Tablet vs. Smartphone – Gimmick or Great Gadget

Posted on: 5th June 2013

Mobile phones have come a long way from just being a gadget used for making calls. Its continuous upgrades led to the creation of smartphones that just do everything. The onslaught of iPhones, Blackberrys, and Androids has dramatically changed the tech world as we know it. And now, we have tablets – bridging the gap between the smartphones and laptops or computers. But it is not just a question of ‘which should I buy’ but also more of a ‘is it just a gimmick or a really great gadget’.

First, let’s do a comparison before we determine whether these gadgets are really worth our hard-earned money or not and if we should allow them to change the way we live our life.


With the current technology out there, any smartphone can compete with the tablets. Smartphones, however, have a limited memory as compared to the tablets that have additional USB slot(s) to fit in external hard disks.

Internet Connectivity

Smartphones have the SIM card capability, so they have access to 3G, 2G/EDGE network, and Wi-Fi connection. The same goes with tablets that have a SIM slot. Plus, the tablets that have the USB port can use the USB netconnect broadband services as well.

Tablet-vs-SmartphoneMessaging and Calling

With smartphones, there is problem when dealing with instant messaging and video calling. While some tablets do not allow SMS/voice calls, you can do this through Skype and other internet telephone service providers.


If you want something that will fit your pocket, there are tablets that come in a 5” body but even the largest smartphone at 9.7” can also be easily slipped in your purse or bag.

Now, for the nitty-gritty part – let’s take a look at the real purpose of these gadgets in our life.

Smartphones and tablets more or less run the same operating systems and apps, but users employ them for different purposes. Tablets are “media machines,” used for games and entertainment. Smartphones are more commonly used for communication and task-oriented activities.

The latest finding from Flurry Analytics reports that consumers spend more time using tablets for media and entertainment, including games (67%), entertainment (9%) and news (2%) categories – which account for nearly four-fifths of consumption on tablets.

Smartphones claim a higher proportion of communication and task-oriented activities with social networking (24%), utilities (17%), health & fitness (3%) and lifestyle (3%) commanding nearly half of all usage on smartphones.

Demographically, smartphone users tend to be slightly younger than tablet users (30 versus 34 years old). Men and women are equally likely to be tablet users, but men have a higher rate of smartphone adoption, Flurry Analytics reports.

In addition, the study finds consumers use apps on smartphones more frequently but for shorter periods of time than on tablets. According to the company, consumers use tablets more for media consumption and during the evenings while smartphone users tinker with their device for shorter periods of time across more sessions over the course of a day to complete tasks like checking into social networks and using utility apps.

But don’t forget that the primary use of a mobile device – whether smartphone or tablet –  is to communicate either by SMS or by voice. However, due to the advancement in technology, internet affordability and penetration, it is now possible to do social media communication, attend to personal, business, and school-related matters (check emails, send reports, create flow charts, etc. and avail entertainment options.

Smartphones and tablets have enriched, diversified and transformed the ecosystem of consumer electronics. While many single-function devices (like desktops and laptops) continue to play a distinct and relevant role in our digital lives, consumers are gravitating toward connected mobile devices able to perform multiple functions. Still, device choice is based on specific user needs in the moment. It all depends on how you want to utilize a smartphone or a tablet to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and more productive.

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