Phandroid » Tablets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:02:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best Android Tablets [April 2014] Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:13:41 +0000 best-tablets-april-2014

Need the best Android tablet to go with your best Android phone? We’re here to help. While not much has changed in the tablet world since last month, a new contender has entered our top 5 on the heels of news that Samsung has yet another line of slates waiting in the wings. We’ll see how those stack up next month, but for now, here are the best Android tablets for the month of April.

5 — LG G Pad 8.3

lg-g-pad-8.3-2The LG G Pad 8.3 lands in the Goldilocks zone where good tablet and good price intersect. Selling for just a hair over $300 (and seeing a Verizon edition launched last month), the slate features an HD display, Snapdragon 600 quad-core processing, and dual cameras for snapping photos or getting your video chat on. It’s 8-inch size hits a sweet spot for many tablet users that provides maximum portability and productivity. An available Google Play edition adds to the appeal of the G Pad, marrying the solid hardware build with stock Android, insuring quick platform updates. For all of this, though, the G Pad 8.3 is barely hanging on to a spot in our top 5 as newer tablets are introduced.

4 — Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Like the LG G Pad 8.3, the Kindle Fire HDX from Amazon makes the most out of its smaller form factor, giving users a bang-up tablet in a portable size — the Kindle Fire HDX is available in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch variants. Unlike the LG G Pad 8.3, don’t expect anything close to a Google Play Edition. Amazon utilizes a “forked” version of Android far different from the KitKat build of other devices. This also means content is locked into Amazon’s ecosystem of apps, games, and other media. The Kindle Fire HDX makes up for this with a powerful hardware compliment that includes an HD display and quad-core processor. Oh, and it starts at only $229.

3 — Nexus 7 2013

New Nexus 7 hand wm

The year is now 2014, so it makes sense that the 2013 edition of Google’s popular Nexus 7 line of tablets is starting to slip down our list. When it comes to the pure Android experience, however, nothing comes close to besting the N7’s combination of solid hardware and affordable pricing. While it features the older Snapdragon S4 chipset, it still boasts quad-core processing. It’s HD display still looks mighty appealing, as well, as does its $230 price tag. Google should be unveiling an updated edition of their Nexus 7 in the coming months, however, so interested buyers may want to wait it out a bit longer if possible.

2 — Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet


Making its debut in our top 5, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a real contender for the top spot. Not only is it super slim with sleek design and powerful hardware, but you can literally dunk it under water without fear of destroying your precious Android hardware. We don’t recommend doing so, however, as there are better things to do with the slate and its 10.1-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, and 8.1MP camera. Did we mention that it measures only 6.4mm thick? The Xperia Z2 Tablet is currently available in several regions around the globe and should be landing in the US this month.

1 — Samsung Galaxy NotePro

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro DSC05107

Having the best doesn’t come cheap, and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is a testament to this fact. The 12.2-inch tablet is the biggest on our list and features a 2560 x 1600 display, 3GB RAM, an 8MP camera, and a beefy battery. It gets a hand up (or finger?) with the inclusion of the S Pen, a dedicated stylus tailored to the many multitasking enhancements introduced as part of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. It’s size won’t be for everyone, nor will that price, which happens to start around $700.

Honorable Mentions

Sure, those our the best (in our humble opinion), but they aren’t the only tablets out there. We almost called this section “Other Tablets by Samsung” but they aren’t the only manufacturer churning out solid slates. Here are five more tablets to mull over.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition — Even with the release of Samsung’s Pro line of tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 remains a viable option, bringing a comparable feature set to the Note Pro in a smaller size and at a lower price. Looking for something even smaller? Try the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro — Available as 8.4, 10.1, and 12.2-inch variants, the Galaxy Tab Pro line gives all the performance of the Note series sans the dedicated S Pen. Pricing starts around $350.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD — No substitute to the Kindle Fire HDX, the Kindle Fire HD is still worth consideration if only for its $140 price tag. An adequate 7-inch tablet.
  • Nexus 10 by Samsung — More love for the Nexus line. The Nexus 10 is in desperate need of an update and we could see one soon, but for now it remains your only option if you want pure Google in a 10-inch form factor.
  • NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 — Another low-priced option at $200. The Tegra Note 7 lacks the glitzy display resolution of other tablets on our list but makes up for it with the latest in NVIDIA Tegra processing.

