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Best Android tablets in SA

Best Android tablet
(Image credit: Samsung; Asus)

The number of Android tablets that can rival Apple's iPad remains limited although it has recently had a bit of a boost, from the iPad 10.2-rivaling Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite .

Check our ranking below and come back regularly to see future additions, as we're always updating this guide.

Here we’ve ranked five in all, so if you’re looking for the best Android tablet one of these should suit. And to make it easier to decide which we’ve also included pros, cons, an overview, and a full specs list for each.

But if five choices isn’t enough, make sure to check out our best tablet, best iPad, and best cheap tablet guides for more great tablet options.

Best Android tablets in South Africa:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
  4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10.5
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) 

Best Android tablets: which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The 'money's no object' best Android tablet

Weight: 420g | Dimensions: 244.5 x 154.3 x 7 mm | OS: Android 9 (upgrade to Android 10) | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | Storage: 128GB/256GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 7,040mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Beautiful AMOLED display
S Pen as standard
Samsung's One UI not perfect
No headphone jack

You want the very best Android tablet and you're not worried about how much you'll be spending? The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is undeniably the best product you'll find with a plethora of cutting-edge features.

It comes with an S Pen stylus in the box that you can use to take notes, draw and much more on the tablet's display. You can also buy a smart keyboard to make it an experience that is close to a laptop.

The 10.5-inch AMOLED display on the Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the highlights with an impressive resolution of 1600 x 2560. This tablet also comes with two cameras on the rear too, so you can get better photography than on other slates.

It's not the perfect device - there isn't a 3.5mm headphone jack and the user interface has its own quirks - but if you're desperate for an Android tablet, this is the very best you'll be able to buy right now.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Cheaper, and still quite great

Weight: 476g | Dimensions: 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 10.4-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 2000 pixels | CPU: Exynos 9610 | Storage: 64GB/128GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 7,040mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Robust design
S Pen as standard
Can be a little sluggish
Some issues with S Pen

Happy to sacrifice a few of the features of the Galaxy Tab S6 above in trade for a cheaper tablet? If yes, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the product you want to consider.

The chipset isn't as powerful, the cameras aren't as impressive and the screen isn't as beautiful... but it's around half the price, and all of its specs are still quite impressive for a slate at this price.

It's a remarkably good product considering how much you're spending on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. It isn't particularly smaller than the Galaxy Tab S6 - and ironically, it's actually heavier too - but if you don't want to spend top-dollar you may love this.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e (Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Exceptional multimedia handling

Weight: 400g | Dimensions: 245 x 160 x 5.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 7040mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP | Memory card slot: Yes

Superb screen
Great sound
Overpriced
Average cameras

Although it has now been somewhat eclipsed by the well-appointed S6 Lite, the more expensive S5e still offers a superb Android experience, and it has it over the S6 Lite in some crucial areas that make it a superior multimedia device.  

It's annoying to lose the headphone jack (there is a USB-C adapter in the box) but that's more than made up for by the superb Quad HD AMOLED screen and the delightful four way speaker system, making it all the better for watching movies. Its also a little thinner and lighter than the S6 Lite, so its easier to lug around or hold in your lap. The S5e also sports Samsung's Continuity feature so you can answer your Samsung phone and send messages while on your tablet. 

Read the hands-on review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10.5

Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10.5 (Image credit: Huawei)

4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10.5

Solid specs and improved pricing

Weight: 475g | Dimensions: 243 x 162 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 7500mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 8MP | Memory card slot: Yes

Sturdy build
Solid specs
Kid-friendly features
Somewhat overpriced
End of life

It's getting a little long in the tooth but this scaled back, cut-price version of Huawei's excellent M5 is still a solid buy, thanks to sharp full HD screen, decent 7500mAh battery and sturdy metal back plate. Despite the price cut there's still plenty of processing power here and 3GB of RAM to help it keep up with the best.  

Huawei seems to have targeted this one at children with a few clever touches: fingerprint unlock that takes them straight into the Kid's Corner where the parent can control screen time and app installs, and cute animals remind you take breaks, change body position and protect young eyes with a blue light filter. But for our money this is full blown business product with screen quality and battery life perfectly suited to proper workplace productivity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)  (Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)

Best of the mid-range slates

Weight: 470g | Dimensions: 245 x 150 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6150mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP | Memory card slot: Yes

Upgraded look and feel
Decent value

While its a significant upgrade to the very average 2018 model, this slate still sits very much in Samsung's mid-range A-class in terms  of processing power and features. For that, it is the stand out performer in this category, which is how it stakes its claims on our list of the best Android tablets.

While its noticeably thicker than Samsung's S range it has a premium-feel aluminium body and, at 475g, it is really no heavier than the top Android performers costing far more. Certainly it feels great in hand. The upgraded full HD screen is decent enough, although nothing special, but the speaker system is still a big improvement over the 2018 model.