Computer vs. Phone for Video Conferencing: The Pros & Cons of Each

Remote Work
By admin
Animation of 2 users showing their Video conferencing technology


Video conferencing is a technology that allows two or more people to have face-to-face visual and verbal contact while in separate locations. This type of communication technology is popular today, especially in the world of business. According to a recent article from Finance Online, “58% of companies use video conferencing in their day-to-day operations.” And, “75% of CEOs forecast that video conferencing will eventually replace conference calls.” 

Due to the pandemic and the quick advancement in video conferencing tech throughout the course of it, our reliance on this way of communication has grown. This is true for businesses and really anyone seeking clear, instant communication through a video conferencing tool. 

Fun fact! Clear.Live was engineered by a team of telecom industry veterans determined to create a safe, straightforward, and matchless way to communicate.

How Did Video Conferencing Technology Begin?

You may be surprised to learn that video conferencing actually first made its public appearance 95 years ago. On April 7, 1927, according to Time, “reporters witnessed a fundamentally startling notion: seeing someone speak—from hundreds of miles away—in real-time. When then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover appeared on screen from Washington, D.C.” This was considered the inception of video conferencing. 

After this call by Hoover in 1927,  AT&T’s Bell Labs continued their research with very little success. It wasn’t until 1967 that the Picturephone was introduced, an early video conferencing technology that didn’t quite take off the way AT&T hoped. The 1980s brought the video phone, and the 2000s delivered commercial webcams. 

It wasn’t until decades after Hoover’s call that advancements were made so that every person could use a video conferencing tool.

Video Conferencing Benefits

Video conferencing technology has benefited businesses looking to streamline operations and expand employee efficiency. It also provides tools for easy collaboration, communication, and increases productivity.

Collaborative video conferencing tools like screen-sharing and the whiteboard function help convey points discussed and encourage all team members to participate in meetings. This tech crafts efficient web conferences that in-person meetings just don’t have by offering a streamlined and more efficient meeting process. This is due to the fact that virtual meetings have hard start times and end times. Another efficient, time-saving solution for businesses is another video conferencing tool, like the recording library. It’s an excellent way to ensure anyone in the company can obtain all information discussed in a meeting for easy playback.

But one of the biggest benefits video conferencing offers businesses is the ability for employees to connect from anywhere. This greater flexibility has killed the commute we all had known, saved corporations from spending money on office leases and other overhead that is no longer needed, and improved employee satisfaction and happiness. This level of happiness boosts employee productivity and, ultimately, any business’s bottom line.

Due to the advantages of increased flexibility video conferencing has given us, further advancements for computer and mobile-compatible applications have been essential. 

Clear.Live answered the call for these advancements with its re-imagined web conferencing. The video conferencing platform created a vibrant suite of mobile-friendly and easy-to-use tools – all for expansive connection, offering 256-bit encrypted security at a price 40% less than competitors. With Clear.Live, you have the means to communicate effectively and safely, without surprises, hidden contracts, or fees.

Clear.Live’s straightforward web portal allows for protected, enhanced web conferences with robust tools and superior amenities. There’s also an alternative for video calling with the audio-only option. Other platform features include recording libraries, whiteboard capabilities, remote speaker control, private meeting chats, HIPAA compliance, and more.

Whether you’re using your video conferencing technology in-office, for online classes, or working remotely, there are significant advantages and drawbacks to using a computer to video conference versus using your phone.

Computer versus Phone: Business Meetings

Clear.Live’s video conferencing gives you the opportunity to meet from anywhere. You could be in Rome, New York, on a beach in Florida, or on your grandma’s back porch in the rural midwest, watching an eagle circle a critter in a field close by. You’d still be able to answer a video call and tune into your next meeting from anywhere with a reliable Wi-Fi connection. We make this true for both your phone and your laptop, but if you are in an important business meeting, you’re probably going to want to be on a device that has easy access to your files and web browser in case you need to screen-share. You’ll also want to consider screen size too since you’ll want to see everyone’s reactions in the meeting. 

