Can Tablets Make Phone Calls? Learn How!

Tablets are becoming quite popular today because of how mobile and functional they are. While we do usually look at the tablet as something of a cross between a smartphone and a laptop, it is actually a device that is unique on its own. But we do know that smartphones are capable of making phone calls because they are basically phones. In that case, can tablets, which more or less larger versions of smartphones, make phone calls as well?

Tablets can make phone calls but this isn’t generally the case for all tablets because there are more tablets that aren’t capable of making phone calls. Instead, most tablets are capable of making calls through the internet and not through the cellular signal that most phones use when calling.

Generally speaking, not all tablets can make phone calls because these tablets were made to be more like laptops but with some capabilities of a smartphone. Of courses, it’s going to be extremely difficult and awkward to make calls on a large tablet. That said, there are still some tablets that will allow you to make phone calls. And if that isn’t the case, you can still make use of the internet for calling using your tablet.

Samsung galaxy Tablet

Can tablets make phone calls?

We all know how popular tablets are in today’s modern world because of how functional and portable they are. They are generally seen as hybrids of smartphones and laptops in the sense that they are nearly identical to the operating system and capabilities of a smartphone but can also be used as laptops that can be very useful for work or classes. This is why it is easy to understand why plenty of people have tablets today.

However, while some tablet owners do have smartphones that they can use for calling, there will be times when your smartphone is out of juice and there is no internet connection wherever you may be. That is when you might begin to think that you can use your tablet to make phone calls because, if you look at it, a tablet is seemingly just a bigger version of a smartphone. So, can you actually make phone calls with your tablet?

In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for tablets to be exactly what they were thought to be, which is just bigger versions of smartphones. That was true in a lot of cases as there were plenty of Android devices that were just bigger smartphones in the sense that they did not only come with the smart capabilities of a usual smartphone but were actually capable of making phone calls whenever you have SIM card inserted into the tablets. This allowed you to make phone calls with a device that is far bigger than your usual smartphone.

However, as the years passed, it became apparent that not a lot of people would be making calls with large devices that they can’t even fit in one hand. As such, more and more tablets were developed with the idea that they were going to be the future standard of portable computing in the sense that people who are on the go can use them for work, entertainment, or school similar to how they use laptops. So, in that sense, the tablet became its own machine with its own unique identity as more tablets are now developed to have different unique capabilities and even operating systems that are different from the ones you see in smartphones.

That said, in a general sense, tablets today are not capable of making phone calls because of how they are no longer just larger versions of smartphones. Instead, tablets are now regarded as computers that are closer to what laptops are instead of what smartphones are.

A good example of a tablet that was never intended to make phone calls from the beginning is the Apple iPad. Throughout many of the different iterations of the iPad and even though you chose a cellular model of the iPad, this tablet still could not make phone calls because of how it was not designed to be just a bigger version of an iPhone. Instead, the iPad has always had its identity as even the newer iPads of today’s generation are not capable of making phone calls despite how powerful and functional they may have become.

three ipads next to each other

But why do these tablets even have cellular functions if they can’t even make phone calls? For starters, the cellular function of these tablets is in relation to their ability to use mobile data connections to connect with the internet. As such, tablets with cellular functions are made to use cellular signals for data connections and not for making phone calls.

So, even if most tablets today are designed to be machines that are no longer smartphones in the sense that they can’t make phone calls, there are still some tablets that still actually have phone-like capabilities in the sense that they can make phone calls. And because such tablets do exist, we can say for certain that there are still tablets that actually allow you to make phone calls even if that is no longer the general case in most of the tablets we have today.

The good news is that having one of such tablets will allow you to have another phone with you so that, when your smartphone dies, you can still make use of your tablet to make phone calls in an emergency or when you really need to make a quick phone call. But make sure that you use your headphones if you don’t want to look silly using a 9-inch tablet over your ear.

Which tablets can make phone calls?

If you are looking for tablets that can make phone calls, plenty of different Samsung tablets are capable of doing so. Other brands, however, don’t have tablets that can make phone calls. So, if you want to use a tablet that is capable of using its cellular capabilities for phone calls, here are your options:

Hands holding Samsung Galaxy S6 lite tablet

1.     Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

For those looking for a tablet that won’t hurt your wallet, going for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite should be a good idea because this midrange tablet isn’t exactly expensive but comes with plenty of features such as a free S Pen and a pretty good screen size at 10.4. Meanwhile, it comes with the capabilities of a smartphone because you can make calls with it as long as it has its own SIM card. So, think of it as a well-priced Samsung phone that is larger than others.

