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Tablets that can be used like a phone

  • 9 February 2017
  • 31 replies
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Are there any tablets folks have used that work like a phone to make and receive phone calls. Not talking about voip whatsapp or Hang outs or Skype.

Basically an LTE device fully functional with a in built dialer that one can insert and use their t mobile voice sim card into.

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Best answer by tmo_mike_c 16 February 2017, 20:36

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It is T mobile and other carriers that limit usages. T mobile has admitted to that themselves. 

 So a good example of that is the Samsung tab A7 lite. This tablet is advertised and listed by Samsung as having phone functionality. But T Mobile removed the phone app that does come with it from factory. If you buy one unlocked from Samsung, it will have a phone app. T mobile itself blocks tablets from having phone access. Sometimes you can slip past with devices from over seas or unlocked versions. But don't even tell a t mobile rep that you have it. Or t mobile will block your device. I have used Huawei tablets as phones. And while there are ways to mask or even change an imei, a WAP address isn't as easy. If one was to want to use a tablet as a phone that was t mobile branded, they would need to wipe t mobile from the device and somehow mask the device from being identified by t mobile. If you want to use a tablet as a phone, the easiest way is to find a device that t mobile doesn't already have blocked in their system and policies. Huawei used to be great for that. Or you use a factory unlocked device on a carrier that doesn't care. Trackphone doesn't usually care from what the device is. Family mobile from Walmart. Family mobile is t mobile too. 

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I had a separate digits line data only as one of the posters mentioned and i ended up converting that to another straight line fo the same pice and gave it to a member of my family.. I still wanted to use my tablet as a phone so here is what I ended up doing.

I purchased an iPad and I purchased unlimited data with it.

On the IPad I downloaded the tmobile digits app.

I purchased a pair of wireless ear buds.

My cell phone with the SIM is home and turned off and i use the ipad to make and receive calls.

I do have some issues with text - I can text anyone --I do not receive all texts paricularly short codes.

 

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Also as I pointed out with the unlocked Note 10.1 cellular version it could make phone calls with ANY GSM carrier.  If there is no provision for it that’s total BS as it still works to this day.  Samsung removed the ability on their own worldwide and forces you to use their service or pick a VOIP service.

I apologize. I will let you believe whatever you want, it really doesnt matter. My tablet does what I need it to and that is what matters to me. But thanks for your throughput anyway, it was virtually useless. To that an End. As you were.

Just for reference. I was a developer for Sony Mobile for over a decade. Also my brother works for Samsung in Korea as a developer as well. 

Look up Note 10.1. Not the recently released 10 or 10.1. It came out after the Note 3 and before the Note 4. It was unlocked and made phone calls. When the Note 4 was released Samsung removed phone app for all their tablets going forward. See below as to why. People have sideloaded or even tried coding in phone calling capabilities,  but have failed. There's a simple reason why it has failed and has nothing to do with carriers and tin foil conspiracies. It has to do with profits. Android is not 100% open source. There are proprietary bits that are needed. You need licensing and also testing which cost $$$ and time. Check out the licensing for your tablet and see if the FCC approved it for calling. No? Well Samsung didn't run it through so it will never get that ability. That's why the proprietary bits will not be found because they don't have any intention on it working or spending money to give that feature. 

Another example Nexus 4 with 4G and Google removing the proprietary bits to make it stop working because of no licensing. They could have just ran it through. It was cheaper for them to remove the bits and keep the price point as cheap as they had it. 

 

You can always import one that has that ability and make phone calls but keep in mind the frequency support might not line up because it isn't intended for our market. My car has a radio that has a sim port from Singapore and I have my digits sim in it. I can make phone calls surf the web and such, but only at 2G. When T-Mobile retires 2G in my area those features will stop working. 

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Also as I pointed out with the unlocked Note 10.1 cellular version it could make phone calls with ANY GSM carrier.  If there is no provision for it that’s total BS as it still works to this day.  Samsung removed the ability on their own worldwide and forces you to use their service or pick a VOIP service.

I apologize. I will let you believe whatever you want, it really doesnt matter. My tablet does what I need it to and that is what matters to me. But thanks for your throughput anyway, it was virtually useless. To that an End. As you were.

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Also as I pointed out with the unlocked Note 10.1 cellular version it could make phone calls with ANY GSM carrier.  If there is no provision for it that’s total BS as it still works to this day.  Samsung removed the ability on their own worldwide and forces you to use their service or pick a VOIP service.

