3G-capable tablets have been around since the iPad emerged in 2010, but actually making mobile calls from this type of device is not something that most manufacturers have pursued.
Considering the sheer number of affordable pay as you go and pay monthly deals UK consumers have available, it makes sense to invest in a 3G-ready tablet that is able to take advantage of high-speed mobile data networks and not just Wi-Fi.
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Asus has recently released the Fonepad, a tablet which hopes to bridge the gap with smartphones and use the pay-monthly or pay as you go SIM only deals buyers love to allow for voice calls as well as data access.
But is the Fonepad just another gimmicky Android tablet or does it genuinely offer something different thanks to its SIM-card capabilities?
The defining feature of the Fonepad is definitely its 3G connectivity because most basic Android tablets of this calibre have to make do with Wi-Fi alone.
The fact that you can then use this 3G service to make calls as you would on a smartphone is another noteworthy attribute.
Of course, it is worth pointing out that many tablet owners are familiar with the idea of making calls, either through VoIP services such as Skype or via video-calling platforms of a similar nature. But these use data connections and you need good coverage to enjoy them, whereas the Fonepad is less limited in this respect and can easily place calls to existing mobile and landline numbers.
On the downside, there is no NFC connectivity as you might find on other Android tablets such as the Google Nexus 7. While NFC may not be a deal breaker at this point, it could become increasingly popular in the future and thus might leave the Fonepad looking a little underwhelming further down the line.
Anyone who does decide that the Fonepad’s calling capabilities are worthy of investment will have to think about the most appropriate type of SIM card to use in conjunction with this tablet.
A pay-as-you-go solution may well be the right choice, because it means that you will not have to worry about paying a recurring monthly contract even if you are not using the 3G connection of the device as regularly as anticipated.
The combination of voice minutes, texts and data available on pay-as-you-go bundles is also a compelling reason to choose one. You would be able to make use of the multifaceted functionality of the Fonepad at a reasonable cost.
Free SIM Providers to consider:
It might even be sensible to avoid other tablet-oriented SIM-only deals because, of course, these will be designed for devices which do not have the call-making capabilities of the Fonepad. Careful consideration of the available packages is always advisable.
Asus has made real headway in the tablet market thanks to its focus on innovation. With this model it is giving consumers yet more reasons to look past the iPad and give Android gadgets their attention.