Best Budget Android Tablets 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Tablets are a convenient choice for on the go compared to heavier laptops. Even then, they are just more comfortable for streaming movies and TV shows, reading, deleting email spam or browsing the internet. Many people now prefer the Android OS to iOS in the ever growing market of digital trends.
Tablets with Android operating systems offer more than just being cheap tablets – they can match and beat an Apple iPad or laptop in their specs.
Best Budget Android Tablets
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 inch
- Premium Pick: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10.1 inch
- Best for Kids: Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids edition
- Best for a Small Screen: All-new Fire HD 8 tablet
- Best for the Amazon Kindle: Amazon Fire 10 10.1 inch
This article will take you through 10 of the best cheap android tablets for if you’re a consumer on limited funds, each from less than $100 to just under $500 – grab a great deal from this list. A helpful buying guide, considerations and FAQ are also included to help you make the best choice besides reading the specs.
1.Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4″ (Mocha)
Size: 8.4 in | Weight: 322.06 grammes | Operating System: Android 9 Pie | Storage: 3 GB | Processor: Qualcomm
Running on Android 9.0 pie, this Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a little bit smaller than the other Samsung Galaxy Tab A next in this list but matches most the specs and stands out in the tablet market. With 4G LTE, users can escape into the web, movies, shows or music without the need for Wi Fi whilst you are commuting – plus no squinting at your phone.
We think this is a good little Android tablet for keeping online with the immersive wide 16:10 display ratio. The rear facing camera on this tablet is great for the price point too – at 8MP.
2.Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1″
Size: 10.1 Inches | Weight: 460.01 grammes | Operating System: Android | Storage: 32 GB | Processor: 1.8 GHz
An affordable tablet pick with a slim 10.1 inch display from well known market name Samsung – we present to you the Samsun Galaxy Tab A. This runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with an Exynos 7904A octa core processor and Qualcomm quick charger supported – all for a around a neat $200.
This is a tablet that can be used for more than just checking an email. Watch Netflix with supported Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound – or take a pretty picture with an 8MP rear camera and a decent 5MP front facing camera. There’s enough power for streaming, working and gaming – this can handle a variety of media.
At full HD and with a 16:10 ratio – the Galaxy Tab A is not to be underestimated – thus making our list of the best cheap android list.
3. All-new Amazon Fire HD 8″ tablet
Size: 7″ | Weight: 286 g | Storage: 32 GB | Processor: 2.0 GHz quad-core
Next on our list of recommendations – this cheap Android tablet from Amazon. Perhaps the best cheap tablet you can get in 2020 – this has a list price of under $100. Released after the Fire 7 – the specs show a difference.
With a MediaTek quad core processor, this will run better than a smartphones if you just want a portable device for watching movies at 720p. This may not seem like a lot, but over 8 inches is not too pixellated.
4. Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet 10.1″
Size: 7″ | Weight: 286 g | Storage: 32 GB | Processor: 2.0 GHz quad-core
For less than $200 and many other competitors, this Fire HD 10 Tablet is an absolute steal with a bigger 10.1 inch screen size. The 2 GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM makes this a fast tablet for multitasking, with 32GB of storage. A microSD card slot means you can expand to 256GB or 512GB of storage.
This does run Android – qualifying as a best cheap Android device, but the interface is quite different as they want to promote their own applications like Prime that can be accessed offline. Still, with the money saved, this Android tablet has a plastic back with several colour choices and feels better than pricier alternatives – it’s great especially for TV shows, books and magazines.
5. Lenovo Smart Tab M10 10.1″
Size: 10.1” | Weight: 2.10 lbs | Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo | Storage: 16GB |
This tablet from Lenovo includes a 10.1 inch smart display at a low cost, under $200. The glass back beats plastic, with a fingerprint scanner in the home button – although the positioning is not the best. This Lenovo Yoga tab has a rolled cylindrical long edge for great grip in portrait mode for reading emails and browsing – great for readers with all their favourite stories on their tablet.
One thing to note is that the speaker base turns the display into a front-end for Alexa when docked – a nifty extra from this cheap android tablet. The 2 Dolby Atmos speakers offer great volume and a wonderful listening experience with a kick in stand for landscape mode or to be hung off a hook on the wall, whilst Android Oreo OS should run fine.
6. Huawei MediaPad T5 Tablet 10.1″
Size: 10.1 inches | Weight: 1.01 lbs | Operating System: Android 8.0 Oreo | Storage: 16GB | Processor: 2.36 GHz
This Huawei MediaPad T5 tablet could be the best buy for a cheap Android tablet – with features to rival competition like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A and the Amazon Fire HD 10. The back is mostly metal, with the screen a good IPS LCD 1200p resolution.