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also just because samsung has offer certain services on their devices does not meant that we are locked into using them just because its their product on their device. example; samsung internet is simply another browser that comes preinstalled as an app and the same as chrome or firefox or edge. we have options when it comes to the app we choose to use to message with, whether it be a preinstalled message app or messenger another app provided by facebook and just because google offers voice service it is an internet service not a cellular voice service. to be a true phone with voice does not mean just an dialing pad app from playstore or marketplace or galaxy store or wherever you can get apps at it is a built in part of a device.

It’s what they want.  That’s what they code for.  If you have a problem with it take it up with them.  As they specifically pointed out Tabs can’t make phones calls all around the world not just in the USA, but you can use their built in service if you have their phone.  Their own knowledge base says exactly this.  

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and samsung has nothing to do with provisioning sim cards for voice or data capabilities that is what the carriers provide, depending on the plan they offer and not all carriers are offering the same plan there are endless variety of plans from countless carriers that can we can choose from. we are not forced to choose from just the top carriers and their expensive plans or devices.

You are mistaken.  At the software level OEMs have full  control unlike people think they do not.  We are not talking about the days of BREW and carriers actually doing to coding.  If Samsung gave source codes to carriers trust me we would have it by now, but we don’t because OEMs do all the coding and have it under lock and key.

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samsung galaxy tab a 8 (2019) comes in 3 different models. model SM-T295 most certainly has a dedicated phone number attatched in the hardware not an app! the other 2 do not check it.

Just because it has a phone number associated doesn’t mean it is provisioned BY the manufacturers for phone calls.  All carriers use “phone numbers” for each line for logistics purposes not just specifically for phone calls.  This has been a thing long before Tablets, and wearables became a thing.

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and samsung has nothing to do with provisioning sim cards for voice or data capabilities that is what the carriers provide, depending on the plan they offer and not all carriers are offering the same plan there are endless variety of plans from countless carriers that can we can choose from. we are not forced to choose from just the top carriers and their expensive plans or devices.

so since TMO still isnt allowing this...which other carrier allows this to happen?

 

you might want to change your screen name away from your email since this is a fully public site and everyone and their mom can now send you a bunch of bunk junk mail etc..there is a thread floating around in here for getting your screen name changed or you can contact TMO Mike in this thread to see if he can help with getting it changed.

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and im not sure how a device that was built in 2019 could be debunked decades ago unless 2019 was 20 years ago

 

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also just because samsung has offer certain services on their devices does not meant that we are locked into using them just because its their product on their device. example; samsung internet is simply another browser that comes preinstalled as an app and the same as chrome or firefox or edge. we have options when it comes to the app we choose to use to message with, whether it be a preinstalled message app or messenger another app provided by facebook and just because google offers voice service it is an internet service not a cellular voice service. to be a true phone with voice does not mean just an dialing pad app from playstore or marketplace or galaxy store or wherever you can get apps at it is a built in part of a device.

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and samsung has nothing to do with provisioning sim cards for voice or data capabilities that is what the carriers provide, depending on the plan they offer and not all carriers are offering the same plan there are endless variety of plans from countless carriers that can we can choose from. we are not forced to choose from just the top carriers and their expensive plans or devices.

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samsung galaxy tab a 8 (2019) comes in 3 different models. model SM-T295 most certainly has a dedicated phone number attatched in the hardware not an app! the other 2 do not check it.

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The closest you can get is anything that’ll tie you into a phone

 

For example -

Samsung devices tied in their services on their Tablets

Apple devices tied into iMessages

 

They have options to hand over to their respective tablets.

 

I will tell  you it’s not the carriers making this imaginary line.  It’s OEMs that are.  Why would they give you that ability on a Tablet which is often hundreds of dollars cheaper than their phones.  They’d rather you buy the phone and also buy their Tablets.  Carriers base their plans by the options OEM’s offer them.

Sorry but I will tell you it is the carrier making the imaginary line, because the hardware and firmware in a given device is not imaginary it is functional. To wit; I took the same samsung galaxy tab a 8 2019 that tmobile would not or has not yet provisioned a sim card for, they should and maybe soon will when they realize that consumers want what they want and will find some carrier that will provide said service. For example once they find out i was able to get 4g lte cellular for $20 a month with unlimited talk and text, 10gb premium high speed data from MINT Mobile, it beats my former $16 month straight talk mobile home phone. And keeps my $50 month100gb hotspot combo for mobile internet and $20 phablet now a reasonable $70 month. Dont get me wrong I do like tmobiles’ 100gb hotspot, it works well, but they wanted another $65+ to add voice line which wasnt going to work for me, $115+ a month is too much. I would have liked to have had one bill but not for $50 more than 2 separate bills. All the carriers share the same networks and towers making the service the same either way. The only difference is if you prefer a brand name or can be satisfied the same with plain label. So now you can see that it is the service that is more imaginary and the device in your hand that you utilize is real. just the same as the extra cash in my pocket that i saved is not imaginary. and the device is still a samsung device just the same as a carrier might sell you too, so its hardly the device that is the imaginary line. not when it is used to type this message, on a tmobile page from a plain label carrier with a brand name device. And you ask why would they give us that ability, well because its what we want thats why. now granted the device is not sold retail in U,S. but that doesn’t mean it we cant buy an international version with the capabilities for that same hundreds of dollars, you mentioned, less. Thats what I did and saved myself the initial hundreds on the purchase and countless hundreds more on the monthly service savings. We are the consumers it is our money to save or our money to waste the choice is our own.

