Phones keep getting slimmer and have bigger screens. Computers keep getting smaller and have more functionality. So what do you get when you cross your phone and a computer? That’s right - you get a calling tablet.
Let’s look at the main differences between a tablet and a Smartphone. Smartphones are basically tiny computers that fit in your pocket, and act as a communication device whenever needed (Beam me up, Scotty!) Tablets are terrific for heavier web use, checking email, playing video games and so on - but the larger size can make them harder to carry around with ease.
The answer? A crossover product - and variations on the theme have been hitting the market since 2010, but it’s just this year that they’ve really hity their stride.
In 2012, approximately 12 million Android based calling tablet devices were sold, and that number is only expected to keep going up. Most of these calling devices have a screen size between 5 and 7 inches, and are powere by Android’s Jelly Bean OS. They are, basically, larger versions of the 3G and 4G Smartphones, with larger, brighter displays that make playback better and provide easier use for web browsing than the average phone.
Samsung got the jump on other manufacturers with the 5.5 inch Galaxy Note, that sold 10 million devices in a few months and was quickly followed by the Galaxy Note 2. The 6.1 inch Huawei Ascend Mate has a pressure sensitive screen, making it easy to use with gloves on.
The 5.5 inch LG Optimus Pro is a lightning fast tablet with a camera and video capability as well as a QuickMemo feature allowing notes to be made with a finger or stylus. A similar calling tablet is the 5 inch HTC Droid DNA, with a popular wireless charging accessory that sells almost as well as the phablet itself.
You don’t necessarily have to buy a hybrid tablet / phone to get the advantages, however. If you aren’t ready to drop yet another $6-00-$800 on yet another device, you can turn your existing tablet into a calling device with a simple app!
- Skype. The Skype app for iPad and Android works over Wi-Fi or 3G (operator data charges may apply). You can call anyone else with Skype installed on their device without Skype charging you extra, or you can sign up for a monthly subscription or credits to quickly turn your Android device or iPad into an efficient calling tablet.
- Viber. This is another app that turns your tablet into a calling device, with free calls to other Viber users. Viber can also synch with your mobile phone number and contact list, instantly showing who else in your network has Viber.
- Rebtel. This app is probably the classiest app out there for turning iPads and Android devices into a slick calling tablets. Why? The app isn’t just a mobile app - it was designed for use with the bigger screen and extra functionality of a tablet! With Rebtel, both landscape view and portrait view are flawlessly optimized, and all calls flow smoothly and without interruption between WiFi and 3G networks for the best reception. Your address books integrate seamlessly, and you can call any other Rebtel equipped device for free - including nearly all Smartphones!
Whether you decide to buy yourself a trendy phablet or to turn your existing device into a sleek calling tablet, these apps can come in handy for cheap, high quality calling!