Onn Android tablet review

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REVIEW – The Onn tablet is an affordable gadget with lots of free apps and a micro SD card slot for extra storage.

What is it?

An 8-inch tablet with 16GB and a 2-megapixel camera.

What’s in the box?

  • Tablet
  • Charger
  • Instructions
  • Coupon for $20 off Walmart eBooks

Hardware specs

  • 8″ IPS panel
  • 2.5D touchscreen
  • 800 x 1280 resolution
  • 1.3GHz quad core processor
  • 2GB RAM +16GB ROM
  • Operating system: Android 9
  • 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 2-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 5-hour battery life
  • Maximum RAM Supported: 2GB
  • Wireless Technology: 2.4G/5G a/b/g/n WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0

Design and features

My first impression of the Onn Tablet was that it reminded me a lot of our Kindle Fire and iPad Mini 4, in both the size and feel.

While the price is also quite comparable to a Kindle Fire, my son claims the games available on the Onn tablet are of much higher quality, and that makes sense since the Kindle is marketed primarily as a reading device. (Not to slam the Kindle Fire, he uses that often for reading downloaded library books.)

Meanwhile, the iPad mini costs more than three times as much as this tablet, but it comes with a lot more storage, higher picture quality, more bells and whistles, and the Apple name attached.

Besides its price, one thing that really sets the Onn tablet apart is its unique navy blue/dark greyish color, which really makes it pop next to the iPad mini and Kindle.


Setup was simple and clear. Step-by-step instructions came on a decal you could easily peel off the screen.

You could connect it to your Gmail account and create a password if you wanted. It took about 5-10 minutes. And then we just waited until it fully charged, which took about 30 minutes.


The navigation and operation were intuitive and similar to other tablets we’ve used.

On the upper right-hand side of the tablet, you find the volume (+ and -) toggle, with the power button next to it. (Also note, by holding the power and volume-down button at the same time, you can take screenshots.)

The charging port is centered at the bottom.

On the back, you find the speaker (lower left) and the rear-facing camera (upper left), making it nearly identical to the setup of the Kindle Fire, as you can see above in the side-by-side photos.

And the 3.5mm headphone jack is along the very top edge, with the slot for a micro-SD card next to it.

The tablet only has 16GB of storage. After just a few weeks, we’ve already used 47 percent of the space it came with, without a single saved photo or video. However, in the long term, we plan to use it with a 32GB micro SD card, which we found on Amazon for $5.

When the screen is on, it has four navigation links running along the bottom with quick access to Walmart, a back button, the home screen, and recently used items. When you’re on the home screen, there’s a fourth navigation button at the bottom, three stacked dots, which take you to the settings.

On the Settings page you can adjust:

  • Wallpapers
  • Themes
  • Screen Manager
  • Widgets
  • Desktop Settings
  • Effects
  • Hide Apps
  • System Settings
  • Launcher Settings

Within the System Settings, there’s a search bar at the top to search all settings. You can also set a night light schedule and add emergency information.

You can also see:

  • Network and internet (wifi, data usage, hotspot)
  • Connected devices
  • Apps and notifications
  • Battery (current percentage and the estimated time it will run out of power)
  • Display (wallpaper, font size)
  • Sound profile
  • Storage (percent used and remaining GB free)
  • Security and location
  • Accounts
  • Accessibility (screen readers, display, interaction controls)
  • Google
  • System (languages, time, backup, updates)


The Onn Tablet comes pre-loaded with popular apps like Google Chrome, Drive and Maps. And with the Play Store you can download all sorts of goodies. My 11-year-old son was impressed with the selection of free games.

When you download apps, they’re automatically put into categories: Games, Tools, News & Books, Lifestyle and System. However, you can manually move them if you choose.

If you swipe up, it will show you all of your apps. If you swipe down, it shows you any notifications.

In addition to using it for a whole lot of gameplay, this tablet’s been great for communication (Google Hangouts) so my son can chat with his friends or keep in touch with me, without needing a cell phone. Messages even pop up if he’s playing a game, which isn’t the case on his Chrome book. (Of course, you need wifi, which you wouldn’t with a cell phone and data plan. But for us, it’s a nice compromise to hold off on getting him a phone for a while.)

This tablet is also nice for watching videos. With a screen resolution of 800 x 1280, you get a clear, vibrant picture. In fact, I need to drag my son away from watching YouTube shows on this little device he’s claimed as his own, and I can see it coming in very handy for travel.

The 2-megapixel camera in the front (rear-facing) worked very well, even capturing my wiggly dog.

The selfie camera is only 0.3 megapixels, so it’s not high quality. But for goofing around or (somewhat grainy) video chats, it’s passable. Though I’d imagine most people’s cell phones would give a much clearer picture.

Battery life was decent. While the first charge only took about 30 minutes, after a month of use it takes just under two hours to fully charge it. The manual lists it as having 5 hours of battery life, but right now ours give us about 6 hours of continuous use, playing games and watching videos. That should be plenty long for everyday use but might not hold up for overseas flights or long-distance road trips, unless you also bring a portable charger.

We only ran into a couple of hiccups. First, we couldn’t get the headphones to work. My son tried two different pairs but the sound kept coming out the speakers as if the headphones weren’t even plugged in. The third pair worked like a charm. The only difference was that the third pair has a TRS connector and cable (with an additional ring on the connector) and the first two were TS.

My son also had trouble downloading some animated and 3D backgrounds. Not a big deal, but a hiccup.

What I like

  • Easy setup
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Great selection of apps

What I’d change

  • Headphone jack to be more compatible
  • Improve front-camera quality

Final thoughts

It’s a solid tablet for a reasonable price. Great for kids and the budget conscious.

