Home / Explore Technology / Tablets / AT&T Primetime

AT&T Primetime

View Gallery View All 5 Photos in Gallery MSRP

  • Pros

    Cellular connectivity. Good display. Long battery life. Relatively affordable.

  • Cons

    Lots of bloatware.

  • Bottom Line

    If you need cellular connectivity in your tablet, the Primetime is an affordable option for consuming content from AT&T's paid streaming services.

Every now and then carriers like to put out branded tablets. T-Mobile has the Revvl, Verizon's got the Ellipsis 8 HD, and now AT&T has the Primetime, a 10-inch midrange Android tablet that connects to its network for a relatively affordable $199.99. For the price, the Primetime has a sharp 1080p display, dual-front speakers, and a long-lasting battery. It's a great multimedia slate for existing AT&T customers who subscribe to DirecTV Now, but if you don't need cellular connectivity, the Amazon Fire HD 10 offers a similar level of performance for a lower price.

//Compare Similar Products


Design and Display

The Primetime looks like your typical midrange plastic slab. It has a blue textured back panel with AT&T branding (the actual manufacturer is ZTE), a strip of gray plastic running along the sides, and a pair of loud stereo speakers on the front.


View GalleryView All 5 Photos in Gallery

The tablet measures 10.1 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and tips the scales at a hefty 1.2 pounds. It's heavier than the metallic Asus Zenpad 3S 10 (9.5 by 6.4 by 0.4 inches, 15.2 ounces), and even the Fire HD 10 (10.3 by 6.3 by 0.4 inches, 1.1 pounds). It can get a bit cumbersome to hold over an extended period.

In landscape orientation you'll find a power button and volume rocker on the top, along with a ridged quick launch button that puts the tablet in TV mode, giving you immediate access to a media app of your choice. Also up top you'll find a SIM/microSD card slot that worked with a 256GB card. On the left is a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-C charging port.

The 10-inch, 1,920-by-1,200 TFT display packs 224 pixels per inch, the same as the Fire HD 10, and offers good viewing angles. The one downside is that the panel is a little dim, which makes it hard to see under direct sunlight.


Network Performance and Audio

The Primetime is locked to AT&T and supports LTE bands 1/2/4/5/7/12/29/30. During our testing in midtown Manhattan, network performance was in line with AT&T phones we've tested recently in the same area. For an idea of how well AT&T's network performs where you live, see our Fastest Mobile Networks results.

AT&T offers several data plans for tablets. If you use the carrier for phone service, you can add the Primetime to your plan for an extra $10 per month and share the same bucket of data. If you only need the tablet, a number of plans are available, from $14.99 per month for 250MB of data up to $50 per month for 5GB.

In addition to network connectivity, the Primetime also supports Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. And it has Bluetooth 4.2, but with a feature that lets it stream audio to two devices at the same time, something that isn't possible on most other devices without Bluetooth 5.0.

Processor, Battery, and Camera

The tablet is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clocked at 2GHz. It's a capable midrange chipset, which contributes to a score of 62,954 on the AnTuTu benchmark. That's less than ZenPad S3 10 (72,618), which has a MediaTek 8176 processor, but nearly double the Snapdragon 425-powered Lenovo Tab 4 10 (36,730).

Benchmark scores are only part of the story, though. With 2GB of RAM, the Primetime handles multitasking better than many tablets in this price range that come with 1.5GB. At a certain point you'll run up against the RAM usage limit, but for regular multimedia use, you won't encounter much sluggishness except for a bit of stuttering when you're scrolling through a large list of TV shows or movies. High-end gaming is possible, but titles that require high levels of control responsiveness, like GTA: San Andreas, can suffer.

Related Story See How We Test Tablets

Battery life is excellent. The Primetime clocked 9 hours, 17 minutes in our battery rundown test in which we streamed full-screen video at maximum brightness over LTE. That's more than double the Zenpad 3S 10 (4 hours, 3 minutes) and three hours longer than the Fire HD 10 (6 hours, 14 minutes), both of which were tested over Wi-Fi. The slate also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 with the included adapter.