As it is so aptly named, the MediaPad T5 is designed to excel in exploring mixed media consumption – with amazing display quality and dual speakers. Spacious 3GB RAM memory and employment of Kirin 659 octa core will load applications quickly with fast switching.
The battery is decent, whilst the front facing camera for selfies and the rear lens are 2MP and 5MP – there’s some solid details for under $300.
7. ZTE ZPad 10″ Tablet
Size: 10 inches | Weight: 2.00 lbs | Storage: 16.0 GB
If well known names aren’t on your priority list – admire this HD 10 inch display with a 1920 x 1200 screen size and resolution that make for a gorgeous viewing experience. The front facing camera and rear camera are both 5MP – good enough detail for any face to face chatting on this tablet offering by ZTE. 2GB of RAM has you covered.
Dual front facing speakers with premium audio will make for pleasant listening of songs or Youtube videos, whilst 4G capability adds an extra element to this mobile tech. Expect it to have enough power to last you most of the day.
8. Acer Iconia One 10 10.1″
Size: 10.1 inches | Weight: 1.21 lbs | Operating System: Android 5.0 Lollipop | Storage: 16 GB | Processor: 1.3 GHz
With a larger 10.1 inch display and MediaTek MT8163 quad core processor – this best cheap Android tablet pick from Acer is the Iconia One on Android Lollipop. Up to 10 hours means the battery is more than reasonable for the price.
Storage is 128GB with a MicroSd memory card, which you can use for storage of all the photos you’ll be taking with the cameras. Although not the best, 2MP for the front facing and 5MP for the rear camera.
9. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10.1″
Size: 10.1 inches | Weight: 1.47 lbs | Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Storage: 64 GB
Even with the larger screen size, this tablet from cheap Android tablet from Lenovo has the unique tablet and projector combo that is rare to find. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 is perhaps recognisable with the rolled canister side where the battery is stored, as well as the pair of front firing speakers and 8MP rotatable camera – impressive specs.
Another new feature with the Yoga Tab 3 is the Lenovo Tab AnyPen technology – so the 10.1 inch screen can take notes, be sketched and drawn on with any pen recognised as a stylus. The battery is incredible and can last up to 18 hours without needing a charge – perhaps making it the best cheap tablet for all those features. If you’re looking for other tablets with drawing capabilities, perhaps more suited to arty activities, check out our list of the best budget drawing tablets!
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition 8″
Size: 8 inches | Weight: 1.32 lbs | Operating System: Android | Storage: 32.00 GB | Processor: Qualcomm
Something for everyone in the family won’t be a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inch tablet – in the Kids Edition. As Android tablets go, your children will not be disappointed whilst you have authority. Samsung have given them a ton of options and characters, including educational media shown on a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
Parents can rest easy, with a price of less than $200, this comes with features that let you monitor what your younger household members are interacting with on the internet, as well as set screen time limits and needing your permission for more – giving you control.
Android Tablets Buyers Guide
Screen Size and Resolution
When picking a screen resolution, an 8 inch tablet with 1280 by 800 pixels will be plenty to watch 720p HD video on. A 10 inch display will need more money but can definitely make for better ease of staring at screens or text – look out for pixel density though, which will make the screen seem fuzzy and hard to read from.
Reasons like avoiding eye strain and not sat hunched before computers can make being a fan of tablets seem natural.
Graphics chipset cards will lead to variations in the color display you see on your devices – read a review of the ones you are considering to avoid issues. Pixels are stretched over displays – larger displays with a lower resolution can suffer from annoying pixellation.
Lots of Android tablets we have recommended have a 10.1 inch screen size – these will have the best performance for easy viewing. HD display appears often on this list too.
The Operating System (OS)
All tablets Android runs on are not equal. Being on old versions of Android software can be an issue in terms of security flaws, running slow or just being unreliable – a low price does not always mean a bargain. More recent OS’ will come with a ton of improvements compared to any predecessor updates.
Android one tablets include software overlays seen most on Android smartphones – these are not open source software, which allows for a lot of differences between a device running Android one over another OS. Check the specs to see what options suit you best.
Tablet’s Storage Capacity
For Android tablets, make sure you pay attention to storage specs. Android can have trouble with moving whatever you have in your storage to microSD memory cards – but having a microSD slot can be handy for downloading entertainment for long trips and allowing for expansion. Additional RAM will allow you room to install more on your device and allow storage of more pictures and videos.
For internal storage, try to aim for a minimum of at least 16GB. Around 2GB of RAM should be more than enough for smooth launch or running of applications in the background.
Processor and RAM
Octa core processors feature often on these cheap android tablets – though these are far from the only processor you can get, combined with 2GB of RAM they are a fast option and quite popular – on the Amazon fire tablet and Samsung Galaxy tablets. Quad core CPU options are also sufficient – any more than 1.3 GHz should manage everything with minimal issues.
