Here are our top choices for the best Samsung tablet

Here are our top choices for the best Samsung tablet

September 13, 2021 0 By Joe Maring

It’s no secret that Android tablets have waned in popularity over the past few years. Despite that, Samsung regularly releases new tablet options, channeling its Android know-how into respectable software hosted on killer hardware. Whether you choose our top overall pick — the Galaxy Tab S7 — or any other option in this roundup, the best Samsung tablets all have plenty to recommend compared to iPads, Fires, and other popular brands.

Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

You have a large number of Galaxy Tabs to choose from, but above everything that’s on offer, the Galaxy Tab S7 stands out as our go-to recommendation. It’s one of the newest tablets in Samsung’s lineup, and for most folks, it’ll be the best one you can buy.

The most important aspect of any tablet is its display, and in this regard, the Tab S7 has a lot going for it. You’re treated to an 11-inch LCD panel with a 2560×1600 resolution and a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate. So whether you play a lot of games or watch a ton of movies, they’ll all look excellent on the Tab S7. Plus, thanks to the Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, you’ll be able to do most of what you want without skipping a beat.

Samsung includes an S Pen with the Tab S7 at no added cost, with this version of the iconic stylus offering a mere 9ms latency for lifelike drawing and writing. When you aren’t using it, just place the S Pen on the back of the Tab S7, and magnets will keep it secure.

When all of that is said and done, the Galaxy Tab S7 ends up being one of the best Android tablets overall.


120Hz display is very smooth
Slim bezels and premium metal design
Flagship performance
Comes with an S Pen
45W wired charging speeds


Screen is not AMOLED

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Mystic Black

From $649 at Amazon
From $650 at Best Buy
From $729 at Walmart
From $650 at B&H Photo

The one to get

When it comes to the best Samsung tablet around, we have to give the crown to the Galaxy Tab S7.

Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus


Should you find yourself with a bit more money to spend and want something even more impressive, that’s exactly where the Galaxy Tab S7+ comes into play. It shares most of the same DNA with the regular Tab S7, though it brings a couple of welcome upgrades, the first of which is an even prettier display. Along with a larger 12.4-inch size, you also get an AMOLED panel instead of an LCD one. This means richer colors and deeper blacks for an even more immersive experience.

The larger size of the Tab S7+ also gives you a bigger battery, with Samsung promising up to 14 hours of video playback. You get the same Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, along with the S Pen and its impressive 9ms latency.

Both the Tab S7 and S7+ support Samsung’s DeX desktop interface and work with an optional keyboard cover, but those two things shine especially bright on the S7+. The larger screen is top-notch for working on documents, spreadsheets, and managing Zoom calls, so if you want to have your tablet function as a sort of laptop replacement, the Tab S7+ is perfectly equipped to do just that.


AMOLED display with 120Hz
12.4-inch size is great for productivity
Has the Snapdragon 865+ processor
Large battery with fast charging
S Pen included for free


Might be too big for some people
Very expensive

Best upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Mystic Black

From $800 at Amazon
From $850 at Best Buy
From $850 at Walmart
From $849 at B&H Photo

Bigger is better

With its massive AMOLED screen and larger battery, the Tab S7+ goes a step beyond for those that can afford it.

Best for streaming and battery life: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Most Samsung FE devices maintain the excellence of flagship phones at a discounted price, like the flagship-killing Galaxy S20 FE. But the “Fan Edition” of the Galaxy Tab S7 series doesn’t quite live up to the label. Samsung took elements of both the S7 and S7+ and jammed them into a massive tablet that’s more affordable than both, but makes some significant compromises to justify the price drop.

The Galaxy Tab S7 FE gives you tons of perks for a mid-range tablet, tempered with price-cutting compromises outshone by the other S7s. It has the same massive 12.4-inch display as the S7+, but you get a TFT LCD instead of AMOLED and 60Hz instead of 120Hz. It comes with an S Pen and supports DeX mode for productivity, but its Snapdragon 750G chipset limits its performance compared to the S7’s 865+. And even though its cellular version offers 5G — which no other tablets have yet — its speeds will be limited by its 4GB of RAM.

If you can afford it, the S7+ obviously triumphs here. But the Galaxy Tab S7 FE beats other older, cheaper offerings on this list, like the Tab S5e and S6 Lite, while crushing the Tab A series. The main battle is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S7, and there are a few reasons to choose the FE here. It gives you an extra 2.4 inches of screen space, a much larger battery to compensate, 5G support, and Android 11 out of the box, which means it’ll get an extra year of support compared to the S7.

If you can do without 120Hz — and many people won’t notice the absence unless they’re already used to the feature — this tablet looks plenty bright and colorful and will last 13 hours per charge whether you’re at home or on the road.


