MobileBurn asks: who wants to make phone calls on a 7-inch tablet?

By on March 13, 2013, 10:30 AM

Smartphone screen sizes have reached ridiculous levels since the so-called "phablet" era began, but few sights are as bizarre as the idea of making phone calls on a tablet. That doesn't mean that making phone calls on an Asus FonePad or Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 are as crazy as you think.

Personally, I wouldn't want to hold such a large device up to my head to make a phone call. Even with my massive hands, I'm not even sure that I could. I avoided using a Samsung Galaxy Note II when making calls to my parents because the lengthy periods of time holding the device made me uncomfortable. The thought of trying to replicate that on a tablet is downright absurd.

I understood why people seemed perturbed by the Asus FonePad and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 having phone capabilities, but all of the people making jokes and criticizing the manufacturers for creating such large phones failed to realize one thing - these are not phones. The FonePad and Galaxy Note 8.0 are tablets. Yes, Asus probably made a foolish move by putting a phone reference into the branding, but these are tablets that happen to have phone-calling capabilities, not daily drivers that someone will always try to have lengthy conversations on. These are devices that will be used primarily to read books, watch videos, and draw.

Phone calling on these devices is a feature, not the primary use case. To make that point clearer, you can bet neither device will have a calling option if and when they are released in the U.S.

Making phone call on a tablet is not as outlandish as some would have you believe. I have both a smartphone and a 7-inch tablet that I frequently carry, and there have been times where I could see myself making a call on my tablet, which would allow me to save precious power on my smartphone. If someone is already paying monthly service charges to access data on their tablets, I could understand why they might like to have the option of making calls on a tablet as well. In the bizarre event that someone actually plans to use the FonePad or Galaxy Note 8.0 as a primary phone - again, I don't know why anyone would pursue that option - there's a little-known invention called a Bluetooth headset that can make the user look less ridiculous.

The Asus FonePad and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 are not the first tablets capable of making phone calls. The original Samsung Galaxy Tab also had the feature in European markets, and I doubt there are many people who recall seeing many phone calls made with that giant device. The phone capabilities of these tablets are simply options, and consumers tend to embrace options no matter how ridiculous they make the user appear. In a world where people record entire concerts on their iPad, it shouldn't surprise anyone to see someone want to make occasional phone calls on a device that's capable of connecting them to another person.

User Comments: 18

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1 person liked this | treeski treeski said:

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if some people stop carrying smart phones, and opt instead for small tablets with calling capabilities + Bluetooth headsets, or, small tablets with dumb phones.

Guest said:

It's useless, kills main purpose of a phone in that way.....why should I carry 2 devices?.....but they only see profit, if the ppl wants that ok... just give it...but it breaks the common sense, it's not innovation, it's profit, so why we don't better take our TV's out in the streets and make calls with it? Absurd....

But with flexible screens and hardware... that will be very different.. with a limit of course.

NimbusTLD said:

My mom uses her Galaxy Tab 7.7 as her main phone, mostly because her eyesight is getting poor, and needs large fonts to read comfortably. I would guess that by marketing it to older people it might catch on with people that might have been turned off by smartphones because of tiny text on most smartphones. Remember Brain Training and the like driving DS sales? That demographic is not to be discounted!

Guest said:

I think even 5" phones are too big and not really convenient when making phone calls. You really need to use a Bluetooth and have it on you most, if not, all the time. I do think bigger size such as 7 inch tablet is good for older people that needs the viewing size. However, I seriously doubt that any of the phone company out there design/market their tablet with the intend to make it easier for older people to view/use. The trend of size increase on tablet/phones now is no different than the CPU Gigahertz war that happened around 6-8 years ago.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I find my S3 rather big to use as a phone. When the time comes to renew my contract there's no doubt I'll get something smaller. Heaven knows why I chose such a large phone in the 1st place.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

The SGS3 Is the biggest I would go. Anything bigger is inefficient.

Guest said:

I could not agree more with treeski about using small tablets with calling capabilities with a Bluetooth headset. If there were a Bluetooth device that was comfortable, could integrate with the pc/mac/phone seamlessly and had a reasonable battery/mic/speakers. The LG Tone+ HBS-730 comes very close, especially with how Bluetooth devices should be worn in my opinion, but lacking everywhere else except maybe the battery and speaker quality. Its only $52.22 + shipping on amazon, here is a link [link] . I'm anxiously waiting for the next version to address all issues.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I agree with @treeski also. I was actually going to get the original Samsung Tab as my first 'smartphone', with a bluetooth headset. But alas I got a better deal on an actual phone in the end.

Scshadow said:

I think its very doable to have a smart tablet phone. If you don't like the goofy look and awkwardness of a Bluetooth headset, they really could make some nice alternatives. How about making a hinged stylus(so you could angle it) with a bluetooth microphone and speaker integrated into it.

KbloodyK KbloodyK said:

I think the note 2 is my max when it comes to size of smartphones.

but I would rather have a phablet/7-10inch tablet plus a normal phone on the side.

psycros psycros said:

You know what looks even dumber than holding a tablet up to your head? Holding your phone in front of your face and using it as a speakerphone in public. However, using a *tablet* as a speakerphone doesn't look quite so dumb. The author is on the right track with the BT headsets, incidentally - tablets are going to become personal internet hubs with multiple devices connected to them wirelessly (phone, car, etc).

Guest said:

My Galaxy Note 2 is the perfect size. However I think the screen itself could reach 6 inches comfortably, they just need to make the bezel smaller so it stays the same size physically.

Guest said:

Agreed on the fact that Bluetooth headsets make this issue a resolved no-brainer.

For work a year or so ago, I used to carry a netbook and phone; I'd set up a hotspot on the phone for the netbook if there wasn't one available and pair my headset with both devices anyway.

Not much of a jump to roll both the functionality of both those devices into a tablet... with the headset paired, it would be a transparent shift to a single device.

wiyosaya said:

Don't these things have speaker phones?

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

Yeah, the idea of making a phone call from a tablet is a little silly. I always feel awkward when I call people from my Note II. But, there is obviously a market for it.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Yeah, the idea of making a phone call from a tablet is a little silly. I always feel awkward when I call people from my Note II. But, there is obviously a market for it.

I feel awkward talking on ANY cell phone in public let alone a huge one but a lot of people seem to thrive on it. They don't even care if you can hear their conversations, they just want to display their hardware. Conceited morons, if only they knew how ridiculous they look.

Guest said:

There is a glaring hole in this article...

People were already going earpiece, data only & skype on their tablets.. the earpiece/mic is the keypoint to all of this.

Or has everyone dERP'd on this?

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

I thought about getting a Galaxy S phone - it has all the features I want in a phone, but I simply won't buy a phone so dang large it won't fit in my pocket. This defeats the purpose of a phone.

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