Tablets to look forward to

Not ready to make a tablet purchase but getting in your research? You would be wise to pay attention to a couple more slates on the horizon. Samsung makes another appearance as well as a nifty new design by Lenovo.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) Black_1

Just announced, the next generation of Galaxy Tabs will arrive in Q2 of this year in 7, 8, and 10.1-inch varieties. Picking up where the Galaxy Tab 3 left off, the new slates will target the middle ground between price and performance with 720p HD display (as opposed to 1080p), 1.2GHz quad-core processing, and a 3MP camera, components shared across the various sizes. The tablets will be thinner and lighter than ever while rocking plenty of internal storage thanks to expandable MicroSD memory. Specific pricing has not been announced.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+


This Android slate forom Lenovo has some promise. While it isn’t on the bleeding edge in terms of specs (it will carry a Snapdragon 400 processing suite) it does carry a nice 1080p display and 8MP front-facing camera. The standout feature, however, is the kickstand incorporated into its design. Much like Lenovo’s notebook line of the same name, this baby can yoga its way into several positions for maximum usability. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is presumably still on track for a launch later this month.

What say you?

Planning on buying a tablet in the near future and not swayed by our rankings? Did we get it right or did we get it wrong? Maybe we missed the Android slate you think everyone needs to know about. Sound off in the comments below and give us your two cents!

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Nexus 10 now listed as “coming soon” on Google Play Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:48:14 +0000 Nexus 10 coming soon Google Play

It’s a small change, but after jumping onto the Google Play Store today, some have noticed that the Nexus 10, once listed as “we are out of inventory,” has now been updated to a “coming soon” status. But what does it mean?

The Nexus 10, which launched back in November of 2012, is long overdue for a refresh, one that rumors once suggested could have ASUS doing the honors this time around. While that seems to still be up in the air at this point (along with rumors of an 8-inch Nexus 8) we imagine Google may have more to reveal during this year’s Google I/O 2014.

Check out the link down below to see the now coming soon Nexus 10 for yourself.

[Nexus 10 on Google Play]

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 announced in 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch flavors Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:47:18 +0000 Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) Black_1

Murmurings  of late have suggested Samsung would soon be introducing the next generation in their age-old Galaxy Tab lineup, and those rumors have come true today. Samsung has announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 series, which consists of 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch options.

The tablets are all quite similar, specs wise, though that isn’t much of a surprise. And they won’t impress as this is positioned to be an affordable range of tablets for those without the dough to spend on more bells and whistles. Here’s what’s coming your way (differences noted in parenthesis):

  • 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage with microSD up to 64GB (7.0 has an 8GB option, and only has up to 32GB for the 3G/WiFi versions)
  • 1.3MP rear camera, 3MP front camera
  • WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS w/ GLONASS
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 4G LTE
  • Battery: 6,800mAh for 10.1-inch, 4,450mAh for 8.0-inch, unknown for 7-inch

Samsung didn’t go into extreme detail about it all, but you can expect the typical Galaxy Tab experience (which includes a not-so-supercharged version of TouchWiz).

Galaxy Tab4 7.0 (SM-T230) White_1 Galaxy Tab4 7.0 (SM-T230) Black_2 Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) White_2 Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) Black_2 Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) White_1 Galaxy Tab4 8.0 (SM-T330) Black_1 Galaxy Tab4 8.0 (SM-T330) White_2 Galaxy Tab4 7.0 (SM-T230) Black_1


The devices will be available in the second half of this year (that starts today, if you haven’t been paying attention), though no pricing details were given at this time.

[via Samsung]

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AT&T reveals hardware specs for upcoming ASUS PadFone X smartphone/tablet Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:34:06 +0000 ASUS PadFone X tablet dock

AT&T is on a roll. After announcing earlier today that the Galaxy Note 3 was being treated to KitKat, the 2nd largest carrier in the US is back and divulging some important info about their upcoming smartphone/tablet hybrid — the recently announced ASUS Padfone X.

It was all the way back in January AT&T first announced that they’d be carrying the ASUS Padfone X later this year. The problem is, they were mum on many of the hardware details, leaving us to wonder what kind of changes in hardware (if any) the PadFone X would receive that would separate it from last year’s ASUS PadFone Infinity. Turns out, not much. AT&T took to their blog to reveal the PadFone X’s specs, all of which can be found down below.


