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Best Samsung Galaxy Tablets

Updated November 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 11 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 145 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Samsung Galaxy tablets

    Last Updated November 2018

    While the word “tablet” tends to make most people think of Apple’s iconic iPad, those who prefer Google’s Android operating system have their own flagship line of tablets – Samsung’s Galaxy brand. Spanning from 7 to 17 inches, Samsung’s Galaxy tablets offer some impressive specs, including key features not found on any Apple products.

    As you’re looking at tablets, read our shopping guide to help you decide which features you’ll need and which you won’t, as well as what the best size tablet is for your needs. Then check out the grid above to see our most recommended options.

    At BestReviews, our readers trust us to provide completely unbiased reviews of products, so we don’t accept free products or compensation of any kind from manufacturers.

    We test products ourselves and talk to experts and consumers to provide you with the information you need to make important purchasing decisions.

    In addition to tablets, the Samsung Galaxy brand also features two-in-one tablet computers that include a keyboard and run Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.

    Samsung Galaxy tablets screen size

    As you’re shopping for a Galaxy tablet, consider what you’ll be using it for. Your needs will help you decide which screen size is perfect for you.

    • 7- to 8-inch screen tablets are perfect for casual mobile games or for use as a TV remote control or music player. Expect lower resolutions at this size, which means that some images may seem blurry or pixelated. Buy a Galaxy tablet of this size if you need a supplementary device that’s good for entertainment but not fast enough to be your primary work tool.

    • 9- to 11-inch screen tablets hit the sweet spot between portable and powerful. At this size, there’s enough screen real estate to use your tablet as a digital sketchbook or just make video look fantastic. Tablets of this size are great for students, artists, or anyone who’s ever wanted the Android experience on a display larger than a phone.

    • 12-inch screen tablets are usually paired with keyboards and Windows 10, which technically makes these Samsung Galaxy two-in-one laptops. If you love the tablet form factor but need a proper computer running a non-mobile operating system, this category is perfect for you. Just beware the price tag: Samsung’s priciest two-in-ones are all this size or larger.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Although many Samsung Galaxy tablets include keyboards, all Galaxy tablets support any third-party Bluetooth keyboard.

    Kid-friendly Galaxy tablets

    Sometimes even the best parents need a break, and a tablet can help occupy a little one in those moments when mom and dad take a breather. And while a tablet is no substitute for human interaction, it can be used as an educational tool for your kids.

    All that said, when it comes to children, it’s especially important to get the right tablet for both durability and safety online.

    • Durability

    Some Galaxy tablets for kids are built with thick, sturdy enclosures that are meant to withstand being dropped repeatedly. These tablets come in various bright colors and typically have larger buttons and a carrying handle.

    • Safety

    Many Galaxy tablets for kids work with the company’s “Samsung Kids” paid subscription program. With Samsung Kids, you get access to a variety of apps and tools for children, including educational apps aligned with Common Core principles and apps that allow you to set time limits on tablet use.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you plan to buy a Galaxy tablet for a child, disable in-app purchasing to prevent any unwanted or accidental purchases.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Samsung Galaxy tablet prices

    When it comes to the cost of a Galaxy tablet, the price you pay will largely depend on the size screen you choose.

    Budget-friendly

    In the $100 to $299 range, these Galaxy tablets have seven- or eight-inch screens. The key differentiators in this category are the available storage and the speed of the processor (both are worth investing in).

    If you’re looking for a Galaxy tablet for kids, expect those features to add to the cost.

    While you can replace the battery yourself in certain Samsung Galaxy tablets, it voids the warranty and can damage the tablet. To extend the life of your Galaxy tablet, don’t try to disassemble or repair it yourself.

    Mid-range

    In the $200 to $550 range, these Galaxy tablets have a 9.7-inch or larger screen. On the low end of this range, expect tablets with the minimum amount of storage and power.

    Galaxy tablets of this size make great e-readers, and are popular with students and digital bookworms.

    High-end

    In the $1,200 to $1,400 range, these Galaxy tablets have 12-inch screens. Samsung’s priciest tablets aren’t just tablets: they’re two-in-one computers that function as both tablets and laptops (and come with the powerful internals to prove it).

    In this category, you’ll find models that include styluses and keyboards and run Windows 10 instead of Android.

    CAUTION

    Although it might be tempting to save money and buy an older model Galaxy tablet, it can be risky. Samsung only provides software updates for a limited time for each model. After that, no security patches are available. In general, a good rule is to not buy an Android product that’s over 18 months old.

    Tips

    Consider these tips before purchasing a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

    • If sound quality matters to you, invest in a Bluetooth speaker or a quality set of headphones. Sound quality is a problem for tablets across the industry – most come with speakers that sound only a little better than an AM radio. A solid Bluetooth speaker or a good set of headphones will dramatically improve the entire audio experience with your Galaxy tablet, especially if you plan to use it to stream TV or make video calls.

    • Consider your mobility and battery needs. If you expect to be taking your tablet with you everywhere, give it a bit of extra durability by putting it in a case and attaching a screen protector. All it takes is one fall to shatter a once beautiful screen! Similarly, if you plan to use your tablet in places where you can’t recharge the battery, pick up an external battery to carry an extra charge with you on the go.

    • Maximize storage by buying a separate SD card. Many Galaxy tablets have Secure Digital (SD) card readers, so you can bring your own SD card to increase the amount of space you have for photos, movies, music, and apps. Look for a card that has at least 16GB of storage and is rated “Class 10” at a minimum.

    To get the most from your Samsung Galaxy tablet, take some time to learn the various gesture controls it supports. For example, you can double-tap the screen to zoom in or out of photos, or in many apps, you can use a long press to unlock advanced functionality.

    FAQ

    Q. Why does Android look so different on my Samsung Galaxy tablet than it does on tablets from other manufacturers?

    A. Google’s Android mobile operating system is licensed by a variety of device manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Motorola, and HTC. Each manufacturer customizes Android for their own phones, sometimes by adding proprietary Android apps, and often by customizing the look and feel of Android to match their brand. As long as two tablets of different brands are based on the same version of Android, their core functionality will be the same.

    Q. Can I take notes with a stylus on a Galaxy tablet?

    A. Yes. While not all Samsung Galaxy tablets include a stylus, all of them can work with any standard tablet stylus. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to write when you have space to rest your hand. If you’re planning to use your tablet as a virtual notepad, make sure you look for one that is large enough to accommodate your palm while you write. Many users report that it can be challenging to write on a tablet smaller than 9.7 inches.

    Q. Can I make phone calls from my Samsung Galaxy tablet?

    A. Yes and no. The Galaxy’s operating system, Android, supports numerous communication apps for making video and audio calls over the internet, such as Skype or Google Hangouts. Using one of these apps, you can conduct calls with other devices that have the same app, including smartphones. However, by default, most Samsung Galaxy tablets do not include SIM cards for use with a mobile phone carrier, and therefore can only make calls through apps and not mobile carrier towers.

    Q. How can I tell what version of Android my tablet is running? Is that important?

    A. Periodically, Google updates its Android mobile operating system with a new iteration that includes additional features and security fixes. Each iteration is named after a food and follows an alphabetical sequence, for example, Android version 5 was named “Marshmallow,” followed by version 6, “Nougat.” Knowing what OS comes with your tablet is important. It can help you know how old the laptop is and if an update is supported. When comparing Galaxy tablets, check product pages to determine which Android version is included. If you’ve already got a Galaxy tablet, you can look up the Android version in the Settings app.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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