The higher the RAM the better the speed of the device, as otherwise it can be sluggish for switching between your activities and downloading anything.
You can get docks, covers, and some offer touchpads. Keyboards matter the most if you want to get some serious work done. There’s a range of styles for every consumer in the market, with some manufacturers selling hard key board docks and others slimmer and softer covers for whatever job you have in mind.
The battery life offerings of tablets vary massively. An iPad surprisingly features poorer battery life than most the Android tablets suggested here. Depending on how much time you plan to spend on your devices, 8 hours or 10 hours of battery life or more is a good amount.
If you’re planning to watch movies, these suck battery like there is no tomorrow – above 5000mAh will last significantly longer. Sharing usage with the family may also mean you need to bank higher battery storage to prevent arguments.
In terms of connectivity, tech can go from basic to being able to connect with other devices. Wifi is the basic amount of connectivity you need for most tasks, though the ability for Cellular, Bluetooth and GPS connections will of course let you do more and help if you go elsewhere.
The best cheap Android device can still include a front and rear camera on the tablet, although the MP of cameras can vary significantly from different companies. If you’re planning to just turn it on for professional photography, a tablet may not be a suitable choice – but if you just want to be able to take photos and play around, many in our lineup will involve decent MP performance.
Things to consider before buying the Best Budget Tablets
Finding cheaper tablets is one thing, and knowing what you need is another. In this section, we will give you some tips for shopping tablets on a budget. Here are some key things to consider when trying to get budget tablets.
Not all tech is equal. A 8 inch tablet is more portable than a 10.1 inch display by default due to the lower weight and how it fits into your bag. However besides weight, you should try to factor in the battery capabilities – if you know whilst you’re outside that accessing a plug point is not something possible for 10 hours – choose a tablet with the battery to match.
The best cheap Android device for you will have specs specific to your way of life. If you like chilling in the country or nothing is better than the couch, question what package suits you.
Nature of Use
If a tablet features a 10 inch screen size display, this can be more comfortable for streaming. If you want a device mostly for fun – make sure the specs offer decent sound and a HD display for the prices shown.
If you’re used to Android phones and their functionality, Android tablets are basically the same but blown up in scale. This makes it lovely for those who have used the OS for years and want familiarity – so opt for Huawei, Lenovo or Samsung for the safest bet.
For note taking and to replace pen on paper, some tablets will include a digital pen – handy if you like to draw or create, or just don’t want fingerprints on your devices (like the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3).
Plastic backed tablets with a menu of color offerings can be a viable alternative to metal backs with their matching prices and typically muted colors. You want the tablet body to feel solid in your hand and look good – some of the best cheap tablets have a kickstand (Lenovo tab offers this experience) which will let you relax your hands to sit back and watch videos.
This is something entirely dependent on you and will decide what is the best cheap option for yourself. If hands free tech assistants like Alexa are included in your needs for a budget tablet, or a larger 10.1 inch HD display – products will cost more. Alternatively, if you opt for a smaller resolution screen, older design and software – tablets can be a good value alternative to a laptop.
Covered before, it is important to remember if you invest in a newer tablet, you can stay with current software updates for at least a few years – rather than a much more limited time frame if using older OS versions. An older OS also means worse security, and lower compatibility down the line.
Budget Android tablets may have a longer shelf life than phones, but this doesn’t mean updates will happen regularly until they are fully discontinued.
Apps and Content
If you’re planning to buy an Amazon product tablet – we think that’s a great choice. The main caveat with Amazon tablets are that they only allow Amazon’s app store – which doesn’t match the range of everything offered in the official Google Play store. So if you opt for unrestricted access, be prepared to balance some specs on a non-Amazon tablet.
By promoting their own content though, is how Amazon fire tablets are some of the best cheap Android tablets. Being able to utilise Prime on a Fire device isn’t bad news either.
What is the best tablet under $50?
At this low price – you’d be pressed to find budget tablets any cheaper. Our pick for the best cheap android device is the Fire 8 from Amazon. As the successor to the Fire 7 – the battery is great for all day performance, the processor is better and 32GB is fair storage. Although smaller than the 10.1 version – the fact this model has similar specs and a brilliant resolution for such prices makes it tablet gold.
What is the best tablet under $150?
The Amazon All-new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet, 10.1 inch HD display has some great points over the Amazon Fire 7 and an upgrade over the 8 inch smaller screen size version – the battery lasts longer, loads faster and even your lock screen will be vibrant.
Amazon’s design covers screen time for the family with child profiles to limit screen time and easy to use Parental Controls included – so it functions for anyone, even a younger audience. Of all our picks, this is so versatile and at a much more affordable price than rivals like the Galaxy Tab A.