10 best Android tablets in the world
25th Jul 2014 | 11:42
Lots of movers and shakers in our top 10
Best Android tablets: 10-6
Our list of the best Android tablets in the world - regularly updated
If you're looking for a tablet and don't fancy an iPad, then Android is currently the way to go. (Don't know what an Android tablet is? Check out: what is an Android tablet?)
There are other options out there with Windows 8 tablets such as the Surface 3, Iconia W4 and Lenovo Miix 2 - but Android KitKat (soon to be Android L) remains the main rival to the iOS 7 toting iPad Air and iPad mini 2.
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.
We've gathered together best the Android tablet market has to offer, so read on to see which Google-powered slates you should be considering.
10. Tesco Hudl
Given it's price the Hudl is very well-specced, sports a solid build and a decent 7-inch display. Stock Android will please those who are not fans of overlays, and the addition of a microSD slot is useful.
The Hudl isn't going to blow you away with super slick operation, but there is a quad-core processor under the hood. The less said about the camera, the better.
If you can stretch to £200, we'd still recommend the Google Nexus 7 as the best pound-for-pound tablet on the market. If you're looking at spending closer to half that, though, we can't see any compact tablet out there that tops the Hudl.
9. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Once upon a time the Sony Xperia Tablet Z sat in top spot in this list, but it has since fallen down the rankings - but don't let that put you off.
The main reason it's taken such a tumble is the fact it's been replaced by the Xperia Z2 Tablet, and while it may not quite have the features of its successor, this dust and water resistant slate with a super slender frame is still worth a look.
There's plenty of power thanks to a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, while the 10.1-inch display boasts a decent 1200 x 1920 resolution ensuring movies and games look great.
A surprisingly lightweight 10-inch tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z is powerful, feature packed and easy to transport. If you want the best that Sony has to offer you'll need the Z2 Tablet, but if your budget is a little more modest the Z won't disappoint.
8. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
A direct rival to the iPad Mini 2, the 8.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro sports a stunning display in a portable size with the option of LTE connectivity if you want to spend a little extra cash.
Back to the 8.4-inch display though and you're treated to an eye-popping 1600 x 2560 resolution and the SuperAMOLED technology ensures colours are vibrant.
It does suffer from some poorly placed speakers, and the jury's still out on Samsung's faux leather plastic design, leaving the Tab Pro 8.4 feeling a little on the cheap side.
A recent price drop has made the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 a slightly more attractive offering, and design aside it does well to match the iPad Mini 2 in terms of power, performance and features. It doesn't quite match the overall quality of Apple's package though.
7. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7
Leaner, meaner and more powerful than its predecessor, Amazon has stepped its game up with the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 as it looks to keep pace with the new Nexus 7.
On paper Amazon's latest 7-inch tablet is more than up to the job with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, full HD display, up to 64GB of storage and prices starting at £200.
In reality however it's not the complete offering the Nexus 7 is, with Amazon's heavily modified Fire OS 3.0 stripping out a lot of the functionality of Android and putting the retailer's services front and centre.
For the customisation you give up, you gain simplicity and ease of use on the Kindle Fire HDX 7. We'd like to call this the sort of tablet you give to someone who is less than tech savvy, but those devices don't usually have such good hardware.
If you're a Prime subscriber, or heavily invested in Amazon's ecosystem, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a smart purchase. For those who want a little more functionality, reach for a Nexus 7.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Sometimes bigger can be better - and Samsung will certainly be hoping that's the case with the huge Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 which sports a - yup you've guessed it - 12.2-inch display.
As you'll see from the name, this slate falls into Samsung's "Note" series, which means it comes equipped with a S Pen stylus, and with such a large canvas to work with it can be genuinely useful.
Unsurprisingly the Note Pro 12.2 isn't a small tablet, so it's not something you'll be carry around with you everyday, but with a meaty octa-core (yes, eight!) processor, 3GB of RAM and Android 4.4 KitKat OS it's a serious powerhouse capable of some very heavy lifting.
