Once dismissed as a niche too far, phablets—gargantuan smartphones with almost tablet-sized screens—are now all the rage. Here are four of the best.
By Laith Abou-Ragheb
iPhone 6 Plus
Many thought they’d never live to see the day Apple made an iPhone with a 5.5-inch display – but nevertheless, here it is. It shares virtually all the same impressive specs of its new smaller 4.7-inch sibling (A8 processor, NFC chip, fingerprint sensor), but the Plus comes with an added optical image stabilization feature.
The Bottom Line: The skinny jeans crowd might moan it’s too big to fit in their back pocket, but everyone else will be more than happy to lug around this monster high end smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The latest Note boasts a 5.7 inch Quad HD display, which some seasoned tech critics are calling the sharpest and brightest they’ve ever laid eyes on. It also comes with a 16 MP camera with optical stabilization, a more sensitive S-Pen stylus, and a powerful Snapdragon 805 chip.
The Bottom Line: While a hugely impressive device, you might want to wait until later in the year for Samsung to release the version of the Note 4, which comes with a groundbreaking curved display.
Besides a premium-feel brushed metal frame that many rival devices lack (we’re looking at you, Samsung), LG’s flagship Android smartphone also comes with a stunning 5.5 inch Quad HD display, a Snapdragon 801 processor, and a 13 MP camera that features a genuinely useful laser-powered auto focus feature.
The Bottom Line: Few devices at this end of the market provide more bang for your buck.
HTC One Max
This handset from HTC isn’t called the Max for nothing. It comes with a mammoth, class-leading 5.9 inch super LCD3 display, which should make watching your favorite movies and TV shows an absolute joy. HTC have also chucked in powerful dual-frontal stereo speakers, a fingerprint scanner for added security, and a zippy Snapdragon 600 processor.
The Bottom Line: While its size initially impresses, many might find the One Max too unwieldy and impractical to use as an everyday smartphone.
Sony Xperia T3
Even though it’s designed as an entry-level device into the fast-growing phablet market, the T3 remains a worthy addition to Sony’s burgeoning Xperia range. It comes with a perfectly respectable 5.3 inch 720 p display and an 8 MP camera. Its svelte body is also wrapped in an elegant stainless steel frame and is available in a range of eye-catching colors.
The Bottom Line: The T3 might be the cheapest phablet listed here, but don’t be fooled, it remains a truly classy device.