Tablets with WIFI + cellular or WIFI only?


I'm working through all of the discussions on tablets and other vehicle electronics, but wanted to post this question.

I'm reassessing all of my technology. My laptop is a tank from circa 2013. I'm a little tired of a smartphone being a convenient distraction from life. My current smartphone is soon to be obsolete and unable to access AT&T towers (it is a 3G phone and AT&T is shutting down that part of their network early next year). I'm already getting warnings and some things are not working well on my phone, so I have a 4G dumb phone on the way (Sonim XP3) as an inexpensive option.

I'm considering a tablet to pair with my dumb phone. Do members of this community tend to lean toward the tablets that are both WIFI + cellular, or just the WIFI devices? I'm considering a Samsung Galaxy S7 5G as my one-stop mobile device that with a SIM card could be a phone, navigation, and everything else an Android tablet can be. I would pair it with a keyboard to convert to a laptop as needed.

All this being said, getting a Galaxy S7 with cellular capability is $200-250 more than a WIFI only version. Do you feel that the premium is worth it?



Expedition Trophy Winner
Up until the last couple months I always used my phone as a Hotspot and never considered getting cellular built in. At $10/month for each device I thought it was a luxury I didn't need.

After buying my daughter a cell phone enabled Apply watch, and getting a galaxy cell watch on discount, I will likely never buy a wifi-only device again.


Convenience. Without a doubt spending $120/year to have 100% internet available without worrying about my phone hotspot is totally worth it.

My financial situation is that the $$ is not an issue, so I have that luxury but dang it is so nice to just turn a device on and have it work and have internet regardless of where I am at (obviously camping is different)

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adding $200+ for a sim slot (cellular capable) is a total rip off. That being said, I do have a tablet with wifi and cellular. I love the cellular option and use a Google fi data only sim in it. Pay as you use it, $10/gig. It was around $130 total for the tablet.


Expedition Trophy Winner
adding $200+ for a sim slot (cellular capable) is a total rip off. That being said, I do have a tablet with wifi and cellular. I love the cellular option and use a Google fi data only sim in it. Pay as you use it, $10/gig. It was around $130 total for the tablet.
Good point on up front cost. I keep an eye out for last-year products. They tend to be about the same as this-year stuff, but you get to add cellular

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We've used three tablets - a WiFi only Samsung, an iPad Pro 12.9 and an iPad Pro 11. Both the iPads are cellular capable and used constantly. The Samsung gathers dust.

In some systems, iPad for example, the cellular capable tablets also have their own GPS units. Whatever you decide, I definitely prefer a tablet with it's own GPS.


pith helmet

Well-known member
I have had an iPad mini with cellular for running online mapping and timber cruising programs for several years. I also use it as a gps for travel with google maps and onX. i recently had to get a new one and, once again thought it was ridiculous to have to pay and extra $200 for cellular....even though my company pays for it, i don't like spending anyone's money.
all that said, i am ruined by the cellular connection on the iPad.
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Active member
iPhone with wifi and cellular is obvious and doesn't need duplication of the cellular in an iPad. I had a 2016 iPad Pro with both wifi and cellular and never used the cellular feature for navigation purposes. GPS is obtained either on board the vehicle, via the iPhone, or by using an external GPS for non cellular iPad. Same can be utilized while flying using either Garmin mounted to the yoke, or the iPad with external GPS. I will be ordering the new iPad Pro 11" 2021 when they go on sale tomorrow and it will be wifi only.
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I stopped buying cellular capable iPads after my iPad 3. We all now have phones with hotspot capabilities and Bluetooth/ WiFi. More importantly the data carriers have opened up,those features along with data plans So no need to pay the ridiculous $130 Apple tax on a $1.00 cellular/gps chip addition.


A few years ago I dumped my big smart phone for and old fashined flip phone . it hurt for awhile but now I hate "smart phones". I do not know what is worse, Heroin or smart phones for society. I do have and android tablet with wi fi only in my rig for nav and vehicle diag and internet when in town if needed.. Where I play there is no cell service so why.


Tea pot tester
I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 8" which has a sim and a removable swappable battery, gps, splashproof etc with pen so the touch screen works in the rain.
Trying to use it as a phone is ridiculous unless you have an ear piece and carry it in some sort of bag. It's way too big to sensibly be in a pocket but works well for me, not mega bucks. So not trendy either.
I then got a small non smart but tough phone to carry generally on my belt to use as a phone weirdly.
There would still be room for me to use a smartphone occasionally but not enough to warrant actually forking out for one, I still have a Samsung S7 but it gets turned on every few months to check it works and that's it.