As the holiday season is upon us, more and more manufacturers are announcing their latest smartphones. We saw the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6s (and iPhone 6s Plus) as well as the new Samsung’s next generation Galaxy Note 5 together with the bigger Galaxy S6 edge+.
Apart from the big two – APPLE and SAMSUNG, there are big screen offerings from the likes of LG, Sony, Google and Microsoft. We will also take a comparative look at other phablets from OnePlus, Oppo, Huawei and Lenovo. This is going to be a really sweet holiday. Christmas Phablet, anyone?
Big Screen Rules
There are many reasons for a big screen smartphone hence the demand for it. Even Apple is giving in to the big screen game with the launch of iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus.
Here is what makes a Phablet and how this is different from other smartphones or tablets:
- Screen size between 5.3″ to 6.9″ at super high resolution at least Full HD. If it’s 7″ at low resolution, it’s more like a tablet with phone built-in.
- Must be pocketable (somewhat if you have a big pocket) ready for suit pockets, jacket pockets, cargo pants, etc.
- Must have really small bezel, ultra narrow in fact and…
- Super slim, ultra thin chassis to differentiate it from your small tablets.
- Mostly premium devices, with high density screens, amazing built quality, high end specifications and features packed to the brim
You might think that with the size and all the superfluous features that a phablet would cost an arm and a leg but things are different now.
A new wave of phablets from the East hitting the online retailers are bucking that trend. You could be owning a super smartphone in right now that might otherwise take you months to save up for in the past. For affordable phablets see Top 10 Best Budget Phablets list.
The 10 Best Phablets in the Market Right Now
So here are the 10 best Phablets currently in the market.
In true Samsung fashion, making smartphones for every pocket, they have announced the successor to Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note 5 with 5.7-inch screen and a bigger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge, called the Galaxy S6 Edge+ also with 5.7-inch screen albeit curved on either sides to join the ranks of phablets here. Apart from the curved edge (on the S6 Edge+), the S-Pen (on the Note 5) and general body design, both smartphones are virtually identical in specs.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5 5.7-inch Android Smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ 5.7-inch Curved Edge
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus 5.5-inch Smartphone
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 5.5-inch 4K Android Smartphone
- LG G4 5.5-inch Android Smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 5.7-inch Android Smartphone | Galaxy Note Edge 5.6-inch
- LG G3 5.5-inch SIM Free Android Smartphone
- iPhone 6 Plus 5.5-inch SIM Free iOS Smartphone
- Google Nexus 6 – 6-inch Android Smartphone
- Microsoft Lumia 950 XL 5.7-inch Windows 10 Smartphone
- LG G Flex 2 – 5.5-inch Curved Design
- OnePlus One 5.5-inch SIMS Free Android Smartphones
- Nokia Lumia 1520 6-inch SIM Free Windows Smartphone
- HTC One Max 5.9-inch SIM Free Android Smartphone
- Oppo Find 7 5.5-inch SIMS Free Android Smartphone
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra 6.4-inch SIM Free Android Smartphone
- Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 6-inch SIM Free Android Smartphone
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7 6-inch SIM Free Android Smartphone
What can we say, when you have a screen that big, you are bound to want to squeeze as many pixels into it as you can. Four of the phablets listed here feature Quad HD resolution screen, that’s 2560 x 1080. The rest are Full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080. OK, make that 5 in our list with Quad HD with the addition of Google Nexus 6 to our list. Oppo Find 7 has the highes pixel density at 538ppi while the biggest display title goes to Sony Xperia Z Ultra at 6.4-inch. If you are considering an alternative from Sony to the Z Ultra, the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra is your answer. With a smaller 6-inch screen it is also cheaper but does not have Full HD resolution, IP durability rating or powerful processor. The dual-edge display on Galaxy S6 Edge+ works with App Edge to make the most of the curved display similar to the People Edge feature but offers the ability to pin frequently used apps to the side of the screen for ease of access.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560 pixels) Super-Amoled displays with a pixel density of 515ppi
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560 pixels) Super-Amoled displays with a pixel density of 515ppi with dual curved edge
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus: 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 3D Touch, LED-backlit 1920 x 1080 pixels,401 ppi
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: 5.5-inch 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 pixels, 806 ppi Triluminos Display™ for mobile with auto upscaling – HIGHEST RESOLUTION, HIGHEST PIXEL DENSITY
- LG G4: 5.5-inch Quad HD 2560 X 1440 pixels, 538 ppi IPS Quatum display produces high-contrast, vibrant images that are rich and authentic in color and amazingly true-to-life. –HIGH PIXEL DENSITY
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4: 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors 2560 x 1440 pixel at 515 ppi
- LG G3: 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS LCD, 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution 534 ppi 16M colours
- iPhone 6 Plus: 5.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution at 401 ppi
- Google Nexus 6: 5.96″Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) AMOLED display (493 ppi) 16:9 aspect ratio on Gorilla Glass 3
- Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: 5.7-inch Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixels, ClearBlack AMOLED display 581 ppi – HIGH PIXEL DENSITY
- LG G Flex 2: 5.5″ FHD P-OLED Display (1920 x 1080 pixels), 401ppi
- OnePlus One: 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) LTPS IPS with TOL, Touch on Lens technology at 401PPI on Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Nokia Lumia 1520: 6-inch IPS LCD Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 ratio, 24-bit (16M) 368ppi super sensitive touch
- HTC One Max: 5.9-inch IPS LCD Full HD (1920 x 1080) pixel at 373ppi
- Oppo Find 7: 5.5-inch Quad HD (4K) 2560 x 1440 pixels IPS Touch-on-Lens screen on Gorilla Glass 3 protection at 538PPI. Supports gloved and wet touch input.
