Finding The Best Phablet For Your Budget and Needs

The phablet. Some people call it freaky. Some call it ridiculous. Some call it utilitarian, and some just love it. A big phone or a small tablet. Whichever way you want to look at it, we’re sharing a quick roundup of the 10 best phablets available in the market today. If you are going to go big with your phone purchase, you might as well choose one of these very popular phablets.

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The Benefits of Owning a Phablet

Before we share the best phablets available right now, let’s discuss some of the benefits of owning such a device. One of the biggest benefits of owning a phablet is that their big screens make it easier to type and read text from the device. With a larger display, there’s merely more room to write down your thoughts so you don’t have to squeeze your fingers into tiny buttons. This is one the most popular decisions to own a phablet because they’re great for business meetings. You also don’t have to strain your eyes when watching movies or hilarious videos as the screens are larger than a smartphone.

Another great benefit of a phablet is the convenience it provides. If you need the features of a laptop or tablet without the immense size, but a smartphone is too small for use, these types of devices offer incredible portability to carry around with you. Most designs are lightweight and built with smooth, curved edges to remain comfortable in your pocket. Also, with a larger storage space than most smartphones, you can save and download essential files without running out of room.

How To Choose The Best Phablet For You

In order to make the right decision for your needs and preferences, there are a few considerations you’ll need to make during your search. We’ve provided a brief insight into some of the most important factors to find the best phablet for you.

Battery Life

This is an important factor to bear in mind, although not all phablet users require a large battery. The best way to find the right battery-life for you is to determine what you’ll use your phablet for. If you intend on browsing the Internet all day, you’ll need a larger battery to accommodate your needs, but if you’re looking for a device to update notes during a business meeting, you won’t need a large capacity. However, we recommend choosing a phablet with at least 2,800 mAh battery so that it has enough battery to power you through a day.

Screen Quality and Display

What’s the point in having an efficient battery-life if your phablet’s screen is dim and too small for your needs? Most phablets have a large screen that enables you to conveniently switch between applications and view your essential documents and videos without any squinting. Some users prefer a phablet with an emphasis on high-quality visuals. If this sounds like you, you’ll require a resolution of at least 720p for a good pixel density. We also recommend choosing a display with a screen protector, or you can purchase this separately. It’s also worth pointing out that a bigger screen isn’t always better as this can be inconvenient to store the phablet in your back pocket.

The Best Phablets On The Market Right Now

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

best phablet

Samsung’s latest entry, Galaxy Note 3 (yes, we know the Galaxy 4 is available for pre-order, but the 3 is what your money will buy today, at the time of writing this post) is one of the best phablets available in the market today. It has a display screen of 5.7 inches and offers a full 1080p HD resolution. The super AMOLED display renders sharp images, even at the oddest viewing angle.

Considering other Phablets in the market, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is actually on the smaller side, despite the almost 6-inch screen. It is surprisingly comfortable to hold. It comes with the stylus that makes it a pleasurable experience while doing something intricate on your phone. It has an impressive battery life making it an ideal choice for users who are on the move. It is a powerful phone that performs well for media and gaming as well.

This Galaxy Note has an incredible design that features a faux-leather rear cover to add a level of sophistication to the phablet. In addition to this leather effect, the sides of the phablet feature a ribbed chrome-effect plastic to create the illusion of metal. You can purchase this design in white, although we feel that the black color has a more polished appearance. This phablet features a USB 3.0 socket which is rare for a phone and allows you to increase the speed of recharging. But one factor to definitely consider is that the file transfers aren’t one of the fastest phablets on the market so you will need some patience.

By offering a Multi-View feature, you can run two apps on the screen at one time, by splitting the screen in half. This enables you to chat with friends while reading e-mails or scanning through websites. The Note also allows you to customize the screen size so you can focus more on one activity than another. The choice is yours.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

best phablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the predecessor to Galaxy Note 3, is still worth considering as it has all the features necessary to label it as a phablet. The Galaxy Note 2 is priced lower than the Galaxy Note 3, making it a comparative bargain for the given specifications. It is a mid-range phone that offers the desired performance for an average user. The 5.5 inches screen makes it a good competitor in the market.

It has a quad-core 1.6 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. The display screen offers a decent resolution of 720 pixels, which is still impressive. The main software update for the Note is Google Now – a software where Google uses your calendar, tasks, and Internet searched to help you complete your tasks more efficiently and quicker. For example, with calendar appointments, you can set a time and location and the software will scan traffic to notify you of the best time to leave. This is a particularly useful feature for regularly traveling to business meetings or if you’re often on the road.