  • PadFone: 143.93 x 72.46 x 9.98 mm (150g)
  • PadFone Station: 250.4 x 172.25 x 11.63 mm (514g)

Operating System

  • Android 4.4 (KitKat)


  • PadFone: 5”, 1920 x 1080 (441PPI)
  • PadFone Station: 9”, 1920 X 1200 (252PPI)


  • PadFone: 13MP Pixel Master + 2MP front-facing
  • PadFone Station: 1MP front-facing


  • 2.3Ghz quad-core

Baseband chipset

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Internal Memory

  • 16GB (2GB RAM)

Memory Card

  • microSD™ slot in smartphone extends external memory up to 64GB


  • WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)


  • BT 4.0


  • GPS/aGPS


  • PadFone : 2,300mAh
  • PadFone Station: 4,990mAh

ASUS PadFone Infinity X back

As you can see, the phone has aged pretty well, offering many of the high-end specs typical of this year’s flagships. For those interested in the PadFone X’s “Design Story,” ASUS North America uploaded a quick overview video. The video covers many of the tablet/hybrids main hardware points, in ASUS’ typical cheesy voice-over style.

AT&T was still quiet on pricing and availability, although they promise to have more details soon. We’ll keep you posted.


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NVIDIA Shield gets Android 4.4.2 KitKat, price drops to $200, Portal exclusive [WOW] Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:43:09 +0000 NVIDIA-Shield-2

Gotta hand it to NVIDIA, they’re doing their best to make the NVIDIA Shield a thing and if you though the chip maker would just up and quit the Android handheld, you’d be wrong. So very wrong. Announced just today, NVIDIA will begin updating Shields to Android 4.4 KitKat, introducing a boatload of new software features.

Said to arrive on April 2nd, Shield owners can expect a revamped UI for the Gamepad Mapper, ability to stream PC games outside of the house, Bluetooth keyboard and mice compatibility, charging the device while using USB connected peripherals, as well as PC wake ups and remote logins. While NVIDIA recommends a “robust” WiFi connection for streaming away from home, there are new settings to adjust the bitrate/frame rate of the incoming stream.

And that’s only the half of it, NVIDIA will also be dropping the price of the Shield down to $200, finally bringing the cost of the device low enough to rival handhelds like the Sony PS Vita, and Nintendo 3DS. That price is only good for the month of April, so if you were thinking about picking one up, you have a few weeks to think about it.

At $200, we wouldn’t exactly call this a fire sale, but it makes us wonder if NVIDIA isn’t trying to clear up some stock before introducing a sleekier, more powerful Tegra K1 powered Shield in the very near future.

When it comes to actual games, legendary game developer Valve has announced an Android port of their hit title Portal will be making its way to the Shield. No word on a release date just yet, only NVIDIA CEO Jen Sen showing off the game running natively on the Shield during their GPU Technology Conference keynote. For anyone that never got the chance to play the game when it was released back in 2007 — now’s your freakin’ chance.

Buy an NVIDIA Shield from popular retailers here.

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Google to debut 8.9-inch HTC Nexus later this year [RUMOR] Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:35:53 +0000 nexus 8

Rumors of a “Nexus 8″ have been whispered since the 7 was first introduced. Google seems to have done a great job in covering their bases. The Nexus 5 is big enough to still be considered a smartphone, while the Nexus 7 is better suited for those looking for a small tablet. But what about that 8-inch sweet spot that Amazon has been covering so well with their Kindle Fire series? Well, it looks like it may soon get a little extra competition this year.

According to sources out of CNET, Google could be preparing to launch an 8.9-inch Nexus Tablet later this year. Production of the Nexus 8 (or 9?) is said to begin this July/August, with Google focusing on lower volume for the tab (as always seems to be the case with Nexus devices). Also mentioned was the tablet’s “premium” price point, offering higher-end specs likely to exceed $300.

As far as who is being contracted to build the tab, HTC is the manufacturing being thrown around, but like all good rumors, nothing has been confirmed. So what does this mean for the Nexus 7? Well, the good news is we should expect to see a Nexus 7 (2014) refresh later this year, with no word on the full-sized Nexus 10 that hasn’t been available on Google Play for months now.

