2018.
Galaxy Tab S4
Starting price: $650
Samsung targets Microsoft’s Surface devices with the Galaxy Tab S4, bringing an Android-based PC-style experience to a tablet. That starts with Samsung DeX, enabling the Galaxy Tab S4 to connect directly to external monitors, mice and keyboards through adapters, docks and pads. Thus, if you want a workstation on the go without the bulkiness of a workstation laptop, the Galaxy Tab S4 may be your best Android-based bet.
The tablet itself sports a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 eight-core processor with four “big” cores running at 2.35GHz for heavy loads and four “small” cores running at 1.9GHz for normal tasks. Backing this chip is a 7,300 mAh battery promising up to 16 hours of video playback.
Based on Android 8.0 “Oreo,” Samsung’s tablet includes 4GB of system memory, either 64GB or 256GB of storage and a Micro SD card slot supporting 400GB of additional storage. Connectivity consists of Wireless AC networking, Bluetooth 5.0, optional 4G LTE, and a Micro USB port supporting data speeds up to 5Gbps. You’ll also find four speakers supporting Dolby Atmos, an 8MP camera on the front (F1.9) a 13MP auto-focus camera on the back (F1.9), iris scanning and facial recognition technology.
Finally, Samsung’s tablet supports its new Bixby virtual assistant and ships with Samsung’s S Pen peripheral supporting up to 4,096 levels of pressure. The tablet measures just 0.27 inches thick and weighs up to 1.06 pounds, depending on the model.
Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Starting price: $280
Available in Black or White, you can get Samsung’s tablet with the S Pen ($330) or without the peripheral ($280). There’s no major hardware difference between the two editions although the model without the S Pen doesn’t include the peripheral’s built-in storage port at the bottom-right edge of the screen. The accessories list doesn’t include the S Pen either, meaning if you want to use the S Pen later, you’ll need to purchase the $330 bundle.
Samsung’s tablet sports a 10.1-inch display with a nice 1,920 x 1,200 resolution complemented by a 2MP camera on the front (F2.2) and an 8MP camera on the back (F1.9) with auto-focus and a 4x digital optical zoom. Powering this screen is Samsung’s in-house Exynos 7870 eight-core processor and a 7,300 mAh battery promising up to 13 hours of normal use. The operating system is Android 6.0 “Marshmallow.”
Other features found in Samsung’s tablet include a meager 2GB of system memory, 16GB of storage and a Micro SD card slot adding up to an additional 256GB of storage. You’ll also find a headphone jack, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and a Micro USB 2.0 port. The Galaxy Tab A measures 0.32 inches thick, weighs 1.16 pounds and includes parental control features via the optional Samsung Kids subscription service.
Galaxy Tab E
Starting price: $180
Here we have two versions: A Wi-Fi-only model for $180 and a version with 4G LTE connectivity on Verizon Wireless for a heftier $320. Outside their connectivity aspect, the two models differ on the processor level too: The 4G LTE model relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 four-core processor with an integrated cellular radio (MSM8916) while the Wi-Fi-only version uses a version of the Snapdragon 410 chip without the cellular component (APQ8016).
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab E is based on a 9.6-inch screen with a 1,280 x 800 resolution complemented by a 2MP camera on the front (F2.4) and a 5MP camera on the back (F2.2) with auto-focus and a 4x digital optical zoom. The tablet also includes a headphone jack, a weird 1.5GB of system memory, 16GB of storage and a Micro SD card slot supporting up to 400GB of additional storage. Connectivity is handled by Wireless N networking and Bluetooth 4.1.
Powering this tablet is a 7,300 mAh battery promising up to 12 hours of normal use and Google’s Android 5.1.1 “Lollipop” platform. The Galaxy Tab E measures just 0.38 inches thick and weighs 1.21 pounds regardless of the model.
Galaxy Tab S2
Starting price: $350
Based on Android 6.0 “Marshmallow,” this tablet is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 processor with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 1.4GHz. It also utilizes a Super AMOLED display for brilliant colors and a sharp 2,048 x 1,536 resolution.
With this model, you get 3GB of system memory and 32GB of storage, but you can expand the tablet’s capacity via the included Micro SD card slot that supports up to 128GB of additional storage. Other ports and slots include a headphone jack, a Micro SIM card slot for the 4G LTE model, a Micro USB port and a fingerprint scanner on the physical Home button. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.1 and Wireless AC.
Wrapping up Samsung’s 8-inch tablet is a 2.1MP camera on the front and an 8MP camera on the back with a 4x digital optical zoom. It measures just 0.22 inches thick and weighs a mere 0.58 pounds. It’s powered by a 4,000 mAh battery promising up to 12 hours of video playback and up to eight hours of normal internet use.
Galaxy Tab A 7.0
Available in Black or White, Samsung’s “budget” tablet features a 7-inch screen with a low (but unusual) 1,280 x 800 resolution powered by Google’s Android 5.1 “Lollipop” operating system. Backing this screen is a four-core in-house Exynos 3 Quad 3475 processor clocked at 1.3GHz and a weird 1.5GB of LPDDR3 system memory.
For storage, you only get 8GB, most of which is consumed by Android. To expand your tablet’s capacity, Samsung installed a Micro SD card slot supporting up to 400GB of additional storage. Wireless connectivity consists of old-school Wireless N networking and Bluetooth 4.0.
For video, Samsung provides a 2MP camera on the front (F2.2) and an 8MP camera on the back (F2.2) with a 2x digital optical zoom and 720p video recording at 30 frames per second. The tablet is powered by a 4000 mAH battery promising nine hours of continuous video and 11 hours of normal use. It measures a mere 0.34 inches thick and weighs 0.61 pounds.