10,090mAh battery
12.4-inch display
More affordable than other S7s
Comes with S Pen, 1TB microSD slot
5G support


Lacks AMOLED, 60Hz refresh rate
Snapdragon 750G speeds are only average
Only 4GB/64GB base memory
Only 8MP/5MP cameras

Best for streaming and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Fan Edition

$530 at Amazon
$530 at Best Buy

Made with frugal Samsung fans in mind

The latest Galaxy Tab isn’t a powerhouse, but it works great for all-day casual streaming with a massive, bright display.

Best value: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ are extremely capable machines, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a fine alternative.

Looking at the core specs of the Tab S5e, you’ll see it’s a well-rounded device. There’s a 10.5-inch AMOLED display with a 2560×1600 resolution, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. You also have the option of getting a keyboard case if you’d like to get a bit of work done.

The Tab S5e provides a user experience that most people should be quite happy with, though there are a couple of drawbacks to hitting this low price: the lack of an S Pen and a generic design. However, if those two things don’t bother you, the Tab S5e is an easy tablet recommendation for anyone looking to save a bit of cash.


AMOLED display looks fantastic
Good performance for most tasks
Reliable battery life
Competitive price tag
Has an optional keyboard case


Doesn’t have a headphone jack
No S Pen included
Boring design

Best value

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e- 64GB

From $469 at Amazon
From $480 at Best Buy

A quality tablet for less

Thanks to its excellent screen, performance, battery, and price, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a tablet value you can’t ignore.

Best for students: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

While we’re on the subject of low-cost tablets, we should mention the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. We don’t think it’s as good an overall value as the Tab S5e, but the Tab S6 Lite has a few strong attributes worth mentioning for students.

In regards to its display, the S6 Lite boasts a 10.4-inch LCD panel with a 2000×1200 resolution. Whichever app or game you’re running will look good here, and thanks to the included S Pen, you have a great canvas for taking notes in class or drawing during your free time. Pair that with excellent stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and you’re getting a lot for a small amount of money.

Unfortunately, Samsung does drop the ball with the Tab S6 Lite’s performance, which leaves a lot to be desired. There’s also the fact that you don’t get a fingerprint sensor of any kind, which is annoying if you use banking apps and password managers. You get a better experience in those regards with the Tab S5e, but if you really want a tablet with a great display and an S Pen while spending as little as possible, The Tab S6 Lite has you covered.


Aluminum design looks and feels nice
Solid LCD panel
Stereo speakers sound great
Free S Pen in the box
Has a 3.5mm headphone jack


Disappointing performance
No fingerprint sensor

Best for students

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4″, 64GB

From $280 at Amazon
From $280 at Best Buy
From $280 at Target
From $350 at B&H Photo

Use it for work and play

The Tab S6 Lite is a great choice for students, largely thanks to its included S Pen and super affordable price.

Best compact budget tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

Just as with Samsung smartphones, Galaxy S tablets typically crush their Galaxy A Tab counterparts. But if you’re in the market for a cheap Android tablet that doesn’t make too many compromises, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is your best bet to compete with Amazon or Lenovo tablets built for the budget market. It’s incredibly affordable, with the great app library Fire tablets lack, plus the Samsung tools and tricks you know and love. And at 8 inches, weighing just 13oz/ 367g, it’s much easier to hold while laying in bed than any other pick on this list.

Keep in mind that this is truly a “budget” tablet. Its MediaTek MT8768T Helio P22T chipset can clock 4 x 2.3GHz + 4 x 1.8GHz, solid but nothing to write home about. With a 1340×800 TFT display, it won’t be able to hit FHD when streaming. And like most in its class, it has thicker bezels on the top and bottom. But for its price, these specs aren’t bad at all.

You’ll get decently long-lasting battery life, dual stereo speakers, 15W fast charging, expandable storage up to 1TB, Android 11 out of the box, and up to 4GB of RAM — equal to the base RAM of more expensive Samsung tablets. The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite also uses a lightweight aluminum frame that makes it especially comfortable to hold. So for casual streaming and browsing without eating into your savings, this is a great option.


Super affordable
Lightweight and stylish
Long-lasting battery
Stereo speakers


Slowest performance on this list
Display isn’t particularly pretty
No S Pen included

Best compact budget tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

$130 at Amazon $130 at Walmart

Scrimp and save with Samsung

It won’t match S Tabs for speed, but the ultra-affordable A7 Lite is a great alternative to cheap Fire and Lenovo tablets.

Bottom line

Samsung’s lineup of Android tablets is rather impressive, seeing as hardly anyone else supports the form factor. Looking through its list of available options, we have to give our highest recommendation to the Galaxy Tab S7.

The Tab S7 has the latest specs you could ask for, packages them up in a really nice design, and comes in at a price tag that’s pretty fair when you consider everything you’re getting — a 120Hz display, high-quality S Pen, Snapdragon 865+ processor, and so on.

There are other options out there if you have different tastes and budgets, but overall, the Galaxy Tab S7 strikes that balance of being the Samsung tablet to get.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Joe Maring has loved anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip for the site? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1!

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