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Latest Samsung Galaxy Tab / Note Pro ad takes fire at all tablets [VIDEO] Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:23:56 +0000

Samsung’s not one to shy away from bold claims and brash marketing, and with their exciting 2014 portfolio launch underway they aren’t looking to deviate from the plan. Last time Samsung had something to say about their tablets, they went after Apple, and only Apple.

But things have evolved. They’re out for everyone’s throats now, with the company ridiculing the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Microsoft Surface, and, well, the iPad. From iPad Air’s ‘retina thingie” to the Surface’s aspirations of being a makeshift laptop, Samsung had no trouble finding a way to make the competition look silly.

Of course, they don’t need an ad for us techies to know their Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro tablets are absolute beasts. But it’s what they’ll have to do in order to convince your average consumer that the tablets are worth spending big bucks for. The video is about a minute long, and you can find it above in case you’re in need of a laugh or two to start your Thursday. Let us know what you think of it!

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LG-branded capacitive styluses leaked; slaps onto your wrist as a bracelet when not in use Tue, 18 Mar 2014 15:52:50 +0000 An interesting new accessory seems to have leaked out of LG, with the South Korean company apparently preparing a unique line of capacitive styluses for use on, well, any device with a capacitive display. These things are unique in their ability to wrap around your wrist like one of those awful children’s bracelets from the 90′s.

lg wrist stylus

A source of mentions that the styluses aren’t smart in any way, and also mentioned that Verizon would be looking to offer these as promotional goodies with the purchase of their version of the LG G Pad 8.3. There’s no word on if these will ever go on sale as a standalone accessory, though there’s nothing to suggest LG’s plans either way.

Leaks from other sources suggest these will come in multiple colors, including orange, red, and green. There could be many more, of course, but that’s all we know of for sure at this point.

It’s not a groundbreaking product, but we wouldn’t mind wearing one of these on our wrists if they were to come with our tablet or smartphone at the point of sale. We’ll be digging for more concrete information on this quirky leak, but in the meantime you can grab a look of it in the photos above and below.

lg wrist stylus 2


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MIUI introduces new ROM built for tablets, beta available for Nexus 7 (2013) Sat, 15 Mar 2014 21:22:18 +0000 MIUI for tablets 2

It was back in September of last year that the folks at Xiaomi introduced the (now sold out) Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone. During the event, they managed to throw everyone for a curve ball when they introduced their new 47-inch smart TV in lieu of a tablet. In an age where just about every Android OEM makes a tablet, it was a bit puzzling to find them glossing over the bigger form factor, especially given their custom Android UI (also known as MIUI) wasn’t well suited for tablets.

MIUI for tablets 4

Today, it looks like they’re finally covering their bases (at least somewhat) after introducing an all new version of MIUI fully optimized for tablets. This new version MIUI features new apps, animations, and UI elements — all built from the ground up to take advantage of the the extra screen real estate on tablets. While this still leaves out official Xiaomi-made tablet hardware, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun mentions in his blog that OEMs now have the option to ship their own hardware with MIUI pre-loaded, a first for the custom ROM.

The ROM is currently in open beta where it can be downloaded and installed on the Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi-only). Anyone thinking about giving this a spin?

[MIUI | via Engadget]

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Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 now available Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:27:01 +0000 Samsung-Galaxy-Note-2014-1024x640

Just a quick note for those of you on the lookout for Verizon’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 — the device is now available for sale. You’ll be sent on your way with your new tablet after a $700 purchase, though you can knock $100 off that price after signing a two-year contract for a limited time only.

This 10.1-inch device features 1080p HD resolution and some pretty nice internals, including a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 2 megapixel front camera, and more. Oh, and those trusty 4G LTE radios are there for your mobile data needs, of course.

It’s a lofty price tag, though it’s a high-end device that isn’t really matched by many other tablets on the market at the moment (unless you consider even more expensive tablets in Samsung’s own range). You’ll only be able to grab the device online for now, though Verizon expects to have it on store shelves within the next few weeks. Head here to get started if you’re interested.

[via Verizon]

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Verizon LG G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 now available Thu, 06 Mar 2014 15:32:05 +0000

Heads up, cool kids: Verizon has a couple of new tablets available for sale if you've been looking for a new slate to fill that oversized void in your mobile life. Both the LG G Pad 8.3 and Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 are now available, with both of them being offered up at a couple of different price points.

