Essential Differences between Smartphones and Tablets

Although smartphones and tablets can seem somewhat similar, considering that they have the same OS and can run the same programs, they are in fact quite different in use. Tablets are not simply scaled up smartphones, despite phones becoming larger and larger. There are several key differences between them, chief amongst those being screen size, portability, multimedia usage, and capability to make calls.

The most noticeable difference between a smartphone and a tablet is the screen size. A smartphone usually has a screen with a diagonal of less than 5 inches, while a tablet will have a screen with diagonal of over 7 inches. In recent years, phablets have been released that have screen sizes of between 5″ and 7″, but generally they are designed as larger smartphones, rather than smaller tablets.

A smartphone, being much smaller than a tablet, is also more portable than a tablet. A smartphone is designed to be able to fit in your pocket (or at least men’s pockets), while a tablet would go into a purse, messenger bag, or backpack. Thus, a smartphone is designed to be easier to take out and use, and is designed to be able to be used in thirty second intervals for sending out texts, reading an email, etc. It would not be convenient to take out a tablet to check notifications.

What tablets are designed for is usage for longer periods of time. A typical use case would be sitting/lying on the couch or lying in bed for a half hour, watching videos or reading articles on your tablet. Of course, you can also watch videos and read articles on a smartphone, but a tablet has a larger screen, making it much more comfortable to consume multimedia on.

If you want to write things away from your laptop or desktop, or want to draw digitally, or do any kind of content creation, a tablet will be more comfortable to use for a long period of time because of the larger screens.

The most notable difference, though, is that a smartphone is still a phone. It has the capability and hardware to make phone calls and text messages. A tablet usually will not have a chip to connect to a cellular network nor the necessary antennae, and thus cannot do those things. A smartphone or phablet will also have a phone speaker and receiver for making calls, while a tablet lacks those.

By understanding these critical differences, you can become a more educated consumer and spend your hard-earned money more wisely.