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Smartphone or Tablet

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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July 7, 2011 9:23:39 PM

Hey everyone. I'm due for a phone upgrade and I have a tough decision. I have decided to either buy a smartphone (eg Droid 3) or get the cheap phone from Verizon and a tablet like the Tab 10.1 or iPad 3 (when it comes out). Which do you think is a better choice. I feel like i don't need a smartphone as I do not want to pay for a unnecessary data plan. Any input is helpful. Thank you.

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July 7, 2011 9:37:05 PM

bluerambo said:
Hey everyone. I'm due for a phone upgrade and I have a tough decision. I have decided to either buy a smartphone (eg Droid 3) or get the cheap phone from Verizon and a tablet like the Tab 10.1 or iPad 3 (when it comes out). Which do you think is a better choice. I feel like i don't need a smartphone as I do not want to pay for a unnecessary data plan. Any input is helpful. Thank you.


I would say it all depends on your usage habits. The smartphone is nice in that you don't have to wield a 10in beast. I don't carry my tablet around just going through the city, so email notifications and light browsing is done mostly on my phone (Galaxy S). At the same time, beyond a little wikipedia, google maps/navigation, email, phone number lookup and a little google searching, the screen is still too small for most browsing. (Texting is much better on the smartphone than a dumbphone, but it's not a deal breaker for the smaller phones.)

But, if you would regularly take a tablet with you, and you want to do browsing in non-wifi areas, a 3G tablet might make more sense. Maybe most of your usage is on the highway. Perhaps you carry a briefcase or other bag in which a tablet could find a good home. (Here, you could possibly get a bluetooth headset and avoid taking the phone with you at all.) However, you could also investigate a 3G usb dongle for your laptop. I don't know, could be cheaper.

A non-3G tablet is usually much cheaper if you spend more time surrounded by the warming radiation of a wifi signal.

So, it all depends on what you will be using it for... Just my thoughts.
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July 7, 2011 9:58:45 PM

buggaby said:
I would say it all depends on your usage habits. The smartphone is nice in that you don't have to wield a 10in beast. I don't carry my tablet around just going through the city, so email notifications and light browsing is done mostly on my phone (Galaxy S). At the same time, beyond a little wikipedia, google maps/navigation, email, phone number lookup and a little google searching, the screen is still too small for most browsing. (Texting is much better on the smartphone than a dumbphone, but it's not a deal breaker for the smaller phones.)

But, if you would regularly take a tablet with you, and you want to do browsing in non-wifi areas, a 3G tablet might make more sense. Maybe most of your usage is on the highway. Perhaps you carry a briefcase or other bag in which a tablet could find a good home. (Here, you could possibly get a bluetooth headset and avoid taking the phone with you at all.) However, you could also investigate a 3G usb dongle for your laptop. I don't know, could be cheaper.

A non-3G tablet is usually much cheaper if you spend more time surrounded by the warming radiation of a wifi signal.

So, it all depends on what you will be using it for... Just my thoughts.

Thanks a lot, I usually don't get as in depth answers. I would mostly use the tablet at home and school, areas where wifi is present. When i think about it I really wouldn't need 3g and the smart-phone as well. I feel that data plans are way overpriced. With the tablet situation what would you recommend?
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July 7, 2011 10:43:06 PM

bluerambo said:
Thanks a lot, I usually don't get as in depth answers. I would mostly use the tablet at home and school, areas where wifi is present. When i think about it I really wouldn't need 3g and the smart-phone as well. I feel that data plans are way overpriced. With the tablet situation what would you recommend?


Ya, I don't think I need much 3G, either.

Are you asking what tablet I would suggest? I'm not exactly sure. There are many options. And as usual, it depends on what you want to do with it.

You have your resistive touch tablets for pretty cheap (under $200). These are generally not a good idea unless all you want is an ereader. Generally they have slow processors, limited ram, and could be a bit buggy.

For a bit more, you get the much more responsive capacitive displays. For around $200 to $300, you can get a device that runs Android 2.x. Mine belongs in this category. It's a 7in screen that I use mainly as an ereader(the Archos 70 internet tablet). It has wifi, bluetooth, a 1GHz processor... Maybe the Viewpad fits here too.

Starting at around $400 (up to maybe $800+ for 3G versions with 64GB memory) you have your upper end Android 3.x and iOS tablets. Often these are dual core. Screen sizes are variable. Some have 3G support. Examples are Samsung Galaxy tab (a few models now), Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad... I just ordered the Asus Transformer. This one can come with a keyboard dock turning it into an Android netbook/Android tablet "transformer" :) 

The problem I have with tablets is that it's often hard to do much typing or other content creation. I basically use them for the internet, playing a couple games (Angry Birds as an example), maybe watching video (but the TV or my home computer is much nicer for that) and reading stuff. On the 10in screen, PDFs are much easier to read than the 7in one, but reading ebooks feels very natural on the 7in screen. Android 3.x and iOS gives video skype, but you pay more for those tablets. I don't really need the Asus, but I got it as a toy.

I think mostly these guys are great for the "ooooh" factor. Of course I'm speaking from my own view. There are many people who use these for very important tasks, but those people are generally the ones who start by saying "If only I could do such and such, it would be so much easier." Then the tablet purchase is easier because they start with a purpose. Or they are tinkerers/coders/researchers/hackers who probably adopt new technology early and do crazy stuff, like hacking the iPad to control a robot or something. For me, it was like "Well, that looks so cool. I wonder what I could do with it." Maybe not the best motivation :) 
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July 9, 2011 4:12:05 PM

The Asus Transformer is a pretty decent tablet for $400 (16GB) or $500 (32GB). The optional $150 keyboard basically turns the Asus Transformer into a 2.8lbs netbook based on the Android OS. So the total price excluding tax, shipping, and any potential discount is $550 - $650 for the complete package.

In that price range you can actually get a pretty decent laptop. It may not be as light as the Transformer and the keyboard is definitely not detachable, but it is overall more versatile.

Nevertheless, the Asus Transformer is a pretty good tablet to get especially with the productivity software that Asus has included (kinda like Word and Excel). I can't remember what it's called but it is exclusive only to Asus. The Transformer also has software allows you to control your PC. Plus you get a year of free cloud storage on Asus' server, after that you need to pay if you want that service.

I think the detachable keyboard is the primary appeal to the Asus Transformer. When the tablet is connected to the keyboard, you get full use of the "screen" since you are typing on an actual keyboard instead of a virtual keyboard which will use part of the "screen". Therefore, I think it is ideal in a classroom situation. You can then detach the keyboard and simply it the Transformer in tablet form to review notes you have taken if you are in a car, bus, or whatever vehicle (as long as you are not driving).

The only bad thing about getting any tablet based on an Android OS is the limited number of available apps compared to Apple's iPad (excluding iPhone apps used on an iPad).

I have toyed around with perhaps getting an Asus Transformer, but I already have a Kindle 2 if I wanted to read something while away from home. I already have a Cowon S9 to listen to music and watch videos; but I will admit the 3.3" screen is not comparable to a screen on a tablet. I already have a smartphone if I wanted to play a simple game (but I don't like simple games). In the end, if I had $550 - $650 to spare, I would probably go for a laptop.
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