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Remember the mid-2000s, when we thought the Blackberry was the be all! Such a big screen!! Now, it looks sooo tiny.

Remember when the teeny screen of a Blackberry was all the rage? And then the teeny (well, it seems teeny today) iPhone first came out and we all gasped at the screen’s size (the phone was more screen than phone!).

Then tablets came out. Not as big as laptops or even notebooks but certainly more portable. Seven-inch. Ten-inch. You could watch videos so easily. Games were a snap. Responding to e-mails didn’t mean you needed your reading glasses (so long as you increased font size). Heaven!

If only my phone were as large, you said

Well, Samsung heard your cry and came out in 2011 with the Galaxy Note (at 5.3 inches it seemed HUGE for a phone!) and followed up with the Galaxy Note II in 2012 (5.5 inches and humongous!). Then it gifted us with the Galaxy Note 3 and and 3 Neo.

And then – oh, then! – Samsung presented us with the Galaxy Note 4, all 5. 7 inches of it! So big it can barely fit in our hands. But oh, how we loved it!

And then Apple followed up just this year with the iPhone 6 Plus, a 5.5-inch behemoth.

So if your smartphone is now as large as a small tablet, why even have a tablet?

Excellent question. We’re glad you asked.

The answer depends on what you need the device for. Will you be using it predominately to call people and look up things and use apps, and watch videos/play games, or will you be using the device to get some work – possibly writing – done on the road, look things up, use apps, and watch videos/play games?

If your answer is the former, get a phone. If you plan on using the device for work, opt for the tablet.

Tablets today can make it (relatively) easy to get some work done. While not as easy as typing on a laptop, tablets offer you the option of purchasing a keyboard that makes the typing process a bit easier. (See if you can get a keyboard that has “chicklet” keys; these are keys that actually depress when struck. The keys also have space between them, similar to a regular desktop or laptop keyboard.)

If you really want a phone and a tablet in one, check out the Asus FonePad, which is primarily a tablet (at seven inches), but does have texting and calling capabilities.

If your work consists of reading, responding to e-mails and texts, etc. a larger smartphone may better fit your needs. A smartphone – even those that are getting closer and closer to six inches – can still easily be placed in a bigger pocket or purse/satchel/briefcase for ease of travel.
 
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