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Best Android tablets of 2015

Loie Favre
19

When deciding upon which Android tablet to buy, there are a lot of things to consider: display quality, processing power, size, weight, battery life etc. As with any investment, it's important to do some research before you purchase to make the most informed decision possible. Here are what we consider to be the best Android tablets that you can buy in 2015.

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What is the best Android tablet in the world? / © ANDROIDPIT

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) has it all. / © Samsung

Design, power and portability: these three deciding factors are the reasons why this Samsung jewel has landed at the top of our tablet food chain. It measures less than 8 mm thick, and is capable of running any game or app you throw at it. Crucially, it comes with an S Pen stylus (making it an ideal tablet for students or artists who are likely to be taking notes and/or sketching) and has a great "multi-window" feature, which lets you have up to four windows open at any time.

It's safe to say that the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is the best the world of Android tablets has to offer at the moment. This, however, comes at a cost; the Galaxy Note 10.1 price currently sits at around 549 USD. But if you consider that most of today's mobile technology has been crammed into one singular device, you’d understand why Samsung charges such big bucks: its Note-specific functions (S Pen, Air Gesture, etc), connectivity, performance, and portability puts this tablet in direct competition with laptops.

Display 10.1-inches, 2,560 x 1600 (WQXGA) TFT, Super Clear LCD
Processor WiFi/3G : 1.9 GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad Exynos 5400
LTE : 2.3 GHz Quad
RAM/Interal Memory 3 GB / 16/32/64 GB + microSD up to 64 GB
Camera 8 MP (rear) with flash, 2 MP Full HD (front)
Connectivty Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS
Dimensions 243.1 x 171.4 x 7.9 mm
Weight 540 g (Wi-Fi) / 547 g (3G / LTE)
Battery 8,220 mAh
Operating System Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Price 549 USD (32 GB, black), 278 GBP (16 GB, 4G edition)
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2. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

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If you want a laptop experience with a tablet, check out the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with its Bluetooth keyboard. / © Samsung

The first place runner up is yet another large Samsung tablet. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes with the same powerful performance, plus it has its own Bluetooth keyboard which can act as a cover.

The Note Pro 12.2 is an all-encompassing tablet – in addition to its many features, it has a huge visual impact thanks to its huge screen (multi-window mode is also available here). But there are some disadvantages, namely its 750 gram weight large size, which makes handling a bit more cumbersome than the 10.1-inch model.

Still, with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 price set at around 550 USD, you can expect laptop-standard performance from this beauty. 

Display 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD, 2560x1600, 247 ppi
Dimensions and weight 295.6 x 204 x 7.95 mm, 750 g
Internal storage 32GB/64GB + microSD slot up to 64 GB
Memory 3 GB RAM
Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (SM-P905). 1.8 GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (SM-P900), 2.3 GHz
Battery 9,500 mAh
Cameras 8 MP + LED (back); 2 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 3.0 port with microUSB 2.0 compatibility, NFC, GPS
Operating system and UI Android 4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
Price 547.99 USD (32 GB, black), 399.99 GBP (32 GB, black)
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3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is considered by many to be the finest tablet on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

This tablet deserves massive props because of its sleek design which combines slick plastic with luxurious and unique copper edges. The Galaxy Tab S, besides being the lightest 10-inch tablet produced by Samsung, has hardware which ensures top-class performance; you’ll be able to run resource-hungry applications with minimal delay.

But all of this is peanuts next to what really took our breath away: the Tab S is bestowed with a seriously incredible Super AMOLED screen, which according to DisplayMate, one of the most reliable sources when it comes to screen quality, is the best display on the market. (You can also find a similarly awesome 8.4-inch variation of the device with almost the same specs, only differing in the dimensions and pixels-per-inch.) 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 price is currently floating around the 350 USD mark, and this makes it one of the best tablet choices on Android.

Display 10.5-inch Super AMOLED 2560x1600 (288ppi)
Dimensions and weight 177.3 x 247.3 x 6.6 mm, 465 g
Internal storage 16 GB/ 32GB + microSD slot up to 128 GB
Memory 3 GB RAM
Processor octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, 1.9 GHz
quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.3 GHz
Battery 7,900 mAh
Cameras 8 MP (rear); 2.1 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks Wi-Fi, HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0 port
Operating system and UI Android 4.4.2 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
Price 349.95 USD (16 GB, dazzling white), 339.99 (16 GB, dazzling white)
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4. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet 

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Sony's waterproof Xperia Z2 Tablet is a slender, strong contender for the best Android tablet title. / © ANDROIDPIT

Sony cracks the otherwise Samsung-laden list with the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. Immediately drawing attention with its high class OmniBalance design, this tablet is beautifully weighted and also incredible thin (just 6.4 mm). In addition, Sony is on the ball when it comes to making waterproof devices: the Tablet Z2 has IP58 certification which makes it resistant to dust and water, and its hardware specifications are hard to beat.

