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5 ways the smartphone is conquering the tablet

Ben Taylor | Feb. 27, 2015
Smartphones and tablets can do a lot of the same things, but a closer look at the specs shows how tablets are falling behind.

4. Smartphones have better cameras
Smartphones are the perfect size for snapping photos, something that can't be said of most bulky tablets. But even once you go beyond comfort and convenience, the average smartphone still destroys the average tablet on image quality.

From a spec perspective, consider that the average megapixel (MP) count in a tablet camera has stalled out around 8 MPs, while the average flagship smartphone now boasts over 13 MPs. 

Megapixels aren't everything, and they tend to get overhyped in mobile marketing. But the megapixel march among smartphones shows just how camera-obsessed the phone industry has become, compared to the relative apathy among tablets, where the camera is often an afterthought.

5. On the web, tablets are still caught between mobile and desktop
In a perfect world, every web page would be optimized for every device size. In practice, many sites only have two versions: the classic desktop look, and a mobile look specifically for the smartphone.

This is a problem for tablets, where your favorite webpages will often have to choose between a scrunched desktop version or a blown-up smartphone interface--effectively making the tablet the worst of either world.

Granted, some tech-forward sites feature responsive displays, smart enough to make use of the tablet's unique size. But this sort of flexible page is far more rare than it should be in 2015. The smartphone simply provides a more consistent web experience.

6. The line between the devices is blurring
Even with all the tablet's flaws, it's at least a unique device, right? Won't the tablet always offer a certain experience you can't get anywhere else?

Not necessarily. If anything, the tablet and smartphone are quickly becoming the same device.

Based on data from SpecOut, we charted the number of small (under 4.5"), medium (between 4.5" and 5.2") and large phones (over 5.2") released each year since 2010. We then did the same for tablets (under 9", between 9" and 11", over 11").

The distinction between tablets and smartphones is getting smaller every year. The only difference? One device has better apps, better cameras, better battery life, and a great web browsing experience. The choice is up to you.


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