Suggestion for Small Tablet to replace smartphone


I don’t know how much information you all will want, so I’ll give plenty. If you want to skip the info, here’s my question as short as possible: I’m looking for suggestions for a tablet that has the ability to have its own data plan. I’m also looking (although not as important) for a dumb-phone that is rugged to take calls on.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It’s been great, I think we’ve put in 3 years together but starting to have issues. Mainly battery and charging related but a few computer-inside-my-phone issues too. I don’t know how long I should expect a phone to last anymore but I absolutely thought longer than 3 years given the price.
Charging port is very finicky, and especially after a complete factory reset here a couple weeks ago. I used to be able to charge with any cord and adapter, wall or car no issues, now I am limited to ONLY the one that (I think) came with a Kindle. Yes, that means the one it came with no longer works. Occasionally the wireless charging works, and works better.
After the last factory reset, every morning when I power cycle it asks to software update. I gave in for the first week and “updated” until I realized nothing was actually changing.
I don’t know if my carrier’s service has changed, but I find my phone to be 0 bars in places I used to be able to find service. It can be right next to my wife’s and hers will be at 2 or 3 bars and I’m at 0
Google Music didn’t seem to work that well for me, but I’m still getting used to going without iTunes.
Wireless charging could have been neat, and was pretty awesome the few times I found myself in a vehicle with a wireless charging station.
Battery started off with enough that I could make it through the day.
Apps available for the few features I have such as turning on and off lights in my not-yet-very-smart home.
Amazing camera
3rd party accessories used to work without issue
Ability to increase internal capacity was nice.

I’m looking for suggestions for a tablet that has the ability to have its own data plan. I’m also looking (although not as important) for a dumb-phone that is rugged to take calls on.

  • I’m open to suggestions as to a ‘feature phone’ with the ability to broadcast a wifi signal to the tablet device, but I’m not looking for advice on why it’s a dumb idea to use 2 devices instead of 1.
  • I’d prefer the tablet to be on the smaller side (which for me is anywhere from the size of my note 5 up to probably 7.5")
  • If the tablet is 1" thick that’d be fine, I’d love to have a good battery.
  • I live and work in an environment that is hard on things, so rugged is a thought, but I also understand some of that can be taken care of with a good case.
  • I’d like enough RAM that the tablet will be relevant in a couple years, but I have no idea how much that should be.
  • I’m slowly learning Windows 10.
  • I’m a CTE & Agricultural Education Teacher (think farming, ranching, welding)
  • I’m a rancher
  • I’m not technology illiterate, but I’ve been slacking for the last 2-3 years so I’m a bit out of the loop.


I realize now how much crap is in this post. I hope I didn’t go overboard.

I also meant to say thanks for any advice or direction. You people are awesome!


Personally, I use an iPad with a cellular plan, and I’ve done so for several years now. My iPads have been one of the consistently best performing and most reliable tablets I’ve ever used; I have 2 iPad Pro devices right now, and I still have a 4 year old iPad Mini that I use from time to time when I want something smaller and more portable.

So if you’re looking for a cellular tablet - the iPad is a good choice.

As to “dumb” phones (the correct term is “feature phone”), there aren’t a ton of those out there any more. The only feature phones ones out there now are generally pretty junk and exist only because some people still want a phone with buttons or just don’t want to pay for an expensive smartphone to just make basic phone calls.

I’d suggest just talking to your cellular provider to see what they have.


Thanks for the correction. I wasn’t trying to be off-color, I’ll change my wording. Does the older iPad mini still function as quickly as it should, or do you find it lagging?


I thought the Galaxy Tab S3 looked pretty neat because it looks like it has a physical keyboard.
Are all tablets pretty compatible anymore or is it still more of Apple vs. the world in terms of cross compatibility?


It’s no problem. A lot of people call them “dumbphones” in contrast to “smartphones”, and the name actually makes sense. However, that’s not what the cellular carriers call them, so I try to stick with the carrier’s nomenclature, to be more precise.

I have the latest iPad Mini (I think it’s the 4), so I can’t really say. I will say the 4 does a good job and wasn’t terribly expensive. Verizon has the base model for like $22/mo on contract or $529 outright.

There are cheaper tablets, though. I also have an LG that cost me like $300… but I wasn’t particularly happy with it. That one was a bit laggy, even when brand new. I only got it for WiFi testing, and it does that just fine, but I wouldn’t bother using that for day to day stuff.


A list of small tablets is given below.

  1. Samsung galaxy tab A 7.0
  2. Apple iPad 32 GB internal memory.
  3. Micromax Canvas P702
  4. Lenovo tab7 7304F tablet