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Smartphone vs Tablet – What’s the Better Option (2020)

With the advancement in technology, there has been a spike in the use of electronic gadgets, especially smartphones and tablets, which are the most convenient devices among other available options.

Even with the development of ultrabooks, smartphones continue to play a crucial role in the lives of millions across the globe.

Their features are getting better with time which prevents them from being entirely replaced by the newly introduced portable devices.

Here we discuss a thorough comparison between the smartphone and the Tablet:

Smartphone vs Tablet – What’s the Better Option


The compact and portable devices that are being introduced have never been able to substitute smartphones in the market better. There are smartphones with bigger displays of 7-inch which provide amazing productivity and entertainment to its users.

Features like split-screen for simultaneously watching videos while doing some work, full HD display, presence of powerful processors like octa-core, apps for social networking, amazing cameras for capturing beautiful pictures and recording HD videos, etc. are some of the marvellous features that smartphones come with that ensure their popularity among millions of users.


Tablets are excellent substitutes for the PC. They are portable and stylish while having a wide range of uses. During a trip, it is a professional's companion as the lightweight device fits into backpacks or briefcases. It is perfect for people who embark on several business trips regularly.

The best part of the device is that it is less expensive than a laptop. It can be used for entertainment, official work, studying, surfing the internet, etc. With 4G connectivity, users can stay connected no matter where they are.

Smartphone and Tablet Specifications Related Terms

Here are some commonly used terms related to the specifications of these devices:

  • Processor - The performance of a tablet or smartphone depends on the processor, making it the heart of these devices. For example, iPhone 7 has a more powerful processor than the Macbook Air a10. Multiple cores in the modern-day processors from the processing units enabling them to manage different tasks. When tasks are split across various cores, parallel computing occurs, resulting in faster outputs. Qualcomm, MediaTek, etc. are some of the processor brands. GHz is the unit for classifying the processor based on their speeds.
  • GPU or Graphics Processing Unit - This is meant for managing the visual output of a device, especially when 3D images are produced. It generally comes into the picture when users are playing video games and using augmented reality applications. The GPU performance is measured in terms of frames per second or FPS.
  • RAM - This Random Access memory is used for storing active programs and operations. It plays a significant role in helping the device to multitask as it enables switching between apps and allows the user to have several operations running simultaneously in the background.
  • ROM - The Read-Only memory is used for storing the various files and media on the smartphone or the Tablet. Out of the specified amount of ROM, some part is occupied by the OS of the device as well as for subsequent updates.
  • Resolution - Resolution refers to the number of pixels on the display of the device. When the resolution is higher, the user can experience sharper image quality in the device. 720p is High definition, and 1080p is Full HD. Today, certain high-end smartphones also have QHD(Quad high definition) panels in which the resolution is 2560 x 1440.
  • LCD, OLED Display Technologies - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) are the commonly used display technologies. LCD makes use of a single backlight for the whole screen. It ensures that even when the image is completely black, there will be some shine through, as the backlight is still active. Organic material is used for powering the pixels individually in case of OLED displays, so whenthey are off, the user can find true black with zero light emission. This has a significant impact on battery life. But such displays have less brightness compared to that of LED, and they are also prone to quick degradation over time. Smartphones make use of in-plane switching or IPS for building the LCD that results in strong viewing angles and reproduction of colour.
  • Fast Charging Technology - Smartphones come with this technology to overcome the long charging durations. Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is one such technology that can provide 5 hours of battery life with just 5 minutes of charging.
  • Wireless Charging - There are two standards of this technology, i.e. Qi and PMA. There is an induction coil for generating an electromagnetic field when another coil in the device causes the energy to be converted into an electrical current. The coils have to be properly aligned; otherwise, the phone can't be charged. It is a slower charging process even when the person uses a "fast" wireless charging pad.
  • Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Wi-Fi - Mbps is the unit for measuring the data speed. LTE and Wi-Fi are the standards of data transmission and reception through the internet in the Tablet or smartphone. It has replaced 3G as well as 4G. Soon this will be replaced by 5G. Wi-Fi is used in homes and offices for enabling the users to connect to the internet with their devices. On one hand, LTE is a technology that can be used anywhere on the go to access the internet by receiving data via manual towers and on the other hand, Wi-Fi is a wireless technology but comes with its own limitations of speed, distance, and data limits.
  • High Dynamic Range Photography Technique - This technique enables a smartphone user to take three shots at pressing the shutter button generally. The photos will be clicked at varying exposures so that the user can get a very dark underexposed photo, a very bright overexposed photo and a photo that is a balanced one. Generally, smartphones have a standard copy of a picture along with an HDR copy so that the user can choose the best one.
  • Dual Camera - The dual camera is found in most smartphones, and every device makes use of it differently. The use of extra software along with tricks for image processing and a second lens helps users to enjoy certain special features.

