Authored by:

Best Android tablets of 2015

Update: Lollipop shakes up the list

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 1 week ago

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.

1. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 LTE

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy Note pro 12 2 LTE
If you want a giant multi-tasking slate, check out the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. / © ANDROIDPIT

The best Android tablet in our minds right now is this large Samsung tablet, which has recently been updated to Android Lollipop. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes with powerful performance, plus it has its own Bluetooth keyboard which can act as a cover.

The Note Pro 12.2 LTE 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 sitting at around 450 in the UK and 550 in the US, you can expect laptop-standard performance from this beauty. 

Display 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD, 2,560 x 1,600, 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 5.0.2 with TouchWiz UI
Price From 550 USD (32 GB, black), from 455 GBP (32 GB, black)

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 

androidpit galaxy tab s teaser
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 300 GBP in the UK, making it one of the best tablet choices on Android. The added bonus is that it recently got updated to Android Lollipop too.

Display 10.5-inch Super AMOLED 2,560 x 1,600 (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 5.0.2 Lollipop with TouchWiz UI
Price 350 USD (16 GB, dazzling white), 299 GBP (16 GB, dazzling white)

3. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet 

sony xperia z2 tablet screen 0
Sony's waterproof Xperia Z2 Tablet is a slender, strong contender for the best Android tablet title. / © ANDROIDPIT

Sony cracks into the list with the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, which has enjoyed a Lollipop update too. 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 sitting just under 500 USD and 400 GBP on Amazon.

Display 10.1-inch, IPS, 1,920 x 12,00 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 5.0.2 Lollipop with Xperia UI
Price 485 USD (16 GB, black), 385 GBP (16 GB, black)

4. Sony Z3 Tablet Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 tablet compact 1
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. Did we mention this Sony tablet also just got the Lollipop update?

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 460 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 5.0.2 with Xperia UI
Price 390 USD (16 GB, black), 350 GBP (16 GB, black)

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

androidpit samsung galaxy note 10 1 2014 13
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) has it all. Just not Lollipop. / © ANDROIDPIT

Design, power and portability: these three deciding factors are the reasons why this Samsung jewel has landed in our list - although it has lost several place because it failed to update to Android Lollipop like the tablets above. Still, iIt 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.

Its Note-specific functions (S Pen, Air Gesture, etc), connectivity, performance, and portability puts this tablet in direct competition with laptops. It also has a great value rating right now, as it it ages gracefully and the price continues to plummet. The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) price is currently in the mid-200's, both in the US and UK.

Display 10.1-inches, 2,560 x 1,600 (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 4.4.2 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
Price From 259 USD (32 GB, black), from 239 GBP (16 GB, 4G edition)

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. The Nvidia Shield is also rocking Android 5.1 Lollipop - something no other tablet on this list can say.

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 5.1 Lollipop
Price 299 USD (16 GB, Wi-Fi), 225 (16 GB, Wi-Fi) 

7. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, 10.1 and 12.2

galaxy tab screen
Coming in three size, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro has you covered. / © ANDROIDPIT

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 prices start at 220 USD and 190 GBP, with the larger versions costing more than double that, so if you're interested in this one make sure you buy at the right time. 

Display 12.2-inch, Super clear LCD 2,560 x 1,600 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 220 USD, or from 190 GBP 

8. Google Nexus 9

Nexus 9 2014 ANDROIDPIT 2
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 around 280 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 2,048 x 1,536 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 5.1 Lollipop, stock Android
Price 399 USD (16 GB, black), 280 GBP (16 GB, black)

9. Dell Venue 8 7840

dell venue 8 front screen
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 relatively 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 2,560 x 1,600 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 starts at 399 USD and 369 GBP on Amazon.

Display 8.4-inch LCD, 2,560 x 1,600 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 (16 GB), 369 GBP (16 GB)

10. Tesco Hudl 2

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

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 99 GBP (with a Tesco Club Card), 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. 

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 199 GBP (all colors, 16 GB)

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

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

30 comments

Write new comment:
  • Harry Lee 1 week ago Link to comment

    With its Quad-Core 2.3 GHz, ultra thin and waterproof features, I got my Sony Xperia Z2 for keeps.

    0
  • Luka 1 week ago Link to comment

    On the last tablet there's a little mistake. "Operating system and UI: Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean"
    Did you mean KitKat?
    Anyway, I have Tab 4 7.0 and it's a great little tablet. It's 4000mAh battery lasts for around 2 days of medium to heavy use. Only thing missing there is Lollipop.

    0
  • Jacob Joachimi 1 week ago Link to comment

    I own both versions of the Note 10.1 (2013 and 2014), The Note Pro 12.2, and the Nvidia Shield. I Use the Pro and the Shield as my primary and gave the two 10.1 Notes to my siblings. IMO, I am head over heals for the Note Pro, and honestly don't ever think I could live without the SPen or multi window, especially after root. As a power user, there is just no comparison. The Nvidia SHield, w/ Controller, is so convenient and the power and gaming is still mind blowing. I will say tho, I feel that your average user may struggle with the SHield, as it does take some tinkering here and there to take advantage of its potential. I notice a lot of people that are not real into this tech get frustrated with things on this tablet as there is some "no how"required. I got to test most tablets out and the screen on the S is stunning, best i've experienced, but, in my case, is not that much better that it offsets all the Pro brings to the table. Everyone has different needs and uses, but for me its all about power, multitask, and convenience. The shield is just a blast if you spring for the controller.

    0
  • Michael O'Hara 1 week ago Link to comment

    Two thoughts: 1) if I were to cough up the money some of these cost I would spring for a dual OS running Android and Windows 8.1 ... just sayin' ... and 2) Micosoft's excellent Office for Android apps are free for tablets like 10 inches or less - which might be worth factoring in. (I'm not sure if that includes all those 10.1" tablets out there - anyone know?)

    0
  • The Domber 1 week ago Link to comment

    z4 tablet??
    the one to rule them all

    0
  • Tonii Newin 1 month ago Link to comment

    I have the note 10.1 4G, which I got a few years ago. Till this day no problems and proccess anything I throw at it, best investment I've made. I wouldn't mind a newer tablet just for the asthetics but I see no point as it still does evening. another main reason I've stuck with this tablet is also the two front facing speakers which are excellent for watching video content, many other tablets lack in the sound department.

    0
  • 3abr86 1 month ago Link to comment

    how could you miss Xiaomi's Mi Pad ???

    0
  • liljom 2 months ago Link to comment

    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.

    0
  • william koffke 2 months ago Link to comment

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

    0
  • Madars 2 months ago Link to comment

    And where is Sony xperia Z3?

    0
  • Eddy Jones 4 months ago Link to comment

    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.

    0
  • Janusz 4 months ago Link to comment

    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.

    0
  • Andrew White 6 months ago Link to comment

    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 7 months ago Link to comment

    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
  • Grateful Sam 8 months ago Link to comment

    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..

    0
  • spaceweasel 9 months ago Link to comment

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

    0
    • Simon P 9 months ago Link to comment

      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
        5 months ago Link to comment

        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
Show all comments