Top Android Tablets of 2016 So Far

Top Android Tablets of 2016 So Far

Amazon Fire HD tablet(s)

Amazon recently announced updates to its Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire Kids Edition, with new colors and an upgraded 16GB of internal storage, but we’re more interested in forthcoming updates
to its Fire HD tablet line‑up. The Fire HD 8 and HD 10 were announced in September 2015, so it’s likely we’ll be waiting until September 2016 for any new models. These are likely to be wallet‑friendly budget tablets that will appeal to customers primarily for their value.

We might see slightly faster performance and higher‑resolution screens, but we don’t suppose you’ll feel the need to rush out to upgrade.

New Google Nexus 7 (2016)

We’ve seen various Android tablets from Google over the years, including the Nexus 9, Nexus 10 and Pixel C, but none has proved so popular with consumers as the Nexus 7. Offering unparalleled value and a decent specification, you can still buy the Nexus 7 today.

So it’s about time Google updated its best ever tablet, and if rumors are to be believed this year it will do exactly that with the new Nexus 7 (2016).

The word on the street is that it could be announced later this month at Google I/O (fuelled by news that the Nexus 9 has been removed from Google’s store) – but we don’t think a developer’s conference is a likely place for its outing, and that it’s much more likely to come alongside new Nexus phones in September or October. That said, Google did publicize the Android N Developer Preview early this year, and there may be a good reason for this.

Huawei is thought to be the manufacturer of the new Nexus budget tablet, taking over from Asus which made the first‑ and second‑generation Nexus 7 tablets. Inspiration is expected to come from the Pixel C, though, and it’s possible that as with that tablet Google will handle the manufacturing.

Rumored specifications include a 7in Quad‑HD display, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, 4GB of RAM, 4G supports and a 3000mAh battery. The new Nexus 7 could even feature a Force Touch similar to that found in Apple’s iPhones. It has to be said though, that’s an awesome – and slightly incredible – specifications for what is expected to continue a budget tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 8in and 9.7in

Samsung’s premium Tab S line is among the very best tablets you can buy, and better than anything else we’ve seen in the Android world. We’re expecting great things from the 2016 update to the line‑up, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

We’ll more than likely see two Tab S3 models, with a compact model measuring around 8in, and a larger‑screened tablet around 9.7in. Rumours abound that we could see a Samsung Galaxy Tab S Edge, borrowing from the curved‑edge design of the Galaxy S7 edge. However, while a glass‑rear tablet would be interesting, sketches of the Tab S3 found at the FCC suggest the design will be remarkably similar to that of the Tab S2.

Whatever the Tab S3 is called, you can bet your last pound on the fact it will have a high‑resolution display and way more power than anyone really needs. The Tab S3 is expected to feature a 1536×2048‑pixel screen and Qualcomm’s octa‑core Snapdragon 652 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Cameras are likely to be 8Mp at the back and 2Mp at the front. Following on from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, we’d expect it to stick with a Micro‑USB port for charging the internal battery, which is alleged to be 4000mAh in the Tab S3 8in and 5870mAh in the Tab S3 9.7in.

Expect the Tab S3 8in and 9.7in to be announced around July 2016.

Sony Xperia Z6 Tablet and Tablet Compact

There might be rumors flying around that Sony has killed off its Z‑series family of phones and tablets with the introduction of the Xperia X and XA at MWC 2016, but Sony has never officially confirmed this is the case, instead taking the line “never say never” and its tablet series is long overdue an update, having not been refreshed since the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet – and the compact version is even older, having not been updated since the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

Sony’s tablet, when it arrives (which could be at September’s IFA tradeshow), will be a premium model with a circa‑£500 price tag if history is anything to go by. This being Sony, you can expect an IP68 waterproof build and a sleek design. Other features might include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, a Quad‑HD display, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with microSD support.

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