Other than their forms, smartphones today have become so powerful that there is very little that distinguish them from tablet PCs. We have oversized smartphones that behaves like a mini tablet and small tablets that make phone calls. Choosing one over the other isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be. Here is a quick comparison between these two types of devices to help you make your decision.Design
Size is the single most distinctive feature that separates smartphones and tablets. Generally, tablets are much larger than smartphones. The smallest tablets measures around 7-inches, which although might fit into larger trouser pocket, is still a little too bulky to carry on with you at all times. Smartphones on the other hand have four to five inch screens on average with some models packing in up to 6-inch screens.
Due to the close gap between the largest smartphones and the smallest tablets, some of you might be tempted to settle for a 6-inch smartphone or a 7-inch tablet so that you could have the best of both worlds. While this makes perfect sense on paper, it is less so in reality. Yes 6-inch smartphones can fit snugly in your pocket our handbag but the experience of using such a large device is not comparable to four or five inch smartphones. Oversized smartphones and small tablets are not as comfortable to use compared to smaller phones. You can barely use them with just one hand and lugging all that extra weight around will quickly remind you of the good old days when you owned a regular sized phone. If comfort and portability is an important factor for you, you should settle for a smartphone with 5.5-inch screens or smaller.
Features and Performance
Despite being larger, tablets are not more powerful than smartphones. Most flagship tablet and smartphone models are just as powerful with near identical specs. When it comes to battery life on the other hand, tablets are far superior to smartphones. Its larger size accommodates larger battery packs that in turn contribute to longer battery life spans. If battery life is extremely important for your, you should settle with larger smartphones and tablets.
In terms of features, a smartphone can perform almost any tablet functions and the reverse is also true. The only features that separate them are once again liked to their size. While both smartphones and tablets have handwriting recognition features and support stylus related functions, it is only on tablets and oversized smartphones that they can be used effectively. As you can imagine, using a stylus on a 4-inch screen can be a little challenging.
Another big factor that would help you choose between a smartphone and a tablet would be comfort and ease-of-use. Although it is true that you can draw and watch movies on smartphones, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the experience of performing those functions would be much superior on a tablet. As for making phone calls, be warned that holding up a 7-inch tablet to your face for prolonged periods of time can be tiring and not to mention dorky-looking.
If any one of the factors above is extremely important to you, it is easy to make the choice between a tablet and a smartphone. If you are undecided however, you can always opt to buy an oversized smartphone if you don’t mind the extra bulk. You can also choose to split your budget between the two devices by buying an entry-level or second hand smartphone, and an entry-level or second hand tablet. For instance, you can choose to buy both the very affordable yet extremely competent $179 Moto G smartphone and the highly rated, $139 Kindle Fire 7-inch tablet. The price of both these devices combined is still cheaper than the iPad Mini or an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4.
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