7 tablets with phone functionality (you can call them giant smartphones)

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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29 Comments

1. palmguy

Posts: 955; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

My old 2011 HP Touchpad could connect to my phone by bluetooth and make/ take calls(as well as text). RIP webOS :(

25. Ashoaib

Posts: 3260; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

huawei mediapad x1 is great, I never felt that its a tablet... surprisingly, it always manage to fit in my pocket though with little bulk but still its with me all the time

2. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

This side here Malaysia it's disturbingly "normal" now to see people use these tabs as their primary OTG smart device yes sans BT earpieces. Whether stationary or in buses and trains.... which is precisely why I laugh at some of you couch analysts here for your repetitive "zomg! No one needs 6" and down phones they're just too big ::crys::!!!" outbursts. Clearly at the very least we need something to help cut down on this ridiculous trend. Before you think about one handed operation half the time, imagine having to deal with a person who'd suddenly have to answer a call and whip something out that can totally cover half their face on a regular basis. Thanks to them though my eye bags situation have greatly improved because so far I can't stop the auto huge eye rolls from happening.

3. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Asus Foneoad 7 has been updated Android 4.4!

4. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

*updated to

5. redmd

Posts: 1902; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The galaxy tab s 8.4 can be used as a phone. I use it sometimes when i dont have my phone with me.

12. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

So you can get a real phone number and service from a telecom for it? Or do you mean just that it supports VOIP apps?

14. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

it can be use as telephone, just like regular android smartphones. and as far as i know, all Samsung 3G tablets have this voice call functionality since 2010 (since the original Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000), so it's not "recent trend"

17. redmd

Posts: 1902; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Its like a normal phone, just big. No special requirements needed.

6. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Defs would get Galaxy W/Tab Q. Simply awesome.

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Coolpad 9976, aka the Great God...my kid loves playing roblox on it...

8. TheNeighbor

Posts: 367; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I sometimes use my Galaxy Note 8 for calls. It came out April of 2013, and is not news that tablets can make calls and SMS. Just because Apple strategized their tablets not to so that they'd still sell iPhones, doesn't make it a rule.

13. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Does the wifi Note 8 support calls or just the LTE version?

18. redmd

Posts: 1902; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Just the LTE/3G version support calls.

10. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

The Apple propaganda deliberately try to make fun of it, and don't put cell app on the LTE and 3G ipads, so to sell more "categories". The menial media even invented the "phablet category"BS

11. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

The Huawei Mediapad X1 is definitely the best one of those tablets...

15. negrutioan

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 10, 2014

Samsung galaxy note 2014 lte P605, galaxy tab pro T335 lte and galaxy tab s T705 lte were also able to make calls in 3g networks (wcdma) . Tab sT705 is gorgeous!

16. redmd

Posts: 1902; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Yes the Tab S T705 is gorgeous and almost pocketable with that thin profile.

19. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I would like to have a Dell 8 inch Windows 8.1 tablet with phone capability coupled to a blue tooth headset that is used to send and receive calls through the tablet that would be a dream device.

20. av911

Posts: 206; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I'm not one that shouts "copycat" too often, but the 2 Huawei's look familiar.

21. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

for giant people like goliath

26. negrutioan

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 10, 2014

I have 194 cm. and 108 kg. I have a lot of fun on the streets,

22. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

"you can call them giant smartphones" OR, or you could just keep calling them phablets....

23. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

the tab 3 7" doesn't have a dual-core snapdragon 400 processor but a dual-core cortex-a9 marvel one.

24. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3089; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They listed some devices not available in the US but I've been using this bad boy for about 3 weeks now. Simply amazing for under $200. 8" IPS screen, 8MP camera w/ autofocus and flash, 4.2 Jelly Bean and not one single freeze or reset...yet. Texting is a breeze with the large keyboard but phone calls require BT or use speakerphone. http://bluproducts.com/index.php/life-view-tab

27. DonkeyKong

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 08, 2014

Why the f**k won't my tablet let me use it as a phone? I was in telecom for 15 years: voice only needs 64K (that's one channel -- and really only needs 56K... some of the remaining 8 Kbps is used for signalling -- the point being there is PLENTY of data voice can ride over... I am sick of the s**t that U.S. can't use our tablets as phones, and also, why the f**k can't laptops get 3G or 4G... I want one larger screen device with 3 or 4G data like a tablet that can be called by a bormal land or cell phone. No f**king reason why it isn't possible. Time to stop the s**t... we are sick of it and don't want 3 devices.

28. DigitalBenny

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

T-Mobile allowed me to use my Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact LTE for over a month and THEN decided it was a tablet and could only have a data plan! How do you think I feel... There must be a petition somewhere...

29. Nicolas1

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 14, 2017

You state: "While the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4 can’t be used as phones on their own..." This is only true for the wifi-only versions, the 4G/LTE-versions can make calls. The Tab S 8.4 is actually the only decent tablet in this list.

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