The sheer size of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will put many off, but the appeal of an expansive, 2560 x 1600 12.2-inch display will attractive a small crowd - if you are one of those you won't be disappointed. Big screen, big power and big price.
Number 5: LG G Pad 8.3
5. LG G Pad 8.3
What's this? LG in the top five for smartphones and tablets? Could the brand be on a rebound?
Well, when you make an Android tablet with a design language like this one, perhaps it's time to quietly worry at Samsung. In place of plastic, it's got a lovely aluminium shell, and connectivity with other Android phones makes it a viable option for a wider range of users - you can receive and reply to texts direct from the G Pad 8.3.
Some might question whether the Snapdragon 600 chip is too low-power, but it allows for a sleeker design according to the Korean brand.
We really liked the G Pad 8.3, and it was only lower down in our list thanks to a slightly higher battery drain than we were expecting - plus the overlay can take some getting used to.
It's the closest competitor to the iPad Mini out there, in terms of design, and it's a tablet we're not ashamed to pull out of a stylishly slim bag. Perfect if you like the size of the iPad mini 2, but can't afford it or prefer the Android OS.
Number 4: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 arrived with an impressive 2560 x 1600, slim build and a decent chunk of power and this saw it top Samsung's tablet tree for a short while.
It has since been overthrown with the arrival of the Galaxy Tab S, but that doesn't mean the Tab Pro 10.1 isn't still worth a look.
A slightly lower price and powerful innards still make it a decent Android tablet, although the typical plastic build quality is evident again.
If you're not concerned with owning the best of the best, and would rather save yourself a few pennies then the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 should definitely be on your radar.
With a high-res screen, punchy processor and a huge array of features the Tab Pro 10.1 has a lot to offer, including a more attractive price tag.
Number 3: Google Nexus 7
3. Google Nexus 7 (2013)
The Nexus is no longer king in the Android tablet world, but if you're looking for a 7-inch slate with an incredibly attractive price tag you don't need to look anywhere else.
The screen is to die for and the form factor, while taking some getting used to, is ideal for media consumption. It's light, it's bright, it's fun and it's thin.
The battery life is really impressive, and the sheer diversity on offer, be it through the uprated CPU, screen, or GPU, mean that we struggled to put it down at times.
We're also slightly annoyed that Google hasn't given us an LTE model at launch, since we know one exists, but it's a minor issue.
We really like the new Nexus 7. We really, really like the Nexus 7. Google has taken what made the original such a belter, corrected almost every niggle with it, bumped the price up ever so slightly, yet also made the Nexus 7 feel so much more premium.
If you're looking for a 7-inch tablet, we'll put it like this: there is no better alternative on the market, right now.
- Google Nexus 7 review (2013)
Number 2: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
2. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
In second place... the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, and to be honest it pushed the Galaxy Tab S all the way to the finish, but it was just piped at the post.
If you haven't realised yet, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a really good Android tablet, with a slim build and waterproof design ensuring it'll survive a trip into the bath or a bake off in a really messy kitchen.
The screen isn't quite as good as the Galaxy Tab S, nor is there a smaller version available for those who don't want to lug around a 10.1-inch offering every day - but these are minor points in what is still a very good device.
A solid, lightweight slate with a decent amount of power the Xperia Z2 Tablet won't disappoint and the waterproof chassis is certainly a bonus.
The design is slightly more attractive than Samsung's, but with just one screen size and a display which lacks the vibrancy of its closest rival it takes second spot.
Number 1: Samsung Galaxy Tab S
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S
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.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S boasts "the best screen we've seen on a tablet" - which is no small feat. If you want to watch movies or play graphically intensive games they won't look better on any other tablet.
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. But with more power and superior screens the Galaxy Tab S duo are working the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 hard, really hard.
The ultimate Android tablet experience comes courtsey of the Galaxy Tab S, offering a portable 8.4-inch slate and a larger 10.5-inch tablet which is great for movies and gaming.
From the eye-catching screen to the raw power under the hood, Samsung couldn't have done much better with what could be a final attempt to compete with Apple at the top-end of the market.