Sorry it’s been debunked decades ago.  the Galaxy Note 10.1 was a Tablet which made phone calls.  Unlocked you could put a sim into it on any carrier and could make phone calls.  Carriers do not know if it’s a cell phone or a Tablet… Samsung dropped it the following year, and brought out the https://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00083152/ which forces you to buy one of their phone to make phone calls with their tablets which you Tab A falls under.

Also Samsung own reps will tell you the Tab A 2019 LTE does not make phone calls (https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Tablets/can-the-galaxy-tab-a-8-2019-LTE-make-phone-calls/td-p/674037 which is an ISSUE with Samsung not provisioning them because of above.

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The closest you can get is anything that’ll tie you into a phone

 

For example -

Samsung devices tied in their services on their Tablets

Apple devices tied into iMessages

 

They have options to hand over to their respective tablets.

 

I will tell  you it’s not the carriers making this imaginary line.  It’s OEMs that are.  Why would they give you that ability on a Tablet which is often hundreds of dollars cheaper than their phones.  They’d rather you buy the phone and also buy their Tablets.  Carriers base their plans by the options OEM’s offer them.

Sorry but I will tell you it is the carrier making the imaginary line, because the hardware and firmware in a given device is not imaginary it is functional. To wit; I took the same samsung galaxy tab a 8 2019 that tmobile would not or has not yet provisioned a sim card for, they should and maybe soon will when they realize that consumers want what they want and will find some carrier that will provide said service. For example once they find out i was able to get 4g lte cellular for $20 a month with unlimited talk and text, 10gb premium high speed data from MINT Mobile, it beats my former $16 month straight talk mobile home phone. And keeps my $50 month100gb hotspot combo for mobile internet and $20 phablet now a reasonable $70 month. Dont get me wrong I do like tmobiles’ 100gb hotspot, it works well, but they wanted another $65+ to add voice line which wasnt going to work for me, $115+ a month is too much. I would have liked to have had one bill but not for $50 more than 2 separate bills. All the carriers share the same networks and towers making the service the same either way. The only difference is if you prefer a brand name or can be satisfied the same with plain label. So now you can see that it is the service that is more imaginary and the device in your hand that you utilize is real. just the same as the extra cash in my pocket that i saved is not imaginary. and the device is still a samsung device just the same as a carrier might sell you too, so its hardly the device that is the imaginary line. not when it is used to type this message, on a tmobile page from a plain label carrier with a brand name device. And you ask why would they give us that ability, well because its what we want thats why. now granted the device is not sold retail in U,S. but that doesn’t mean it we cant buy an international version with the capabilities for that same hundreds of dollars, you mentioned, less. Thats what I did and saved myself the initial hundreds on the purchase and countless hundreds more on the monthly service savings. We are the consumers it is our money to save or our money to waste the choice is our own.

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The closest you can get is anything that’ll tie you into a phone

 

For example -

Samsung devices tied in their services on their Tablets

Apple devices tied into iMessages

 

They have options to hand over to their respective tablets.

 

I will tell  you it’s not the carriers making this imaginary line.  It’s OEMs that are.  Why would they give you that ability on a Tablet which is often hundreds of dollars cheaper than their phones.  They’d rather you buy the phone and also buy their Tablets.  Carriers base their plans by the options OEM’s offer them.

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The original question in this thread, now listed questionably, solved never was answered in any way I can understand. The best answer quoted being kinda tricky. Well To me all that needs done is simply remove the trickery and the imagery along with the cloak and daggers and answer the question Mr tmo-mike.

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@tmo_mike_cif I insert my phone sim in my tablet, can i use the tablet as my phone. I understand about the separate data line for tablet, that is not what i’m asking though. Data works with my phone sim in the tablet, but voice calls are failing, need quick help please. My phone is broken and not able to get a new phone at this time, i want to use my tablet as phone, please help. Thanks!

Hello tmo mike are you still here? Please answer xlabs question for us.