Smartphone or Tablet: Which One is a Better Option?

Tablets are devices that can be used in place of laptops or desktops. People generally use them for doing almost everything that they do with their smartphones. But can tablets prove to be good substitutes for smartphones or vice versa? Both devices have many advantages, along with certain shortcomings.

It is ultimately the user's choice to choose the one that is best suited for their specific requirements. In this section, we will look at certain similarities and certain distinctions between the two devices to see which is a better option depending upon the requirements.

Smartphone vs Tablet – What’s the Better Option

Ease of Carrying the Device Anywhere

People who use a smartphone for listening to music or podcasts will not find tablets suitable as they have a comparatively larger size preventing them from fitting into one's pocket easily. Even if the Tablet is kept in the bag, using headphones won't be convenient.

So in such instances, a smartphone is a better option.

Watching Videos

This includes watching Netflix and any downloaded movies. It can be better done on a tablet rather than a smartphone as tablets have a comparatively bigger screen size that ensures a better visual experience for the user.

Making Calls

It is not as convenient to make calls using tablets as it is in the case of smartphones; VoIP calls can be done using tablets if there is a stable internet connection. If a user is more comfortable communicating through texts, emails or other chat apps like WhatsApp, Skype. etc., then this insufficiency of the Tablet won't be a major issue.

Playing Games

People who love playing games on their smartphones will have a better experience if they do the same on a tablet. Though a tablet can't replace the gaming experience of a PC or desktop, it will be better compared to a smartphone. One can have an immersive experience considering tablets have a bigger screen.

Quality of Display

The display quality of devices varies depending on the number of pixels per inch (PPI). Generally, the dense pixels are packed in case of smaller screens when compared to the larger ones, resulting in better viewing of details on the smartphone screen.

Though there are tablets with high PPI, they are consequently more expensive. Besides this, it is the viewing distance that plays a major role in the quality of the details the user will view. 

Suppose the Tablet is used from a distance as in the case of a laptop, then better PPI is preferable to ensure superior quality display. In the case of smartphones, one can enjoy a top-notch display with an optimum price as the pixels are densely packed in its screen.

Smartphone vs Tablet - The Ultimate Comparison and Usability Test


Nowadays, smartphones, as well as tablets, come with cameras. Still, the specifications are better in the case of smartphones, such as higher megapixels which enables the users to click better quality pictures as well as shoot HD videos.

Also, people generally use a
smartphone for capturing selfies, and not tablets as they are not convenient to hold while clicking pictures.

Compatible Power Banks

Smartphones need smaller power banks compared to tablets which require larger and costlier ones, to retain power for about 4 hours. Besides this, such power banks take more time to charge the Tablet.
Accessories for the Devices

There is a wide range of accessories for smartphones such as VR headsets, stands, screen guards, etc.. Still, in the case of tablets, the available accessories enable working at a single place such as keyboard cases that will convert a tablet into a mini laptop.

There are HDMI adapters for tablets that can be used through external ad-on, but in the case of smartphones, not all models support this.

Kids' Convenience

Kids are generally uncomfortable with compact devices like smartphones. So whenever they want to play games, tablets are a better option which they find convenient to use.

Devices for Studying

Students who need to read e-books, take notes while studying, browse the web for different materials will find it comfortable to work with tablets rather than smartphones. This is the reason it is promoted in the schools and is designed keeping in mind professional usage.

For the students, tablets are an economical option compared to laptops.

Professional Use in the Office

Busy professionals find tablets suitable for their official work and always preferable over laptops. If we compare it with smartphones, we can see that tablets have better document processing facilities. Similarly, it is easier to edit a spreadsheet on a tablet.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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