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Which Samsung Galaxy tablet should I buy?

By Michael Passingham

We take you through Samsung’s current range of Galaxy Tab models to help you find the best fit for your budget and lifestyle. Whether it’s the top-end Tab S range or the budget Tab A, we have you covered.

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There’s a wide variety of Samsung tablets on the market right now, all made in different years, sold at different prices and for completely different types of buyers. In other words, if you’re here to get clarity you're definitely not alone.

In this article:

The biggest confusion around Samsung's range is that while it has a large number of products, only a select few are actually recent. This means that some of them, while displayed alongside the latest models, can be up to three years older.

Its current range of models available in retailers dates back to 2016:

  • 2019: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1, Tab S5e, Tab A8, Tab S6
  • 2018: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5, Tab S4
  • 2016: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7

Not only that, but it's not even clear what kind of device you're getting purely based on the letters in the name. Galaxy A, for example, can mean both budget tablets from 2016 starting at £100 and a mid-range model from 2018 costing nearly £300. All the Tab S models are at least obviously premium, while there also used to be a Tab E model, which was a very cheap and low-performance model. 

The table below takes you through the company’s current range of available tablets, and logged-in members will be able to access full scores to find out how each product did in our tests. Sign up to become a member for full access to all our reviews. 

Premium Samsung tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Test score %

£449.00
Reviewed

This is a high-end Samsung tablet designed for both watching videos and getting work done. It comes with a stylus and you can also buy a separate keyboard case that turns it into a small, lightweight laptop. Read our review to find out if it’s worth the cash.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Test score %

£349.00
Reviewed

This tablet fits slightly awkwardly into Samsung's range, but it does come with the S Pen stylus, which makes it an attractive alternative to the 10-inch iPad, which requires a separate purchase of an Apple Pencil if you want to take notes and draw.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5

Test score %

£250.00
Reviewed

This mid-range Samsung tablet is a tempting alternative to the Apple iPad. If you don’t want to splash money on the Galaxy Tab S6, this mid-range model could fit the bill. It doesn't come with Samsung's S Pen stylus in the box, but it is compatible so you can add note-taking functionality to your mid-range tablet without too much faff. Read our full review for more.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Test score %

£590.00
Reviewed

The very latest premium tablet from Samsung, it's the direct successor to the Tab S4. This should mean it hits all the high notes, having learned from any shortfalls that came before. It comes with an S Pen stylus in the box, which means you're ready to go with note-taking and drawing without having to spend extra. Read our full review to see if it's worth the money.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

Test score %

£379.00
Reviewed

The S5e sits between the Tab A 10.5 and the Tab S4 in terms of price and specs. It's the range's equivalent to the iPad Air, in that it's thin and light but should still be powerful enough to do everything you need to get done. Read our full review for the details.

Cheap Samsung tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 8-inch (2019)

Test score %

£139.00
Reviewed

The Galaxy Tab A8 is the smallest tablet Samsung has launched in years, with a compact 8-inch display and an attractively low price. Our full review reveals whether it's worth the slight premium over Samsung's older models.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)

Test score %

£178.95
Reviewed

This sub-£200 10-inch model is the cheapest way to get yourself one of Samsung's most recent tablets. On paper it's less powerful than the Tab A 10.5 and has a lower-specification screen, so it's likely best suited to people who want to kick back with a TV programme rather than get work done. Read our full review for the verdict.

Samsung tablets that have been superseded

Samsung Galaxy Tabs vs Apple iPads 

Samsung and Apple have been nip-and-tuck ever since we first tested a Samsung tablet in 2012, as the graph below shows. While other tablet brands have brought the average down, Samsung and Apple have stuck (mostly) to a strict diet of well-made tablets that are just slightly more expensive than their other rivals.

In 2020, the Galaxy Tab S6 undercuts the 11-inch iPad Pro by around £80 and looks even better value when you account for the fact that Samsung includes a stylus in the box, where Apple does not. Similarly, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is priced around £100 cheaper than a regular 10.5-inch iPad.

The only consideration you should make is whether you’ll prefer a tablet running the Android operating system instead of iOS. If you have an iPhone, for example, you might find an iPad more useful, since iPads and iPhones work together, letting you keep your apps, files and messages synchronised across devices. Want to know more about iPads? Check out our guide to which iPad to buy.

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