The best Android tablets of 2017: which should you buy?

UPDATE: There’s a new king of the Android tablets, and that is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. This impressive slate has shot right to the number one slot on our list of the best Android tablets of 2017 – read on to find out why!

If you’re looking for a tablet and don’t fancy an iPad, then Android is currently the way to go.

There are other options out there with Windows 10 tablets such as the Surface Pro 3 – but Android remains the main rival to the iOS 10 toting iPad Pro and iPad mini 4.

  • Read: 10 best tablets in the world today

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.

In our search for the best Android tablet that the market has to offer, we’ve gathered together the seven best options currently available. Read on to see which Google-powered slates you should be considering in 2017.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S

Weight: 467g | Dimensions: 247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 10.5-inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Quad-core 2.3GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 7900mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP

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.

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.

There’s a new Tab series on the block, in the form of the Galaxy Tab S2, but the original S duo are still a great buy – especially now they’re a little bit cheaper.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S

Amazon Fire HD 6

7. Amazon Fire HD 6

Weight: 290g | Dimensions: 169 x 103 x 10.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 6 inches | Resolution:1,280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 8 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

If you have an Amazon account and regularly purchase books from the Kindle store, spending the money on an Amazon Fire tablet is a cheque that almost writes itself. In the company’s latest batch of tablet releases, the HD 6 sticks out as the winner.

This tablet is small, boasts a sharp screen to make watching HD content enjoyable, and best of all, it’s cheap as all get out, running at just $100. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you’ll be well-served by this tiny, but surprisingly mighty tablet.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 6

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

6. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Weight: 667g | Dimensions: 246 x 179 x 4.6mm | OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop | Screen size: 10.1 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Intel Atom x 5-Z8500, quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 10,200mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Most tablets are very similar to one another, but not the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro. It sits in its own sub-category of Android tablets that try and succeed at being weird, yet awesome.

This tablet has all of the usual amenities that one desires in a 2017 tablet, such as 2,560 x 1600 display and a huge 10,200mAh battery. But this tablet also houses a hidden projector that can splash the screen onto a wall for night-time viewing. Cool, right? It’s novel, but actually useful.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet

5. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage:16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP

When it comes to watching video or playing games, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact excels with a decent slug of power and its eye-pleasing display.

Add in the thin, light, waterproof body and you have a great tablet for long trips and boring work commutes which can be happily slid into a bag without taking up too much space or weighing you down.

The components inside the Z3 Tablet Compact are getting on a bit now, and it doesn’t have the slickness of the 8-inch iPad mini 4 or Galaxy Tab S2 – but it’s certainly still worth considering.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

4. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 167 x 254 x 6.1 mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: 2GHz Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP

Sony’s Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of the best Android tablets on the market right now, ensuring the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and iPad Air 2 get a real work out.

We’d like to see a 64GB option, but 32GB plus the inclusion of a microSD slot will suit most people, and while the cameras don’t cover themselves in glory they’re more of a vanity feature on a tablet.

The Xperia Z4 is a great tablet, and it’s one of the genuine alternatives to the iPad. Android is still not the perfect ecosystem for tablets, but with a 2K display on the front and such a nice-looking design Sony has made something rather lovely.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Weight: 256g/389g | Dimensions: 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm/237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 8.0-inch/9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery:4000mAh/5870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP

There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – especially if you’re after the best Android tablet on the market.

It’s reading and web surfing-friendly, while the new 4:3 screen and general size and shape is better suited for most things. Videos work better on its predecessor thanks to elongated aspect ratio – but they don’t exactly look bad here.

You can pick the Tab S2 up in 8-inch and 9.7-inch variants, to challenge Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini ranges, with the smaller option being more portable and cheaper.

Almost impossibly thin, pumped full of power and with a slicker version of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on board the Galaxy Tab S2 gives the iPad Air 2 a real run for its money.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Google Pixel C

2. Google Pixel C

Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800  | CPU: Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Google’s done it – it’s made the best Android tablet around. The Pixel C has it all: a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design.

Okay, it’s not quite got it all – it’s a little on the heavy side and the pricey (yet rather clever) keyboard dock isn’t fully utilised by the Android interface which is made very much for touch and not physical keys and productivity.

Those points aside, the Pixel C goes toe-to-toe with the iPad Air 2 with its clean stock Android interface, sultry metal body and super screen.

If you’re looking for the best of Google in a tablet, the Pixel C gives you just that.

Read the full review: Google Pixel C

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6 mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536  | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB (microSD to 256GB) | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet yet, and it’s built to last with 2-in-1 S Pen and keyboard capabilities, a beautiful HDR-ready screen and four bumping stereo speakers.

Samsung can technically still claim that the Tab S3 is thinner and lighter than an iPad Pro, with dimensions of 237.3 x 169 x 6mm and a weight of 429g (the iPad Pro is 6.1mm thick and weighs 437g).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 touts a small but likeable design upgrade over the Galaxy Tab S2, even if it’s easy to mistake it for Samsung’s year-and-a-half-old tablet from the front.

The real difference is seen and heard in the HDR display, which pumps up the contrast ratio, and the four speakers, which pump out the volume better than a tablet with a mono speaker.

It’s hardly a difficult call for us to make – the year-old Google Pixel C is its only real challenger at a similar size, and the Tab S3 replaces the now-cheaper Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.

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