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra: 6.4-inch TFT LCD Full HD (1920 x 1080), 16 million colours, 342ppi, Sony Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2, capacitive touchscreen with on-screen keyboard, sensor-on-lens, face unlock, gesture input, STAMINA mode, TRILUMINOS™ Display with X-Reality for mobile –
- Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro: 6-inch Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixel 2KHD display
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7: 6” FHD Screen, 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel), 368 ppi 16M colors
The fastest processor in our line up belongs to Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with it’s super fast 2.7GHz Quad-core processor from Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 805. At the other end of the CPU performance spectrum is the 1.7GHz Quad-core processor also from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 600. Four out of 10 of the phablets in our list below uses the 2.5GHz Quad-core processor also from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 801. Others uses the slightly slower but still very capable 2.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with the exception of Apple with its A8 chip and Huawei with its Hisilicon Kirin 8+1 multiple-core chip. The New Google Nexus 6 shares the CPU top spot with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC with four Cortex-A57 cores 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC with four Cortex-A57 cores 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus: A9 chip Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister with 64-bit architecture with Embedded M9 motion coprocessor, PowerVR GT7600 (six-core graphics)
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) Quad-core 1.5 GHzCortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57 64-bit Octa-Core processor with Adreno 430 GPU
- LG G4: Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 Quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 & Dual-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57 with Adreno 418 GPU
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4: 2.7GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor with Adreno 420 or Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A57 on Exynos 5433 processor with Mali-T760
- LG G3: 2.5GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8975AC Processor with Adreno 330
- iPhone 6 Plus: A8 chip with 64-bit architecture, Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based) with M8 motion coprocessor, PowerVR GX6650 (hexa-core graphics)
- Google Nexus 6: Quad core Krait 450 CPU 2.7 GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SOC) with Adreno 420 GPU
- Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 (MSM8994) Quad-core 1.5 GHzCortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57 64-bit Octa-Core processor with Adreno 430 GPU
- LG G Flex 2: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 processor with (integrated) 64-bit Octa-Core CPU, Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57
- OnePlus One: 2.5GHz Quad-core Qualcomm© Snapdragon™ 801 processor with Adreno 330, 578MHz GPU
- Nokia Lumia 1520: 2.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 with Adreno 330
- HTC One Max: 1.7 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 600 with Adreno 320 GPU
- Oppo Find 7: 2.5GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AC) processor with Adreno 330 GPU
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra: 2.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 processor with Adreno 330
- Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro: 2.5GHz Quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 MSM8974AC Processor with Adreno 330 550MHz
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7: Hisilicon Kirin 925; 4 x 1.8GHz + 4 x 1.3GHz + 1 x 230MHz
We would love to see Apple increasing the memory of their iPhones when everyone is jumping from 2GB to 3GB but not this time. They seem to cope very well with just the 1GB of RAM. With 3GB being the highest amount of memory in our line-up we see OnePlus One, Oppo Find 7, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro taking this leap. While the rest are happy at 2GB. The latest addition, the Google Nexus 6 is cementing the 3GB memory trend. New flagship smartphones from Samsung, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have 3GB RAM.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 4GB RAM – BIGGEST MEMORY
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 4GB RAM – BIGGEST MEMORY
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus: 2GB RAM
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: 3GB RAM
- LG G4: 3GB RAM
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4: 3GB RAM – BIG MEMORY
- LG G3: 2GB RAM
- iPhone 6 Plus: 1GB RAM
- Google Nexus 6: 3GB RAM – BIG MEMORY
- Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: 3GB RAM
- LG G Flex 2: 2GB RAM
- OnePlus One: 3GB RAM
- Nokia Lumia 1520: 2GB RAM
- HTC One Max: 2GB RAM
- Oppo Find 7: 3GB RAM
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra: 2GB RAM
- Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro: 3GB RAM
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7: 2GB RAM
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 32GB no microSD
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 32GB no microSD
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus: Storage Options: 16GB, 64GB or 128GB, no microSD
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: 32GB ROM Storage, microSD expansion slot for up to 200 GB – STORAGE EXPANSION
- LG G4: 32GB ROM Storage, microSD card slot: up to 2TB – STORAGE EXPANSION
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4: 32GB expandable with microSD up to 128GB – STORAGE EXPANSION
- LG G3: 16GB expandable with microSD up to 128GB – STORAGE EXPANSION
- iPhone 6 Plus: 16GB/64GB/128GB, no microSD
- Google Nexus 6: 32/64GB
- Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: 32GB ROM Storage, microSD card slot: up to 200GB – STORAGE EXPANSION
- LG G Flex 2: 16GB/32GB expandable with microSD up to 128GB
- OnePlus One: 16GB/64GB
- Nokia Lumia 1520: 32GB expandable with microSD up to 64GB
- HTC One Max: 16/32GB expandable with microSD up to 64GB
- Oppo Find 7: 32GB expandable with microSD up to 128GB
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra: 16GB expandable with microSD up to 64GB
- Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro: 32GB
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7: 16GB
NEXT: Camera, Connectivity, Sensors, Dimensions, Weight & more…