This device includes a stylus so you can write, draw and tap with the pen with ease. But a stylus can only work as well as a screen, and thankfully, this is the best phablet to have a pressure-sensitive screen, so the stylus accurately responds without any hassle. It’s worth considering that the stylus works without having to make direct contact with the screen. For example, it’ll mimic your actions from 4-5” away so ensure you’re holding the stylus at a reasonable distance. As the screen is fairly large, you can use the stylus to handwrite messages while remaining legible.

3. Sony Xperia Z Ultra

best phablet

In some serious phablet territory, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is monstrous in size, at 6.4 inches. It is a true replacement for a tablet. But, the size is also disadvantageous as it does not fit into the palm easily and it becomes a bit difficult to use it as a phone. But, if you have big hands or if you don’t mind using two hands to hold this monster, you are just going to love it.

If you intend on finding the best phablet for photography, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra might not be your best option. There’s no doubt that the camera quality is reasonable as it features an older-gen 8MP Exmor R sensor, but lacks an LED flash and can sometimes create pixelations. On the other hand, you can capture videos and photos in a handful of different modes. We recommend the Superior Auto mode as this is ideal for adjusting the levels of lighting and shadows to accurately portray the scenery.

The device scores well in aesthetics. It is extremely slim at 6.5 mm thickness and is robust with a black glass finish. It has a powerful 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that renders superb performance. The Phablet’s high resolution of 1080 pixels renders incredible picture quality. The huge battery means you are going to leave regular sized smartphone batteries quite ashamed of themselves! All in all, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra gives Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a stiff competition.

4. LG G Flex

best phablet

With a name that sounds apt for a gym bully, the LG G Flex lives up to its nomenclature. It is one of the first curved, flexible smartphones in the market. The Phablet has OLED screen technology rendering a curved form factor that fits easily into your palm. If you love interesting gadgets, the LG G Flex aims to impress your friends by allowing you to curve the chassis from top to bottom. This means you can flatten out the screen without damaging the device. Such a feature allows you to show off your goods and adjust the screen size and angle for a different viewing experience.

LG uses a unique battery that flexes along with the phone without compromising on the quality or performance. Specifically, this is the best phablet on our list for excellent battery life. Offering over 24 hours of talk time or 20 hours of watching videos, this phablet lasts a long time and only requires one charge per day. You might not even need to charge it every night which makes it a great option for forgetful minds.

The powerful 2.26GHz quad-core processor is another component to the excellent quality of this phablet. With 2GB of RAM, this device can handle multitasking without any difficulties, and the split-screen feature allows you to drop in and out of applications when you please. The 6-inch screen has 720-pixel resolutions and renders vibrant colors. The Phablet has a 13 MP camera which is a powerful utility. Since users of big-screen phones have larger media usage requirement, the presence of a high-end camera is a huge plus in this phablet.

5. HTC One Max

best phablet

HTC One Max is a perfect phablet for viewing movies on the go. The 5.9-inch screen renders full HD 1080 pixels display. It also has in-built amped speakers that enhance your listening experience, in addition to your viewing experience.

The HTC One Max features a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. Although this sounds like a nifty feature, some users found that the sensor didn’t always accurately recognize their finger, forcing them to enter their password into the keyboard. Rather than only unlocking your device like an iPhone does, this fingerprint sensor allows you to launch an app so you can switch between tasks easily.

The screen quality is impressive with a 5.9-inch 1080p screen that is similar to the HTC One device but stretched over a larger screen. The most impressive feature of the screen is its sharpness, although the LCD-type display makes a high-quality feature with vivid color contrasts. The best uses of this phablet are for browsing the Internet, playing games or watching a movie. The large screen lets you immerse yourself into your tasks with more convenience and comfort than a tablet.

The life of the battery is quite impressive. It has a 3300 mAh rechargeable battery that promises 25 hours of talk time for a WCDMA network. It runs on a 1.7GHz quad-core processor that caters to the needs of a demanding user. The phablet does not have multi-window mode provisions which make it painstaking for users of media content. It has other salient features such as the HTC BlinkFeed.

6. Nokia Lumia 1520

best phablet

Nokia Lumia 1520 has a six-inch screen with full HD display that serves as a perfect canvas. It has a 20-Megapixels PureView camera with in-built photo editing tools that let you tell your story to the world. The phone is built to enhance your productivity with in-built office apps. You can view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

It is one of the best Phablets available if you are keen on a Windows handset. The Phablet has 4 built-in microphones aided by Nokia Rich Recording allows users to capture high-quality audio. You can rejoice the power of Windows 8 on this Phablet. There’s only one speaker on the back of the device, but streaming music and videos is much louder and clearer than you’d anticipate. The Nokia Lumia 1520 presents four microphones around the phablet so you can clearly talk to people on the phone without having to hold the device in a specific place.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has a 1080p HD LCD screen that offers bright colors and a pixel density of 367pp. Featuring a polarizing filter called a ClearBlack Display, it is the best phablet to fight against glares from sunlight so you can comfortably and safely use the device outdoors in the sunshine. By automatically adjusting the bright rays from the sun, this means you can use the phablet in the summer as comfortably as if you were indoors.

