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.
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 least 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch as well and bigger battery capacity, these devices 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 accept incoming calls and or use this when you place calls.
These mobile tablets come with 3G or 4G LTE 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.
Huawei is the major player with devices in this category, creating ultra compact tablets with the sort of engineering and design found only on smartphones. Others manufacturers include Asus, HP and Acer also has their own take on that mobile tablet but with more focus on value and the mass market. Devices that falls in this category comes with a 7-inch screen with the exception of Huawei’s MediaPad M2 and Asus Fonepad 8 to 8.4-inch. We do not expect this category to take off in a big way with more and more phablets in the market but, it does serve a niche nonetheless.
UPDATE: 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, but that is about it. It requires that your smartphone be logged into the same cloud service and the relevant settings enabled.
New cellular enabled tablets do not support voice calls, only data. However, 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 the callee to also 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
Here are five of the best small tablets with phone function and calling capability.
The MediaPad M5 8.4-inch tablet is from the flagship range with WiFi and LTE connectivity from Huawei. The tablet has a huge 4GB RAM memory and spacious 32GB storage. Tout by Huawei as the iPad mini alternative, the tablet even has a very similar profile with a sharp 2K display pushing 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. That’s a super sharp 359ppi. The tablet is powered by Kirin 960 Octa-Core with speed up to 2.4GHz speed and features a pair of 8MP and 13MP optics for front and rear cameras respectively.
Stick a nano SIM into the slot and you are ready to go with the mid-range MediaPad M3. Do not mistake this for the M3 Lite 8 as the display and processor are different. The MediaPad M3 with 4G LTE has the same display as the flagship M5 with 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. It is also powered by Kirin 950 Octa-core processor clocking up to 2.3GHz speed. Still it has 4GB of RAM memory and up to 64GB of storage. It does lose out to the M5 in the optic sensors department, choosing instead to use 8MP front and 8MP rear cameras and has a bigger footprint.
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:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 6.8-inch
OnePlus 7T Pro
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
ASUS ROG Phone 2
Other phablets you might consider:
Here are other phablets bigger than 6.5-inch, between 6.0-inch to 6.5-inch and at 6.0-inch that you may consider for a ‘tablet’ with phone and voice call functions.
6.5-inch and Bigger
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (6.9-inch)
- Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (6.8-inch)
- OnePlus 8 Pro (6.78-inch)
- Motorola Edge 5G (6.7-inch)
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ (6.7-inch)
- Honor 9X and Honor 9X Pro (6.59-inch)
- Huawei P40 Pro (6.58-inch)
- OnePlus 8 (6.55-inch)
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5-inch)
- Honor 8X (6.5-inch)
Between 6.0-inch to 6.5-inch
- Huawei P30 Pro 8+ (6.47-inch)
- Honor View20 (6.4-inch)
- Asus ZenFone (6.4-inch)
- Samsung Galaxy Note10 (6.3-inch)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 (6.2-inch)
- Asus ZenFone Max M2 (6.3-inch)
- Google Pixel 4 XL (6.3-inch)
- Honor 20 Pro (6.26-inch)
- Asus ZenFone 5Z (6.2-inch)
- iPhone XR and 11 (6.1-inch)
- Huawei P30 6+ (6.1-inch)
- LG G7 ThinQ (6.1-inch)
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro (6-inch)
- HTC U12+ (6-inch)
- LG V30 (6-inch)
- Honor 7X (6-inch)
- Honor View 10 (6-inch)
- ASUS Rog Phone (6-inch)
- Moto Z3 Play (6-inch)
3. Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0-inch 4G LTE
Judging from the specifications, the Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 is a premium device. Not short of processing power, memory or on-screen pixels, the M2 comes with 4G LTE connectivity, 8MP rear facing camera and a whooping 4,800mAh lithium polymer battery. Even with all that power, the device only measures 7.8mm in thickness in a metal body.
The screen or at least the glass flows edge to edge with ultra slim side bezels and very small top and bottom bezel. Huawei claims the MediaPad M2 to be the world’s first 8-inch all metal 4G media tablet and they have a good reason to celebrate. The design of the tablet looks stunning from every angle with a combination of brushed aluminium with polished edges.
In the audio department, Huawei chose to work with Harmon Kardon to fine tune the audio output. To make the super slim device produce excellent audio, Huawei uses a pair of stereo drivers, 43% bigger than previous generation and couple this with a large sound chamber in the all-metal body to increase resonance and audio quality. These speaker are found on either side of the screen when laid in landscape format.