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@tmo_mike_c if I insert my phone sim in my tablet, can i use the tablet as my phone. I understand about the separate data line for tablet, that is not what i’m asking though. Data works with my phone sim in the tablet, but voice calls are failing, need quick help please. My phone is broken and not able to get a new phone at this time, i want to use my tablet as phone, please help. Thanks!

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I read a lot, and what I’ve read on this seems to be a little rabbit warren of people agreeing that getting carriers to support Phablets as Real Mobility Devices is tilting at windmills, but that tethering a tablet to a phone (and a number of headsets) by bluetooth or WiFi or even USB cables is a world of possibilities and self-determination.

Wearing an arbitrary number of computers at once is a slightly different warren of long strange trips. Hey, all your outfits match if they’re all behind a giant  courier bag! Cool.

 

Ah. That's kinda tricky because when we set up the tablets, the lines are created with plans that do not have voice capability included. So, even with a pre-installed or downloaded dialing app, trying to call from the tablet will result in an error message.

Hi Mike,

I know that this here is more than a year old, but I’m still dealing with the same question/issue. 

I have an additional line in my family plan, which I used with a smart phone before. I bought a Samsung tablet and wanted to make “normal” phone calls with it, but that doesn’t work. So when you setup the tablets, the NEW lines don’t have a voice capability included. What about a line, which I used already with a smart phone? So the moment I insert the sim card in a tablet, T-Mobile converts it to a “tablet line” - means you taking out the voice capability (blocking the voice capability)?

 

so if you used a sim card from a phone, wouldn't that be able to be used to make calls on a tablet?  Or am I missing something?

Does the tablet you're using have call capability? We have dedicated tablet plans but those service include messaging and data.

 

Well… in my opinion you didn’t answer the question from timmat1.

I don’t care about your dedicated tablet plans - I want to use the tablet as a big smart phone - with the line that had messaging and data and call capability in my phone before. 

The tablet I bought is an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8.0 SM-T377T. It didn’t had the pre-installed standard dialing app on it. I installed the standard dialing app - hoping it would give me the call ability, but - No - I’m still not able to make calls.

The same unlocked tablet from At&T has the dialing app installed - as far as I know, but I didn’t had a chance to try that version with my t-mobile sim card.

So is just T-Mobile taking out the calling function on this t-mobile branded tablet version - or basically on ALL tablets?

So back to the original question: 
Is there any tablet, which I can use with T-Mobile - including the standard voice capability?

Thanks

Did data work?

Ah. That's kinda tricky because when we set up the tablets, the lines are created with plans that do not have voice capability included. So, even with a pre-installed or downloaded dialing app, trying to call from the tablet will result in an error message.

Hi Mike,

I know that this here is more than a year old, but I’m still dealing with the same question/issue. 

I have an additional line in my family plan, which I used with a smart phone before. I bought a Samsung tablet and wanted to make “normal” phone calls with it, but that doesn’t work. So when you setup the tablets, the NEW lines don’t have a voice capability included. What about a line, which I used already with a smart phone? So the moment I insert the sim card in a tablet, T-Mobile converts it to a “tablet line” - means you taking out the voice capability (blocking the voice capability)?

 

so if you used a sim card from a phone, wouldn't that be able to be used to make calls on a tablet?  Or am I missing something?

Does the tablet you're using have call capability? We have dedicated tablet plans but those service include messaging and data.

 

Well… in my opinion you didn’t answer the question from timmat1.

I don’t care about your dedicated tablet plans - I want to use the tablet as a big smart phone - with the line that had messaging and data and call capability in my phone before. 

The tablet I bought is an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8.0 SM-T377T. It didn’t had the pre-installed standard dialing app on it. I installed the standard dialing app - hoping it would give me the call ability, but - No - I’m still not able to make calls.

The same unlocked tablet from At&T has the dialing app installed - as far as I know, but I didn’t had a chance to try that version with my t-mobile sim card.

So is just T-Mobile taking out the calling function on this t-mobile branded tablet version - or basically on ALL tablets?

So back to the original question: 
Is there any tablet, which I can use with T-Mobile - including the standard voice capability?

Thanks

https://www.plum-mobile.com/product-category/all-models/phabletstablets/ (Not that I've used any of them.)

I use the tab s4 works great with any carrier tmobile a little tricky using digits a tmobile app. You have to tie your tablet sim number to your cell phone number as a digits line.  I think it costs me 10$/mon for the digits line.  You don't have to keep the devices in proximity either.  A lot of tablets can be used this way you just have to make sure they support tmobile bands for calls

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Does the tablet you're using have call capability? We have dedicated tablet plans but those service include messaging and data.

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