What’s the best phablet on the market in 2016? There are a number of excellent models to choose from, all with different key strengths. We've rounded up the best phablets available right now.
Phablets aren’t quite as distinctive as they once were, with an increasing number of handsets now coming with 5.5-inch screens and larger. For those looking for something more affordable, the new OnePlus 3T is also a strong contender. At £399, this buys you a handset with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 821 processor supported by 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage.
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If you want a true phablet then the Huawei Mate 8 is an excellent option, with a huge 6-inch screen and a decent-sized battery. If you’re happy to opt for something smaller, in the 5.5-5.7-inch range, then there are far superior options currently available.
There was of course the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but that is no longer on sale. If you happened to buy one, read our Note 7 recall FAQs piece on how to return your exploding phablet. The Google Pixel XL has taken it's spot and that's great.
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge is a gorgeous device, with a superb display and best-in-class camera, while the Nexus 6P is stock Android at its finest. Both are up there with the best Android phones you can buy today, and they happen to be phablets.
If budget isn’t such an issue, and for those specifically wanting iOS on a larger display, the iPhone 6S Plus is a good bet. It might only have a 5.5-inch screen, but it feels much larger.
What's the best phone you can buy?
Why have phablets become so popular? Many think it’s because people don’t want to buy a phone and a tablet, but there are a number of other clear advantages.
Over recent years we’ve seen smartphones become larger in size. Phablets are generally regarded as handsets measuring 5.5-inches and above, and right now they’re immensely popular. The fact that Apple, which was once so opposed to big-screen phones, has joined the phablet fanfare demonstrates just how in-demand they are.
The most obvious benefits of owning a big phone come by way of the screen. Usually blessed with stunning displays, phablets are great for watching movies, playing games and reading. As such, they’re hugely popular among commuters.
While LG and Samsung were quick to embrace super-sharp QHD panels, Full HD on a large screen still makes for a superb viewing experience. 4K could also start to appear, especially on virtual-reality-based phones.
Performance and Battery Life
Since phablets are also more likely to be used for gaming than smaller smartphones, they tend to come with more powerful hardware. Almost all of the mobiles in this roundup can handle complex 3D titles without issue.
Phablets are also well endowed in the battery department. No longer will your concern be whether your mobile phone will make it through a day. The majority of phablets last around two days between charges; some can last even longer.
Other Things to Consider
Design and ergonomics are always important areas to consider when buying a smartphone, but they’re particularly important when buying phablets due to their size.
The majority of manufacturers put every effort into making their large-screen devices as user-friendly as possible, whether that’s through a slim frame, a dedicated stylus, centrally positioned soft keys, or a one-handed operation mode. However, we’d still recommend trying one out in a shop first, especially if you have small hands. This will also provide an opportunity to test the “pocketability” of the device.
Extra features such as fingerprint scanners, NFC and microSD card slots can also have a huge effect on the overall user experience.