Price: $64, current promotion includes $20 off Walmart eBooks
Where to buy: Walmart
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Onn/Walmart.

45 thoughts on “Onn Android tablet review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
    1. I bought the ONN tablet on Black Friday but continues to have a over battery temperature message popping up and then it shuts off even though fully charged. Can the battery be removed?

      1. Did you ever figure out how to fix this error continues to have a over battery temperature message popping up and then it shuts off even though its fully charged. My kids are getting this same message?

  2. I just got this tablet, and I’m wondering how you managed to add apps to your home page. I transferred apps from my google account and they’ve installed, but I can’t find where to access the apps to even open them, let alone drop them on the home page.

    1. The apps we downloaded automatically got sorted into groups: Games, Tools, News & Books, Lifestyle and System. My son noted that sometimes new apps would appear on brand new pages, as well. I’d start looking in the “piles” and additional pages first, but you can also swipe up and see all of your apps, to confirm if they did in fact download. To move them, just press and hold the icon, and then move it where you like.

      1. I got my kids one day the was playing on it Chinese letter popped up the it shut off and want come back they haven’t even had it for 30 days

    2. Step one, install another launcher.
      Personalisation should be a priority.
      I prefer Microsoft launcher and even used it on my fire hd8.

      1. I bought the 10 in model with the attaching keyboard refurbished from vipoutlet.com for $55. Dude u tell me ANYWHERE u can get. 10 in that cheap… U CANT BEAT IT WITH A STICK… LOL … No probs ive had it over a month now altho i will say i hardly even use it. I was lookin for a tablet for my 1 yr old after lookin it over i decided noway was dhe gettin it and found her a kids tablet at same site for like 20 bucks… Anyways no probs with that one either. They are now my fav place for impulse buys lol

  3. I need to compare the specifications against fire hd8. The fire really disappointed me though I miss the HD graphics.
    The digitizer just stopped working.
    That is when after research, I discovered amazon is really cheap when it comes to any amazon branded hardware. “Forced obsolescence” is very true.
    So I hope this tablet has better build quality else I might spring for an ipad mini.

      1. I recommend talkatone i use it on most of my wifi only devices and although it says you only get 10 mins that must be for international or something cause it gives me unlimited messages and text every time. Some other apps wont ring right or else they make u watch ads for minutes not so with talkatone. One sort of negative is u have to pull up the app when u turn on tablet or else it wont ring n next time u pull up app u will see missed calls. U have to keep it runnin in background i guess to be abke to recv incomin calls

    1. It is not a phone, there is no icon….but you can install an app like TextNow and use it as a phone when you have a wifi connection.

      I really like my 8″ ONN, wish it had an hdmi connection.

      1. You can get adapter (micro or macro male for tablet and HDMI or USB for other device female) from Best Buy . Go check out the Samsung section. I use the USB adapter that came with my Samsung Note 10 cellphone.

    1. You can ADD a memory card at the top of the tablet, next to the headphone jack. Forewarned, I had trouble getting it back out after I put it in. You may want to try nothing larger than a 32GB. Having trouble with a 64GB Ugghh

      1. I installed a 128 GB microSD card in my 10″ ONN with no problems. (The 8″ and 10″ are the same, except for the screed size.)

  4. i have the 10″ tablet with detachable keyboard. i had a nextbook which i really liked but this onn tablet is just as nice. the only difference is the way the tablet connects to the keyboard. the onn tabnlet connects magnetically which isa bummer.

    overall te onn tablet is a wonderful device. i play lots of games on it and i have never had a problem with any of them.just had to add an sd card (like i said i play LOTS of games).

    the only problem im, having is connecting it to my pc weith a uysb cable. while my pc recognizes the device i can find and drivers to finish the setup.

    1. When your plug your tablet into the PC, go into your USB settings on the tablet and change it from “charge only” to “share media files.’

      1. Can you tell me how to get the magnetic keyboard to work when it is connected. It was working, now it doesn’t.
        Purchased dec 19 2019

  5. Can I use the tablet as a GPS using google maps offline.
    It seems that the “location” work only if I have Wifi.
    Please advise how to set up the “location” without wifi

  6. Very disappointed I cannot get it to let me add a Google account, I have tried everything all I get is checking info then nothing

  7. deangelia t johnson

    I bought my onn tablet on black Friday and now it looks like it’s trying to charge .but it’s not what do i do

  8. I purchased two tablets for my grandchildren on black Friday. They were opened on Christmas morning and I was able to get everything installed. They charged them correctly making sure they did not overcharge them. The tablets worked perfect for about 2 weeks. Neither of them will now charge. I can not take them back to the store because now over 30 days from when they were purchased. Do they have a warranty on them through the manufacture? If so could you please send me the information to return them or replace them. Thank you very much!

  9. how can I get my tablet back to factory settings the way it was when I bought it. I had to reset it and lost everything.

  10. I purchased three 7″ Surf Onn tablets and two of them stopped charging and will not turn back on. I purchased them 1 month ago and Walmart says it is 3 days pass my 30 day return or exchange on my receipt. Who can I contact to resolve the problem?

  11. Lyndyl P. Williams

    I’ve tried everything to find widgets on my onn. 10 inch tablet. When I press on the home screen there is no choice for widgets. Where are they?

  12. Has anyone had trouble downloading apps? NOTHING has been able to download through the play store. Not Hulu, not Disney, not abcmouse, not Arlo, not alarm.com. this tablet is USELESS to me if I can’t get anything.

  13. The on-off-volume button broke on my Onn tablet SN:520619292040542 and I wanted if you or anyone else knows where I can get a replacement part. It is a very small thin plastic piece. Thanks!

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