Best Android Tablet 2018: The best and brightest slates using Google’s OS

The Best Android Tablets 2018: All the best slates reviewed and rated

Apple’s famed iPads might rule dominion over the tablet kingdom but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a host of plucky, versatile alternatives available on the Android side of the fence. From the mighty Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 to this year’s humble Amazon Fire HD 8, there are a number of slates powered by Google’s OS that offer a gamut of functionality for all sorts of use cases.

If you’re not tethered to Android, check out our Best Tablet 2018 roundup to see the best overall options available right now, and if you’ve landed here by mistake, perhaps you’d prefer our Best iPad 2018 feature instead? If so, stay tuned…

Related: Best cheap tablets

How we test and choose the best Android tablets

Every tablet we review is put through a series of benchmark and real-world tests. We always use the review device as our main tablet, transferring everything across. The majority of tablet reviews will be conducted over the period of at least ten days, with updates added to the review following any software upgrades, new features or changes to the price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Galaxy Tab S4 keyboard

Pros:

  • Amazing HDR AMOLED display
  • Slim and light
  • Impressive S Pen included

Cons:

  • Dex software can be buggy
  • Glass back is a fingerprint magnet
  • Would like more RAM

Samsung is fighting the good fight against Apple, pushing out one of the few truly competitive Android tablets this year when compared against the likes of the iPad Pro 2018.

The company’s latest flagship tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, offers some powerful features, such as a 10.5-inch HDR display, iris recognition and killer battery life. It also supports the company’s S Pen stylus for ink work and digital illustration, as well as a separate keyboard folio cover which ups its productivity chops too.

The new Dex mode gives you a laptop-style UI, which is a big improvement over the regular Android home screen with more seamless multitasking and window management too.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro

Pros:

  • Good stylus
  • Strong battery life
  • Meaty-sounding speakers

Cons:

  • No Netflix HD streams
  • No headphone jack
  • Screen doesn’t quite match the best

Huawei’s top tablet of 2018 is the MediaPad M5 Pro, it’s almost identical to the company’s standard 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 with the addition of support for Huawei’s M-Pen stylus thrown in on top. If you’re after a tablet to doodle on, Huawei’s offering boasts a digitiser with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for shading and tilt recognition – more than your standard stylus experience.

Beyond the pen, the MediaPad M5 Pro packs in the decently powerful Kirin 960 processor and there’s the option for 4G connectivity too. Huawei’s 18W fast-charging technology is able to juice the tablet’s capacious 7500mAh battery back up in under three hours and once charged Huawei promises up to 12 hours of video playback.

On the multimedia front, the screen’s crisp 2560 x 1600 resolution and Harman Kardon-tuned speakers with Hi-Res Audio support should satiate most users.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Pros:

  • Amazing HDR AMOLED display
  • Slim and light
  • Impressive S Pen included

Cons:

  • Software lacks polish
  • Multitasking is janky
  • Glass back is a fingerprint magnet

If the Tab S4 is too rich for your blood, the older Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 still packs plenty of punch. Like its successor, it doles out HDR visuals and packs in quad speakers for robust AKG-tuned stereo sound. Look past the fingerprint-prone glass-backed design and you’ve got another great productivity machine with support for a dedicated keyboard dock and its own S Pen stylus too.

It runs older software than the Tab S4 and misses out on that optimised Dex experience but the £150+ price-drop might be enough to make up for such shortcomings.

Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus

Lenovo Tab 10

Pros:

  • Big display good for video
  • Some neat UI additions
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Old version of Android
  • Not the most rugged

At its core, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus is a great general-purpose tablet with a decent design and a low price. For the money it offers a pleasing display that’s good for media, there’s plenty of storage to work with and it doesn’t disappoint with regards to performance either.

The fingerprint sensor isn’t just secure, you can use it to jump between multiple users with one touch and Lenovo’s produced a robust accessory ecosystem to augment its underlying functionality.

The Kids Package adds a bumper, screen protector and curated access to hand-picked child-friendly content via KIDOZ, the Productivity Package takes the form of a detachable Bluetooth keyboard that doubles as a protective folio cover and stand while Home Assistant Pack adds an Amazon Alexa-capable microphone and speaker dock to the equation that transforms the Tab 4 10 Plus into a makeshift Echo Show.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018)

Amazon Fire HD 8 2018

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Hands-free Alexa
  • Show Mode is a nice addition

Cons:

  • Ad-riddled interface
  • Basic navigation a little slow

Amazon’s Fire tablets have always been excellent options for those with shallower pockets and the 2018 Fire HD 8 offers more for your money than any of its predecessors. As with previous entries in the line, the Fire HD 8 comes running Fire OS – a forked iteration of Android that doesn’t include the Google Play Store out the box, instead prioritising Amazon’s content and apps that the company has modified to play nice with its platform.

Provided you can stomach the software, for the sub-£100 price you’re getting an 8-inch tablet with an HD display, external speakers and Amazon’s Alexa assistant. The tablet even features a ‘Show mode’ which alters the software to behave more like Amazon’s Echo Show, and paired with the available charging dock, it makes for a worthwhile home tablet for light use, answering questions via Alexa and general entertainment.

What’s your tablet of choice based on this list? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews