How to Call Phones from Your Android Tablet

Ben Stegner 04-01-2017

With everything that modern smartphones can do Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace Phones have gone through an incredible evolution over the past few years. Besides serving as mobile phone and a tiny window into the world wide web, the modern smartphone accommodates a multitude of tools. The... Read More , it’s easy to forget that you can still make calls with that device in your pocket. From Snapchat Snapchat Spectacles: Everything You Need to Know in a Snap Over the past few days, Snapchat has rebranded to Snap Inc. and it launched a new hardware product called Spectacles. The app still remains "Snapchat" though. Here's the full rundown. Read More to text messaging, most people stay in communication with others without a traditional phone conversation.


Tablets are similar to smartphones, but you probably don’t think of calling people with your tablet. As it turns out, though you’d look pretty silly holding a ten-inch screen to your ear Which Tablet Size Should You Actually Get These Days? With so many tablet choices on the market, it can be hard to know which size is right for you. Our breakdown makes it easy to know the answer. Read More on the street, it’s easy to use your Android tablet to make phone calls.

Whether your tablet will serve as your only phone or you want your tablet to function as a backup phone on the go, here’s how you can set it up for phone calls.

Words of Warning

Before we start, there are a few notes you should take into consideration when using your tablet as a phone:

Google Hangouts

What FaceTime and iMessage are to iOS The Ultimate Guide To Making A Call Using Your iPhone When it comes to making phone calls on your iPhone, you're not just limited to the built-in apps and features. Read More , Google Hangouts is to Android. It’s a shame that Hangouts hasn’t caught on as the excellent all-in-one messaging app that it is The Best All-in-One Messaging & Calling App for Android: Google Hangouts What if there was one app that could do it all? Meet Google Hangouts for Android. Read More . With Hangouts, you can message, voice call, and video call anyone with a Google account, all for free.

If you’re interested in calling people with Android phones using your tablet, check if they use Hangouts first. If so, you can call them using a Hangouts call from right within the Android app. This is the easiest way to place a call with your tablet, but it requires the other party to use Hangouts 11 Creative Ways to Get the Most Out of Google Hangouts Stuck indoors or working remotely? Here are some creative Google Hangout ideas to help you connect with others and have fun. Read More as well.


Thankfully, Google also lets you call any phone number using Hangouts. For this, you’ll need the free Hangouts Dialer app on your tablet. In my testing, outbound calls came from my cell phone number since I’m a Project Fi subscriber Is Project Fi Worth It? 7 Things to Know Before You Switch Google's Project Fi is a low-cost but powerful mobile plan. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking of switching to Project Fi. Read More ; you’ll likely be prompted to set up a Google Voice number if you haven’t already.

Google’s calling rates page explains that almost all calls to the United States are free, but some may cost one cent per minute. If you try a call that isn’t free, you can add credit within the app. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Google integrated most features of Google Voice into Hangouts. Google Voice still exists on its own, but Hangouts gives it a nice front end.


While Hangouts is integrated into the Android experience, Skype is still the most popular video calling application 10 Tips to Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More around. Skype on your Android tablet can, of course, call other Skype users for free How to Use Skype on Android for Beginners Here's how to use Skype for Android, including how to get set up, add contacts, and make video calls. Read More , but we’re interested in Skype’s ability to call landline and cell phones.

Unlike Hangouts, Skype doesn’t provide free calling, and its payment plans provide several options. The easiest option is to purchase Skype Credit, which you use up whenever you make calls. You can purchase $10 or $25 at once, and enable auto-refill when you’re running low if you prefer. Calls in the USA cost 2.3 cents per minute; other rates are based on the country you’re calling, not which country you’re in.


If you plan on using Skype regularly How To Use Skype As Your Main Home Phone Line It's 2013 - stop paying for a land line. If you've got broadband Internet you can set up Skype, pay for a subscription and and keep your total home phone bill under $5 a month... Read More , a subscription plan might be a better choice. For Americans, the North America Unlimited plan, which costs $7 per month, provides unlimited calling to mobile and landline phones in the US, Canada, Mexico, and surrounding islands. Other folks can purchase the World Unlimited plan for $14 per month, which includes unlimited calling to landlines in 63 countries and mobile phones in eight additional countries.

While Skype is more expensive than Hangouts, it’s certainly affordable. Those who rarely use their tablet to call and stick to the USA can probably get by with Hangouts, but if you occasionally call internationally, $10 in Skype credit should last you a while.


If you don’t fancy using one of the big two apps above, Talkatone is a solid app that lets you call phones inside the USA and Canada for free. After installing it, you’ll need to provide either a phone number or email address for a verification code. The app has you create an account with your email address and name, then provides you with a phone number from your area.

If you have contacts on your tablet What Is the Best Contacts & Dialer App for Android? You don't have to settle for your phone's built-in contacts and dialer apps. Read More , you can easily bring a number up and call someone. The app worked fine in our testing. Aside from an optional $10 in-app purchase to remove ads in the app, you shouldn’t encounter any charges for calling in North America.


Get to the Phones

A tablet certainly isn’t a device made for calling, but with a bit of work, you can set yours up to do so just fine. Having a backup device or alternate phone number 4 Good Reasons To Get an Emergency Burner Phone Your smartphone has tons of features, and that's a great thing. Sometimes, you just need a basic phone to keep around for emergencies. Let's look at why. Read More is quite handy, and with these services you can make phone calls no matter what device you have on hand.

Don’t have a tablet yet? Don’t buy one just for calling; in fact, you really don’t need a tablet anymore 7 Reasons Why You Don't Need a Tablet Anymore Has the era of tablets come to an end? Now that smartphones, laptops, and e-readers are sufficiently advanced, the tablet is on the verge of being obsolete. Read More .

Do you ever use a tablet to make phone calls? Let us know if these apps are helpful for you, and be sure to tell us your favorite tablet dialing apps in the comments!

Originally written by Justin Pot on August 8th, 2013.


Related topics: Android Tablet, Google Hangouts, Google Voice, Skype.

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  1. marc
    July 18, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I just bought a dang samsung tabA 8" from bb yesterday! Before reading this article! Now I'm all wishing I wouldnt have! Oh well, it was on big ol Prime day sale so I guess bb was competing with them and marked theirs down as well, so I bought it.

    I use the phone every single morn to look at some emails, browse couple things and maybe watch a u tube vid or 2. It's what I do outside on the porch each morn to help plan out the day, drink cup of coffee, go over few things using inet on phone(S7 edge).

    I've been getting sick of the phones screen being too small even though it's a big phone screen! So I got a tablet to do those things with and so far, I'm glad. I'm so glad I got an 8" screen now to see any vid I might need to watch. Got bigger screen to read emails. The browsing is wayyyy better now especially if I'm looking at buying something, you can now see things way better. Amzn is way better with the tabA than the S7. I can compare shop everywhere better now. The phone screen for those morning things was just too small and I didn't want to unplug, take mouse, keyboard outside in the mornings for all of 30 mins or so to do those things(I really dont like using finger pad on laptops over keys/mouse).

    But now I'm all skeptical if I should have even bought the thing! But really, I totally get the article. And I agree with it for the most part. But whatcha gonna do when phone screen is too small, laptop just too much to take wherever it is you go or do, and I found that the 10-11 inch screen tablets were just too big! Hence the 8".

    Could have def bought any size tablet I wanted(cc with BB balance-$0 right now!). But the 7 was just a tad too small, the 10's and 11's just too big for a handheld tablet, so I ended getting the tabA 8, it was just about right size! I actually went with intent of purchasing another brands 10"( I researched for days which tablet to get). Left with Sams tabA 8"! Glad I didn't just order off line and went and physically touched a few of them!

    But once again, after reading this article, I'm wishing I'd have gotten an $800 or more 2in1! Why?? Why did you have to make sooo much sense! Oh well, for now, stuck with my dying out new tablet. Thanks MUO!(I really enjoy your site!)

  2. Barry
    January 15, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Hangouts dialer is the one I use. If you don't want a relay number showing up on the number you are calling you can change outbound caller ID in settings to reflect the number of your Android phone.

    For good video calling I use Duo. Just downloaded the current apk from the internet after running a search on Google and during the setup I used my cell number.

    For messaging I use Allo. Did the same as with Duo to get the apk and during setup used my cell number. There are a couple if drawbacks to Allo. The first is it can only be installed on one device per number. So if on your tablet it can't be on your phone or the tablet install will deactivate. The other is if the person you are testing doesn't use Allo they will not see your number only a 5 digit relay number, so you will have to tell them who you are.

  3. Marc Routhier
    January 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I use Fongo on my tablet. It's free in Canada. Super!

  4. dhirendra
    March 30, 2015 at 3:16 am

    I have trekstor volks tablet and I have problem with phone call....I. Received message from friends but I don't know how to make a phone call..can I use it for phone calling....plz anybody could help me....

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      You need an app that's capable of calling phones; which one is best will vary depending on where you live. I like Skype myself, but if you're in the USA Google Hangouts is also a good option (it's free in the US, not sure if it works in other countries)

  5. Shanna
    December 22, 2013 at 5:56 am

    All I can say is awesome! Got everything set up and made a few test calls with no problems. We'll see how it works through the long haul. :)

    • maewyn
      January 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      What did you end up using and on what device? I'm trying to figure out which current mini-tablet to get and what will be required to make use of it as a cell phone. Suggestions?
      I do not want people I cal to have to have an app, just a regular phone. Txs.

    • David Schaedler
      September 20, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      You didn't say who you used to make the call. DS

  6. Steve Sylvester
    September 22, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Hello Justin;
    Really good to hear from you,
    since i left the comment,I have discovered a few things about making calls on a tablet? I was sort of looking at the problem from the wrong end if you follow me? thinking I should just be able to use it as a cell/mobile phone!
    when in fact all 4g on tablet really means is you havethe option to use mobile data when wi fi is not available?

    so Yep Skype with head set looks the way to go,I looked at most of the alternatives (above & elsewhere) and still came right back to skype!
    which is not perfect but still the best I think,even though I have yet to use it,everything I have read tells me Skype is still top dog.

    Once again many thanks

    regards Steve

    • Justin P
      September 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Yeah, if you were in the USA I'd say go with Google but for Europe Skype is the best best. Good luck, sir!

  7. Steve Sylvester
    September 22, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Hello Justin;
    Really good to hear from you,
    since i left the comment,I have discovered a few things about making calls on a tablet? I was sort of looking at the problem from the wrong end if you follow me? thinking I should just be able to use it as a cell/mobile phone!
    when in fact all 4g on tablet really means is you havethe option to use mobile data when wi fi is not available?

    so Yep Skype with head set looks the way to go,I looked at most of the alternatives (above & elsewhere) and still came right back to skype!
    which is not perfect but still the best I think,even though I have yet to use it,everything I have read tells me Skype is still top dog.

    Once again many thanks

    regards Steve

  8. Steve Sylvester
    September 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I was directed to the above ,as I was totally confused as to how the calling from Tablet works?

    I have a SONY Xperia Z Tablet 4g?
    I could not understand how I was supposed to use it,as their was no details in the manual on call making?
    I now see that having 4g and a sim card just means you can use mobile services not just Wi-fi.
    The bit I fo not undertand yey? is the fact I have dedicated mobile number for the Tablet,given by Mobile service provider

    But going beyond this,can I ask which is the very best Tablet Phone service? is it Still SKYPE or one of the others

    I live in Norway

    reagrds Steve

    • Justin P
      September 22, 2013 at 12:50 am

      If your tablet came with a phone number you should seriously ask you mobile provider how to make calls with it. If they can't help you, though, set up Skype. It's my main home phone line and works well.

    • Jeff
      December 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      The best tablet phone service by far is "Text + Gold"

    • David Schaedler
      September 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      I sometimes get 2G, which obviously is slower, and there are pauses in reception. Terrible.

  9. Stephen T
    August 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Google Voice and GrooveIP worked for Me from the US, Mexico and parts of Europe with only My Galaxy Note II tablet and Wi-Fi!

  10. nottoday
    August 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    You can also probably use your 3G tablet to talk and text over the regular GSM network, if you are rooted. At least I know you can do that with HTC Flyer.

  11. Justin
    August 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Groove IP Works pretty good as well for makeing landline calls

    • David Schaedler
      September 20, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Maybe I'll try this.

  12. Angelo L
    August 9, 2013 at 5:35 am

    If you're in Canada, Fongo works well... free phone number, 911, caller id, etc all for free! One problem though: you cannot send texts without purchasing credits

    • Jeff Schallenberg
      August 9, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thanks, Angelo, for twigging me to Fongo! It took all of 10 minutes to install, register and test it. Voice quality on local calls is great.

  13. Horation B
    August 9, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Bobsled is pretty good. Making calls over data connections is all it's designed to do, and it's free.

  14. Tony COntello
    August 9, 2013 at 2:18 am

    How about Magic Jack offers a free app and Tango offers a free app for talking and face to face talking

  15. Guillermo A
    August 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Magic jack is also available for Android tablets

  16. yasamin
    August 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    you forgot magic jack once you have your number you can use their app. i love it with a permanent number you can receive calls like a regular phone

    • brian
      September 14, 2013 at 3:46 am

      I was contemplating them but could not get a straight answer from there sales goobers. The reason I was interested was because I wanted to port my old cell number that I've had for 13 years. I'm using the beautiful new Galaxy tab 3 10.1". It is not 3g or 4g capable but I'm using hotspot for access. I think you just solved my question for me.

    • brian
      September 14, 2013 at 3:56 am

      I began this experiment using skype but their android app needs tons of work ( e.g. cannot yet use bluetooth headsets while on a call, cannot directly use my google contacts inside skype) Also considered nettalk but they are charging one time $19.95usd to port. Although quality is great with Skype, I've tried magic jacks' android app and found call quality very comparable.

    • brian
      September 14, 2013 at 4:05 am

      Most services aren't clear if you can RECEIVE calls AND port a number. My goal has been to get rid of my carrier's deathgrip on my wallet (except for much less expensive data plan AND not get tied to a longterm contract). I am certain that have now found the necessary configuration to do all of these things! Thanks for the great information.

    • loveynia
      April 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Hi i'Am loveynia and I'm 10 years old

    • loveynia
      April 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      I have a friend names oneisha