2.     Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7”

One of the newer additions to Samsung’s lineup of tabs is the Galaxy Tab A7 lite that comes at you at 8.7”, making it slimmer and smaller than most of the newer tablets you see in the market today. As long as you go for the cellular model of this tablet, you will be able to make phone calls using this device in a way that is similar to your smartphone. And the best part is that it isn’t really very expensive.

3.     Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0”

Another neat tablet in Samsung’s roster is the Galaxy Tab A 8.0”, which is sleek and easy to carry around thanks in large part to its smaller size. Think of it as Samsung’s counterpart to the now-discontinued iPad Mini. However, what allows Tab A to set itself apart is that it comes with an S Pen and the ability to make phone calls. And because it isn’t really that big, it won’t be too awkward making phone calls with this tablet.

4.     Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4”

The Galaxy Tab A7 10.4” is one of the flagship tablets that Samsung has in its roster of tablets but it still is a budget tablet that is similar to the standard iPad in Apple’s lineup. However, even though it is cheaper than Samsung’s actual flagship tablet, it comes with the capabilities of a smartphone because it can actually make phone calls as long as you put a SIM card in it. Just temper your expectations in relation to its performance.

5.     Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1”

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1” is just the bigger version of one of the other tablets we have mentioned on this list. This means that it comes with all of the capabilities of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0”. Of course, this includes how it is able to make phone calls as long as you buy the cellular version of this tablet. However, it isn’t as small and as light as its 8.0” counterpart, and that might make it more difficult for you to use this tablet for phone calls.

How to make calls with other tablets?

So, even if there are only a few tablets in the market that are capable of making phone calls, does that mean that you really can’t use your tablet for calls in case you don’t have any of the abovementioned models? Not necessarily. That’s because you can still make use of your tablet’s internet connection to make calls instead. And this is better done if you have a tablet with cellular capabilities although Wi-Fin only tablets can still make calls as long as they are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

So, how exactly do you use a tablet to make calls? Well, you probably already know the answer to this if you frequently use your smartphone for making calls over the internet. And yes, you make use of different apps to make calls using a tablet in the same way as you do with a smartphone. This has become the standard in calling today because internet calls tend to have better quality and will also allow you to make video calls and not only voice calls. Just make sure that your cellular plan can handle the charges when you do make internet calls using your tablet.

That said, here are the most popular apps that you can use to make internet calls using your tablet:

surface pro screen and keyboard

1.     Google Hangouts

You can download Google Hangouts for both iOS and Android devices. The Hangouts app will allow you to send messages and make phone calls to anyone who is using a Google account, which is basically the standard for emails today. So, if you want to make a free phone call to anyone who is using Google Hangouts as well, all you need to do is to open your Hangouts account and then use your internet connection to make a voice or video call.

2.     Skype

Skype has long been one of the well-known names in video calling as it has been around since even before the time when smartphones were as popular as they are. This app is usually used for online meetings and conferences but it can still be used for making video and voice calls using your tablet. Skype is not only available for all tablets running in different operating systems but for computers as well. That means that you can call from your tablet to someone who using skype with a computer.

3.     Facebook Messenger

Facebook is no doubt the king of social media apps as basically everyone in the world is on Facebook. Of course, if you are using Facebook, you will also have a Facebook Messenger account, which is the messaging arm that Facebook uses for its users. So, as long as the person you want to call has a Facebook Messenger account and app (which are usual cases in today’s Facebook-dominated market), you can simply open your Messenger account, look for the person in your friends or contacts list, and then make a phone call over the internet. It’s that easy and that the best part is that Facebook Messenger is available on all different platforms and devices including your tablet.

4.     FaceTime and iMessage

FaceTime and iMessage are both exclusive to Apple users. But since there are more Apple tablet users in comparison to other brands, you can make use of FaceTime and iMessage to make free calls to them. FaceTime is the app that you use for video and voice calls while iMessage is basically what you use to send messages over the internet. Just make sure that you are using an iPad with cellular capabilities and that you are calling someone who owns an Apple device as well.

5.     Viber

Viber is pretty capable in its own right as well as it is able to sync your mobile phone number with the app so that you can basically make calls using Viber through the internet without the need to open an account. As mentioned, it makes use of your phone number as your account for the app so that all you need to do is to input your phone number when you want to set up a Viber account. The downside, however, is that you won’t be able to use this with a tablet that doesn’t have a cellular data connection due to how it doesn’t have a phone number. But you may still use your smartphone’s phone number as the account you can use to set up Viber on your tablet.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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