Despite the lower screen resolution and battery capacity compared to other tablets on the list, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 achieved this position thanks to its beautiful looks and water-friendliness, as well as great performance. The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet price is set at 500 USD.

Display 10.1-inch, IPS, 1920 x 1200 pixels
Dimensions and weight 212.8 x 125.6 x 6.6 mm, 294 g
Internal storage 16GB + microSD
Memory 3 GB RAM
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-Core, 2.3 GHz
Battery 6,000 mAh
Cameras 8.1 MP (rear); 2.1 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks LTE, UMTS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, MHL 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-F
Operating system and UI Android 4.4 KitKat with Xperia UI
Price 499.99 USD (16 GB, black), 329 GBP (16 GB, black)
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5. Sony Z3 Tablet Compact

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The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a little, lightweight gem from Sony, but it is pricey. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is currently the world's "most powerful and lightest waterproof tablet". It houses an impressive Full-HD screen, making use of Sony's Triluminous and X-Reality technologies. In real terms, this means is that it looks more vibrant than it otherwise would, but it's more than just some marketing terminology, the screen is bright with great color depth.

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will also be able to take advantage of Sony's PS4 remote play feature, turning your tablet into an alternative screen for all your PS4 games.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact won't last quite as long as the fantastic Z2 Tablet in terms of battery life, but if you're looking for something a little smaller, without a huge sacrifice in quality, this is a great option. Plus, it still retains some of the neat features of its big brother such as water-resistance, Snapdragon 801 processor, and expandable memory up to 128 GB. 

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact price is sitting at around 418 USD on Amazon right now. 

Display 8-inch, LCD, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, 323 ppi
Dimensions and weight 213 x 123 x 6.4 mm, 280 g
Internal storage 16 GB + microSD up to 128 GB
Memory 3 GB RAM
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, quad-core, 2.5 GHz
Battery 4500 mAh
Cameras 8.1 MP (rear); 2.2 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system and UI Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Price 418 USD (16 GB, black), 299 GBP (16 GB, black)
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6. Nvidia Shield

nvidia shield tablet android directstylus
The NVIDIA Shield's graphical prowess means it's still yet to be really tested by Android games in the Play Store. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Nvidia Shield is a tablet for those who want a high-performance gaming device - in this regard, it's currently the best Android has to offer. You'll never encounter the frustration of not being able to download your favorite game due to hardware restrictions, and games you do play wont stutter or a crash, the device runs smooth like butter even when playing the most demanding of titles.

If you consider the gaming performance, as well as the attractive Nvidia Shield price (299 USD for the base model), this is a solid tablet that won’t swoon when the going gets tough.

Display 8-inch, IPS 1,280 x 800 pixels, 283 ppi
Processor Nvidia Tegra K1, 64 bit dual-core, 2.2 GHz
RAM/Interal Memory 2 GB / 16/32 GB + microSD up to 32 GB
Camera 5 MP / 5 MP
Connectivty Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS
Dimensions 221 x 126 x 9.2 mm
Weight 390 grams
Battery 5.200 mAh
Operating System Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Price 299 USD (16 GB, Wi-Fi), 239.98 (16 GB, Wi-Fi) 
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7. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, 10.1 and 12.2

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Coming in three size variations, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro has you covered, whatever your preference. / © Samsung

Another superb Samsung tablet stemming from the ‘’older’’ Tab series, this edition of tablets was released a few months before the new Tab S devices, and thus is much more attractive when it comes to price, which has fallen drastically since its release.

The Tab Pro exists in three versions boasting different screen sizes: 12.2, 10.1 and 8.4 inches. The 12.2-inch version comes with 1 GB of RAM more than its siblings, also with increased battery capacity, but otherwise the hardware is the same, and all offer excellent performance.

Though this tablet serious does come with a sharp LCD screen, it’s no match for the Super AMOLED Tab S display, which is why it has landed further down our list. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 price ranges between 350 and 400 USD, so if you're interested in this one make sure you buy at the right time. 