- 8.0-inch 1920 x 1200 FHD IPS touch display 283ppi 400nits – BIGGEST SCREEN
- 2.0 GHz Kirin930 64 bit Octa-core CPU with GPU Mali-T628 MP4 + i3 co-processor – FASTEST PROCESSOR
- 3GB RAM Memory with 32GB ROM Storage (Premium) / 2GB RAM Memory with 16GB ROM Storage (Standard) – MORE MEMORY
- 4G LTE (Cat 6) up to 300Mbps, 3G, 2G, Dual Band WiFi IEEE 802.11ac/a/b/g/n, 2.4/5GHz, Bluetooth 4.0 – FASTER 4G
- 8MP AF rear facing camera with flash, 2MP FF front facing camera
- 4,800 mAh lithium polymer up to 30 hours of music playback
- 214.8 x 124 x 7.8 mm, 330 grams – SLIM
- GPS/A-GPS/Glonass Location & Navigation, Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity, Hall sensor, Compass
- Android 5.1 (Lollipop) with HUAWEI Emotion UI 3.1
- Colour options: Silver or Gold
Also see previous generation Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0-inch IPS HD Screen with 4G LTE
4. Huawei MediaPad X2 7.0-inch 4G LTE – NEW
The smaller MediaPad X2 has a 7-inch Full HD display. Again, applying the compact tablet design, Huawei managed the screen to body ratio of up to 80%. As with the MediaPad M2, the X2 has an elegant metal chassis with an ultra slim design.
At 7.18mm, it is even thinner and give its screen size, lighter than the M2. There is nothing short of extraordinary for the X2. Even with its 8-core processor, generous memory and storage, 13MP rear and 5MP front SLR cameras and 4G LTE connectivity, Huawei is still able to squeeze a 5000mAh battery.
- 7.0-inch Full HD Screen 1200 x 1920 pixel resolution, 323 ppi density IPS LTPS touch display – HIGHEST PIXEL DENSITY
- 2.0 GHz Kirin930 64 bit octa-core CPU, 4 x 2.0 GHz+4 x 1.5 GHz – FASTEST PROCESSOR
- 3GB RAM Memory and 32GB ROM Storage or 2GB RAM Memory and 16GB ROM Storage with microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB additional storage – MORE MEMORY
- 4G LTE (Cat 6) up to 300Mbps Hi Speed connection, Dual Band, Dual Antenna Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.4/5GHz, Bluetooth 4.0 – FASTER 4G
- 13MP Sony Rear Camera with Full HD Recording and Wide Angle large F2.2 diaphragm and hybrid IR flash, 5MP Front Camera wide-angle lens 22mm – BETTER CAMERA
- 5000mAh Battery with capacity to play 10 movies continuously, 24 days of standby time, 3.5 hours of charging time – HIGHEST CAPACITY
- 183.5 x 103.9 x 7.18 mm, 249 grams – SLIMMER
- GPS/A-GPS Location & Navigation. Sensors: Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Compass
- Android5.0 and Huawei Emotion UI 3.0
- Available in Silver and Gold
5. Asus Fonepad 7 FE170CG 7.0-inch 3G – DUAL SIM, BUDGET
Based on Intel Atom Multi-core processor clocking in at 1.2GHz with Intel Hyper Threading technology, the new Fonepad 7 is a budget tablet with phone functionality that still carries enough punch to give out smooth responsive browinsg, HD video playback and quick rendering of games. The tablet has front facing stereo speakers aimed at the user with SonicMaster technology.
While the 1GB RAM memory and 4GB or 8GB storage is nothing to shout about, there is the much needed microSD slot that supports up to 64GB of additional storage and Asus’s 5GB Life Time ASUS Webstorage Space with additional 11GB for the first year. At 110mm width, it is still manageable with one handed operation, gripping it from edge to edge.
For connectivity the phone only supports 3G but but bonus is it takes dual SIM, perfect for those travelling and wanting a local data plan while staying connected to home. Finally, there is no short of colours to choose from, with up to 5 different colours, there is bound to be one that fits your style.
- 7.0 LED Backlight WSVGA (1024×600 pixels) Screen
- Intel® Atom™ Multi-Core Z2520 Processor 1.2 GHz with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
- 1GB RAM and 4GB/8GB eMMC Storage, microSD card slot supports up to 64GB of additional storage
- 3G (Dual SIM), WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, Miracast
- 2MP Rear Camera, 0.3MP Front Camera
- 10 hours battery life 15Wh Li-polymer battery. Standby Time: 619 hours, Talk Time: 30 hours, Video playback (720p): 10 hours – GOOD BATTERY LIFE
- 192 x 110 x 10.7 mm (WxDxH), 290 grams
- GPS, GLONASS & AGPS, Micro USB, Audio Jack, MicroSD, 1/2 Micro SIM slot
- Android 4.3 upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat
- Available in Black, White, Red or Blue (Dual SIM); White (Single SIM)
Previous Generation: Asus Fonepad 7 ME175CG 7.0-inch
Asus Fonepad 8 FE380CG 3G – DUAL SIMS
The bigger version of the Asus Fonepad 7 also featured here, the Fonepad 8 has all the functionality of a tablet plus voice call and phone messaging functionalities. With a bigger screen at 8-inch, Asus’s simplified ZenUI with over a thousand upgrades and enhancements and powered by Intel Atom Z3530 Quad Core at 1.33GHz, the phone still manages a respectable 12 hours battery life or mixed use. The tablet also features dual front firing stereo speakers on either side of the device when held in landscape mode making it ideal for gaming and entertainment. At 120mm width, only 10mm bigger than Fonepad 7 and narrow bezels at 5.06mm, the tablet phone is grip friendly for a person with big palm. With an ultra thin at 8.9mm and ultra light body at 310 grams, there is certainly a great many appeals for a budget tablet.