Like most camera sensors on midrange tablets, the Primetime's are average at best. The 5-megapixel rear camera can take decent pictures outdoors and in clear lighting, but inside or in lower light it's almost always blurry or muddy. Surprisingly, there's a set of manual controls that let you adjust exposure, ISO, and white balance, which isn't something you normally see on a tablet, but I found it didn't make much of a difference to picture quality.

Video records in 1080p, but looks jittery, grainy, and drops frames in low lighting. The 5-megapixel front camera takes fairly good shots and serves well for video chats.


The tablet comes running Android 7.0 Nougat with a few UI changes including custom app icons and widgets. Additional features include a split-screen mode that lets you run two apps side-by-side when holding down the Recents button.

The aforementioned quick launch button brings you into TV mode (which really just means launching the video app of your choice). DirecTV Now is set for TV mode by default, but you can pick other video streaming apps like Netflix or YouTube instead. The primary reason for AT&T subscribers to consider the Primetime is that the carrier gives you unlimited data with DirecTV Now, provided you're a subscriber. That means you can watch on the go to your heart's content without worrying about Wi-Fi connectivity or a data cap.


There's lots of bloatware, including nine apps from AT&T. You'll also find Amazon, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, and Yelp.

The slate comes with a total of 32GB of internal storage, with 18.33GB available for use. That's plenty if you mostly plan to use the tablet for streaming, but if you want to load your own videos or download games, you have the option of using a microSD card.


For $200, the Primetime is an affordable cellular tablet that offers AT&T customers a solid multimedia experience. You'll be hard-pressed to find a data-enabled slate at this price range that doesn't make major compromises. The Alcatel A30 Tablet on T-Mobile, for instance, is held back by a grainy screen and sluggish performance. The Verizon Ellipsis 8 HD is a bit smaller, at 8 inches, and costs more. The Apple iPad is significantly more powerful and has an even sharper screen, but a cellular model starts at $459. If you don't need built-in cellular connectivity (or you're content to use your phone as a hotspot) and don't mind the Amazon-centric approach, the Fire HD 10 offers similar performance to the Primetime for $50 less, making it our Editors' Choice.

Ajay Kumar By Ajay Kumar Mobile Analyst

Ajay Kumar is PCMag's Analyst obsessed with all things mobile. Ajay reviews phones, tablets, accessories, and just about any other gadget that can be carried around with you. In his spare time he games on the rig he built himself, collects Nintendo amiibos, and tries his hand at publishing a novel. Follow Ajay on Twitter @Ajay_H_Kumar. More »

More Stories by Ajay

See More +


Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by DisqusRead more

Check Also

How to watch the live stream for today’s Apple iPhone keynote

Apple is holding a keynote today on its new and shiny campus in Cupertino, and the company is expected to unveil new iPhones, an updated Apple Watch and maybe some other things. At 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris), you’ll be able to watch the event as the company is streaming it live. Apple’s September is the company’s most anticipated event. And that’s because Apple releases new iPhone models every September. Rumor has it that the company should unveil three new devices, including an updated iPhone X, a bigger version of this phone and a new model to replace the iPhone 8 with a notch design. If you have an Apple TV, you can download the Apple Events app in the App Store. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old events. The app icon has been updated a few days ago for the event. And if you don’t have an Apple TV, the company also lets you live-stream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed has always worked in Safari and Microsoft Edge. And just like this year’s WWDC keynote, the video should also work in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. So to recap, here’s how you can watch today’s Apple event: Safari on the Mac or iOS. Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on the Mac or Windows 10. An Apple TV with the Apple Events app in the App Store. Of course, you also can read TechCrunch’s live blog if you’re stuck at work and really need our entertaining commentary track to help you get through your day. We have a big team in the room this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: Trading in bitcoins or other digital currencies carries a high level of risk and can result in the total loss of the invested capital. theonlinetech.org does not provide investment advice, but only reflects its own opinion. Please ensure that if you trade or invest in bitcoins or other digital currencies (for example, investing in cloud mining services) you fully understand the risks involved! Please also note that some external links are affiliate links.