The former is coming at you with an off-contract price of $300 and a two-year contract price of $200, though you'll be able to grab it for $100 with a new two-year contract if you opt to buy one on or before March 10th. On the far end of the spectrum is the Note Pro 12.2 with an off-contract price of $850 and a two-year price of just $100 less.

The Verizon G Pad’s 8.3-inch display has full HD resolution, and also has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera, a 4,600mAh battery and more. It's pretty much the same as every other version out there in terms of hardware, except you'll obviously be able to do your surfing on Verizon's 4G LTE network instead of being confined to WiFi.

The Note Pro 12.2 is of similar ilk I'm terms of differences between all other available versions: it's nearly the same, but has those sweet 4G LTE radios. There is one difference, though — it uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 instead of the Octa-Core Exynos on account of said 4G LTE radios. In case you can't remember that those specs are, here's a quick list to get you on your way:

  • 12.2-inch WXQGA (2560 x 1600) display
  • Samsung Octa-Core Exynos processor (WiFi/WiFi + 3G) and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (LTE)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera
  • 32GB / 64GB of internal storage, with microSD expansion up to 64GB
  • WiFi ac MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • 9,500mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Of course, we've had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Note Pro at CES this past January, so take a gander at that and see why (beyond sheer specs) you'll have to give up nearly a month's worth of mortgage to pay for it.

Both tablets can be added to Verizon's latest “More Everything” plans for just an extra $10 per month, while those on legacy plans will obviously be subject to different pricing and plan structures. Head to Verizon if you're interested in taking the plunge on either of these two offerings.


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Official: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 available March 9th Wed, 05 Mar 2014 15:18:02 +0000 Samsung Galaxy Tab Note Pro DSC05101

Samsung has just officially announced availability details for the Samsung Galaxy TabPro 12.2. We’ve learned that the device will be available starting March 9th, and you’ll be able to grab it from a few different sources. and Samsung’s own store are good places to start, while those who still prefer brick and mortar can find it at Best Buy and Walmart. Other places to buy are Fry’s, PC Richard and Sons, Tiger Direct and Newegg.

The Tab Pro 12.2 starts at $649.99, though that alarming price tag doesn’t come without the internals to match. You’ll get a 2560 x 1600 12.2-inch display, Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa-Core 5420 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage (which can be expanded with a microSD card) and more. Also adding to its price tag is the fact that it comes with up to $800 worth of content, apps and services, though we aren’t yet sure what all of that consists of.

The Tab Pro 12.2 joins devices already available in the 2014 family of “Pro” tablets from Samsung, including the Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. Be sure to find links to buy all of those right here. If you’re interested in the 12.2 Tab Pro then you can swing by on March 9th for all the links you need to buy it.

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Verizon LG G Pad 8.3 set to launch March 6th; as low as $99 on a two-year contract Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:24:52 +0000 lg-g-pad-8.3-3

Verizon has finally announced a release date for their version of the LG G Pad 8.3. March 6th is the date, which is this coming Thursday, if you aren’t aware. They’ll be offering it for a few different price points depending on when and how you get it. Here’s the skinny:

  • $300 off-contract
  • $199.99 with a two-year contract
  • $99.99 with a two-year contract if you buy by March 10th

Verizon’s version is just about the same as everyone else’s, except their 4G LTE radios inside will obviously trump a WiFi-only model. The G Pad’s 8.3-inch display has full HD resolution, and also has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera, a 4,600mAh battery and more.

Verizon will let you hook one of these up to your more everything plan for just $10 on top of whatever bill you’re already paying. Be sure to check it out over their site, and once you get it decide if it deserves its high ranked spot on our best tablets list. Let us know if you’ll be looking to buy one of these once they’re made available in a couple of short days.