7. Motorola Moto G2

best phablet

Moto G2 is a brilliant phablet that hosts a rich set of features for the high-end user. The 5-inch screen is the ideal size for a phablet. It renders amazing display quality and stereo sound. Specifically, the front-facing speakers push out any sound without any distortion, which makes this the best phablet for watching YouTube videos or movies with friends.

The battery life meets the expectations of a demanding user. There’s generally no concern about the battery getting you through the day, but should you choose to watch videos all day, every day, you might encounter some issues. Motorola made the decision to remove the 16GB storage and limit you to 8GB. Although this might be irritating for storing important files, this limited space actually helps the phablet to perform quicker and smoother.

The quad-core process delivers exceptional speed, which makes working with media files enjoyable. Multitasking on Moto G2 is quick and easy.  It has an 8MP rear camera and a second 2MP front camera. It supports Dual SIM technology with intelligent calling pattern detector.

If you intend on using your phablet to capture photographs and videos, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Motorola Moto G2 comes with an 8-megapixel rear sensor and you also have the option to change the ratio from 16:9 to 4:3. The Motorola Moto G2 also offers photo modes such as HDR and panorama to provide you with more options to your photography. The HDR mode, in particular, provides defined shots and helps to brighten up grey skies.

8. LG G Pro 2

best phablet

The LG G Pro 2 has a 5.9-inch display screen with IPS panel which provides incredible visual experience. The 13 MP OIS Plus camera captures high-definition pictures. The Optical Image Stabilization technology allows users to click steady, focused shots. The Pro 2 provides bright and colorful images that are clear to see through the HD screen. The phablet also has a rear-facing camera and a front-facing shooter that only offers two megapixels. We love that the front camera features an intelligent selfie mode that shrinks the preview screen with a white border to illuminate your face in low-lighting.

It has a high capacity battery that provides all the power you need for the entire day. One of the biggest challenges with a Phablet has been the provision to fit them to a user’s palm firmly. LG G Pro 2 has a seamless design for a secure grip. It is thin and has a rounded back that sits comfortably into the hand.

The LG G Pro 2 uses Android 4.4 to power the software and features all the Google settings you would expect. This includes Chrome, Gmail and more apps. You can also adopt Google’s virtual assistant, Google Now, to guide you through using the phablet. It has a powerful quad-core processor that delivers incredible performance, especially when compared to the device before this release.

9. Oppo N1

best phablet

If you want to own a Phablet that is not so common and yet delivers an incredible performance like that of the big names then, opts for Oppo N1. It has a 1.7GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM which matches the speed and performance of popular smartphones.

It has a good battery life and can be used as a mobile media player. The 13MP camera is also quite impressive. It can swivel around to capture selfies quickly. Located next to the lens, the LED flash provides ample lighting to your face for the perfect self-portrait. You might be worried about breaking the camera by turning it around too much, but Oppo has confirmed that there are no limitations to the number of times you can do this.

The phablet is excellently designed with curved edges and edge-to-edge display to optimize your viewing experience. It offers high definition resolution of 1080 pixels on a 5.9-inch screen, which is perfect for a phablet. The colors are vivid, making it a great go-to phablet for photography lovers. Finally, this Android device is user-friendly and considers the ergonomics of using a device. For example, the O Touch feature allows you to scroll in a variety of directions with your finger. As a result, this scrolling feature reduces any unnecessary impact on your fingers to provide you with hours of comfortable usage.

10. Huawei Ascend Mate

best phablet

Finally, this phablet is equipped with a big 6.1-inch display screen. The IPS LCD screen provides great viewing angles and renders rich colors. It has a resolution of 720×1280 pixels and renders sharp, natural pictures. The 8MP camera is not very impressive, but it is good enough to take casual pictures.

The 1.5GHz quad-core processor delivers decent performance. The phone offers 8GB internal storage and can be expanded with a micro SD card. It is priced at $575, and you can find better Phablets in this price range.

A large portion of what makes this phablet so incredible is how comfortable it is for users. The Huawei Mate has soft keys at the center of the screen so that they’re easy to reach and don’t cause any tension on your fingers. Made mainly from anodized aluminum, this is comfortable to hold unlike phablets made from hard plastic. The power button is within easy reach which adds to the phone’s overall positive usage, and the Huawei Mate is one of the slimmest phablets on the market which makes it user-friendly for long periods of time.

There you have it, what we think are the top 10 phablets available. Now, it is up to you to choose one of these big suckers! If any of the above models caught your eye, or if you have any additional recommendations, share your thoughts in the comments to keep this conversation going.

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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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