Is it possible to make phone calls from a tablet and use minutes instead of data?

The ultimate goal is to have a tablet (e.g. nexus 7) and a Bluetooth headset and make phone calls without using up all my data.

I was looking into SIM cards to see if a different kind if card would produce the desired result, but I couldn't get a clear answer.


It depends on the tablet. Not all 3G tablets have the facility to make voice calls (just like a phone), but some do. Some have the hardware and OS support, and you just need to install a dialer app to use it; some don't even have the right hardware. The Nexus 7 in particular doesn't.

You should check with the seller or the manufacturer's website before you choose a device.

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I would put this as a comment, but I don't have enough reputation. I've heard the idea that if you were to side load the dialer onto a tablet you may be able to make a phone call. Granted this was a Nexus 7 sideloading the Nexus 5 dialer. I have not tried this, so I make no guarantees, but it might work.

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  • It' won't I'm afraid, the N7 doesn't support any voice dailing. – RossC Sep 23 '14 at 15:07

Where are you generally going to be using the tablet? Why can't you use your phone?

You can sign up for a free Google voice phone number, install Hangouts + Hangouts dialer (or use the default Google voice dialer) and make calls for free over wifi. You can also integrate SMS and all of this (excluding SMS I believe) can be done across any/all devices you own simultaneously (including PC - maybe no phone dialing on hangouts on PC however)

Minutes are becoming obsolete (SMS has been for a while) but if you don't have unlimited data yet, stick to wifi (becoming increasingly available in public locations). If you're at home, you won't be using any data anyways.

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  • All the apps you've mentioned using data AFAIK. Dane might not have a WiFi near to use it, and obviously no "unlimited data" plan either, so this is unlikely to help. There might be areas/tariffs where "minutes" are much cheaper than their corresponding data traffic. – Izzy Sep 23 '14 at 16:14
  • Yes that is correct. This is more of an alternative route that may require some habitual changes and resourcefulness. Essentially exchanging one limitation (minutes) for another (data). In my case, I could go through all my minutes and then revert to a system like this. There are quite a few economical unlimited data plans. – Enigma Sep 23 '14 at 17:38

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