What to choose: smartphone or tablet

Thanks to the large screen, smartphones are now closer to tablets in size.

What to choose: smartphone or tablet. Usage scenarios

smartphone or tablet

Like any other electronics, smartphones (or tablets) should be chosen based on the intended use case. And in this case, the most probable 'cases' are as follows:

  1. Communication (both voice and Internet messengers);

  2. Browsing the web, using social networks;

  3. Reading books;

  4. Editing documents, working with e-mail;

  5. Games;

  6. Watching video;

  7. Listening to music;

  8. Photography.

In all of these use cases, tablets and smartphones perform differently. However, this is mostly a subjective assessment. For the objective, technical characteristics are used – processor, RAM and permanent memory, display resolution and camera specifications. But they also behave differently depending on the use case.

Communication (voice and Internet messengers)


For voice communication – calls over the cellular network and via Internet telephony – it is more advisable to use a smartphone. The tablet, which is large, is a little inconvenient to hold near your head – you have to use wired or wireless headsets.

Similarly, with text communication through Internet messengers. The compact size of the smartphone allows you to type messages with one hand, even on the go.

The tablet performs well when it comes to video conferencing. On its large screen, you can see the faces of all interlocutors.

If you plan to purchase a tablet for communication, then you should pay attention to the models that are equipped with a GSM module and support mobile Internet (such as 3G or 4G). Models that can connect to the network only via Wi-Fi, in principle, are not suitable for voice telephony, and their convenience in messengers is quite controversial.

Browsing the web, using social networks

web browsing

Despite the fact that most modern web pages are adapted for viewing from a smartphone, it is somewhat advisable to purchase such a device for Internet surfing. It is much more convenient to use a tablet. Thanks to its large screen, it provides comfortable page navigation and easy form filling.

However, if the main purpose of buying a device is to use social networks, then a smartphone becomes more convenient than a tablet. This is due to the fact that almost all such portals have special clients that make viewing content, reacting to it and communicating as convenient as possible.

In addition, the best solution for web surfing would be to buy a phablet – a large smartphone that has a diagonal of 5.5 to 7 inches.

Not only the display diagonal, but the amount of RAM is responsible for the convenience of browsing the web. If it is not enough, cached pages start to unload, and they have to be downloaded again. The minimum required amount of RAM for an operating system device Android designed for web surfing is 2 GB.

Reading books

reading books on tablet

A large tablet screen is better suited for reading e-books than a relatively small smartphone display. This will especially appeal to people with various visual impairments – you can set any desired character size, and enough information will still fit on one page.

However, the smartphone is much more mobile and lighter. That is why it is more convenient when it comes to reading for many hours. Tablets, due to their large mass, lead to the fact that the hands get tired of holding them. Smartphones cause this unpleasant feeling much less often.

But for reading books at home, as well as short trips, it's still better to buy a tablet.

Editing documents, working with e-mail, other office activities

For office activities, a tablet is better suited than a smartphone. Tools for editing documents, viewing email, etc. they provide a better user experience on a large screen than on a small one. In addition, within the same office, a tablet provides more mobility than a smartphone. And it can be used as an alternative to paper if you just need to demonstrate something to colleagues or management.


games on tablet and smartphone

On the surface, a tablet should provide the best gaming experience. But it is not so.

The tablet delivers a good user experience when it comes to light and fast paced games. This is because the controls and interface are usually scattered all over the screen and can be a little awkward to reach with your fingers. However, in games of this genre, such as puzzles, logic, turn-based and some RT-strategy, the tablet provides sufficient convenience.

For games with high dynamics – shooters, car simulations, RPGs, intense RTS – a smartphone is better suited. Its small screen makes it easier to reach the controls you need for a better user experience.

And for the ability to run games on a particular device, a processor with an integrated graphics accelerator is 'responsible'. Than the 'fresher' model of the chip, the greater performance it shows. And that's why flagship processors such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series or MediaTek Helio x-series provide maximum compatibility with modern games.

Watching video

watching video

Regardless of the display resolution, a tablet is better suited for watching videos and movies than a smartphone. You will be able to see more details on a large screen than on a small one.

However, it is the screen resolution that affects the final quality of the 'picture'. The higher it is, the better. The optimal screen resolution for a device designed for watching movies and videos is Full HD – 1920 × 1080 pixels. More is possible, but this will lead to an accelerated discharge of the battery.

If we talk about specific screen manufacturing technologies – IPS, TFT, AMOLED – they provide approximately the same picture. Only the color rendition and the overall color tone of the screen are changed. Perhaps the best fit is AMOLED – however, it is rarely found in tablets.

In addition, there is another technology for manufacturing screens – Retina. It can be found on tablets Apple. These screens provide excellent color reproduction and maximum 'smoothness' of the image.

Listening to music

listening to music

Both smartphones and tablets are equally well suited for listening to music. However, in 2017, smartphones are being equipped with separate sound chips that provide the best sound quality. There are practically no tablets with DACs or similar modules.

Among the smartphones that are best suited for listening to music are:

  1. LG G5 with separate DAC and G6 with built-in;

  2. ZTE Axon 7;

  3. Marshall London;

  4. HTC U11;

  5. Huawei P10;

  6. Sony Xperia XZ.



In 2017, the best cameras are being installed in flagship smartphones. Therefore, when purchasing a device for mobile photography, it is better to pay attention to compact devices. So, the following models of smartphones provide the highest quality images:

  1. Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X;

  2. Google Pixel, Pixel XL;

  3. Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus;

  4. Sony Xperia XZ.

However, tablets are better for mobile photo editing. Firstly, thanks to the large screen, they make it possible to examine the image in detail. And secondly, special applications for editing photos on tablets offer wider functionality and greater usability.

Tablets suitable for photo editing include Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface Pro 4. They support stylus input, excellent resolution displays, and excellent color reproduction , and can also run professional-grade software that will allow detailed editing of images before publishing them.

In the following articles, our experts will tell you how to choose an e-book and the secrets of choosing a smartwatch.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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