Display 12.2-inch, Super clear LCD capacitive touchscreen 2560 x 1600 pixels (~247 ppi)
Dimensions and weight 295.6 x 204 x 8 mm, 732 g
Internal storage 32/64 GB + microSD up to 64 GB
Memory 3 GB RAM
Processor Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
Battery 9500 mAh
Cameras 8 MP (rear); 2 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Infrared, Micro USB 3.0, GPS
Operating system and UI Android 4.4 KitKat
Price From 298 USD, or from 259.99 GBP 
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8. Google Nexus 9

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The Google Nexus 9, developed by HTC, is one of the best Android tablets in the world, even if it wasn't quite as good as we hoped it would be. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Nexus 9 finds itself at number eight on our list of best Android tablets, not because of its level of performance, but because of our slight disappointment that we felt after our initial review. 

Sure, it was the first tablet in the world to show off Android 5.0 Lollipop, but its performance is not among the best. Nevertheless, it still has some great specs and features, with a brilliant 8.9-inch QXGA (2,048 x 1,536 pixels) LCD display, BoomSound stereo speakers, a killer 64-bit processor Nvidia Tegra K1, plus all of the new features offered by Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Nexus 9 price is set at 399 USD, or 319 GBP and it still has a lot to offer Android fans, even if it wasn't quite up to our expectations.

Display 8.9-inch LCD 2048 x 1536 pixels, 288 ppi
Processor dual-core Nvidia Tegra K1, 2.3 GHz
RAM/Internal Memory 2 GB / 32/64 GB
Camera 8 MP (rear), 1.6 MP (front)
Connectivity NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, HSPA, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions 153.68 x 228.25 x 7.95 mm
Weight 425 g, 436 g
Battery 6,700 mAh
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop, stock Android
Price 399 USD (16 GB, black), 299 GBP (16 GB, black)
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9. Dell Venue 8 7840

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The Dell Venue 8 7840 has a great display, even if its shape is a little odd. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Dell Venue 8 7840 is an extremely capable tablet, new in 2015 and is new to our list. It’s ultra-thin (just 6 mm thick) and metal clad, with Intel Inside technology ensuring it runs silky smooth.

Though it doesn't have a beautiful name, the Venue 8 7840 does have a beautiful 8.4-inch screen with 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, and 359 pixels-per-inch, making it one of the best looking tablets on Android.

The Dell Venue 8 has four cameras, one on the front and three on the back, which provide height and depth information in pictures. It’s a neat bit of technology, but it’s not the main reason to invest in the 7840; pick up this tablet if you want a sleek device with a quality display and fast processing. But be warned, it only houses around 8 GB of (usable) internal memory (though this is expandable via an external SD card).    

The Dell Venue 8 7840 price stands at 399 USD.

Display 8.4-inch LCD, 2560 x 1600 pixels, (359) ppi
Dimensions and weight 215.8 mm x 124.4 mm x 6 mm, 305 g
Internal storage 16 GB + microSD
Memory 2 GB RAM
Processor Quad-core Intel Atom, 2.3 GHz
Battery 5,900 mAh 
Camera 8 MP (rear); 2 MP (front)
Connectivity and networks Bluetooth 4.0, LTE, HSPA
Operating system and UI Android 4.4.4 Kitkat
Price 399 USD, 312 GBP
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10. Tesco Hudl 2

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Hudl 2's build quality is far greater than you would expect from a budget tablet. / © Tesco

This little tablet has snuck its way onto the list because it might be the best value tablet offering currently on Android. The Tesco Hudl 2 price is just 129 GBP, and for that you get a fast, 8.3-inch tablet, running on stock Android. 

Rugged, with bright color options, it’s certainly family-friendly, but the Full-HD display and Dolby sound system ensures it delivers on the user-experience front too. As far as price/performance ratio is concerned, we’re convinced it’s one of the top choices on Android. Go and test one out in-store if you don’t believe us, or buy now from Tesco.com.

