Smartphone vs Tablet

I'm curious if anyone uses a tablet instead of a smartphone for their shops? (Taking pictures, timing etc. For the whole shop instead of a phone.)

I'm asking because my expensive phone is having camera issues and instead of dumping a big chunk of money on another one, I know they make tablets to do about the same but for half the cost.

I'm just trying to figure out how to discreetly take pictures with one:-)

Does anyone have input on this?

Thank you.

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I have a tablet, but my phone is handier - it fits in my pocket or clips on to my waistband, if needed. A tablet looks more "official", but that's my humble opinion...
I've wondered about the discreet factor too. Everyone always has a phone in their hand and it's easy to pretend you are texting or taking a selfie and get the photos you need. A tablet, not so much. I think tablets are good for revealed audits but if I can just choose one I'll go with smartphone every time.
You don't have to go the expensive phone route. There are more inexpensive phones that do the same jobs. I have an lg Stylo 4 and have no complaints.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
I can't imagine how a tablet would be "secret." This would immediately out you as the shopper.
Years ago, I tried to discretely use a tablet. It was not possible. As others have pointed out, "everyone" takes photos with a phone these days.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
That's what I was thinking but thought I'd check to see if anyone had been able to do it. I just noticed a lot more people with tablets lately and wondered if the trend was going that way a person could get away with it. Thanks.
titus, what's wrong with your phone's camera? Have you tried powering it off overnight?

I tried using a tablet on my shops. The discretion factor is gone because of the size.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I use a tablet only for revealed shops/audits. You can't be discreet with one. Change carriers, get a free phone.
My pictures flash once in a while when I'm in the camera app. It happened last year and I had to get a new phone, I'm glad it was under warranty. It's still working but I wanted to look into options in case something happened.
I use my tablet as backup. It's also convenient to store guidelines so I can quickly refer to them if it's not practical to have a printout. As others have said, look for a less expensive or free phone.
Tablet for revealed shops and audits. Phone for non-reveal.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
Did you try downloading a different camera app from the Play Store? They have a bunch for free.
No I thought what they had on the phone for camera apps is what I get because I had this issue before and Google said they had to replace the phone. I'm looking at a cheaper phone for my husband and it could be a back up for me if needed. Thanks.
You have one of those Google Pixel phones? Those are supposed to be awesome. You say it's still under warranty?
Yes I have a Pixel 2 it's awesome but my husband and I just decided to get a lesser phone for back up. See we travel most of the year and have nowhere to have a phone shipped (after being fixed) until winter when we are back home so I have to have a back up. We're going today to take care of it.
In addition to the size being impossible to hide, I have found the tablet somewhat useless because it is completely dependent in a connection. I can't even play solitaire without it! So you would still need the phone's hotspot nearby or try to find wifi wherever you are. Such a bother.

sestrahelena
We picked up a Pixel 3a phone yesterday, it works great and for a good price! I tossed out the tablet idea for all the above reasons:-)
I often do groups ~20 shops in a very small geographic cluster. Sometimes these are only a few minutes apart. Other times I have an hour or so to kill. I use cell phone in the shop and switch to tablet once I am out the door in order to draft the report.
Unless you have a cellular tablet

@sestrahelena wrote:

In addition to the size being impossible to hide, I have found the tablet somewhat useless because it is completely dependent in a connection. I can't even play solitaire without it! So you would still need the phone's hotspot nearby or try to find wifi wherever you are. Such a bother.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
@panama18 wrote:

I use a tablet only for revealed shops/audits. You can't be discreet with one. Change carriers, get a free phone.

I guess it depends.... My mom and that generation of Filipino "aunties" all pull out their large 10"-12" tablets out in public with no shame taking selfies and pictures to show off on their Facebook pages. None of them are shoppers and I doubt any workers would suspect them as shoppers.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 28 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@ShoppingDad wrote:

Unless you have a cellular tablet

@sestrahelena wrote:

In addition to the size being impossible to hide, I have found the tablet somewhat useless because it is completely dependent in a connection. I can't even play solitaire without it! So you would still need the phone's hotspot nearby or try to find wifi wherever you are. Such a bother.


Oh, I'm way too stingy to buy another line!

sestrahelena
@Niner wrote:

I can't imagine how a tablet would be "secret." This would immediately out you as the shopper.

I have a Samsung Tab S4 and I just carry it in my tote. It's handy for PO shop reports to see an entire section at a time. I use it more for Mapping a route with Google Maps and if I have to take an exterior shot of a store.
There are plenty of options for smartphones if you don't want pay $800 to a grand that have excellent camera quality without sarificing other features. Verizon & T-Mobile have the Google Pixel 3a for about $400. T-Mobile has the Samsung Galaxy A10 or A20 for $175 & $250 or the LG G7 for $400. MetroPCS has the Samsung A10e, A20 or the LG Stylo 4 or 5 for free when you switch. For $50 you can get the Samsung A6 or LG Q7Plus (I had this phone and it was really quite good). I also kept my LG V20 when I upgraded. It's not connected but as long as it's charged I can take the picture then upload to reports when connected to WIFI.
@sestrahelena wrote:

@ShoppingDad wrote:

Unless you have a cellular tablet

@sestrahelena wrote:

In addition to the size being impossible to hide, I have found the tablet somewhat useless because it is completely dependent in a connection. I can't even play solitaire without it! So you would still need the phone's hotspot nearby or try to find wifi wherever you are. Such a bother.


Oh, I'm way too stingy to buy another line!

An unlimited data tablet plan at T-Mobile is $25.00 a month. They say it's unlimited but they did throttle at 50 GB for the month.
@Tarantado wrote:

@panama18 wrote:

I use a tablet only for revealed shops/audits. You can't be discreet with one. Change carriers, get a free phone.

I guess it depends.... My mom and that generation of Filipino "aunties" all pull out their large 10"-12" tablets out in public with no shame taking selfies and pictures to show off on their Facebook pages. None of them are shoppers and I doubt any workers would suspect them as shoppers.
I have seen your family many times. hahaha
Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about getting a tablet for mystery shopping jobs. You raised a very valid point.
On the off-chance that you don't know (and that is quite possible if you are less than maybe 40 years old), a pager is a device that gets a very short message, often just a phone number that you then have to dial on another device. They began in the early 1950s and were limited to "paging" doctors in NYC. the pager received a phone number, the physician then called the number or on the restaurant phone (for instance) or maybe just knew to call their office or their hospital if they were on call. They still exist but have largely been replaced by cell phones and text messaging. Here is a link to an article that describes them: [en.wikipedia.org]
@sestrahelena wrote:

What's a pager?!?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@Eric in Tampa wrote:

I actually use a LAN line phone for my mystery shops when my pager goes off.

Eric are you talking about a LAND line, a phone that plugs into the wall of your house/apartment or a LAN (local area network/voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone)?
I do not own a tablet. I use my desktop computer whenever possible and convenient. I use my smartphone for being covert. I use my laptop computer when I am on the road away from home. I see no use for a big bulky tablet that won't even fit in my pocket and could never be covert.
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