Monday, 10 October 2016

7 tablets with phone functionality

7 tablets with phone functionality 

(you can call them giant smartphones)

Although we now have smartphones with displays that measure more than 6 inches, most tablets are still just tablets. Even if they feature 3G or LTE connectivity, they don’t offer phone capabilities. However, there are some slates that let you make phone calls, coming with phone dialers and everything else that you normally get on a smartphone. It seems like manufacturers recently realized that people may want this on their tablets. There’s actually somewhat of a trend in Asia, where more and more giant devices are being used as everyday phones.

Of course, holding a device that’s about 7 inches (or larger) up to your ear is not exactly comfortable. Then again, if you really need to make calls and you don’t have a smartphone or a basic phone around, a tablet with phone functionality can save the day. And perhaps some customers are seeing such tablets as alternatives to buying two devices - a smartphone and a regular tablet.

If you're interested in tablets that let you make phone calls, we've gathered most of the currently available ones below, in alphabetical order.

Acer Iconia Tab 7 (A1-713HD)

Announced by Acer in April, the Iconia Tab 7 should be available to buy starting this month for about $200. It’s obviously not a high-end tablet, but it’s Acer’s first to offers phone functionality. The device runs near stock Android KitKat, and features: a 7-inch display with 800 x 1280 pixels, 5 MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, and a quad-core MediaTek processor. It doesn’t look like the slate will be released in North America, but you should be able to find it in Europe and Asia (starting later this month, as we already mentioned).

Asus FonePad 7

The Asus FonePad 7 has been around since late 2013, and you can buy it from Amazon for $210. Powered by a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor clocked at 1.6 GHz, this FonePad sports a 7-inch display with 800 x 1280 pixels, and still runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Other features include a 5 MP rear camera, 1.2 MP front-facing camera, stereo speakers, 1 GB of RAM, and expandable internal memory.

HP Slate 7 VoiceTab

Currently costing around $220, the HP Slate 7 VoiceTab is available in Asia (including India) and Europe. It's certainly an interesting-looking tablet, but its features aren't particularly exciting, including: a 7-inch screen with 800 x 1280 pixels, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, 2 MP front-facing camera, a 5 MP camera on the back, quad-core 1.2 GHz Marvell processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of expandable storage space.

Huawei MediaPad M1

Huawei's MediaPad M1 is a thin, premium-looking tablet, thanks to the fact that it's made out of aluminum. It's one of the few 8-inch (800 x 1280 pixels) tablets with phone functionality, also offering: dual front-facing speakers, LTE, a 5 MP rear camera, quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of expandable internal memory, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The M1 costs less than $300, and seems to be available everywhere except North America.

Huawei MediaPad X1  

Yes, Huawei has another tablet that's capable of making phone calls. The MediaPad X1 was announced in February as the world's "lightest and narrowest 7-inch tablet", offering an IPS display with 1200 x 1920 pixels that occupies 80% of the device's front side. Like the M1, the Huawei MediaPad X1 is made out of aluminum. It offers more advanced features, though, including 2 GB of RAM, 5 MP front-facing camera, 13 MP rear camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal memory, and a 5000 mAh battery. The slate runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and costs around $400 (or less, if you're buying it from China).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

The 3G/LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 from last year is one of the company's cheapest slates, and that’s because it offers modest specs (including a display with 600 x 1024 pixels, 3 MP rear camera, dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor, and 1.5 GB of RAM). The Tab 3 7.0 3G recently received an official update to Android 4.4 KitKat, and can be bought for around $230.

Samsung Galaxy W / Tab Q

Announced in South Korea in June, the Samsung Galaxy W is a 7-inch device with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution and a 16:9 screen aspect ratio. In China, the device is called Galaxy Tab Q, and it’s listed both in the tablet and smartphone categories. Running Android KitKat, the Galaxy W / Tab Q features LTE, a quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 MP rear camera, and 16 GB of expandable internal memory. It costs around $450 in Korea, and we don’t know if it’s going to be released in other regions besides Asia.

Bonus: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4

While the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 can’t be used as phones on their own, they can be wirelessly connected to a Galaxy S5 smartphone via the SideSync 3.0 app - which will allow you to receive and make calls from any of the two tablets. Basically, SideSync 3.0 acts as a phone emulator on the Tab S. We’re assuming that more Samsung smartphones will be able to forward calls to Galaxy tablets in the future.



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