Display

8.3-inch, LCD, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, 273 ppi

Dimensions and weight 8.82 x 5.04 x 0.36 in, 14.46 oz
Internal storage 16 GB +microSD
Memory 2 GB RAM
Processor Intel Atom, quad-core, 1.83 GHz
Battery "up to eight hours)
Camera 5 MP (rear) 1.2 (front)
Connectivity and networks USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Operating system and UI Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean
Price 129 GBP (all colors, 16 GB)

What do you think is the best Android tablet? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Comments

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  • liljom 4 days ago Link

    If you could remove the Note Pro 12.2, that would be nice. I just sold a Tab S 10.5 to get the huge Note Pro, and I'm very disappointed. After opening the browser the first time, I was like, let's check the screen resolution on the web, because I thought it's 2560*1600. It is, but it uses pentile subpixel matrix, which is not as detailed, as it could be with normal RGB.
    The other thing is the touch responsiveness. I experienced the same with the 2014 Note. I just try to use the screen as I used to with my G Pro 2, or on the Tab S, but it doesn't react, so I loose a lot of resource in my time sensitive game. Quite annoying.
    I expected a more for the money they ask for this device.

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  • william koffke 5 days ago Link

    Love my my Note 10.1 2014, now Sammy got to come across with 5.1 and skip 5.0!

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  • Madars 6 days ago Link

    And where is Sony xperia Z3?

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  • Eddy Jones 1 month ago Link

    I have owned the Note 10.1 2014 edition tablet and it is a very nice Tablet, but I sold it after buying the Tab S 10.5 LTE Tablet from Sprint.

    And by far the Tab S is the better Tablet except of course not having a S Pen, after holding on to both Tablets for an extended period of time the Note 10.1 2014 is definitely heavier than the Tab S .

    After all is said and done I'm happy with my decision to buy the Tab S 10.5 LTE model and selling my Note 10.1 2014.

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  • Janusz 2 months ago Link

    I have read the upper article and realized that I would like to know which tablet have the usb host functionality. What is more, in my opinion, they all have outdated processors. At this moment the most up-to-date are Intel Atoms of Bay Trail line. They are faster and more energy efficient, e.g. Z3480, Z3775 and so on, which found application in DELL and Lenovo tablets.

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  • Andrew White 3 months ago Link

    Disagree with your assessment in terms of order.
    The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 should be at the top of the pile.
    Primarily because of its excellent screen and price.

    1
  • Eddy Jones 4 months ago Link

    I call fowl, how can someone write this article but get the spec's wrong on one of the Tablets.

    I owned the Samsung Note 10.1 2014 and I currently own the Samsung Tab S 10.5 LTE and you have the spec's on the Tab S 10.5 processor wrong.

    And it isn't less powerful than either the Note 10.1 2014 or the Note Pro 12..

    The Tab S 10.5 has a Exynos 5 octa core 1.9 Ghz Quad 1.3Ghz quad processor

    They have it as a 1.6 Ghz in this Article

    It has the same processor as the Note Pro 12.2

    The Tab S should be in the number 1 slot

    Please Correct this.

    1
    • Scott Adam Gordon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 months ago Link

      Thanks for the heads up Eddy we've fixed up the specs table!

      1
  • Grateful Sam 5 months ago Link

    HTC m8 has already taken the crown. GalGalanote and some others have to wait till next year for an award. Even then m9 May take the spot..

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  • spaceweasel 7 months ago Link

    Once you own a few Samsung devices with their stupid TouchWiz and locked bootloaders, you'll want to stay away. What a PIA!

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    • Simon P 6 months ago Link

      With you on that one. Samsung killed my Tab 3 8.0 with the 4.4.2 update. Worked fine before that. An unlocked boot loader could have fixed it. Will never own a Sam tab again. Love my Nvidia Shield Tablet. Which oddly isn't on this list.

      1
      • Scott Adam Gordon
        • Admin
        • Staff
        2 months ago Link

        Yeah now that more than one of us have had a chance to play around with the Shield we've added it to the list -- it's a beast!

        0
  • CJ Brown 7 months ago Link

    Nvidia Tegra Note 7 - enjoying mine and hey all you need to do is #GoogleIt to find out what its like to play games on this device (I hope a 2nd generation comes out with better cameras) ...

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  • Tristan Isaac 7 months ago Link

    I hope the Dell Venue 8 7000 will be in the next list :) It really looks nice

    1
  • plck74 7 months ago Link

    nvidia shield tablet? can have review tablet for game?

    0
    • Scott Adam Gordon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      7 months ago Link

      Beg pardon?

      0
    • Simon P 6 months ago Link

      I was wondering why its not on the list. Nvidia 7 is about a year old and the Shield blows many of the tablets out of the water. Not the most up to date list.

      0
  • Robin Scully 7 months ago Link

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 matches the excellent screen quality that it offers with a powerful processor chip that ensures that the device operates at very fast speeds as well as they are worth of your money.

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