Various iPhones and iPads

Which Is Better for You?

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You want to purchase a new Apple product and are stuck between an iPhone and an iPad. You are tempted to buy an iPhone since it’s more portable and popular. However, the iPad is a lot bigger than the iPhone and can be used as a laptop replacement. So, which of the two should you go for?

Here is a breakdown comparison of the two devices to help you with your decision.

iPhone vs. iPad: Size and Design

The iPad is much bigger than the iPhone. For instance, the iPad Pro 12.9-inch model is almost twice as big as the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The former measures 11.05 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches and weighs 22.61oz (641g). The iPhone 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, measures 6.22 x 3.06 x 0.32 inches and weighs 7.97oz (226g).

The iPhone being small makes it more portable and easier to carry around. By nature of being smaller, its design is also sleeker. Comparatively, the iPad is larger and heavier, making it less portable. However, its bigger size gives you more screen room to work with. You can operate and handle most iPhones using one hand, but you will need both hands for the iPad.

The large screen of the iPad means you can see things large and clear without needing to zoom in, which is especially useful if you have eyesight difficulties. Also, you can watch movies and play games on a bigger screen.

The iPad aspect ratio is also different from the iPhone, making it better suited for productivity tasks because you can open two apps in Split View for side-by-side viewing. iPad Pro 12.9 has a 4:3 aspect ratio and 265 pixels per inch (PPI), compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 19.5:9 ratio and 456 PPI.

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iPhone vs. iPad: Battery Life

Another area where the iPhone differs from the iPhone is in its battery capacity. The iPhone 11 Pro Max, for instance, has a battery capacity of 3969 mAh, compared to 9720 mAh for the iPad Pro 12.9″. The battery life of Apple (and other smartphone) devices varies by use and configuration. How long the batteries will last depends hugely on the apps that you use on your device and the time spent on them.

Apple claims that the iPhone 11 Pro Max should last you up to 10 hours of watching videos, listening to music, playing games, and surfing the web. The iPad will last slightly longer by an hour or so.

The time taken to fully charge them is also different. A fully drained iPad Pro 12.9″ will take anywhere between four and five hours to fully charge. iPhone 11 Pro Max only needs around two and a half hours.

If you are traveling or without a nearby charging port, and want something that you can rely on to last longer, the iPad is your go-to choice. Even so, an iPhone with a healthy battery is still reliable.

iPhone vs. iPad: Phone Calls

You want a phone for its primary function: making calls. It’s one area where the iPhone has a clear advantage over the iPad.

An iPhone can place and receive phone calls using a cellular network or a Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the iPad. You can only make and receive calls on your iPad using Wi-Fi Calling to relay phone calls through your iPhone. You can also use both devices to FaceTime other Apple devices.


Both devices can be used for internet connectivity and communication purposes, but the iPad is severely lacking when it comes to phone calls.

iPhone vs. iPad: Texting

Another big advantage that the iPhone has over the iPad is the ability to send and receive text messages. This might not seem like a major deal, but if you’re someone who relies on text messages for communication, it’s a must.

Both the iPhone and iPad can send and receive text messages. However, the experience is different on each device. On the iPhone, you can use iMessage to send and receive text messages. This is a free service that uses your data plan. You can also send and receive regular SMS messages with your iPhone.

On the iPad, you can only send and receive iMessages and not SMS messages. This means that you can only communicate with other iPad and iPhone users who also have iMessage enabled. However, you can use other online messaging services like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

iPhone vs. iPad: App Compatibility

While iPhones and iPads have the same App Store, they run on separate (though similar) operating systems—iOS and iPadOS respectively. An iPad can run any app designed for both the iPhone or iPad. It is the one area where it bosses the iPhone around. The iPhone, on the other hand, can only operate applications specifically designed for the iPhone. It cannot run apps for the iPad.

Since iPhone apps are not intended for large screens, they might not look great on an iPad. One popular example of this is the Instagram app, which has long gone without a native iPad app. It’s not an ideal experience, but it works all the same.

iPhone vs. iPad: Price

The price of the iPhone and iPad can be a major deciding factor for many people when considering how much to spend on their next device. The iPhone is more expensive than the iPad. But why is an iPhone three times as expensive as an iPad while being half its size?


While both gadgets are useful and efficient, an iPhone has the one thing iPad doesn’t: making phone calls using a cellular network. The iPad is a tablet device that is primarily used as a computer replacement. And while it’s a powerful device, the iPhone outdoes it in this one area. Just don’t forget to factor in the monthly/annual cost of the cellular plan on top of the iPhone.

Should You Buy an iPhone or iPad?

Both the iPhone and iPad are great devices, each with their own set of pros and cons. It really depends on your needs as to which one is better for you.

Purchase an iPhone if you’re looking for a smaller device that’s easy to carry around and you need access to a cellular network. Alternatively, if you want a more traditional laptop-like, large-screen experience for media consumption and productivity, the iPad would be better.

Still can’t decide? Get both! The iPhone and iPad complement each other well, and you’ll benefit from the convenience of both being tied into the Apple ecosystem. Use the iPhone to make calls and send text messages when you’re on the go, and the iPad for everything else when you’re at home or in the office. You’ll have the best of both worlds.


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