Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


I did not expect this $500 Android tablet to be as impressive as it is

If you're looking for a solid tablet for half the price of an iPad Pro, the Doogee T30 Max punches well above its weight.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Doogee T30 Max Android tablet.

The Doogee T30 Max is a beautiful tablet that outperforms its price point.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Doogee T30 Max tablet is available now on Amazon for $500.
  • The T30 Max has all the power and battery you want in a tablet, with the added bonus of a brilliant display.
  • The cover that comes with the T30 Max is a bit flimsy, so you'll probably want to find something a bit more substantial.

There are plenty of people out there who claim Android tablets haven't been relevant for a while. I would argue that the opposite is true. Consider this: one of the reasons why Android holds the global market share in the phone space is because of the plethora of inexpensive phones available to every market. You can drop less than $200 and get a fairly decent phone. 

The same holds true for tablets. I've reviewed and purchased several cost-effective Android devices that exceeded my expectations. 

Also: One of the best cheap Android tablets I've tested is not made by Samsung or TCL

Such is the case with the Doogee T30 Max. To be honest, when I received the review unit, my expectations were low to moderate. Almost immediately after unboxing this 12.4" tablet, however, my opinion quickly changed. The T30 Max isn't just a good tablet, it's a very good tablet. And given it's price, it's an incredible bargain.

View at Amazon

Doogee T30 Max tech specs

  • Display: 12.4" 4K IPS with support for Widevine L1 (for 1080P content on Netflix, YouTube, etc.)
  • CPU: Helio G99 with 8 cores
  • Battery: 10800mAh large capacity with support for 33WPD fast charging
  • Storage: 512GB with 2TB expandable via TF card
  • RAM: 8GB (with 12GB virtual RAM)
  • Connectivity: Dual 4G LTE + AC Wi-Fi and support for GSM:B2/B3/B5/B8; WCDMA:B1/B2/B5/B8; TDD-LTE:B34/B38/B39/B40/B41; FDD-LTE:B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28A/B28B
  • Cameras: 50MP and 2MP rear cameras, 20MP front camera
  • Speakers: 4 
  • Biometrics: Facial recognition, fingerprint scanner
  • Price: $499 on Amazon

My experience

It didn't take long for the T30 Max to impress me; the display alone makes this tablet worth the cost. It's striking and doesn't suffer from the overly large bezels found in so many other tablets at this price and lower. The bezels on the T30 Max are just over a quarter of an inch all around, so they don't detract from the display, which is very bright. 

The only downside of the display is that it does suffer a bit from glare, so you might find yourself having to tilt the tablet in ways to avoid light from reflecting off the surface. Other than that, there's nothing to complain about. 

Also: This Android camera app alternative is better than what you're using

Performance was the next thing to catch my attention. Soon after the initial setup, I admit, I was a little afraid performance would be an issue. But once it was all set up, the T30 Max performed as well (if not better) than any Android tablet I own. 

A tiny bonus that's worth calling out is that the face unlock works very well -- almost instantaneously. Just hit the power button while staring at the camera, and you're in.  

The Doogee T30 Max Android tablet.

The Doogee T30 Max is equal parts beauty and bargain. 

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

On the other hand, the fingerprint scanner is a bit iffy. It took considerable time to set it up (it's on the left edge of the tablet and is somewhat blocked by the cover). However, once it's set up, the fingerprint scanner works fine. To my surprise, it's not as spry as the face unlock, but that's fine because I tend to default to using the face unlock feature anyway. 

Also: The best drawing tablets of 2024: Expert recommended

Video quality on the T30 Max was equally as impressive. Videos on YouTube were not only lovely to watch but easy to hear. The speakers on the T30 Max blow away all other tablets I've used (and it's not even close). They don't sound overly tinny, voices are clear, and there's plenty of volume.

As far as battery life is concerned, the 10,800mAh cell is fairly big for a tablet. Of course, everyone's experience with endurance varies, but I was able to squeeze out nearly a week from a full charge with light usage. 

With heavier use, that number will drop. But if you're one of the many tablet users who use the device to check email, news, and browse the web, the T30 Max will go days before it needs a charge.

Also: The best Android tablets of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

The one miss on this tablet is the cover. I get that companies need to cut costs, and a basic cover is a way to do so. But with a tablet this impressive, it might be nice to at least include a cover that does a better job of keeping the tablet standing upright so it doesn't need to be held. 

Additionally, it would be nice to cover a keyboard case option, but that's probably asking too much. Sadly, finding a keyboard case for a non-Samsung 12" Android tablet is no easy feat. In a pinch, you could just get a separate Bluetooth keyboard, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a tablet (and its mobility).

ZDNET's buying advice

For $400 (with the clip-on coupon), the Doogee T30 Max tablet is a solid choice for an Android tablet. With enough power, more than enough battery, and a screen that does not disappoint, it's a bargain. It might not beat the iPad Pro, but when you're talking less than half the cost (along with the flexibility of Android), this is a no-brainer for anyone looking to buy a budget tablet that performs above its pay grade. 

Editorial standards