The GSMArena Tablet Shopping Guide: March 2014: 3G/4G Midsize Tablets

By 12:12 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments

3G/4G midsize tablets

If you want to hold your tablet on the go, then having the ability to rely on a 3G and/or LTE connection is almost a must. This section is for those of us that don't want to have to constantly bounce from Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) network to Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) network when we're out and about with our tablets.

First up, comes the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8. While its 1280 x 800 pixel display and quad-core MediaTek 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) processor may not be the best around, the Yoga 8 is one of the most affordable 8-inch tablets to offer 3G connectivity. Plus, its built-in 3-stage kickstand, 6,000 mAh battery and Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement create it a remarkable media player.

The classy screen may have a low resolution but it's an IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and has remarkable side viewing angles.

The Yoga Tablet 8 does have fairly limited 3G network connectivity (it supports only two HSDPA bands - 900/2100Mhz), so be sure it has the correct coverage for your area if you decide to acquire one.

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Lenovo Yoga 8

Pros Cons

  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

  • Low cost

  • microSD card slot

  • Built-in kickstand

  • Large battery

  • Questionable future update support

  • Limited 3G band coverage

  • No LTE support

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 makes our list here thanks in large part to its extensive LTE support. The 8-inch tablet otherwise has low classy screen resolution of 800 x 1280px, and gets beat out by the LG G Pad 8.3 in terms of performance as well, but the LG offering has an LTE version only in the US and only for Sprint so the comparison is irrelevant here.

The Note 8.0 also has a wide array of connectivity extras, including an IR-port and an Universal Serial Bus (USB) Host support.

Plus, Samsung's excellent pressure-sensitive S-Pen is perfect for jotting things down or doodling away and there's hardly a tablet out there that can match it.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Pros Cons

  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

  • microSD card slot

  • Low-resolution screen


The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9's LTE-enabled variant comes next. When it comes to pure processing power, very few other tablets can match or beat its quad-core 2.2Giga Hertz (GHz) Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU alongside 2GB of RAM. The 2560 x 1600px display resolution also provides unparalleled until recently sharpness. It also features an 8MP primary capturing camera with a front-facer capable of 720p video recording.

Keep in mind, though, that all Kindle Fires run on a highly customized Android version without support for Google Play, so you'll have to rely on the less-robust Amazon App Store for your app needs. It also doesn't have microSD card support, so we recommdiscontinue at least the 32GB version if you decide to go for a Kindle.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Pros Cons

  • Excellent performance

  • No microSD card slot

  • No Google Play support

  • Modified Android version

The Apple iPad mini 2 again brings up the rear for buyers for whom cost is not an issue. Apple's latest mini has a 7.9" Retina display at 1536 x 2048px and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Apple's App store is second-to-none when it gets to tablets.

The LTE-enabled version offers an immensely wide LTE band support. It also has the benefit of a built-in GPS chip, something with the Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) only version lacks.

The iPad mini 2 does not come with a microSD card slot, so we recommdiscontinue you acquire at least the 32GB version despite its exorbitant markup.

Apple iPad mini 2

Pros Cons

  • iOS 7.0.4

  • Great performance

  • Sharpest in-class display

  • No microSD card slot

  • Cost prohibitive


Usually, it was the Apple iPad range, which we recommended to buyers for whom cost was not an issue. But Samsung has recently released their premium mid-size tablet, which is even more expensive than Apple's latest iPad mini.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 also happens to have both a 3G and an LTE version. They cover more network bands that you can shake a stick at so choosing either will have you covered in most parts of the world.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 key selling feature is a 2560 x 1600px screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor, an 8MP capturing camera with 1080p video recording and a microSD card slot.

It not only comes with the latest Android Operating System (OS) v4.4 (KitKat) but Samsung has also baked a spanking recent tablet interface of their own, which truly elevates the tablet user experience to a whole recent level (the split-classy screen multi-tasking view is well overdue on high-res classy screen tablets).

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 3G/LTE

Pros Cons

  • Gorgeous high-res screen

  • Great performance

  • The latest tablet-optimized TouchWiz UI

  • microSD card slot

  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat

  • Very pricey




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