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Android tablets capture 62% of market share in 2013, beating out iPad for the first time Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:49:43 +0000 We were surprised how quickly it took Android to overtake the iPhone in device sales, and now the same thing is starting to happen on the tablet front. Prestigious firm Gartner’s latest numbers show tablet sales grew 68% in 2013, with the large-sized slates moving a whopping 195.4 million units to consumers. So who were the big winners in all that?

best tablets featured

If you guessed Apple, well, for the first time ever you’d be wrong. It’s actually Android, as the world-renowned platform enjoyed 62% of the pie compared to Apple’s 36%. Gartner originally predicted Apple would enjoy a comfortable lead until 2015, but as we’ve seen on the phone side of things analysts can be quite conservative. Microsoft doesn’t seem worth mentioning with 2.1% at first glance, but that did equate to about 4 million units.

So what was the reasoning? It’s simple, really — cheaper tablets, and a good abundance of them. The cheapest current-gen flagship iPad costs $500, while you can get some Android tablets for under $100. Even powerful, capable tablets like the Nexus 7 only cost a little over $200. That’s not to mention Samsung’s long string of Galaxy Tab and Note devices filling out nearly every budget there is.


Despite all that, though, Apple is still the most successful overall vendor out of everyone who sold tablets last year. They were responsible for 70.4 million units and 36% of the share, while the next closest — Samsung — sold 37.4 million for 19.1%. ASUS, Amazon, and Lenovo rounded out the list with 5.6%, 4.8%, and 3.3% respectively. As for everyone else? They were all lumped into the dreaded “other” category that made up the other 31% of tablet sales on the year.

“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” said a research director at Gartner.

“As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”

Gartner is right, and many manufacturers have already started approaching their strategies with that mindset. Whether you’re looking at Samsung’s latest TabPro and NotePro devices or the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, OEMs left and right are beginning to create compelling experiences that can only be made up of the right combination of capable hardware, sensible software, and affordable price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro Series

We’ve already highlighted some of those devices in our Best Android Tablets feature for March 2014, and we’re sure to be in store for many more as the months move on. We’d be surprised if Android tablets didn’t gain an even bigger lead in 2014 with all the momentum they’ve enjoyed lately, and we imagine it won’t be long before we see other major players — such as HTC and Motorola — hop back into the scene now that the market has matured. Head to Gartner’s site for the full numbers.

[via iSource]

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Best Android Tablets [March 2014] Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:36:05 +0000 Last week we talked about what the best Android phone to buy this month was and highlighted the top announcements from Mobile World Congress 2014, and now it’s time to go over the best Android tablets your hard-earned money can buy in 2014. The year is already off to a hot start with the latest announcements out of MWC2014, so we should be seeing some exciting movement on this list before too long. With that said, let’s get to the action!

5 – LG G Pad 8.3



We had to make room for a new tablet on the list this month, so the LG G Pad 8.3 sees itself sliding back to 5th place. That’s still a pretty good mark, though, as the G Pad 8.3 is a pretty good tablet. Dated internals such as the Snapdragon 600 processor do hurt its case at the point, but if you can forgive that and realize that this thing is slim, sleek and powerful in all the other right areas (and often goes on sale for less than $300) you’ll know why we’re still excited by it.

4 – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Not helping the Note 10.1 2014′s case is the fact that Samsung has some other, newer kids on the block. Regardless, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is still worth a long, hard look at retail. It features a 1.9GHz Exynos 5420 processor with 3GB of RAM, 16-32GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 2megapixel front camera, an 8,220mAh battery, and a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display. We’re still waiting on key upgrades to Samsung’s UI that will fix some nagging bugs we’ve experienced, though perhaps that’s in order for the KitKat upgrade Samsung has in the works.

3 – Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The HDX line of Kindle Fire tablets is the latest in Amazon’s series. This changes the game up quite a bit by Amazon’s standards, a company whose modest first step into the tablet arena has since been bested with better offerings each year to follow. The HDX comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch flavors, giving users a decent balance between screen real estate and portability.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX includes 2560 x 1600 resolution, storage options of 16-64GB, 4G LTE, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor (likely a Snapdragon 800), and more. As we all know by now, though, it isn’t the specs Amazon is hoping will win your hearts.

It’s the deep integration with their various services, including Prime Instant Video, MP3, Cloud Storage, Kindle e-Books, the Amazon Appstore, and a whole lot more. Content is king in Amazon’s world, and it’s something they have been very good at for quite some time. This is definitely one of the better buys, especially for a starting price point of $229.

