Is a call-enabled tablet the perfect device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: June 25, 2013

One of the best things about liking smartphones, is that you always know something awesome is coming down the line. Eventually, that awesome phone you picked up a few months ago will be replaced by something even better -- maybe even by the same company, but more likely by another manufacturer looking to catch some of the limelight within the busy smartphone market.

Then again, if a contract is thrown in there, it could be a bad thing to watch all those great devices seeing the light of day while you're "stuck" with that phone you're just waiting to upgrade away from.

Either way, seeing what companies like Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Apple have been working on, and what kind of new features they're bringing to the table, is always exciting. Even if the particular device they're announcing isn't for you, and you don't intend on buying it, it's always good to see where they stand for the foreseeable future. Which device are they bringing to the arena to battle the other smartphone combatants, probably for the next year or so?

It may not be as exciting as a gladiator caught in the arena, but you get the idea.

I still don't own a tablet. My trials with them always end the same way: use them for a day, then stick them in a drawer or leave them on a table and forget they exist. They don't last long, and I don't see that changing in the near future. However, I could change my mind given the right reasons. And that will always boil down to the combination of hardware and software.

Huawei launched a new MediaPad last night, called the MediaPad 7 Vogue (yes, really). It's a 7-inch tablet, with a display featuring a resolution of 1024x600. It's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, and the battery is measured at 4,100mAh. It'll come with 8GB of onboard storage, 1GB of RAM, and have a microSD card slot if (when) you need extra storage. On the back, you'll find a 3MP camera.

The main takeaway for this tablet, though, is that it's able to make and take phone calls. As Huawei puts it, the device is a "call-enabled tablet." Basically, it looks like Huawei is trying to avoid that "phablet" word, and just make things as straightforward as possible. They've got a tablet that can make and answer phone calls.

Which begs the question: is this the type of device that can truly be the one device to rule them all? Not necessarily Huawei's MediaPad 7 Vogue, mind you, but something similar. If you picked up a high-end tablet, with high-end specs all around, which could let you not only make phone calls from the device, and not just on WiFi, but also answer them, would that be something you'd be interested in buying?

I don't think anyone wants to hold a tablet up to their face, but thanks to Bluetooth devices, that wouldn't really be a real world scenario (I hope). So if you could have all the features of your smartphone, even something like the Galaxy Note 2, but shoved into a device like the Galaxy Note 8, would that not be the best experience possible?

(Keep in mind that I used the Galaxy Note 8.0 as an example on purpose. That particular tablet does indeed come with voice calling support, thanks to its cellular-connected models.)

So if these devices aren't necessarily new, why aren't they picking up speed? Is it because no one wants to use a Bluetooth accessory anymore? Or is making and receiving phone calls from a tablet just too ridiculous to ponder? Is the accessibility of a phone, even one as big as, say, Sony's new Xperia Z Ultra, just an advantage that's not worth overlooking when compared to a larger tablet? Let me know what you think!