Due to the limitations of small-screen size and lack of access to working files, a phone would just not cut it for a business meeting or even a class.

The winner of this round is the computer. 

Computer versus Phone: Mobility

If the meeting could have just been an email, so you’re doing other things, like moving around your apartment with your camera off, commuting (in the passenger seat, of course), or in the pickup line at your kid’s middle school. Mobile video conferencing applications will come in handy. With Clear.Live we have you covered. There’s no mobile app to download; you can simply access our mobile-compliant web portal on your mobile browser to enjoy secure, enhanced web conferencing with premium security features.

Mobile phones are the best for flexibility. In this case, the reason why is literally in the name. They offer ultimate mobility.

That’s right. Your phone is the winner of this round. 

Computer versus Phone: Quality

The quality of a web conference is determined by many things, namely lighting and picture grade. Lighting is often determined by your location. If you are on a computer in a stationary setting like your home office, you can adjust the lighting. Avoiding shadows, using natural light, or finding a good ring light is always best for producing a high-quality video conferencing office setup. 

Finding good lighting while using a phone is quite similar. In this case, if you’re on the move, you’ll most likely rely on natural light. Mobile phone cameras also differ from computer cameras in the way that they’re often of higher quality. While cameras built into a desktop or laptop are lower on the quality scale.

The winner of this round? We consider this one a toss-up. It depends on what you are doing at the time. 

Computer versus Phone: View Options

When you video conference on a platform like Clear.Live’s while using a computer, you can see up to six people without the whiteboard feature and four while using the whiteboard feature. If you are using your phone, you will be restricted by the number of people you’ll see in the meeting.

Using a computer is the way to go if you want to see more of your coworkers or your employees.

Computer versus Phone: Virtual Backgrounds

If your room is a mess, maybe you didn’t have time to clear your living space from the weekend, or maybe a little human is darting around your office because you didn’t have childcare at that moment. Virtual backgrounds are a handy tool to maintain privacy and are almost necessary.

The good news is that when video conferencing on your computer with Clear.Live, you have access to four preloaded backgrounds to help you out. Unfortunately, mobile-friendly virtual backgrounds aren’t available yet, but that upgrade is on the horizon.

Computer versus Phone: Screen-Sharing

When you are sharing your screen on video conferencing platforms like Clear.Live, only the person who is accessing the meeting while on their computer has the option to share. This doesn’t quite matter in most business cases, though, as you’ll most likely be meeting from the device you work from.

Again, the computer wins this round.

Now that we’ve discussed several ways video conferencing on a computer versus a phone plays out. Let’s run through a light overview of the pros and cons of each.

Pros and Cons Overview

Pros and Cons: Video Conferencing With A Computer

Video conferencing from a computer is king when you are in a stationary setting and need access to documents for screen-sharing during a meeting or a larger screen to view web pages. Video conferencing platforms were built with desktop interfaces in mind, so navigation is automatically user-friendly, which is another major plus. 

Some negatives of using a computer for video conferencing would be, being restricted to one location because of WiFi, lighting, or even because of other distractions.

Pros and Cons: Video Conferencing With A Phone

Video conferencing from a phone is great for when you need flexibility. It’s optimal for travel and multi-tasking in cases where you can afford to do so safely. Communicating with friends and family this way is also very easy.

Some downsides of using a phone for a web conference are the lack of background options, limited screen and keyboard for participating in brainstorms, or using the chat feature. It can also kill your phone battery, so you might need to plug your phone in during a meeting, which would defeat the purpose of being mobile.

Since its inception, video conferencing technology has advanced so much and has become part of how society communicates. This communication technology is constantly evolving for phones and computers, but knowing the pros and cons of each capability will ensure that you are using your web conference time right. 

Clear.Live provides users with safe, simple, affordable video conferencing services. The mobile-friendly, browser-based service is uncomplicated and offers a robust suite of tools to help everyone communicate virtually. Clear.Live’s streamlined interface and end-to-end encryption allow users to enjoy the most secure web conferencing available in all settings. Start your free trial today!