2 – Nexus 7 2013

New Nexus 7 hand wm

This 7-inch ASUS-made wonder slides back to number 2, but it’s hard ignoring that nice 7-inch 1920 x 1200 display (323 ppi), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, dual-band WiFi N, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and more. That you can get it for just $230 is a big reason why it’s near the top of our list, and its guaranteed

1 — Samsung Galaxy NotePro


Samsung completely outdid themselves on this one. And you might also say they outpriced themselves, as well. $750 is the cheapest you can have a Samsung Galaxy NotePro, but it’s probably worth it if you can scrape up the cash. That’ll get you a minimum of 32GB of internal storage, a 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 display, 3GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, 9,500mAh battery and more.

The device definitely isn’t for everyone. Its unwieldy display size and lofty price tag might scare away potential buyers. But if you’re in need of some serious horsepower that runs Android and can get any job done, this is it. It’s on sale right now at Amazon.

Honorable Mentions

Samsung Galaxy TabPro (8.2, 10.1 and 12.2)

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro Series

These devices are like “more affordable” versions of the TabPro, except without the S Pen. But they’re still quite pricey and have specs that anyone can be proud of. Each have 2560 x 1600 resolution, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and more, though the 10.1 has Samsung’s 1.9GHz quad-core processor while the 8.4 has Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800. No matter which way you slice it, though, these tablets pack some serious heat.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

It’s not quite as powerful as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 or 8.9, but the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD still holds its own where it counts. Amazon couldn’t care less about the profit from device sales here, though, which is why it’s so cheap at a starting price of just $140. As with the HDX, it’s all about apps and services for Amazon. Specs include 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-16GB of internal storage, 10 hours of battery life and more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung’s Note series has become the go-to for performance and features in the tablet space, so the more weildy of the bunch — the Note 8.0 — deserves a bit of recognition in the top 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0′s HD resolution and quad-core chipset are quite nice, and that all-important S-Pen functionality pushes this as one of the better “small” tablets to consider at the point of sale.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T

This is the latest product from ASUS that will allow you to transform your tablet into a netbook. The Transformer Pad TF701 is a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 device with NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor on board. This powerhouse also includes a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 1.2 megapixel front camera, HDMI-out and more. And when you dock the tablet inside the dock, you’ll get a combined 17 hours of battery life (which is much more than any of today’s Netbooks can claim).

Samsung Nexus 10

It fell out of the top 5, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth talking about. We’re honestly amazed at how long this tablet has been able to live, though the sleek stock Android build and future-proofed internals (Cortex-A15 processor, 2560 x 1600 display and 2GB of RAM don’t hurt) has kept it in the limelight for quite some time. It’ll probably remain a good buy until Google eventually decides to replace it.

Tablets to look forward to


Here are just a few tablets to look forward to in the weeks and months to come. None of them are available for purchase yet, and some aren’t even official, but it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect and should hopefully make the purchase decision easier once they’re here later this year.

  • Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet — Wow. One of the first Sony tablets we can say we’re legitimately excited for. [Hands-On]
  • Lenovo Yoga 10+ — Built-in kickstand and sleek design are cool, but modest internals have us reeling a bit. [Hands-on]
  • Huawei MediaPad M1 and X1 — This duo isn’t turning many heads, but Huawei should have them priced to sell quite decently. [Hands-on 1|2]
  • ASUS Transformer Book Duet TD300 — A dual-boot Windows / Android hybrid that can switch between the two in under five seconds at the touch of a button. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, its launch might actually be in jeopardy, with ASUS reportedly pressured to cancel the project by Google. Sad Face.
  • Motorola DROID tablets – We’re not sure what the status of these are now that Motorola is owned by Lenovo, but we’ll assume (and pray) Motorola’s plans to launch a tablet are still alive.

And that’s only what we know of for the first half of 2014. This tablet train isn’t slowing down with news that Android has surpassed iOS tablets for the first time ever, and we’re excited to be on-board for the ride.

What say you?

You wouldn’t be alone in saying 2013 was a bit of a disappointment when it comes to tablets, with many manufacturers looking to appeal to budget consumers. But 2014 is looking to change all of that, and it’s the level of innovation discussed in all the devices above that could propel Android tablets to the same elite high ground that the phones have reached. Feel any differently? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

PS: don’t forget that you can talk all about these tablets, and more, over at Be sure to make an account and join the millions of folks currently driving some very healthy discussion over there.

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