Yes, we all know that sales of iPad and Tablets as a category have slowed down dramatically in the last few years. Existing users are holding on to their devices (Tablets) for years – unlike the smartphone which they change every 18-24 months, and, potential buyers are opting for large display smartphones which are edging closer to 6″ and even 7″. As a result, many Indian and Chinese OEMs have stopped making new devices. For example, though Xiaomi’s site shows Mi Pad when enquired in their Mi Store in Chennai, they say to have discontinued Tablets.
My mother-in-law is a heavy user of a tablet, as she finds it convenient than her smartphone to browse Facebook and watch YouTube videos. She was using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, which I replaced with an Amazon Fire Tablet last year. She was not happy with Fire Tablet and found it to be sluggish. I searched for a new device to get her. Unfortunately, there are only 3 major brands that continue to make Tablets running Android – Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei’s Honor, and just 1 or 2 models by each brand – the choice was extremely limited, unlike in Smartphones. iPad was not an option, as she finds it difficult to switch between Android in her Smartphone and iOS.
I narrowed down my list of options to Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2017 SM-T385 (8 inches, 16GB, Wi-Fi + 4G LTE) and Lenovo Tab4 8 Plus (8 inches, 16GB, Wi-Fi + 4G LTE, MicroSD Slot, Qualcomm 625) – both retailing in stores for the same price of ₹17999 (USD 280) . They were equally well built and similar features. I went with Lenovo as it had was light-weight, felt more comfortable on hand, sports Dolby Atmos, has a faster processor (Snapdragon 625) and a better display (IPS with 1920 x 1200 resolution). I traded in the old Galaxy Tab 4 for ₹2000 (USD 30) at the Lenovo showroom itself to pay the balance.
Lenovo Tab4 feels snappy, speaker output was great and connecting to Wi-Fi, I got 3 updates to the latest firmware. If you are looking for a good Android Tablet which is not in the premium range, go for this one.