Samsung and Apple may have tablets with mobile broadband connectivity but these do not offer phone functionality and therefore cannot be used as a primary device for making calls and browsing the web. If constant connectivity is what you are after from a tablet and only take or make the odd phone calls then one of these tablets with phone function is what you need.
UPDATE: 18 June 2022
Using the Tablet for Calls Over Cellular Network
For those who are not bothered with the sheer size of a tablet and care more for browsing the web and consuming content such as movies, TV shows and music during their commute than making phone calls, these are tablets with phone and voice calling functionality. Having access to a full size screen, at nearly 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch as well as bigger battery capacity, lets you browse to your heart’s content with enough juice to last all day and more. The trick is to pair the tablet with a good Bluetooth headset, one that also lets you make calls and accept incoming calls.
These mobile devices come with 4G LTE or 5G connectivity as well as voice call support. With the right contract that includes voice service or talk time and SIM card, you can make and take conventional phone calls straight on the tablet and leave your smartphone at home.
Since the publication of this article, manufacturers are dialing down and removing tablets with phone functions. Both Samsung and Apple have their ways of mirroring incoming calls, allowing you to take calls on the tablet instead of the smartphone. It requires that your smartphone be logged into the same cloud service and the relevant settings and apps enabled.
Calls Over Social Media or VoIP
New cellular enabled tablets do not support voice calls. They do however offer uninterrupted data where there is signal. Therefore, they can be used to make calls over social media and Voice over IP using mobile data instead. Basically, you need the right free calling app to place a video or voice call. Apple’s Face Time, Google Duo, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber and Instagram are such apps. They require both the caller and the callee to both have the app and account.
To call a landline or real mobile number directly, you will need an app with Voice over IP support. Viber and Skype support such a service and depending on where you are, calls can be free or for a small fee. Other apps that lets you call a phone number includes FreedomPop, TextNow and Textfree. You can also find iOS and Android apps that support virtual SIM phone number to make and receive calls from a tablet.
Top 5 Best Tablets with Phone Function
All the small tablets with phone functions have all but moved on. You can find a list of them at the bottom but here are five of the best smartphones that doubles up as tablets and comes with phone function as standard.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G 7.6-inch Foldable Smartphone
- Microsoft Surface Duo 2 5G 8.3-inch Foldable Tablet
- Oppo Find N 7.1-inch Foldable Smartphone
- Huawei Mate Xs 2 7.8-inch Foldable Smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G Phablet
BONUS: Honor Magic4 Pro 5G 6.81-inch
1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G 7.6-inch Foldable Tablet
With the third generation Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the smaller Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung has more or less nailed the foldable profile. The Galazy Z Fold 3 has two displays, a cover display measuring 6.2-inch and the foldable display that measures 7.6-inch unfolded. Both displays are Dynamic AMOLED 2X panels with up to 120Hz refresh rate. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 the foldable smartphone also supports S Pen although it is an optional purchase. Other notable features include the tripled 12MP shooter (Wide, UltraWide and Telephoto cameras) and two front cameras. For the latter, a 10MP front cover (HID) camera and a 4MP under display camera.
2. Microsoft Surface Duo 2 5G 8.3-inch Foldable Tablet
The second generation Surface Duo 2 now features 5G connectivity. It does not have a front display and is more of a foldable tablet than it is a foldable smartphone. Unfold the device and you get two displays held side by side like a book with fold flat hinges. No fancy foldable display, just two 5.8-inch AMOLED flat screens in portrait mode stuck together. When opened, you have a big 8.3-inch display albeit interrupted in the middle.
The device support Surface Slim Pen 2. On the cover is a triple shooter with Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto cameras while the front facing camera on the right display houses a 12MP camera. Like the Galazy Z Fold3, the Surface Duo 2 5G is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile chip and runs custom Android with everything you need pre-loaded, especially Microsoft built-in apps like Office, Edge, Lens, Outlook, Teams and Xbox Game Pass. The Surface Duo 2 is part of Microsoft’s refresh for its Surface Devices to ready them for Windows 11. Having abandoned the Window Phone, the Surface Duo is Microsoft’s way of saying they can still do phones albeit as a foldable tablet.
3. Oppo Find N 7.1-inch Foldable Tablet Phone
Back to foldable smartphone with cover and main internal display, this time from Oppo. The Oppo Find N has a 5.49-inch AMOLED cover display and unfolds to reveal a 7.1-inch LTPO AMOLED display. And like the smartphones and tablets we have seen so far, it comes bearing a triple shooter; 50MP Wide, 16MP UltraWide and 13MP Telephoto cameras while the for the front cover, you get a 32MP Wide camera in the pinhole. And, you can probably guess by now that powering the device is the Snapdragon 888 5G chip. Read about the company’s first foldable handset over at our sister site.
4. Huawei Mate Xs 2 7.8-inch Foldable Tablet Phone
Who needs a cover display and a main display when you have the main display as the ‘book cover’ vs ‘open pages’. Huawei’s Mate Xs 2 is the ultimate 7.8-inch all-screen foldable smartphone that converts into a tablet with one swift action. Even the folded cover display is measures a whooping 6.5-inch, the biggest among foldable phones. It even manages to house the main cameras in a dedicated column so it doesn’t get in the way of the display when it is folded. For the main shooter, you get 50MP Wide, 13MP UltraWide and 8MP Telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. The selfie camera uses a 10.7MP sensor in a pinhole. Read more about the Mate Xs 2 on our sister site.
5. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G 6.8-inch Phablet
Moving away from the foldable is the Galaxy Note’s replacement, the Galaxy S22 Ultra with integrated S Pen. With a huge 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X rounded edges display with QuadHD+ resolution that is a treat for your eyes. The do it all phone has quad shooter, with two telephoto cameras (3x and 10x) with digital zoom up to 100x. It even comes with a huge 40MP on the camera in a pinhole. Samsung has taken the favourite Galaxy Note and amped to make it do even more. Just like iPhone 13 Pro Max, a huge emphasis of the phone is on the camera’s ability to capture amazing video and photos at night what Samsung calls Nightography. And once you have your shots, you can edit it straight on the phone including in Expert RAW format. Lastly, while it doesn’t have a foldable display, it is powered by the new generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm) chip.
BONUS: Honor Magic4 Pro 5G 6.81-inch Phablet
Honor’s separation from Huawei means you and I can get our hands on their phones with Google Mobile Services (GMS) support. Like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it comes with a huge 6.81-inch OLED curved display with high 120Hz refresh rate and LTPO technology. It also supports Dual Honor SuperCharge with 100W fast charging. And, like the S22, it also has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. It even manages to match the 100x digital zoom on the S22 with its quad camera setup with 50MP Wide, 50MP UltraWide, 64MP Periscope Telephoto (3.5x optical zoom) and 8×8 dTOF Laser sensor. Around the front, you will find a pill cut out with a 12MP camera and 3D ToF camera onboard for better portrait shots. Find out the features that stand out the most in our article over at our sister site.
Smartphones with 6.5-inch or Bigger Display
Phablets – tablet-like smartphones with displays measuring 6-inch or bigger. If you prefer something more pocketable, consider a big smartphone with all the features of a tablet including stylus input, high end cameras and that all important voice call function. Check out your options here:
Other Tablets with Phone and Call Functions
Continue to the next page to take a look at actual tablets with call functions. These may be old but they are the first tablets to come with the ability to place and accept calls.