- 8-inch 800 x 1280 pixels resolution, 189 ppi IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors display
- Intel Atom Z3530 Quad Core 1.33GHz Processor 64-bit and PowerVR G6430
- 1GB RAM Memory with 8GB Storage or 2GB RAM Memory with 16GB Storage, microSD slot support up to 64GB
- 3G (DUAL SIM), WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast, DLNA (720p up to 30fps)
- 2 MP Front Camera and 5 MP Rear Camera with Auto focus with 720p Video Recording
- 12 hours battery life; 15.2Wh Li-polymer Battery. Talktime: 21hours (3G), Standby: 600 hours – GOOD BATTERY LIFE
- 214 x 120 x 8.9 mm (8.43 x 4.72 x 0.35 in), 310 grams
- Sensors:G-Sensor, Proximity, Light sensor, E-compass, Hall sensor. GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in), Micro USB, Micro SD Card Reader,up to 64GB, Micro SIM card slot(Dual SIM SKU). Stereo Speakers with SonicMaster technology.
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- Available in Black,White,Red,Gold
Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0-inch 4G LTE – SLIMMEST, LIGHTEST
The predecessor to MediaPad X2, the X1 is still very capable and tick all the boxes for a superior tablet with phone function. Using only a quad-core processor instead of the Kirin 930 Octa-Core, the device still has the same 13MP sony rear camera and 5MP front facing camera as well as 4G LTE connectivity and the huge 5000mAh capacity battery. There is no difference in dimension and design between the new X2 and the X1. Effectively the only thing that has changed between the two is the processor and a slower 4G chip. If you are looking to save some money, get the MediaPad X1.
- 7.0-inch Full HD Screen 1200 x 1920 pixel resolution, 323 ppi density IPS display – HIGHEST PIXEL DENSITY
- Quad-Core 1.6GHz CPU SoC: Hisilicon Kirin 910 quad core 1.6 GHz with GPU: Mali450-MP4
- 2GB RAM Memory, 16GB ROM Storage
- 4G LTE (Cat4) 150Mbps Hi Speed connection
- 13MP Sony Rear Camera with Full HD Recording and Wide Angle, 5MP Front Camera – BETTER CAMERA
- 5000mAh Battery with capacity to play 10 movies continuously – HIGHEST CAPACITY
- 183.5 x 103.9 x 7.18 mm, 239 grams– SLIMMEST, LIGHTEST
- Android 4.4 KitKat with Emotion UI 2.0
- Available in Diamond Black and Snow White
As with other tablets in this list, the Iconia has full smartphone functionality, so you can make phone calls, send text and access mobile broadband over 3G all from the tablet. No more tethering or looking for Wireless hot spots. The tablet still offers WiFi and Bluetooth as standard. The slim Acer Iconia Tab 7 has a premium look and feel with a clean and simple design of anodized silver. The 0.89 cm (0.35 inches) thin body, narrow 11.6 cm (4.6 inches) width is not the smallest in the list here but it weights only 298 g (0.66 lb) making it more comfortable to hold and use with a single hand for phone calls and browsing.
- 7-inch HD 1280×800 pixels 216ppi IPS multi-touch LED backlit display
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT8382 quad core processor
- 1GB RAM Memory and 16GB ROM Storage with microSD card slot up to 32GB additional storage
- 3G, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, MicroUSB v2.0, Accelerometer
- 5MP rear camera, Web front camera
- 6 hours of battery life
- H19.3, W11.6cm x D8.95mm, 298 grams
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat
HP Slate 7 VoiceTab 7.0 inch 3G – DUAL SIM
With a razor sharp HD display for crisp, clear viewing and front-firing speakers for amazing quality sound, the HP Slate VoiceTabs is both an entertainment and productivity tablet. With 3G and WiFi connectivity, it stays connected all the time. Dual SIM cards support meant it can automatically switch between them for calls, text, email and data.
- Marvell® Quad-Core PXA1088 1.2 GHz processor
- 7-inch (17.8 cm) diagonal HD IPS (1280 x 800) display
- 1GB RAM Memory and 16GB Storage (expandable to 32GB by Micro SD)
- 3G, WLAN, Bluetooth 3.0+ EDR, Forward facing stereo speakers
- 5MP Auto Focus Rear Facing Camera with LED flash, 2MP Front Facing Camera.
- 9.5 mm thickness, 325 grams
- Android 4.2, Jelly Bean
NOTE: This article was first published on our sister site Colour My Learning.